Monday, March 23, 2009

Brooklyn - Week One

After I arrived in Brooklyn last Sunday, Buck informed me that he had a bet with one of his co-workers. His co-worker was convinced that I, being a new to this city, would have contact with the police during my first week. Not that I was going to knock over a liquor store or whatnot, just that I'd do something that conflicts with the many, many, laws that New York City uses to keep 9 million people in line on the daily. Considering that I drive an old BMW with Tennessee license plates, that would make me an extra special target. Especially with New York's alternate-side-of-the-street parking, wherein one day a week for about an hour and a half you have to move your car to allow the street sweepers to clean the gutters. (It has to be an uphill battle because these streets are filthy.) Well, I've been here a week and I'm clean, so Buck wins the bet. Since that's over, I'm going out today and robbing a newsstand, just on principle.

I think I need a cowboy hat to wear when I go out and maybe some boots and a big fuckin' belt buckle. I didn't expect to be the type to represent the South, but for some reason this place makes me want to act like a redneck for shits and giggles. "Howdy, y'all. Hey, pardner, where's the nearest train station? Much obliged, fella. Have a good 'un."

Before Saturday, I have never seen anyone stand in the middle of four lanes of traffic and look a) completely unconcerned that tons of metal are hurtling directly at them and b) offended that oncoming cars are honking at them. This person did not appear to be a standard crazy homeless person. She looked like she has a home and a job and possibly even offspring, which is good news for the next generation.

At some point I fully expect to have some ridiculous experience that defines life in the capitol of the world, but the first week has been fairly standard. I haven't done a damn thing except watch a few NCAA tournament games and go out drinking a couple of times.

Jake and I did trek to Philadelphia for a show Friday, which was kind of an adventure. It took probably an hour and a half to get across the Verrazano and Goethels Bridges into New Jersey, which for reference is roughly the same distance as from ETSU to the Super Wal-Mart on State of Franklin. It was rush hour and that's a fucking lie of a term. While in New Jersey we had to turn around in a mall parking lot which had a traffic light at a little intersection and being a hillbilly unaccustomed to the idea of a fucking traffic light in a goddamn mall parking lot, I wound up running the fuck out of the red light and was almost t-boned by a bus. We survived the trip and ate genuine Philly Cheesesteaks at Pat's King of Steaks, which was worth the trip in freezing cold weather in a car that doesn't have a heater.

One thing I noticed when I came up to New Jersey with T.J. a few years ago for those Dead concerts was that they love road signs up here. Back home you're fully expected not to be retarded, which is quite the lofty expectation given the gene pool, but in these parts they give you a lot of helpful hints. My favorite so far are the "no left turn" signs at the end of merging ramps on the Interstate. In circumstances under which you making left turn would require being so drunk and/or stupid as to be unable to comprehend the sign, the authorities let you know: no left turn directly into oncoming, high-speed traffic.

I think today I'm going to the bank and maybe do some aimless wandering, but damned if it isn't still pretty goddamn cold here. I have a program on my PC that gives me weather updates and I still have Morristown listed on it, where it's currently 66 degrees and clear. Compared to 37 degrees here. Goddamn it.


Nate said...

I still remember when I went to New York for the first time, in eighth grade, and when getting a ticket for a movie, the guy in the booth, after asking me where I was from (Newport represent!), craned his neck against the window to, as he put it, "see if I was wearing shoes."

I told him that we always wear shoes in Tennessee; however, we only wear pants on special occasions. He probably has the AIDS now.

Rev. Joshua said...

My Mom went to Maryland or D.C. with her school band or something (specific details fuzzy) to march in a parade and said she actually heard comments about Tennesseans not wearing shoes, but that was in the 1960s so it's not as surprising as someone hearing that in the 1980s. I doubt her response was as clever as noting that we only wear pants on special occasions. That's pretty good.

Ron said...

When I went to St. Louis with the PR folks, some girl from U of Miami (FL) started hanging out with our chapter president. At one point, we were all meeting up to go eat and, when the guys walked into the girls' room, I said "Are you'uns'es ready to eat?"

I obviously don't really talk that way, but this girl thought I did. She said "Did he just say you'uns'es?" and I shot back "Hey give me a break, its hard enough to keep my shoes on this long."

It took the rest of the group about 15 minutes to convince her I was kidding.