Karaoke, Skating Bliss, and Field Art Trip to the Bronx


Studies show with crunching my statistics that when I recap my daily life on my blog, I get less views than when I write about actual topics. I think if I was famous people would love my open book approach about what I’m doing with my life. I will attempt less of this type of writing, but I really did have a good weekend and I’d like to share why it was so awesome.

Friday I was invited to dinner and drinks in Maspeth with colleagues. For months now I’ve mostly been going out to places that I can walk to, so this was a good change of pace. I’m still toying with sobriety versus moderation, but I have not been super drunk in a long time. At the first stop on Friday we had a group of about ten people which is a lot. I had shrimp stuffed with crab meet and a few drafts. It was great food and I enjoyed my company. Our second stop was a far walk, but as soon as we got there someone ordered shots of vodka. That was the tipping point and I think I should avoid hard liquor, it goes against moderation.  That vodka was disgusting, but with very little time I did karaoke.   Over the next several hours I did four songs: Roadhouse Blues, Maggie May, Angie, and I did a duet of American Pie with a friend. Late in the night I took a short cab ride home. I had a really fun time but I’m concerned that I drank that much. I think in my life I need to find a sober replacement that I can let loose with. I don’t think I want to live years with constantly altering between being a teetotaler and a raging lush.

Saturday I was hung over, and I’m glad a few of my skate friends agreed to meet me later in the day. At 3:30 we met at Hoyt Park in Astoria. It is a paved playground that people don’t care if you skate. It’s right off the N train on the way to Astoria skate park. Usually we skate Astoria skate park first and when that is too crowded we go to Hoyt park. That two combination of spots makes for perfect skate days in my opinion. When I got there at 3:30 it was very hot and I still had a hangover.

This is why my weekend was great, being outside all day both Saturday and Sunday. For over two hours we skated great at Hoyt park. We set up bricks, and practiced all sorts of flip tricks. My friend really got into skating the bricks. We set up one upright so it was about 8 inches high and then laid that other brick flat so it was a small ollie. It took me awhile to frontside 180 the high brink and then switch ollie the low brick.  By the end of the day I got a switch frontside 180 and a switch ollie over the higher brick. That felt good to get some pop on my switch ollies. My friend skated really well on the brick session. He kickflipped the high bricks which I was unable to do. I’ve been skating with him since 2007 and it’s good to see him progress, and he is several years older than me. So there is no reason to think I’m too old for this. My other friend is progressing too when he had to take 6 weeks off in spring because of an injury.

After the epic session at Hoyt Park we went to Astoria Skate Park. They had a street fair in the parking lot, so we walked through a carnival with Farris wheels and all to get to the skate park.  When we got there I took a break and had a Dr Pepper. I’m trying to abstain from sodas, and I’ve been doing well, but that one tasted so good. I skated some, but I was exhausted. I thought of even taking a nap on the grass, but I decided not to. It was later than I’m usually there, and at some point I’m going to watch a sunset at Astoria park. I think it would be a good one, to have a sunset over the river with the view of the Manhattan skyline. After skating we went to Belief skate shop. I got discounted skate shoes a few weeks ago that I was convinced made my big toe on my right foot hurt like hell.  So I got a another new pair of shoes, this summer I’ve bought so many pairs of shoes that I think I might be developing an obsession with them.

Saturday night after I showered I was so hungry but did not want to go to a bar. I decided to try an Indian place within walking distance. It was after 9 and I was one of the only people in there which was weird.  The samosas were okay, the crab curry was good, and the garlic nan was subpar. I also ordered a Mango Juice but got a Mango Lassy. I ate it all, and the total was 30 bucks plus tip. I don’t think I’ll go there again, because a few neighborhoods away in Jackson Heights one can get some of the best Indian food in the city. After I got home I went to sleep very quickly.

Now on to Sunday. Transit made me late to see my sister. We had a nice brunch at a popular place near Columbia University. Everywhere I go with my sister people really respond to my nephew Kamil, I think it’s because my sister looks and is so happy with the little guy. After brunch we took the 1 train all the way to the end to Van Cortland Park.

We got there and walked awhile. A few blog entries ago I talked about the Monument 2 Monument project that my sister is part of. There were two parts to this project. One is in Riverside Park from 60th street to 70th street and contains 7 sculptures by different Art Student’s League Artists, Beth being one of them.  The second part of Monument 2 Monument is a collaborate sculpture with the same 7 league artists.

Beth said that originally the mask was laid flat down, but kids, teenagers, and perhaps adults had the inclination to climb on top of it. So the park put up a poll so it is high in the air. Beth joked that now someone could get hurt trying to climb it. I have to say you come from one side were you are on the top of maybe forty steps looking down, and you see this massive mask structure. I’ve seen on facebook pictures of Asia where people go for hours through a jungle and then out of nowhere they come to a clearing with a massive object to look at. This is a great visual for this park. Then we walked down the steps and it stands maybe fifteen feet high. There are benches around it so people potentially could stare up at it for hours. I think putting it up on a poll made the other side not as appealing. But other than that it is a great addition to Van Cortland Park and my sister Beth is on a roll. Walking back to the subway we took a different route. People in that park are serious about their bbq’s and cookouts. I enjoyed that quick walk to see so many families and people enjoying their day.

I took the 1 train with my sister until 157 street which is back in Manhattan. I got off there and then took a quick bus east to west back into the Bronx.  Since it opened last year I wanted to check out this skate park. It is called the River Avenue Skate Park and it is 3 blocks from Yankee stadium. I skated there for a solid two hours and it is such a good park. It has mellow transition and street stuff.  One quarter is so low and mellow that I did frontside 50-50’s on it. This is a leap of progression for me, I’ve never been able to do frontside 50-50’s on mini’s or quarters. But I think since I have the general motion of the trick I can take it on to other ramps. On Wednesday night I’m hoping to bust one on the 3 foot mini at Forest Park.

My new shoes are good, but now my little toes on my left foot feel irritated, so you can’t win. I think if I was able to go to the Bronx park regularly I’d improve, it has stuff there to practice the basics. It was also good to see a bunch of kids and teens just starting out with skating. I think I witnessed a kid drop in on a quarter for the first time. Also when I go to skate parks in Queens a lot of times I run into skaters I know, at the Bronx park I knew no one, and it was a full park. City wide there are probably a ton of skaters and I’m glad of that. In my large public school I went to for one year in Baltimore County there were not many skaters, and in the private school in Toledo I went to I was the only skater. Now I think skating is large enough that kids interested always have someone to skate with.

There it is, about 1,500 words to describe my weekend. I promise for my mid week blog I will take on some type of topic, but twice a week is a lot of entries to always write something topical.

2 thoughts on “Karaoke, Skating Bliss, and Field Art Trip to the Bronx

  1. Thanks for the update about you trip at this blog first of all . Images are really gorgious you posted, and hopefully this was a great weekend for you.

  2. Thanks for ridding. I’ll check out your blog too!

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