leave your inhibitions at the door
We just took a family trip to New York, and I got to spend a little time doing some exploring by myself. In all the times that I’ve been to NYC, I never got to spend any time in Brooklyn and here was my chance. For several years, it’s been the funky, stylish place where all the arbiters of cool reside. It’s where great music, fashion, and are happening and I wanted to go check it out.
Of course, no one told me that Brooklyn’s huge. I took the subway from Manhattan and got off at the Burough Hall stop, figuring it would be a safe place to start. One of the first things I saw was a Shake Shack, the hip chain of burger joints started by Danny Meyer. It seemed I was well on my way to experiencing all the good stuff I heard about Brooklyn. Wrong. Once I got a block or two away, it was seedy as all hell.
I really didn’t feel safe. In retrospect, I was probably being irrational about it. If there was any hint of potential harm coming to me, I’m sure this guy working out on the street corner would’ve protected me. Right?
But it wasn’t until I got back to Manhattan that I thought I was going to die. I’ve walked around SoHo a hundred times and it’s one of my favorite areas of the city. Maybe it was because I felt safe that I let my guard down enough to get stopped by three young punks:
Punk 1: (Nicely) Excuse me, we’re handing out copies of our latest mixtapes to try to promote ourselves. You know, try to get some buzz.
Punk 1: Where you from?
Me: Detroit area.
Punk 1: Ohhhh man, show some love for the “D”. (Hugs me) What’s your name?
Punk 1: Alright, I’m going to autograph this CD for you. I’m gonna put you down as “J-Bang” on it.
Punk 2: Yeah, me too. Here’s my CD.
J-Bang: Gee, thanks.
Punk 1: Now here’s where you show some appreciation to me.
J-Bang: Ummm… (I reach into my pocket and produce $3) Here you go.
Punk 1: What the fuck? Three dollars?
J-Bang: Sorry, it’s all I got
Punk 2: Give me that CD back.
Punk 1: C’mon, man. We’re busting our asses out here and you disrespect me with $3?
J-Bang: Sorry, it’s really all I got. (as I hide my watch and iPhone). Maybe you can find someone else named J-Bang?
Punk 1: Damn. Get the fuck out of my face.
So I quickly took the CD and got the hell out of Dodge. So what was on the CD? All six tracks were of some Latin-inflected dance music with some guy saying stuff like “Yeah!” “Everybody ready?!?” and “Let me hear you scream!”. At least it was only three bucks.
It’s not that I don’t like that stuff – I do. It’s just that the crap on the CD was really just a poor imitation of this week’s Guilty Pleasure.