Summer is here! This is my fourth summer in New York. I moved here on July 8th, 2008, which means today is my 3-year New York anniversary soon. Praise me!
This is my first summer NOT doing gigs with the Village Voice street team. On the one hand it's nice, because I don't have to haul 30 pounds of earplugs and condoms around in 90 degree heat and listen to band after shitty band play the same bad indie music at the Knitting Factory. But on the other hand, street teamstering did get me out of the house and all around the city, and it gave me some good stories to tell at the bar.
Looking back, I would recommend that any young person moving to New York City get themselves one of those part-time jobs in promotions of some kind. It's like New York boot camp, where you have to find your way around using public transit while loaded down with massive amounts of crap, make nice with the mouth-breathing freeloaders that come to free crap like bears to a campsite, and learn to withhold free crap from said bears until they cough up some personal information so your parent company can bombard them with offers for more free crap. It's the circle of life, and it moves us all down the bowels of this great city we call home. You learn pretty quick whether or not you can hack it in New York once you've worked Electric Zoo.
All of this is on my mind lately because one of my coworkers recently said good-bye to a young relative who lasted exactly 5 days in New York City before she moved back home. She didn't even make it a week. Poor soul. I can relate. I was so freaked out my first night in New York City that I threw up in a Polish restaurant in Brooklyn Heights. I probably wouldn't have left my room at all if the BF wasn't there to hold my hand and show me around. A lot of credit also goes to my old housemates at 187, who took me to parties at the Tip Top and let me drink with them on their roof. New York is a scary place, and you need nice people to hold your hands while you paddle around in the shallow end, but eventually you need to just dive in there on your own and swim for all your worth.
Shoots, all that talk and I haven't even gotten to the subject of my post, which is a picnic I had with some friends on Governors Island last Saturday. I brought a shower curtain to put under my picnic blanket to protect us from getting swampass, which I feel was pretty clever, and in true Hawaii-style, there was WAY too much food, even with 3 friends showed up unexpectedly and doubled the size of our party. We were ostensibly there to listen to a free classical music concert, but instead of a little Mozart, Vivaldi, Handel and we'll call it a day, the orchestra played with minimalist, experimental composition from 1964 that the program described as "an undulating wall of sound." In my opinion, that phrase should only be used in a bedroom context. We listened for about 10 minutes before we completely tuned it out and talked about cheese. Apparently you're supposed to treat cheese like a live cat, and not put it in a body bag and stick it in the fridge.