I went out to a place in NYC last nght called the Dream Hotel. It's a tall Beaux-Arts building just off of Broadway. Its exterior facade ripples with color-changing illumination. The interior is a nutty, happy mix of French Riviera and Eclecticism - gilt statues of a deconstructed female nude face a massive cylindrical aquarium full of large, pale, delicate fish. Each floor has a massive mural of people doing vaguely erotic things opposite the elevators, lit in different bright colors. The penthouse floor is a bi-level bar - one level surrounded in tall windows that look out on the bright lights of Manhatten, the other a rooftop retreat surrounded by towering skyscrapers.
On the way back to the Lincoln Tunnel, as I was waiting in a long line of traffic, I saw a peculiar little man walking past. He was wearing a hachimoto headband, a thigh-length blue cotton robe, shorts, and wooden sandals. He was carrying a gnarled wooden stick, and through the sash that held his robe closed, he had jammed a black, wrought-iron daisho - long and short sword, just like a samurai.
I'd really love to know that story. New York is ... one of a kind.