American Skies


American Skies
The first time I went to America was back in the early Seventies. Dave Stewart and I had formed the Tourists with Peet Coombes, and it was our first US tour. Things change so much over decades. New York was absolutely thrilling, but hugely intimidating.
I had the feeling we’d get mugged as soon as we stepped out onto the pavement, and I wasn’t that close to fiction. Central Park really wasn’t particularly safe. You just didn’t go for a nice walk there…Even in broad daylight.
When we checked into The Tudor Hotel the bellman greeted us warmly with the following friendly words of advice.. (spoken in a broad Brooklyn accent)…"Is dis yir foist toim in Noo Yawk folks"?…(continue with the accent)..Lock and bolt your doors. Keep your windows closed and locked at all times. If you have valuables , keep them separately in the safe!. Don’t walk around with cameras showing, and be careful when you go out on the street! Keep your eyes open and your wits about you! There are thieves at large. Have a great time In New York and have a nice day!
I would have been happy to stay permanently bound in the hotel, only at some point you just had to risk it and venture out doors..even if it was only to check out a real American diner, where you could order eggs sunny side up or easy over. Even if you weren’t completely sure what the difference between them was. As long as you articulated your order with confidence, the waitress might be fooled into thinking that you were an experienced person of the world, who knew exactly what you were asking for. I’d never seen menus or plates of food that big. Big enough to live on for at least several days. A mountain of pancakes, hash browns, and maple syrup, washed down by coffee from a bottomless coffee jug.
All you could eat and drink…on a plate and in a mug..

Just for the record, to be absolutely clear…I love New York