Over the weekend, I made my sixth trip in the last four years to New York. In one form or another, I’ve spent them all with my friend Albert, who has since moved there permanently.
Every trip has been great and has served its own purpose, whether it was Joe Budden at SOB’s, Rock The Bells at Governor’s Island, the U.S. Open, getting lost in the rain at 1 in the morning in Flushing, watching the Knicks at the Garden, sitting in the bleachers at Yankees Stadium, or going to the Comedy Cellar and getting a surprise Chris Rock appearance, it’s actually added up to a lot of random, great memories.
My favorite personal moment was probably seeing Jadakiss with his entourage at The Hundreds store in Soho, and how every time he picked up a t-shirt and put it back down, one of them would trail him and fold it. The whole thing was so surreal that I almost let out a Jadakiss laugh in front of Jadakiss, but I held back.
Here are some highlights from NYC VI, and we’ll eventually flow to why this is the last post for this year.
(As always, if you’re reading this on your Tumblr dashboard, it might be worthwhile to click on the actual site link to see all the visuals)
NYC VI was about two events, but really it was to go see Yeezus. We stopped by his pop up shop earlier in the day to see things like this:
We ended up picking up t-shirts and hats because we’re all Yeezus groupies who listen to “Last Call” and feel all inspired once in awhile. Although I will say, there’s really not much difference between this and an Ed Hardy shirt, except it says Yeezus. Never mind, that’s the difference.
The show itself at Madison Square Garden was an experience. It was two and a half hours of relentless entertainment (although I will admit some of the 808’s material don’t really work for me, live or anywhere). But seeing him run out classics like Through The Wire and Jesus Walks, and seeing him take off his mask and seeing the joy on his face at the end of the show. It was all great. People know how frustrated Kanye gets because he makes sure we know all the details about it. But to see him soak in the moment was great.
I don’t like to overhype things too much, but when I do, I make sure they’re properly overhyped:
Yeezus just did “Power” on top of a mountain and now I have a new religion to believe in.
Without actually running into Lisa Ann, neither of us could feel our legs anyways. It was too cold to clap, to cheer, to anything. It makes me think maybe there is some advantage to being a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, but then I thought better.
The Giants made their own little run in the fourth quarter, but Dan Bailey —he of the Cowboys and my fantasy team and a special place in my heart—kicked the game winning field goal in the closing seconds.
And it was off to the races to catch the train, in which the funniest exchange happened:
Bitter Giants fan: "Everyone knows that every Cowboys fan has never been to Dallas!"
Not very defiant Cowboys fan: "I…I..I was there for a few days a couple of years ago."
We arrived at a bar billed as a “Patriots bar” in Hell’s Kitchen to watch Broncos-Pats, with special guest appearance from Andrew Ungvari, who dropped by to tell stories about everyone really, including 3H from Capitol Records. I realized after that my life is really uninteresting, but Unga, I’ve decided that it’s not your fault.
It was too bad Unga was there to witness an Asian male get kicked out of the bar because in the fourth quarter, he decided to get into a shouting match with another guy because “he’s been looking at me funny the whole night.”
This was one of this screaming matches that ends with the guy saying he’ll wait outside, and then inevitable his friends usher him away seconds later and there’s no dramatic conclusion.
Everything Linsanity did to push us forward was going to shit because of this one guy.
My friend Albert has real life obligations like working so I was off on my own. I made my usual rounds: Midtown Comics, back to the NBA Store, somehow resisted another trip to Uniqlo, and then back to another familiar place for lunch: Bao Haus.
The owner of the place, Eddie Huang, is kinda like a big deal and has his own show on VICE which was playing on a television screen inside his restaurant. It was pretty hilarious to see an Asian family in there trying his baos while he’s riding the BangBus with Jada Stevens on the screen:
I had lunch with Mark Malazarte, who is art directing my book project. Mark just recently moved to New York and it was cool and inspiring to hear about some of the exciting projects he’s been working on.
He tagged along to Strand Bookstore with me, and we got matching Strand Bookstore t-shirts. No we didn’t, but it would be pretty funny if we did. I did manage to spot a $2 book for him (it would’ve been mine if I wasn’t too lazy to pack it back to Toronto):
And then, that was about it and I was off to Newark for another beautiful flight delay and back home, where I’m writing this now at 2 in the morning.
On the flight back, I was thinking about because that’s what I do when you put me in the emergency exit seat and I feel really insecure about sleeping in case I need to save lives.
And it’s really time to buckle down and focus on wrapping up this book that I’ve been mindlessly promoting and talking about (there’s a footnote at the bottom if you just want to scroll there, I got you). It’s been 85% done for the longest time, and while I’m still waiting for Mark to finish some of the designs, there’s a lot of finalizing that I need to do as well.
This last part of pushing it towards completion and print is the hardest, not because I’m putting it off, but I’ve been devoting time into doing other stuff like writing here, writing for other sites, doing podcasts, editing podcasts, before I have to wake up and go back to my soulless 9-5 existence.
I hate the guy who says he’ll do something and then doesn’t do it. It’s the worst trait. It’s the trait I remind myself to never have, and now I have this running fear that if I don’t get this book all wrapped up soon, I will become that guy. I don’t want that to happen.
Of course, I’m also leaving to Maui to get married this week, and that’s a huge deal too.
So I’m making this the last post this year, just so I can devote the time I need in December and beyond to push this project out, and make sure that it is a quality product that I can be proud of, that I think you will want.
Rather than making it just one thing I have on the go, I’m making it the only thing I have on the go. Why pretend this project isn’t the most important thing for me anyways?
So I’m off. I mean, I’m sure I’ll crawl back here with book updates and I’ll be on Twitter for twenty-two hours a day.
But when I come back, hopefully it will not be with this footnote that’s coming up, but with a real physical product and a concrete release date. Time to make this shit happen. I don’t do 85 percent shit.
Footnote, or, the footnote that’s coming up is here:
I’ll be using the end of each post to tell you about a book project that I’m very close to finishing. I figure if you read all the way to the bottom of these posts, this will probably interest you.
It’s a book featuring my writing and original illustrations from a bunch of really talented artists. You can see some sample layouts here (Kobe, Barry Bonds, Dennis Rodman). I will be setting up a Kickstarter soon to recoup some of the print and shipping costs, an early estimate of the book will be $20. It’s going to be an entirely non-profit project for me, which my parents will be sad to hear about considering I hold a business degree.
All of this to say, please subscribe to the mailing list by clicking here if this sounds like something you’d be interested in, it’d help me gauge the interest of the project.