With a little help, figured out how to embed Youtube videos. Here are a few animations made at Art College that now make no sense whatsoever:
We love to Boogie Featuring T rex and my friend Theresa as a dancing cricket:
Fast Face Flash: Hounding the residents of Edinburgh with a camera to the Chemical Brothers
Class Photo: The shadow of your smile.. Featuring Astrud Gilberto and some funny-looking schoolchildren
“When I was 27, it was a very good year…” I got back to the UK last night after 13 months in New York.
This is the last year condensed, hopefully to reduce the possibility of boring people witless. Not all, just good bits, silly bits and bits that won’t offend my mother.
What was fun:
Obama 1 and actual Obama in a police cortege past Bloomingdales. Debating speeding fines with intellectually-challenged cops in Tennessee. Debating found subway-signs with emotionally-challenged cops in the West Village. Two-stepping with cowboys in an Austin Honkey Tonk. “You’re British? Hey, do you know Derek?” The back of Tom Jones’ head as he sang in the Good Morning America studio. The back of Reeba Macintyre’s head. The front of Pharrel Williams’ head winking at my friend’s head. Playing piano in the Peabody in Memphis. The Halloween Parade up 6th. Nerdy pointing at the Ghostbusters Fire Station. Rum in handbags to ‘beat the system’. Independence Day airborne explosives. The Rivington roof. The Empire roof. Friends’ roofs, strangers’ roofs. Glamming it up at Gansevoort and the Ritz Carlton Penthouse. Rooftop films.
Punk moshers restrained by security in a circus tent. Comedy shows good and bad. Couples storming out of comedy shows. The Daily Show studio & resulting crush on Jon Stewart. Subway crazies doing press-ups to didgeridoos. The Knicks and Amir Khan at MSG. The Mets. 20,000 yoga fans in Central Park before thunderous rain stole everyone’s Chi (videos 1 and 2 – the second one is amusing). Lady comics discussing beef curtains. Drawing on walls of the Rivington Hotel. Scribbling on tables of the Ear Inn. Drawing on peoples’ faces. Sweaty, brilliant rockabilly clubs in Ashville. Rapping on a Lower East rooftop.
What was seen:
The daily view from floor 44; Midtown to Staten and past, (slightly dull video here). Jersey 8th floor over Target and Modells. From the stage in Nashville. The Adirondacks. The Q train over the bridge. (another exceptionally-dull video here) The Shenandoah driveway. Swamps with Cajuns asking “How y’all are!” (less dull video here) Lake Placid. The Combahee and Cuckold’s Creek. West Virginia dirt roads. Philly Phountains. Washington esplanades. Madam’s Organ in Adam’s Morgan. East to the three bridges from Floor 24 in Tribeca.
What was strange:
Oyster stuffing. The US synchronized swim team in a tank outside my office (a better video here). A soprano-opera-singing Harlem shuffler. Wiping off a friend’s puke at the Brooklyn bowl. Rollerblading with lovers of neon-lycra in the park. Seeing the man with the parrot on his head and rainbow beard 12 times. Marching school bands alongside IRA sympathizers at the Saint Paddy’s parade. A glum Alan Rickman not enjoying Jamaican food at Miss Lily’s, in the same room as a glum Michael Stipe. Hooters, Memphis. The life-size blue whale in the Natural History Museum and hungover siestas under its belly. The Dakota and peoples’ fascination with the death spot of an extraordinary man who lives on.
Zombies in Times Square (the best video here). Flash-mob Santas. Harrah’s frantic batchelor-fest pool party in Atlantic City (less amazing video). The not-very-dangerous Brooklyn ‘Danger Party’. The Russell-Brand/Jamie-Lee-Curtis table dancer with a megaphone in Hogs & Heffers. Meatpacking. Red Rush Zack and ‘promoters’ herding young female out-of-towners to Amnesia, the Green Room or the Hamptons for free booze and the charms of men who should know better.
Who was seen: Celebs:
Discussing volcanic ash with a stranded Chris Moyles. A giggling Kiefer Sutherland in the West Village. An in-depth discussion about stealing chairs from hotels with the Kings of Leon and Ashley Greene in a tiny bar. Talking baseball, Led Zepellin & Birmingham with Bill Murray in Charleston Airport after he’d signed my passport. A fiercely-beautiful Diane Kruger in crimson, and shiny-orange Clare Danes on Fashion’s Night Out. A befuddled Julian Lennon and illusive Jack White at the self-conscious Kenmare. Russell Brand filming Arthur everywhere. Lou Reed at the Mermade Parade and in Central Park. Chasing Jonah Hill across the lobby once he spotted he’d been spotted. A friendly, chatty David Byrne in the queue for Joan as Police Woman. A smoky, boozy Don Hill at smoky-boozy Don Hills.
Who became friends:
The yellow afro with huge heart and huge spirit. The baptist-brick-shithouse journalist with a giant brain. A jewish Ming-Dynasty descendant and panda enthusiast. A quadruplet House DJ. The happiest, brightest couple in the world without making you feel sick. The Armenian tech-fiend with a 100 faces and voices. The Tazmanian-Devil Russian who can sniff out a party miles away. The chatty PA from Queens who smiles through tough times. The soft-spoken surfer figuring himself out. His viking friend, the poet behind the lens. The loveable curmudeon with questionable hygiene. The MC with a fancy toothbrush collection and penchant for shoe-theft. A lebanese diplomat with a crown of curls and dynamite smile. The platinum man-eater pleasure-seeker. The owl-like creative who sees all. The jack-the-lad with secrets. The Glaswegian who loves Marc Jacobs and Vodka. My Greek Pocahontas in neon and lipstick. The dapper neuroscientists who understand mice. The jewelry designer with Mesmer-eyes and squidgy toe. Serbian and Croatian tablestompers in the Poconose and Astoria. The uncertain mastermind with a bow and a bike. A Memphis Cowboy with handwritten business cards. The future of the Tanzanian economy and African Girl-Power. The Polish whirlwind. An Australian popstar. The Norwegian-Imelda Marcos with a pharmacy in her work-drawer. The lobbyist. The bright-eyed jewish grandma with kindness for all. The blue-eyed painter that gets under your skin after five minutes. The never-a-victim BMXer with big hugs. The cherubic Aussie with a vicious tongue. The thoughtful singer full of regret. The Kung-Fu-professor with a fridge full of film and mad-tasty cooking. Cricket-Commentator Action Man.
What was free:
Free mischief & swimming in Asheville Jewish Community center at 4 am. Free handouts in Times Sq and Rockefeller: flip flops, mustard, Shredded Wheat, Mickey Mouse hats. Ketchup and sugar sachets stuffed into empty Mountbatten pockets. Free hugs from strangers. Plants from Corporate flowerbed clearouts. Free Naughty by Nature, Slick Rick, Ohio Players, Salt n Pepa, George Clinton and Busta at Wingate field. Free fear facing the fierce crowds at a Barney’s sample sale. Free Mustang ride to Montauk. Free songs on the subway. Free NERD in Times sq. Free Janelle Monae in Bryant Park. Free praise at a Baptist Church in Bedsty. Boots, perfume and shampoo from a kind colleague. Free night out in Atlantic City courtesy of Perez Hilton and a press pass to see Kelis, La Roux and Natasha Beddingfield camp it up. Free eavesdropping everywhere.
What was heard:
Gospel in Austin. Cajun and Hillbilly in New Orleans. My favourite street-music (and favourite video here). Dub-Reggae at the Blue Nile. Hucklebuck in Charlottesville. Dizzy Gillespie’s band at the Blue Note (great secret video here). Powerballads on the Interstate. En Vogue at BB King’s.
The Black Keys, Hot Chip & a Lennon Tribute in Central Park. The Philarmonic in the park. The Whose-Line-is-it-anyway folks at Webster Hall. Elton at MSG. Very decent Jazz at Lincoln Center. A flawless Aloe Blacc at Poisson Rouge. Lee Fields, Noah & the Whale, the Budos Band & Tom Green at Bowery. Joan As Policewoman at Mercury Lounge. Snoop, Tribe, KRS1 & a terrible Lauryn Hill on Governor’s Island. The Heartbreaking Apollo Talent showcase. Filming of ‘America’s Got Talent’ (ironic title).
What was eaten:
Grits in Harlem. Devilled eggs at the Spotted Pig. Family Thanksgiving in Houston. Pho noodles in Korea town. Many chicken wings. Many energy drinks. Tourist-schnitzels at Katz’s. Ravioli in Piccolinos with a former chairman of the NYSE. Cakes with a CNBC presenter. South African stew in Fort Greene. Sonic Cherry-Lime-ade. Bloody Marys & Oysters at City Lobster. Soho meatballs at 3am. Tuna-steak burgers in Bloomingdales. The best fillet EVER at Ted’s Montana Grill. Rabbit at brasserie Ruhlmann. Not-that-bad free hotdogs in Rudy’s. Venezuelan, Argentinian, Armenian, Lebanese, Vietnamese, Iranian. Corn Dogs on Coney. A Diner in Montauk. And in Amityville. And in Franklin West Virginia. Sugary buns in New Orleans. Southern Breakfast in Beaufort. Mamoun’s Falafels. Chipotle. Red Lobster. Popeye’s. Applejack’s.
What was a little hormonal:
An unnecessary six-month crush. A slow sweet-eyed sailor who understood ‘Two thirds” of what I said. Cartoon-sundays with pasta and Marlboros from a Tribeca balcony. An Indianan techno DJ who left my coat & bag at the table and followed me to the bathroom queue to land on my face (not seen again). A Bostonian Ego doubling as a 41 year old gallery owner and throwback civil war soldier. Two dates that turned out to be gay. The nice-but-dull designer from Minnesota. Don’t tell the man buying you dinner that he’s ‘predatory’. Don’t turn up with an unexplained lovebite (curling tongs!). Don’t agree to date a man because he has a cool dog. Don’t accept offers of marriage that would upset your mother. Don’t play with peoples’ hearts.
I can be sad it’s over, or grateful I made the most of it. Whether I end up in Dubai or London, the last 13 months means New York will have my heart, for the people in it, and the feeling of always travelling without moving.