Monday, February 28, 2011

Travel: New York Day Five

Plenty of free time for today, so was quite excited to escape off on my own for a bit in the evenening. Had a rather barbaric breakfast I suppose- knawing on the rest of the chicken I took home in the doggy back I got from the restaurant last night. I know eating leftovers cold the net morning might be considered a little chavvy, but mreh, if it tastes really good then I don't think theres anything wrong with doing that. We went to breakfast and oof course, having my sneaky breakfast at the hotel i wasn't really that hungry, so i asked them if they could possibly serve me something light, like a fruit salad, and they served me this. Lovely fresh fruit salad, I realise I may hate normal grapefruit, but i LOVE pink grapefruit. It is so much nicer, and sweeter, and refreshing.

Today we went to the Museum of Moving Image, which I was particularly excited about, because i suppose for me personally this was the only 'educational' part of the trip, with me studying Film Studies A level. It was a really funky and interesting museum really. The first section is mostly about costumes, and how people apply masks/ make up in films. Here are a couple of props, one of them is Winonya Ryder's like, bloodied up legs, in the film Black Swan (when she gets hit by a car and she's in the hospital). They looked so realistic I was half expecting them to twitch, lol! The second photo is of a pair of boxing gloves that were worn by Robert De Niro in the film "Raging Bull". The last photo is showing the stages of how they applied the mask/makeup onto John Hurt for the film "The Elephant Man".

We then went through s section looking at film merchandise- merchandise being a particularly important part of film production, and of course during the film production a lot of thought is put into how they will be able to market their movie once it is out of the cinemas. Disney an Pixar have done particularly well with merchandise, as well as surprizingly- George Lucas. When George Lucas made the first Staw Wars film, he asked producers/companies for to obtain full profits from any merchandise produced from the series of films. And when you think about how many Star Wars models/ posters/ games that have been created, you've got to think that must've been one of the most profitable financial decisions in film history! Speaking about games, there was also a big collection of the importance of games/ gaming in the film and media industry. Over the past twenty years in particular, the gaming industry has become substantially larger and more important. Recently when games are released, there are "film-style" red carpet premiers, the budgets on these games (particularly MMORPGS) are often larger than the budget for mainstream films, and for instance: The last "Halo" game's advert was directed by Steven Spielberg, who is rumoured to be directing a film based upon this series of Sci-Fi multiplayer shootem-up games. Documenting the history of games, they also had a very large collection of original working arcade consoles- can't believe that the Space Invader's machine was out of order- That is totally my favourite!!!

Our tour guide was really informative and I learnt a lot- took lots of notes to bring back to my film studies classes, hoping that they'll help me out with my upcoming (too quickly!!) film studies exam. There was a collection about the science behind the first cameras, including the first ever handheld camera. Also how the television was first integrated into the household. They would often combine televisions with other household items such as radios, cupboards, and even ovens- to make people feel more comfortable with this new invention- by making them literally part of the furniture. Here is an image of an old TV, look how small it is- I sware the screen is even smaller than a postcard!!!

After the museum of moving image, we all headed uptown and allowed to all go our seperate ways (well, not literally, there was still the "group of three" rule, but I managed to sneak off) and I headed off to Madame Tussauds. O.K, O.K, so i know theres one in London- but I haven't been to the one in London so yeah I really wanted to check it out. Most of the models are SO real looking. I mean, seriously, it is so scary, you just look at the eyes and you think that they could move any second! And because in most rooms they are scattered about randomly, and it was quite busy, at one point I turned round to ask someone to take a picture of me with someone, and i realised that i had asked one of the waxworks!!! How embarrassing- i hope nowone noticed! to be fair though, as good as most of them are, there are a few naff ones. There were two of madonna- BOTH of them dreadful. And the spice girls were rubbish. And as you can see, John Travolta ain't all that good either, but i just HAD to get a photo with him, because that day i was wearing massive flared jeans so I believed the Saturday Night Fever Pose in front of Travolta was pretty much compulsary, haha! From one Johnny to another, got a pic with Johnny Depp as well. Did you know he's only 5'10?? What a short-ass ey? Fancy him slightly (juuust slightly...) less now. I'll add the pictures of Samuel L Jackson, Bella Legosi (who was just labelled "dracula", lol?) and The Kennedy's as well, cause I reckon those ones were the most realistic.

Did think it was quite amusing that during my holiday I had managed to snap Paris Hilton in the flesh and her waxwork, lol. The entire group was supposed to meet up at 8:30 at this unimpressive looking buffet diner for our last dinner in New York. I felt that i wasn't really looking forward to dinner there, and because the staff were paying for it (so i could eat as little or as much as I wanted) I figured I could find another restaurant in my guidebook to try out for an early dinner/ evening snack. I went to a place i had spotted that looked very promising near the hotel, called "Le Pain Quotidien". A nice cafe, that kinda reminded me a little of a chain of cafe's we have in the south west called "Boston Tea Party". Anyway, in my guidebook, it said that at this place they serve the best croissants in New York city. Wasn't in the mood for something sweet, so i had a damn good double espresso, and i ordered the "Mediterranean Mezze Platter". It was really beautifully presented, with three bowls full of Baba Ghanoush, Hummus, and Tabbouleh (not as good as mine- but pretty good!) and the selection of home-baked bread that came with it were SO scrumptious. The waiter serving me was really cute as well. He asked me where i was from in britain, and then he told me he had lived in Birmingham (that he pronounced Bir-ming-HAM, lol) for a year as part of his english degree, studying shakespeare. It was quite sweet really, when i left after paying the bill (a big platter and a coffee at less than $18, not bad!) he said " hope you enjoyed your meal ma'am, i love your country!!". Haha, love it! Also love being called maam, I told my friend, originally from Oklahoma, that he should call me that more often! Lol.

Dinner was a bit lame to be honest, the buffet items were mostly average and lukewarm. There was one pretty nice dish there though, called "Penne ala Vodka". I thought it would taste a bit gross, because to me vodka doesn't really have much of a taste it just tastes of alchohol, so I thought the sauce would taste a little too boozy. But actually it was rather nice really. I also got a slice of NY cheesecake to bring back for my mum. It did make it back, a little squished from the bumpy flight, but still just as tasty, haha! I think the only other eventful thing that happened that night was that i DID get busted for going to Madame Tussaud's on my own by my lecturer. He was so angry it was unbelievable. I mean, he was within his rights to be angry, because i had actually signed something to say that i would remain in at least groups of three. But I mean, i am 4 years older than most of the other students, the lecturers to be honest are only a little older than me, and I am a strong and confident woman. New York is a safe city, particularly the centre. Ok so if you headed off to brooklyn it would start getting dodgier, but the rest of the city is completely fine. And it is so hard to get lost as well. And even though I went off on my own, i was ALWAYS on time for all of the group activities, and i didn't actually go that far away from the hotel. I wasn't like the two spaccard girls that seperated, agreed to meet at a certain place, but because one of them hadnt set their watch correctly, one of the girls was left waiting on a street corner in the dark by themselves whilst the other one was lost. Basically, I figured my own way around, I was never late, and unlike either of these girls, i acted sensibly, and not like a complete retard. End of.

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