The Sheriff of Nottingham in USA – Part Sixteen – Off duty in New York

We’re off duty, we’re finished, we’re shattered and we’ve learned loads. Its impossible to not learn if you’ve seen 31 attractions over 12,000 miles in 8 days. If you manage to not learn here, you shouldn’t be here in the first place. I’ll write out the full conclusions from my own viewpoint and get them on here in the next few days, but first, I’ll wrap up with the last few things we did, in our briefly hectic time in New York.

Having left the Museum of Natural History, we headed off to Seaport, on the east coast of the Island and underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. This is a brash, sprawling shopping and entertainment centre that few love, but hundreds still flock to, in order to shop, eat and drink.

Looking down into Seaport - a huge mall of shops, eateries and entertainment stuff
Looking down into Seaport - a huge mall of shops, eateries and entertainment stuff

This is NOT my scene at all, but it was another to see and tick off. Perhaps to ensure we don’t rip the heart out of the city of Nottingham by overdeveloping the riverside, when this is eventually done and turn it into a vile tourist mecca with shops and a distinct lack of character.

We did stop at a restaurant that looked okay and had the Arsenal game on (replayed in full, but time delayed by five hours) in the background. Being the cultural tourist that I am, this was as much of a draw as the view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the tall ships.

The food portions, were the most ludicrous yet. Being slightly healthy and wanting to avoid accusations of salad dodging, I went for a Caesar Salad with chicken, only to be presented with a family size bowl that had two chicken breasts in it and at least a cubic metre of lettuce. It was simply enormous. I’m not sure if I got much over half way through it before giving up and even leaving some of the chicken. You can see my choice of drink, to give me a real sense of home. I waddled back to the hotel to get ready for our night out.

The salad that beat me - easily!
The salad that beat me - easily!

When we got back to the hotel it was just turning dark and two doors away at a tiny cinema called the Sunshine Cinema, was Charlize Theron, who just happened to be premiering her new film ‘The Burning Plain’ in New York. Either that, or she was just hanging around our hotel, just hoping to get a glimpse of the Sheriff of Nottingham and his men.

Charlize Theron hanging around outside our hotel
Charlize Theron hanging around outside our hotel

It was remarkably low key, with no red carpet, almost no Paparazzi (except Tim Garratt – who got this shot – Thanks Tim) and very few people hanging around. I didn’t bother staying to see her on the way out as we had a date with Little Boots at The Bowery Ballroom.

This is rated by many in the music industry as one of the best venues in the world and with a capacity of around 575, a superb sound system and a stage that allows everyone on the floor or the balcony to get a perfect view, I’m not surprised.

Victoria Christina Hesketh, or Little Boots by her stage name, was supported by two other bands, ‘The Plastiscines’ who I (with my feeble musical taste and knowledge) thought were ok and ‘Yes Giantess’ who I thought were great. I had chat with them afterwards and despite the fact they come from Boston, they were still prepared to speak to me (unlike many others of the fair city, after me upsetting them last week). They’re in UK on the NME tour soon, so if you get chance, go and see them and tell them I sent you.

Little Boots can really sing. Whether you like her music or not, listening to her live shows the power and range of her voice and how well received she was by the people of New York (and Nottingham).

Again, I have to thank Tim Garratt and his excellent photographic skills for the quality of this shot.

Little Boots, singing her heart out at the Bowery Ballroom
Little Boots, singing her heart out at the Bowery Ballroom

I also got to speak to her road manager and asked him about the tour. He described it as a mini tour, that was far more about PR than finances. Thinking about it logically, at only $15 a ticket and playing to only 500 odd people, they never had a chance of ever breaking even, but I’m sure the people adding images and videos to their Facebook and Bebo pages (and blogs like this) will help her profile no end.

Good luck to her. She is one hell of a live singer.

More later for my last day in the USA, taking in Liberty Island and a walk along Broadway.

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