I did a last minute trip to New York to hang out, put on hats, and give some hi-fives.
I got in late on Friday and made Illick be awake and go to 2 bars in his neighborhood. On the way to them, we passed a place called "666 Rainbow Transmission."
On Saturday we got up medium early and had to ride into Manhattan because Illick had left his hat there. We took the Manhattan bridge.
On the way down the manhattan side of the bridge, Illick told me about the time he saw a hobo doing an unmentionable but fundamentally human thing on the bridge and about how that was in December, but there were remains of the act still there even though it’s may now. The story is disgustinig, but it also serves to show one of the ways that New York and Portland are different.
Differences between Portland and New York turned out to be one a theme of conversation for the weekend.
For breakfast we stopped at a random dim sum place that happened to be the first Dim Sum in China Town.
The place was also a bakery that a lot of people were buying donuts and cookies from. But when we asked to sit down and have dim sum it seemed to throw them off a bit. Eventually someone came out from the kithen and made us tea, and after a little while of wondering whether we had actually placed an order or not, food came also.
It was good. Ordering the second round really pushed it to the limit.
Meat balls, shrimp meat balls, meat balls with noodle on them, meat in noodle pockets, meat in dough, and vegetables in noodle pockets.
So anyways, then we got to Illick’s office and picked up his hat.
On the way there, I realized that I’d left my hat at his house. D’oh!
We took the Brooklyn bridge back to Brooklyn.
About halfway over the bridge, I saw the king of all assholes; a tan, buff, six-foot-six rollerblader who was shoving pedestrians who overlapped the line into the bike/rollerblade lane. He shoved this lady’s shoulder as he blew by her even though there was plenty of room. Maybe he expected to have the bridge all to himself?
We got back to the apartment, chilled out for like one second, and then took off for Coney Island with both hats. This probably wasn’t our actual route, but it was something like this:
On the way there we went throgh a lot of different neighborhoods with a lot of different vibes and percieved threat levels. In one of the more burned out, less active neighborhoods there was a dental laboratory:
My guess is that there was razor wire around the top of it because all buildings in that part of town need razor wire, not because there were top secret super secret dental secrets being researched in there, but who knows?
Coney Island. So much to see and think about! But first things first, We put the hats on and started the contest.
Other things at Coney Island included, but were not limited to:
Old Man With Drooping Ice Cream:
Signs painted by Steve Powers:
Fisher-man who purports reliability:
A depressing, morally questionable carnival game called "shoot the freak." You could pay money to shoot a paintball gun at a dude in a paintball helmet holding a plywood sheild standing in a vacant lot. I thought that he would jump around and try not to get hit by paintballs, but he just kind of rocked from one foot to the other and took it. It reminded me of a deeply bored zoo animal.
By far the best part of Shoot the Freak was the guy trying to get people to play it. He would basically insult everyone on the boardwalk through a loudspeaker for not wanting to play shoot the freak. Some quotes "Come to Coney Island and not play Shoot the Freak? That’s like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower!" And after someone played, "Okay, back up people, make room for the next group of people who don’t want to play shoot the freak." He really seemed disgusted at all the people who didn’t want to pay money to shoot his employee who he called a Freak over and over with a paintball gun. Fascinating!
Anyways, then we rode home by a different route that took us through different neighborhoods with different things going on. In one of them there was just tons of neighbors talking to neighbors, which was pretty awesome and weird. And then we took naps and woke up weirded out and went to meet Sean for some awesome noodles and pork. Pictures of this exist but aren’t that good because of low-light conditions at the noodle place. Then we went to meet Corky at what is probably the worst bar on the whole east coast to watch a fight.
This photo is to show you the feelings Mike and Corky have about fighting:
I don’t care about it too much but can get into it. It’s intense. We watched fighting and also managed to not get into any fights. Phew.
Sunday we got up even earlier, had breakfast and then, after some concern about what all the things I had eaten yesterday had done to my guts, we took another trip over the Manhattan Bridge:
Each day comes with a question: "Where will today’s hot dogs come from?" Today’s answer? Papaya Dog.
Almost as good as yesterday’s world famous Nathan dogs.
And Central Park:
And the Met, where there were a ton of scary Francis Bacon paintings and a giant aluminum art thing on the roof:
But this was probably the best art I saw in the city:
A dude sitting on a couch that said "become your dream" on it in marker. He seemed really, really drunk and he was working on getting drunker with a big can of something and an even bigger bottle of something else.
Heading back to Brooklyn,
Blasting down fifth avenue, working on a song called "blasting down fifth avenue."
Blasting down Broadway,
By this time we were both ready for a margaritas and I was starting to really think I should’ve brought more than one pair of pants with me because of sweating.
Before long we had had those margaritas and then were in Illick’s backyard with his friend Tara having big coorses and what were, for me, some of the most chilled out moments of the trip.
Check out that tree that comes with his apartment. Nice.
And from there the pictures and memories just get blurrier and blurrier while we go to the neighborhood bar and some sandwich shop and somehow get home from the sandwich shop and Illick told me on the phone later his feet were bloody for some reason (I don’t know if he’s kidding) until I don’t wake up when the car service calls at 4 o’clock in the morning but it’s ok because I just take the train to the airport and get on the next flight with no real hassle thanks to a nice lady at the airport named Gwen Davis and wind up getting in to Portland at a totally reasonnable hour anyways. Maybe that was my real birthday gift, having that plane ride work out so easily even though I was so, so late. Here’s a picture of some circles on America I took from the plane:
Pretty good! It was sure nice to change my pants when I got home! I guess I’ll just get back to doing the normal stuff for a while now.