Monday, September 18, 2017

around town: lynch family skatepark

it all started with a video game called tony hawk: pro skater 2. i was about 14 or 15, and babysitting for my next-door neighbor's kid, whose only interest seemed to be playing the game. i didn't mind one bit; this was my first exposure to the world of skateboarding, and i was immediately hooked.

i soon became privy to mctwists and ollies, and familiar with names like bob burnquist, bucky lasek, and andy macdonald (all ancient skating royalty these days). i actually went so far as to buy a board and try to teach myself for, ohh, about two weeks before admitting defeat and settling for being an enthusiastic fan. however, i am not ashamed to admit that i've dragged my poor friends to the dew tour with me multiple times, plan my schedule around the x games every year, can quote lords of dogtown line-for-line (RIP heath ledger, RIP jay adams) and hope to one day have a son that i can force into the sk8r boi lifestyle. kidding! or am i?

the point of all of this is that i've recently decided to take photography more seriously, and noticed that a photography group i'm in was having a meetup at lynch family skatepark in cambridge, one of the biggest and best of its kind on the east coast. in other words: hiiiighly relevant to all of my interests. so, i grabbed my lil' canon powershot and headed on up. on the real: we spent two hours there, but i could have easily spent all day, i had so much fun. not only did i get to witness some insane talent, but the guys (and three girls!!) had some big personalities, and most of them totally ate up the fact that they had a captive audience watching their every move. case in point: bro in the black pantera shirt messing up a trick, screaming "I'M SO SICK OF THIS SHIT!" and slamming his board down to the shock and amusement of onlookers. i didn't really know what to do with my favorite of the ohhhh, 200 or so pictures i took, so i'm throwing them on here. as you'll see, some of the ones i enjoyed the most were the candid, non-action shots. can someone pay me for this, please?!

side note: this blonde guy was totally my muse, which is why the next couple pictures are of him. quintessential tan skater-surfer dude.



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

40ish hours in new york


remind me to never, EVER take megabus again. while i've taken bolt the past few years with success, the available times just didn't work for me this time around, and amtrak was like a zillion dollars. so, despite having multiple negative experiences--which included being stuck at a rest stop for more than 2 hours during one ride, and the bus driver shaking down passengers for money to pay for an oil change on another, i swallowed my pride and went with mega. we were an hour and a half late arriving in the city, the bus smelled, and i. just. couldn't.

my only source of amusement was this obviously insane girl who kept going "teehee!" every time her phone made noise as if she had no clue how to put it on vibrate, started writing on a roll of paper towels, and then proceeded to flat iron her (most likely fake) hair. i pretty much just rocked back and forth and listened to "legit tattoo gun" by the front bottoms on repeat for six hours.

once i finally got to brooklyn (at nearly 10pm), we wandered to this lovely little pizza place called wheated in ditmas park and i filled my face with whiskey, meatballs, and cheese. i would claim i was eating my feelings about the bus experience, but y'all know i would have done this anyway. there was also a very distinguished man at the bar who looked like a hipper kenny loggins and he just had such a PRESENCE. that's neither here nor there. just wanted to mention it.

then, it was beers on the back porch of this cozy, adorable, and low-key neighborhood joint called hinterlands bar down the street. kenny loggins was ALSO at the bar here! what a guy.


after grabbing coffees at a hole-in-the-wall pakistani bakery near gleni's place, we strolled to brunch at the farm on adderley (which is neither a farm nor on adderley street, natch). the walk took us through this quaint, residential neighborhood that almost felt like the garden district in new orleans. big, well-kept, multi-family houses, including this one with some fake geese chillin' on the roof.

back to brunch, though. it was pretty good, but the highlight was seeing alia shawkat (of arrested development and search party...and the episode of broad city where she hooks up with ilana). i didn't even realize it was her at first, only noticing her male companion's absolutely terrible-looking bandana. celebs: they're not even as cool as us!

while it wasn't quite warm enough for the beach, we popped down to coney island for the afternoon.


first up were the art walls, and we spent aboooouut an hour posing in front of the RIOT one. i'm so bummed i didn't capture the moment when there were three girls in a row, just takin' selfies.

next up was the wonder wheel. we went for a swinging car and oh MAN did it swing. good old-fashioned fun.

after some hard orange cream ale and root beer at the freak bar, we decided to give into the gimmick and get tickets for the freak show. er, sorry, the circus sideshow if you wanna get real PC about it.

BEST $10 I'VE EVER SPENT. but for real, i had zero expectations for the show and it was so. much. fun. i figured that it would be all smoke and mirrors at a place like coney island, but y'aaaaall. we weren't allowed to take pictures or video, but it was a solid 45 minutes, and we saw:

-a little person shove an ice pick into his nasal cavity
-the same little person swallow an entire long balloon (like, it disappeared down his throat and we never saw it again)
-a guy who called himself "jelly boy the clown" swallow like 5 different swords, and later, pull a guy in a wheelchair across the stage with fish hooks hanging from the bottom of his eyes. the ONLY "clown" i've ever enjoyed, which is huge for me
- a contortionist pull his body through an empty tennis racket and do other insane things with his joints
-a tattooed hipster chick eat fire and set flame to her arms and tongue multiple times

i highly, highly encourage going if you find yourself at coney. it was like a live, more macabre version of a jackass episode. what i'm saying is that it was highly relevant to my interests and i loved every minute of it.

on the walk back home later that afternoon, we stopped into windsor coffee, which was a goddamn instagram dream and had half-priced pastries. hi, nutella scone!

the evening began with frose and tacos at el atoradero, a solid, intimate mexican joint in prospect heights.

then it was onto a cocktail bar called the bearded lady. i couldn't quite figure out the vibe here--it was a little retro, a little tiki--but it was totally fun and i dug it. the very strong "painkiller" cocktail didn't hurt, either.

we migrated to a party at gleni's friend's apartment around the corner, which was adorable. it should also be noted that this entire evening was supposed to be an all-female gathering called the "clam jam" and obviously there was a gorgeous poster designed for it, because it's brooklyn.

the night ended as all nights should: hanging out with a dog, drinking wine, doing the dougie, and listening to a playlist that included harry styles, natalie imbruglia, and the bodeans ("closer to free" is still such a jam).


soooo, a kind of major life event happened on sunday. as many of you know, i'm adopted, and upon meeting my birth parents (separately) at age 21, discovered that i have not 1, not 2, but 9 half-siblings. i know! long story short, i connected with one of my sisters via social media last year, who is in her second year at FIT, and we decided to meet up!

we grabbed breakfast at the grey dog in nolita and got to know each other a little better, went to a vintage shop (because we obviously both love thrifting) and then ducked into another cafe, oficina 1m, when it started to downpour outside. she's wonderful and there's absolutely no question (physically and otherwise) that we're biologically related. case in point: i instinctively went to take a photo of my cute cappuccino, and she goes "let's give it some color," swiftly moving the little flower vase into the shot. i'm so, so glad we got to meet, and it was a great end to the trip.

just remind me to take amtrak next time, okay?