Monday, May 24, 2010
I Am Obviously Not Don Draper Either
This is a true story. The first Memorial Day weekend I spent in the city was spent like every other weekend here: getting drunk in Bushwick. Of course, back then, I lived all the way in Harlem, on 143rd Street and Broadway. For whatever reason, I decided to walk from the 6th Ave stop on the L to Penn Station to catch the 1. When I got there, it was just me and a gorgeous woman sitting on the bench waiting for the uptown train. She was reading and I was sitting there trying to think of something to say to her. That's when it happened.
A drunk as hell Asian kid approached us and asked if we lived in the city. Me and the woman looked at each other before telling him that yes, we live here.
"Oh awesome," he said. "So can you guys tell me where the party is at right now?"
We tried to explain to him that the city empties out around Memorial Day, but maybe he could try the West Village or the Lower East Side.
"OK, but like, where are the Asian girls?" he asked. That flummoxed both of us, and when we told him that he could probably just try the places we already told him, he told us again that he was on a search for Asian girls looking to party. Well, we kept insisting that it was Memorial Day weekend and everyone was gone, but he wouldn't accept that answer.
Finally, I pointed across the tracks and said, "Go take that train on the other side. Take it downtown and you'll find people who want to party." He thanked us and finally bounded off. Before he could come back, the uptown 1 came and me and the woman got on and sat across from each other.
We started talking about how crazy that guy was, but the conversation shifted to being about ourselves pretty quickly. She was reading a book set in the 20s, she loved pre-Depression America. I told her about how I couldn't get enough of Vonnegut and Hunter S. Thompson. She lived in the Bronx, I told her about how I worked for the Borough President. She told me she was a belly dancer. Finally the train got 145th Street.
"Hey," I said, stepping up, "this has been fun. You want to get a beer sometime?"
She looked at me and smiled. "I'm married." I'd been ignoring the ridiculously large ring on her finger in the hopes it wasn't the case. Then she gave me her number anyway. I stepped into the warm night feeling triumphant.
What was funny was that I didn't know her name. I didn't put it in my phone right when she gave me her number. Also, I was terrified of calling her because I thought maybe her husband was some old Mafia guy hanging out in Riverdale and that I'd wake up on the bottom of the East River. So I sent one lame text and never heard from her.
Uh, anyway, on to reason number 6 for you attend the Bushwick Rooftop Festival!
NUMBER 6: YOU'RE POOR
The only thing a New Yorker likes more than living in New York is one of those magical moments where they get out of the city for a weekend and enjoy a place that isn’t a hot, sticky mess of human interconnectedness. Memorial Day weekend is an excellent chance to enjoy such a lark. If you’re a rich jerk, that is. You live in Brooklyn and probably bartend or something. What, you’re gonna jet off for a weekend in the Hamptons or something. No, you’re not Don Draper, motherfucker. Then again, maybe you don’t want to be because he’s a contradictory jumble of terrible qualities that appeal to the worst in men and women.
Since you’re going to be here anyway, might I suggest the Bushwick Rooftop Festival? It’s a two day extravaganza that will momentarily help you forget your godawful hunger-stricken existence.