Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I Fought the Law

And, you guess it: the law won.

The gorgeous Highline Park in New York City is one of my favorite haunts. I can't get enough of it, which is why some friends and I decided to make it our post work Happy Hour destination one fateful day.

The weather was especially nice, and we had a couple hours to kill before catching a Devendra Banhart show. What are a few 20-somethings to do, but soak up the last rays of sun with a delicious drink in hand?

Yes, I'll admit it. We drank in a public park, with children running around and young lovers strolling. Our euphoria didn't last long, as getting caught red-handed isn't exactly intoxicating. What a buzz kill.

Lesson #33: Pay attention to your surroundings, and don't get too comfortable when you're surrounded by good company and good (strong) beer. As my mom put it, 'you're not in the Midwest anymore' (though I don't recall drinking in public often there, either). However, a much smaller, and better, lesson is that the drinking fines in NYC are really. really. cheap. Like less than my bar tab would've been had we kept it indoors.

After our few minutes in the sun, an officer (Park Ranger, officially) came up to us, puffing his chest to convey importance. We begrudgingly handed over our IDs, and waited patiently while he wrote up our drinking violation. I learned my lesson that day, which is to drink more carefully in public. The only time I was actually in danger was while the officer wrote my ticket I decided to multi task (see post from a while back) and finish my beer, directly in front of him. For some reason, he didn't like that.

If loving both nature and drinking is wrong, consider me

The only way I could possibly end this post is by linking to a fantastically fitting song.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When most I wink, then do my eyes best see

"Maybe that's what life is...a wink of the eye and winking stars." - Jack Kerouac

My school of thought on winking is that it's more Candyland than calendar pinup girl, at least until residing in the city. I love winking, and am careful to only wink sparsely so each wink has maximum value. I also relish receiving the occasional wink from strangers, friends, young or old - its incredibly charming.

Unfortunately, I've found winking has different connotations in the city than in the confines of Michigan. One of my first weeks here, I found myself winking at an older man out of habit. I expected a head nod, perhaps, or even a look of contented puzzlement - but instead, got a response too lewd to type. As a whole, I would say that eye rolling is at least ten times as popular as the quaint wink. Suffice to say, the few winks I've received in the city have also had an underlying theme that still shocks me.

Lesson #32: Monitor your winking, and better yet, don't wink at anyone again until you're in the comfort of the Midwest. Perhaps winking should just stay in the bedroom, if we look at how winks are understood in Brooklyn. Winking amongst friends is a fun past time, but beware - it's something altogether too easy to apply to other situations. If you do it too often with friends, you'll think your charming ways should be shared. The next thing you know, the nice looking woman walking down the street is scowling at you and asking "where's the rest of your outfit?" (*a woman really said this to me. On my way to work.)

If you find yourself forgetting, and winking to strangers as I've done, you could try pretending you have something in your eye. And if you forget to do that, well, just expect a reaction. (NOTE: winking is probably a very effective method of picking men up. I've somehow only used it at the most inopportune times, so perhaps more research in bar settings is needed).

Well you can't have a dream
And cut it to fit
But when I saw you I knew we'd go together
With a wink and a smile

Harry Connick Jr is clearly living in sleepy small town America, but it makes me long for the good old winking days. I haven't found a proper substitute, as curtseying is a bit too formal, and head nods just aren't my thing. If I make a strange expression the next time you see me, I'm probably just trying out a new greeting, so forgive me in advance.

Or perhaps this love of winking is one small town part of me I'm just not ever willing to give up, crazy comments and all. Thanks for the encouragement, Jack.