Headed to NYC today for softball practice. We opted to have a practice before heading to Milwaukee, the Cream City, next weekend for the tournement. I was wondering what fresh hell I was heading into, what with the Republican National Convention going down.
Lemme tell ya. It was a pleasure. It seems that about sixty percent of the populace has headed out of town. Deserted sidewalks! Abundant parking! I shot through the Holland Tunnel and swung around onto the West Side Highway like I was turning off of Tollgate Road into my driveway.
I headed up to Randall's Island and there were the Ballbreakers. And then some. A few of us can't make it to Milwaukee, so we've filled in with some recruits from other teams. One guy joined us last year in Montreal (which I couldn't make, stepmother's funeral and all). The second guy is a pitcher. And my roommate in Milwaukee, nice guy that I am.
At first I didn't recognize him. Then I asked the spelling of his last name so I could give it to the hotel.
Long, long ago, back in my ACT UP days, I knew him. He was one of the luminaries of the organization. Or rather, his boyfriend was. They both had the biggest biceps in the room, but were ooOOOoooOOooh... how can I put this? Not the brightest bulbs in the great neon sign of life. Not sure if he recognized me. Probably not. Doubt I made it onto his radar.
Shocked and appauled? Well, all groups are prone to that kinda thing, and ACT UP was no exception. And now I'll be sharing a room with my past. How about that.
And how was practice on my ankle? Not a problem. I mean, I couldn't quite run, but I could chase the ball at something better than a walk. And no pain during or afterwards. So all of of those Olympians that are persevering with their injuries... well, I just stepped up. Me and Kerri Shruggs. Word, Kerri!
After practice, I (headed through the near deserted streets of the West Village and) stopped into the Leatherman to check on my Wesco's. Astute readers might remember that I purchased a pair of custom made Wesco's back in May. Since then, they've been... well... custom making them. At the time, they said four to six weeks. And I'm still waiting. Apparently, getting a pair of custom made boots by Wesco's has become more popular than showing off your cellulite with your low riders. What Wesco Central is telling the Leatherman is that I can probably expect my boots in October or November.
I wish that the price of Wesco's was skyrocketing, then I could get all smug about having frozen in the price way back when.
So I was feeling hungry. Hungry for... hotdogs! And what better place to get a hotdog in New York than Gray's Papaya! Whilst I chowed down on my franks and Papaya drink. It met all my needs.
Enjoying my hotdogs, I reflected on the Great Bivouac, all those New Yorkers getting out of town. Perhaps everybody took Mayor Bloomberg's message ("Make nice!") to heart. And gotten the heck out of town. With all those parking spots open, that's sure one of the nicest things that NYC has ever done to me.
The sidewalk outside of St. Mark's in the Bowerie was crammed with what looked like information tables, sort of a clearing house for folks in town to do direct action and such. Geez I wouldn't mind being there this week. What a lot of fun. Alas, I'll just have to settle for watching it on television.
Then, a cigar on the piers, dinner, a stroll through the (near deserted) streets, and I was headed back to Pennsylvania.
Coming down River Road, the moon was enormous over the Delaware. Gorgeous. I love when nature serves up these little treats.