Sun, 13 Nov 2005

The source of all evil

Yesterday was a very, very intense day, and I had lots of fun.

Clint, sladen and I headed to Chinatown walking, with a few detours to be able to checkout Manhattan's skyline. The view from the other shore is awesome, even with the two towers missing. When I compare the current view with how it was four years ago, I understand how much the city has changed without them. They were so impressively big that I just can't picture them too well in my mind.

The skyline of South Manhattan

We walked over the Brooklyn bridge, giving me other very cool views of Manhattan, while I hammered Clint with questions about this and that. I saw that since 9/11, you can't go past the Town Hall. "Security reasons", of course. I was very surprised to see police cars in every single street. It's like a Police State, and if you ask me, it didn't make me feel safer.

After some walk, we finally got in Chinatown, which is the craziest place ever. People sell stuff on the sidewalks, and many streets are packed with people. We had to meet with micah, biella, dilinger and his cat at some Chinese place for breakfast/lunch. The place, as Chinatown itself, was crazy. As soon as we sat down a few waitresses landed a few plates on the table, without asking or anything. A few minutes later I could see that the way they serve you is going around with carts with lost of food, and you either want it or not.

We left dilinger at the metro station, and moved on to the SoHo. I wanted to go to the SoHo Apple Store to see if they knew about replacement Spanish keyboards for my Powerbook. My powerbook was bought in the US last year, so it has a US keyboard. This is mostly ok, but only mostly as it's missing a key.

After SoHo, we went back to Chinatown to pick up bubbles. It was nice to see her after Debconf, and she made the effort to come just for a few hours even if she was ill and had lots to do in Philly. We headed to South Street Port, where I had a long chat about Cuba with micah while we sat on a bench looking at Brooklyn bridge.

And then, we gathered all our braveness and headed to the heart of the beast, to the kernel of the system. We walked into the Financial District, and soon enough I was walking in Wall Street no less. If I breathed hard, I could smell the money. The road was paved in gold, and there were skyscrapers everywhere. I discovered the rulers of this world had opened a "public space" in JP Morgan's building. To their despair, probably, it had been taken over by the poor. I wonder what Bloomberg will do about it.

As I walked up the street, a strange feeling in my heart grew and grew, until, behind a corner, I saw it. The source of all evil was ahead of me, guarded by George Washington himself.

The New York Stock exchange and its black evil aura of Capitalism

I was standing ahead of this building where so many people behave like bastards everyday, pushing millions to povery for a bit more profit margin. The doors were closed and surrounded by security officers, which despite being asked politely, didn't let us in for "security reasons".

Next to it was the Church of Capitalism, at the end of the street. It's curious that such an old church still stands where it was build near the harbour probably a century ago, now surrounded by some of the most modern and tallest buildings in the planet. And then, we visited the bull, which I didn't know is the "friendly" symbol of how Capitalism works.

I had Capitalism by the balls

We moved down to Battery Square, past the old US Customs building with the four statues representing the four continents. We saw the damaged sculpture which lived in the WTC, and sat down at the pier to watch a beautiful sunset over the Statue of Liberty.

The Statue of Liberty seen from South Manhattan

At that point, biella and micah had to meet some friends at one cinema to see the Wal-Mart documentary. We went to a funky place to have some tea, decided to go see Times Square and then walk to Central Park. At the time, mako was arriving to NYC on the Chinatown bus, so we agreed to meet in a restaurant to have lunch. Paul Sladen finally managed to get lost, after many tries during the day, and wasn't seen until we got back home.

Mako and Mika waited for us at the door of an... ethiopian restaurant in the SoHo, despite Mako knows I can't stand spicy food. But in the end it wasn't so bad, I just needed a few more glasses of water than average. And I finally got to know mika, after lots of time of chatting over IRC. Greg, SPI's lawyer, also appeared, and was a nice addition to the group.

Mako knew where to take us after that. The Belgian bar was packed, but there was a private party in one of the spaces and we took over some of that space. After a few rounds, we were ready to leave the pub and go for Falafel and some tea. I was terribly falling asleep though, so instead of tea we took a cap back to Brooklyn, where we found Paul waiting at the door.

After an hour of inflating a mattress, we were ready for sleep, at 4AM. It didn't look like the morning after would be very productive...