It’s Up to You, New York, New York

Today’s blog post is brought to you by Stuart R. West, author and owner of several pairs of pants. At least, that’s what we’re led to believe. Take it away, Stuart.

Stuart R. West doing his uncanny Frank Sinatra impression

Stuart R. West doing his uncanny Frank Sinatra impression

Well, author David Fraser threw down a geographical challenge and, like a fool, I accepted. Really dumb after the last “interview” Dave composed with me. I should’ve known better. But I don’t.

Dave lives in New York, which in itself gives him a sense of entitlement worthy of teenagers. And I’m like, “why?” All I really know about New York is what Frank Sinatra tells me and that ain’t much. “It’s the city that never sleeps.” Really? Why would anyone want to live in a city full of insomniacs? Scary.

Anyway, in honor of David Fraser and Heather Fraser Brainerd’s new release, Act of Abduction (the third entry in their marvelously entertaining Jose Picada mystery series), Dave decided to investigate Kansas. I tossed on my journalistic cap and dug into the important things about New York to return the favor. What I found out may shock you…

  1. Okay…New York boasts sixteen (identified) serial killers. Kansas was host to a mere six. New York is approximately 469 square miles large while Kansas is 82,282 square miles. You do the math. That’s one serial killer per every 29 square miles. Must be something in the water. I guess since no one sleeps in New York, something has to occupy your time. (Which reminds me, check out my new book, The Secret Society of Like-Minded Individuals, for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about serial killers. Go get it. Do it: The Secret Society of Like-Minded Individuals. It’s practically a text-book. But fun.).
  2. First, our cyber-tour takes us to Amsterdam, New York, where you can enjoy the lovely Professional Wrestlers Hall of Fame (personally, I think “Hall of Shame” might be more appropriate, but hey, I’m from Kansas, what do I know?). Here you’ll get to enjoy a tasteful display of famous midget wrestlers, women wrestlers, and then, midget women wrestlers. Look carefully and you’ll spot Andre the Giant’s jock-strap. Fun for the whole family!

    Pictures perfect for memorabilia or hitting your opponent in the head

    Pictures perfect for memorabilia or hitting your opponent in the head

  3. Next stop brings us to Oneida, New York, home of the World’s Smallest Church. This “outhouse” is in the middle of a pond on an “island.” There’s only room for three people inside. Standing room only. A preacher, a sinner, a soloist? Look out if you gotta’ genuflect.
  4. Let’s mosey on over to Cooperstown, New York, and take a gander at the Cardiff Giant. What is a “Cardiff Giant” you ask? It’s a ten-foot long statue of a giant that an atheist carved in 1869 to dupe religious people into believing it’s a “giant in the earth” as mentioned in the book of Genesis. Guess what? Sharp-minded entrepreneurs are STILL using it to dupe the rubes.
  5. Over in Binghampton, New York, step right up to see Blossom, the Black Angus Bull. Blossom is a large fiberglass statue of a bull, painted with flowers, a true acid flashback sure to give children nightmares. What’s it mean? Dunno.
  6. Don’t forget to check out the Brain Museum in Buffalo, New York, which boasts the “biggest display of brains you’ll ever see.” That is, if you WANT to see brains. Unless you’re a zombie, I imagine it’s a pass. There’re all sorts of brains on display, pickled, sliced and displayed with loving care. You can’t miss it. It’s right next to the Gallstone Museum.
  7. Moving on to Flanders, you gotta’ see the Big Duck. You can’t miss it. How could you? It’s a 20 foot long, 30 foot tall building in the shape of a duck. Step inside the duck to buy all sorts of duck souvenirs (“Duck taffy?”). The real kicker is the duck’s eyes glow red at night, a sure sign you’re at the gates of Hell.

    It's...a big duck

    It’s…a big duck

  8. LeRoy, New York, is home to one of the best (worst?) NY attractions, the Jell-O Museum. Here you’ll learn about everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Jell-O. Five minutes in, you’re done! (Psst, ask to see the special “Blob” room when you’re there. Just do it. Wacky antics are sure to ensue). Sadly, the Bill Cosby exhibit has all of his images cut out and replaced by photos of Justin Bieber.
  9. A moment of solemnity is appropriate when you visit Wantagh, New York, where the grave of Checkers, Nixon’s dog, is located. On Checker’s tombstone, it says, “I am not a crook’s dog.” Toss a biscuit on the grave, shed a tear, get back on the bus.

There you have it, folks. Our cyber-tour of New York has ended. I suppose “Ol’ Blue-Eyes” had it right after all, “It’s up to you, New York, New York.” (And I STILL don’t know what that means).

Oh, and one final thing that New York has wrought? Dave Fraser and Heather Brainerd, writing siblings extraordinaire.

Thank you, Stuart, for your touching words about New York. If you enjoyed this post and want to learn more about Stuart R. West, Kansan Literary Ambassador to the World, click here. There, you can find our return salute to the great state of Kansas.

Are you a Stuart West reader? Then you should check out his latest novel The Secret Society of Like-Minded Individuals. It’s his best one yet. Not a Stuart West fan? Check it out anyway. You will be.Like-Minded Individuals 200x300

 

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26 Responses to It’s Up to You, New York, New York

  1. You guys are incredibly funny! What a great way to begin my day! I loved both of your posts!
    Best wishes on the new releases!

  2. J.Q. Rose says:

    WOW! I’m ordering my bus ticket now to see all the wonderful sights in New York! What a tour. Especially want to visit Checkers and the Jello museum. Can’t wait. Er, maybe after the snow melts? I’m sure this post will help sell tons of your new release, Stuart. Did you make a book about serial killers as funny as this blog post??? Thanks for the giggles.

    • Stuart West says:

      LOL. Thanks for booking your ticket, J.Q. Yep, I think Dave and I know our posts aren’t the mostest book-sellingest blogs in the world. But it’s either this, or “Who’s your favorite boy band?” Anyway, the new book isn’t “funny-funny,” but I’d like to think that it’s…um, morbidly amusing? In parts? Thanks again, J.Q!

    • We’re visiting family near the Jello museum in a few weeks and plan on paying it a visit. I’ll let you know how it is.

  3. Heather G - The Natasha Saga says:

    Obviously my first and only trip to NY was lacking. I did’t see any of these.
    A brain museum. hmmm. But the red eyed ducks would truly be creepy. Ok Mr West. You enjoy writing thrillers. Get cracking…or should I say quacking.

  4. Wow. how did I miss all this when I was in New York? The Lonely Planet Guide is sadly lacking in its info. I’d love to see the Jell-o Museum! When I was in NY I got called “ma’am” a lot, which was nice. Only the Queen gets called ma’am where I come from. (Unless they mistook me for her?) Great post, and than you for the informative guide!

  5. jcurtis618 says:

    So, Stuart, you know more about NY than you let on! I loved the tour. Didn’t know there was a “brain” museum. My husband has a human brain on his desk. Yes, he does. Maybe since he’s a psychiatrist he can get away with such nonsense. As for the rest, all new to me and I’m with JQ, I wanna go. JQ when are you leaving? I’ll join you.

    PS Don’t make fun of a town with fiberglass animals on every corner. I live in the home of the Bulldog Nation. We have strangely painted fiberglass bulldogs everywhere 🙂 When are you going to a virtual tour of Georgia? My guess is you’ll find some very weird stuff–stuff worthy of one of your thrillers.

    What a fun read!

    • Stuart West says:

      Fiberglass bulldogs? I’m SO there, Joan. Actually, I’ve been through Georgia a couple of times. Mostly the horrifically terrifying rush-hour, Atlanta highway traffic. Oh! For work, several years ago, I also went to one of your major “convention halls,” followed by a rather lackluster “strip club.” NOT my choice, I want everyone to know.

      My wife has a glass brain on her desk, filled with “brain candy.” Ew.

    • Georgia…I’d say any decent tour would have to start with either the World’s Largest Mattress or the U.S. National Tick Museum.

  6. Well, and to think I missed all of that. However, did you see the bull on Wall Street? Biggest balls I ever saw.

  7. Heather G says:

    Suzanne – did you duck under with all the other tourists and get up close and personal with said bull?? No question, that dude is male.
    I admit, that made my list of things to see in NYC as well. Not the balls, but the bull.

  8. J.Q. Rose says:

    Loving this discussion. I won’t go on about my hometown of Atlanta, IL on old Rte 66. For some reason the town fathers decided to erect a giant sized statue of Paul Bunyan in the center of “town.” Now my little town is a tourist destination! But why Paul Bunyan in the middle of my town that is surrounded by cornfields? No timber to cut down by that legendary lumberjack.

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