Saturday, February 28, 2009

I headed toward Rockaway/Canarsie on the L on purpose this time...

So Friday night I went to an all-night party in this massive loft apartment in the Bushwick part of Brooklyn, which is a little ways out in the east via my old friend the L Train - toward Canarsie and Rockaway.

It was a lot of fun and when I left the sun was out and they were still going strong, but it was also one of the weirdest parties I've ever been to. I was definitely sort of an oddball out for a couple of reasons at least. First of all, I'm a gentile, hehe. As I would meet more people, a lot of them were actually from Israel, which was interesting. Also, I wasn't smoking anything there.

There was actually a decent sized open floor area where folks were dancing and doing whatever. At first the music was sort of slowed down, euro techno club music... until some of the guys busted out their instruments and starting playing - one had a fiddle, one had a banjo and the other had one of those large double basses you stand up on the ground. They basically turned the thing into a big drunken hoe down, which was hilarious and fun.

They played plenty of simple songs that everyone could sing along with and dance to and it was great.

It was definitely a little different than the Ham Festival in Cadiz, Ky., especially since I remember when I lived in the larger-than-Cadiz Hopkinsville, Ky., one of my coworkers casually mentioned in passing that while Hoptown didn't have a mosque, they at least at some point used to have a synagogue.

I also don't think they often lift folks up on chairs in Cadiz parties, like at Jewish weddings. Last night people were regularly lifted up on a chair and hoisted up and down and spun around... during both the "O Brother Where Art Thou"esque songs and the slowed down euro techno.

You might ask, wouldn't this be dangerous at an all night drunken party where some of the guests are also clearly enjoying more than just alcohol? You'd be right. After one solid face plant the chair pretty much stayed on the ground for the rest of the night.

Also interesting was around 5 in the morning someone brought out some incense and then some chanting and other odd stuff commenced, but it was all in good fun.

All in all it was definitely one of the weirder nights I've had in the city, but it was definitely a lot of fun and all the people were great and friendly as could be.

Oh yeah, I'm also going back to Texas again for a real quick Ike-related trip for the beginning of this week. It should be interesting. I'll be back to the city by Tuesday night.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I'm alive... I swear

Well, I know it's been like forever, but I am alive, hehe.

I've been keeping crazy busy lately (so busy I haven't really been able to blog much in fact, as you might have been able to tell...). So, here's some quick bullets, and yes I'm aware that I'll likely be skipping tons and tons of stuff.

* I spent a week in LA for a conference, which was a lot of fun. I got to hang out with an old roommate from college and see all the important spots, like the Rainbow Room and the Whiskey A Go Go and other great '80s metal hot spots. We also went to a Lakers game, where I managed not to get beat up even though I wasn't rooting for the Gay-kers at all during their double-overtime loss to the cellar-dweller Bobcats. We also did the touristy Hollywood things, like seeing some of the more important stars on the walk of stars...

And they have a mini-handprint place in front of a guitar shop on Sunset Strip with metal band handprints which was really cool (Iron Maiden's is pictured above, including Eddie!).

Sidenote on the LA subway... WTF. I know I'm spoiled with the NYC subway being 24 hours and tons and tons of stops all over, but the LA one was interesting. It closed really early, like 1ish, maybe 1:30... right before the bars close. It's also more of a commuter system it seems, for connecting suburbs to middle parts of the city. So the stations were all very, very spread out. LA was definitely not a walkable city, though that wasn't much of a surprise.

Also, the system is on an honor system... seriously. It's a $1.25 per ticket and you get it from the vending machine and keep it on you. You have to have it on you in case they check for tickets... I never saw a ticket checker the whole week. In fact, I was talking to a local who said he's been riding for years and has never been asked for a ticket and stopped by them two years ago.

Why ever is California is even worse off than a lot of other places budgetwise?... and LA might have to close down one of it's main jails freeing thousands of inmates... spectacular.

* We had a housewarming party take 2, which was a lot of fun. A handful of people did come and it was a fun night of drinking games and such.

* NYU recently hosted the saddest example of student activism the world may have ever seen. Some random students decided to occupy one of the food courts in one of the NYU buildings (as opposed to like the administration building like is normally the case) and started making random demands ranging from more budget transparency to off the wall demands related to the fashionable issue de jure - the Gaza Strip.

It was pretty fun to follow the "occupation" online.

My favorite part was when they started getting hungry because they apparently didn't plan ahead and the administration actually offered them food, but they wouldn't accept it unless it was vegan... then the administration agreed and then they wouldn't accept it because they were morally opposed to Aramark. Of course, they eventually did cave, on the food and overall.

After a couple days the admin turned off their free internet and a lot of people left. Then they went in and basically came in and kicked everyone out. The whole thing was hilarious, and the comments on the sites made it even better.

* I've started following, which is a hilarious collection of pictures of people failing. Just check it out, which will be better than me trying to explain it further. Here's a couple fun examples...

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

* I absolutely love the Metropolitan Museum of Art and try to swing by there whenever I can. Last time I was there, I even got to overhear something to add to Overheard in New York around the medieval art:

Girlfriend: Spanish art is weird.
Boyfriend: Yeah.
Girlfriend: Those were some macabre motherfuckers.
Boyfriend: Yeah.

It hasn't made it on the site yet, but we'll see...

* I just found a little tandoori place by work with cheap "samosas," which I'd never heard of before. They were absolutely delicious and I'll be back. Looks like the dumpling folks might have some competition... especially since I found out my coworkers don't like the smell of the dumplings. Hopefully they'll prefer the smell of Indian food, hmmm... I guess we'll see.

It was so good I think I need to check out the Murray Hill neighborhood in Manhattan, which is apparently filled with Indian folk and often referred to as Curry Hill, which sounds delicious to me.

* It's freaking cold. I think I'm actually starting to get a little sick... hence me being in on Fat Tuesday :( I don't want to push my luck and try to nip this in the bud.

* So last night at Revival we got to see a real live hobbit! Frodo Baggins was rocking it with his posse... Elijah Wood popped in with some friends and chilled for a while, which was kind of random and kind of neat.

So, I'm actually keeping pretty busy causing trouble around here, but I'll try to post a little more often than every other month or so. G'night!