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the [perfectly calm] adventures of david-andrew

cotton candy in brooklyn


Brooklyn Bridge stop

 August proved to be a tough month for travel. I abandoned more trips than I have completed. It has also forced us to be a bit more creative in our route choices as standby passengers. If you can’t go directly to CLT, you have to try to go through MCI or PHL or some place you really really don’t want to get stuck. So to get to LGA for this overnight with The Pilot, I went through MCI and Shanghai.
 On the way to New York City, The Pilot was actually the pilot. Mid-flight he left the flight deck to use the restroom and threw me some sugar. Well, it was pseudo-sugar. An Equal packet landed in my lap. I looked up to see where it came from expecting the super-excited-to-see-you flight attendant. I was surprised to look up and see The Pilot standing there with a grin.
I love looking at NYC from the air. I have always loved the energy of cities. I very much enjoy the respite of nature, but there’s an anticipation and a build of energy I feel when flying into Chicago or New York. Seeing Manhattan from the air, then Brooklyn and Queens, makes me want to jump in and join the party.

I have been wanting to see Tara McPherson and Sean Leonard’s Cotton Candy Machine shop and gallery in the Williamsburg neighborhood. It is a neat place. I could’ve spent a great deal of time looking and touching everything. We met Jessi who manages the place. She also makes cool jewelry. Sean came in later and we got to chat with him for a few minutes. Tara was in China touring for her collaboration with Swatch X Kidrobot.

Cotton Candy Machine was currently exhibiting two very interesting artists, Jeremyville and Buff Monster. They still had copies of Jeremyville RAW from the opening, so we got a copy of that rad newspaper. I fell in love with Jeremyville’s Community Service Announcements and took home a pack of the stickers made from that series.

The other rewards of our pilgrimage were a signed copy of  Lost Constellations: The Art of Tara McPherson Vol II, and a lithograph print of her painting Isolated Metronomes. I need a better system for bringing unframed prints home on a flight. I’ve shipped prints home before, but it makes me so nervous until it arrives. This time the Guest Services binder from the hotel made itself useful.

While in Brooklyn we took a walk around Williamsburg. I think that once they get tired of calling this area “hipster-ville,” it will just be a nice place to be chill, see pretty things, and eat yummy food.


We came upon a little Italian place that had all three. It was a cute, rustic ristorante called Fiore. The tables were adorned with live rosemary in weathered tin cans and a tea candle in a pastel dish. Old-school dish towels became napkins. The wall opposite our table had a decorative dish collection that Grandmother would have envied.
 Even our bill was charming. It came paper clipped between a folded paper with the restaurant’s logo.

We seem to be fond of watching nerdy documentaries, and we had just watched one on the building of The Brooklyn Bridge. So we wanted to see it up close.

We weren’t there very long, but as maybe you noticed in the pictures, the skies were getting darker every minute we were walking the bridge.  
  By the time we turned back towards Manhattan, it looked like late evening rather than afternoon.

We began to see lightning flashes around the area and grew concerned about the sanity of being on the bridge. To err on the side of safety, we decided to book it towards cover. We hadn’t gone far down the bridge when a young, blonde women asked us in a European accent if we would take her picture. “No! Get out of the storm!” We didn’t want to add to the idea that Americans are rude, but there’s a time for such things as photography. This wasn’t that time.

The sky opened up. Large drops popped down on us. Some groups began to run, some just strolled as if they had no worries. Close to the end of the walkway I saw an opening with stairs. Thinking it was a subway entrance, I led us down into it.

It was not.

stares from the stairs

our view from below Brooklyn Bridge

The next moments were spent with several wet strangers under the bridge before deciding to run to the nearest taxi. Ever try to get a cab in Manhattan in the rain? It’s like a skill game, and it’s not going to happen by saying “please.”

 In reality, we ducked into Grand Central Station to wait out the mad dash for cabs.

On the long ride back to our hotel near LGA, I thought about life in Chicago. It was completely different than Phoenix. Life in Phoenix is easy. I never have to wait for a ride or stand in the rain. To live in an amazing city like New York or Chicago you sometimes have to sacrifice comfort. You might get wet, but the trade-off is the people you meet and the culture that surrounds you. Under the Brooklyn Bridge we meet people from the world and heard a their languages. I feel like a rich man now when I am surrounded by different and weird. It’s something I never see in Phoenix and never thought about in Chicago. I am so lucky to travel now and will never take those times outside of comfort for granted.

 Here’s hoping you get lost in the rain, find a new point of view, and take the long way home.

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Posted in art and food and travel by lucysbeau on September 26th, 2011 at 2:12 PM.

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  1. The Pilot Sep 27th 2011

    That dog was so nice. I’m glad the crew from Cotton Candy Machine rescued it in Texas.