The Cynical Tourist's Guide To...New York
Little known fact: There's actually an entire state attached to New York City. This state is commonly most called New York, and it draws literally dozens of tourists each year into it's distinctly unremarkable borders. Granted, many of these people are simply on their way to Pennsylvania to commit suicide (Harrisburg is the exsanguination capital of the world), but this matters little, as even somber pilgrims hell-bent on their own destruction have a hard time resisting upstate New York's many curio shoppes, taffy fountains, and collectible coin emporiums.
So the next time you inexplicably get it into your fool head to pay a visit to the overrated, obnoxious, self-important, overpriced, stench-ridden cesspool known as NYC, you might consider bypassing the Big Apple altogether in favor of it's slightly less nauseating upstate cousin, as there's plenty to see and do there.
In service of this, the following article features an overview of some of the more popular New Yorkian attractions. I invite you to examine it at your leisure.
NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
A trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame can be one hell of a ride (and certainly not one for the faint of heart) so hold onto your stench-ridden unwashed baseball caps and be prepared to sustain an excitement-induced and entirely heterosexual erection for the entirely of your visit!
Unsure where to begin this pulse-pounding rollercoaster ride of viscerality? No problem! Dash past the cardboard cutout of Babe "Chunks" Ruth, and kick down the door of the legendary "Records Room"! While inside you'll be allowed to read reams of statistics about each of the 292 individuals who've been inducted! For example, how would you feel about learning of how Nebraskan Sam Crawford (AKA "Wahoo Sam", bats and throws Left) was elected to the hall of fame in 1957 with a batting average of .309, 2,964 total hits, and 363 steals throughout his career? Unbelievable right?!
But even if you're an adrenaline junkie (and really, what baseball fan isn't) you may want to pop a few Valium in anticipation of the increased adrenocorticotropic hormone secretion by the pituitary gland you'll experience as you peruse: THE HALL OF FAME GALLERY!!!! Oh, what's that you say? So overcome were you by the prospect of looking over the bronze plaques for every Hall-of-Famer that you've unintentionally expelled a milky ejaculate into your unwashed boxers? Can't say I'm surprised! I mean come on: Plaques! Featuring the full names and minor statistical achievements of various baseball players! It's better than sex!
ADIRONDACK VETTE FEST
Those who have inexplicably pledged their undying affection to a model of bargain sports car renowned for its blandness and below average reliability will undoubtedly enjoy the Adirondack Vette Fest. Here are just a few of the activities attendees can take part in:
- Covering their collective bald spots with hats.
- Rubbing elbows with other middleclass whites who've chosen to fill the gaping void in their mostly unremarkable lives by purchasing a mostly unremarkable automobile.
- Debating the merits of Modern Rock Music as Heard on Radio Station Operated by ClearChannel Communications vs Classic Rock Music Heard on Radio Station Operated by Wholly Owned Subsidiary of ClearChannel Communications.
- Swatting at bees while eating a burnt hamburger in a gazebo.
- Listening to mustached man in cutoffs complaining about his Somalian neighbors.
- Basking in the fleeting sense of prestige which comes from showing off an overpriced possession to a group of similarly misguided strangers.
- Cruising around town with other attendees, revving your engines in a desperate attempt to get passersby to notice you.
So grab your wife whom you despise and your ungrateful children whose existence you will not allow yourself to admit you deeply resent, and spend the day staring at various types of Corvettes under the blazing hot sun! You'll be darn glad you did!
56 AUTO DRIVE-IN THEATER
As one of the approximately seven drive-in theaters still in business, the 56 Auto Drive-In serves as a breath of stale, sepulchral air to the moviegoer who values nostalgia over comfort, sound and picture quality, and convenience. Some may cite the "value" of drive-ins as a plus, and I suppose a case could be made for this, as the 56's website currently lists a double feature of Shrek Forever After & Robin Hood for only $7 per person.
However, once you factor in that you are spending 4 hours peering through the windshield of your stifling car at dim projections of two mediocre films while straining to hear the dialogue over the grating hiss of your AM radio and the sweat soaks through your clothes and the kids are squirming in the backseat and the mosquitoes just won't stop but you can't close the windows because you'll all suffocate unless you run the engine but not for 4 whole hours and you're holding it in because you just know the line for the bathroom is 20 minutes long and the kids are fighting again and why oh god why didn't you just go to the regular theater and GODDAMMIT YOU KIDS SHUT THE HELL UP OR I SWEAR BY POSIEDONS BEARD I'LL TEAR YOUR THROATS OUT AND CURSE YOUR EYES AND FACES SHUT WITH A GYPSIES CURSE YOU WR---
This attraction (in which water flows over a cliff) should provide minutes of entertainment to those who feel socially obligated to visit it due to its popularity. Attendees can read plaques stating meaningless, out-of-context "factoids" about the falls ("It says here that 6 million cubic feet of water crests over the falls every minute! Jeepers, that sure is a lot!"), contemplate throwing litter into the water, and speculate idly about going over the falls in a barrel. They should then sigh and trudge back to their hotel rooms where, if they're lucky, they'll be able to catch the last eighteen minutes of Predator 2 on TNT.
NEW YORK CITY
There's little doubt that just about everyone on earth is sick to death of hearing about New York City. Some of this is likely due to the enormous influence the city is said to hold over American culture, but I suspect that most of it's popularity actually stems from it's residents' infuriating inability to shut the fuck up about how Christbeatingly amazing they've deluded themselves into believing it actually is. I, however, have absolutely no problem shutting up about it.
So I will.
HUDSON VALLEY VOLUNTEER FIREMEN'S ASSOCIATION CONVENTION DRESS PARADE
Parades hearken back to a simpler time. A time when there was little to do but listen to the radio, read the newspaper, and peer suspiciously through your vertical blinds at the black family who just moved in across the street. In those days, a large group of people marching down the road was considered to be an event worth lining the streets for. This is no longer the case. These days, on a list of "things to do", a parade ranks somewhere below an evening spent listening to an audio recording of a rerun of Drexel's Class and being knifed in the upper thigh at an inner-city supermarket by a guy named "2 Scoops".
But due to a misplaced sense of bullheaded civic obligation, parades continue to take place. And where there's parades, there'll always be bored cheapskates to attend them due to the fact that they are free and sometimes the guys from the Rotary Club throw mini Tootsie Rolls into the crowd.
And yet, I can't imagine that a throng of enraged rioters would storm the capital if the mayor were to announce that the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association Convention Dress Parade (or HVVFACDP for short) would be postponed indefinitely. At worst, it might inspire a number of house-bound barely lucid seniors in the area to voice their mild disappointment to the city in their weekly ineffectual complaint letter. Since these letters go directly into the trash after being skimmed by some city councilman's aide's secretary anyway, they would do little to stop the death of the parade.
NEW YORK: OH HELL YES
All told, I'd say that's a pretty good overview of everything New York has to offer: White trash in expensive cars, crummy relics of the late 50s, baseball statistics, a large waterfall, and a parade.
Also in case you're wondering who that young man on the album cover up there is, it's Boon Shong, one of Singapore's hottest and more virile teen idols.