walkabout in tourist town
I took the Q train to chinatown and stepped out of the subway station into the biggest market of cheap imported crap imaginable. maybe going on a saturday was a mistake, but i didn’t have a lot of choice. the main thoroughfare (Canal St) was crowded with tourists. I quickly got off it and into the sidestreets, which were quieter but no less full of tiny shops jostling against each other for attention. judging by the number of asian faces on the sidestreets and the almost constant chatter of more than just mandarin, this area really is home to actual asian people, but who knows how they can stand living there because it just crawls with tourists and people preying on tourists. in between there are hints of real life – a drug store, an optomatrist, a school. but mostly it’s just vendors and restaurants and purveyors of fine imported frippery.
After wandering about for an hour, i got back on the subway and this time took the N to times square. in the station i saw real life scientologists with a stand, offering free stress tests and selling dianetics and various other insanities in printed form. delightful. i think i laughed out loud.
i emerged into times square, and it is a sparkling, twinkling, upper class whore. if it were just a little more dingy, or possibly if it had been raining, it would have been strangely reminiscent of scenes from bladerunner. as it was, in the bright sunshine, it was bright, gaudy, saccharine sweet. i felt all neoned out. time to go back to the hotel.
just saw an advert where a car drives out of the surf on a beach, having just been under the ocean. the disclaimer read ‘fictionlization. car not designed for underwater operation’. Again, i have to wonder, who is so stupid to think it might be? probably the same person who doesn’t realise that the hot coffee they just ordered is hot, but who would complain if it wasn’t.
FX, one of the channels here, has a very clever movie showing idea. DVD on TV – they show the movie, and during the ad breaks they show scenes from the DVD special features. It’s kinda cool.
one more day on deck. then i’m on my way home. really can’t wait.