Thursday August 9 2012


Waking up to the busy sounds of the Brooklyn streets at 11:30 a.m. I find Elliott bonding with the cat...

Emily and Wesley left to do their own thing. Elliott cooks up some frozen fried rice he brought from home. I eat a few Plums with a Peanut Butter Sandwich and Lemonade.

I grab the scooter and we start out on an elaborate walk up Bedford Avenue in the blistering sun. Passing the Hasidic Jew borough of Williamsburg – men in their shawls, black jackets, and long curled sidelocks – most every one of them holding cell phones to their ears intently.

I turn to Elliott, referring to the Jewish guy that we’ve been tailing for the past 20 minutes, “Do you think that guy’s actually on his cell phone talking to someone or is he just trying to look preoccupied?”

We finally arrive in the thriving sector of Williamsburg and locate a thrift store we passed by last night aptly named, JUNK, on 9th and Driggs. This place is thorough in its antique/second hand collections. Old Playboys. Old postcards. A plethora of faded pictures leaned against the wall. Ancient furniture. Books. Books. Books. I could spend hours in here. My senses are officially overloaded. There’s a beauty to all this old school bric-a-brac.

Then we take the subway into Manhattan. Reaching Central Park. Sitting on a bench on the outskirts while birds flutter around our vicinity pecking and chirping.

Elliott: “All the birds here are homeless.”

Sharing Salt n Vinegar Chips with Elliott and the birds.


Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie.


We meet up with Wes and Emily. Because of Emily’s fear of horses she calls this place “the horse convention of America” as the horse carriages taxi around us. But I decide to depart from the group. I feel like going on a solo venture.

So I ride up and down the hills of Central Park with my scooter passing tons of people, frequently stopping just to observe – people watching. I slowly swish by a girl. I catch a whiff of something floral. I’m immediately drawn to her presence. Black tights. Loose baggy top. Long flowing dirty blonde hair swaying in the breeze. She walks in confidence. Even though she appears to be an ordinary 20-something of New York she’s exceptionally pretty to me. I follow stealthily. In my head I go through the hypothetical icebreaker I might use when trying to speak with her. Now she’s sitting on the grass by the scenic lake, alone – the skyscrapers towering over everything. What is she doing here by herself? Is she just going for an innocent stroll to get away from get away from an unfulfilled life? Here’s my chance. I can do it. No I can’t. What am I afraid of? A stranger. Most people are afraid of strangers. She gets up and walks past me. I keep my vision glued to the ground. She’s gone. Oh well.

I count my losses and climb one of the colossal rock mountains nearby. While perched up there I see a black man stroll along the bank of the lake singing soulful operatic melodies with a carefree spirit, his head wrapped in a tunic, his walk flamboyant and dominant, attracting the attention of many. Something about him makes me happy and lifts my mood dramatically.

I head back to Brooklyn via subway.


Enjoying an Iced Coffee at New York Muffins, then eating a Veggie Dog at Crif Dog’s.

Pondering the atmosphere here in Brooklyn, or New York City in general. Considering the many times I’ve visited New York. I’m not culture shocked anymore. I try to imagine a life spent here...being around a multitude of people endless bombardment of the senses. It can have the opposite effect one might expect...a feeling of aloneness...separation...being surrounded by strangers can be somewhat comforting but at the end of the day they’re still strangers.

The world does not give us very much now; it often seems to consist of nothing but noise and fear, and yet grass and trees still grow. And if one day the whole world should be covered in concrete boxes, the clouds will still be playing up above, and here and there people will still, with the help of art, be holding open a door to the divine.
        Herman Hesse

At the venue, Spike Hill. The rest of the gang is here. Show starts off with a band called Bedfellows, a poppier Joy Division. Then, Indyans. Sipping on a Bitburger German Pilsner. Caitlin Pasko, my old friend and fellow musician, arrives on the scene. I’m thrilled to see her. Suburban Living is up next. We play through a smooth set to a crowd of about four people while the other venue patrons sit at the bar. My tour buddies, Mia and Ava, show up too. They came from Huntington. They used to sing in a group called The Kung Fu Girls. A few years back Mae did a weeklong tour with them and Plain White T’s.


Afterwards, Mia and Ava take Caitlin and I to Union Pool, a hip popping club similar to that of The Wave or The Belmont back home except this place has a spacious back patio with a taco truck called El Diablo Tacos complete with a sign that says, “Air Conditioned by Satan”.

Drinking a PBR and snacking on a Veggie Taco with Chips n Salsa.

This place has a very Western Vegas feel, a retro 50’s style joint. The cars whizz by on the BQE directly above us.

Caitlin: “I feel like I’m living.”

We head inside to rip up the dance floor – the deejay spinning Motown jams – twisting and shaking – inspiring others to do the same. This is the good life. There’s an excitement shared between the four of us that seems unbreakable.

The girls drop me off at the pad where I’m supposed to be spending the night at, an apartment on Myrtle Avenue, right above a Wine & Liquor store. I say my goodbyes to them and join Elliott, Wesley, and Emily up on the roof. There’s a hammock and a garden. The guy from the band, I’m Turning Into, lives here. There’s no central air – it’s hot and muggy but we suck it up. Compared to last night’s temperature this is a step up. I make mention how air condition doesn’t seem to exist in New York. Almost everywhere we go we don’t have the pleasure of enjoying it.

Emily and Wes take the fold out bed, Elliott takes the couch, and I set up some couch cushions in a cozy corner. Off to sleep shortly after 3 a.m.  

[i] All images by me.

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