Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New York, New York

As many of you know I live in the big apple, New York City. I pay astronomical rent, so that I can live in a very small space, have hobos hang out outside my window, pay $8 for a box of ice cream sandwiches (which I resist doing), ride cramped subways and get yelled at for no apparent reason at any time. All of this does come with some good though. Last night my friend Val (who consistently gets me to do fun New York things) asked me to go see the NY symphony orchestra play in Central Park for free. Although part of me wanted to go home because I knew I had some episodes of Jon and Kate Plus 8 to catch up on (I blame my aunt and uncle for introducing this show to me), I decided that I would take Val up on her offer. Luckily her fabulous roommate, Andrea, decided to save seats for us because by the time we got there there were thousands of people already there. You know, when I was younger we used to go to Theatre in the Park during the summer (if you're from Kansas you will know what I'm talking about). I thought Theatre in the Park was so cramped and there were so many people there, now I think that was child's play. At any rate, besides a woman passing out and falling on the ground about 10 feet from us, the concert was great. The weather was really nice, I managed to stay away from the ice cream cart, and the music was beautiful. Then as we all get up to leave I remember why I hate free events in New York...the mass amount of people.

New York City would be great if it just had about half the people it does now. There are people everywhere all of the time and when you add the word "free" onto anything that means everyone shows up. Now this venue was on the Great Lawn in Central Park, so it wasn't quite as bad as it could've been. People were pretty nice and since it wasn't too hot no one was miserable, but still trying to weave through people just to get out of the park was a pain and I was even on foot! I will say this experience was about a million steps up from the last free thing I tried, which was attending the opening of the Apple store on 14th st in the middle of winter.

I'm not sure why I thought this would be a good idea. I'm also not sure why I decided that on a Friday night I would want to head to the grand opening of an Apple Store alone. This is probably a good summation of my NY life in, alone, on a Friday night in the freezing cold with the hobos. Anytime you say free in this city you will automatically get an eclectic mix of trashy people in NYC (no, I am not excluding myself from this crowd). Trashy means very different things to different people, but in this case I just mean rude and manner-less. I figured since it was nighttime the line wouldn't be long and I could just go in win me a brand new MacBook Pro (which I do need a new computer) or maybe an ipod for my Dad or something. I get there and I see that the line is long, but I figure it will go fast. Even though I had my thickest winter coat on I still froze my butt off. Then these lovely young girls in front of me that had a very small infant in a very large stroller decided to let me know that i was too even with them in the five-person wide line and they needed to announce that they were in front of me and I should back up (they didn't say it nicely either). Typically I would've been sassy back or maybe questioned them as to why they thought it was a good idea to bring a small child out in the bitter cold, so that they could maybe win an ipod or something, but instead I just kept my mouth shut and nodded. Three hours (no joke) later after listening to the Long Island teens behind me talk about their social life (which was way more "active" then mine in more ways then one) I got to the front of the line. Ironically right as we approached the doors the baby in front of me starting crying (probably because it was near frozen) and the young mothers had to stop and pull out a bottle, so I ended up in the store before them anyway.

As I walked in the staff cheered for you as if you were Ed Koch, they handed you a tube that determined if the last three hours had really been worth it after all. I stared at the tube intensely hoping to burn a winning sticker into the underside of that cap with my brain power. I found a little niche in the store where I could stop and discover my fate. As I began to pull the little plastic top off I held my breath, turned it over, and realized that I had just frozen my toes and wasted my Friday for a $10 itunes gift card. Then I looked up and saw what looked like a homeless man walking out of the store with a brand new macbook. I did a quick lap of the store and it had the same crap every other Apple store did and retreated home to my warm apartment.

I know, I know, he needed the laptop more than I did, but still it burned a little bit. I waited all that way, suffered through the incessant chit chat of grossly "mature" teenagers, just to get a poster and a gift card. It was further prove that my Grandpa was right when he used to tell me "nothing is free." He should've added to that...especially in New York.

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