Waking up on the morning of my 30th birthday in a city 1,364 miles from my home was exhilarating. I didn’t want to eat breakfast because we had an hour long train ride to take into Manhattan and I was not going to risk the bathrooms on the train.
We take the 8:28am train out of Oceanside and head into the city. When we get to Penn station Michelle shows us how to get a Metro card, we eat breakfast at McDonald, (woots for healthy living and who knew they had little pancake biscuits called McGriddles … not this guy) wave bye to our train companion and head for the F train to take us to the Museum of Natural History.
After a brief mix up (going the wrong way for about 4 stops on a pee smelling, AC lacking subway car) we get going the right direction (with AC and sans pee smell).
Entrance into the Museum costs $22 dollars and we could have spent all day there. We paid an extra $5 to see a super neat I-Max style presentation called ‘Dark Universe’ narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson and other than the brief moments of vertigo I enjoyed it immensely.
*Side note on Dark Universe: it is 20 something minute long visually stunning presentation on the expansion of the universe and all the kewl new things we are learning about Dark Energy and Dark Matter and Gravitational Waves (contributions of which were made ten minutes from my house, check out LIGO in Livingston, Louisiana). My absolute favorite part of this presentation was the almost painstaking assurances the narration took to explain that this is all new, that we know next to nothing about these things, that this is a new and exciting frontier that the next generation of physicists and astronomers will no doubt make many observations and discoveries about. I say all this to end with a theists chuckle as the conclusion of the presentation (after the 20+ minutes of drilling in the as of yet unknown and currently unknowable nature and specifics of our Dark Universe) the steady voice of Mr. Tyson states that this MUST be the answer to many of our questions. I chuckled to myself at the irony it takes to admit we know little to nothing about a subject, then boldly proclaim something MUST be the answer even though we barely understand the question. Woots for a theist who thinks Science and Faith support each other in a world insisting they are mutually exclusive.
But back to New York!
Right before the Dark Universe presentation I spend $23 on a meal of chicken nuggets, fries, and Macaroni and Cheese <– worth it! And right after we watch a super short (like 3 min) presentation on the Big Bang narrated by Aslan himself … I mean Liam Neeson 🙂
After a brief stint in the gift shop (Flux got some neat shirts) we exit the Museum around 2:00pm and walk across the street to stroll through Central Park a little ways. It was cool in the shade and slightly breezy, so this pasty fat kid didn’t die outright. We walked about 6 blocks through the park before deciding to go ahead and make our way to Coney Island.
We take the Subway at 74th street and the F train an hour or so and we’re right by the Boardwalk. After a brief pit stop at Dunkin’ Donuts for an afternoon caffeine pick me up and a sugar rush (Cuz who can pass up chocolate glaze?) We make our way down the boardwalk past all the shops and roller coasters that I’m too afraid to ride, much to Flux’s exasperation and my chagrin. We reach the concert venue about five hours too early.
If I haven’t said before, this entire trip was planned because it was my birthday and the Dresden Dolls were getting back together for the first time since 2008! ON MY BIRTHDAY! It was meant to be.
I go into the ticket booth to make sure my mobile tickets are acceptable (they are) and they say that they will start seating at 7:00, PWR BTTM will be opening and will begin around 7:75pm, Dresden Dolls wont take the stage until closer to 8:45-9:00 *pant pant* we’re soooo early.
We walk the boardwalk a few times, buy head gear and sunglasses to evade the unrelenting sun and finally find ourselves standing in line (still two hours early).
This fat kid needed food, so flux grudgingly agrees to go find something to eat. We leave the boardwalk (I don’t recommend this) and find a little Chinese place two blocks up and two blocks over. It is so hot in the little building (smaller than my bedroom to be honest) and the food is so hot to the touch that it is a miserable experience eating in the small space.
Never the less, we sit by the window scalding our mouths and watching the passers by.
Almost the entire time we’re there a man four feet in front of us on the side walk is pacing around a motorcycle … circling, circling, squatting, circling, taking pictures, using his flashlight to see under it, searching online for stuffs, circling, looking, touching… then finally he puts a leg over and starts to tip toe walk the vehicle off as the alarm chirps away.
All over the city there are signs that say ‘SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING’ … well I saw, and looked around me and absolutely no one was concerned. Even flux says she didn’t notice this event, but regardless, I want to get out of the area and we leave immediately … I finish my food while waiting safely back in line.
We’re not back in line for 20 minutes or so when they start to let people in. We’re psyched and grinning like idiots as we wait another 45 min in the merchandise line before finding our seats.
I got 3 autographed CD’s, 2 T-shirts, and I forgot to buy me a button bundle, I’m heartbroken.
Flux got her an autographed poster, 3 autographed Cd’s , and a neat Tote Bag to hold it all.
PWR BTTM started to play as we reached the merch table and they were splendid, and fun, and to quote their song ‘House in Virginia’, they were Handsome, Gaymazing, and Nice!
Dresden Dolls took the stage and three short hours later they left too soon. Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione are quite possibly the most gracious and talented two performers this side of forever. I’m going to nerd out when I say Neil Gaiman and Olya Viglione are possibly the only two people on the planet that I’m slightly envious of their relationships.
True to form, they were inspiring, engaging, promoting local performers and artists (including but not limited to a girl dressed as a bird and a blindfolded girl holding a sign ‘Tell my your secret, I’ll keep it safe.’)
Exhilarated and inspired, we found ourselves back on a midnight Q train to Atlantic Ave. Once there we just had to wait an hour or so to take the Long Island back to Oceanside to get back in bed by 3:00am, or somewhere around those parts.
There was going to be a day 3, but honestly, it’s just us waking up, getting back to the airport, landing in NOLA and driving home with a brief pit stop at Taco Bell.
So I hope you enjoyed the story,