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02 May 201505:12PMusa-2015travel

The biggest thing I learned from the street art tour we did on our last day was that I'm probably not really into street art. Which isn't what I was expecting, but there you go.

I get the subversive stuff. I really like stuff that shouldn't be there, but is left anyway on its own merits - like stuff by invader, for example. I find actual graffiti interesting in an anthropological sense, but not really in an artistic sense, and in the battle between the MTA, declaring themselves graffiti free, and the graffiti artists, I come down squarely on the side of the MTA.

The stuff where you give artists permission to draw on your wall though? Sorry guys, that's just ordinary art, and deserves to be judged as such, without the modifier of 'street'. And a lot of it isn't super to my taste, really.

(Some of these opinions may have been tainted by my dislike for the eye-rollingly douchey hipsters who took the tour though.)

Speaking of being on the MTA's side, the Transit Museum in Brooklyn was excellent. It's in an actual disused subway station, and as well as all this cool stuff on how the subway was built, they have a complete collection of fare gates, tokens, and actual subway cars from all through the system's history.

check out those cars

i'm a huge fan

It's actually a little bit difficult to express how much love I have for this city's transit system, and for me to pin down why. But I do. The subway is cool, in a way that the Tube or whatever just isn't. Which is probably why I went a little nuts in the museum gift shop stocking up on subway swag. I am going to look like a total train nerd on the plane home, and I don't even care.

We topped off our last day in New York with the premiere of the Rockettes New York Spring Spectacular, thanks to some cheap tickets from my cool showbiz insider cousin with a cool apartment in Brooklyn. Thanks, Kari!

The Rockettes are, from what I can gather, an all-female dance group who specialise in cancan-esque high kicks. In order to supply a flimsy excuse for many many elaborate costume changes, they spin these choreographed dance numbers into a sort of musical, which in this case took the form of a very cheesy sightseeing tour of New York. It featured such spectacles as several dozen women doing the cancan to Taylor Swift, the voice of Tina Fey as a lion outside the New York Public Library, an inexplicable high-wire trapeze stunt above the Empire State Building, and climaxed with the Statue of Liberty being nothing other than the actual embodiment of God. It was weird and wonderful, and I wasn't sure whether I was meant to be enjoying it genuinely or ironically, but I think it came out a little bit of both.

Then we walked something like twenty blocks to get to a rooftop bar with a view of the Empire State Building, and because I'm an idiot I have no photos of this. We chatted over fries and beer and cocktails - mostly about family Christmas shenanigans, actually - and then subwayed back to Brooklyn where I crashed a little too hard than was dignified on the cousin's sofa bed.

so this is why subway cars have windows.

I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that I really like it here. New York is cool. There is no other word for it. It is the coolest city in the whole world, and doesn't even have to try, and it knows it, and is too cool to care.

I'll be back.

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