The Man and I continued our quest for the finest coffee in Brooklyn and found these offerings at El Beit. The coffee was good but it was ruined by a female barrista with a Bonnie Tyler haircut/lumberjack shirt combo who suffered a deep hatred of humanity. When I asked for the wifi password she gave me a look that said “I hate you more than anyone else in the universe and I want terrible things to happen to you.”
It’s funny, when you get bad service in America you really notice it. Normally the people who serve you are so friendly that – before you know it – you find yourself confiding in them that you have piles. I don’t have piles, actually, but if I did I’d definitely feel comfortable chatting about it with pretty much any of the waiters I’ve had so far. Except the Bonnie Tyler one. She’d aim the milk steamer at my face and slice bits of rat tail into my coffee.
After coffee we hopped off to central park and hired a boat. Our boating history is not brilliant. The first time we rowed a boat we were in the Bosques de Palermo in Buenos Aires and we’d only just started dating. The Man had just got back from Antarctica where he’d been making films and he was suffering a) deep exhaustion and b) a massive beard that obscured most of his face. He fell asleep within a minute of our launch. I rowed around listlessly and crashed into lots of trees and ducks because I’m shit.
The next time we were on the river next to his parents’ house in Devon. The idea was to have a jolly little row down to the local pub; instead it turned into an epic battle against the tides that took an hour (it was about 400 metres). By the time we arrived at the pub we were broken and had nothing to say to each other. The Man’s friend’s child, who is seven years of age, told me I was useless. It wasn’t my favourite.
This time the conditions were perfect. A glassy lake, trees in a million autumnal colours with skyscrapers rising stoutly above them and the roar of traffic fully drowned out by chirping birds, scurrying squirrels and idiotic dogs.
A couple in a boat near us got engaged. I saw the whole thing. It was lovely; they were thrilled. I pointed it out to The Man. He thought about it for a minute and then let off a trump.
That’s the level of romance I’m used to.
In the evening we went to a Halloween party with some brilliant people and danced in a fashionable venue in an ex-warehouse in Brooklyn. It was in an area called Go-Anus. Really? Really? Oh, ok. Gowanus. But still! Fittingly, Gowanus was recently found to have live chlamydia in one of its canals. What the fuck?! A canal with chlamydia? Extraordinary.
I was dressed as Hannibal Lecter. The Man was dressed as Pinhead. Also in our party were Britney during her shaven-head-beating-paparazzi-with-umbrellas phase, a fox with a big bushy tail and sequinned knickers, a dead air hostess whose plane had fallen out of the sky and another dead woman who I think had once been a Wall Street Banker.
The Man was a star attraction. He was not dressed as the Hellraiser Pinhead; just a weird huge giant with a horrible little pin-like head and massive hands. It’s hard to describe the costume; photos to follow. Trust me, though, when I tell you it was awesome.
Anyway, we got there and I’m not joking, EVERYONE fell in love with him. Everyone was pointing and whispering and shrieking and everyone, men and women alike, wanted their photo taken with him. It was like being with a celebrity.
Americans – as you probably know from films n books n shit – go properly mental for Halloween. There are pumpkins outside EVERY SHOP and every other house is decked out in witches, evil pumpkins and ghosts. (As pictured.) Apparently on Halloween night itself you are pelted with rotten tomatoes if you leave your house without fancy dress of some sort. In Manhattan alone there is a giant Halloween parade, comprised of thousands of people and this is bettered only by a DOG HALLOWEEN PARADE. I love it here. I love that my boyfriend arrived in a ridiculous and disgusting costume that cost him $10 from a mad shop in Harlem and became a celebrity on the spot. There is not enough silliness in the UK. I often think this. I want to tackle this on my return. Set up a silly night. Anyone in?