My last weekend in New York my two ballerina girl friends and I went clubbing. Here is my stream of consciousness from this experience. I feel like many girls will be able to relate…

 

Is it really dark in here or is everyone black?

Well I think that one guy is Indian.

Shimmy through the crowd, try not to shove anyone or get the awkward backend of a grind.

Alright we’ve staked our dance-space claim. Three white girls in a corner. Fringe property is not ideal generally, but we’ll make it work. Besides, I appreciate the extra space to move. Also we are near the DJ which seems cool to me.

Bustin a move, bustin a move, throw my hands up, sexy hands, doing things with my hips, dancin, dancin.

Oh shit that girl just made props/respect hand signals at Heather! Girl’s got skills erybody gonna recognize.

Dancin, dancin, dancin some more.

Omg the photographer just was like “Oh no, girl” and started dancing with Heather. I am so jealous. She is literally making guys stop doing their jobs to come dance with her. Dayummmmm.

I wonder if any guys are gonna dance with me? Probably not, because I’m ugly. Also my braids are on top of my head. Guys don’t get that.

But I might as well scope out the place.

Dance and twirl, dance and twirl. Looking sexy and 360 view.

A guy just said/club-shouted at me we’re killin it. Ballerinas know what’s up.

I guy wants to dance with me! I feel validated.

But really why? I look like Heidi that  just got off work and then tried to do that day-to-night transition I read so much about in magazines but got horridly confused mid transformation and went Daisy-Duke. I have braids like a swedish milkmaid and have gotten hot enough to resort to tying my button down shirt into a crop top. In no normal situation would I approve of this look.

He just asked me if I was foreign… This explains a lot.

Ok hips side to side.

Ok hips circle.

Holy shit is the DJ really wearing a floral tank top? Wtf has our society come to? It’s like the consumerism machine has tricked him into thinking he’s a hipster because he bought that stupid ironic floral shirt, but really that just makes him more a part of the machine. What a damn fool.

Ug I’m bored. I’m glad I feel validated in my man-attracting abilities, but I’m ready to be an independent woman again.

A single lady, if you will.

I just want to dance and be free. Now I’m stuck with this dude upon my back who only knows two moves. Plus it’s not like I can syncopate my dance moves or play with the musicality at all. Homie can’t follow that.

Hips side to side.

Hips circle.

I am excellent at pretending I know all these songs. There are basically two formulas: 1)Put your hands up when the song says put your hands up. 2)Jump and act excited when everybody else jumps and acts excited.

Why is he squeezing my belly? It’s not even squeezing, it’s like a flat-handed paw. Is this respectful groping? Or is it a tummy check…?

I wonder what it’s like to be a guy. I mean we can’t see them so we make up hand signals for our girlfriends to tell us if they’re ugly or hot or if we want to be extracted. But they really can’t see us much better. I wonder if they’re hand signaling between each other too? Maybe there’s a whole hand signaling world going on in the club that we don’t know about.

Probably not, boys aren’t that smart.

Well they can see the backs of our heads, so I guess that’s something. Plus they’re the ones on the prowl, so presumably they got a good look at us before they made their move.

Hey! I actually know this song! I am revived from my philosophical reverie of paired-dancing boredom!

Wait. I don’t want my renewed enthusiasm for dancing to be misinterpreted as enthusiasm for this dude or extra sluttiness. Ack, quandary!

I just want to be free! How do I escape the confines of this monotonous dance prison without insulting the dude? For some reason politeness matters to me. Even though I have never met this guy and he is rubbing all over me. This is kind of an ironic social situation.

Ok I could jump from him to go dance with my girl friend. Then it’s like, “Hey I just wanna dance with my friend now,” not, “I am rejecting you.” The problem is I don’t particularly like grinding up on girls. It’s not that I have anything against lesbians, but I do not happen to be one, so I do not enjoy this activity. Well I will dance slightly closer to her and maybe he will get the idea.

She says he’s hot. What ho? I really cannot see this dude. But for some reason I now have slightly more tolerance for dancing with him. I am aware this says something fucked up about me.

He club-shouted his name to me. Obviously I have no idea what he said.

I club-shouted my name back. Are we supposed to have a conversation now? This is ridiculous.

Aha Heather wants to get air. Opportunity for escape!

Shimmy back through the crowd. Hold hands or else we might lose someone to the void.

Freedom and fresh, cool night air! Despite all my griping about the lack of artistic dance-freedom, that was really quite fun:)

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Her words are running out of her mouth, racing, gasping. Crawling, clawing to get over her teeth, tripping, stumbling, falling out. Her tongue wags lazily, not quite hitting the notes, cutting corners. Enunciation was never of value to her. Her lips only meet briefly. Casual lovers, always rushing. Quick kisses, they brush, rough and careless. Rarely will they rest to lie together. It seems too intimate.

The front side of 5 Pointz is obvious, and yet people still walk by without bothering to look. I guess if you don’t come to Queens especially to see this, it might not be on your mind to put off your day’s tasks to appreciate art, even on this mammoth scale. But when they notice me stopped on the sidewalk, it suddenly occurs to them to stop as well. They crane their necks upwards, step in a little closer. And then are on their way.

Along the side of 5 Pointz a guard patrols. Signs say No Trespassing, No Climbing On the Roof. My eyes claw over these as they search the best way to scale the wall. The roof is clearly a treasure trove of works, but for now unattainable. I imagine further inquiry could get me a tour, but not today.

This side street is lazy with traffic. I step farther away to see more, back up all the way into the parking lot of the city buses. So this is where they go to sleep. Art winds up the fire escapes, creeps into the cracks of the windows, seeps behind screens. Color spatters the sidewalk. Painted faces look up my skirt. Poles, tree trunks, bear the stripes of the test-spray, the artist’s warm up, 1-2, 1-2.

At the very back a parking lot borders on unused subway tracks. Chain-link fence is cut, and pulled back, and colored like everything else. Dead trains on the dead tracks sit and watch.

Through the parking lot to the back corner, the second side-street framing 5 Pointz begins. This is my favorite part, because it is the place least like a museum, and therefore most pleasing for me to see art in.

It smells like a pond. Muddy, stagnant water pools there, putrid. The fetid smell lies low on the ground. My shoes squelch in the mud. Overhead the subway roars, rattles, screeches, squeaks. Creaking like a wooden roller coaster. White vans pull up and unload. Men sit on stoops and stare unabashedly, but no one really bothers me. Police cars drive in and out of view on the main street ahead. The wind blows and the stench of garbage, then falafel wafts through. In openings in the wall, too door-less to be called doorways, I see Hillal Carts. This is where they must come from. Middle-Eastern men hustle around them, cooking and prepping for the day. Trucks idle outside.

A deep rumble. Water drips on me from high above. There’s a roar, groan, shriek, sound of a knife being sharpened as the subway tracks overhead. Shadows move on the walls.

Every surface- wall, sidewalk, fence, pole, sign, is scrawled upon. Every garbage can has a face or something to say.

I think it’s quite ideal.

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http://5ptz.com/about/

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

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Bushwick, BrooklynIMG_4680

Bushwick, BrooklynIMG_2225

Soho, NYIMG_4530

Tribeca, NYIMG_5402

Bushwick, BrooklynIMG_2466

Bushwick, BrooklynIMG_4549Tribeca, NYIMG_5425

Soho, NYIMG_2136

Soho, NYIMG_4755

Bushwick, BrooklynIMG_2670Five Points, QueensIMG_2872

Bushwick, BrooklynIMG_2763

Bushwick, BrooklynIMG_4644

It was much pleasanter at home,” thought poor Alice, “when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn’t gone down the rabbit-hole–and yet–and yet–…
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Bushwick, Brooklyn

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Hoboken, New Jersey

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I was quite surprised to spot this little birdy so far from the nest…

 

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