Sunday, December 02, 2007

Geographical Musings

First up: Congrats to Liz who won November's K.A.Y.E. prize!!

And now onto our blog post...

As an Alaskan, born and raised, and despite the fact I haven't been home for eight years (as of the end of this month), I still get many people who go on those "trips" to Alaska (You know the ones I'm talking about--where they hop on a cushy cruiseship and stop at Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau and then turn back around and head for Seattle and go home claim they've visited Alaska. Sorry kids, that's like having a layover in Paris and saying you've seen the City of Love. Uh uh, cruising the inside passage will let you tick Alaska off your list of states you've visited, but until you at least hit "up north" what all those Juneau/Sitka/Ketchikan people call anything north of Haines, then you can say you've truly visited Alaska. Until then, you've merely been to Alaska. But back to where I was going with this...) and come back from their visits in awe that I grew up around things like glaciers, bears, mountains, snow, etc.

To an Alaskan girl, these things are everyday like smog, congestion, outdoor swimming pools, and nicely dressed transvestites must be to a Southern Californian.

You don't appreciate then because they're always there.

This is why every time we hop the train into Manhattan, I'm in awe, which I'm sure makes NY natives laugh (like I laugh at those people who think a glacier is soooo cool.)

We decided to hit Macy's to see the Christmas display window.

This was a total clusterfuck.

There was NO moving whatsoever on that sidewalk. It was body-to-body crushing crowds hoping that the nicotine fiend in front of me didn't ignite me on fire.

I'm OK with cigarette addictions, whatever flips your cookie--but could you hold off lighting one up when you're literally ashing your cigarette into my ear?

Dear god, I can't imagine what would have happened if I was one of those perfume drenched dead animal coat wearing socialite wannabes I saw all over. I would have lit up in an instant!

Can you imagine the smell of burning mink fur and Chanel No. 5?


Anyway, I didn't get any good pictures of the Macy's windows as a result.

We also hit Rockefeller Center mainly to see the tree. But I got a picture of some other stuff.


Atlas, I'm assuming, unfortunately not showing any privates under that loincloth.


St. Patricks. A little excessive, but it wouldn't be Catholic otherwise right?


The Rock itself.

And of course the tree.


Which um, was well, how do I say this...disappointing?

It looks so much bigger on T.V. I'd say the stupid tree they have in front of the Capital Building in Lansing was comparable in size.

That iceskating rink also looks MUCH bigger on TV.

Not to sound Texan, but in Alaska, our rinks are much bigger.

But, I hate it when people watch Northern Exposure or Men in Trees or Mystery, Alaska and think that what they're seeing is Alaska and not really British Columbia or Washington State. So I can't really be disappointed by the smallness of the Rockefeller tree and rink--I should know better--TV is bunk.

But I did enjoy seeing Radio City Music Hall...


I wanted to start singing about how the sun would come out tomorrow.

Incidentally, it hasn't. We have a couple inches of snow out there.

And for the record, the heat has still not yet been turned on.

ETA: While it is true that our portion of the house is above Zorba and his nurse and following the laws of physics, heat rises, but I am not lying to y'all when I tell you that I can see my breath in here. It's kind of cool!!!

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Blogger turtlegirl76 said...

New York is a big state. I hate when I say I'm from NY and people assume I'm from the city. Really, I'm about 8 hours north. When I think of NY I think corn fields and cows.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey everything is BIGGER in Texas...hee hee, I will always be a Texan at heart.

Back to NYC, when I visited I was completely disappointed in those places as well, because just as you say, it looks so much bigger on TV than real life, but when you think about how NYC has to cram all their shit into a very small area, it makes sense that it is small.

I'm glad you had fun...heh! Ash in the ear would piss me off, and my husband smokes. When I turn 60, I'm going to start smoking again. Ahhhh

It is probably 55 here today. Unreal for this time of year. I'm not complaining.



I need your address, yet again....This time I will write it in my addy book.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Of course the cathedral is over the top! It woudn't be a cathedral then...would it? I guess it's exciting to see things that are completely out of the norm for you. Polar bears are weird for me, New York is different for you. Although, I suspect Nwe York would be different for me too! It's on my list of places I must visit.

10:27 AM  
Blogger cpurl17 said...

You mean Alaska isn't full of hunky designer coat wearing men in trees just waiting for a City gal like me? Darn.

I had a great big-eyed time when I was in NYC but I do remember going to Rockerfeller Center and thinking, how the hell do they fit an ice rink in this little space?

When I was a kid we went to Japan and while there, went to Nikko where they have the "Monkey hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" carving and for some reason, I was really excited to see it. When I saw that it was a small panel carved into a horse stable, I remember thinking "THIS is IT?"

I promise when I visit the touristy ports of Alaska on the cruise next year I will gaze longingly eastward and wonder, "What else is out there?"

12:11 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

First, go you for no heat yet! We caved two days ago (yeah, Californians...we're wimpy...but it hit the low 30s at night...I know wimpy probably. but cold).

I've only done the Paris/Alaska cruise ship tour (but we did try to get off the boat and do stuff, like rent a jeep and drive through the Yukon for the day), but I totally understand your New York experience. Probably why one of my favorites things was Central Park because I never got a sense of how big it was from tv/movies, but loved it IRL.

Glad you had a great weekend! Oh, and I may need to confirm your address too (I have the one from my yarn ball that correct?). Congrats on winning!!

1:09 PM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Maybe it looks bigger at night? Sometimes things seem bigger in the dark. Wait, that didn't come out right...

I give you kudos for your thermostat resolve! I cave at 69. Wait, that didn't come out right...

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should know that they always say TV adds ten pounds to you that is why all those women are anorexic/bulimia! I guess you could say the samething about places and things. Glad that you had a fun time in NYC though. Please turn up the heat, I have a head cold. Love, Mom

2:17 PM  
Blogger The Curly Knitter said...

I'm actually quite eager to see when you break down and turn on the heat! It's darn cold!!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

You are hard-core Bezzie! When there's snow on the ground, turn on the heat!

First time I saw the skating at Rockefeller Center, I thought it was a big ho-hum, too.

My sister lived on a decrepit school bus in a junkyard on Kodiak Island for three months. Can she say she's been to Alaska? She didn't see much beside Kodiak, but she saw the real low down there.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Oh, and she shared the school bus with 9 other people. They called it The Enterprise.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Magatha said...

I love New York in spring, how about you? Yeah, a lot of it is a letdown after a BIG buildup. The best things in NYC are the little gems, the diamonds found in the garbage heap.

I decided after I'd seen Werner Hertzog's "Grizzly Man" that Alaska and I were never meant to coexist in the same space time continuum. It's too much 'too much' for moi. I can handle Death Valley, but not the great white north.
I wouldn't set foot on a f***ing cruise boat.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Miss T said...

I love NY!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Batty said...

I'm turning green just thinking of burning mink mixed with Chanel No. 5. Blech!

9:02 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Personally, I'd rather visit Alaska then New York, but having been to neither, I'd probably be awed by both ;).

9:14 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

You know, almost 10 years of working at Rock Center (Your "Rock" pic is the building I worked in) and I hated every moment of being on the outside with all the picture taking tourists. Today, a year after not being there day in and day out....I'm almost homesick. The pic of St. Pat's is beautiful, and I'd even brave all the loony tourists to see the tree in all it's glory.

9:40 PM  
Blogger Ina said...

I love Atlas and his furrowed brow and slipping foot.

No doubt there are taller trees out there, but The Tree is surrounded by several really big buildings, so it may be taller than it looks.

The lines for the skating rink are crazy, but if ever you do manage to get in and do a spin, you'll see skyscrapers whirling around!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I've lived in NYC all my life and I can;t quite understand why people go to see some of the tourist attractions here. I love the city, but its all just so...everyday to me.

Though it is amusing to watch a tourist on the subway!

7:36 AM  
Blogger Rebel said...

The tree just looks small because the buildings around it are so incredibly huge. All the times I went to New York as a kid, I was just totally overwhelmed. The buildings are too tall to comprehend, and everything is in shadow - even on a sunny day. I did enjoy skating at Rockefeller center though, and carriage rides through central park. That was all fun. But the most fun was when the fire department flooded a section of the park in my neighborhood so we could have our own outdoor skating rink. That and going to Pennsylvania to get a tree.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Nice church, buried in amongst the concrete.

I've been to Bristol bay, Dillingham and Dutch harbour, does that count as seeing Alaska?
I went there on H.M.S. Phoebe back in '88.

chin chin

5:49 PM  
Blogger Starfish said...

Girl, I avoid midtown like the PLAGUE this time of year. Seeing that stuff on tv is the best way to see it!

9:43 PM  
Blogger Alisha said...

I love seeing your pictures of the NYC. I miss it. We went for a week last fall and I can't wait to one day make the trip again.

9:49 AM  
Anonymous bufanditas said...

Alaska is on my list of places to travel during my life time. I'll make it a point to venture further in than the regular tourist traps. But I'll make a point of going during its warmest days because I wouldn't survive the cold. ;)

8:56 PM  

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