NY Vacation Part 2

The walk about...

By Al Carlos Hernandez
Published on LatinoLA: May 17, 2004

NY Vacation Part 2

Arriving in rain-washed Manhattan was surreal in the sense, that you knew that up and beyond in the misty night, perched above billion pixel-clearer than reality full color video screens, towered these unbelievably mismatched monolithic manmade skyscrapers that muffled any natural sounds of nature.

The hotel?s lobby was narrow by LA/SF standards but 46 stories high, our room was 3619. Decorated in 70s Reno, two Queen-sized beds, not the King we requested, audibly obdurate air-conditioning, and the bathroom was not military clean enough up to Nicargrauan standards.

It was a Hotel.com steal at a weekday rate $190 a night.

As Alba phoned them the riot act, while looking out the window, it felt like I was still miles up in the plane, way, way down below the scarlet glow, and the neon lights of Broadway. 9:30 pm NY was 5:30 pm Califas time, time to hit the streets.

A 36 floor float to the Lobby, we held hands spun, and was spit out through the revolving door. We joined a sidewalk freeway of happy people resolute in going somewhere fast, our cool California stroll didn?t cut it. In haste we sought the carnival-lit safety of a souvenir shop to buy a 3 dollar umbrella for eight bucks, then made our way, almost skipping mouths agape to The New Times Square.

The New Times Square is the media crossroads of the Universe. ESPN, TRL, Today Show, 20/20: All shoot programs live from there. We saw the tower where the ball drops ushering the New Year. Who knew we would be here now? There is an electronic charged Vegas mile of Drive-in sized screen advertisements, the world's biggest 36 million dollar TV, up to the minute news bulletins, the latest scores, a three story picture of P. Diddy.

It was time to hit the sheets. Future shock I can take. The idolatry of a no-talent Hip Hopster, like Diddy, I cannot.

Forgitaboutdit, what am I a schmendrick, do I look like a people person to you? Take a walk?

The next day I was reminded why we came to the Big Apple in the first place; Alba was attending an International Hair show at the Javis. She hopped into a cab, and we agreed to meet later around 2 pm. I planned a walk about day sight seeing acclimating to the local flavors.

There are some Latinos that come from Explorer stock, Columbus, Magellan, quien sabe; I am not one of them. The plan was to walk from midtown to Central Park, a leisurely one hour walk. I walked in exactly the opposite direction past Greenwich Village, almost to New Jersey.

All nations are represented on the streets of New York. I listened as a young Japanese dude, tried to impress his girlfriend. As we cross the street several African people draped in dramatic flowing purple and gold linen, alongside their elegant aristocratic men, was coming towards us. The Japanese dude said to his Lady in stilted English referencing the African entourage, ?Oh no, I didn?t know my parents were coming here too.?

Alba finally got me on the cell phone, and talked me back to the right direction, I logged 15 miles and what did I get? Another day older and deeper in debt, Ok I was really tired?

After an 18 dollar hamburger the size of my head, refreshed we made our way uptown to eyeball some of the cooler shops I encountered along the way, it was time to start spreading the cheddar, spending money.

The next few days were spent snapping pictures and rolling video on double Decker busses taking 3 separate tours of the city; A Harlem Gospel tour, Up Town, and one that took us near ground zero and Yankee Stadium.

The bus tour is the best way to see the city in all of its grandeur, bruises, and magnimity. It is like riding on the back of a touring motorcycle with no helmet, as if you are rolling through a movie set as the three ringed action goes on all around you.

And one night it happened, after dinner we were in the Square and a young lady came up to us, and asked us if we wanted tickets to see Dave Letterman. I told her that I had applied on-line 6 moths ago and nada. The web site said, tickets are taken a year in advance. How much? She said free if I could answer a trivia question.

Although I think Jung was a whack job, there was some synchronicity here. I do a quite off the wall TOP Ten list for Tower of Power at:


The next day we were seated at the Late Show in the front row.

About Al Carlos Hernandez:
Next week, the Late Show experience.

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