Thursday, August 23, 2007

Wish you were here

Saturday morning came much too quickly. I grabbed the bike off the wall, and peddled down to Rob’s apartment in the West Village. The great thing about where I live (Midtown, or any area north of 14th street) is that the streets make sense. You know the further you go uptown, the larger the streets become, 51 is after 50, streets run W-E and avenues run N-S. Okay in the village, soho, tribecca, LES, financial district, basically the lower tip of the island, etc it is laid out like the city planners went on a huge coke bender (actually, the lower part is the oldest, so settlers just made roads where they needed them, but I like my theory better). Of course, I got lost at the quadruple intersection. Yes, 4 streets all meeting at different angles. It blew my mind when I was riding on Waverly Place and it intersected with….Waverly Place. Yeah, a street that crosses itself! One street down is “Gay St.”. Not kidding, that is the actual street name. Yes the area surrounding it is quite the boystown, but I wonder what came first…you know the chicken or the egg.

I eventually met up with Rob and we set off for the Hudson for kayaking. On our way, we passed the infamous Magnolia Bakery (as featured in SNL Chronic of Narnia). Usually there is hella line there, but at 10am I guess no one was in the mood for cupcakes. We therefore decided to head in and see what all the fuss was about. Okay the cupcakes were so messy! Seriously, they layer on a pound of frosting. My was chocolate colored, and the way they swirled it on top made it look like dog doo. The frosting was super soft so it got on everything! I eventually just wiped it off and tossed the surplus (much to Rob’s disappointment). All being said, the cupcakes were moist and decent but I still do not know the allure of the place.

We eventually got to the harbor and tried out the free kayaking. There are several sites along the Hudson that offer free kayaking. I wonder if it is part of a giant PR move to make New Yorkers more trusting of the toxic waterways, or a way for NYPD to get more people out on the water looking for bodies. The wind certainly made for fun waves, and the spray was surprisingly salty. Okay yeah I ingested some river water because it was flying in my face, so I probably should get my Hep A & B shots again. The harbor did offer a really nice view of the Statue of Liberty (too bad we were prohibited to go beyond the piers).

On my ride back, I passed a Frank Gehry building in Chelsea. I included the picture so my non architecture friends will understand who this guy is. Actually, most of his work has been with metal looking sides, so it was interesting to see this frosted glass display.

On Sunday, I met up with Rob and Dana for a new show down in the village. It was called “Williamsburg, the musical”. For the non NYC readers, Williamsburg is the neighborhood in Brooklyn that is at the end of the Williamsburg Bridge. It is considered the new village (ie where all the starving artists and hipsters who cannot afford the rising cost of living in Manhattan are flocking towards). The plot was centered around the Romeo/Juliet, Maria/Tony, Sandy/Danny relationship between a hipster trust fund girl (who recently was cut off by her wealthy parents) and a devout Hasidic Jew man. He had a beautiful voice and spoke with the very stereotypical (but true) Jewish cadence. In the mean time, a wealthy evil real estate developer was buying up the aging buildings to erect new condos. The evil real estate developer brought the local hipsters under her control by turning them into zombies via chi tea lattes and skinny jeans. The musical had some funny songs that you only could get if you lived in the city (a song about “just one stop to civilization” since Williamsburg is the first stop out of Manhattan on the L train). I also learned that a Hasidic man cannot look at a woman (except his wife) in the face and cannot touch a woman (except his wife). I’m almost tempted to walk down the street and stare down one of the curly-Q’s just to fuck with them. In the end (in true Grease fashion), the Jew dressed as a hipster (among flaming zombie bodies…nice) and the princess dawned a full body coverage dress and they realized they could make it work.


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