Displaying results for "NYC"
As usual, the F train set out to inflict its misery upon an otherwise fantastic evening in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
“No Manhattan-bound F trains at this location,” the sign read.
I hardly batted an eye. The F train has beaten me into compliance with its inefficiency. Slowly wearing me down after months of living in Brooklyn, it wants me to know my place. I am its bitch, and it will come when it wants to come, motherfucker.
I was toasted, and in no mood for this. I just wanted to be home.
I darted back out to the street. Under normal circumstances I would have hiked home, bitter and militant, cursing at children and muttering nonsense to myself—behaving not unlike the vast majority of homeless New Yorkers. Instead, I stuck out my arm and hailed a cab. It was 25 degrees and windy, and while I started to feel better at the prospect of swearing at children, a toasty apartment and a freshly laundered pair of track pants sounded infinitely more appealing.
Two cabs on the corner, both with their turn signals on ready to duke it out over my affection once the light turned green. Having the initial disadvantage, the cab in the middle lane floored it and managed to plop himself in front of me on the corner of 4th Avenue and 9th Street. I always root for the underdog so I was pleased by this.
This may not be so bad after all, I thought.
That was my first mistake.
“I’m headed to DUMBO,” I cheerfully announced.
He responded with an incoherent, confused mumble that is commonplace for cab drivers who want to pretend they don’t know where they are going.
“The bridges? The Brooklyn Bridge? The Manhattan Bridge?” I reply.
You would have thought I said ‘Take me to Johannesburg!’
“Just drive up toward Flatbush,” I said instead.
“Flatbush backed up,” he said in broken English.
“That’s fine,” I said, explaining to him how to take the back way to avoid traffic. “Just keep going straight.”
“No. No. I know the way,” he replied. Ignoring my directions, he suddenly knew Brooklyn like the back of his hand. Right. Left. Left. Right. A. B. B. A. A. Start. It was like the blood code for Mortal Kombat on the Super Nintendo, and it was a harbinger of things to come.
It took me a second to regain my bearings before I realized we were on Flatbush, stuck in traffic. I thought maybe he had a master plan, but a few minutes went by and we had moved a total of five feet. I watched the meter tick upward. He was clearly taking me for a ride to jack up the fare.
“Why did you turn here?” I asked him in a manner that was part drunken slur, part childish whine.
“This what’chu want.”
And that’s when it happened. I swore at a New York City cab driver.
“WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?!”
“YOU SAY! Don’t speck to me like ‘et. Geddout, you bum. Geddout!”
The meter read $10.89 (for a ride that should have been, at most, $6). I flicked a ten dollar bill at him. “Keep the change, you sonofabitch.” I slammed the door behind me and started the cold trek home. Maybe this was a badge of honor? Maybe this is one of the fraternal hazing rituals involved in becoming a true New Yorker? I didn’t care about any of it. I was cold and angry and wanted to be home.
The appeal of a warm apartment and track pants had evaporated. I got home, stripped down, and spent the remainder of the evening watching internet videos of puppies and kittens, certain to regain the Midwestern nice I had so clearly lost…
What is there to possibly say about Front Street Pizza? It has every ounce of charm you’d expect from a Brooklyn pizzeria. Behind the counter, balding Italian American men exemplify the stereotype by tossing around expletives, proclaiming their fierce loyalty to their mothers, and saying things like ‘youse guys.’ There is no line; you order when one of them deems it convenient to beckon his meaty hand at you.
The pizza? There’s nothing inherently special about it, but then again, there’s something about being in the middle of this bustling mayhem that feels very quintessentially New York. This is the scene I sought out. This is what I’ve been looking for. Even in the middle of this chaos, these swift restauranteurs manage to remember the names of regulars, and acknowledge your food with a nod and simple “thanks guy!”
This is what makes me happy.
I find myself laying in bed. The silence of DUMBO, Brooklyn caving in on me with it’s deafening embrace.
Last month at this time I found myself laying in the same bed, in a room overlooking a neglected back alley in Midtown Manhattan. A neighborhood with all the sterile charm you would expect from that perfectly gridded section of the island. My evenings were spent falling asleep to the hum of traffic on Second Avenue, regularly awakened by the divine reverberation of a semi truck’s jake brake, the blaring horn of an irate cabbie, or a tranny hooker brawl on the street below.
But, DUMBO, man; it’s so quiet here. After nine months of constant noise and chaos, I have no idea how to eek out any semblance of sanity in this disgusting tranquility.
Restless, I jaunt up to the rooftop and look out over the city. I gaze uptown, past the Williamsburg Bridge, toward the site of my former life.
Somewhere, nestled behind all those projects, there is a testosterone-driven Bro-brawl happening outside a tavern on Third Avenue. Somewhere, right there on 28th Street, well-groomed and slightly aged former sorority girls are cussing each other out like back alley hookers. Somewhere, over there, an irritable bum is screaming and throwing chicken bones at passersby who ignore his repeated demands for a ‘dolla.’
Somewhere, under the white glow of the Empire State Building, I imagine myself in a past life, falling asleep to the sound of ripped weaves and faded glory.
I miss Murray Hill.
(OK… no I don’t)
Reassured, and finally tired, I conclude my rooftop venture with a sigh of satisfaction.
“DUMBO…” I mutter to myself, “I think I’m here to stay.”
To sleep… to dream… perchance to fart.”
Status updates from acquaintances are starting to trickle in regarding what is known as Oberon Day, and formerly one of my favorite days of the entire year.
Oberon Day marks the release of Bell’s Brewery’s renowned beer, Oberon. The fact that this brew is not available year-round sends beer enthusiasts into a frenzy to be one of the first whose tongues may be blessed with this sweet, sweet nectar.
Sadly noting the use of past tense, I celebrated this revered holiday in many ways, but in the end, no matter the means of celebration, it always culminated the same way—with me cracking open a bottle and enjoying the crisp, citrusy hops dancing an excitable pirouette in my mouth. This happy dance reflected the taste of an impending summer to be spent on the coastline of Lake Michigan, around a bonfire, or drunkenly bantering with friends on the rooftop deck of Harvey’s while being enveloped by the eclectic skyline of Kalamazoo.
The harkening reality is that I am now in Manhattan, the self-proclaimed center of the universe, and there is not a drop of this delightful nectar to be found anywhere near this blasted island.
How am I supposed to cope? I was able to prepare myself for the inevitable longing for family and friends, but at no point during my move did I think about the devastation this day would bring.
The way I see it, my life will become dark and dejected for the next month. I will sink into a deep depression, huddled and shaking in a syringe-riddled back alley along Avenue C, craving just one drop of that sweet deliciousness with the crazed ferocity rivaling even the most esteemed New York City junkie. I wouldn’t even ask for an orange garnish! Just one taste!
One mere droplet, come on!
In the end, though, my plea becomes this: To my beloved Michigan friends, in the event that you are able to enjoy a pint of this heavenly beverage, before you raise your glass and toast your friends to a well-lived Midwestern life, include those of us displaced souls who can no longer partake in the ringing of this cherished season.
Never again will I take the effervescent beauty of Bell’s Oberon for granted.
I thrust open the window and slid into an agreeable corner of the couch, gazing at the twinkling lights of Midtown in the distance. The refreshing spring zephyr danced across my face, washing away the stressful chaos that comes with living in New York City. “Life is good,” I thought to myself, completely satisfied.
…and that’s when I farted.
And we’re not just talking any mundane old toot. This was a sound so shrill that even the old and nearly deaf Jewish bubbys on the Upper East Side cocked their heads and raised their painted eyebrows poignantly, as if to say, “Olé to you, good sir. Olé!”
After which, they resumed flogging the hired help.
I have a knack for ruining even the most picturesque of moments.
I walked to Union Square, certain to avoid the pomp and circumstance of the Oscars. Award shows are not my thing. I hate the inescapable hype surrounding it all.
Computer in tow, I entered the Starbucks situated on the northwest corner of the square, determined to ride this out with the help of Tumblr, Missy Elliott, and a few thoughts bobbling around my head that I wanted to get on paper.
“What do you want?” asked the barista. I don’t even balk at discourteous New Yorkers anymore—I just relish every abusive moment of it. These are a people that are truly after my very own heart.
I ordered a white mocha—something sweet to balance out the bitterness I harbored for the Oscars, I thought. Another disinterested barista prepared my beverage and handed it to me. It was pretty hot, and I wanted to ask her for what I now understand to be called a “coffee sleeve,” but the word had escaped me in the moment.
Instead, I communicated my need for this essential instrument with my hands, much in the same way a toddler demands a bottle. The barista peered at me with this odd look of confused indifference.
“What in the hell is wrong with her?” I thought. I looked down at my hands, realizing that I was making the same lewd hand motion reserved for describing how one pleasures himself.
This motion slowed to a halt once I realized why this may be deemed inappropriate. I looked quizzically at the barista, who raised one eyebrow, yet still managed to show not the slightest bit of interest.
Whatever, I thought, even if I were being a perv, that motion would have never been intended for her. I properly wrapped my phallic mocha and sat down near the window overlooking the park, enveloped in my own self-satisfied bouquet of awkwardness.
Slinking through Grand Central to catch the 6 after a tedious visit to the bank, I look upon this magnificent space and can’t help but revel in the cheery lunchtime bustle. I crack a smile, for it appears that even in the most flavorless of errands there lies an element of delectable charm.