New York City, baby.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

It's Sunday and there are many options how to spend the day.Blubox Intern suggest a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond. She has a 20% off coupon, as in 20% off our masculinity. We decide to walk around instead.

Record Store employees are still baffled by my request for My Morning Jacket. "We don't have that," said the employee on Bleeker Street flatly, deciding it wasn't worth the time to even check his computer.

I was shocked that a cool record store on Bleeker would be clueless about My Morning Jacket. For that matter, that the entire downtown record store world would be in the dark.

Is the downtown getting less cutting edge, less in-the-know? To be fair, our search was based around the NYU and West Village area. Perhaps why, despite the pretty streets and great brunch haunts, I never would live there. It's just a few steps two deep in the surface reality -- the Matrix, if you will. There's more of a chance of discovery and magic in the Lower East Side.

Almost bought the new David Bowie album. David Bowie would prefer the Lower East Side. But we wish Lower East Side was even more Bowie-friendly.

Shouldn't Adult World be a glam palace? Shouldn't Sin-e give off a little more of a fuck-me-in-the bathroom vibe? Where's that Save The Robots club on Avenue C with the hard drivin' hard druggin' mind-blowin' music and the Special K droppin' twenty-three year old hitchhikers who wouldn't be caught in trendy low-riders but prefer patent leather pants and screw-me-red lipstick?

After clearing the perimeter set up by Homeland Security around Central Park, which included a deadly strict no-blanket policy, we had a lovely time at the Dave Matthews Band Concert.

The Great Lawn became the meeting spot for thousand of strangers -- sharing more than space, but a need to jump off the S.S. City for a few hours. On a rating from 1 to 10. 10 a total escape from the bullshit and 1 being the slightest change of consciousness we give it a 5. Which these days is nothing less than miraculous.

In the distance, we took in a pretty sunset skyline, the twinkling illumination of the highrises growing stronger as the sunlight faded. Definetly a 6. A guy standing beside us, who like us miracilously snuck in a contraband blanket causing an immediate bond to occur, pointed over to a building in the distance and explained: "That's the castle from Ghostbusters." More like a 2.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Blubox got there early. The AOL Street Team was supposed to arrive at 6 PM at Irving Plaza. We were there at 5:45 PM. No way we weren't going to get a game piece this time.

We stood outside the venue, as did hundreds of others, crowding the block, blocking the tour buses. It turns 6. The AOL Street Team van pulls up. But the AOL Street Team doesn't jump out.

There's a moment of confusion. Suddenly a mass of people start walking in the direction of the East Village, like refugees from a virus outbreak in an upper-to-middle class suburb.

We're following behind a group of post-fratty guys in their Meterosexual Oxford shirts, trying to keep up with a pair of High Schoolers in '70s style sunglasses and punk-lite teeshirts.

We ask some college sophomores who look cool if they know where we are walking. We suddenly feel like the fifty-year-old insurance salesman on his vacation in India asking people on the street where he can find his hotel. As we trek down the street, one girl says that she thinks we need to go to "St. Marks."

But where on St. Marks?

Another one says: "I think somewhere between 1st and 3rd Ave."

The parade of random people invade St. Marks. DMB fans are wandering up and down St. Marks, exchanging glances with other lost searchers, racing after packs of people who appear suddenly confident of where they are going, only to realize they have no clue where to go.

With hope fading, and a birthday dinner reservation to make for the Blubox Intern, my "new friends" and us get some information from a random passerby, someone more likely to sell you a bootleg copy of Dickie Roberts on Broadway.

He tells us to head back up towards Astor Place. As the angels sang gloriously from heaven, we spot a crowd of people encircling those bright orange shirts that could only be the AOL Street Team.

We go up to the same Street Team guy who was "all out" of game pieces the day before at Webster Hall. But he did sympathize with us, lamenting how scalpers and non-fans were scoring tickets that should be going to fans like us (our friends over at Lockhart noted that our last post made us look like "some crazy hardcore DMB fan.")

The Blubox Intern argues that getting the tickets is no longer even about the music; it's now about "the challenge." That's right. We're not going to be denied. Not now. Not at this point. Not by those AOL bastards. It's a race against time. A battle of wills. The Universe vs. Us.

The Blubox Intern hypothesized that "we don't really want to get the tickets" because then we can be justified about "being miserable about not going."

We approach our old blonde-dyed AOL Street Team friend. He pulls out a game piece from his bag and gives it to me. He scans our bar code. What if we told you we finally won?


As we waited in the long redeeming line, the sound of Dave Matthews floating from the AOL Street Team van, we enjoyed a peaceful, easy feeling.

It was one of those little New York moments you take for yourself. Here we were. Standing in New York City on a warm fall night. Taxi cars and buses, newspaper stands and pizza places, and people emerging from the historic subway entrance. The almost infinite flow of activity. The harmony of coincidence. The dance of seperate fates. So many lives. So much human will. So much intention. But how much is chance? How much is a higher plan?

We walked away from the bustling crazy world of the Concert ticket giveway, sliding the tickets into our pockets. We walked away without an answer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Blubox is trying to focus on the positive but this is hard when the AOL Street Team is toying with our emotions so malevolently.

We don’t mind being forced to chase these over-the-shoulder bag toting Abercrombie and Finch underwater watch wearing “Barcelona was crazy!!” “this-is-a-really-good-job-to-make-contacts” interns all around the city for a free ticket to the Dave Matthews Band Concert in Central Park. Oh, if it was only that simple.

If you track these hellishly likable camp counselor-types down, you don’t get a ticket, but rather a game piece. The game piece is really an AOL Free Trial Packet with a scanned bar code (Yes, Montgomery Burns. Genius. Pure Genius.)

The Street Team scans your bar code (the external one on the packet as opposed to the internal one AOL placed in your cranium at birth) to tell you if you are an instant winner. You have a 1 and 4 chance of winning. Ah, such good odds. Deceivingly good.

First I went to Washington Square Park. Our first Game piece was scanned by the high tech scanner. The words popped up on the tiny digital screen: SORRY. The Street Teamer told me there was other ways we could win, but in our state of shock we could only partially hear them. We made out something about “renouncing all family and friends and committing ourselves to the AOL way of life.”

All around us in the park, people were getting scanned and winning tickets. NYU Freshman who didn't deserve tickets were stepping in shit left and right. We went into covert mode and weasled a second game piece. The scanner caressed our game piece: SORRY.

Never have I felt more helpless. Then, just as we were about to slither away in our state of pissed-off beyond beliefdom, a blonde pony-tailed cap-wearing AOL Street Team member, with her useless existence aura, offered me a third game piece. This had to be the one. It just had to be. SORRY

We got word from the Blubox Intern that the AOL Street Team would be giving out game pieces today at Webster Hall from 6 to 11. We fought our way -- and we mean fought our way -- through the crowd waiting to get into the Evanescence show. We spotted the Street Team and quickened our pace. We approach an affable blonde-dyed dude with his bright orange shirt and over-the-shoulder bag. “Sorry, all out.”


“We've been here for hours, dude. It was a mob scene. We're cleaned out. No more game pieces. That line over there is just for the winners.”

In our crestfallen state, we turn and look at the long line. We focus on the guy at the front of the line. A guy in a one piece velor suit -- one of Snoop Dogg’s cousins presumably.

"That's too bad. I turned him away eight times," says the Street Teamer. "He's not the true Dave Matthews Band fan."

The guy slides the tickets into his back pocket with a Jimmy Walker grin. Some Corporate Lawyer will be buying those tickets for $70.

"Scalpers. They've been messing things up for the real fans like you. It really ruins the spirit of the event," explains the Street Teamer.

The other members of the Street team are suddenly huddled around, commiserating with us and a few short-haired college-educated white guys in their late 20s and early thirties. One is wearing a suit with no tie. He drinks top-shelf vodka. We would probably exchange happy glances in the middle of Tripping Billies.

The show is for us. Uptight, neurotic white boys. The ones who transcend two or three times a year. If they are lucky. This show was ours. It wasn't for some street hustler to make a profit.

"I can't tell you how many of the people said to me after getting a game ticket: What did I just win?" says another Street Team member. Why our we listening to this? Do we really need him to lay out the brutal reality for us? Yes.

Those of us -- the true fans -- we must stand there and watch the long line of people collecting their winning tickets. And with what we heard still ringing in our ears, we study each person in line. That forty-year old women with the big ugly purse --- we're going out on a limb and saying she does not own the Unreleased Lilywhite Sessions. The gangsta in the Eagles Jersey who's still wiping the Flame Broiled Whopper from his lips -- he was at Red Rocks, definitely.

The hunt continues...

Friday, September 12, 2003

Blubox stopped on 13th Street and saw flowers propped up inside the firehouse. Candles burned below photos of those firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. A Fire Chief in a crisp white dress shirt and shiny black shoes sat informally against a fire truck, listening to a woman – a wife? A sister? – wearing a T-shirt that read NEW YORK CITY. “Who have we risked our lives for?” we wondered as we kept walking. And then we went to Union Square. And a girl was sitting beside us on the stone steps, smoking Marlboro Menthols, talking on her cellphone. And she said, her voice rising with anger, “All the buttons on my duvet cover are gone!”

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Blubox's family is driving us crazy. They managed to distract and annoy to the point where we lost our wallet as a result. Been tryin' to recover ever since through heavy doses of The O.C.. It has helped. We've also been listening to NIN. Still paying $2.50 every five minutes to publish and we've already squandered our time checking Hotmail, where the emails we weren't expecting but were hoping to get didn't come. For instance, the one that tells us how to break out of this Matrix of money and miscommunication.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Blubox has exactly five minutes to make today's post as we do not want to be charged another $2.50 for the next fifteen minutes at the internet cafe we find ourselves in. So what crucial information can we impart to you in 5.. make that 3 minutes? It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away. Easy to say when you have a super hot wife plus your best buddy is Helena Christenson. That sounds Haterific. Peace, Bono. Peace to you and all the good people of NYC and Dublin.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Erratic. That's one way to describe Blubox's publishing schedule. We're trying to get our asses in gear. Really, we are. Some things feel easier then others and when you're twenty-nine you tend to gravitate towards them -- for example, watching the Red Sox take the first two games from the Yankees in Yankees Stadium. We think the secret might be to write something that doesn't involve much brain power (it is Sunday morning after all). So here is our music picks for the week:

Album we are most excited to listen to after hearing just one song: My Morning Jacket
Album we are most excited to listen to after hearing not even one song: The New Strokes Album
Album we are most excited to listen to but would never admit it:
The New John Mayer Album
Album we bought because they were referred to as the "Southern Strokes" and then felt suckered by music magazine hype:
Kings of Leon
Album that is getting better over time:
Nine Inch Nail's Closer
Album that is getting worse over time:
Snatch Soundtrack
Album recommended by St. Mark's record store clerk that we passed on:
Johnny Marr's New Album
Album we would buy if we found $15 in Union Square:
Ed Harcourt's New Album
Album we most want to buy as a result of the MTV Video Music Awards:
Johnny Cash Song:"Hurt"
Album we most want to buy based on song we hear played on KROC:
Queens of The Stone Age Song:"Go With The Flow"