None of you want to see pictures of the Statue of Liberty (which was about 1/4 the size that superpatriotic country music videos led me to believe it was) or the Empire State Building (exactly the size rap-rock videos make it seem), but maybe you'll stick around for some less-ordinary shots. I'm only doing a few at a time - it'll be a longer project and there's a smaller chance I'll get bored and quit.
1) Ellis Island - yes, yes, America is a melting pot of awesomeness and everything. But did you know Ellis Island was completely abandoned between the mid-1950s and the early 1980s? It's true! And there are pictures to document it! Sadly (perhaps because it is too sad, ironically), the gift shop didn't have a book of forlorn abandoned-building photos. There are, however, massive blown-up photos in one of the display rooms -
2) These were covertly taken by M.Bro (codename: ScrappyOne) at 45RPM - a high-high-end denim store that only exists in Tokyo and New York. The dudes may have been fine with us taking pictures of their shop, but frankly, the salesfolk at the boutiques in soho (south of a street prounounced "How-sten" I've since learned) displayed such a high degree of arrogance and jackassitude that she didn't risk it. For example, at Blue in Green, a slightly less high-end denim shop, we not only didn't even get a nod of welcome, M.Bro says one employee gave the other a watch-them-they-look-like-shoplifters eye. She says she recognizes it from giving it to her employees. It's a universal sign she says you can only learn on the mean streets of small-business retail.
And I was wearing my Samurais, a vintage Levi's repro that exactly TWO stores in the entire country carry - can you guess what oddly-named store in soho is one of them? (I didn't buy them from there, but there's no way they could have known that.) The whole experience gave me a new appreciation for Context, where Sam and Ryan are willing to chat with graduate students for 30 minutes about denim, despite the fact that the graduate student said he's not buying any new jeans for at least a year.
3) There were dozens of flashbulbs popping as we walked into the gift shop at Liberty Island, so I sarcastically told M.Bro we needed to get out the camera to get some shots of the miniature statues. It turns out Brad Garrett is neither as tall (maybe 6'4" is my guess) nor as dopey as you would guess. He is, however, far more tan than you could imagine.