This is a pretty brief account of what happened while I was in New York for two weeks before going to Las Vegas, but contains stuff that I wanted to keep out of my article on the Hope and DEFCON conferences. I’ve written this almost exactly a year later after it happened, which is ridiculously slow progress. With so much going on and my placing more emphasis on non memoir articles it isn’t so surprising. Hopefully I can get the beginning of 2010 done by the end of 2011. Or at least my adventures in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where all this takes place after. Anyway.
I was so happy to be leaving San Jose after my adventures in Costa Rica and Nicaragua….as much fun as I had had there I couldn’t wait to be back to a place where hot water is taken for granted and I could actually choose between more than 10 things to eat. I arrived back in NYC at 2am…being somewhat worried about coming through customs but it all turned out fine. I went outside and enjoyed the hot summer night before heading to my host’s house. I was stuck for a bit as the Airtrain machines wouldn’t give change and I had to find someone who would, eventually lucking out at the Hertz store. After arriving and meeting Cindy, she was very cool and we talked for a bit. I was pretty excited as the HOPE conference was on the 16th, something I had been looking forward to ever since I realized I would be able to go that year. I think I slept most of the day of the 15th, except to go to the bank and file my insurance claim. I thought everything was fine when I was given temporary credit, which was amazing as I was down to like $5, except I should have withdrew it as it was then rescinded. Aye. I then went to see my comedy selling brethren and say hi and get back into it.
The next few days was taken up by the HOPE conference which was fun, although not what I expected. Saturday night was fun….fucking around with some guys I met seeing if Lazlow was staying at the hotel so we could prank him….then just talking outside, watching some kind of security guard for either the conference or hotel take of his coat in an unnecessary display of machismo against a harmless old black guy. The next night after closing ceremonies, I had been talking to a guy I just met and we decided to go to a hackerspace/party that had been advertised. It was interesting there as I met Letty and JR who turned out to be real life superheroes, who gave me a newspaper article with them featured in it as they got on a train, then when me and Paul were reading it on the subway, we realized it was about them. A humorous end to a good night.
On Monday I went back to selling comedy tickets, which was good. I like the people I work with and it’s an interesting job….the lack of money is frustrating but it works out OK. I ended up staying with Jack for a few days over my birthday, which ended up being completely uneventful. I don’t think I have ever had a birthday with friends and drinking and something memorable…this year it looks like I might which will be awesome. It was great of Ryan to let me stay with him when I needed it as I had nowhere else and I think we became better friends because of it. It was hard sometimes with Sam, as she tried vaping which she doesn’t normally do and started tripping out over my HOPE schedule, thinking I was an evil criminal. No amount of pointing out that hacker has several definitions or that credible renowned people were attending would make a difference. Eventually she got over it and calmed down and apologized, but it was unpleasant while it lasted.
I finally went with Jack to Shopsin’s on Wednesday as he had been talking about it for a long time. It was indeed amazing, and if my budget were more than it was I would be happy to go far, far more frequently. Sam and Jack paid for my meal since I was traveling, which I thought was amazing. It was the first time I had really met Sam and she had been nothing but good to me, so it was a shame to see her not doing so well this time. Before leaving NYC I put an ad on Craigslist hoping to meet some girls, and I got an awful lot of responses which was nice. I wasn’t able to meet most of them but it was encouraging how many replied to me.
The rest of the week was uneventful. I managed to sell 5 tickets on Friday and 2 on Saturday after my head was finally clear from vapors, which was nice. An extra $100 or so for the week while hanging with my friends in the city. Not at all a bad deal considering. On the Friday before I left I had to wait before I could go home until 9pm or so, so after spending far too much time in Borders I chilled out at Columbus circle for an hour or so. I met an Israeli girl who was quite cool and we ended up talking for quite a while. We made plans to meet again but it never really came to fruition…, although now she wants to meet this weekend, which could be interesting.
I ended up staying with JR and Letty for 2 nights before leaving, which was interesting. I got to see their plans for Brooklyn and how seriously they took all the vigilante stuff. One Saturday night I went exploring rooftops with Letty in Brooklyn which was very cool. Climbing over fences and up fire escapes….watching people on the street and in windows….it was a fun and amazing experience, although it was embarrassing how much fitter Letty is than me.. It gave me an idea of how fun it could be to grow up in such a city where there is so much to explore. When walking back home we saw two big dogs slowly crossing the road and a car speeding, and we both assumed the car would slow down. Except it didn’t, and the dogs got hit and flipped like a slow motion movie. We both ran to see how they were but they seemed fine. Letty was far more distraught then I was over it which made me feel awkward. I never know how to act in such situations if I should pretend to care more than I do or just try and comfort those who are more affected. Some guy came who knew the owner of the dogs and took them back; still it was an amazing thing to see….somehow I don’t think the driver would have stopped had it been people crossing the road, which is scary to think about. It was weird hanging out with Letty as there is a definite mutual attraction….I just don’t know what she wants and don’t know what I can do. I don’t think I can handle a relationship and would be happy with just sex, but not at the expense of a potentially great friendship.
The suddenly it was Wednesday and it was time to head to the airport. Getting to Las Vegas in time from New York was a hectic enough experience. My flight was on a Wednesday, and I had been putting of seeing the King Tut exhibit until Wednesday because it was cheaper, and because I assumed I would have enough time to see it and catch my Wednesday afternoon flight. However, Tuesday evening was taken up by me standing up two poor girls I was meant to meet, so I could transfer some movies and shows to Jack’s computer. Transferring a terabyte can take a while, especially when cables easily come loose.
After doing that all night until maybe 10am, and realizing on the train I could not possibly make King Tut, I head home and pack up to get ready to go to the airport, which I had just assumed was JFK. Alas, it was La Guardia, something I realized maybe 2 hours before my flight. After looking up directions, which told me I could get there via bus and train in an hour or so….I decided not to risk it. I ended up taking a taxi from Christopher Street, which ended up costing about $40 with tip. I probably should have caught a taxi from midtown instead…but I got there about 15 minutes before checkin closed, so I made the right decision at least. At least I got to fly before August 1st, where I would have had to pay for a carry-on bag which is just ridiculous. Thankfully since then I have discovered Southwest and their amazing bags fly free policy. Safely at the airport, that was the end of my two weeks in NYC in summer. I made better friends with people I knew, climbed across rooftops in Brooklyn with a real life superhero, met some girls, ate some amazing food and went to a HOPE conference which was an experience in itself. I was still feeling unsure given my last 2 months in Costa Rica and Nicaragua and fucking things up with my ex best friend, yet at the same time I was determined to get my visa and make it back and start my business. Due to lack of research it took a lot longer, however I’m here now and the only way I can go is up.