Tag Archives: Manhattan

Photoville Excursion

After being out until 5am for my friends’ birthday, I slept in a bit and took the morning slow. Eventually, I got my shit together, got showered and dressed, hopped on my bike and rode through Prospect Park to Brooklyn Bread Cafe for a late breakfast.

IMG_7453Photoville underneath the Brooklyn Bridge

After fueling up, I rode through Carroll Gardens to Brooklyn Bridge Park, eventually making my way to Photoville. P-ville is a “free” (they want you to donate $5) photography exhibition that takes place right under the Brooklyn Bridge. Each photographer has their own shipping container dedicated as a mini art gallery highlighting their work.

Each of the containers had their own interior design themes depending on the work that was being exhibited. Most of the work seemed to be centered around social justice issues or certain world issues that they’d covered. However, there was also fine art and experimental photography. In total it probably took me two or more hours to see it all.

IMG_7455Legend Car Company – CPO classic cars

After that I started to make my way out of Brooklyn Bridge Park so I could start heading into Manhattan to continue my journey. However, along the way, while walking my bike down the sidewalk in DUMBO, I came across Legend Car Company.

LCC is a high end used car dealership/gallery selling marks like Porsche and Ferrari. The showroom was filled with stunning old 911s, a Ferrari 328, and even an NSX (the one I’d buy if I could). After ogling them through the glass -I didn’t want to lock my bike and go in- I made my way to the Manhattan Bridge.

Though I typically do not like this bridge to ride over, it’s less crowded than the Brooklyn, smoother than the BK and was gonna take me very close to my next destination in Manhattan. After getting on the street level, it took me a little while before I figured out where I needed to go, but eventually I course corrected and got to the spot.

The place in question was the Metrograph theatre. I had just read about it in Time Out (that’s also where I heard about Photoville), and knew that they were screening Alien, one of my favorite movies. I wasn’t planning on seeing it, nor did I end up doing so, however, I wanted to check it out because the theatre itself, upon doing a quick Google search, seemed pretty cool.

It is essentially a less commercial Alamo Drafthouse or a more chic Nighthawk Cinema. It seems like it would be a great place to take a date, if only I could get one. Despite it’s dingy Chinatown/Lower East Side location, it’s a pretty classy old speakeasy style establishment.

It almost feels like a boutique hotel. There is a restaurant/bar so you can easily do dinner and a movie. It seemingly does not play current movies, but rather classic film prints, hence Alien.

After checking it out for a bit, I made my way to Soho to the Apple Store. Being that the iPhone 8 just came out yesterday, I wanted to see what the fuss was about. The last time I was in NY for an iPhone drop, it was the summer after I graduated college. I was visiting my friend Katie, Steve Jobs had just passed away and the 4S had just come out. Weird. 

As expected, the 8 was essentially just an evolution of the 6 and 7, apart from the glass back and the added weight, which does make it feel higher quality. However, the overall design does not seem very dissimilar. Looking at the three of them in the store, I almost couldn’t tell them apart.

After screwing around in the store for a bit, I went back out, unlocked my bike and made my way home. This time I took the Williamsburg Bridge, easily my favorite one to bike over.

 

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Catching Up

Hey y’all, I writing to catch you up as to what I’ve been up to so far. As I mentioned in my previous post, a little over a month ago I moved back to New York. I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of things and hanging out with a lot of people and taking a lot of pictures, and yet, I’ve posted none of it.

I think because I’m now on a computer all day at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home is drain my eyes with more computer time. Not to say I haven’t been spending my fair share of free time on the computer, but, now that weather is consistently nice, I’ve been trying to take advantage of it.

What I have been doing, in lieu of writing digitally is to keep a physical, tangible journal. Ever since coming back from Japan, where I was writing what I did every day, it was a tough habit to break. I’m glad though because it lets me know what I did each day and, I feel keeps me productive.

Not everything I do every day or every weekend is interesting, but as I means of trying to trim the fat, I’m going to pull a few highlights from the last few weeks and make a digital copy of them here on HWS. I’m sure you’re waiting with baited breath. As usual, this is more for me than it is for you.

4/30/17 (Sun) test rode a bike at Van Moof

5/2/17 (Tue) dinner at Momofuku Noodles – pork buns and chocolate malted truffles

5/4/17 (Thurs) dinner at Black Flamingo

IMG_6973Discension art installation 5/6

5/5/17 (Fri) Alligator Lounge for karaoke

5/6/17 (Sat) New York Bike Expo + Discension art installation + housewarming party at co-workers apartment

5/10/17 (Wed) dinner with Jon Papp

IMG_6987Home Sweet Home 5/12

5/12/17 (Fri) New York Night Train at Home Sweet Home with co-worker

5/15/17 (Mon) dinner with Katie at Korean Place

5/17/17 (Wed) chilled with Guto, got drinks at Nostrand Pub, dollar pizza, went back to his apt, chilled on his roof

IMG_6997My studio as I moved in/organized my stuff 5/24

5/19/17 (Fri) Alien Covenant with Papp, chased the movie with drinks at Videology, went to Rebecca’s (bar) where we met up with Katie and Brandon, macked on some biddies

5/20/17 (Sat) IKEA adventure during the day, stoop life at night

5/21/17 (Sun) moved into apartment, went to Smorgasburg with co-workers

IMG_7019Hovercraft and other rich people toys at Hammacher Schlemmer 6/3

5/24/17 (Wed) movers came and I spent all day getting the apartment organized

5/27/17 (Sat) hair cut, biked through Prospect Park, chilled at Sam Cooper’s

5/28/17 (Sun) biked to Coney Island

IMG_7046Looking back on Manhattan from the Williamsburg Bridge 6/8

5/30/17 (Tue) got Brooklyn Library card

5/31/17 (Wed) chilled with Steve at my apt

6/2/17 (Fri) Mom came to visit, went to Eataly, found $5 on the sidewalk

IMG_8022Berry Park with co-workers on 6/9

6/3/17 (Sat) Brooklyn Bread Cafe, went to Ed Sullivan Theatre, Hammacher Schlemmer, CB2, Bellstaff, cut through Central Park, Zabars, walked to The MET (opera), dinner at Liz and Tim’s apartment

6/6/17 (Tue) got Manhattan Library card

6/8/17 (Thurs) biked to work, raced co-worker to Union Sq (her on foot + train, me on bike) from Queens and I won, watched movie for World Ocean day, got lost biking home and ended up at Katie/Dilila’s apt and chilled for a bit before heading home

IMG_7066Westfield World Trade Center mall on 6/10

6/9/17 (Fri) went to Berry Park (rooftop bar) with co-workers after work, went to the Alamo Drafthouse to see It Comes at Night

6/10/17 (Sat) biked across the Brooklyn Bridge to Fulton Center, went to the Westfield World Trade Center (mall), biked to the Fulton Market and saw Seaport Summer setup, checked out the 1 Hotel, 5-hour outing

From now on, anything that’s remotely interesting that I took pictures during but didn’t post to Instagram is going on here.

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Fina-fucking-ly Pt.2

Let me start by saying that it could be better. Let me add that this was edited in iMovie. iMovie was never good, but ever since they came out with the latest version I feel they made it more difficult to use. Excuses aside, here for your viewing pleasure is “Shattered.”

Before you ask, no this does not take place in 1978; I would have been negative 11 years old. I just added that because that was when “Shattered” was released by The Rolling Stones, thus that’s when I envisioned this taking place.

This is a super rough idea of a concept I’ve had in mind for a really long time for a “music video” for the song. Unfortunatly, I am sometimes more concerned with getting things done than I am with quality, hence why I didn’t wait until spring/summer to shoot this. Also, I wanted this as test footage to make sure the camera actually worked/works. That’s also the reason I didn’t buy more than one roll of film.

Next, realize that I was editing only about 3 and a half minutes of footage. Anyone who’s edited before knows that more footage is better because it gives you a larger variety of coverage to work with. That is why some shots repeat and why I had to cut the song short (and there’s still a ton of blank space at the end). If I do ever decide to make this for real, I’ll actually storyboard and stuff like that.

PS I was able to fix the contrast in the post prod.

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Fina-fucking-ly

It took 4 years but I finally got my 8mm film digitized! The footage was shot in lower Manhattan in 2012. I was visiting my friends in Brooklyn and brought the Bell & Howell super 8 camera my grandpa had just given to me. My friend Tom and I had gone to B&H Photo Video to pick up some Kodak 8mm black and white film.

The main reason it took so long for me to get it digitized is because film is expensive. The 8mm film cost ~$15, it cost $24 to get it developed and then it cost another $125 to get it transferred to digital. That last part was the killer. The film sat in my desk drawer literally taunting me for years. After getting this job, I finally had enough disposable income to spend on getting it digitized.

Tom shot most of the footage with me shooting a few things myself. Note: 1) there is no sound, do not attempt to raise the volume, there is nothing to hear. 2) this is merely “raw” footage, it is unedited and has no meaning or order to it. 3) I don’t know why the frame rate seems to be off. 4) I don’t know why a lot of it looks “blown out.” Perhaps I can “fix it in post.”

Lastly, keep your eyes peeled as I am in the process of editing the footage and syncing it to music so that I can post something that may be somewhat interesting to watch.

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Belated Birthday

So if you didn’t know or figure out by the previous post, June 4th was my birthday. A month ago, on May the 4th be with you, I sent out a mass e-mail to about 30 of my friends, inviting them to come to a birthday celebration on Saturday the 6th (yesterday). Since last year was such a bust, I wanted to try and rectify it by giving people way more than enough notice to clear their schedule and to be able to attend.

However, as the date approached I was getting more and more “No’s.” I was beginning to re-think my decision and was almost going to cancel since I didn’t think that pretty much anyone would come. But, I figured it’s a Saturday night, regardless of my birthday I should probably go out and have fun.

I had planned an epic six bar bar-crawl including: Culture Club, 230 Fifth, the 40/40 Club, Bowery Electric, The Back Room and The Alligator Lounge. I had no allusions about how unrealistic it was but I figured, shoot for the moon, maybe reach a painting to the moon perched slightly out of my reach. (<–a failed attempt at humor).

So, as we reached the hour of departure I had six people that were maybe going to meet up at the first spot, Culture Club. Luckily, a few days ago, a friend -Nina- of the girls at whose apartment I am staying came by to crash for a bit. So, at around 8:30pm Nina and I left their apartment and made our way to CC. I was glad that if no one else showed up I’d at least have one person to hang out with. Granted a person I barely knew, but still I’ll take what I can get.

We arrived at Culture Club a little after 9pm only to find that it was apparently closed… forever! I texted the people who were potentially coming to let them know Nina and I were going to instead start off at 230 Fifth. In response two gal friends decided they weren’t going to come; one because of work getting out late and the other because of a lack of money. Another said he was at a different bar trying to “close” with a girl so he was as good as a “no.” Another said she would be on her way soon and the last said she’d come after she ate.

Off to a great start, Nina and I made our way down 5th to 230. There was a pretty long line to get in but it moved really fast. Once inside, we took the elevator to the bar on the 20th floor. The place was really posh. Not the type of spot I would usually find myself in. It’s where the “beautiful people” go to verbally masturbate with one another. There were a bunch of “bros” and business men and woman; “young professionals.”

By contrast, there were also a good amount of tourists, you could tell by their accent. Clearly these people had googled “roof top bar new york” and clicked the first result. I can’t hate though, that’s exactly what I did. It is undeniably a tourist attraction. No self respecting New Yorker would actually ever go there. But I am not a self respecting New Yorker, I’m basically a tourist myself and I wanted to go to a spot where I could drink a beer on a roof and look out at the city, and that is exactly what I got. Plus the weather was beautiful so I really couldn’t complain.

After grabbing drinks (I got this grapefruit beer that was really tasty) and heading to the roof, Nina and I chatted for a bit until we got a text from our friend Hannah, one of the girls whose apartment I’m staying at. She was getting in line so we made our way back down to the club area to meet her at the elevators. After we met up and she got her drink, we went back up to the roof. A random bro was kind enough to take our picture. This was the crew for the rest of the night.

230FifthNina, myself and Hannah on the rooftop bar at 230 Fifth

Despite the fact that the place was packed, we found a place to sit. I grabbed a second drink and we planned out the rest of the night. I said that though I did sort of want to check out the 40/40 Club for the novelty of it, I was willing to forgo it. As it is we felt out of place there and felt that 40/40 would have just been more of the same. I was also fine with passing on Bowery Electric as we had already been there.

The only two other places on the list were the Back Room and The Alligator Lounge. Since I go to the Alligator every other Friday for karaoke we decided to skip it. Thus, the next spot we went to was the Back Room. I was totally cool with this as I’d been wanting to check it out ever since getting to NY and the girls liked the fact that it was a speakeasy. Also, it was featured in the FOMO episode of Broad City.

After a bit of a screw up with the train, because the F wasn’t running, we ended up taking the Q to Canal St. It meant we had a bit more of a walk, but again, the weather was great and we were in no rush. We eventually made our way to The Back Room.

I was a little disappointed by the fact that there was a bouncer at the sidewalk entrance because it sort of ruined the mystique. After getting your ID checked, you then walk down these stairs that lead to an ally that leads to an opening and another set of stairs with a door at the top that leads into The Back Room.

TheBackRookOverall idea of the look and feel of The Back Room from the “second” level.

TBR is not only a speakeasy themed bar but it also actually used to be a speakeasy, which to me makes it a little cooler. Just as was the case at 230 Fifth, no self respecting New Yorker would actually ever go there, it is purely for the novelty. However, it was still pretty rad. The cocktails are served in tea cups as to not arouse the suspicion of any undercover cops and the beer is served in a coffee mug. If you get a bottle it is served in a brown paper bag.

After standing by the DJ booth for a bit, we sniped an opening at the couch across the room. We sat and chatted for a bit and just enjoyed the atmosphere. We decided after finishing our one drink each to grab a 99 cent slice of pizza before making our way back to Brooklyn. However I didn’t let us leave without getting another group photo.

TheBackRoom2I look super drunk in this pic, however, I assure you I was squinting because of the super bright flash on my phone. Additionally, I insisted we take in pic in front of the painting of the naked lady. It reminded me of the first room from the Haunted Mansion.

Upon leaving I expertly navigated us to a nearby cheap pizza joint. I had been there before with another group of friends but was amazed that I remembered where it was/how to get there since a) that was a month or two ago and b) I was not leading the group that night.

After grabbing a quick slice we made our way back out to Delancey where Hannah hailed us a cab. I would have been fine with taking the train because I’m cheap, but she paid for it so I don’t really care. Although I do sort of feel obligated to chip in so that might have to happen, oh well.

So what have I learned from all this? Basically something I should have known from the beginning but failed to listen to myself yet again which is this: don’t plan parties for yourself! Don’t plan any events of any kind ever because no one is ever able to come to your events. This is not a “Oh, feel bad for me” statement, it is simply the truth. I have had plenty of lessons in this and have not learned from any of them.

Perhaps now I finally will. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun night and I’m glad it happened. I’m not mad at any of my friends who weren’t able to show up. I’m also genuinely not upset or bitter about this. I just need to give up trying because these things just never work out for me; FACT.

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Shopping Adventure

Over the week I had been accumulating a list of places I wanted to check out. So yesterday I went on a bike ride that would take me to all of the spots I wanted to go.

Alfa2000Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV

The first place on my list was a vintage store I had been in a few months ago called Eclectic Collectibles and Antiques. There are always classic cars parked out in front of the store but while on my bike ride with Tim last Sunday I noticed a new addition. The car in question was an Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV.

I walked into the store with a list of questions; does it run, what year is it, how much is it going for? The second I finished saying ‘Alfa Romeo’ the clerk said, “It’s not for sale.” Apparently I was the 20th person to have asked him about it that day. Apparently they are a prop shop and so they would rent this car to say a movie production or something, but he’s not about to sell it. With the wind out of my sails, I made my way to my next destination.

RoughTradeRough Trade

Next on my list was a record store in Williamsburg called Rough Trade. Based in, essentially a warehouse, RT is a record store that also sells books. It is the closest thing I’ve found to an Amoeba Music or a Newbury Comics. The reason I was there was because they were one of the retail locations mentioned on the Gestalten website and so I wanted to try and find the travel guide mentioned in the previous post.

Though I didn’t find the travel guides, I did find that the entire back wall was dedicated to Gestalten books. Two that jumped out at me were Urban Theater and Container Atlas. Urban Theater featured really cool street art/performance art. Container Atlas was topical because I had recently been talking with my fellow instructor about how cool it would be to convert a shipping container (or containers) into living quarters.

I looked through the books and then just wandered through the store. It has a really cool set up. Coincidentally, sections of the upper level are made out of shipping containers. The place has a rad industrial vibe to it. Apparently in the back there is a music venue. There was an area for table tennis and downstairs there was a little coffee shop and couches to read and relax. It was a really rad spot.

One of the first things that was very on-the-nose and to be expected of a “hip” place such as this was that they were playing really weird music. It felt like a rave infused with DJ elements and disco. However eventually it got to a song that I quasi-recognized. It had elements of Superstition by Stevie Wonder. Sure enough it eventually got to the vocals and it was in fact some weird remix of Superstition. I went down to the counter to ask who it was and the woman told me it was Todd Terje. I don’t know if his stuff was what had been playing when I got into the store but either way, the remix was dope.

Sidenote: upon listening to more of his stuff on Spotify, I really like it.

t15s108010_nvy_1Polka dot shirt from The Hundreds

Moving on, I made my way out of Brooklyn and across the Williamsburg Bridge into Manhattan. I was bound for The Hundreds, a spot with which I am very familiar. This time however, I had a specific item in mind. They had just come out with a collection of polka dot button ups and I wanted to try one on and potentially buy it.

Upon entering the store I saw that they only had one, the black on black and it was a medium. I tried it on anyway, and, as expected, it was too big. The guy said there’d be more in a week or two, but a) I don’t really need it, b) it’s kind of expensive, and c) I feel like even the small will be too big. I would need an extra small and they don’t make them in that size.

nyc_shop-514c491184d78Monocle shop

Next I made my way west to hit up Monocle, a tiny boutique shop in Greenwich Village. One can literally walk in, spin around and see the entire store. I was in search of the travel guides I had not been able to find at Rough Trade and the magazine which I actually had found.

I found the books I was looking for and started thumbing through them. I was expecting something coffee table sized but instead found them to be quite small. I guess I should have expected them to be small as they are travel guides and one does not want to carry something large with them on vacation, but still, I was a bit disappointed. As is the case with many things I go out to buy, once I had it in front of me, I no longer want to spend the money and thus came away from my shopping adventure empty handed.

SkylineFromRoofSunset view of the Manhattan skyline from the roof of Guto’s apartment

I checked my phone and found that it was 4pm. As luck would have it, the day before I had been invited to a BBQ at my friend Guto’s place. He said to be there between 4pm and 5pm, so I began making my way back to Brooklyn. I ended up taking a route I don’t usually go but thanks to my impeccable sense of direction, ended up on a street that I knew would eventually intersect with the one I needed.

I arrived at his apartment and started to call Guto so he would come down and let me in. As I did, I noticed someone familiar making their way down the street. At first I wasn’t sure it was who I thought it was, but as he got closer I knew. Sure enough it was our mutual friend Jon Papp. It was so strange that without even planning it, Papp and I showed up at basically the same time. Eventually Guto let us in. I brought my bike inside and we all made our way onto the roof where others were there to greet us.

Guto cooked burgers and hot dogs and bacon periodically throughout the night. Later they even brought out a fire pit which was nice. There was a lot of fun conversation and I ended up staying until around 11:30pm. It was great to see everyone and it turned out to be a really fun night.

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Catching Up

So I feel like I have sort of been doing a bunch of stuff and I haven’t written about any of it. The other side of it is that I don’t really even have the interest to write about all of it, or at least not in detail. So, I guess I’m just gonna post pics and maybe give brief descriptions.

DJ-ing at The Delancey – April 14

DJing

Here is a pic my friend Elle took the other night that I DJ-ed. It ended up being pretty lame. Of the 30 people I invited, only three showed up. It really shows you who your friends are. Now some people were like, “Yeah, but did you have fun?” and I sort of did, but what’s the point of DJ-ing if no one is there to dance. It sort of defeats the purpose; I might as well be listening to a playlist I made and dance by myself.

The best however was when the carry over’s from the previous band got to dancing to my music. It was vindicating to see that they liked the choices I was making. That is the gratifying part of DJ-ing or performing in any sort of venue, seeing people react to what you are doing, otherwise, why else do it? (Apart from, because you love it).

Adidas Superstar x Pharrell Williams – April 20

AdidasSuperstar

I went out to see if either of the Adidas Stores had the Pharrell Williams colors pack. To my pleasant surprise, they did, however, they didn’t have the color I wanted -red- in the size I wear. It was probably for the best as I shouldn’t be making frivolous charges and regardless it was still cool to see them in person.

Velodrome – April 21

QueensVelodrome

After finally going home to get my bike I was able to do what I’d wanted to do for a long time. I took the train to Queens and biked to the velodrome. I had always wanted to ride on one and now I was finally getting my chance. To be honest it was sort of a let down. Because it was outdoors it was not a wooden track and because it was paved, there were a bunch of cracks. Additionally, because it was outdoors, you still had to fight the wind. However, I was impressed at the banking. It doesn’t look it but it was steeper than I thought, which was great.

Redbird – April 23

RedbirdTrain

While I was home getting my bike, I fulfilled a craving I had been having to watch the first Toby McGuire Spider-Man. While watching it, I noticed an elevated subway train running in the background and the train was red. (I had noticed red subway trains in Die Hard With a Vengeance too). After a bit of research I found that Redbird trains used to run on some the subway line until 2003 when they were discontinued.

I also found that there was one on display out front of Queens Boro Hall. So, I took an excursion to check it out. It was cool to see one in person and there is even like this little gift shop thing inside. However, it is only open 10am – 2pm and I had gotten there at like 2:30pm or 3pm.

Bike Expo – May 1

KryptoniteLock

The free Bike Expo New York took place this past Friday and Saturday at Basketball City. It was a pretty basic expo, nothing too special to write about in terms of the exhibitors that were there. However, there was one thing cool that happened. During the Kryptonite presentation they asked for volunteers to see who could lock a bike faster. The winner would take home a new Fahgettaboudit lock. I had been wanting one but didn’t want to spend the $90 some odd dollars to get one. I was determined to win, and to my pleasant surprise, I did! Thank you Kryptonite for the free lock.

Also, that night I met up with friends and we went out to Shakin’ All Over, the dance night at Home Sweet Home. I’d been there once before by myself but it was cool to go with friends. Before they showed up I danced with this one girl who kept taking the lead and swinging me around. I couldn’t tell if she was purposely trying to be off-putting so that I would leave her alone, or if she just does that. However, I eventually backed off because I was very confused by the whole situation.

After dancing with my friends for a bit we made our way to a 99 cent pizza joint. After a couple of slices we went to another bar where we just chilled until they closed before walking to our trains and going our separate ways. I didn’t get back until 5:30am and the sun was just about to come up. Pretty solid day.

Guggenheim Museum – May 2

GuggenheimMuseum

I went to the Guggenheim Museum for the first time the other day. I had been wanting to go for a while but was always too cheap to pay to get in. Then however, I found out that on Saturday nights (and I think Friday too) they host “pay what you want” after 5:45pm.

I got to the Gugg at 4:30pm and I was at the end of the block. Apparently however, the line went all the way down the block and around the back. When we were let in I ended up only paying $1 which was great. The featured exhibit was On Kawara – Silence. He was either a genius or a crazy person.

One section had hundreds, maybe thousands of postcards that were sent 1, day after day, to different people that said “Today I woke up at (insert time here) .” and that was it, no other message. He also did something similar with telegrams except the message was “I am still alive.” He kept albums fill with pages, each page was a day, and on each page he typed the names of the people he met that day. It was really bizarre but really eerie and cool.

Staten Island/5 Boro Bike Tour – May 3

StatenIslandFerry

Sunday was the 5 Boro Bike tour, a 40 mile tour of New York free of cars. I wanted to join but a) I didn’t want to pay and b) the registration had closed by the time I knew about it. Regardless, I wanted to go on a ride that day so I took the free ferry to Staten Island and went on a little ride. I had ridden to SI once before (a few weeks ago) just to say I’d been there but I wanted to explore more  and the best way to do that is by bike.

I didn’t go very far south because I didn’t really know where I was going. I thought there would be a ring road that would go around the perimeter, but there wasn’t. I ended up just going in this weird loop which took a few hours before hoping the ferry back to Manhattan. It was packed with cyclist who were finishing up the 5 Boro. Once on the other side I booked it back to the apartment before passing out.

There are several other things that I should have mentioned but I’m past them at this point. I guess none of these were really “big” events and thus I didn’t feel the need to make dedicated posts. Typically when I do adventures, I have a post in mind. Lately I’ve just been doing stuff sans posting. I hope I am not phasing out HWS but I think I just havn’t been going on excursions worthy of note. Maybe I’m just lazy.

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DJ Blank Space | Tues April 14th | The Delancey | Free

On Tuesday April 14th I will be DJ-ing at The Delancey at 11pm. Come early. Bring friends. Drink a lot. Dance. Have fun.

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Who: DJ Blank Space

Where: The Delancey; 168 Delancey Street, New York, NY

When: Tuesday, April 14th @ 11:00pm

Price: FREE

What: The Music In My Head is a dance night starting with 50s/60s rock and soul music, progressing through the 70s/80s and ending with the dance and electronic hits of today.

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Happy Accidents

I initially went into yesterday with a vague plan for what things I wanted to do. However, the more I strayed from it and just followed my eyes, the more fun my day was.

FultonCenterFulton Center

I started off by taking to the train to Fulton Street. Though I had gone there before, I’d never taken the time to appreciate the station from across the street; it’s modern and clean lines. I then decided, rather than to continue on my way to the same areas I always go, to explore the financial district.

There is nothing inherently cool about the financial district. Apart from the fame of Wall Street, what it is and what it represents, there is basically not very many reasons a tourist would go there. It is where New York conducts its business. However, I decided to explore. I made my way down Fulton Street and took a right onto Williams. It lead me to this dense area with all these nooks and crannies that were packed with these really cool looking bars.

CheckerTaxiChecker Taxi

Then, like a dog spotting a squirrel in his peripheral vision, I saw a rare sight off in the distance. A Checker Cab, the epitome of a New York Taxi, was taking a right turn a block or two away. Trying to predict his next move, I thought I would cut him off at the pass and thus I too took my next right. However, making my way up whatever street it was, there was no sight of him.

Then, after all hope had been lost, he popped out and was making his way across my field of vision. I was able to get off the shot seen above. If I’d been a little more confident in my guess of what street he was gonna take, I would have hustled a bit more to the intersection and had my camera ready. Maybe I would have even tried to flag him down like I was a fair just to stop him for a photo and to maybe ask him some questions. Oh, well.

StatenIslandFerry_EntranceStaten Island Ferry entrance  

Though this side-excursion had taken me off the course I was originally on, it lead me to another unexpected find, the entrance to the Staten Island Ferry. Again this is not something inherently exciting; I probably will never need to take it. However, I had seen it before on Girls (HBO) and now I was seeing it in person.

PearlStreetFinancialDistrictPearl Street; the building with the yellow dots on it is what initially drew me to this area.

After a few pictures I made my way around an area I’d been to before (where the helicopter tours take off), before heading back to more of what I really wanted to see. I went back to Pearl Street and explored the area between that and South Williams Street. Again this was the area with the cool little bars. It was so compact and the roads were cobblestone, it reminded me of the North End in Boston.

NYSENew York Stock Exchange

I then continued to make my way around the Financial District eventually running into the New York Stock Exchange building. I continued out to Broadway where I accidentally found the famed Charging Bull statue. If I’d been looking for it, it would have taken me twice as long to find. This wandering thing really seems to work in my favor. It seems the less I try, the less effort I put in, the less planning I do, the more I get out my day.

Thus, I continued to let curiosity be my guide as I made my way to a pedestrian bridge that led from Greenwich Street to Washington Street, passing over the entrance to the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel (the tunnel apparently pops out in Red Hook Brooklyn). I did a bit of wandering around that area before making my way up Broadway. The end goal I was aiming for was One World Trade Center, ie. The Freedom Tower.

As I made my way North however, I began to recognize where I was. Approaching the Wall Street station, I had a sudden flashback to 2011, my first NY Adventure on my own. I had met up with my friend Katie and for whatever reason the train we needed to take wasn’t running and thus we ended up at Wall Street.

While trying to find our way back to where we wanted to be, I snapped this picture before continuing up Broadway and happening upon the “Occupy” movement. Ever since getting here at the beginning of the year I had been trying to remember where that building -the Equitable Building- was and now suddenly, it was right in front of me. Again, my lack of having a plan had benefitted me.

Moving on, I made my way to The Freedom Tower. It was not due to an interest in visiting Ground Zero, but merely because I wanted to see the building up close. After a quick picture I continued north on West Street towards a bridge that crossed over it. I specifically crossed to the other side of the street just so that I could cross back using the bridge. Before I did however, I snapped the following photo of said bridge with the Freedom Tower in the background.

BridgeAndFreedomTowerBridge over West Street and One World Trade Center aka Freedom Tower

After taking the picture I made my way across the bridge. Once on the other side I took a quick stroll through Washington Market Park before making my way up Greenwich Street. I walked through Tribeca and crossed over to Hudson Street and passed the traffic entering the Holland Tunnel. Shortly after this I realized I was right across the street from Classic Car Club. I walked in and admired the collection for a bit before continuing on my excursion.

A sign (literal, not figurative) on Spring Street invited me back to Greenwich Street. I recognized it from when Pete and I came to the city for the Justice concert. As I made my way north on Greenwich, I recognized where I was. Once again I had found a place I was trying to find without going out of my way to find it. It was as if it came to me. The place is of no real consequence, just a location where pete had taken a picture of an old GTO, but still, I was glad to have found it.

GayStreetNuff said

Continuing up Greenwich Street I eventually found myself in a quaint and quiet area of the city. It felt upscale and more neighborhood-ey than the rest of Manhattan. I soon realized I was in The West Village. I can see why it gets so much love, it’s really nice. As I made my way East towards 6th Ave, I ran into yet another things I was subconsciously looking for… Gay Street. I knew it existed but never looked it up or actively sought it out. This was just one more example of unplanned happiness.

Eventually I made my way to 6th and to my destination, Murray’s Bagels. I had passed it the other day and was planning on saving it for when my fam comes to visit, but after seeing Steve’s bagel sandwich earlier in the morning I was in a bagel sandwich mood. I was hungry and I knew it was in the area so I went. The one I got was really good and fueled me up for the last part of my excursion.

For the last leg, I made my way over to 1st Ave. Along the way I passed Union Square to find they were filming something for a feature, that was pretty cool. While walking down 1st I realized I wanted to be one block over on Avenue A. The change allowed me to pass Sidewalk bar (yet another happenstance). I had heard about it and keep meaning to go to their Monday night open mic but have yet to do so. At least now I know where it is.

Continuing down Avenue A I eventually made my way to Houston, the cross street that divides A from Essex Street. Continuing on Essex I got to my second to last destination, Beauty and Essex. I had heard about B&E thanks to my sister who had sent me a Buzzfeed list a couple of years ago about “secret storefronts” in NY. This one is a pawn shop that doubles as a speakeasy. I quickly checked out the pawn shop (I wasn’t in the mood to go to the speakeasy, plus it was too early in the evening, plus I’d want to check it out with friends) before continuing to my last stop.

I continued down Essex and walked to nearby Norfolk Street. Right near the end, before you hit Delancey, is a downstairs entrance to the “Lower East Side Toy Company.” This is actually just another speakeasy from the aforementioned list. Again, I didn’t go in (again, I want to check it out with friends) I just wanted to finally see where it was. After a long day and a lot of walking, I hopped on the train and headed back to the apartment.

In total I estimate I walked anywhere from 6 and 10 miles. If I had to take away anything from my yesterday, it is to plan less. (You have to have a bit of a plan because without one you wander around aimlessly). Maybe have a rough idea of what you want to do, but don’t necessarily plan every detail. The fun and pleasure you gain is gained from the adventure and happy accidents you make.

Later in the evening I met up with Greg and some other FSU alum at Bizarre Bar in Bushwick for some drinks and dancing.

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Led Zeppelin Excursion

I started my Monday by taking the 4 train to Borough Hall and walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. This is a touristy thing that I’ve wanted to do for a while. Apart from the wind, it was a really nice experience. Great views of the city, the Manhattan Bridge, and a little bit of the Statue of Liberty. The only thing that would have been better is if there were fewer pedestrians. I guess the pedestrians weren’t the problem, it was more that they were all stupid. Not paying attention to the traffic and stopping for pictures in the most inconvenient places.

BrooklynBridgeInstagramBrooklyn Bridge

The first thing I did after getting into Manhattan was to make my way back to The Magic Shop. This time however, I rang the doorbell. A few seconds later, the door was answered by a young guy in a hat and a button up shirt. I told him I had heard about the studio from Sonic Highways and was wondering if I could have a tour. He told me that they were in the middle of a recording session but that I should come back in a week and a half to two weeks. I was glad to have at least made contact and will indeed try to make my way back there.

BrooklynBridge2

Next I stumbled my way up and down and back and forth through Soho in search of the Adidas Originals store. Though I’ve been there several times before, I had some trouble finding it. I was in search a particular pair of shell toes but it was immediately apparent that they didn’t have them, so instead I used the store to collect my thoughts and temporarily escape the cold.

I then made my way to McSorley’s  for a beer and some food. While there, I asked if there were any job opportunities. I was told that there weren’t any but that I should try The 13th Step, a bar nearby and Swift another nearby bar. Before I left I was told instead to just try Swift as a) they knew the bartender over there and b) because The 13th Step is more of a “college bar.” (Their words, not mine).

PhysicalGraffiti_96-98StMarksSt96 and 98 St Marks Place aka Physical Graffiti album cover

After stopping in at Swift and leaving my business card, I made my way over to 96 and 98 St Marks Place to continue my media inspired excursion. This time, the location in question was a pair of apartment buildings which were used as the cover for the 1975 Led Zeppelin album Physical GraffitiThe cool thing was that the area clearly recognizes and has capitalized on this fact as there is a restaurant called Physical Graffitea located next door.

As I was about to leave the area I got a text from Tom telling me that there was a half-off sale at a nearby Army Navy store. Why was this relevant? Well, the night before we had been talking about pea coats and he had mentioned that a good place to look for them would be an Army Navy store. As fate would have it, the one he was telling me about, Uncle Sam’s Army Navy store, was on the same street I was already on, just a few blocks back in the other direction.

Upon my arrival at the AN store I was immediately helped with what I was looking for. I found a pea coat that fit me well, and at $125, it was very reasonably priced. However, I left empty handed as there are other, more important things in line in front of it that I should be concerned with buying.

After a random, useless quick-trip to Central Park I made my way back to the apartment.

—Later that night

I had made plans with my friend Brandon to meet at a bar after he got out of work. So at around 10:34, I took the B46 (bus) over to Williamsburg. The place we went to was called Jackbar. It was a rad little dive populated by pinball machines.

Jackbar_PinballMachinesPinball machines at Jackbar

Brandon is friends with the bartender, Kirby, and so the three of us just chatted and drank and played pinball all night. I chilled with him until around 1:30 or 2 after which time I walked to the L and eventually made the appropriate connections to get me back to Crown Heights by around 3-ish. It ended up being a really cool day.

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