The last time I had been in Manhattan, I had basically gone through it in a bus on the way to the airport. This time, I was decided to see everything. I knew I would have a lot of work to do for the film festival, but I had always had this idea that New York was a perfect place for the likes of me, that meaning artsy-cosmopolitan-people-without-a-driver´s-license.
Manhattan can be expensive. Fortunately, this time around I was not as low on foreign currency as I had been over ten years before when I visited Paris, and, though I still had to work and make money during my visit, I knew I could manage to see some of the things I had always imagined I would love.
Having docked in Cape Liberty many times, with the best view ever of the Manhattan skyline, I was not crazy about seeing the Statue of Liberty; a familiar sight, but I did have a lot on my to-do list.
I stayed at the Poet´s Den, a beautiful recycled building that included a charming old theater, an art gallery and a duplex, which was to be my Manhattan home. The beauty about Manhattan is that with water all around and the humungus Central Park in the middle, wherever you are, there is always something beautiful near you.
The Poet´s Den is in the area once known as Spanish Harlem, where Spanish is almost the official language, and only a few blocks from the Park to the West and the Harlem river to the East. One of the things that were not on my to-do list, but proved very enjoyable, was to walk by the Harlem river on a quiet sunny morning. That was one of my attempts to make up for the absence of a gym. The air was pure, the streets were quiet, and I only crossed one or two lonely runners along the way.
Among the coolest things I did in Manhattan, as a total Seinfeld freak, walking down to the original Seinfeld coffee shop (Tom´s restaurant) would have to be among my favorites. That would include having the best seasonal (summer) beer in the world (and some killer nachos) at Mel´s bar just one or two blocks from it towards downtown on Broadway.
The two other highlights would be going up to the Top of the Rock, and seeing Manhattan for what it really was and having a drink at The Standard Hotel, both at the loud and crowded Biergarten and at the bar on the top floor, where we had pricey and delicious drinks and listened to some live jazz:
Finally, here is video from one of my fave Mahattan moments. (I would have included the Festival award ceremony, but I was so baffled then that it´s nothing pretty to look at).
In any case, it looks like the film´s promotion will involve a lot of travel for the rest of the year. I am even thinking of getting annual travel insurance… This film is very close to my heart, and I guess I will follow, wherever it may take me.