So I hope you're not getting bored yet, because there's lots more!! Lots and lots, and it must be read. But first it must be written, so I'll get on with it. On day three and we got our fourth recruit who caught the Greyhound bus up from Virginia to meet us. We ventured into Times Square - which was our local for the week as our hotel was literally around the corner from its' chaos, which I never got used to - to buy some tickets for a Broadway show. I shall divulge our choice later. After our purchase we noticed a large gathering of people, in the middle of which was the legend that is...The Naked Cowboy. This man, in boots, Y-fronts and a hat, brought about the same reaction I get in a theme park. A sense of dread, but the knowledge that you have to do it - go on the ridiculous new ride, have a picture and be embarrassed in front of a large group of people whilst getting groped by a middle-aged cowboy m
an. The man is a total nutjob, and clearly loves the attention and working the crowd. He intermittently bursts into country songs, one of which mentioned his running for mayor - that would be awesome and I really hope he gets it - he of all people knows what it is like to be in the thick of New York rather than hiding coveted in an office somewhere.
Anyway, so the rest of the day was devoted to exploring some more of Downtown, beginning with the elusive Soho. I loved this area - it was everything I'd heard about, fairly small streets scattered with exciting looking shops - most of which I couldn't afford to even look at for too long - but exciting nonetheless! We found what I can only guess was some kind of micro-bakery selling the smallest cupcakes I have ever seen, and I don't understand how so much amazing flavour could have been stuffed into them! We managed to eat these bitesized treats just and find a shop to shelter in just in time, as I then witnessed more rain than I have ever seen in my life - and I've witnessed a hurricane! The rain was merged together to become a continuous sheet of water, that hammered against the window in the shop, even trickling in between the frame. Staff rushed to the leaks, but there was no stopping it. People from the street trickled into the store too, dripping on the floor and displays. For us, luckily it was an Urban Outfitters shop and we happily spent nearly 2 hours looking at the clothes, books and quirky home accessories - so long, in fact, that we all felt the need to buy something - my friend opting for the best book EVER - a flip book of creative swearing. I can't stress enough how funny combinations like 'crap jacket' and 'slut farm' are after a few cocktails!
All the shopping gave us quite an appetite, so we headed to Chinatown for an authentic Chinese meal. When the taxi dropped us off, there was no mistaking where we were - the Chinese immigrants must have made some Manhattan banner maker a fortune! It was decidedly more run down than most other parts of the city, with slightly delapidated looking buildings, rubbish in the street, and faded, ripped signage above most of the shops. Because of this, we headed to the restaurant with the flashing lights - if they can afford that, they can afford not to be serving us dog or cat! There was a wedding reception in a sectioned off part of the restaurant, where I learned my new fact for the day - Chinese weddings also end in drunken renditions of Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive'. Who knew?!
Cocktails fueled the end of our day, the first of which we had in a bar that truly followed its name; 'Soul Bar'. We ran inside to escape the rain, and found a dimly lit room with very few people and a small stage at one end. We decided to get a drink, and then found ourselves part of a very small audience to an incredibly talented soul band, with a lead vocalist who had very similar velvety tones to Luther Van Dross and a drummer that looked like the happiest man in the world just to be able to drum! I don't know if the rest of the audience were friends or relatives of the band, but they certainly deserved to have a fuller bar than that!