[ASFTW] Diary – New York 2012 Thursday

Posted: January 17, 2013 in [ASFTW]
Tags: , ,
Banana Magic

Banana magic the night before (the toaster has no part in it other than holding everything in place) I’ll explain it sometime… or maybe I won’t

After Tim and Eric we got a proper ache to get this film done. With just a couple of weeks notice we decided to take the plunge and head over the pond to New York to cover Comic-Con where we hoped to reach out to the adult swim talent who would be appearing there. This is the story of that trip and the important next step in getting this thing made.

THURSDAY

I awoke after a restless sleep, most of my was packing done and I had time for a last-minute panic whilst breakfasting before I was on my way. Mrs C got up with me and we spent our last couple of hours together watching Vintage TV which at that time of the morning must cater mainly for the elderly owing to the rampant blitz of 40’s and 50’s music. Bloody Vera Lynn, nothing like a weepy war classic to make you realise how much you’re going to miss someone. The emotion hit me like a wave as I got to the front door and fighting back tears (like a man!) I bade a sad farewell to Mrs C and headed out to the airport. Sadness gave way to giddiness as I neared Piccadilly train station. Before I knew it I was bounding up the escalators at Manchester airport and onto the blue lit travelators that reminded me of every overseas adventure I’ve had in the past decade.

20121011_084404

The lady on the drinks stand accidentally made the drinks glass look like it ha man legs

Online check in! What a saviour, after legitimately barging past the massive queue of travellers I went straight to baggage check leaving me with ample time to peruse the duty-free. Ah duty-free, the best luxury of a trip to the US. After posing for a comedy picture at the rum tasting booth and equipping myself with two litres of Jim Beam for an amazing 24 quid it was time to board. I don’t want to bore you with the details of the plane, you’ve all probably been on one right? Think of that except I’m sat next to you drinking all the free wine I could blag from the flight attendants. I arrived at.. What was the damn time?  Mid day I think, yes that makes sense as I got 5 hours back (always a little odd). It was when stepping off the plane and into the security check queue that I realised how pissed I actually was and that I really hadn’t a clue what I was even doing there. Reality hit me as they took my fingerprints and quizzed me about my visit. “On holiday?” I said. Well that was technically true but it was definitely more like work, as you’ll find out later.

wine

Wine, comics and more wine please….

Our director (Native New Yorker and fellow bearded guy) Lou had sent me an email to say he was going to pick me up at JFK airport and maybe get some shots as I arrived. Hmm, no sign of Lou. I went outside to a much warmer climate than grizzly ol’ Mancland and had a cig whilst contemplating my next move. “Maybe he’s late” I thought, quickly followed by “Where am I? What am I doing? Where’s the friggin ashtray and how much will it cost for a text on this silly roaming tariff??”…  the important stuff.

Well Lou turned up eventually, he thought I was on a BA flight and was at the wrong terminal.  After manly handshakes and another cigarette we headed to his swish car and we headed to the City. The plan was to battle through the jet lag and pick up our Comic-Con press badges before getting me to my hastily booked accommodation.
Having only met Lou once previously (at Tim and Eric), this car ride was a great opportunity to learn more about each other. Crossing into Manhattan I felt butterflies in my stomach and as we passed familiar looking New York landmarks and buildings Lou told me of his love of Graffiti  and pointed out some his favourite tags done by close friends and local graffiti legends. As we neared the almighty Javits Convention Centre, home of New York Comic-Con, we looked for a car park and we were excited to see the plethora of costumed geekery walking down the road towards us… and this was only Press Day.

javits

Javits Convention Centre. Let the geekery commence!

Now I’m a massive believer in luck, fluke and wild unlikely coincidence. This manifested itself immediately as it would throughout the rest of this crazy trip. “I wonder if John J Galbo (my buddy from adultswimcentral.com) is going to be here today?” I said to Lou as we got near to the Press Entrance. I took all of 5 seconds to take in the enormity of the building before my eyes focussed on a male with bright blonde hair right in front of us in the queue. It was John J! BOOM! We couldn’t have organised that meeting if we tried. Now I’ve known this guy for two years, spoke to him many times on podcasts but that didn’t mean the intro in person wouldn’t be a bit clunky, especially meeting like that. I needn’t have worried though, we bonded quickly over some Walgreens Bacon Jerky and like best buddies we headed onto the show floor, all of us eager to see what geeky treasures awaited us. 

We weren’t disappointed. Video games, comics, action figures and massive Lego were the order of the day as we walked through Javits. To be honest there’s too much to describe. Close your eyes and think of that film ‘Paul’. Yes, that one that wasn’t as good as Hot Fuzz or Shaun of The Dead. Well think of the scenes of them at the convention and you’ll get the picture.  OH! We saw the Adam West Bat mobile and the Delorean from ‘Back to the Future’ and for $40 you could have your picture taken with the vehicles and a ‘hot’ model. We politely declined.

Batmobile

Der na na na na na na na, der na na na na na na na Adam West!

lou lego

Lou and the Lord of the Rings Lego

lou and john j

Lou and John J check out the vintage gaming

Fate showed its hand again and we bumped into Jon Schnepp, director of Metalocalypse who I’d been frantically Facebooking only days before trying to line up an interview. He’s a big man and he was getting his swag on early carrying a massive bag of goodies so we set up a time for a Friday interview and got on our way. After a couple of hours of oohing and aahing round the myriad of weird and wonderful stands it was time to get me to my digs. The stress of the flight was taking hold and I was hungry and tired. To the East Village we went.

I arrived at the apartment just off Avenue C and 5th Street at around 6pm (about 11pm UK time). I climbed the grim looking staircase and was happy to be greeted by a lovely English lady, Jo who welcomed me in, got me a glass of water (I had a proper sweat on from dragging that suitcase up the stairs) and gave me the keys. After a brief chat I went back downstairs where Lou was still waiting. The great thing about doing this trip with a local was he knew where everything was. We walked and talked whilst looking for somewhere to eat. There’s a distinct air of crazy in every part of New York, in some areas it’s more concentrated than others and it was certainly more noticeable here in the East Village than the plush surroundings of midtown I’d been used to before. Hardcore tramps, the odd smackhead and one or two meth zombies can be initially daunting but on the whole it’s a beautiful area. We got proper pizza, my first taste of New York in five years and every bite was pure heaven.  We had a bit of a wander round the neighbourhood and dropped in on Clio who runs a trendy pudding shop called ‘Puddin’ (seriously, amazing pudding). This is the lady I’d be staying with next, one of Lou’s oldest and dearest buddies.  After an amble back to the car and feeling much calmer I said farewell to Lou and headed back up to the apartment where I had a great chat with Jo and got stuck in to my duty free. Jo had asked for some English treats from Tesco and I obliged. Twiglets, biscuits and hot sauce were the order of the day and I didn’t feel so much like a stranger in a strange land anymore.

Jos flat

Jo’s apartment was great and she had a superb music collection

The only thing worrying me at this point was Michelle, her accommodation had fallen through and although Jo had agreed she could stay with us, the last message we received from her was just before she got on the plane. I got hooked up to the internet and aimlessly watched a bit of American TV whilst I awaited word of what she was doing. By 10.30pm I knew her flight had landed yet still no message so I stayed up for as long as I could and by midnight I’d technically been up for 24 hours. It turns out her phone had taken ages to kick into the US networks and by the time it was working (2.30am) she’d given up any hope of getting to Jo’s and spent the night in the nearest Holiday Inn. Once I knew she was safe it was time for a heavy jet lagged snooze till Friday.

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Comments
  1. Danny says:

    cool bit of bloggery, Jon.. don’t envy you the task of writing up the rest of your trip though.. Mission.

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