Monday, April 11, 2011

3_23 - 27. NYC

:: DAY 1 ::

In the ass crack of dawn of Wednesday, March 23, I took a Greyhound from Columbus, Oh., to my (future) stomping grounds for a hot, four-day impromptu visit. A lot of people find the Greyhounds to be the doom of traveling, but I personally don't mind it. I am also part scum. The solution to surviving a 14-hour bus ride, in which stops are aplenty and the fear of lost luggage never alleviates, is to just sleep through it. The 14 felt more like 7 and I had a chance to catch up on some recommended jams I've been putting off on listening, as well as revisiting the classics. The following track below best summarizes one moment of the trip when a man who reeked of fries and wet cigarettes took a seat next to me and occupied his Allentown to Newark trip by either rocking in his seat or talking loudly on his phone.

When I got off the ACE to these lines, excitement caused me to heave. I come back feeling like I never left. I got on the F and had to transfer to the J on Essex because of late night lines. You know what that means: I got here around midnight; didn't get on the J until 12:50 a.m. Ugh. Arrived at my friend Meghan's place in South Williamsburg and because we haven't seen each other since winter, chat up a storm until 3 in the morn. Meghan keeps me up by either taking me out dancing until venue staff kicks us out (New Year's Day, ayo) or getting into some serious girl talks.

Meghan's vegan diet = fridge stocked with the healthiest food. My health freak self was totally digging this pumpkin granola cereal concoction with almond milk and dried cranberries. (Can't say Craisins because that's a registered trademarked of Ocean Spray - which I was not eating.) The breakfast prepped me for a day of getting my shopping fix out of the way.

Of course I went to Supreme - but this time not for myself. Got my brother the Supreme x Thrasher magazine t-shirt. He wanted the hoodie, but he didn't give me + $100 for it. Meghan and I walked through SoHo to Bond Street to check out my favorite (can I stress it enough?) NYC boutique OAK. When we got to the door, I had difficulties opening it and gave up after multiple jerks. The sales associate gave me a nonchalant stare as she hung some Maison Margielas on their silver racks. We inferred that the store may have closed itself for a personal shopper, so we decided to make a quick stop at Hospital since it was just a 3-minute walk away. My random purchase of Arkanum's "Fran Marder" on picture disc ended up being a rare find - limited to 100, holla. Meghan and I ended up making a new friend at the shop, the Boston transplant Jim. All three of us geeked out over arena shows of bands like Iron Maiden (more of Meghan's forte), Slayer, and Megadeth. Jim, if you're reading this, please keep in touch!

Our second attempt at OAK succeeded over an embarrassing realization: you had to push the door to enter. Whoops. Thanks for the pointer, photography man staring at me from your white van. After trying on some basic wears from OAK and A.OK (25% off basics) and drooling in envy over Rick Owens, I ended up getting a poncho and a slouch A.OK v-neck tee. Meghan got the Alexander Wang hoodie I've eyed for ages and jealousy struck me for a few seconds.

(why am I making this pose... ?)

Capped off our day by walking through Saint Mark's. Outside of the historical Trash and Vaudeville clothing store was Ray Goodman himself smoking a cigarette and talking it up with another man who was equally eccentric in attire. Goodman pretty much posed outside like this. Can't say my style encompasses the glam of the 1975 NYC punk scene, but I literally had troubles getting myself out of a pair of distressed, acid marbled stretch jeans that won my heart. It took 15 minutes to get out of it and throw it over to Meghan who also wanted to try it on.

Later that day I met up with former co-intern at Opening Ceremony and legit chick Kristen Mom at Don Hill's to check out Trouble Andrew's "Leaked" Album launch party. We got there too early and faced some awkwardly unpleasant openers. Had we got there 2 hours later, we may have stayed up to seeing Trouble Andrew finally perform, but there were too many acts on the bill and our patience was running dry by the third act. My 1:30 a.m. return home may have been the earliest I've ever returned from a night out here. I later regretted not checking out Bag Raiders instead at Santo's - which would have been cheaper than the $9 I spent on beer at DH.

:: DAY 2 ::

Met up with my friend Alex during his lunch hours. He treated me to Chipotle in celebration of his enrollment into CalArts, and because I edit the essay that helped get him into the school. We walked through NYU to his restaurant of choice 4 out of the 7 days in a week. Outside two students (?) were filming with a glass plate and we couldn't help but stare. Our sweet tooth craved La Colombe coffee so we walked back close to his work and got our caffeine intake. My mocha took effect until what seemed like 10 that evening.

Note : be careful following street signs around Greenwich Village. The broken streets will suck you into its painfully confusing maze of bench parks and roundabouts. I eventually walked over to Washington Square park wearing nothing but a heavy knit sweater, tights over leggings, and 5" platform heels, so I plopped myself on a bench both freezing and throbbing in pain. My friend Brian ended up joining me 20 minutes after our set meeting time, but I was in panic because my phone died and I had little to do but freeze to death and wait. It ended up being a blessing because a) there were dogs everywhere, and b) SwaggerNYC duo Sian-Pierre Regis and B-Rad Izzy approached me to be featured on the website. Schooled Regis on how to properly walk up steps in platform heels in the process, and he seemed impressed. When Brian finally arrived, we took the subway to MoMA to take advantage of what was my first "free Fridays" at the museum.

Memo to Dali from the future: Should've made this painting much larger. So underwhelmed by the dinkyness of the size.

Brian to Man Ray.

Watched the Pollock biopic two days before seeing this exhibit. The violent flicks of paint on these canvases as so much more palpable in the flesh. Good move on my part.

Got interactive.

Later that night, met up with long lost lover Jess and Brian to check out Pendu night that had Gatekeeper as its headliner. Found out around this night at a million other great shows were going on that night as well - including Capsule, Caspa, and Dave Nada. Regret not busting out my Make Up Forever dark purple lipstick; not regretting scoping out the sea of brooding, foppish babes in attendance. But enough of that, the flawless bill that also featured Streetwalker (1/2 of White Car) and Innergaze blissfully (or doomfully?) filled me with some underworld darkbeats. Gatekeeper's near flawless set had rapidly flashing car beams muffled in a layer of thick fog. There's something odd about seeing a stumbling, drunk goth though... shouldn't they be honing a face of apathy at all times? Meghan tried to get off work at the Times to meet up with us at the venue, but it was at capacity. Our matching Litas walked around the block to the Levy to hopefully settle that score.

:: DAY 3 ::

Had to meet up with Jill before I leave the following morning, so she insisted on meeting up at her apartment in the early afternoon to grab some lunch. We walked past McCarren Park into Greenpoint to eat at this mosaic-tiled Mediterranean restaurant that was well in my price range. I forgot the name of the restaurant, but I'm sure if you ask someone where one can order some bomb-ass rosemary fries, that person would direct you to this place. I spent a healthy $8 on this veggie sandwich meal and had to photograph it before it disappears into my belly.

We looked too good to not be photographed, so it had to be done. Afterward, I went into the LES to pick up one other item from Supreme and made a spontaneous purchase on a skate zine called "Hand Job Sk8 Zine" done by a guy who goes by the name of $haggy. Flipping through, I was entertained by his compilations of clippings from defunct skate magazines that contained his letters to these magazines' editors. May have to order the back issues; they were only $1 each anyways.

I was unnaturally elated over Nunslaughter playing a show in Brooklyn so I made sure I went. Planned to meet with my friend Jon after he gets off of work at the show, but beforehand faced the lulling awkwardness of patiently waiting solo for the show to start. I sat quietly at the bar drinking two cans of Lagers, eavesdropping on one of the Nunslaughter members talking about Tom Jones. Jon eventually arrived and joining us was his friend Mark. Our interest in the openers were lukewarm so we trekked through the arctic wind tunnels of Bushwick to Mark's place, at which he showed us a new release from his label The Year Is One. I've managed to get back to the Acheron in time for Nunslaughter to start, and lost the boys in transition because it turned out they were unfamiliar with the band's catalog. I've managed to snap some style shots as the band did a brief sound check. Never expected to get some helpful pointers from a band that plays "devil metal."

Tip #1: Knee rips must fold out like an open book.

Tip #2: add some gloss to your obligatory Bathory back patch.

Tip #3: Tell people to "deal with it" with a pair of aviators.

Tip #4: if you gotta stud the boots, for the love of God invert that cross.

I've poorly positioned myself in front of the PA speakers, setting myself up for a painfully short stay during their set. If I remember correctly, they played a good amount of songs from "Hell's Unholy Fire" so I was content enough to excuse missing half of their set. The pit got serious, and a heavier, stocky dude accidentally grabbed my head and slammed it against the speakers. I had to peace because the blood gushed out of my lips and the venue had no paper napkins. I managed to pat off the excess blood, but the pooling layer of skin was in need of ointment.

My trip home involved taking the wrong direction on the F, having to walk 20 blocks north due to construction to get to a station in which the F was going South, saw the Chrysler building in its shining glory, waiting for the notoriously slow late night J train, and coming home to Meghan who checked out early from The Death Set gig. We talked about our night over Italian bread and olive oil dip, but by 4 a.m. I had to pack up and get at least an hour of sleep for my 9:20 a.m. bus departure. Passed out cold on the way home.

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