So one lovely afternoon I went downtown to SOHO to have my piercing looked at. It was healing well (or so I thought) and I wanted someone to take a look at it just to make sure everything was still on track. I would turn out that a few weeks down the road I would have to have it removed because it just wasn’t healing right. I was super bummed because I was really geeked about this piercing. I had an industrial bar and it was super cute. So after I get checked out I am already down town so I decide to explore. I love Asian food, and I really wanted something spicy and delicious. I looked on my maps and realized I was very close to Chinatown as I was on Canal Street, so I decided to bop on over to a restaurant to get lunch. I’m walking through Chinatown and nothing is really peaking my interest, but I do notice that on the signs it all says “CASH ONLY”, this is where things get really interesting. I only have a single $100 bill in my wallet (it was just the holidays mind you, I’m quite poor but I got it in a Christmas card.) This was no ordinary $100 bill. Oh no. She was so crumpled, so washed, so wartorn, so very for lorn. Something about her just didn’t feel quite right if you know what I mean. I walk into restaurant after restaurant and ask if they will accept a $100 and they all so no. So I notice a Malaysian restaurant with high rating on my maps and I cannot remember the name, but I decide to go there. I can’t take the train so I took a lyft line a few blocks over to get there. The other people in the car were really annoying and didn’t like that my driver would have to go down a bunch of traffic just to let me off, so being the gentleman I am I told them I would just get out there to shut them up. So I traipse on over to this restaurant, and I find out they WILL take $100 bills. I sit down and proceed to have what was one of the best meals of my life. I have never had Malaysian food before, but it was incredible. Also I had to rack up a bit of a bill in order to justify breaking this bill since china town food is like $7. So I order a few dishes, they come out in about 4 seconds even though the restaurant is full. Beautiful Asian ladies all around enjoying noodles and various delicious dishes. I am in heaven. So my bill comes, I pay it. The lovely woman at the counter comes over and she says “honey this isn’t scanning” and I am gagged. They try it again. Still not scanning. Oh god I have a counterfeit $100 am I gonna end up in china town jail what do I do? I only have this piece of cash, nothing else. So my waitress says she can’t accept my debit card even in this emergency situation. She tells me to leave my stuff here, put my coat on, and she will walk me to the bank down the street. At this point I am beyond mystified and cannot wait to take a snapchat of me in the bank with my waitress because all of my friends would be wondering what on earth I am getting into (I was right). So we walk to the Chase bank and the lady was lovely. She new everyone in there and introduced me, everyone spoke fluent Chinese. I pull out my bill and everyone gasps, it was bad. They take it back and send it through 4 machines, she’s fake. They take it, and I have to fill out a secret service form. Then I had to go to an ATM with my waitress to get cash. What a nightmare. My $15 bill is now $140. I go back and pay, but hey atleast the Chase bank man gave me a cute Chinese newyear Chase Bank calendar!
A free choice event of my choosing is the night I went to the House of Vans to see Zola Jesus, my favorite artist. Her music has inspired me for years and I think she is absolutely brilliant. I flew all the way to Chicago to see her last fall which was a really fun trip, but I was laughing when I saw the ad for her Brooklyn House of Vans show because it was free admission and free beer which of course was absolutely worth it, and made it very easy for me to rope one of my friends into it. I took my one and only friend that I still am close with from my time with the Utah Shakespeare festival as he happened to be in town on a break from playing the lead on the tour of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder. After internship ended that day (i was anxiously awaiting 6 O'clock to hit) I met up with Blake in the Starbucks on the corner. He was my roommate in Utah and we spent almost every day together. I hadn't seen him since August so of course I was excited. He is the type of person who is just completely down to have a new and exciting experience whatever it may be. Since this wasn't technically a concert, but it was an installation art piece in an indoor skate park with "performances by Yves Tumor and Zola Jesus" I knew we were absolutely in for something strange and interesting. The event was in Bushwick which is an incredibly unique place. The buildings are all warehouses covered in graffiti, the lights of Manhattan provide an eerie backdrop of lighting and the sky is always a little grey. It is very dreamlike and strange. We get to the House of Vans and soon discover this is a skate park. We explore the unique at designs that filled the space. Intricate lighting, live electronic music performance, a strange tunnel, and fog fill the room. Projections hit every wall. We wander for an hour or two, enjoying many free IPA's at the bar. They also sold Latin food for incredibly cheap prices. The first artist comes on, Yves Tumor. She is a trans gendered man dressed in a school girls outfit with black face mask on. A man in a black ski mask sits at a table covered in wires and small electronic boxes. It is all very Brooklyn. She performs in front of lightning faces subliminal messages, to the sounds of incredibly loud train screeches, industrial house, cats crying, and distorted screams. She parades around the stage with a microphone and a megaphone that blurts out a police siren. After about 15 minutes of this torture we go outside until she finishes. Zola Jesus comes on next and she was just as incredible as she always is. This was one of my favorite nights in NYC.
The island that I often travel to is Brooklyn. I will most likely be living there very soon. I love the culture, I love the sense of humor in the art exhibits (holla at thnk1994's Davids Dead: A Celebration of Tiffany Pollard), I love the music (all of my favorite artists perform there and I have seen so many concerts, the raves are incredible, the food is cheap, the fashion is edge and gorgeous, the architecture is incredibly appealing. I love that most apartments have roof access as throughout college we spent many wonderful nights climbing on the rooftops of the buildings we lived in. I am currently subletting out of washington heights so it is definitely a bit of a journey to get down there but when I get there it is totally worth it. I take the A train express from 190 to 12th st 8th ave. Then I take the L over into Brooklyn. Weeknights are the toughest because I know if I am going to a show or performance I am probably not going to get home until very very late and the trains run local after a certain hour so this always poses a bit of a problem. So a fellow alum and I wanted to go see one of our favorite artists perform her live NYC Debut in February, however her concert is incredibly coveted and sold out almost instantly. We were unable to get tickets which was a complete bummer, but what was really awesome was afterwards she was DJ'ing an after party at the same venue, and we were able to get tickets to that. We went outfit shopping and everything because we knew this was going to be a really cool and edgy show so we had to show up to the event looking impeccable. Since we weren't in the actual concert we were in front of the line for the afterparty which was really awesome and ensured we would secure a great spot up in the front. The venue was awesome, huge hallowed out space called "Elsewhere: The Hall." I could be wrong but I think back in the day it was an old church so the acoustics for the music were really stacked. Drinks were great, music was absolutely phenomenal. Heavy and hard hitting, this EDM was very forward thinking in it's production. Absolutely insane beats, Sophie and her Friends performed all night from 11-4am and every minute was fantastic. I was anticipating leaving early but the music was too great to miss any of it. I met a bunch of really cool people there was well and the lighting was so wild. Eventually I left and made my way home on the subway and went to bed.
I saw the Broadway musical "Once on This Island" a few weeks back when some of my friends were in town from Otterbein. I had a great time showing them around NYC for their first trip here and showing them as many of the sights as possible. I also wanted to give them more of a real life NYC experience so we did some cool things like spend time up in Washington Heights and go down to Brooklyn rather than just stay stuck in crowded Times' Square. The whole trip turned out to be really fun, especially when I got to take my friends to their first Broadway show. Seemed odd to me that they are in school for Musical Theatre but had never seen a show on broadway. Different strokes I suppose. So they chose to see Once on This Island and I grabbed a ticket as well. It was really nice because when we got there the woman at the ticket counter exchanged our seats for better ones at no cost. The show was really great, the set was intimate, intricate, exciting. The music was really cool, and I enjoyed the interactions among the ensemble. The plot however was absolutely stupid. Essentially the story was about how a young girl falls in love with a boy she never spoke to because she nursed him out of a coma. Then he leads her on, kicks her out, and she dies. Then she turns into a tree. It wasn't the fable aspect that turned me off, it was the root of the story. Everyone was all teary eyed and I just couldn't believe what I was seeing. Other than that however I really enjoyed the show.
Last weekend I had tickets to see another of my favorite artists, Ella Vos. She is an incredibly indie pop electronica act who has recently reached a wider audience. I love her voice and her music. With the release of her first album "Words I Never Said", she has set off on a tour across the US. She had 2 shows in NYC, the first of which was in Manhattan at the Bowery Ballroom. I had never been to this venue so I was excited. As usual I went by myself because people are terrified of weeknights, and it was sold out. I was there really early, and right up in the front. I purchased a sweater from her merchandise stand and a sticker for my phone. The opening act, Freya Ridings came on stage and did a few songs on her keyboard. Her voice was deep and unique, she did a great cover of Hozier's "Work Song". Then Ella took the stage and gave a beautiful concert. I was loudly singing all the lyrics and cheering her on. I got great footage of her coming down and singing to me. She was fantastic. I had no idea but the whole time I was getting her attention. The next day, she has a show in Brooklyn, also sold out. I get a message from her manager on instagram, saying I HAVE to be at the Brooklyn show and that Ella needed my energy there. Naturally I was floored. I get a message from Ella her self thanking me and telling me she will get me into her show for free. So I go all around the room and try and hype the crowd up for her. I met her manager and now I have a free ticket to any of her performances. I didn't get to meet Ella because she has a meet and greet package with her tour and she wasn't allowed to break that. I'll meet her next time though I'm sure! :)