Archive for July, 2007

Bad Boys, Bad Boys

Posted by cher on July 25th, 2007

“New York remains what it has always been: a city of ebb and flow, a city of constant shifts of population and economics, a city of virtually no rest. It is harsh, dirty and dangerous, it is whimsical and fanciful, it is beautiful and soaring–it is not one or another of these things but all of them, all at once, and to fail to accept this paradox is to deny the reality of city existence. “
~Paul Goldberger

For the first time in real life, I witnessed people being arrested. Two women were cuffed and shoved into the back of a police car only about five feet from where I was standing. It wasn’t very exciting and I’m sure it won’t show up on the next episode of Cops, but here’s best part: the women were dragged out of a Duane Reade. Duane Reade. What the hell are you doing in Duane Reade in order to get arrested? The only thing I can think of is shoplifting, but then the question is, what do you possibly need to steal from there? A $0.99 pack of gum? $4 lipstick?
If I was gonna risk getting caught shoplifting, I’d at least make it something worthwhile. Like something big and sparkly and expensive. Something with a Chanel logo on it.

Good Morning Mayer

Posted by cher on July 20th, 2007

This morning my alarm beeped obnoxiously at 5 am. “Wait, why I am doing this?” I thought to myself. My abnormal early morning (I usually roll out of bed at about 8 am) was planned so I could see John Mayer perform in Bryant Park as a part of Good Morning America’s Summer Concert Series.
I know – sounds totally touristy right? Well, I’ve decided that there’s too many opportunities in this city that I’m not taking advantage of. A chance to see John for free? It’s hard to pass up. (Except, of course, when it’s 5 am and I’m really cozy in my bed.)

The website advised to get there at 6 am at the latest in order to obtain a good view. After I finished laughing at that idea, I decided to arrive around 7. When I got there, I was shocked at the size of the crowd. I thought I’d have to fight hundreds of people for breathing room; instead, I had plenty of options as to where to stand. (As a note though, if you’re into being two feet away from the stage or getting on TV, you do need to get there at like 5 am.) Obviously, I didn’t care about either of those things – I just wanted to see a little John before heading to the office.

Members of his band tuned up and warmed up a little, then John did the same. Although the website says the concert starts at 7, it’s a total lie. He didn’t actually perform until about 8:15, maybe even a little later. That being said, it’s not necessary to get to the park until 7:30 to 8 am.

Enough about the logistics though – John Mayer was amazing. I’ve never thought he’s particularly good looking when I see pictures of him in magazines, but he is completely adorable in real life. He’s fun to watch and more importantly, his voice is beautiful live. Because so many performers today sound like crap live, he was a breath of fresh air.

But the real surprise was that John was not the only performer; Eric Clapton was a surprise guest. I grew up listening to Clapton, so this was an unbelievable experience for me. It was funny to hear the comments of people standing around me – I heard at least a half a dozen people say, “Wow, I think I’m more excited to see Eric Clapton now!” I personally love when an older and younger generation performer get together and jam out. They only did one song together, “Crossroads,” but I feel so lucky to have witnessed it.

I would go back to see a concert in Bryant Park in a second. The atmosphere is awesome – you’ve got the tourists with their signs up front, making all the noise and drawing the rest of the crowd and the performer into the show. Then you’ve got the people hanging back (like me) just catching some songs before work. There’s even tables and chairs along the outskirts of the park which still provide a great view of the stage. All in all, it was an amazing experience that a lot of people in New York City forget they have access to.

And on the 8th day, God created the ipod

Posted by cher on July 17th, 2007

Seriously, what did we do before ipods? We endured the sounds of the outdoors, we unwillingly listened to people’s conversations..

life was pure chaos!!

Ok, I’ll cease with the sarcasm. I’m just amazed at the number of people walking around the city with tiny white plugs in their ears. (And yes, I’ll tell you right now that I am one of them.) To see us lined up in a subway car is almost amusing; it’s like we’re robots with white wires coming out of heads with some ending in our hands, some disappearing into our pockets.

The ipod has provided a distraction from our surroundings. I’ll never forget the first time I rode the subway with my ipod. My old one had died after a couple years (don’t get me started on Apple’s bugs) and I received a new Nano for my birthday. This was at the end of my stint in Queens and I can say with quite assurance that there is no train more entertaining than the 7 train. (Although, it’s not always wanted entertainment.) Anyways, my first morning with the ipod, a woman pushed through the door between the moving cars. In my experience, you should be wary of people that travel through the cars. They’re usually selling something, asking for something, or about to break into song and dance. This woman was slightly different; she proceeded to take out her bible and read. And read and read and read. At the top of her lungs. With extreme gusto, may I add. From 90th street in Jackson Heights to Grand Central, she read the bible. I rolled my eyes (beneath my giant sunglasses, of course) and cranked the volume on my ipod to the highest level. I looked around with sympathy at my ipod-less commuters and smiled knowingly at my white-plug-wearing friends.

The ipod has become my shield from unwanted noise and my deflector from unwanted communication. I no longer have to listen to children crying or people talking in different languages at ridiculously high volumes. I ignore the people asking me for money ’cause, hey, I can’t hear them, right? My ipod has made me one of many people trying to disappear even more into a city of millions. My ipod is not just for entertainment purposes; it says, “don’t bother me.” I become almost indignant when someone talks to me while I’m wearing my ipod. And I say “wearing” because sometimes, when my battery dies, I still keep it in my ears. Like an accessory that is able to save me from the outside world.

Of course, I’m not a completely horrible person. Today, I even took one earpiece out (!) to give a man directions.

I still do a double take when I see people carrying around disc-men (is that what they’re even called? It’s been so long since I used one that I can’t remember) with giant headphones. It’s such a flashback when the old school electronics pop up every now and then. One day on the subway I watched over a man’s shoulder as he played tetris on his Gameboy. Yes, the original Gameboy. In black and white. I mean, God created that way back on like, the fifth day.