It’s 2:00 in the afternoon and New York City is steaming under a hot spring sun.
Mikkel Bang has been in town for less than 24 hours and he’s already accrued some new threads, a few phone numbers and a lingering headache. While every passerby seems to have something urgent to do, we have the luxury of an open schedule on a beautiful afternoon in the city.
The life of a professional snowboarder is one of constant travel. For Mikkel, New York is a perfect waypoint between the mountains in North America, the Alps in Europe, and his home in Oslo, Norway. So it’s not uncommon for him to find himself in a situation such as this, with a long layover and the perfect excuse to enjoy some food, get a new tattoo, and maybe even succumb to some touristy temptations.
For starters, a quick push into Manhattan over the Williamsburg Bridge. We go underground and take the subway uptown to link up with a friend. Along the way it seems as though we’re garnering an undue amount of attention, that is until we realize what (or who) people are really looking at. Mikkel is a tall (well over six-foot) blonde Norwegian, covered in tats. Place him with our crew of sneakered t-shirt types, and we stick out in a sea of pressed suits and hundred-dollar hairdos.
“You’ve never been in here?” Someone asks as we pass Grand Central. Thus the tourism begins, and why resist? After all, there are some things you just have to see, and hey, there’s a bar right in the main concourse.
We grab a drink above the crowd and take in the sheer volume of human activity. The next stop is a few blocks away. We buy the ticket and take the ride up to the Top of the Rock for one of the best views in the city. Rolling from one place to another all day, we feel like we’re a part of it to a minimal extent, but not so much that we’re jaded. It’s one of the greatest shows on earth, and we’re happy to watch.
Johnny Carson described a New York Minute as the time interval between when the light ahead of you turns green and the car behind you starts honking. An instant. After a day in constant motion, a few bars hopped and meals shared, it feels like a whole weekend has passed, but in the city where folks do a minute’s worth in a moment, we know we’ve only scratched the surface. ∆