My wife is always gobsmacked when the weather forecast is incorrect, but today it was spot on. Rain, and plenty of it. Undeterred, we walked past the Chrysler Building to the United Nations, but didn’t see the famous twisted revolver or the fluttering flags of all nations. We saw a small bunch of Chinese emigres across the street protesting something about pension entitlements, but apparently not so seriously that they were prepared to protest in the rain. I saw sulky security guards bag-checking some dude through the UN Plaza gate and felt like mounting a protest of my own: No More Bag Checks! Also, in this city of inspired architecture, wtf:

We climbed back into the city past a private garden, a nuclear fallout shelter under a church, and some Tudoresque homes, hitting 3rd Ave then wandering north. We stopped for coffee in Le Pain Quotidien on E44th Street, which felt like cheating, because he have them back home–but the coffee was good. I was a little cold and wet, so a break from the weather was nice. Lunch at another pizzeria, this time on E60th Street, with a very attentive Ukrainian waitress. Back to the hub, and the one thing I wanted from Tommy Hilfiger they didn’t have in my size; thankfully, a block from home at Barnes & Noble I emerged with something to commemorate the day: a copy of ‘Humans of New York‘ — I’ve been a fan of the photoblog for years.

Our plan was to retire to the hotel, get into some dry clothes and relax. Maybe hit the cocktail bar on the 14th level if the mood strikes us. Tomorrow we go downtown and explore Greenwich Village via Bleecker Street, find a cool non-pizza place to lunch, get my long-awaited Salty Pimp from Big Gay Ice Cream, and walk the Highline. Depending on the overcastness (my new word for the day), we’ll conquer the Empire State Building on Thursday night to farewell New York. Being tough Aussies, our Plan B (for monstrous weather) is just Plan A with umbrellas! I won’t give up until I’ve had my Salty Pimp.

I’m sure it tastes better than it looks, because it looks like a turd. Anyway, here’s some boring errata for you: on extended holidays you eventually run out of clean clothes. We could do some laundry, but this unholidayish (second new word) activity can be avoided if I buy more shirts. I almost got some suspiciously cheap Levi’s tops on 3rd Ave before I realised they’re probably seconds, and scampered out before the paparazzi noticed. I mean, if we’re going to be visiting hipster Greenwich Village tomorrow, I can’t exactly stumble out of the Blind Tiger on Jones Street and laugh-off some accidental street-frottage with Emma Watson if I’m wearing a fake Levi’s Rolling Stones tee, can I. Unless I distract her with my hipster-street-cred enhancing dog-eared copy of Maya Angelou’s poetry, maybe.

Aw hell, I can’t lie to Emma. I’ve never read any Maya Angelou. I just don’t rate her at all. I don’t rate this New York rain either. Let’s have some fine weather now that the finishing line is in sight for your Australian guests. We’ve behaved ourselves, so how about a little flourish before we depart? Give us a couple of days of your best Spring weather; I want to see right across this amazing city the night before I have to leave.


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