Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New York, NY: Back in Action

I flew home to NYC on Friday morning for the annual convention for my job's staff union. Colors hosted the afternoon meeting where we went over different issues facing staff and discussed upcoming contract negotiations with our employer. A major contribution to my high quality of life is the lucky occurrence that union employees are themselves, on occasion, represented in a union. It's an utter phenomenon among jobs in labor movement but I suppose that rant is best saved for a different audience.

Once the convention ended Bill, my co-worker out of New Mexico, and I walked from Astor Place around Alphabet City and LES. I often feel a certain sadness for the recent trajectory of the parts of New York that I grew up with and love, especially now that I live in California and mostly keep up with the city through blogs and papers that highlight this deterioration: New York isn't what it used to be. Over-commercialization coupled with the growing concentration of wealth is apparent to anyone whose compares the city to what it once was, even only ten years ago. So much of the grittiness and raw flavor has been erased by Pinkberrys and condos. Why is that five entry level i-bankers stuffed into a two bedroom apartment in Murray Hill are only people moving into Manhattan these days?? This struck me when we passed Chipotle on St. Marks Pl. and saw De La Vega selling $10 stickers at his downtown gallery.

Despite this doom and gloom/buzzkill factor I can't help but feel a sense of hope when I return home, that SOMETHING IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN AND IT'S GONNA BE BIG. There was something beautiful about the verdure of the trees in Washington Square Park. It is the boiling atmosphere of summer in New York. Or maybe I was just a little bit more "chin-up" after Bill and I had a few cheap pints at Nurse Bettie to the sound of Kill Rock Star's Greatest Hits.

I met JuliaH for arepas in the area then hauled back to UWS to get my money's worth of $0.50 beer at Bourbon Street with Allegra, Lauren, Ales, Amanda and company. I am not proud for patronizing this bar in all its meathead glory. The good news is that if you look freaky/chic/not-party-top-wearing (are these all the same??) enough, the yambos will leave you alone and let you guzzle in peace. You only have to put up with the music selection, which stands somewhere between Thats What I Call Music 27 and the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

We hustled down to Chelsea to try to catch JuliaH at the newly reopened Frying Pan but got lost finding it. The Frying Pan is a rusty old tugboat that is docked on the water off the West Side Highway. It was home to the infamous WEF anti-globalization protest in that freezing February of '02. We also used to go there a lot during the dirtbag years until someone got shot in the face shortly after SeanR's birthday party on the top deck. Nowadays, the boat is the same, but all of the booze mongering is relegated to the adjacent dock. This detracts from the novelty of offshore crapulence but does leave more space to sit on the deck. We even spotted a happy hour yuppie passed out in the hull. Scary.

At around closing time we ended up at the Rusty Knot where I promptly left my ATM card (again!) Then in true form of the "Midnight Society of the Blunts and 40s Club" we capped the night at Arthur's place followed by dawn dinner at City Dinner, Upper West Side style. At this hour I usually start feeling too old to be in that position - but back home, with familiar places and faces, old habits die hard.

Ahoy from the Frying Pan; glug glug at R.K.

1 comment:

erin story geld said...

ahah ! i went to frying pan about 2 years ago with my very cool cousin. i don't remember much but the cab-ride and it's driver who drank inca cola tried his best to convince me kofi annan was the anti-christ.

i like your new haircut too!