Back in May 2000 I was lucky enough to be part of a school exchange trip to the USA. This footage from that holiday shows the streets of New York City, mainly focusing on a night-time walk through Times Square. You can see more footage from this trip on my holiday playlist.
Thanks for watching! 🙂
Hi everybody. This video is some footage I shot on the streets of New York back in 2000, when we were on a school exchange trip that year. I’ve explained more about why we were on that trip back in my World Trade Center video that I posted recently. And the views from up there were amazing of course, so I do recommend you go and check that out. That alone made this whole trip incredibly special, because of course of what happened just a year later. It’s strange to think in hindsight that the city is so different now in that single respect.
But this is the view from the youth hostel we were staying in, with some shops across the road, like a pizza place, a barber shop, and a deli, and things like that. It was a nice, quiet and comfortable area of the city to stay in, so we were happy there.
Now this is Chinatown, and this is one of the busy, bustling areas of the city. And that’s what I love about it. This is the city that never sleeps, and it literally doesn’t. As you’ll see soon, when we go to a night view, all the businesses are pretty much still open, and there’s still loads of people about. It doesn’t seem to matter what time of day it is. And that’s what I love about it, it’s just so busy and there’s always something going on.
It’s a very exciting place to be, especially when you’re not used to being in a place like that. Where I’m from it’s relatively quiet compared to this. But I love all the hustle and bustle. Some people aren’t OK with it, but I am. I like all that stuff, getting lost in the crowds and things like that. And we just saw a Chinese sign for HSBC there as well.
And now we’re in Little Italy, at night this time. The first night we were there, some people went to bed early, because they were tired after having a long 8-hour flight, and I can’t blame them. But some of us went out for a little while in the evening as well, because the jet lag hadn’t caught up with us, and we were just excited to see the city.
This footage isn’t from that night, this is from another night, when we were in New York, when we all got a chance to go out together and have a walk around. There’s some nice, shiny decorations there. It looks a bit like Christmas really, but it’s not, I can assure you. It’s just part of the area we were in. As I say, this was shot back in April/May, sort of late April, early May this was.
But now we’re going to switch to the bulk of the footage, and this is where we were walking through Times Square. And what happened here is that someone had their hand on my shoulder all the time and was guiding me, and I just carried on filming.
[Male teacher behind camera] Now this is where you wanna walk and get a picture. So if someone directs you… here, I’ll get him, I’ll just go right behind you.
[My voiceover] Yep, there you go, see, so we just carried on filming from this point. And this whole sequence is just one continuous shot that lasts about 15 minutes. I’ve cut down for this video because there were parts where we were stopping at junctions and waiting for other people to catch up, and it wouldn’t be very interesting for you to see the same things over and over again.
But the bulk of it I’ve left in, so there’s a good 12 minutes of footage here really. And it was great just to walk down through and see all the lights and the signs and the people. And it’s quite fun to see people dodging past the camera now and again, as they’re not looking where they’re going sometimes, and they almost bump into it. But it was great walking through all this.
Obviously to some people yellow taxis are quite normal. You know, if you live in America, then you’re used to them. But to us, seeing them actually in front of you in person instantly makes you feel like you’re in America. It’s one of the quintessential, iconic elements of New York and the country as a whole.
There’s a sign for Times Square there. And then, just to make us feel at home, there’s an image of Concorde and an advert for British Airways.
ESPN Zone and Music Man…
I think London is similar to this in many ways, and I love that city as well. It’s great walking around in all the crowds up there. Again, it’s a bit too intimidating for a lot of people, but it’s the sort of thing I love doing, getting lost in the crowds and just feeling the atmosphere and things like that. It’s much better than being somewhere that’s quiet and boring and not much going on. It’s always nice to think that there’s always something to do, always somewhere to go, and always something new to see and do and try.
US Armed Forces Recruitment Station. And of course you’ve got the Walk/Don’t Walk signs, which are again very American. We don’t get those in England, or if we do you don’t see them very often. JVC… we’ve also seen Samsung earlier in this video. Nasdaq, one of the markets. And the New York Police Department. We’re being welcomed to Times Square by the banner underneath the Panasonic screen and Budweiser. And MSNBC is on the Panasonic screen.
WWF, back in the days when the World Wrestling Federation were allowed to have that acronym. Back when I was a kid we used to love playing the WWF Smackdown wrestling game on the PlayStation, that was one of our favourites. Even last year I got to play it again in fact, when I was staying with a friend, because he still has his PlayStation. He still has an N64 as well, so we like playing Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on that. And on the PlayStation, Worms is another game that we like to play as well. It’s just a nice bit of nostalgia really, it’s all good fun.
But, yeah, the WWF is now of course the WWE, because they can’t share the same acronym as the World Wildlife Fund. Which, back in the day when it was changed sounded a bit petty maybe. You know, why can’t they share the same acronym, because people know which is which, it doesn’t really matter.
But yeah, it does make much more sense now, because obviously in the days or the internet and Twitter and things like that, if you’re searching for WWF it is easy to get one company instead of the other, if you were trying to search for both that have the same name. So it is logical, it does make sense. But when you’re a kid and you just like playing those sorts of games, you just think it’s a bit silly really.
TV advert up there for Whose Line Is It Anyway? I never really got into the American version quite so much, I always preferred the British version with Clive Anderson hosting.
[Male friend behind camera] They just advertised it, the American version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
[My voiceover] My friend there has just mentioned Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Again, I prefer the British version. This is all probably because I am British and, you know, that means I’m slightly biased I guess. But, yeah, I never quite got into the American versions of those shows. I even have the DVD of the first couple of series of the British version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? It was a fun show, certainly.
A very busy zebra crossing, with people not looking where they’re going…
Of course here people haven’t got their heads buried in their smartphones as well. This was before smartphones were around, you know. Mobile phones were around at the time, but not the smart devices that we have now. So people weren’t glued to Pokemon Go or Facebook or Twitter or the news or whatever else they focus on.
[Male teacher behind camera] See Mr Peanut over there? To your right.
[My voiceover] I kind of missed the shot of Mr Peanut over there, which my teacher was trying to point out to me. But then there’s so much going on, and with my eyesight it’s sometimes difficult to know exactly what you’re supposed to be looking at. And there’s plenty of films on at the cinema – John Cusack in High Fidelity, and we’ve got Here On Earth, Cider House Rules, Sixth Sense, Boys Don’t Cry. None of which I’ve seen, so I can’t comment on any of them.
There’s a Mountain Dew advert – Cheers. I like the way all these adverts are animated as well, even if they’ve just got sparkly edges or the logos are animating and things like that, instead of just being a dull, kind of flat image that doesn’t do anything. It just all adds to the vibrancy and the life of the city.
And you’ve got all the scrolling signs as well, all the ticker-tape messages going across on those screens. Dot matrix screens I suppose you’d call those. They’re a bit hard to read sometimes, if you are like me and can’t read things at a distance. But if I use my monocular, my little mini telescope that I’ve mentioned in one or two of my other videos, then that certainly does help.
There’s a Kodak advert there. Again, this was back in the days when you used to have to take your disposable camera into a chemist or a place like Kodak and get pictures developed. Obviously these days most people take pictures on their phones. I mean, there are still professional photographers out there, but I don’t know if there’s much of a market for disposable cameras these days. A few people might have a preference for it, but I don’t know if many do now. There’s an advert there for AT&T, one of the companies that helps you connect to the phones and the internet and things like that.
Virgin Megastore here, which we do walk past a little bit, but then I think a few people wanted to go in there, so that’s where the video is going to end in about a minute’s time.
An advert for Barnes & Noble, and below that a clock shows that the time is 10:35pm. So it was fairly late, but you can still see that the city is really, really busy still at that time. And a Coca-Cola advert as well. But the video is about to come to an end in a few seconds time. So thank you for watching, I hope you enjoyed seeing another little insight from our holiday that we went on. And I’ll be posting more footage soon, there’s still various bits and pieces I’ve got to show, quite a bit still. So, yeah, thank you for watching. Bye for now.