Roisin Brady's West Side Story - diary of a student

Added on Tuesday 30 Mar 2010

Medicine, Malaria and Music

Roisin Brady interviews Eoghan Colgan

Photo: roisin. June, 2008.

Start Spreading The News...

Da-da-dada. That's right folks, I'm sending my greetings from the Big Apple. I have been neglecting my Glasgow guide, so I thought I would catch you all up from across the pond. Basically, I have up and left G-town for the summer, opting to spend my days working, and wondering around this neon kingdom, exploring department stores and dimly lit bars, playing softball and observing the most diverse and eclectic mix of people that flood the streets of New York every day. So in a nutshell, over the next few months, I would like to swap my West End stories, with some Upper West Side scoop.

New York News First...

I'll bring you all up to speed with the goings on over here, and then I feel the need to mention some home happenings as well. Let's start with business. And what fine businesses New York has to offer. I am currently crashing with two very good friends, an Irish lad and his American girlfriend, and it is the girlfriend, Tiffany, who has introduced me to the perks of working in the city. Her rather cool Advertising agency boasts an office for employees to play Guitar Hero, an area for Happy Hour, hosted by one of the many beer companies that they represent, and finally...the parties. Ah yes, there are industry parties. I am talking rooftop, candle-lit shindigs, attended by very beautiful people, who can enjoy very cool music, free bars, manicures, massages, a Nintendo Wii, and a goody bag at the door. When Tifany and myself left one such party last week, we left with free iPods. All in the name of business, eh?

And So, Onto The Pleasure Part.

While I am here, I have enjoyed several nights out, in a city that seems to house every type of bar, every type of beer and every type of clientele imaginable. However, with a monumental amount of nighttime activities on offer, I have actually found it difficult to make up my mind where to go. Myself and Tifany managed to wangle our way onto the guest list of The Plumm nightclub in the trendy meatpacking district, only for me to find it was more of a glamorised bar than anything else, and despite spotting a closed-off dance floor downstairs, I found myself wishing for a boogie at Viper instead! This city seems to rank fashionable hotspots, by the people who go there, and how important they believe themselves to be. I have since found that karaoke bars and theme clubs have a lot more to offer and are frequented by much more agreeable folk!

Home Sick? No Way!

I say this, simply because I haven't had the chance yet. One of the reasons that I love Glasgow is because we have such a reputation around the world. Whether it is a positive or negative one, it's nice when people recognise your origins. Several Americans have asked me about my loyalties when it comes to the Old Firm, and one of Tifany's co-workers even asked me about a rather rough nightclub on Suchiehall Street that some Scottish relatives had spoken about. But the funniest thing about being a Glaswegian in New York? Meeting so many other Glaswegians! Sitting amongst the thousands of Mets fans at Shea Stadium, I turned around to realise that the three people behind me where definitely NOT New York born and bred. Turns out the girl was from Busby, a friend of my friend, and her and her boyfriend were visiting her ex-pat uncle. We even worked out that we attended the same 21st Birthday party in December, we were just never introduced. What can I say? 'It's a small world just does not cover it! And when I met two boys that I haven't seen since I was in high school, and we just happened to run into each other at 2am in Times Square? Well...then, I just cannot help but think that I might take a trip down to the famous little New York cafe...Serendipity.

Sex and the Two Cities

I have to say that I spent the eve of my own 21st Birthday dining in the Cul de Sac, after watching Sex and the City at the Grosvenor cinema. And what a night we had! A three-course meal, a Cosmopolitan and tickets for the film for about #20? Well, that's just fabulous! The food was great, and the film was even better. Having previously viewed the trailer, I felt cheated that the entire content of the film may have been compiled into the two-minute preview. But cheated, I was not. There were many surprises in the storyline, none more so that the range of emotion felt by the audience. One minute it seemed as though the female-dominated cinema was on the verge of tears, provoked by a powerful standing-in-the-middle-of-the-street performance from Sarah Jessica Parker and Kristin Davis, only to be in a fit of laughter just seconds later. If you have seen the film, you will know what scene I am referring to, and I must say, it was one of my favourites. I can speak only highly of this film, and urge fans of the show to see it, as well as those who are sceptical of its female-orientated contact. At the end of the day, it is simply a very good, very funny, well-acted drama.

I would also like to point out that I chased Cynthia Nixon (aka Miranda from SATC) into the Central Park subway station yesterday to take a photograph with me. I was a little bit in shock, but she was very pleasant and obliged. Ten days in this city and I'm already celebrity spotting!

My Own Happy Ending

My own happy ending came when my disappointment that the 'I Love It Here' graffiti behind Ashton Lane had been cleared was transformed into complete elation by what you will now see is my new photograph. It was the best birthday present I could ever have imagined. With all my heart, thank you.

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