What's the deal with hipsters?
For quite some time now, I've been incredibly intrigued and annoyed by a certain group of people who reside in our fair city. Up until recently, I wasn't aware that this group had an "official" title. Fortunately, a recent blog by Glenda not only firmed up a label for said group, but made me realize that I'm not the only one intersted in this fascinating new breed of young adults. These people are Hipsters. The New York City Anti-Hipster Forum really gives a clear cut definition of what a Hipster IS. Just so we're all on the same page, here is a list (courtesy of the forum) of traits typical of most Hipsters:
10. Hails from the Midwest, lives somewhere in Brooklyn.
9. Owns at least two Guided By Voices albums.
8. Firmly believes that Ralph Nader should have won the 2000 presidential election.
7. General arts over-education (i.e. has either designs to attend graduate school, is in graduate school or has gone to graduate school)
6. Parents shoulder some of his/her financial burden.
5. Owns at least three too tight T-shirts adorned with dated symbols (usually fuzzy or shiny/decal) with which he/she has absolutely no knowledge or connection.
4. Can readily and willfully recall the theme song from at least one television sitcom that was cancelled before his/her birth.
3. Will consciously muss and/or neglect to wash hair in order to achieve a 'look.' (male only)
2. Is of the opinion that 'Pet Sounds' is the greatest Beach Boys album (a comment generally follow by this statement): 'rivaling the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.'
1. Insists on calling movies 'film,' insists on calling concerts 'shows.'
Understand now? I know you must have gotten a glimpse of these people walking around amongst us commoners...either that or perhaps you ARE a Hipster, and in that case, I'd l be eternally grateful if you could offer up your expertise on the topic of Hipsterdom. I have quite a few questions about you and your, uh.... kind:
1. How do you become a Hipster? Does it take time or do you just slap on some pointy shoes and a silly-logoed shirt and you're in? Do you have to prove your knowledge of Hipster music and fashion before being accepted into the community? Is there a period of time where you are a "Hipster-in-training" (H.I.T.) Is there an initiation ceremony? A secret handshake? How does the transformation take place??!!!??!!
2. Do you ever run accross a wannabe Hipster? Someone who is always on the outskirts looking in. Someone who just hangs onto the coattails of the local neighborhood Hipsters. What makes this person not able to fit in with your people?? Do you concoct elaborate schemes so you can avoid having to hang out with this person? Do you you send him on Hipster errands, making him pick up hair pommade and stylish belts, but never really let him into your clan?
3. Do Hipster characteristics vary from neighborhood to neighborhood? For instance, in Fort Greene the other day I ran accross a group of Hipsters dining in an Indian restaurant. These Hipsters possessed traits that I had not seen before in my previous run-ins with Hipsters. For instance:
**They all positively reeked of Gucci rush. Is Gucci a Hipster favorite???
**Several of the Hipsters were in posession of those silly little scooters. The Razor ones. They had parked them in the restaurant, and they were blocking the way for other patrons.
**They all ordered their meals in the manner of a persnickety old man. (i.e...dressing on the side, no oil, tea without caffeine, omitting specific ingredients, etc. etc.)
** Two of the six Hipsters wore their headphones the entire time they were sitting with their friends. They would occasionaly take them off to interject something into the conversation, leading me to question whether or not they were actually listening to anything on the headphones, and were instead simply wearing them to look edgy and hip.
**Several of them had horrendous manners.
Please tell me, is this typical of all Hipsters or just Fort Greene Hipsters?
4. Do hipsters act hipster-ish all the time? Do they sleep in Hipster pajamas? Are they pouty and blase even in their sleep? Do they wake up in the morning spouting obscure musical references even before their morning coffee? Do they drink morning coffee, or is coffee not hip enough?
As you can see I have a lot of questions. Any information that anyone can give me will be most helpful.
Posted by Jen at 04:38 PM
After you've lived in New York City for a long enough period of time, you start to notice patterns. Most recently, I've felt a big change on the horizon - with September 11 behind us, life was returning to normal (or at least as normal as life gets in NYC, which is technically not very normal.) I have a loyal network of friends with whom I do everything from taking yoga classes to setting personal goals to bar hopping. In the six plus years I've called this city my home, I've formed a new family. Since most people I've gravitated towards here have put off marriage and having children, we find that in our friends we have found the warmth and camaraderie that the majority of people our age in this country find through more traditional venues. I have a carefully chosen network of only the best people in my life -- it's my second family. Alas, as happens with traditional families, sometimes people move away. In 2002 I find myself in the same exact position in which I found myself in 1998 -- some of the most special members of my family are leaving NYC.
In the fall of 1998 I was experiencing an overwhelming onslaught of change -- I resigned from my position at a traditional market research company to take the plunge into uncharted internet territory. I was also moving from 106th Street to 83rd Street in one of the most hurried and stressful moves of my life (the market was so awful that we ended up in an apartment in which my bedroom had no windows -- that's what $2400 a month could get you in 1998.) My father was undergoing a rigorous yet life-saving bone marrow transplant in Seattle. To top it all off, in a time when I needed support and felt like everything around me was changing, several of my best friends left town, the most upsetting of which was my friend Shevaun.
Shev, a native Brit, had arrived in NYC only a month after me in the summer of 1996. Together we had navigated the city and its nightlife with the curious nature of new world explorers who didn't require sleep. I adopted her Anglo-isms, she adopted my assertive capacity to return a sub-par entree. Her departure was my first taste of how transient this city really is -- no one, it appears, lives here forever. In fact, since most people come to New York expecting to stay a year or two or the most three (myself included), it's quite remarkable that I've befriended people who are in their fourth, fifth, sixth year or more here. In fact, I have friends in New York who left and came back-- the ultimate windfall.
Now I find that the itch has started again. My roommate Aaron, my best friend from home Jayme, and my partner in crime and contributor to this website Jen, are all heading west over the next couple of months. Arizona calls Jayme, San Francisco beckons Aaron, and LA seduces Jen. Although the promise of larger apartments, less expensive rent, and access to ocean and mountains sounds amazing to me, I realize that it's not my time to go. So yet again, I am left holding the I Heart NY bag, empty from the imminent departure of so many wonderful people who I am lucky to call friends.
Now here's the weirdest part of all - I'm happy for them, a lot more happy than I am sad that I won't be seeing them anymore. Has New York hardened me to the point that the departure of friends is no longer shocking or saddening? Or is this merely the downside to having "second families" - that just as we left the nest and require airplanes to visit our parents and siblings, we will someday need them for our second families too? Whatever the case, I know that they will be happy in their new homes, as I am happy here, and that with each person who comes in and out of this city and moves on, I get a great place to visit when I miss them.
Who knows, maybe by 2006 I'll actually be ready to join them.
Posted by GxxP at 12:20 PM
This article was published in the New York Times Magazine in October 2001 and perfectly depicts what I refer to as the "second family".
By ETHAN WATTERS
It may be true that 'never marrieds' are saving themselves for something better. They may also be saving the institution of marriage while they're at it.
You may be like me: between the ages of 25 and 39, single, a college-educated city dweller. If so, you may have also had the unpleasant experience of discovering that you have been identified (by the U.S. Census Bureau, no less) as one of the fastest-growing groups in America -- the ''never marrieds.'' In less than 30 years, the number of never-marrieds has more than doubled, apparently pushing back the median age of marriage to the oldest it has been in our country's history -- about 25 years for women and 27 for men.
As if the connotation of ''never married'' weren't negative enough, the vilification of our group has been swift and shrill. These statistics prove a ''titanic loss of family values,'' according to The Washington Times. An article in Time magazine asked whether ''picky'' women were ''denying themselves and society the benefits of marriage'' and in the process kicking off ''an outbreak of 'Sex and the City' promiscuity.'' In a study on marriage conducted at Rutgers University, researchers say the ''social glue'' of the family is at stake, adding ominously that ''crime rates . . . are highly correlated with a large percentage of unmarried young males.''
Although I never planned it, I can tell you how I became a never-married. Thirteen years ago, I moved to San Francisco for what I assumed was a brief transition period between college and marriage. The problem was, I wasn't just looking for an appropriate spouse. To use the language of the Rutgers researchers, I was ''soul-mate searching.'' Like 94 percent of never-marrieds from 20 to 29, I, too, agree with the statement ''When you marry, you want your spouse to be your soul mate first and foremost.'' This über-romantic view is something new. In a 1965 survey, fully three out of four college women said they'd marry a man they didn't love if he fit their criteria in every other way. I discovered along with my friends that finding that soul mate wasn't easy. Girlfriends came and went, as did jobs and apartments. The constant in my life -- by default, not by plan -- became a loose group of friends. After a few years, that group's membership and routines began to solidify. We met weekly for dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. We traveled together, moved one another's furniture, painted one another's apartments, cheered one another on at sporting events and open-mike nights. One day I discovered that the transition period I thought I was living wasn't a transition period at all. Something real and important had grown there. I belonged to an urban tribe.
I use the word ''tribe'' quite literally here: this is a tight group, with unspoken roles and hierarchies, whose members think of each other as ''us'' and the rest of the world as ''them.'' This bond is clearest in times of trouble. After earthquakes (or the recent terrorist strikes), my instinct to huddle with and protect my group is no different from what I'd feel for my family.
Once I identified this in my own life, I began to see tribes everywhere I looked: a house of ex-sorority women in Philadelphia, a team of ultimate-frisbee players in Boston and groups of musicians in Austin, Tex. Cities, I've come to believe, aren't emotional wastelands where fragile individuals with arrested development mope around self-indulgently searching for true love. There are rich landscapes filled with urban tribes.
So what does it mean that we've quietly added the tribe years as a developmental stage to adulthood? Because our friends in the tribe hold us responsible for our actions, I doubt it will mean a wild swing toward promiscuity or crime. Tribal behavior does not prove a loss of ''family values.'' It is a fresh expression of them.
It is true, though, that marriage and the tribe are at odds. As many ex-girlfriends will ruefully tell you, loyalty to the tribe can wreak havoc on romantic relationships. Not surprisingly, marriage usually signals the beginning of the end of tribal membership. From inside the group, marriage can seem like a risky gambit. When members of our tribe choose to get married, the rest of us talk about them with grave concern, as if they've joined a religion that requires them to live in a guarded compound.
But we also know that the urban tribe can't exist forever. Those of us who have entered our mid-30's find ourselves feeling vaguely as if we're living in the latter episodes of ''Seinfeld'' or ''Friends,'' as if the plot lines of our lives have begun to wear thin.
So, although tribe membership may delay marriage, that is where most of us are still heading. And it turns out there may be some good news when we get there. Divorce rates have leveled off. Tim Heaton, a sociologist at Brigham Young University, says he believes he knows why. In a paper to be published next year, he argues that it is because people are getting married later.
Could it be that we who have been biding our time in happy tribes are now actually grown up enough to understand what we need in a mate? What a fantastic twist -- we ''never marrieds'' may end up revitalizing the very institution we've supposedly been undermining.
And there's another dynamic worth considering. Those of us who find it so hard to leave our tribes will not choose marriage blithely, as if it is the inevitable next step in our lives, the way middle-class high-school kids choose college. When we go to the altar, we will be sacrificing something precious. In that sacrifice, we may begin to learn to treat our marriages with the reverence they need to survive.
Ethan Watters is a writer living in San Francisco.
Posted by GxxP at 12:01 PM
Wurd of the Day
Incucurse: The act of attending an Incubus concert and losing something valuable, such as a digital camera or cell phone. The electronic device is involuntarily offered as a toll, in exchange for the right to view Brandon Boyd’s serpentine rock star bod slithering across the stage.
(It's worth it.)
Posted by GxxP at 11:58 AM
Wurd of the Day
One Night Friend – The act of hanging out monogamously with a stranger at a bar with intentions of friendship. At the end of the night the obligatory phone numbers and email addresses are exchanged, yet the chances of a follow up conversation are slim to none. Synonym: Platonic one night stand.
Posted by GxxP at 10:08 AM
Wurd of the Day
Second Epinion - The act of forwarding an email from a boy to a friend in order to prod them for insight. In extreme situations this involves printing the email and bringing it out to a bar.
Wurd courtesy of Pazzy.
Posted by GxxP at 10:08 AM
Three Thousand Names and Faces
I don't want to detract from the importance of today by adding unnecessary commentary to what is already one of the largest media-hyped days in recent history. There are so many words out there, written and spoken, about 9/11, a day so awful that words cannot convey the horrors of it. Everything you could possibly think or say about what happened seems superfluous. I vowed to avoid televison completely today, and paid my respects to the victims in my own way.
Less than a week after September 11, 2001, my friend Beth and I set off for the West Side Highway in a feeble attempt to help the tremendous rescue efforts undertaken by New York City firefighters, police, power and phone company personnel, truck drivers, EMTs, and steelworkers. At that point, the biggest contribution we could make was to thank these people for their tireless dedication to what was an incrediblly daunting and at that point seemingly insurmountable task. As we clapped, cheered, and held signs thanking the rescue and recovery workers, it felt like we were doing so little. They appreciated it though, and several people pulled their vehicles over to take pictures of us, and with tears in their eyes, they thanked us, essentially, for thanking them. It was then that I realized how much everyone wanted to help, but how little any of us, even those of us who were moving steel and concrete and phone lines, felt they were doing. The thanks we gave one another was encouraging, but still didn’t seem to be enough, when there were so many missing people yet to be found.
This morning, Beth and I returned to the West Side Highway, to the place where only a year ago we viewed the faces of the exhausted and downtrodden workers who were trying so hard to help. Today we sat quietly on a bench, away from the ceremony at the World Trade site, about 20 blocks north on Vestry Street. Yards from the Hudson River, we each took an earpiece from Beth's headphones and listened to the memorial on the radio. The remembrance ceremony was simple, starting with Guiliani and moving through a number of speakers, some politicians, others perhaps family members of the victims. Each contributor read a series of names, one by one, while Beth and I looked at each corresponding photograph in today's New York Times. We looked at the face of each man, woman, and child, from all races and creeds, and saw firsthand that the WTC attack was not just on America, but the many peoples of the world -– 91 countries in total.
The victims deserved their respect, their time in my mind, for what made them any different from me, other than they worked 50 blocks south of me on that fated morning? With each name taking no more than 4 seconds to utter, it took two and a half hours to get through the 3,000 or so names of victims of the greatest tragedy our city, and our country, has seen in recent time. Listening to each name, thinking about each one representing a life - somebody's mother, brother, girlfriend, husband, colleague, friend, neighbor - made me realize the personal devastation that this day last year held for so many.
After the last name was read, I felt so empty inside that I wasn't quite sure what to do. Even now, I am going through the motions of typing, making phone calls, as if I am only partially here. When I think of all of the people who lost a mother, brother, girlfriend, husband... my grief seems so small and inconsequential.
New York is bouncing back from this devastating event, as only the best of the best cities can. And although life has in many ways returned to normal, one year after this horrific nightmare, it is forever changed, as are all of us who call this place home.
Posted by GxxP at 04:33 PM
What a Short, Strange Season It's Been
Four or five years ago, when I first attempted to watch the HBO original series “Sex and The City”, I was bitterly disappointed with the program. I thought that the constant parade of bed jumping and label-whoring displayed by the characters on the show was a false representation of what life for single women in New York City is really about. Now, thanks to my friends (who more or less coerced me into giving the show a second chance), I can say that I am a regular viewer of the program. Unlike the show’s characters, I’m not a socialite, I don’t live in a fancy apartment or go to the Hamptons on the weekends, and I don’t have a zillion pairs of strappy shoes that I wear about town. I do however find striking parallels with some of the things that happen to the SATC gals and my own friends – contrary to my original impression, I think the show does a decent job portraying snippits of New York City living, the sex part and otherwise.
This season’s schedule was abbreviated, and as Sarah Jessica Parker’s womb grew they scrambled to tape episodes that wouldn’t show Carrie with child (what a doozie that would have been to work into the plot.) A shortened season warrants a shortened review, so here are my top-level thoughts on Carrie et al:
Carrie – Jen and I agree, Sarah Jessica is getting, for lack of a better word, a bit campy this season. Most of her lines seem to be delivered in anticipation of a ba-dum-dum-tsssssh. It’s as if she’s become a caricature of herself. Still, Carrie can be witty, charming, and in spite of her occasional neuroses (the Aiden episode? Yeeesh, that was painful), she’s an endearing character. Favorite moment – when she scared away Burger at the Gay-Straight wedding. When he meets her later on the dance floor, I found the moment, although a bit contrived, sweet. After having a recent brush with the butterflies myself, I can say that she portrays a hurt-before but head-over-heels-in-crush dreamer… perfectly.
Miranda – Miranda has become my favorite. Perhaps it’s the brilliance with which Cynthia Nixon portrays her – I find her to be the most believable character on the show. I’m also a big fan of dry wit, and Miranda’s about as dry as the desert (I know, I was just there.) She definitely scores laugh out loud points with me every episode. But there is also a sadness to Miranda, as she develops into a caring mother while her friends struggle with the adjustment to having a baby around to spoil their good time. She had some challenging moments this season, but we’ve seen her successfully return to work, and even get laid a few times. Way to go, Miranda. Favorite moment – during one of their breakfast chats, she encourages Samantha to think of the baby carriage as a big purse. She was also quick to interject, while on the topic of sex – “Use a condom!”
Samantha -- For some reason, whenever I used to take those silly online quizzes about which SATC character you are most like, I would be paired with Samantha. Maybe it’s my liberal attitude towards sex and relationships that align me with the queen of the one night stand. Either that, or it’s the vibrators. Favorite moment – returning the Sharper Image neck massager. Up until this episode, I was going to write about a similar experience I had with a Brookstone “massager”. Thanks to this episode, I don’t have to. (Why won’t they admit the true purpose behind this product? WHY?! Pick up a Brookstone catalog and look at where the models are rubbing these items… their elbow, their neck, their back. Anywhere but where the product was designed to be used. It’s like Victoria’s Secret denying their catalog is for men. Wake up!)
Charlotte -- Charlotte has never been my favorite character, probably because I find her prim demeanor boring and two-dimensional. She’s always dreaming about romance and all the fluff that people like me are skeptical of. But this season, she turned herself around, and got a poorly dressed, sloppy, bad mannered bed buddy. Obviously this guy was her exact opposite, but her fears about being in public with him remind me of some anxious moments I’ve experienced before introducing Jerry and Stevie to guys I’m interested in (or just having sex with.) Somehow having good looking gay friends puts a lot of pressure on a girl to bring the hotties home. The boys have kept me in line… so far… but I can see how a guy like Charlotte’s can sneak in under the radar. Favorite moment – when she plants a kiss on Harry in his bedroom just moments after turning her nose up at his love den.
So that’s it, the highlights and the lowlights of Sex and the City this summer. Too brief for anything important to develop, it was a fun little season, and ended too soon. I just hope I don’t start watching the Anna Nicole Show now that it’s over.
Posted by GxxP at 04:53 PM
My brother and I were raised in Peoria, Illinois, but now we both live as far from there as we could manage. I call New York City my home, and my brother Greg and his wife Beau have settled in Clark, Wyoming, a small town north of Cody that can’t be found on most maps. The running joke in my family is when my parents muse, in relation to their children moving so far away from them, “Was it something we said?” I keep assuring them it was nothing they said, but something they did – they raised us in Peoria, a place we enjoyed as kids but shunned as adults. And although we go home to P-town for Christmas and other holidays, we do our best to encourage our parents to visit us, which they actually sometimes do. This week it was my bother’s turn to play host, so my parents and I headed to Wyoming to try country living on for size.
Make no mistake, Wyoming is absolutely gorgeous. It’s not difficult even for a big city dweller like me to understand why people flock to the rolling mountains of the greater Clark area. Every mile we drove in Dad’s SUV yielded a different view – gray hills like elephant toes, pine-green carpeted mountains, sagebrush-dappled flatlands, and glistening lakes awaited us with each turn. On our second day we traveled to Yellowstone National Park and quietly observed the local wildlife – and I’m not talking about the leathery, gun-totin’ cowboys neitha’. Elk, deer, buffalo, an osprey and a gray wolf were among the creatures we shared space with that day. We also visited hot springs, several waterfalls, a petrified tree, and saw rainbows in the Grand Canyon of the park. Each scene was more breathtaking than the next, and thoughts of leaving the smog-choked city for the clean mountain air seriously crossed my mind.
By day three, however, I had begun to think a little differently. Greg and Beau live miles away from civilization on a winding dirt road in the hills. The nearest town is Cody, one of the only “cities” we encountered in our travels in which the population was greater than the elevation (and not by much either – 8000 people; 7000 feet.) It’s a small miracle my bother has electricity, running water, and satellite television. Every morning and evening they embark on their “chores” (and yes, they really do call them that) – primarily keeping their five horses, five cats, two dogs, and two birds fed. In addition to feeding the quadrupeds there’s always a fence to mend, a pesky skunk to chase, a saddle to return to a neighbor ten miles away, or dirt-infused laundry to wash. Although they do not work on the land, the simple act of living is work. I really felt like I was living in that song Home on the Range, where the deer and the antelope play, at least until one of my brother's dogs tears after them, at which point they run away.
With the nearest neighbor a couple of miles down the road, one would assume that life in Clark, Wyoming carries with it the same blessed anonymity that one finds in the Big Apple. Think again. Isolated does not necessarily mean private – not only did my brother know all his neighbors, but he also knew what they paid for their houses, whether or not their children were home-schooled, and how old they were when they first rode a horse. Every time we passed a vehicle (read: big ass truck) on the road, my brother would give the nod, like the one school bus drivers or Harley riders give to each other when they pass a kindred spirit in oncoming traffic. He knew everyone, and everyone knew him too. I don't know what the person in the apartment next to me looks like, but Greg recognized someone in Yellowstone – a Wyoming neighbor who was up there bear hunting. People, this park is MILES across and MILES deep and touches three states - and my brother knew someone there. It was mind-blowing.
Life is beautiful in hinterlands of Wyoming, but it can also have its downsides. Other than the Billings Gazette, the townspeople don’t have much by means of newspapers, and the best place to buy groceries is, much to my disgust, a hulking WalMart the size of Madison Square Garden just outside of Cody. In a town where the points of interest appear to be the Wild Bill Museum, the Foundation for North American Sheep, and a rodeo, the WalMart is a glaring blemish on this otherwise quaint old western town. But Greg and Beau love it, and purchase everything from vegetables to blue jeans there. (Beau said the best thing about living in Clark is that no one cares if you buy your clothes at WalMart because everyone else does too.)
By day four I’d been to WalMart three times, had spent countless hours in Dad’s SUV, had eaten one too many shitty meals in town (in a land where many people kill their dinner, there’s not much culinary selection for the vegetarian), and had listened to more country music than they probably play in hell. Right around the time my father set off to buy Greg a birthday gun, Wyoming had lost its charm. I considered moving up my departing flight but realized my family would take that rather personally, which is not how it was meant. So I sucked it up and chilled with the furballs back at the ranch, caught some televised news, and enjoyed my final hours in the land of big sky. Wyoming was great, but not for everyone – sort of like New York City. Somehow my brother and I have embraced two different extremes, but we both clearly adhere to the life philosophy “if you’re gonna do it, do it right.” No suburban or middle of the road livin’ for us. It’s urban sprawl or home schooling, but nothing in between will do. Greg rides a horse to pick up his mail, I ride a subway with thousands of other people to get to work every day. As much as we love our lifestyles, we can still appreciate what each other's world has to offer. Neither of us live anywhere near a strip mall or an Olive Garden, and we like it that way. And we both have a great place to visit when vacation time rolls around.
Posted by GxxP at 03:12 PM
At about 5pm yesterday afternoon I received an email from my manager at work informing us that he had in his posession 4 extra tickets to the Yankee's vs Red Sox game that evening. Tired and jet lagged as I was, I couldn't bear the thought of turning them down. My company has seats that are in the third row of Yankee Stadium, right behind the visiting team's dugout. The seats are so close to the field that you could spit and hit the backs of the opponents' necks. (And I'm sure someone has.) Rachel, a coworker of mine, also jumped on the opportunity, and we were given the responsibility of making sure that the other two tickets did not go to waste. Due to the last minute nature of the ticket offer, compounded with the fact that the American Idol finale was on that night, we couldn't find a single person to attend the event with us.
When we arrived at the game we were still trying to figure out what to do with the extra tickets. Unfortunately my parents had ingrained in me those pesky "ethics" while I was growing up and I felt wrong about selling the extra tickets and making a profit. We instead decided that we would make some Yankee Fan's night and give the tickets away free of charge. We set off primed and ready to do a good deed. I was actually sort of excited about the proposition. Not only would we be giving someone some of the best tickets at the stadium, I also felt that we would be giving the lucky pair a great story to tell their friends. I know that if such a thing happened to me I would never be able to attend a game again without telling everyone in sight about "the time that those girls gave me these amazing seats," proving to everyone once and for all that there is good in humanity. Unfortunately the job of giving away tickets is much harder than one might think. People are skeptical when you approach them in public, and we were having a difficult time convincing jaded New Yorker's that we weren't pulling some sort of elaborate scam. As we heard the game start, we began to get desperate and decided to give the tickets to the next pair of people that we saw. My eyes searched the crowd and rested upon two tall young men standing in the line for bleacher seats, one incredibly handsome, the other quirky and fun looking. We immediately went over, explained to them what was going on, and they decided to accept. Just like that, they were saved from an evening sitting with the masses in the bleachers, and would instead spend the game sitting in cushy seats with waiter service just yards from the players themselves. As we walked closer and closer to the field, their eyes widended in amazement that we were actually telling the truth about how good the seats were. We sat down and chatted amiciably for a moment or two. I think that their names were Jason and Mike, but I honestly don't remember. They didn't speak to us all that much during the game. They thanked us a couple of times and were nice enough... they just weren't excessively verbose. We did find out that they were wealthy kids from Long Island, went to school at Columbia on volleyball scholarships, and worked in Manhattan, and that was about it as far as conversation goes. They DID eventually buy us a round of beers, but unfortunately that was the end of their generosity. Everytime we got up to get more drinks there was a whirlwind of ordering, and somehow they finagled us into purchasing the rest of the beers. It was quite a disappointment. My "good deed" fantasy not only included giving away the tickets, but also involved us making friends with our new buddies and having a crazy good time. Instead we sat next to them awkwardly, occasionally trading polite small talk.
Other than the slight awkwardness and mild disappointment, the evening was resplendent with all the traits typical of any normal Yankee's game. There was the obligitory rowdy and obnoxious fan that incessantly heckles the opposing team. Sitting behind us was the typical group of older gentlemen who flirt with you shamelessley but get away with it because they are over the age of 50. Finally there was the lone rogue fan who runs onto the field after the game and slides into home plate only to be arrested and led (smiling at his accomplishment) into the dugout to be escorted out off the premisis. It was a great game, a beautiful night, and a victory for the home team. As we walked out of the stadium singing along to "New York, New York," Rachal and I pondered how the two boys were going to say goodbye to us. In my head I had pictured us heading over to Stan's accross from the stadium, cementing our friendship over a few pints..telling everyone around us how we had been brought together by our good deed. I realized quickly that that was not to be. Based on their behavior at the game, I assumed there would be the obligitory "here's my card, give me a call sometime" conversation, followed by many thank you's and possibly a polite handshake. As I turned around to initiate this pointless and usually inevitable ritual, I realized that the boys were gone...Vanished into thin air without a trace. Gone without so much as a goodbye (or a thank you for that matter). Disappointed and shocked, we headed into Billy's for a quick beer to wait till the crowds in the subway dispersed to some degree.
Billy's was interesting to say the least. As Rachel braved the long line to the ladies room, I surveyed the bar and realized that the crowd consisted almost entirely of men and women clad in Yankee's garb of all kinds. Shirts, hats, pants, face paint, earrings, scarves. You name it, they were wearing it. I witnessed a young blond (with dark roots) point excitedly to the bar and exclaim, "Oh my GOD!! That guy in the Jeter shirt is soooooo hot." "Which one?" Her friend questioned. I turned around and saw that there were in fact 3 guys in Jeter shirts standing all in a row. It was truly astonishing. Rachel returned shortly thereafter and we decided to finish the beer and then head out. As we chugged our bottles of Bud Light we were approached by a short bearded man who began to tell us a sob story. He informed us that he was from Nevada and had somehow gotten stuck in NYC on a layover and was not leaving till 6am the next morning. He claimed that the airlines had given him Yankee's tickets and that he was at the game "making friends" and waiting out the night. He laid it on really thick, talking about his life in Nevada, his job as a bellhop at a hotel in lake Tahoe, and how he was so impressed by the kindness of New Yorkers, especially us. He was annoying but seemed harmless, however all I could think about was how I was going to get away from him without seeming too insensitive. Just as he was explaining about how sad and confused he was about being stuck in New York, someone came up behind him, tapped him on the shoulder, and told him he was leaving. Confused, I inquired about who this friendly gentleman was exactly, seeing that he was alone in the big scary city and all. Turns out he had been lying the entire time and had fabricated pretty much everything that he had told us. We called him a liar and after several minutes of ignoring him, he finally left. What was this guy thinking? If you really feel it necessary to pose as a lost out-of-towner in an effort to gain sympathy from the ladies, at least make sure your friends are in on the act as to not blow your cover. Dumb, Dumb, Dumb.
Strike Three...We're out.
Starving for contact with someone from the male species that was actually normal, I scanned the room and noticed a cute alterna-guy standing amidst a group of boys. He looked a bit out of place due the fact that he wasn't wearing an article of clothing emblazoned with the word "Yankees", which is probably why I noticed him in the first place. We immediately began the thrilling ritual of "making eye contact." This went on for so long that I began to feel absolutely ridiculous. Finally he walked over to the bar where I was standing, but rather than saying hello, he instead ordered a beer, all the while STILL trying to make eye contact with me, but not speaking. It was bizarre. At that, I had had it. We left. End of night.
All in all, it wasn't the most horrible of evenings. Sure, sure, the guys that surrounded us that night were quite a disappointment, but the game was fun, and the experience made for good copy. The likelihood that any of the men that we encountered that evening will read this is slim to none, but on the off chance that they do I hope this helps at least to teach them all a lesson. They certainly all need to be taught one, that is for certain.
Posted by Jen at 05:09 PM