Are YOU Giorg???
While Ma travels, let me check in for a minute.
Today I was running in Central Park and I accidentally ran into the Dominican Day Parade. Now, at risk of starting some kind of trouble, let me say the Dominican Day Parade is no Puerto Rican parade or gay pride parade. Whereas most New York city parades tend to feature all kinds of talent - dancers, singers - people of all ages and ethnically relevant non-profits, the Dominican Day Parade seemed to consist entirely of Dominicans who were 18 years old. In posses or couples, dressed in Dominican shirts and waving Dominican flags, on floats or on foot, the 18 year old Dominicans ambled up Central Park South and then up Eighth Avenue. Spectators became paraders, while other paraders lost interest, dropped out, and started yakking with the other 18 year olds on the sidelines. Maybe I missed the good part of the parade while I was running? Oh well, whatever. No reason they should have to entertain me, I guess... At least they were all having a good time.
This weekend, as usual, featured restaurants and dancing. Friday night the Branford 05 New York Burger Tour Group convened at the New York Water Taxi Beach. THis is a pretty weird place - a vacant lot in a bombed out part of Queens right on the EAst River was converted into a beach (i.e. they trucked in sand), they put up a volleyball net and a burger stand (and of course a bar) and named it Water Taxi Beach. You can get there by subway but it's better to come in by water taxi - a sort of ferry that zigzags up the East River from Brooklyn. If you can suspend your disbelief and ignore the eight-foot chain link fences (sandbox for grownups? or jail?), it's actually quite nice. We ate burgers (not very good ones, but certainly adequate) and watched the sun set over Manhattan. Very scenic!
The evening continued at some sort of awful club that was just too cool for us. It was very white and the DJ played techno music at registers that make the bones in your jaw vibrate. Nobody looked very happy, nobody was chatty (this is always upsetting to Melina) and nobody really knew how to dance to this super-cool techno. I felt very uncomfortable until a friend and I started secretly imitating other people on the dance floor and copying their styles. We started out doing it to make fun of them, but then we actually got kind of into it. "Guy with Vest!" we'd yell to each other, and then we'd copy his man-climbing-a-ladder dance move. "Guy with mohawk!" and we'd have to start flailing and rotating our hips like the guy with the mohawk.
The next night we met some friends-of-friends-of-friends. I was told it was one of their birthdays - a German fellow named Giorg - so I gave myself the assignment of finding Giorg, who was somewhere in the club, and wishing him a happy birthday. What I was not prepared for was that pretty much every guy I talked to avowed that he was, in fact, Giorg. By the time I found the real Giorg I could hardly believe it, and spent 10 minutes trying to demand that he show me his ID. Since it was his birthday, and I was being unreasonable, and since he didn't know me either, he refused. But I'm pretty sure it was him, and I know have a new pickup line that I can use in pretty much any situation: "Are you Giorg?" Odds are, you will soon find someone who's willing to be Giorg.
Then we went to a reggaeton dance club, and I was again stymied by the question of how to dance. I'm familiar with a couple kinds of meringue/salsa/traditional dirty dancing, but these fellows were up to something entirely different. They hunch forward towards you in a rather tense and stiff position, and begin a gentle body roll with some side-to-side that doesn't really come anywhere near you. You don't hold on to each other. In fact, you are rarely in contact at all. Since most of these guys were for real Puerto Rican, like from La Perla down underneath Old San Juan, I must conclude that they were the authorities on how one ought to dance to reggaeton. Still, I felt like I was missing something. And kinda threw out my neck from dancing so stiffly... anybody out there have any insights? Is this really how we have to do it now?