This afternoon Madison, Andrew and I went to Hawthorne, the hipsterville of Portland. We wandered up and down the main street with a ton of cool shops like gamexchange, Powell’s, Red Light, Goodwill and this big vintage/secondhand store that’s like Lost + Found in Melbourne. I bought a couple of cheap DVDs, Björk’s Family Tree box set for cheap (which I’ve never had a physical copy of) and a velvet mini dress for only $10. Also at Powell’s they had Crunchie chocolates which I kind of had a craving for. If I lived in Portland at least I know I’d be able to eat Crunchies.
Andrew bought some DVDs too and Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and also, nice guy he is, Assassin’s Creed II: Brotherhood for the household. I beat Assassin’s Creed II the other day (the pope boss was surprisingly easy to defeat) so now we have the next one.
I’m also kind of addicted to this 99 cent Peace green tea.
I’ve been in transit for over 24 hours. So tired and hungry. Airplane/port food sucks. Can’t sleep sitting. Delayed on Air Alaska flight.
- I am in the reLAX lounge at (you guessed it) LAX airport. My flight to Portland isn’t until 7pm so I still have ages.
- My mother has my camera charger. It is now in Abu Dhabi. I’ll have to buy a new one.
- Dad and I stocked up on phone credit for me (doubled it by accident) and yet I can’t use my phone here. I thought that had changed since it seemed to be working when we were here in July. So I’ll have to buy a phone here too probably (because my US phone from when I was here in 2009 is also in Abu Dhabi. Sigh.)
- I really need to shower. And eat something a bit more substantial.
- I watched six episodes of Human Planet on the plane which was excellent. Also Thor and Source Code, both of which were absolutely terrible.
To the shockhorror of everyone, I decided not to get a job and instead follow my heart to Portland, Oregon for reasons that will become clear in the near future. I leave in a week’s time and it’s kind of equally exciting and totally terrifying.
My life, people. It’s weird.
Our second day in New York got messed up when Mum and I got separated on the Subway. I didn’t have a phone or any money and didn’t actually know which station to go to so I went back to the hotel until she called there. It was very stressful.
Eventually I got to Columbus Circle and met Mum there and her friend Eve and then we went to MoMA, had lunch and looked at the art. We went back to the hotel for a little while until we came out again to the same area for dinner at a bar (mini burgers) and then to Radio City Music Hall for Cirque du Soleil’s new show Zarkana. It was really excellent. I’d never seen them before and I was impressed. The best was this rotating machine thing that two men spun around by their weight and kept it going by balance. I’d never seen any circus routine like it.
The next day we got up early and walked in Central Park before getting to the Guggenheim. Then we went back to City Hall and picked up the Macbook Pro we’d ordered yesterday. So now I have a Macbook Pro and Mum’s taking my Sony VAIO. I love my VAIO but it was worthwhile to switch to Mac because they’re cheaper in the US. So that’s kind of sad and awesome at the same time.
Our flight with US Airways was delayed by an hour and a bit and it was dark when we picked up our rental. We had only Google Maps to go by but managed to get across the border to Niagara OK. Except once we were in the town it was totally overwhelming and there were two Sheratons and it took us ages to figure it out. Then the restaurant was closed and they could only give us bruschetta.
This morning we slept in (thank god) and then went to Perkins for breakfast which was at midday. I had oatmeal and French toast. Because it was sort of muggy and rainy we went for a drive on the Niagara Parkway and then to this outlet mall.
Neither of us are impressed by this place. When we arrived last night it was totally not what we expected, all bright lights and skyscrapers like Vegas or something. The place is so hideously commercial it actually frightens me. How did a town like this spring up around something as natural as a waterfall? It feels totally weird. Mum and I discussed it over breakfast and compared it to the Gold Coast and she put forward the question that isn’t it equally as weird to build a commercial hotpot by a beach? I don’t think so — a beach has always been a place for a holiday, but to have all this bullshit around a waterfall? It is just so bizarre. It’d be like putting Vegas right next to Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef. We asked the concierge if there was any sort of national park or nature things to do and she gave us this look like, ‘Why?’
Niagara is not at all what I expected. I expected a national park with a big waterfall and some nice hotels nearby. Instead we have crowded streets, MarineLand, three wax museums, every chain hotel and restaurant you can think of and a casino all right next to the most natural thing you can think of — gushing water. It does not make sense.