Don't step on the cracks

Day 1 - New York

The cold, dark New York air hits our faces as we rise from the petroleum-scented depths of the subway. In a life of bright, hopeful beginnings and dim, crestfallen endings here is another of the former that asks for a wordy substantiation, a placement in the order of things and, perhaps like none before, a worthwhile reckoning. Or maybe I just squeeze my eyes shut and fuse the disjointed, the dismembered ends of this violent year into one seamless, happy whole. As we walk across the Brooklyn Bridge it provides as apposite a metaphor as any of the dreaming spires and brilliant lights that lie ahead.
Our curious cattle shed of a hostel (can someone please investigate the previous life of the Bowery Whitehouse and let me know?) grounds us and in the finest of tourist traditions we are shortly ensconced in an Irish pub called McSorley's supping God's love (B. Franklin, 1779). Sarah, Sarah, Simon & Matt ably straddle the dividing line of a common language regaling us with tales of their own travels while I treasonably decry our blessed Saxe-Coburg-Gothas. 36 beers stagger us but not as much as the $90 bill and less yet, eventually, than the jet lag.
The High Line Park and swirling mysteries of the Guggenheim occupy us the following day, the suspended emphemera of the latter fueling our conversations on the definition of art and the efficiencies of ice cube varieties, whilst in an Irish pub. My fabled injuries feel everyone of the hundreds of blocks they traversed but surely don't feel pain as keenly as the drunken Yank's head as it cracks off our tiled lobby floor. The culture continued on our last day (keeps us out of the bars) with another immodestly sized New York institution. The Metropolitan Museum uses the word 'art' in its most liberal sense to encompass its near-kleptomaniacal collection of everything from Picassos to copious amounts of cabinets. Surely if my mother ran a museum this would be it. The Num Pang Sandwich Shop restored us after a day (literally) in the Met while simultaneously redefining the Earl's greatest invention. I fell asleep looking up at the ceiling that wasn't there, by the same time tomorrow these boys will be hombres.

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