My next plan is to get more acquainted with the iconic New York City. A few of my friends have visited there recently and have written about it on the Mr Sparrow blog: http://www.mrsparrowblog.blogspot.com/. Mr Sparrow is my friend’s store, located in Subiaco WA. It sells beautiful gifts, homewares, jewellery, gardening stuff, baby stuff, plants… everything! Both of the contributors to the blog have an amazing eye for beauty and detail… they are always in the know about current trends and where in the world it’s all happening. So, I take any recommendations from them about aesthetics and/or travel very seriously!
One of the highlights of New York City for both the girls was a park called the Highline. I won’t go into too much detail here as you can read about it on their blog/google it, but basically it is a long skinny park built on a disused, elevated railway line (why are there so many abandoned railway lines in that city?). This seems like a great use of space and the designers have apparently used plants that are native to the area, which I think would be really interesting. It is in the Meatpacking District on 34th Street…. as I have no idea where that it is I have a good starting point for getting myself oriented … I’ve booked a couple of hostels already which has required some map work and basic understanding of the city layout, but now it’s time to go deeper. The reason I’ve booked hostels already is because there is some sort of Design Week happening at the time of my visit. I’m excited because one of my closest friends in Perth will be in town at the same time to attend the Design Week… and after a month and a half of backpacking, abandoning personal hygiene and being a farm girl I will be completely ready to put on some impractically high shoes, drink cocktails and giggle about boys on a Manhattan rooftop.
OK so what other preparations have I been doing? Well, when I went to Planet Video I not only picked up Boy (see previous post), but also New York, I Love You. This is produced by the same people who did Paris, Je T’aime. Basically the concept is that the larger movie is made up of multiple short films by different directors, each of whom are attempting to encompass the relationships of the characters to each other and to their city. Paris, Je T’aime left me in tears for about 15 minutes after the film ended… not only because of my generally fragile emotional state but because of the wonderful way love was represented. In one story I was feeling the primal despair of a grieving mother, in the next I was empathising with both parties in a complicated marital affair. But the story that stayed with me the most was about a single, middle-aged Texan woman who has studied French and then made a solo trip to the epicentre of her dreams.
I loved this story firstly because it was hilarious hearing her overtly Texan drawl doing a pretty admirable job of pronouncing a very difficult language (in my opinion). Secondly, it did a great job of showing all of those sad, lonely, awkward moments of being a lone traveller. No matter whether the Eiffel tower is hovering in the background or whether you’re eating a delicious foie gras, it can still really suck eating a meal alone! I felt that Eat, Pray, Love was a failure because it didn’t communicate any of that… everything happened a bit too easily for the character (whom you didn’t even get to know or feel anything for…. anyway…).
Lastly I love this short story because when the woman is feeling quite dispirited, disillusioned, lonely and probably wondering ‘What the hell am I doing here surrounded by families, couples and friends?’, she has a moment of ecstasy. My Year 12 English teacher described ecstasy as a moment of complete clarity, where one seems to step outside oneself and truly perceives themself and their situation in a positive and accepting way. And for that one moment, they are purely happy. The woman described that moment as feeling herself fall in love with Paris.. and Paris falling in love with her. I appreciate that, but I also read it as her falling in love with herself too.
Anyway, I will be watching New York, I Love You tonight… I’ve heard that the directing falls a bit short because they wanted young, hip New Yorkers to do it instead of experienced (good) people. I’ll soon let you know my opinion on whether Natalie Portman should stick to acting/dancing and stay away from rapping/directing which I suspect is probably the case.