NYC2K in the Age of Legends

Times Square
Photo by 73k

Note: As the first book in the series nears completion, I wanted to share an actual excerpt from the writings (and as written in English Vulgar). Enjoy!

Story -- NYC2K: We live in a time of legends. A single person can cross the globe and it won't even make headlines. I can check into a hostel in Mexico and videochat with someone at a hostel in Amsterdam... and neither of us will pay a penny for it. We've seen the turning of the millennium, the coming of 2K, and we'll even witness the 2012 apocalypse. If we don't survive that last one... well... I loved you all. XOXO Kisses!

I've never been much of a spectator. I wanna be right up in the action with everyone else. I'm more into the mosh pit than I am the rafters... 'n Heaven forbid anyone ever let me on the stage. It's that drive to "be right up in it" that forced my hand to buy a ticket to New York City for the 2K balldrop. No one cared that it wasn't the new millennium... it was 2K... 'n we were gonna party like it was 1999. Afterall... it was.

My friend Marf 'n I landed in NYC with about a hundred bones a piece in our pockets. That's a hundred bucks a peep to last us two weeks in one of America's most expensive cities. Crazy? Well, that depends on whether or not we had contacts in the city... or if we'd made reservations to guarantee our survival. As the answer to both contingencies was a big "no", this is something that got filed under "crazy" with all the rest of my adventures. But we WERE packing round-trip tickets... 'n we'd read the fine print at the bottom: "If the holder of this ticket survives two weeks in the Big Apple, and returns to JFK at the agreed-upon date and time, then the aforementioned holder will be flown across the River Styx and returned to the Land of the Living. Cheers... and enjoy your stay! Thank you for flying Air CrazyHead."

Two cops gave us a warm welcome to the city, meeting us with smiles in Grand Central Station. After the directions they gave us almost got us killed, we turned to our own wits for survival. We slept in subways, subway tunnels, a homeless shelter, another homeless shelter, on the ferry 'n on the park benches. We crashed in the basement eating area of Sbarro's and caught Zs at a 24-hour McDonald's. We shelled out for a single night's sleep at The Aladdin... a hostel our Dutch friend had shown us in the heart of Hell's Kitchen. We met a Moroccan who snuck us into the hostel for a second night's sleep... then snuck ourselves in for a third night. We fought for our sleep... and we earned every precious second of it.

If this sounds bad, then let me state that I had a hella great time. It wasn't the New Yorkers... it wasn't the art nor the architecture... it wasn't Chinatown, Time Square or even Little Italy... it was the travelers. They'd been drawn from around the world to the 2K Balldrop... an event in time and space that wouldn't be repeated again in any lifetime.

We laughed as our Dutch friend played into our Americanized stereotypes... drowning his fries in Mayo. We played charades with the two Japanese girls at the hostel... all the while wondering if they actually understood anything we were trying to say. We traded stories in the hostel's lobby with the one other American... just hours before she had to shower 'n head out to work the streets. We messed with Morocco's finest while he cursed back at us with a mouth full o' Fruit Loops. We drank beers with three Belgians who'd recoiled from American beers... but were quick to introduce us to the best malts Belgium had to offer.

The night of the balldrop, we watched as cars and trucks were pulled in and around Time Square to block it off. A voice over a megaphone warned the crowd: "Leave now, or don't leave at all!" Even as we turned to leave, we could hear the crowd begin chanting: "Throw us the world! Throw us the world!"

Two hours later, from the roof of Aladdin's, we watched as a shiny little ball dropped to the ground. The East Coast added a new year to their calendars. Fearmongers had been promising certain doom for months... everything from worldwide computer failure to total-annihilation at the hands of some god. The lights didn't even flicker... 'n the only "consuming flame" was from the fireworks in the sky.

We boarded our plane in the morning... with the stink of joy 'n victory well worn into our clothes. Thank you, New York! Catch ya on the other side.

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