Opinions of a murri woman...

Opinions of a murri woman...

Friday, January 6, 2012

Queens of the Throne Tour, America Part Two: Venice Beach, New York

‘PROTECT THE MOMENT, ITS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY (Its your duty)


‘I promise to follow the code of Las Vegas by not tweeting, tagging, posting, telling, whispering, emoting, defining, drawing, writing about, or in any way revealing the all powerful ‘What happens here stays here’ stays here moment of me or anyone else in my party to others not on said trip during or any time after said trip’s duration- ie The moment being the part or parts of the trip that should stay in Las Vegas. The other parts are fine. So sayeth this person on ‘Date and Time’.... What happens here, stays here’....



As I sat reading that note on the back of the chair in front of me on my $8 plane ride from Las Vegas back to LA, I was smiled knowing that the memories I had made in the last 48 hours in this city, would stay with me for life.


To Venice beach and beyond (I’m sexy and I know it)


As much as I loved Vegas, I was keen to get back to California and experience our next destination, ‘VENICE BEACH’... Yup, the home of skate boarding, body builders, half naked rollerblader’s, or as everybody else knows it as; the location for LMFAO’S, ‘Sexy and I know it’ film clip... Oh it’s also the home of troubled star ‘Lindsay Lohan’, which totally makes more sense to me now...

We took our trusty airport shuttle bus to ‘Cotel Venice Beach Hostel’, which means ‘Tucked away back packer joint with 3 huge flights of stairs to carry your bags up, and a room to be shared with two weird non English speaking stinky marijuana smelling girls’... Welcome to Venice beach... It was good to be back in Cali.... The sun was shining, the beach was happening and it was time to get amoungst it....



First thing on the menu... ‘Fried shrimp basket and the best damn strawberry banana smoothy ever... Sitting on the grass fighting off the HUGE Seagulls, the vibe of Venice hit me and I took in the sun and the shine while I watched the sun go down on the water in front of me... The cool thing about Venice is the laid back beach life style, mixed with market stalls, junkies, and the sweet smells of sweat,yarndi and alcohol... Who wouldn’t love this place.... Kodie found it amusing that I was using the lemon from my shrimp basket and putting salt on it and ate it like that on Venice beach... Well, you know what they say, you can take the black girl outta the bush but.... Yeah, you know the rest...

So I had a date on my first Saturday back in Venice beach and I had about 6 hours to kill before I was to be picked up... To prepare myself for this date with this very cool hot man, I did what any other nervous girl does before a date; went to the bar downstairs with my girl Kodie and drank the best god dayum $9 mojito’s I’ve ever tasted! Tipsy and confident, I got dressed and spent an awesome evening with one of LA’s finest.... ;)

The next 3 days were pretty much spent exploring Venice Beach, the close by community of Santa Monica and in bed due to the rain that followed our previous sunny days... Venice is a weird place, it has people of all walks of life during the day; smiling entertainers, sleazy stall holders, bulked up body builders looking for your attention and friendly cafe owners, but at night, the whole beach shuts down and the freaks come out to play, and by freaks I mean the junkie dudes that hang outside your hostel with their pants falling down just above their penis... Yeah, I got to see a junkies public pubic hair in Venice beach, do I feel lucky... No, surprisingly I don’t... LOL....


More dates, and more Mojito’s as my final days in Cali went by and before I knew it, it was my final night in LA and Kodie and I were on our way to the famous LA Staples Centre, the home of the LA Lakers and the burial building of Michael Jackson to see Kanye West and Jay Z LIVE in concert for one last time... Sitting in the highest seats in the stadium, we were closer to the stage and ready to hear them rock the shit out of the hip hop loving crowd... Seeing them in Vegas only made me more excited to see them again in LA and everyone has asked, ‘Which was the better show’... They were both equally awesome; Vegas because we had such a big build up for the actual concert, and LA because the crowd were more of a hip hop crowd and went BANANA’S...


Kanye West was a little more vocal at the LA concert and screamed on the mic ‘Everybody always tells you to be humble, but when was the last time someone told you to be awesome, be great? BE AWESOME!’... I still to this day don’t know why any white people showed up to his concert... The man who was known to interrupt white girl singers, the man who said ‘George W Bush hates black people’ and the man who sings ‘Elo elo elo white America, assassinate my character’, still sold out a concert 3 nights in a row JUST at the staples centre with over 50,000 screaming fans each night... See that’s the thing about Kanye, you either hate to love him or your love to hate him, either way he’s gonna blow you away with his musical genius ... And as for Jay Z, well who wouldn’t want to see Biggie smalls prodigy and neighbour spit incredibly on a mic with such precision that blows your mind everytime...

After the 9th time of encore song ‘N****s in Paris’, (They broke the record for most sung encores that night and used this concert for their new film clip for the song) My LA boy picked us up from the concert and with that, we bid our farewells to two of the greatest rappers alive today.


NEW YORK CITY: (Concrete jungle where dreams are made of)


What’s better than sitting in a shuttle bus on the way to the LAX airport eating a croissant with ham and cheese on it with New York City as your next destination? How about eating a ham and cheese croissant in the shuttle bus to LAX airport with New York as your destination and THEN YOUR TRAVEL PARTNER SAYS SHE’S LOST HER WALLET’!!! Okay, after half an hour of frantically looking for the wallet, asking the shuttle bus driver to turn around, racking our brains of all the places she could’ve left it and a lot of praying to every god in the universe, I asked my mum where the wallet was and BOOM, it showed up at her feet, literally (it was on the floor at her feet in the shuttle bus)... PHEW...

After that small heart attack of the missing wallet, we were on our way to New York, but not before some intense airport security and it’s understandable. This country had been put through unmeasurable terror in the 9/11 attacks and as a result, airport security is strict and very confronting... Check it; show your passport to the person at the counter, then line up, get your passport and boarding pass checked again by a police officer at the front of the security line, take all your shoes, belts, jackets off, no water, no liquids allowed, walk through the scanner, then to another box with another security guard that says ‘spread your legs and put your hands above your head and look straight ahead’... Every time I went through airport security I kinda felt violated but safe at the same time. It also showed me how slack our airport security is compared to theirs.

A 6 hour flight later and we were slowing making our way into New York... Flying in at 7:30pm, the bright lights of the big city presented itself from the plane and it was hard to tell where the city started and stopped... I had waited my whole life to visit New York and the moment had finally arrived. I told my mum in 2010 just before she passed away that I was going to go to New York one day and she said ‘I believe you, you’ll get there daughter, I know you will’...


To some, New York is the place you go to follow your dreams, and I was following mine... I’d always had a dream to come to the place where hip hop started, to walk the street where biggie smalls hustled, walk where generations of black people struggled and fought for their basic human rights... To visit Harlem and see the Apollo theatre where Michael Jackson first became a star and Motown music was born. The music scene and hip hop culture is what always drew me to New York and I was finally going to experience it...

We arrived at JFK airport and it took us an hour just to get out of the airport before we were even on our way to our hostel... 2 hours and many pickups later, we made it to Upper Manhatten, 103rd street in Harlem... What up big APPLE, the two hot cakes had arrived!! Oh for anyone playing at home, hot cakes equal Me and Kodie... We dropped our stuff off and cruised across the road to this very cute pizzeria for our first slice of New York Pizza... 2 HUUGEEE slices of cheese pizza and a few corona’s later, ‘Maria’s Pizzeria’ was to become infamous to the both of us...

The week in New York consisted of cold weather and warm clothes... When I say cold, I mean even cold for this winter loving murri, but still, I took it like a true champion... Kodie= 4 sets of clothes on, beanie, and gloves... Me; Hoodie, skirt and kicks with a mad beanie and no gloves on... I win again at going (H.A.M) Hard as a mother f**ker!!

Besides the cold, the city was glorious... Everything I expected and more... The people were loud, the coffee was hot, the bagels were delicious and the men were divine... Unlike LA which is flat and spread out, you just GET It when you’re in New York... You’re in one of the biggest cities in the world but you never understand the sheer size of it because you never get to really see it all.. New York’s subway system is easy for my travel friend Kodie, but hard for a doogie black girl like me... Where are we, where are we going, is this our stop, how long to go... Yeah I was THAT Travel friend, only because I was excited and nervous about what this city could offer me at every stop... Did I mention Kodie has a lot of patience? LOL


Times square... What a place... This is where I felt at home in New York the most... I sat on the red stairs in the middle of Times Square listening to Jay Z and Alicia Key’s ‘Empire state of mind’ and thought about the promise I had kept to my mum... Even though it had been nearly a year since her death, I know she was sitting right beside me looking at all the lights... I could only imagine what she would’ve been saying... ‘EEEHHH look all these mob here walking around... too packed this place’.... That was my mum, scared of big crowds and fascinated by all things bright and shiny. I missed her at this moment but was grateful that I was fulfilling my promise of making it to New York to her and to myself.


Broadway later that night and thanks to my legs in massive wedges, I got the line from an incredibly drunk happy guy walking next to me on the street ‘Excuse me miss but are your legs insured’... Thats the one thing about America, the men are STRAIGHT UP, even the NYPD police officer said ‘Your looking gorgeous tonight ladies’ as Kodie and I strolled past with all our deadly-ness (sametime, leg and foot was hurting like hell from walking 4 massive blocks in wedge high heel boots to broadway)... We finally arrived at Broadway and took our seats to watch ‘Pricilla Queen of the desert’... I’m not usually one for musicals as they kind of freak me out with their random talking then all of a sudden burst into song routines, but I was in New York and it was one of the most popular shows to see, not to mention one of my all time favourite movies... The whole production was beyond fabulous and I loved every minute of it...


FOOD: (Glorioussss food)


The thing about New York is... well, there is ALOT Of food... Some of the highlights would be the famous ‘Katz’s deli’ which is in the middle of nowhere and a place I walked like 12 blocks for to eat at (worth it)... A huge pristrami (however you spell it) sandwich on Rye Bread with mustard and pickles, got INHALED.... I swear I waited my whole life for that sandwich; it was everything I dreamt it would be... Then came the hot dogs... (Kodie loved the hot dogs... chooch) The hour trip on the subway to Cooney Island for the famous ‘Danny’s hot dogs’ was okay but I loved the Times Square hot dog stall more... Then there was the trip out to Flushing in Queens to do Yum Cha with Kodie’s twitter friend and queens local, ‘Ray’... You know it’s gonna be the best Yum Cha ever if you’re the only non Chinese speaking people in the place and it was...

As if hot dogs, bagels in central park, warm apple cider, NYC Slice pizza, yum cha and huge sandwiches weren’t enough, there was one last thing I was yet to try in New York; SOUL FOOD.... Our first taste came from the famous ‘Sylvia’s’ in Harlem.. Genuine soul food, the type of food that your momma would make (if you were an African American, our black mothers make hamper and rice... LOL)... THE BEST FRIED CHICKEN I’VE EVER TASTED, served with Garlic mash, and collard greens with a side of corn bread hit the spot... But, we were told by our friend Josie to also try poppies chicken, and who were we to challenge her, so the next day, we did... We walked the streets of Harlem and saw the Apollo centre, bought dodgie burnt CD’s off a Jamaican guy, picked up a cheap ‘I love Harlem’ shirt and explored a wig/weave store’ for about an hour fascinated by the big bizness that is hair braiding and weaving... The African American’s in NYC live a completely different life style to us as aboriginal people and I envy them for how far they have come in America as a race then what we as Aboriginal people have come in our own country but that’s a topic for another day...


One of my final highlights in New York was catching the train out to ‘Brooklyn’ and meeting Kodie’s friend Vanessa who is an Australian working and living in America in the film industry... We had the most incredible meal (lobster tail, salmon, and steak dishes) at this up market soul food place where they had a DJ spinning beats while you ate... The man was dropping Faith evans, TLC, J-Cole, Miguel and others while I was smashing soul food signature dish mac and cheese... And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, Vanessa took us to this banging bar in Bed Stye, the place where biggie smalls grew up and we sat there with our jaws open as the DJ Dropped the Notorious B.I.G’s ‘Get Money’ ft another local ‘Lil Kim’ to his beloved fans.... To these people, to us, Biggie was a king and still is a king of Hip Hop and it was surreal to be on the streets he used to walk down and hustle on and to hear his music being played in the environment it started at, all at the same time... It got better from there, ‘Real love’ by Mary J, and Jay Z ‘I just wanna love you’ spun while we drank our bogan like corona’s... I didn’t care how bogan I looked, I was surrounded by people who appreciate hip hop like I appreciate hip hop and I was having the time of my life...


The last night in New York City and I spent it dancing down the Brooklyn bridge to Michael Jacksons 'Dont stop till you get enough', paying my respects at the 9/11 site and then on the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building overlooking the entire city... This place, its beauty was astonishing, so much so that Kodie got dressed up in her short wedding dress, complete with a vale, white stockings and high heels and got married that city on the 84th floor... She’s a nutcase but she loves the city that much, that I supported the marriage and filmed her saying her vowels to the city...


Back in Harlem, we spent our last few hours in NYC at the place we started, Maria’s Pizzeria on 103rd street where we got hit on by a drunken Mexican guy wanting to buy us a drink... Hhhhmmm, no thanks and with that we closed our eyes to our last few hours in the big apple... I was sad to leave New York, I loved the sense of freedom and opportunity, the culture, the food, the people, but it was time to head back to the sunny state of LA before we flew back to Australia later that night...

I really fell in love with LA and was glad to see it after 6 hours sitting in the middle seat of a plane from NYC... Kodie and I had a 5 hour stopover in LA before our flight later that night and I debated with myself whether I should go see my LA boy to waste time for the stopover... It was easier said than done... What if the traffic was bad, Hollywood is a LONG way from the airport, like an hour one away... Then there was the money factor; it would cost a lot in a cab... The ‘what if this happens’ and all the ‘buts’ kept me back and I told him that I wasn’t going to come because too much could go wrong, so I stayed... I lined up with Kodie in the line for airport security and fought back tears for a guy I’d only known all of 2.5 weeks who I’d come to like a lot and enjoyed spending time with... I was about to leave America for Australia... This was it... I wasn’t going to see him again...

I got two people back from the Police officer that checks your passport and boarding pass, looked at Kodie with time against me and said, ‘I GOTTA GO’, and with that, I lifted the security barrier, rang down the airport steps, hailed a cab and was on my way to see my boy in Hollywood... $80 one way in a cab, two hours spent hanging out with him, many hugs and many kisses goodbye later, I jumped back in another $80 cab ride and made it back to the airport with half an hour to spare... Some people say it was one of the craziest things I’ve ever one and I’d have to agree... I’ve never done anything like that for any guy in my life but when would I ever get the chance to do that ever again? Life is about taking chances and living in the moments that will hopefully last forever and that memory and experience will live with me for the rest of my life... I got to say a proper goodbye to him and I have no regrets what so ever...


Back at the airport, I met Kodie at the gate and we both had tears in our eyes and sadness on our face as the plane took off in the air... Goodbye America... Back to our ‘Fuck our lives’ well... lives...

To my girl Kodie, THANK YOU for showing me the world, for encouraging me to leave your side and go on the dates, for making me buy those shoes, for dragging me around the subway system and telling me to shut my mouth every time I asked where we were going... I will never forget the good times we spent on this trip and will hold the memories as some of the best in my life for the rest of my life... You are a true friend and I can’t wait to take on the world with you again... (TMT) ...


To anyone reading this thinking ‘Should I take a trip’, my advice is DO IT... People were saying to me while I was in America, ‘You are so lucky’, but luck had nothing to do with it... Having the will and a dream to do it did... It’s simple... I made a goal, I worked, I saved and I did it for myself... It was the trip of a life time and something my spirit and soul needed after the year I had losing my mum and starting my life again as my brother’s full time carer...

Being back in North Queensland, I am missing my sister girl Kodie, I’m missing mi amor in LA, and I’m missing all that the city life has to offer... The only thing to do now is save and do it all over again...
Until next time... Dream big peeps...

One Love, One Life

xo

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