Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just your average Puerto Rican Sunday

I was woken up at 5:30am Sunday morning by my friend (and look-alike) Rachel. 5:30am…..I am not kidding! She was returning from a trip to Israel and the flight schedule made her wait till Monday to catch a plane back to Chicago. Because she was coming off of a major time zone difference, our objective for the day was not to sleep until 9pm (no napping either which is usually a staple to my weekend activities). To get us out of the house, we ate breakfast at my favorite brunch place Vinyl. Soon every friend of mine will be forced to eat there by me….I should get stock options since I give them so much business.

Anyway this Sunday was full of “only in NYC” and “only this day” events. We walked over to 5th ave. and checked out the Puerto Rican day parade. Now you may have heard about how crazy this parade is from Kramer on Seinfeld, but seeing it in person is a whole other thing. Obviously I am not Puerto Rican (or even the slightest bit darker than freckled pasty white), but the parade is on my to do list (like the St. Patrick’s day and Macy’s thanksgiving day parades which both blew FYI). Okay the crowd was ten deep and sporting Puerto Rican flags of all sizes. If waving a giant 6 foot long flag didn’t fully express their pride, they were clad in Puerto Rican flag apparel. Seriously, they put the flag on caps, bandanas, shorts, skirts, tops, etc, it was in full effect. Anticipating the crowd’s wardrobe choices, Rachel and I tried to blend by sporting red, white, and blue shirts (well she had a cute red and white striped shirt and I had a blue shirt….hey we tried at least). If one thing is to be said about the women in the crowd, it would be hoochie-riffic! Seriously, the women were in skin tight pants, short skirts, midriff baring tops, and door knocker sized gold earrings! Like Halloween, for every hot Latina you would see dressed like the common street whore, you would see twenty dimpled and lumpy women squeezed into what I believe to be jazzercise outfits. I will never look at white leggings the same way ever again! Okay do not hate me, admittingly I have lumps and dimples but at least I know how to dress as to not advertise their location (looking at these women was like looking at the surface of the moon!).

While at the parade, we took what pictures we could of various floats and people (remember crowd at least ten deep). Okay explain this to me….shouldn’t there only be just one Miss Puerto Rico? Well I saw dozens and dozens of girls/women with crowns, tiaras, and sashes. Every group had one and some even had a few! Is a crown the new fashion accessory of the spring or were people too sympathetic and decided not to only crown one winner and therefore bestow everyone with a crown? I can thank Rachel for one particularly funny moment of the parade. She said “oh I think some one famous is coming, he has his own float, no I cannot see who it is but his name is on the float, let me see Ricky Marteeeen”. I said “who the heck is Ricky Marteen, I guess he must be famous if he has his own float” and got my camera ready. Well as he got closer, I got a look at the float when some guy moved his big head out of the way. Turns out it was Ricky Martin the singer (not Marteen)! I teased Rachel for the next hour about her pronunciation. Another star who we saw in the parade was Jennifer Lopez (J-Lo). My stupid camera has an auto focus feature, so all the shots of her I have are crap because she would move when my camera was busy focusing in another area. Curse my camera and its five second delay. Are really odd sight to see in the parade was bagpipers. Am I at the right parade….hmm oh well I guess those guys get bored waiting for the next St. Patrick’s day parade to come around again.

After two or so hours watching the parade (I would estimate we were watching the parade from 10:30am to 12:30pm), we moved on to our next activity of the day. We walked down to the Madison Square Park (where “The Garden” used to be but now it is just a park down on 23rd street) for a BBQ festival. Yet another “only in NYC” only “this weekend” activity to soothe the anti-tourist traveler. At the festival, you could sample a dozen BBQ tents from different restaurants. The drink sponsors were Heineken and Snapple. Being parched (and wanting to avoid the temptation for a booze nap), we wanted to get a Snapple drink. Although there were Snapple signs, inflatable bottles, and sample tables all over the park, you could not buy a bottle of the stuff! Yeah we even saw the Snapple lady signing autographs, but she could not even get us a bottle. We settled for a Wendy’s frosty and dipping fries before planting ourselves down in the park. For the next hour we people watched and fought off the urge to nap in the warm sun.

After being completely lazy we decided to head on to the next venue. We hopped on the train to the Upper East side. To our amazement, the parade was still going on (it was 4pm!) when we slipped into the Guggenheim Museum. Luckily we had our fill of playing “I don’t get it” and “is that art” when the museum closed. While heading back over to the subway stop we noticed that the parade was still going on (the time was 6pm and the parade didn’t look like it was getting any thinner…with a start time at 10am, that gives it 8 plus hours of solid parade)! At least the drunk rowdy crowd gave us amusement while waiting for the train.

On our way back to my apartment, we made a quick detour to Radio City Music Hall. For my gays out there, Sunday June 12th was the Tony Awards! We stood outside the venue among the tuxedo and evening gown women. I bet it would have been more exciting if we actually knew any of the Broadway stars (or at least those who are nominated). I figured the red carpet would be the best place for us to spot a familiar US weekly face, but the real photographers had every square inch of that sucker covered. Oh well, check another off the ‘to do’ list.

The evening rounded out with dinner at a classy Japanese joint. Here is my advice…if you don’t like sushi or fish, don’t eat at a Japanese place…you will have like four options. Also if you don’t want the lining of your esophagus to dissolve or your sinuses to be cleansed, don’t drink sake (pronounced sack-aaaa according to Rachel).


Post a Comment

<< Home