Monday, February 28, 2005

Best Party of the Weekend.

Mike and Kurt had their party on Friday night and it was the Best Party of the Weekend. Whether or not it was the only party of the weekend is of no consequence. But, besides being a Best Party of the Weekend, it was also a Party in Three Acts. Let me explain.

Act One
Many people, when looking at Mike's invite, probably asked "Why does this party start at 7?" I know I did. Turns out Mike and Kurt were being smart by having the party start at 7 so that it could have an "Act One: People Sitting Around the Counter, Talking, and Eating Cheese"

Some people say to me, "Dude, you put up the worst picture of me!" Yeah, but look how bad the pictures of me that I put up are.
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Kurt getting the music going. The music of the evening also followed three acts, Act One: Kurt's Garden State Sounding Music, Act Two: Brigham's Shameless Party Mix, and Act Three: A White Stripes Concert that Some Guy Found on My iPod and Started Playing Because he was Sick of my Shameless Party Mix (or, as the Playlist was officially titled, "Fiesta Sin Verguenza")
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The playlist, in two pieces. One. Two. I told you it was shameless.

Act One is a time when not a lot of people are thinking to take pictures, so that's why we don't have photos of important things like "Amber telling Brigham to put his arms above his head to stop his wrong-pipe coughing situation" or "Emily sneaking out of Milbank for a little Best Party of the Weekend Act One Excitement."

Act Two
But around 9 or so all of a sudden it's "Act Two: Lots of People Start Showing Up and It Starts to Get Loud."

Becky, Joe, Tina, Jeremiah!
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Natalie and Erin!
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Meg and Kane!
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Jacob Pugsley! (In the background)
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Having your picture by the jungle gym/coat rack was totally the thing to do!
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Here's one for the Book of Unexpected Things: Ryan Thompson from Provo happened to be in New York and happened to hear about the party and happened to show up, too. It blew my mind.
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Mike had High School friends there!
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Act Three
But eventually it gets to be around mignight and most of the people leave and "Act Three: People Hanging Out by the Couch" begins. And, as usual, hanging out around the couch at Mike's place leads to me bringing up Mike's modeling career and making Mike get out modeling mementos.

Like the Japanese poster he was on for the cell phones with the famous Japanese lady:
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And then we start looking at his "book":
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Which leads to attempts at emulation:
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But there is only one true model amongst us:
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Want that bigger? Or course you do. Click.

Once the party ended the truest awesomeness began because, guess what? Chad drove us the remaining downtowners home! In a Jeep! And he drove fast! It was great.
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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Best Movie of the Summer?

I've got a pretty good feeling about Roll Bounce. Lil' Bow Wow has finally found the perfect role. People are gonna go nuts over this movie. I'm serious.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Best "I'm Full of Surprises"

So, you read Steady Mobbin' a lot and think it has taught you everything there is to know about everything I do every day of the week. But here's something I haven't told you yet: for like a month now, Emily has been organizing these large dinner outings--and I've been to almost all of them. Anyway, tonight we ate pizza at Lombardi's and then crossed the street to Rice to Riches, the outer space rice pudding emporium that is also a front to a massive gambling ring. Photographable? Very.

As you can see, there are many different rice puddings to choose from at Rice to Riches.
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"Man, Kelly" says Jeff "There are so many puddings to choose from here!"
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Mala and Rachel had banana and rocky road rice pudding, I think. (That would be two flavors sharing a single a bowl, Rice to Riches has many things, but one of them isn't "Banana Rocky Road Rice Pudding")
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Emily knew what she was doing and got warm french toast rice pudding with oatmeal crumble and cherries. Whoah.
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If you're reading this and you're living in New York, don't forget to go to Kurt and Mike's party. Details? Down two posts.

Imageshack is acting a little sketchy. If you don't see any pictures, hit refresh, and maybe you'll get some pictures.

Best Late-Night Dining Destination, Every Now and Then

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So, the Marriage of Figaro let out right around midnight and food had to be found. Back in the day (the Chicago day), the thing to do after rock shows was head to Denny's as it was one of the only places that would still be open and it sort of was just the rule, to go to Denny's where the kids-just-getting-back-from-the-Mighty-Mighty-Bosstones-show crowd mingled freely with the burnouts-who-were-always-at-Denny's crowd . . . I know I don't have to explain this too thoroughly as it's pretty much a universal truth, from Burbank, CA to Newark, NJ. But in present-day New York City, where does one grab a decent bite after midnight and maybe comingle with their peers? Obviously, there are many, many options, mostly so-so diners, but I decided we ought to visit Schiller's Liquor Bar, which, if we're all honest and clever about it, is pretty much the Denny's of the Lower East Side. Let me explain.

A self-described "low life bar and restaurant", Schiller's, as it is on Rivington Street, attracts a great number of cool folk at all hours of the day . . . from breakfast 'till late into the night. Arriving at around 12:30, the place was as hectic as the Denny's on Harlem would have been on such a night 10 years ago, with rambunctious carousers at the bar (yes, yes, I know, Denny's doesn't have a bar--but for more on that, see below), boisterous tables full of friends, and solitary diners dining alone. The joint exudes a neighborhood-hang out vibe along with a destination restaurant air and is, indisbutably, a fun place to visit any hour of the day. Much like Denny's, I've never had a meal at Schiller's that was really worth raving about, yet I've never been served anything I'd turn my nose up at either. Schiller's, not too much unlike your Planet Hollywoods and Rain Forest Cafes (what a horrible comparison I'm drawing here), is a restaurant where the atmosphere and experience of being there truly outweighs the meal itself. (And, considering Schiller's prime location and heavily coordinated decor and the fact that it's one of several popular restaurants in a fairly similar vein by a single restauranteur, it wouldn't be too much of a stretch for a real snob to call Schiller's a hipster-themed restaurant). So, yeah, if you want to get fed and have a fun time, and it's late or early or whatever, Schiller's is a decent destination for sure.

Clearly that photo above wasn't taken Friday night. You're a real detective for figuring that out.

Once in College this guy had written a short story about two buddies who meet at a Denny's and one of them orders a beer and it bugged me so much because I was just certain Denny's didn't serve alcohol. I was desperate to call him on it, but just wasn't 100% certain that you couldn't get a beer at Denny's, so I took it upon myself to find out if such beverages could be had at Denny's, but now I can't remember what results my research yielded. I'm pretty sure it was a "no" on the cervesas. It may have been a good story that the kid wrote, I don't know, all I could do was obsess over the beer at Denny's.

Here's a little history lesson. The first time I went to Schiller's was with Mike Lemmon for a power brunch to discuss this idea for a website I had had where I would write about whatever and post pictures of things I had done and everything. The website was to be called "brigster" and the main page was to resemble my Friendster profile, except it would say "brigster" in the corner. Anyway, as part of the power brunch I had prepared a graph, seen here, charting "Brigham's Interest and Output" [the pink line], "Brigham's Actual Ability" to produce that content [a dotted pink line that I don't think I actually put on the graph], "Mike's Interest, Ability, etc." [the blue line] to assist in the computer side of getting brigster going, and "Brigham's Time Available" [the green line] on a Amounts (high/low) vs. Time (now/later) grid. While brigster never got off the ground (but, in a certain sense, it was remarkably close to being a reality), it seems I have found a way to get onto the internet. Also, at the power brunch, Mike had an egg cream.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Best Party of the Weekend?

It's up to you, really.

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You will never again be asked to "bring drinks or some chips" with such style by anyone.

If this invite has got you scratchin' your head, "Mike" is Mike the Model, Matt Lemmon's younger, better behaved brother whom some of you know and others of you need to meet and "Kurt" is Kurt the Music Producer Who Just Moved Out to New York, whom too few of you know and most of you need to meet. Contact me for more details, if you need them. If you're wondering if even you are invited, yes, even you are invited.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Best Presidents' Day Weekend

Behold, the thumbnailstorm is upon you!

I had just about the most filling Presidents Day Weekend ever this weekend. Friday night I went to the opera and ate at Schiller's (Schiller's reportage forthcoming) and that alone would have made for a pretty full weekend, but did it stop there? Not at all.

First of all, on Saturday, I Swiffered under my futon for the first time in ages. Can you believe this thing? Disgusting, right? But check it out, in the background, you can see my new shoes. I was so proud of them I kept them on that table all weekend so I could see them whenever I wanted. That's how it is when you've got new shoes.
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My primary Saturday activity was going up to the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Central Park West to help feed the old folks. It's something my church does regularly, but it was the first time I'd ever gone. It was awesome, of course.
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We cooked chili for the old people, we bought the ingredients at the grocery store and everything. I cooked the beef, six pounds worth, in tiny frying pans that just didn't get the job done. Here we've got Stephen and Jeff Mulcock (the NYC Bros) and Jill at the chili pot.
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A good new name for Steady Mobbin' would be "People Tasting Things and then Making Faces dot Com". That's Sarah and there's Ian, tasting some of the fruit. And then there's Jeff tasting the chili and making a face about it. A thinking face. And then Ian's licking the brownie bowl clean.
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I bet you want to see pictures of old people. Sorry, no pictures of awesome old people. I just didn't feel good about taking secret pictures of someone's grandmas and putting them up on the internet. I took off when they started busting out the Bingo boards (seriously) and walked down CPW. Those Gates, they might be growing on me. And the Time Warner Building looked extra shiny Saturday afternoon.
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Someone has lost their parrot. Keep an eye peeled.
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Sunday evening Joe Jackson had a thing where a bunch of people came to his house and kind of ate dinner. I suppose you'd call it a "party" but I think it might have been more of a "gathering" or a "to-do". But it as a party/gathering/to-do full of surprises, like, for one, Sarah Jane Udall was back in town, but just for a bit.
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This is Josh. Here's the thing about Josh (and I've never told this to anyone before), I've realized that he looks just like a super hero's alter-ego.
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I mean, how can you tell me that dude isn't secretly Spider-Man? I wouldn't be surprised.

If you didn't already know about it, you'd be pretty surprised to find out about Karisa's new hair color. And Jenna made a new best friend at the party.
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After a while I went up to 108th Street with Rebekah and Erin to learn tricky games and watch Arrested Development. You can't tell it from the photos, but their apartment was packed full of game players, it wasn't just the three of us. And those are Metro Card playing cards, I'm not making a joke and pretending a bunch of Metro Cards are playing cards.
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Here's something for everyone to know: Erin and I were in the same ward freshman year at BYU and now, 9 and 1/2 years later, we've finally hung out. It was great, and I've certainly wasted a lot of my life by not knowing Erin better and meeting her friends up until now. (And Becca ain't so bad herself, by the way)

But the Presidents Day weekend excitement just won't stop! There's more! Monday morning Lauren organized a brunchish gathering at Markt in the Meat Packing District. You can see here that I didn't exactly arrive completely rested.
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More pictures of people eating things. That's Genevieve in the pink, if you didn't know. And when I think about it, I don't really like omelets, so I don't know why I always order them. I mean, look at how much everyone loves their strawberry waffles? Why didn't I just get strawberry waffles?
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Wandering home from that I realized that the 6th Avenue Bed Bath and Beyond is in a really great looking old building.
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And this is what I'll call the "Sight of the Weekend." What we've got here is a young girl of four or five walking with her nanny, wearing a trendy long parka with requisite fur-trimmed colar, furry Wookie moonboots, and a hat with pointy animal ears. Also, she's got her American Indian American Girl doll under her elbow like most (slightly older) girls carry their Dior purses. Now, I don't typically take secret photos of little kids when I'm out on the street, but the girl was so clearly wearing exactly what she wanted to be wearing that it reminded me of how my brother Greg used to wear this flourescent orange tiger-print shorts with matching t-shirt and his cowboy boots (on the wrong feet) and a coonskin cap and I really started to think about what the world would be like if kids always got to wear exactly what they wanted.
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And that's pretty much the whole weekend, except for my supper at Schiller's. And I did my laundry. In my pajamas. And I ran into Elvis on the elevator when I was in my pajamas. I gave him this "Wassup'?" nod, and he looked at me like "You don't give people wassup' nods in their place of residence." My bad, I just thought he'd be glad I was showing him props.

Also I've purchased my Spring Break LA and SLC airplane tickets. West Coast and Wasatch Front Friends of Steady Mobbin' stay posted, reunion specifics to follow shortly.

And Does anyone know anything about getting t-shirts made in New York City? I'm finally gonna make my Christmas presents.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Best "Not Like We Didn't See It Coming"

I found out about Hunter S. Thompson's suicide reading an article on it in the New York Post over the shoulder of some guy on the subway this morning. My reaction? Something like "Finally." Not like "Finally, at last that jerk is dead" but "So he finally died?" To have any familiarity at all with the life of, the legends that sorrounded Dr. Thompson was to be aware of his constant cheating of death through excessive chemical indulgences and the wild behavior that accompanies such activities and the anticipation of Thompson eventually dying some gory or agonizing death that comes with that . . . so at last it has happened, the end of Hunter S. Thompson . . . not too different from the "at last it has happened" death of William S. Burroughs eight years ago. These counter-culture anti-heroes, we just sit around waiting for them to do something wild again or to die so we can remember the old crazy stuff. Crazy stuff that's plenty older than me.

I don't want to be too serious at all, but I'm going to have to say that reading "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" during or after my senior year of high school (along with "Cat's Cradle) was part of a pivotal moment in my life, a pivotal moment in all sorts of people's life, a graduating from High School ideas to College ideas and readiness to approach intellectual adulthood. Not that Fear and Loathing is incredible literature, but there's something to it, something which I'm utterly failing to put my finger on right now. But if you read Fear and Loathing in your late teens or even your early twenties, you know what I'm talking about . . . if anything, the book serves to show you what else books can be besides fiction or non-fiction.

I wonder what will happen to Uncle Duke in Doonesbury now. (Zonker's uncle, not mine.)

Sometime in the last year I saw Thompson on Conan O'Brien. It clarifed a great many things for me. For some reason, until Conan, I couldn't imagine Thompson as anything but a normal guy with sunglasses who wrote crazy "true" stories . . . but seeing him "alive" and "speaking", I was immediately impressed that he could type, let alone write.

Years ago I read this "article" Thompson wrote for Time magazine "about" his experiences in Hollywood as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was being filmed. I remember really liking it, possibly mostly because of its title, "Doomed Love at the Taco Stand". I haven't reread it yet, but I was able to dig it up out of the internet.

Update I've been thinking about HST a little and my mood has shifted from "I knew this would happen" from "bummed." He was a great American eccentric, something our cultural landscape could use a lot more of, and I'll miss Thompson occasionally popping up in the news for having, say, freaked out at a book signing or blown up something real big at his compound (sorry, no link for blowing stuff up, not that one couldn't be found with some digging).

Also, why is it that all America's macho writers of some talent can only be killed by themselves? Someone out there has to be trying to write a Hemingway/Thompson comparison piece, I can feel it.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Migliore Giorno di Tormenti, di Capricci e di Follia

Friday night I headed uptown once more to another night of culture at the harmonious unison of red velvet and gold leaf that is the Metropolitan Opera for attend the season's final performance of "The Marriage of Figaro". Thanks to ridiculous student bargains made available by the Met, guys like me can score seats of incredible quality at about an eighth of their "real" value and come off as real ballers to those who think you have to sit in the family circle to get a bargain at the Met. Making it to Friday night's show was no simple task for me, as I bought the tickets weeks before the show, immediately lost them, searched again and again for them, gave them up for vanished, and then found out, with barely a day left before the performance itself, that you can just call up the opera and ask them to reprint your tickets for you and they'll do it like that was the plan all along. As I'm used to buying tickets to rock shows where you're afforded no such second chance opportunities, that the Met would just reprint my tickets blew my mind . . . I had actually pretty much made other plans for Friday night and was already practicing my "funny story" about the time I bought tickets for the Marriage of Figaro and then lost them right away and didn't get to go.

So yeah, the way I see it, and granted, my "seeing it" is quite limited, the Marriage of Figaro is to Opera Houses as "You're Good Man, Charlie Brown" is to community theaters . . . produced quite regularly by just about everyone. But, to give Mozart his props, while only the vilest of people would argue that "Happiness Is" isn't a fine little tune, folks like my Pop, who, arguably, knows a thing or two about the opera, call Figaro their "favorite opera" and rate the music "exquisite" so (I am 100% absolutely the least qualified person to be typing this right now) it's more than fair to say Figaro has definitely earned it's universal popularity. But it's this popularity that seemed to dampen Friday night's opera experience (though obviously in slight, yet noticeable degree). Having now been to three performances at the Met, Friday night's struck me as the most Broadway-musical like I've caught, and I blame this mostly on the audience (though I can't help but wonder if, backstage, the Met-folk were like "Well, time to roll out the old Figaro sets and do this thing again")--the audience was the loudest I'd ever heard during the performance (as I would describe the other audiences I had been a part of as "silent") and people were walking out of the theater before the final curtain had reached the stagefloor . . . and a surprising number of those who did stay for the clapping and the bowing and the gesturing to the orchestra whipped out their cameras and started taking flash photos, which I just couldn't believe. But I think the thing that got to me more than anything else (and I promise I'm about to take a positive tone about a very positive evening) was that, when we arrived (well before the first note of the overture was played) the snowflake chandeliers had already been hoisted to the ceiling . . . which really bugged me because, hey, I'm a simple guy, I like watching the chandeliers go up. I suspected conspiracy from the moment I noticed that those grand gifts from Austria had already ascended, I suspected that the Met-folk had decided "Hey, it's just Figaro, why even lower the chandeliers from last night's performance just to raise them again tonight?"

But enough of that. Let's get down to the positive stuff. Firstly, I'm thinking that the Met's stage design will never cease to amaze me. Althought Figaro just took place in large, nearly empty old white rooms they were absolutely the most impressive large, nearly empty old white rooms I have ever seen . . . and with such big windows, it's like I just walk around everyday not even thinking about the possible sophistication level of 21st Century stage lighting so I'm amazed when the light in Figaro is exactly the color of sunlight or slowly darkens just like a real sunset (so, obviously, you can guess my reaction to the "fireworks" at the end of the final act.) And while Figaro offered nothing equal to the lowering and bringing forward of massive sets that was a major factor in my greatly enjoying Tales of Hoffman back in January, Figaro treated us to one 180 degree rotation of the set between the 3rd and 4th acts to move from a large, nearly empty old white room to the palace garden that left me grinning quite broadly.

Nextly, obviously the music was great, probably the most consistantly enjoyable opera music I've ever heard (I feel so uncouth right now). If anything, the singing was too lovely, as I felt myself drifting off into a blissful rest numerous times . . . if it wasn't for an explosive "Brava!" from halfway down my row that nearly shot me out of my seat after an aria in the third act, I probably would have dozed off right then and there . . . in fact, either the man behind me had a serious respiratory problem, or he actually snored a couple of times during the show. Not joking. Also, someone on the main floor (I was sitting in the Grand Tier, FYI) kept blowing their nose. And I actually heard a cellphone go off during the overture (looks like I'm wandering back up into my second paragraph again). Anyway, back on track: my real, honest review of The Marriage of Figaro: of course it was great. What else could I say? I mean, besided the fact that Figaro clearly outdid the single kick at a crotch joke of Hoffman with its constant "Uh oh, don't look under that sheet! Don't open that door! Don't look behind that screen! Look at that guy jump out the window ('You're shorter when you land')!" action. Also, it was the gropingest opera I've ever seen. So, OK, apologies to actual opera enthusiasts and to Opera itself for this "review", but there we are, a summation of my Figaro experience, in just over 1000 words.

Oh yeah, and I wore my new dress shoes to show. It was their first time out of the house. Also, this post could really have used a photograph to liven it up. My bad.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Best New Cultural Experience (a.k.a. You Better Be Sitting Down, 'Cuz Steady Mobbin' is the Future)

Tonight I went to Chipotle with Mike and Kurt to totally bro it up. But when we got there, a strange sign asked a question that stopped me in my tracks:

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"Ever try a Taco?"

Hmmm. Taco? Hmmm. Taco. I dug deep into all of my bravery and decided to give one of these "tacos" a try, just this once. That's just good policy, to try a food item at least once and see how it goes, it's a rule I made for myself back when I lived in Mexico City. So I ordered a taco, and I ate it. How'd it go? Welcome to the future, if you can handle it:

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The verdict? Despite my skepticism at first, I found tacos to be to my liking, and I shall now consume them with regularity (which won't be so hard, considering all the tortillas I already had in my fridge that I had been using to fold around meat.)

Muchas Gracias to Mike for the animation. That's Mike's job, you know, computer animation. So now his resume reads: Time Machine, the Twin Two Towers, Return of the King, Ice Age 2, and briggie dot blogspot dot com.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Best Quick Dash Uptown

Here's something neat about living right by the 2/3 (which is an express subway, if you didn't know) -- one can go up to Central Park, check out The Gates (you better know what The Gates are, because I'm not explaining it . . . it's this big public art exhibit Christo has been trying to get done for 26 years now, blah blah blah thousands and thousands of orange gates), and be back home in an hour.
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Do you know those orange plastic fences that get put up in parks and on fields that are really flimsy? From the distance, that's pretty much what the gates . . . I mean The Gates look like, a flimsy orange fence that runs through all of the park. And while literature describes these gates as being "saffron" in color, they're definitely as Yellow-Orange as your least-favorite Crayola crayon.
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As I entered the park, I overheard a mom and son have this conversation:
Son (Quite possibly my brother Greg): "I don't get it, what's so special about this?"
Mom (long pause): "It cost twenty one million dollars."
That kind of sums up my thoughts on the Gates, clearly an undertaking, and certainly impressive, but cetainly not the pinacle of anything. While I definitely wouldn't fly in from Germany to see them, I'll probably catch the subway to take another look at them sometime.
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Oh yeah, my Mom wanted a picture of me with The Gates. While I was taking this picture of myself, a guy behind me was getting a ticket for bringing fishing poles into the park and the cops were going over the list of recreational items that were officially not allowed into the park.
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