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I live in Brooklyn, NY and I love it here.  I came here for my career in 2009 and haven't once looked back. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The East Village bars and Chinatown at the wrong time of night...

I bar hopped last night for the first time in a while. My friend Emily from Raleigh was in town still but staying with another of our friends, Paul, so the everybody was hanging out in the East Village where I went to join them after a stressful two days of work. Paul is also a UNCG alum and so were a handful of the others all hanging out with us. So it was good to reconnect and connect with them all. We started off the night on St. Marks Place, a place called McCabe's. As I was walking over there, I came across a procession of oddly dressed characters, some on bikes, some just walking. There were men in dresses and a lot of people painted and decorated. It only clicked later when I heard the news that the senate vote that we were waiting to hear about at work (whether or not to legalize gay marriage in New York State) had probably passed and that what I was seeing was an impromptu parade (they even had police escorts holding up the rear). Woo hoo! So, there was already an air of celebration and whimsy in the air that evening. And the East Village was lively as ever.

McCabe's was playing 90's rock but we only stayed for a few beers there before hitting up a pizza joint (yes, I allowed myself a slice) on Ave B by Thompkins Square Park. Next we headed to a place called Tile Bar (Technically called WOUC Radio Bar but the Tile Bar nickname stuck) where we met up with Miles, who attended UNCG around the same time I did, and a few of his friends. Miles freelances in video editing so we had a lot to chat about before I hijacked the juke box for a little bit. After Tile Bar we went over to one last place on 5th Street, that I don't remember the name of and can't even find on Google Maps, where we ended up playing one of those buck shooting video games while Miles and one of his friends played a few games of pool. At this point in the evening some of the gay revelers had wandered into the bar with us and it was starting to get crowded. Eventually, when the night felt like it was over, Paul, Emily and I began to head toward 1st Avenue to get cabs back to our respective boroughs. None would take me to Brooklyn from the East Village strangely so we started to walk toward Houston Street. Somewhere on this walk the idea was hatched to go to Chinatown (think it came from the mouth of Paul actually). I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have normally agreed to this but something clicked on inside me. Realizing it was Emily's last night in town and that she needed to have a quintessentially New York experience, my eyes got glazed over and I had this dreamy look on my face thinking of all the wonders of Chinatown and the adventures I'd had there...and the food! That was it, we were doing this! So we hailed a livery cab who agreed to take us down to the area but the cab ride that followed was dominated by an intense discussion about what was a good place to go in Chinatown at that hour for dumplings. The cab driver didn't think it was a good idea to go to a place that Paul had in mind, so Paul tried to get a recommendation out of him. Something about this exchange had me in tears I was laughing so hard. Eventually we were let out around Market St. into the barren quiet of Chinatown at 4am. This was seeming like less and less of a good idea.

With Paul leading the way we stumbled down a few blocks looking up at the Manhattan bridge and eventually slid into a bodega to ask for directions. A kind of sketchy bodega that Emily and I decided to wait outside of, glad of our decision when we noticed a guy by the door locking the door behind Paul as he went in. At this point, poor Emily was thinking we were going to get mugged any minute. The fellows in the bodega pointed us in another direction but, by this point we weren't sure where we were and were either too tired or too lazy or my GPS wasn't accurate enough to figure out. About to give up, we spotted fluorescent glow and a red building down the block from where we were. I suggested we go for it. And we did.

The food was pretty decent but there's something about not knowing exactly what you're eating and having it boldly lit with fluorescent lighting, the bleary eyes of your cohorts in stark relief as you realize exactly how drunk you are that you are eating conch, cauliflower, some kind of bony cuts of pork and some weird dish with duck in it and loving it while your friend who's been to Hong Kong is trying out all of his Mandarin on the staff. Hilarity.

Thankfully, finding a cab home after this adventure was not nearly as hard. Cabs were pretty frequent out on East Broadway.

This morning I slept in and went to yoga to avenge my guilt at my self indulgence the night before then spent the day toying around with some of the music for the film score. Our oud player is coming in to town from Philly tomorrow afternoon and he, the director and I are meeting to talk about the music and play some stuff. The oud player has already sent me a draft of some ideas that he gleaned from the themes that I wrote so far. Dropbox is great and the audio he's sent me is awesome.

Tonight, I went to Queens to celebrate Karishma's birthday with a bunch of friends at a Greek restaurant called Taverna Kyclades on Ditmars Blvd. I had the grilled shark and tried someone else's grilled calamari. This place was pretty big on seafood and luckily, we had a girl at the table who's from Cypress ordering for all of us. They all went to the East Village afterward and I, having had quite enough of the East Village for one weekend, came straight home.

Anyway, I am so tired I think I'll fall asleep sitting up if I don't finish this blog and hit the sack. So goodnight.

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