==Following a drunken Mike Green down Houston Street on a Fixed Gear…==
By Xris… 5.18.07
So, last night $am and I were biking home from Deepwave Studios in Queens, where we are mixin’ the new record. It beautiful out so we decided to pass by the Solar Stage @ Stuyvesent Cove on the East River @ 21st st.. Why? to check out the scene at the Bike Film Fest kick off concert /party “Bikes Rock!” A concert Team Spider offered to play, but was not asked to play.
The anual "Bikes Rock!" concert…was named for Zak, after his infamous “Bikes Rock” chant, which saved the day a couple years back, while ZAK held 100’s hundreds of drunk messengers at bay as the Anthology Film Archives projector temporarily failed at the rowdy “Warriors Bike Race” Movie premiere.
So, the Bike Community Concert seemed desolate…, turns out concert was the night before.. Ha. ;-)
Oh well.. since it rained last night, turns out it was moved to a small indoor place in Brooklyn, & one of the main acts cancelled, so no great loss… but, after goin’ home & checkin some artwork for the T.S. CD, we decide to hit the Bike Art Show at about 11:30pm…
Mainly... ‘cause our man Tod Seelie is doin’ some of the TS album Art, & he has some work in the show.. We see lots of great art, including a pen and ink piece by Doyle of Black Label which I like… it shows black label bike club critical massin’ times square, and all the billboards are changed to Bike Club names like RAT PATROL, CHUNK 666, etc. cool to see unity among the many NY clubs…
There are some fun 3-d sculptures made out of bikes, and some practical* art, like the Tall Bike, designed to fit in an Amtrack Approved size piece of luggage ( *note… first time =Tall bike=, and =Practical= were ever used in a sentence together. )
One of our favorite pieces was a dumpster, in the middle of the art studio, filled to the brim with PBR cans. Not a currated work of art, but something that naturally occurred as a result of having a cheap ass beer sponsor a Chelsea Art Exhibit invaded by Bike Messengers,,, Ha.
We got there so late, that we missed the obligatory drunken fight, and required Mike D being banned from all events for destroying somethin' ! Ha. even though Mike D is the star of many BFF premiered films… he crossed the line by spray painting some of the art that was on display… this was highly offensive to Tod, who hinted that most people there would be less offended if someone punched an artist in the face…
Since we were late, the upstairs half of the exhibit was already closed,,,, but the guard saw the T.S. comin’ and in mid-stifle, opened it back up for us…. That’s how we roll.
It’s all Champagne and bitches* for the crew yo…
(*PBR, and actual Stray Dogs to be more exact)
I found Todds amazing piece… Its lonely, unmanned bike, in a lake that appears to be the result of melting glaciers,,, The piece was tucked in its own little room.. awesome
then we step out of that alcove… and see ZAK!
In giant monster photo form!
His face captured a classic shocked expression that matched ours.,.
Ha, Zak hanging in a fine art gallery… Hilarious Awesome Of course
So, we head out, and get a call from Mike Bike Blog Green, “yo come to Union Sq. we’ll wait for ya._”
So Xris and $ammy mount up their steeds, and hit Union Square North, mecca to NYC critical massers… and theres Mike, w/ buddy /producer Chris, and Big A ( a guy we work with on movies, who happed to be walkin by ), and Gringo Ram Head horn Man from The Warriors Bike Race movie, and then, my buddy, Shalom, our favorite former Hacidic jew iraq war vetern squatter train hopin’ punk rocker friend… rolls up What an unsavory cast of characters…
Have some laughs… I love cross pollinating.. introducing these union electrician guys I work with to squatter punk war vet rabbi’s, or bike punk musicians to messengers turned lawyers… awesome…
We go our sep. ways with me, $ammi, & B/Mike Blog headin’ to a downtown after party on our bikes, leavin’ co-worker Big A to talk politix with mohawked & medal wearingShalom, … ha—priceless ( but not lice-less)
Well, that’s when our adventure REALLY begins,,,, Cause next thing I know, we are on the most asinine 1a.m. bike route I have ever taken… Breakin all my own rules… following mike green.
It starts with us taking an entire lane, of completely packed, high speed, drunk cab filled Broadway, the only street for blocks that has any traffic at all, Any the only street that can be treated as a highway by the yellow cab phone card yappin army as they seek jersey style blonds as deliriously drunk as THEY are sleep deprived…
As if dodging these midnight bus lane invading kamikazi’s wasn’t enough to deal with… when we hit one insection ..there are 3 foot wide pieces of broken glass, from a bus stop plowed into by some hit and run vehicle… I stopped to see if the now accessible GIANT – SiZED poster was indeed a spidey3 poster,( which sadly it was not,) because if it was… as I said to $ami, “ I wouldn’t have to paint my living room”
this of course put us further behind Mike who was fading into the mass of high speed traffic, his orange bike becoming a blur in a sea of yellow…
We catch up with Mike at Houston St.. which looks like the UFO landing scene from Close Encounters… it is completely torn up, with boom pole flood lights and construction workers and cranes everywhere… I assume we are going south for a block or two, but before I even slow down, mike leads us right through this mess. A mess which has reduced the entire south side on Houston street to ONE lane! ,, so we are fighting bottle necking dozens of black sedan car service vehicles tryin to score the extra foot of dominance that’ll make everyone else have to slow down and command a losing/waiting lane… we dance this treacherous ballet, on mismatched steel plates covering the lack of asphalt, all the time blinded by white lights more suited to the Superbowl than Houston Street…
After passing Times up headquarters.. & its collapsed building neighbor,,, we emerge unscathed
So its back to the normal 4 or 5 lanes of steel plated boulevard of bike death fun.. Passing the new Whole Foods, or as we like to call it “Whole Paycheck” , I wonder when the hell mike is goin to get off Houston and take Stanton, Prince,.. Spring.., ANY parallel running’ empty street…? -- answer… WHEN HELL ( aka Houston st. ) FREEZES OVER!
& Thanks to the Al Gore discovered glo-bal-warm-ming (?) , that means;;;; NEVER>
Thankfully we eventually reach Crystie street and head down , but only ‘cause that;s the street the party is on…
Outside, looks its pretty calm, a couple people waiting it what appears to be a line…
I roll up on Mike, the first time I’ve been next to him for the entire ride and say “I broke one of my rules to stay with you man,,, I Never take Houston st. not even for half a block.” he replies, Something to the effect of.. “ohhooohw I’’’mmmm Xrwwwiiisss, I nevvverrrrr takeeee houstonstwwwreetssssshhhhshs” I respond-- “Holy crap, your slurring every mike’s drunk!” Mike-- “Mwiiykesss Drunnwk” ME—“ We’ve been following a Drunk Mike Green down Houston street!!!” $am- shakes his head ME- ( looking down) “on a Fixed Gear!” Mike—“ewwww… Miwwikesss Slllurrringiggg his werrdddss”
Oh man,,,, I must be off my game… Well anyhow… we made it… Bike parking is tight, so we hit the park across the street, where $am begins to lock to a parks dept building’s railing which sends my spidey sense tinglin’, I tell him, “ it seems sketchy, we should lock up at the benches… “ Last time I was at this park, I had to deal w/ angry park dept. people who wanted to know why we didn’t have a permit to show up there… ( it was the unofficial new, secret, starting point of Monster Track bike race ) and soon cops were called, who I of course taped, and the footage is all featured in this years Bike Film Fest… who’s party we are probably not going to be allowed in….$am says “fuggit,”, and decides to lock there anyway. He soon meets up w/ mike and I, who in our pole quest discover NYC Anti Grafitti trucks. These fancy white brand new vehicles have crazy giant doors that make ‘em look like a shuttles from Star Trek… or as we like to call it : “the future”
We cannot believe how many anti graff trucks there are… like 5 of them..? Must be safer to travel in groups People seems to be hasslin’ them a little, and mike get busted putting a DUMMER sticker on one of them… C’mon mike you’re embarrassin us…
BY GETTING CAUGHT! Beyatch…;)
The grafitti guys, don’t seem to know what they are doin’ We try to help by suggesting they start with the extensive wall pollution sillohettes of the hipster’s wearin headphones,
Some bike ladies roll up, in tank tops, freezing, complaining they cant get into to the club.. where their jackets and desperately needed toilets are… I tell em “go pee on that grafitti over there, those guys will probably give you a medal…”
The one girl is not amused and starts randomly telling me something about “you know don’t know what its like to be 23 with big boobs…!” I respond “no, your right, but I was once 26 with big boobs” Which of course makes even less sense, but does make her cute friend laugh.. which makes the first first confused, so she drags her cute friend away ... Oh well.. The grafitti police leave too, I think they musta got scared by the street tuff-ness of the soho fashionistas, ‘cause, despite unloading all there buckets and chemicals, they ultimately didn’t remove a single piece of graffitti.., That or they got an emergency call… *skwawwk* “7 mary seven,, c’mon ..We have a neckface bombingg at wall street.. I reapeat, anarchists are bombing wall street.. no… No… Kryyyylonn…. Tell… my wife…. I… jack,… Bauerrrrr!” or something to that effect..
wait till they start hittin’ Uptown.,,, G’LUCK w THAT.
-####### Well, all this fartin around and rappin with Todd Seelie and drunk ladies at first resulted in the Velvet rope encased line growing huge… …which of course means nothing to us, other than the fact we may have to use our Team Spider Stealth Skills to get in.,,, $am looks at me as if to say, “what ya think” ( regarding difficulty ) I give em a look that says “not even a challenge”
I see a half dozen way to bust in this place… and I haven’t even turned around yet…
But then mike motions to one of the surrounding young ladies’ amazing rear sections, and says something to the effect of “ why donnntt you sneeeaaak into thatttt… mister Teammmm Spiiiyyder… butttt noooo.. ‘’I’m goin to sneaaaakkk intooo SLAYERRRRR’’… “ …I quickly realize… we might have a weak link here…
and since we never leave a man behind….
But then> on cue.. the line disappears… They let everyone in, fulfilling what Todd speculated , which was that there was more then enough room for everyone… they were just putting on a show at this hour…
So we all head in… And make a B-line for the free drinks! Which I know, will be probably be limited to drinks by whoever the sponsors were.. which so far has been PBR… so I ask “ what are the free drinks for filmmakers” Bartenderess- “Oh we don’t have any more… now its just 2 dollar PBR, 6 dollar drinks..” Hmmmmm…. Disappointing, especially when they have the Dark Stuff on tap… But I figure… I haven’t spent a dime all night… ( cept the 1800 dollars we agreed to pay our producer today… in a momentary lapse of reality )
So I’m treatin myself to a Guiness,,, I am about to order , when spidey sense tells me to ask how much first.. just in case…. Her response… “10 Dollars.”
. . .
. . .. .
. . . . . .ehy
. .. .
! TEN DOLLARS! a new record….
F*ck this place.
Funny thing is, sam had the exact same reaction… cept his occurred when I told him it was 2 dollars for a PBR. “what! ? I refuse to pay anything for a PBR. That’s just my policy.”
On cue, the bartenders start walkin thru the crowd with new 12 packs of PBR’s… heading to the bar. Too many cases to carry at once, so they are randomly putting 12 packs down, fireman’ing to each other…
Ooh, Too easy…
But $am, seeing the wheels turning says… “ya know what,, don’t bother.. lets roll…” Mike, who is rummaging thru his bag to trade stickers with some guy who has a new bike community zine ( mike: I’ll give you 2 “dummer” stickers… for a “ride a fuckin bike” sticker).. and Mike’s hand comes out of his messenger bag with a PBR instead… he quizzically looks at the Full can o beer.shrugs… and hands it to $am.
Looks like we’re stayin’
So $am got what he envisioned, on his own terms,, And I wonder, “why am I going to jack some beers that I don’t even want”… Go for the gold ponyboy///
There’s a full Guiness on the bar.. With a napkin coverin the top like a lid… Preserving it for someone,,, It’s located right next to the cherry and lime containers… Sore of pulled back from the actual bar, held for someone special… Well…. I did take special ed.
The doe – like beer in question has been there ever since I asked my horribly answered pricing questions.. I Considered just “Les snatchin’” it back then…, But don’t want to interfere with another man/woman and their pain stakingly waited for guinness… I figured that Somewhere out there there’s probably some guy using the john looking forward to the dark one preparing itself back on the bar…
But at this point, that was 15 or 20 minutes ago… I think its an abandoned order… So I tel $am “I’m goin in.. I just need to find something that looks like money to drop on the bar as I grab it..” This little show is not for the bartenders, who I would never let witness my Indiana jones swaparoo*
*a Guiness, seamlessly swapped, with a Guiness sized section of empty air…,
No, the crumpled piece of money-like paper is for the millions of other eyes… who need reassurance that things on the bar aint free… In a pinch, I will even use a real dollar,,, not a bad deal, & a nice tip for the wait staff, who I am sure aren’t getting double sized tips for their double priced booze….. But while rifiling thru my pockets.. the perfect opportunity arrives, The bar is down to 2 bar tenders, with the others stuck hauling out PBR twelves,, and the two left are RIGHT NOW walking opposite directions… away from the centrally located orphaned Guiness… So I stopped talking to young apprentice $ami about crupmpled pieces of paper and do a quick “Zoink”, and its my beer of choice is suddenly strapped to the hood of my returning to our seats palm. Where we all toast to good health… cept.. mike who says “ I feel sick”
So a good time.. we soon enough ditch out, I give mike specific instructions “take Stanton street to the bridge” “I’m just heading to the bridge…” “yes… and you are going to take Stanton street…”
Mikes seems less enebriated than just tired at this point, so we don’t take his kryptonite keys… While getting $am’s bike… a park dept lady comes out of the brick building and says her co-corkers were getting bolt cutters to remove sam;s bike form the park…
She was actually being nice, as if she found it somewhat offensive as well, but wanted to let us know what was up… Specifically.. that The park workers were goin to “cut the lock, take the bike, then wait here for you to return and give you a summons.”