All Tuckered Out from Rushing About.
A few NYC Marathon cartoons and some thoughts on a recent trip to NYC.
My wife and I went back to New York City last week for a short visit to see friends and family. We timed our trip to happen the week before Halloween and decided that flying out on Halloween would assure easy travel.
I’m not sure why we thought that. Maybe because the humorless TSA doesn’t encourage costumed flying—or trick or treating up and down a plane’s aisles?
The last time I visited in NYC it was during Halloween week of 2012. I timed my trip to be perfectly aligned with the arrival of Hurricane Sandy.
Since then, I feel that a vacation isn’t complete until one can spend three days trapped in Queens, hunkered down in a friend’s house while 85 to 100 MPH winds shake the place.
However on this most recent visit we had wonderful sunny weather.
I blame this on my wife’s luck. How dare she interfere with my cataclysmic travel plans!
I have to admit that since my previous visit, I couldn’t believe how much has changed in NYC.
The skyline was unfamiliar. New giant skyscrapers disrupted my memories. The High Line walkway was finished and led to a fantastic building called The Vessel, which was apparently too stunning and precious of a design to have pedestrians use it.1
Even Jersey City and Hoboken no longer looked as they once were from across the Hudson. On both sides of the river waterfront development brought new parks, new boardwalks and pier development, along with a whole new mini-island park!
Overall, it was flabbergasting, and somewhat disturbing, how much a city could change in a decade.
What hasn’t changed though is how much walking is required in New York City.
On average during our stay, we did about 10 miles of walking each day. It was also averaging 70-80 degrees on most of our visit. This turned 10 miles of walking into 10 hot and sweaty miles of walking.
Had we planned it properly, given the amount of steps we put in, and applied them on one direction, we could have spent the end of our visit hanging out on the beach in the Hamptons.
One would think that with all this exercise we would have lost weight on the trip. But ironically we came back a bit heavier.
This is because that back home Vancouver’s restaurants have been so decimated by the pandemic (combined with the general lack of diverse ethnicity) that we forgot what great food tasted like. Therefore we made sure to hit up, at every chance, a type of food that Vancouver, WA is sadly lacking.
We dove face first into Chinese, Cuban, French, Italian, Spanish, Ethiopian, Japanese, Israeli, as well as the traditional Greek Diner.
And of course, the bagels…oh god, the bagels. How I had missed you.
Another thing I forgot about New York was how inspiring it is. Even despite the massive changes, massive costs, and loss of so many of the places that I haunted in the past (bars, bookstores, records shops, etc.), the chaos that underlies Manhattan is an engine of creativity.
Each day that I spent meandering around, I found myself constantly writing down ideas for gags and comics that were triggered by some insanity or ridiculousness that was seen or overheard.
This made me realize that listening to this chaos is how cartoonist and perpetual NYer, Sam Gross, was able to crank out 38,000 cartoons during his lifetime.
Thinking on this in regards to home, it’s obvious Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA really need to work on their chaotic inspirations for humor.
Either that or I need to visit larger cities more often.
Now that this trip has recharged my creative batteries, I have a wealth of topics to draw and write about. I’ll be mixing that output in with my usual lunacy, so consider this a either a bonus or a warning , depending on your outlook.
Today’s NY Marathon cartoons were in part inspired by what happened as Deb and I walked around Chelsea one night.
As we strolled down 20th street, Deb looked down, pointed to the sidewalk, and shouted, “Ohhh! Look! A spray-painted Banksy Rat!”
The exact moment after she said that, I pointed in front of us and said, “Real Rat!” as one of those rather large rodents scurried across the street.
I smiled and thought, “At least some things about NYC have never changed.”
That’s all for now. Have a great NY Marathon Day.
Apparently in building this structure, at a cost of $216 million dollars, they didn’t think to take some of that money to put in Plexiglass walls to stop people from jumping off the damn thing? I’d call that a Form vs. Function fail.