Monday, January 10, 2011
How Was Your Weekend?
Mine was packed with social fun from beginning to end (well with some much-needed rest/downtime in between). On Friday, A. and I went to a writing group meeting (where I did no writing) and afterward hung around with friends until nearly 5 AM! So of course we woke up and had breakfast around noon on Saturday. We lounged around and gathered enough energy to head to my grad school bff's 30th birthday party at Penthouse808 in Queens. The view of the midtown Manhattan skyline from the restaurant/lounge was beautiful. We spent the evening eating, drinking, and dancing away. It was great, but it also made me realize how much I miss our Syracuse days and how quickly time and life can come in and create so much distance between close friends.
And then for Sunday's activities, we decided to lose our minds for an afternoon and participate in Improv Everywhere's 10th annual No Pants Subway Ride. Yes, in the middle of winter. About 3,500 participants met at various points throughout the city (and apparently in 50 cities around the world in 24 countries too!) and hopped on different subway lines to give unsuspecting commuters one hell of a ride. At first I was nervous, but when I saw how many others were around me, excited and just as insane, I thought "Oh what the hell. This is one of the greatest things about living here." So instead of sticking by A.'s side during the stunt (he'd been wanting to do this for a while and I'd only just heard about it a year ago from him), I chose to go off with my group once the crowd was divided up by birthday month.
Once we were all spread out along the platform, we got on the N train and proceeded to take our pants off right before our assigned stop. The looks on people's faces was priceless. When two from our group left the car to wait on the platform for the next train, one woman laughed and exclaimed, "Look at those two motherf---ers! They've got no pants on! Don't they know it's cold out?!" I'm just glad I wasn't the first to strip.
I left that train after six stops and waited to board the following train sans pants. I was supposed to act as if nothing was wrong - oh, except the fact that I had forgotten to wear pants - and good gravy that was hard. I could barely read the book I'd brought along, Freakonomics, and hoped no one would ask me what was going on 'cause I'd surely burst out laughing. A. later told me several people asked him why he had no pants on. His response? "It's the latest trend in minimalist fashion." I don't think I have to mention that his exhibitionist self absolutely loved every minute of this.
After we rode the second N uptown to 59th and Lexington Ave. (during which the conductor announced, "There's some suspicious personnel on the train with no pants on... Isn't it 35 degrees out?"), we transferred to the 6 and rode that back down to the end point of the day's shenanigans, Union Square. And what a sight! Booties and bare legs of all shapes, colors and sizes. There were even info booths and brochures being passed out explaining the benefits of pants, instructions included. Still, our insanity ran on for at least another hour as we ran around the park marveling/laughing at the sights and even dared to go to our fave restaurant, Republic, while still in our undies. I wanted to die of mortification, but A. insisted we walk in and I was laughing too hard to refuse. Luckily, others were also popping into restaurants and stores in the area without a care for the cold or the oppression that is wearing pants.
It should be noted that the waiters never even batted an eye and we finally put our pants back on before heading out. As a final stunt though, we each tried to get dressed as inconspicuously as possible while remaining seated. Not only was that hard (you try sliding your butt into pants without standing up or jumping around), but we nearly fell off our benches in laughter.
I remember being indecisive and ultimately too chicken to say yes to A.'s invite last year (he missed out too), but I'm so glad I participated this time. As I sat there on the N train, waiting to take my pants off and taking in others' reactions to those who'd stripped before me, I fell in love with NYC all over again for the opportunity to take part in such craziness as this.
And now I can't believe it's time to head back to work already, but I guess I don't mind too much. You see, tomorrow's my birthday :)