It’s a little after midnight on a Wednesday night, I had three drafts (a moderate amount) and now is a good time to recap my important weekend. If I don’t write it down now, the memory might be lost. This blog will be shorter than most of mine, but a good one.
On Saturday, the day came for our Boardwalk rally for books. This has occupied my, and some of my colleagues, work life for about a month. I contacted the community board, the precincts, and made a lot of cold calls to local people and organizations. The whole idea was to walk from either 116th or 60th street and the boardwalk to the Peninsula library for a rally to save the libraries. For more than a week the forecast called for rain, so when I woke up and looked out at sun shinning through the window I knew all was good.
On the Friday before at work another manager in the Rockaways dropped off water and things for the rally. I put them in the fridge and freezer and packed them up. My backpack was so heavy I decided not to bring my skateboard with me, it would be another thing to carry. With a quicker than normal bus ride I got there 15 minutes before the start time, and worried since no one was there. At 11 a few more people were there, and I decided to wait. A few weeks before I did the walk when I went to the community board meeting and I knew it was about a 25 minute walk while we gave the walk portion of the rally an hour and a half. So we waited about 25 minutes and more people came, we had about 15 to 20 people, which is not bad. When I told people to start walking they seriously walked. If I did this again I would emphasize that the group should stay together. About four of us stayed behind and as we walked slowly and collected signatures for the library petition against the library cuts. We collected about 4 full pages and most people were happy to sign the petition. When we got to 94 street it was nice to see all the Arverne, Far Rockaway, and Teens Library group that walked from 60th street. They had about 30 or more people in their group. Together both groups walked from the boardwalk to the Peninsula library and the 60th street group had chants and slogans. It was good to see.
The rally went well, people from the library and library union spoke. When I spoke I was so nervous and I think I cut my planned speech in half. Two councilmen spoke at our rally, the precinct spoke, and several other people. We got radio coverage that was online the next day, and someone from a news channel filmed it, but it did not go online. It was really cool to see so many people volunteer to speak to the news lady on behalf of the library.
After the rally several of us went to get tacos at Rockaway Taco which just opened for the season. We ate on the boardwalk and celebrated having a successful rally. Last year we planned to have this same rally but the budget was decided the day before the rally was planned, so it was cancelled. With the sun out last Saturday it felt like it went perfectly. I can definitely say nothing terribly wrong happened, and I’m a worry wort, so that made me happy. Having the victory tacos and talking to my colleagues was great.
Maybe I should stop this blog now not to mix work with my personal life, but that was the start of my great weekend. I took the bus back to RegoPark, got a coffee from Dunkin, and watched part of my newly purchased skate DVD, ‘Since Day One,’ by Real. Then I grabbed my skateboard and went to Forest Park. I got there and people were skating but the gate was locked. A skater pointed out a hole in the fence, and I decided I was going to skate that day regardless of a lock on a gate. I joked with two other skaters entering that I didn’t know if my fat butt could get through that gap in the fence. It felt great to skate. At Forest the have this very mellow bank that I love. They also have a moveable quarter pipe. Someone placed the quarter pipe on top of the bank. The edge of the quarter was on top of the bank, so it seemed stable enough. It took me awhile but I got 180 ollies off of the quarter onto the bank. It felt like I was blasting off of the thing. I am not really into going big with skating but this felt gnarly too me. I saw one older skater I haven’t seen in awhile and had a super fun session. At around 5:30 the sky got gloomy and it was obvious that it was going to rain. Some of the skaters joked saying, ‘it’s the end of the world, let’s get out of here.’ The date was May 21st and at 6 the world was suppose to end, so it was fun and gave the evening some energy. I went home.
That night our friend hosted a party. It was cool, and he invited some non-library people from his past. I feel we had a good conversation, and I think that not all nights out have to be in a loud bar setting, that sometimes being able to hear people actually talk can be beneficial. After awhile we went to Woodhaven House to see the cover band Black Ice, they play mostly heavy metal, and I enjoy them. One thing I should do is see more live music. I did drink some that night, but I think I was truly enjoying myself. At some point watching the cover band I thought to myself, this has been a terrific day, maybe one of the best days of my life. Work triumph, skate fun, and knowing I fit in with a group of friends and colleagues.
Sunday, I made a meetup.com nyc skateboarding group event and I stuck with it. I got to Astoria at 2, and had a great session. I met two old timers like myself from the Netherlands who met my friend the day before. That friend came out and another friend came out too. I ollied the 3 step and 4 step consecutively, and I am making progress on crooked grinds. I should have learned crooked grinds in the mid nineties, and they really are a similar motion to noseslides but you point down differently. I think all I need to learn is how to pop out before I come to a complete stop. I left after 5, and I think I could have skated much more if I wasn’t meeting my sister.
I met my sister in Long Island City for one of her friend’s art openings. This was fun, and I can tell that my sister is surrounded by other caring and talented artists. I can also tell that they have a good work ethic, and their behavior toward one another is similar to how I would behave around my colleagues. Also it was nice to see everyone enthralled with my nephew.
Overall I would rate this weekend a ten out of ten.