brothercyst: I forgive Brooklyn

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I forgive Brooklyn

I've been feeling very irritated with certain aspects of New York in the last 36 hours.

Last night and this morning I went to
Brooklyn Book Festival events.

The first one was a reception last night prior to the Festival. It was in DUMBO, Brooklyn, in a place called the Tobacco Warehouse. I have a preexisting contempt for this venue for reasons related to my day job that I won't go into here. It is a ruined old warehouse with no roof that sits under a bridge--a place only trolls should go, really. To get there I only had to go one or two stops into Brooklyn, but it still took me an hour because the area is not clearly described on maps (at least the ones I found on the internet) and pedestrians were giving me the wrong information. I walked around for maybe half an hour before I found it, which doesn't sound so awful, except that it was pouring rain and the wind was slashing around and beating up my frail little umbrella and I was wearing jeans that seemed to be made from sea sponges and the streets all had violent little ponds in them. And as I trudged around, looking at my increasingly sodden map but unwilling to give up because after all I had come to Brooklyn already (it is a great distance psychologically if not geographically), my mind was chanting, "I hate being in Brooklyn. I hate being in Brooklyn. I hate being in Brooklyn. "

Please understand that I am not insulting the people of Brooklyn or those who love it. It is simply a matter of taste, like hating Indian food (which I do). Brooklyn has always reminded me of the bland, low cities in Maryland near the place where I mostly grew up. Or even Bayonne, New Jersey. It looks to me like Nowhere In Particular. I don't like the skyline and the hipster infestation only reinforces my bias.

The event itself, location notwithstanding, was cool and I enjoyed myself. Lots of food, nice people to talk to, etc.

Then this morning I woke up and it was time to go to the festival itself, mostly because I wanted to talk to the good people of Impetus, who had a table there and were selling Hollywoodland and The Dream Sequence. After convincing myself to actually go, I stepped out of the train station at Borough Hall and the weather was beautiful. My destination was immediately in sight and there was no chance of getting lost. Everything was bright and warm and the area kind of actually looked like 14th St.-Union Square. I felt great. I immediately and ashamedly forgave Brooklyn for the previous night.


On a more general note, the MTA is a wretched and infuriating organization. I tried to get a downtown 6 train from 33rd St. today, only a few hours ago, and found myself waiting for almost thirty minutes. (Fucking unreliable wouldn't see this shit happen in Seoul, dammit.) Finally I went back up to the street to try and get a cab. But there weren't any to be found. So I descended into the subway again just as the train was pulling in. I tried to swipe my card but for some reason (although it is unlimited ride) it wouldn't work. There was no time to fuck around or I'd be waiting another hour or something. So I jumped the turnstile. I heard a guy, presumably an MTA employee, yell behind me, but I was already jumping on the train just as the doors closed. Fucking assholes. If the MTA were a single person, I would want to kick him repeatedly in the throat and genitals.

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