Today I strolled over into Cobble Hill by way of Carroll Gardens. I had some vague plans to run errands, but was totally derailed when I saw one of my favorite things in the world, an old school movie theater with a vintage marquee. I’d been wanting to see Taking Woodstock and I walked by at 1:05, so I snagged a ticket and a soda and went in.
I liked most of the movie – spotted a high school classmate (her credit is "Hippie Girl" – she was half the interracial couple buying tickets from Demitri Martin’s parents), enjoyed the soundtrack, the presence of Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening), Ang Lee’s storytelling…. and really got into that ‘bring people together and let the magic happen’ vibe.
Sure hippie counter culture has a cool kids club like any other group, and as the movie goes out of its way to point out, under the surface, the organizers had a financial agenda too, but the vibes must have been cool. Also, bonus points to the cast for delivering 70s lingo in earnest. It’s hard to say "far out" without a smirk. I walked home feeling bouncy and energized and full of acceptance and affection for the human race and music lovers in particular.
Then after a quick lunch/dinner at home (I’ve elevated my traditional macaroni-and-cheese-with-hot-dogs by replacing the hot dogs with fancypants Trader Joe’s pesto chicken sausage) I scooped up my ticket (won in a trivia challenge at a do-gooder training) for the 7 pm Cyclones game.
Except, I noticed as I started to walk out the door, it wasn’t for a Cyclones game. It was for a Staten Island Yankees game. On July 4th.
Back to my room, the correct ticket was dug up from behind my bookcase. I headed out to Coney Island, alighted on the boardwalk, managed to avoid Nathan’s after all, and headed towards the stadium. Only to notice the stands were full of people already. I’d planned to arrive an hour early, and had actually hopped off the D train at ten to 6.
Funny how, when the game starts at 5, that’s not actually "early" per se.
Anyway, 3 innings in, Beltran in the outfield on his rehab assignment, requisite jackass Yankee fan shouting himself hoarse at the bullpen, children stomping on the (metal) (bleacher) steps and dancing to the loudspeaker music. I love kids, I love kids at ballparks, I enjoy watching games from all different vantage point, but I’m never sitting in the bleachers again. Ever. Just the footsteps are headache inducing, made worse by caffeine withdrawl, a chilly night and a chatty, baseball-clueless crowd.
I didn’t stay past the bottom of the 7th, and as I was storming back to the train station I ruminated how much I hate people and all they stand for.
And then it hit me that not 4 hours previously I’d been reveling in the Universe Divine, delighted to be sharing the planet and only wishing I could gather more of my beloved fellow citizens together in peace and music.
Yeah. I don’t see a Burning Man festival in my future anytime soon.