Friday, March 30, 2007

Dumbo isn't just an elephant

This has been the week of elephants. It started on March 27, 2007 when the elephants marched through the city, as part of the yearly ritual put forth by Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus. I’m not going to get in to the debate about cruelty to animals, or particularly my interpretation of the elephants walking in the dark, clinging in a troupe, trunk to tail, avoiding the sting of a tazer gun. It is interesting food for thought to consider that women have the following in common with elephants:

We are the most intelligent species, have complex emotions and vary individually in temperament. We can be trained to work and to perform-if you’re Catholic, this REALLY applies. We are not truly domesticated because we don’t breed well in captivity-and as long as we don’t have the right to choose, aren’t we in captivity??? Finally,we have been extensively hunted –as are hot women everywhere annnd they’re endangered, (but they are now afforded protection in certain areas-hence, the meatpacking district and velvet rope situations all over the City).

Well, imagine my resistance when I was invited to LEAVE the City and go to DUMBO. Now, for those of you who DON’T know, DUMBO is NOT the cute little elephant portrayed in Disney movies, but an acronym for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass". Now, how down under would I need to feel to make the trek on the most coveted evening of the week? Thursday nights are for the City. Simple as that.

How did I get roped in? I’ll tell you how. A friend of mine is hosting a new entertainment night out there, and since he’s from Wisconsin, I felt it would be cheesy NOT to go. (I’m really cracking myself up over that joke). It actually turned out to be a GREAT night. [if you're interested in getting a visual, click on the elephants]. There were really cute guys.
The first ones I saw were “artists” slash hipsters. They were deep in a discussion about the lameness of heavy metal these days. I took a long drag off of the cigarette I’d just bummed from the hot blonde one with the Iron Maiden decal ironed on to his thrift store blazer and too tight courderoys and I said, “Whoa! Didn’t realize I’d "happenstanced" upon a hipster convention” They both said, “I’m NOT a hipster!” -like that response shocked me. To be fair, they weren’t classic hipsters in that one of the criteria is to be able to wear the same size pants you did when you were 12. So, the "chubsters" (chubby hipsters, for you slow readers) went back in but before they did, they told me “You’re going to love it here, they have really strong beer.” Great! I thought. Something to look forward to. Double teamed by chubsters and smelly beer grungers in an elephant graveyard.

I made my way up the wide staircase and felt like I had crashed an old set of the t.v. show “Friends”. It was one coffee mug shy of having Joey, Phoebe, Jen and the gang scream, “Norm!” (oops 2 sitcoms there, folks!) The sofas were an assortment of pastel and brightly colored velvet couches of the Louis the XIV variety. There were a TON of cute boys. I was really surprised. "So THIS is where they've all been hiding!" They were neither desperate nor gay. There were even Euro trash. Shit! This was Manhattan--under the bridge!

The night was for a monthly comedy show that my friend is putting on called 80 minute abs, and the headline comic has been featured on Comedy Central AND VH1! I ordered my coffee, and kicked back. There,along the bar, amid the row of votives was a community. As the jokes turned into acoustic guitar strums and then jazz, I felt that I had found a beautifully nuanced night of fun with my girls and flirtation with cute boys and sensual music. Almost paradise!

My experience in sweat lodge was brought back in full force. We sat in a semi circle as the elders of entertainment for the evening provided laughs, cohesion and community. Food was shared, and the design of the loft was airy and open enough to accept all talking, laughing and soul searching with room to spare. Sometimes, I thought, it's not about getting's about opening yourself up to new expereinces and connecting on a human level.

I stayed four hours longer than I thought I would. Light bridged with laughter and jazz. It was better than any glass of Merlot I’d ever sipped and closer to the tee-pee than I'd felt in a while.

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posted by Rumi @ 3/30/2007 03:24:00 PM |


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