The good: 4th of July in Bushwick

Gallery

This gallery contains 10 photos.

Hello there dudes! The week of the 1st of July was so packed for me that I haven’t even gotten the chance to tell you what what went down! I had quite a few friends visiting from Canada, Germany, and … Continue reading

What to do in New York City 2: the great city outdoors

New York City in the summertime is a great place for free outdoor events. For example:

Now all we need are friends. Aw 😦

The good: Spread Love Party in Greenpoing, BK (and how I avoided a fine)

Based on TV shows, articles in magazines, and my own wild imagination, I constructed a pretty solid yet possibly misguided image of what underground brooklyn dance parties are like, or should be like. I have been looking to experience this ideal since the first time I visited New York during Summer 2011 and the quest only intensified once I moved here in May. It finally came to an end last night at the Spread Love Party in Greenpoint, organized by the Brooklyn Good Guys. I am not sure who the Brooklyn Good Guys are. I just know that they are a collective of artists, musicians (and good guys?) who organize dope events. Dope as in fucking amazing. I found out about this one through a 3rdWard post on their blog about stuff going on this weekend, which you can find here.

The Spread Love Party was advertised as a live dancehall/rap/hip-hop music event with no cover, in front of the waterfront, and to which you could bring your own booze, drinks, beer, liquor, poison…. Now if that doesn’t sound like the best event, I don’t know what would. Unless you hate rap/hip-hop and happiness, in which case you should just die or something. Check out the awesome flyer below.

I went there with a new friend, Julio, who I met through couchsurfing. He’s from El Salvador, just like me! Other couchsurfers as well as my friend Jerome visiting from Quebec joined us later. Julio and I got there super early (around 8:30), with a 6-pack of brooklyn pilsen. We wanted the party to get more ballin’ before going in so just we sat down by the water, a few centimeters away from the venue which was half a construction site & half a backyard (?) behind an apartment building. Low resolution pictures I stole from twitter are below.

We started a-drinking… enjoying the New York skyline and the good enough sunset –mediocre compared to salvadorian sunsets obviously. Two guys came up to us at one point and asked us how to get into the party. Seconds after we directed them, Julio spotted a police car. I know, WHOoaaA.

We instinctively hid the booze behind a concrete slab and i lit a cigarette. Not due to stress but to seem like we had nothing to hide — it made sense in my head at that time. We also started taking pictures of each other as well as excessively and exaggeratedly pointing at the buildings in manhattan, to pretend like we were there for the view, YOU KNOW. The cops didn’t even come to talk to us or anything so IT WORKED! Unfortunately, the guys who asked us how to get in did get a fine. ha! suckers. Just kidding, poor dudes.

I actually took this one

After the cops left, we finally went into the party. I am still not sure if it was somebody’s house or maybe a studio but we definitely went through an apartment-like space. The first DJ set was very good. he was playing some cool vintage Rap and Hip Hop. The second set was OK although he didn’t have any Das Racist and was playing almost all top 40 music, which I dont mind. However, one of the highlights of the night was the live show by the band Nyle vs. the Naysayers, which played at around 10pm (after the first DJ set) and again towards the end of the party (after the second set). They were SO GOOD that Das Racist might have to make some room in my heart for them. Check their website and music here. If I had to describe their musical style, which I am not very good at doing, I would say they are a hip-hop/punk/reaggae group. But who isn’t these days? The important thing is that they fricking rooockkeedddd.

I am not sure if this would qualify as an “underground party” as ir was definitely advertised and the purpose was to celebrate the CD release of Nyle vs. the Naysayers. To be honest I don’t really care. I had so much fun and my friends did too! I think they under the erroneous impression that I am some sort of cool girl who knows about all these ~underground~ events. But I try to explain to them that I am just a really good researcher!!!

Rude New York: Pediecab vs. the world

Man with a heavy backback and a face that means business hails a cab at an intersection in midtown. Seconds later, a pediecab notices the raised hand and asks:
– You need a ride?
– You go to harlem? — says the man
– Why would I go to harlem?
– I dunno… YOU RIDE A BIKE FOR A LIVIN’!

Ha! NYC full of pedicabs and people with attitude. God bless new yorkers.

The good: Bryant Park

In the map I posted yesterday, I mention that Bryant Park is my favourite park. And why is that? Not only is it super close to the New York Public Library, they have a ton of events and cool stuff going on during the summer including:

– Free outdoor movies
– Free classes (yoga, fencing, languages, juggling, etc.)
– Concerts
– Free wi-fi
– Board Games (definitely less than $5, I think $1)

Do check out their events calendar here

Following the advice of Petula Clark,

“When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go down mid town!
When you got worries, All the noise and the hurry seems to help, I know down mid town. Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city,
Linger on the sidewalks where the neon signs are pretty. How can you lose? […]”

The ugly: I went to an art Gallery, had free booze, met someone with a dali mustache

My friend K and I went to this art show at a gallery in the lower east side the other day. My main motivation was to drink some free wine and check out the artsy people who go to these events, and their outfits. To me, drinking free alcohol whilst being surrounded by pretty things, pretty people, interesting things, and interesting people seems like a good way to start any night. And it was! As always, K and I were on a quest for meeting new friends. Eventually, a guy came up to us and started chatting. He also introduced us to this other guy, a friend maybe, who was sporting a dali mustache.  

Waxed mustache

A “waxed mustache” seems to be a thing now amongst self-proclaimed stylish/hip New Yorkers – youth and oldth alike. Who knows why or how these things resurge as a trend. No offence to Salvador Dali, but that shit’s gross and nowadays pretty unoriginal too. I mean, it’s been done! So I do wonder what the rationale is for making such a grotesque statement. On your face, no less. This guy at the gallery is not the first one I’ve seen sporting the trend. I’ve already spotted dozens in libraries, cafés, universities, restaurants, bars, the L train, harlem… there’s really no escape.

I am generally a facial hair enthousiast but when I was talking to this peculiar guy at the gallery, I noticed tiny dust particles trapped within the wax as well as mysterious crystals sprinkled throughout his long, erect mustache. Maybe more dust, drugs, sweat, or solidified wax? Either way, it was quite repulsive.

I feel bad criticizing this guy for his appearance because he was very nice, he seemed like an interesting photographer and gave us many tips on what to do and where to eat in LA, which is where he was from, sorta. A walking cliché this guy, eh? Well so am I, probably. But anyways, I also feel like a jerk because people, I guess, should do and wear whatever the fuck they want as long as they don’t hurt anybody. Individualism! Assuming that his waxed mustache does not qualify as a sharp object, he was far from doing so. Still, I am advocate for the death of the trend.

The ugly: How I went out by myself last night and enjoyed it

Park Slope (A) and Williamsburg (B)

Last night was a tough one for me. There were two events I really wanted to go to and no one to go with. Cool Brazilian music playing in a Park Slope bar and a cool DJ party/art thang in Williamsburg with an open bar. An open bar! We don’t get those in Canada, I’m pretty sure it’s illegal there to have fun give out alcohol for free at a party, which is shitty makes sense.

I generally consider myself a single girl, unless otherwise specified. I was also an only child for over 12 years. So you would think I would be OK and totally cool with being alone or doing things by myself. Surprise: I am not! I texted the following people: two new friends I made last weekend; this friend I knew from before; my cousin; couchsurfing people. Granted, I tried to organize things a little to late in the evening but no one seemed to be available. They either got back too me to late, had other plans, were not in the city, or just didn’t respond. Why would anyone not respond to a text/call? SO RUDE, amirite? Man, I’ve slept with the person who didn’t get back to me. I would never even do that to an enemy.

First, I felt like a less cheerful version of this:

CLICK ON ME

Then, I was like:

CLICK ON ME

And so with all the support of my friend Talia, whom I was skyping with at the time and telling her about how I had NO FRIENDS, I decided to just go out by myself. I really wanted to check out these events, more importantly they were free, and I just couldn’t stand the (otherwise great) idea of staying home to watch an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit before going to bed. So I went and to be honest, it wasn’t the most fun I’ve had in years but I did have more fun than I was expecting. More importantly, I went out and did exactly what I wanted. Oh! And I had some delicious pizza before coming home, which is always good.

My night ended in Williamsburg at the loft part, very close to the East River waterfront. Since I was flying solo that night and didn’t have to wait for anyone, I left the party as soon as I got tired of it. Of course, not before getting my free drinks, dancing for a bit, and talking to some hipsters that I will hopefully never encounter again. I then walked to a nearby park on the waterfront overlooking Manhattan. I sat there for maybe 20 minutes looking at all the buildings, wondering how many people were still working and stupid shit like that. I listened to the pixies, reflected, and cried a little bit because I was drunk and friendless. That was probably my favourite part of the night (I’m serious).

I guess the morale of the story is that no matter how shitty people are with you, you can always count on yourself to make you happy. If other people are mean to you, at least you can choose to be good to yourself. Rather than feeling sad about myself, I decided to go out and have a little adventure and I also conquered my fears of doing things by myself. I am really really happy I did it and I feel a little bit more powerful.