New York City, baby.

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.


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