After leaving DC, I headed up to New York for a few days to see friends and visit Ganas on Staten Island.
11/15 - Wednesday
Arrived in NY okay. It must have cost me $20 in tolls to get up here. $5 for a bridge, $3 for a turnpike. Ridiculous. Hung out with Tavit. He’s into video games and tech, so we sat around drinking beer and smoking and shot the shit.
11/17 - Friday
Visited Ganas - the community on Staten Island. They have open dinners on Friday nights - a community meal followed by questions to/from visitors about the community. The food was great. I was the only visitor so I got to ask plenty of questions. Lots of people were interested in my travels and wanted to hear comparisons of other communities. They have about 10 houses on the same block, so they share a common backyard area. They have three businesses nearby - a thrift store, refurbished furniture, and an art gallery. Some people just rent a room, others work in one of the businesses, and there is a small group of “hard-core” folk who are more dedicated to the community. After dinner and the Q&A, I sat in on one of their feedback-learning sessions. The subject had requested the session to help her deal with some relationship issues that she was dealing with. She talked and the others in the group relayed back their impressions of what she said, trying to dig into her motivations and help her more consciously realize what she was feeling and why. During the Q&A, one of the members mentioned that communities tend to focus on either a “communication” (or personal growth) aspect, or on physical systems of sustainability (permaculture, renewable energy, etc).
11/18 - Saturday
Met up w/ Shawna. We were going to have dim sum so we headed to Chinatown. We ended up wandering around too long and ended up just picking a place in little Italy for dinner.
Tavit was DJ-ing a house party in Brooklyn and invited me to go along with him, his roommate, and a small entourage of friends. The party was off the hook. I must admit, I had higher expectations - going to my first big NEW YORK party - but it was more like a regular house party in Austin, only happened to be in NY. It was the last night of a play, and this was a show-closing cast party - filled, of course - with theater people. I think the highlight of the evening was that I got to dance with the hottest woman at the party - and immediately afterward, she introduced me to her boyfriend! If I hadn’t been so intoxicated, I might have considered a three-way (not that they were hinting that at all); oh well. Tavit spun some cool music off of his laptop. There was lots of dancing. I took my first NYC cab ride on the way home - we got a black car for $45 - 6 of us piled into the one car. It was a fast ride. We said goodbye on the street at 5:45 am. So now it’s Sunday morning and the Nintendo Wii comes out in like 4 hours. Tavit talked about just staying up and going for the gold, but I had to crash out.
11/20 - Monday
Arrived upstate at Susannah’s yesterday - no problem getting here. We hung out a bit and she oriented me to her house/dorm. It’s technically a dormitory, under the school’s jurisdiction, but it’s a 6-bedroom house. One of the rooms is empty - the double - where I’m staying. My sister lives upstairs with two other girls (separate bedrooms) and two girls named Lilly live downstairs. They have their own laundry facilities here (coin-op) and a full kitchen. The school takes care of bathroom supplies, some basic house cleaning, utilities including ethernet internet. Not bad for a “dorm.” I bought groceries and made cookies this morning. I’m spending my time watching movies and working on personal projects - typing up journal entries, programming projects, planning the return trip to Texas, etc.
The amazingly talented Andrew Schnieder grinds one out. I saw this guy put together an entire song in 15 minutes with nothing but his guitar and a bunch of pedals (including a sampler panel). And then he did it again. And again.
Friends from TAMS: Val, Shawna and Thomas.
I’m a sucker for sunsets.