Tag Archives: Brooklyn

Idiotarod 2011

Yesterday I was an anonymous member of Corporation X. As a conglomerate, we “ran” the Idiotarod. Actually, a bunch of people in wacky costumes did the running. We just provided the bureaucracy. (Heh, I just mistyped that as bureaucrazy, which was probably more fitting!)

Teams met up at 10:30am in Maria Hernandez Park. The mounds of snow provided a scenic backdrop to the colorful costumes: bumble bees, pastel papier maché monsters, techno Vikings, Mardi Gras jesters and more. We corporate whores were dressed in professional attire, basic black, white shirts with black ties and dark ski masks marked with our logo, a white X. All employees of Corporation X also sported Henry McGovern name tags.

We strolled around, shaking people down for bribes. The Mardi Gras folks had Hurricanes and beads, the Disasterpiece people had Jell-O shots and someone handed me a brownie! I was also asking participants to pose for group shots. Everyone looked awesome!

The competition began when racers were given their first destination, and we piled into a car, headed for our checkpoint, “Meg,” a bar somewhere in Brooklyn. The purpose of checkpoints, beyond the obvious, is to slow people down and generally fuck with them. We took our jobs very seriously and provided enough corporate red tape to frustrate, confuse and delay.

Ruth and I were in charge of “The Rat Race,” basically creating workplace-type irritation. I instructed racers to “Run to the other end of the bar and brown nose.” When they didn’t quite grasp that, I got more specific. “Go to the other end of the bar, find the right Henry McGovern, and come back with a brown nose.” Ruth was the right Henry and she had chocolate frosting to smear on everyone’s noses. We made them run back and forth with boxes, too, but the best part was making them get on their knees and beg for their jobs. Listening to a bunch of people groveling made me feel surprisingly good! I was drunk with power! And alcohol…

The checkpoints are also an opportunity for races to rest, warm up and have a drink or two. When upper management showed to let us know that maybe people were doing a little too much resting and not enough racing, we wrapped up our operation and headed to the last stop. More drinking ensued before we all headed to the afterparty. By that point I was so drunk I didn’t know where the hell I was. And when things started getting blurry, I jumped into a cab with one or the Black Swans (er, he was a White Swan…) and came home. I think that cab ride cost me way more than it should have but it was definitely better than the subway ride would’ve been. I had a blast!

The Unexpected Surprises of Night Market

Where were you last night? And how great was that party? If you moved to New York to experience something truly different then you should’ve been with me and a hundred or so other nightlife adventurers on a random industrial block in Red Hook. I was at The Lost Horizon Night Market and those in the know were sworn to secrecy. But only about the location!

Participants lined up to get pied, sing karaoke or make hats is. Unexpected experiences is the point! Night Market happens because a devoted cadre of creative people rent box trucks and transform them into their personal vision. Each is as individual as its designer.

I visited War & Treats in hopes of sampling more of their bacon and jabenero pepper brownies. When it came to my turn, my challenge (a spin of the Wheel of War) was a tickle fight. I lost. No treat for me! Luckily I had friends with…brownies! The line for the Noodle Truck was a long one even as the artisans were still setting up. Having enjoyed their delicious noodles last spring, I decided to forfeit my bowl in order to let more newcomers sample the soup. The Noodle Truck is a tiny, fully-functional restaurant, with a menu of broths, noodles and garnishes as well as hot tea.

The pie truck offered you, yes, a pie in the face. Surprisingly, people were lining up for this creamy treat! Er, trick? There was a silent disco, a photo booth-type operation and a comedy club that was always so crammed I never heard the hilarity. I joined a group ad libbing in the karaoke truck but spent most of my time on the sidewalk, socializing with friends, meeting new coconspirators and interacting with artists whose projects expanded beyond the confines of a truck. I even spotted Trevor Sumner, NearSay’s Head of Products and Marketing!

In the past there have been smash trucks, Jesus Christ Hookah Bar, a jazz club and a sadly tepid hot tub, among many others. The limitations are only the four walls of the box truck and your imagination!

A few of underground nightlife’s most prominent producers are the secret team behind The Lost Horizon Night Market. News of the events is primarily through word of mouth and the location is disclosed only hours before the Market begins. If you’re interested in participating or attending the next Night Market, keep your eyes and ears open, and start asking around!