A New Home for 2014

It’s the end of 2013. I hope it was a good year for you. I’m moving. Not leaving New York. Moving Lost in NYC. My goal is to make this my overall travel site and you can find me at TrevinTravels.com. Because I’m Trevin and I like to travel. Lost in NYC will still be a part, but I plan on incorporating new and old pictures from the past and moving into the future. So check it out now, because I put up a new post and bookmark it and come see me. I’ll be bringing in video footage to go with this too so check out Trevintravels.com and spread the word.

Thanks and Happy 2014!

Trevin

I’m Really Really Not Dead

OK, I know if you were a faithful reader of my blog, you realized I slacked off over the last year. That’s right, my last post was in December 2012. It’s December 2013!

But the good news is, I’m coming back real soon. I swear. I have a newly dedicated domain name, and I’m in the process of setting it up. I will be moving my Lost in NYC archives over and begin building my travel blog. Don’t worry, I’m still in New York. But I’ll be visiting new places domestic and international, along with posting pictures and stories from past adventures.

We have so much catching up to do. Stay tuned…

I’m Not Dead, Just Resting.

ImageWhere do I begin? I’ve been losing blogging momentum over the last few months. Sometimes I have an idea, but I don’t get around to it in time and then the inspiration is lost. I’ve been a lot busier playing music lately. My roommate has been making electronic music and I’ve been playing guitar with him. There was another guitar player at first but he went to Chile. There’s been a guy with other electronics too that played a gig with us, but hasn’t practiced much with us since. We had a female singer/hula hooper but maybe its best if she sticks with the hula hoop. Me and my roommate played a house party in the Bronx, it was my first visit there. We rented a Zip Car and got to the Bronx no problem. Once we were there we got lost and drove around in circles, got stuck on a bridge that took us back over to Manhattan, and eventually got to the party where a lot of Dominicans wanted to hear Salsa and Bachata, not the crazy eclectic mix of beats and noise that we call Electro Monster Punk.

So yeah that’s been taking up my time. And since I don’t get paid for this, it’s easy to lose focus when I have an actual job and am dedicating lots of time to practicing music, which I also am not getting paid for. I know there are a few faithful readers out there, and looking the other day at my stats, I guess there’s the random people who somehow find this, so I’m not giving up completely, I just think it will be a while before I hit 100 posts, where a few months back I thought I could get there by the end of the year.

A few weeks back I actually had my first visitor to New York. My cousin’s husband got a new job and showed up for a few days of training. I met up with him one night when he and a few of his fellow trainees wanted to see Times Square. We went out for a few drinks and I got to know him a little better. I had only met him during the weekend of his wedding, but he knows my mom and my grandpa, so he’s family. It was his first trip to New York, coming from California. He even took the subway back downtown to his hotel, which is part of the New York experience everyone has to do at least once. Way to go Tyson.

So that’s been life in a nutshell, minus the quirky observations. I’m just trying to make it through to 2013, but there’s still this whole issue of the Mayan apocalypse. First of all, it’s been about four years that I’ve been hearing about this, so it’s about time that it passes and we can all move on with the reality of life instead speculative bullshit based on misinterpretation of ancient writings. Here’s my theory about all of this: nobody can predict the future. I know Nostradamus is credited with predicting Hitler and some other things throughout history, but he was also wrong too, so maybe we can all make a list of one hundred things and if one or two are right we can point to those instances and say, “Told you so!”, while ignoring where we were completely wrong.

Remember Y2K? Everyone was led to believe computers would malfunction or some Skynet scenario where the computers overthrew humanity was going to happen. I was working as a bartender on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood and we were so overstaffed for New Year’s Eve 1999/2000 but we were dead that night. Everywhere was dead that night, everybody stayed home in fear. Then the next night, when everyone realized the earth was still turning and their microwave didn’t try and cook them, they all went out in force and we were super busy. Of course less than two years later 9/11 happened and caught everyone off guard. And I hate to say it but that’s how it’s always going to happen. The worst things to occur in the following decade have been natural disasters like the tsunami in Thailand, the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, hurricane Sandy in New York, blizzards, floods, earthquakes, and the all too frequent mass shootings that have been happening lately.

Me and my friends had joked about apocalypse preparedness, which I wrote about right before Sandy came to New York. And while it was slightly tongue in cheek, it is important to be a little prepared for times of hardship. The key is to remember that in many cases it won’t announce itself until it’s too late for you to do anything but duck, or run. To steal a line from the Grateful Dead – “When life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door.”

But it’s easy to get caught up wondering how it all ends, because its an extension beyond one’s own self, and after all death doesn’t discriminate. We wonder if we will live long lives, accomplish our goals, be remembered well, or even be remembered at all. The thought of the end to civilization means even the greatest and most celebrated people will be meaningless. It’s selfish and ego based, but then again we’re all human so it probably affects us to some degree.

Will things change? Will we all go at once? Suffer slowly? Or just make it through the weekend unscathed and realize that we still have to go to work, pay the bills, and spend Christmas with the in-laws trying to avoid getting stuck in conversations about religion, politics, or gun control.

Here’s a classic from the 90’s, be sure to make it to the end when Perry Farrell starts going off about aliens and crop circles and the year 2000. Uh, yeah right dude.

If You Can’t Find It In Chinatown

I have an iPhone 5. I pre-ordered the phone when they were first released. I didn’t receive my phone for 3 weeks after that. After my first exciting week of being douchy new iPhone guy, I dropped it on the tile bathroom floor of my work and shattered the glass face.

This was the day before Hurricane Sandy closed the subways and the MTA was already practicing their emergency train route. As I mentioned in a previous posting, the J train ran to Hewes stop in Brooklyn and then everyone had to exit and take the shuttle bus across the Williamsburg bridge to Manhattan. That Saturday morning was chaotic because the entire eight train cars had to exit one set of stairs from the platform, exit the turnstiles and emergency exit, grab a ticket from an MTA worker, exit another set of stairs to street level, walk about a block and a half past the line we were all searching for the end of, then turn around and slowly work our way back to the shuttle buses lined up to drive us to Manhattan.

In hindsight, it was the MTA knowing they needed to shut down the rail system ahead of the approaching storm. I had no idea this was happening, and it was a rude awakening when I was just trying to get to work. When I showed up forty minutes late I was flustered by the trip and I hurriedly changed into my work clothes in the cramped bathroom. I went to put my brand new, slick aluminum, way thinner than my previous iPhone 3, practically a credit card in my hand, did I mention brand new mutherfuckin iPhone 5 into my backpack and it slipped right out my hand, face down on the tile. I knew I was fucked. I picked up my phone and the face was trashed. I can still use it. But I can barely read what I’m texting and my thumb is being carved into sandpaper.

I’ve been trying to find a replacement screen but nobody has one that will fit the iPhone 5. Everyone is telling me places to check out, but when you go to Chinatown and they tell you they don’t have it, where can you go?
This is where fake Rolexes, cheap noodles, and first run movies on DVD for a dollar live. If you can’t find it in Chinatown then you’re screwed.

So yes, I feel like a douchebag for buying a new iPhone and breaking it a week later, I didn’t even have time to buy a case, and no I didn’t take the insurance. I didn’t need it for 2 and a half years with my previous phone. I had a month to change my mind after I ordered the phone. Only problem was I waited for three weeks to get the phone from Apple and then UPS, and then I had the phone for just over a week when…well you know. Where October was a great month, November has been mediocre in comparison, even if the hurricane and the broken phone happened at the end of October, the hangover lasted through November. I left out the disappointing part of my college football team waiting until late November to lose their first game of the year, and eliminate themselves from playing for a national championship. That added to my foul mood.

Kind of like last year, I had a great birthday in Vegas with friends and family in October then came back to find out I was getting laid off at work. I spent November contemplating the future and ended up moving to New York. So I’m saying that happened for a reason. I’m not sure breaking my iPhone will make me a better person, unless that means I stare at it less in pubic. Here’s to a better December and hopefully the world isn’t about to end, but I will rant more about that next time.

Aftermath

I went to Manhattan for the first time this week. The J train ran to Hewes St where I boarded a shuttle bus that was taken everyone from my part of Brooklyn across the Williamsburg bridge. In the Lower East Side there was no power, people shuffled around on the streets. I felt like we were being repopulated in a previously quarantined, similar to the movie 28 Weeks Later when the citizens of London are returned to their supposedly zombie free zone.

Looking for a bus uptown I ended up talking to an older guy who lived in the area and had no power since Monday night- this was Friday afternoon. He confessed that the worst part was when he ran out of weed, something about a dealer that couldn’t charge a cell phone. Had he been a loyal reader, perhaps he would have been familiar with my Survival Kit For the Apocalypse.

I found a bus to Union Square then there was a big line for the bus uptown and I decided to walked the 26 blocks North.

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You can see all the people waiting, and the cops in the background. Much praise to NYPD for all the men and women working overtime to help keep order, especially in the areas where the power was out.

Eventually the lights were on above 28th street, but coming home I saw parts of Lexington to the North of that which were still out. Mayor Bloomberg finally decided to cancel the NY Marathon later in the day, which was a good move a little too late. Unlike 9/11, hosting a sporting event in the wake of a natural disaster doesn’t prove shit to Mother Nature.

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Now you know what Beyond stands for.

We were very busy at work, of course we were, half the city’s restaurants were closed. And everyone had a story of something crazy that happened to them, or someone they knew. Things is, we’re not out of this yet. People are still waiting for gas, and I’m waiting for my normal subway the Q to get up and running, but I’m not sure what the Canal street situation is. Perhaps its still flooded with water and smells like a giant Chinese soup. Now I’m hungry and have to go to Canal street. One last image for you, this one’s just plain messed up when you read the caption on this billboard. And by the way, Times Square never lost power.

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Post Storm Update

Hurricane Sandy may have only been a Post Tropical Storm when she hit NYC but the water levels were enough to cause problems. At this point, so much remains to be seen to understand the long term effects. If you have paid attention to the major news outlets, you have probably already seen the 4 story building in Chelsea that lost its facade, completely exposing the apartments inside. Or heard about the fire in Breezy Point Queens that wiped out 111 homes and firefighters were making rescues in boats.

I’ll consider myself one of the fortunate ones. My part of Brooklyn isn’t in a flood zone and the power stayed on. Buses are starting to run again, which means they’ll probably be very crowded. Subway could be at least a few days from running because there are many flooded tubes. MTA made the right move suspending service. Now hopefully they can get them back up and running again.

Apocalypse Soon

It’s been the longest stretch without a post since I’ve started this blog. October was going to be a huge month, I had so many ideas, but it all just fizzled away. What happened?

Like Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, or a very fat Marlon Brando in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic war movie, I went up river and I’ve gone native. What started out as mere observation turned into infiltration and participation. No longer am I amazed at things I see on a daily basis. Life continues to be exciting, but maybe I don’t have as many novel things to report on as I once did. Of course there may be other factors, such as a lazy approach to daily writing which was due to the many distractions that have occurred in the last month, and possibly a bit of self censorship because I can’t tell you about every little detail that happens. Here’s what I will tell you:

I met a Swiss traveler who is touring the U.S. and we hit it off. She managed to stick around New York for a while and we had lots of fun around the city at various bars, restaurants, and occasional tourist sites. At one point we were at a deli in SoHo at 4am with Lindsay Lohan, who I didn’t pay attention to enough to recognize, but my Swiss friend and the guy working the counter swear that it was her.

Another night we went to a concert at Webster Hall sponsored by Jameson that was called Pettyfest. It was musicians playing covers of Tom Petty songs. While I didn’t recognize everyone that played, they were all from established bands, and it was a reminder that Tom Petty has written lots of great songs. The best part was that we had been listening to the Strokes a lot together and I had introduced her to Portlandia to show what my hometown is like from a comical viewpoint. So when Fred Armison of SNL and Portlandia fame got up to play drums and then Fabrizio Moretti of the Strokes did the same, we were very excited. In fact, she admitted she and her friends had all had a crush on Fabrizio and made sure to get pictures to send to them.

All in all not bad for a free concert and free Jameson.

But now, I’m waiting for the storm of the century, or some such disaster to strike. My Swiss friend went to DC and she’s there with friends, waiting for the same. The subways were closed yesterday evening, so I missed what is generally a very profitable night of work at my restaurant, and today I’m not working again. Honestly, I’m a little disappointed, I prefer to take off from work when it’s planned. I’m trying to occupy my time with some movies and finally writing another post for the blog. The wind is howling outside, but the real storm is still somewhere offshore. I have food, beer, Jameson, movies, and a book for when the power goes out, which in all likelihood will happen at night when reading will be impossible, so I hope I’m drunk enough to just sleep through all of it.

My Portland friends and I had a running list of things you need for the Apocalypse, since the whole Mayan thing has been gaining steam. Sure there’s always those emergency preparedness kits they tell you about in the media, but our list was things you don’t think you need until they’re gone. The problem is, people usually think things will come back to normal right away, and generally they do. But when you look at what happened with hurricane Katrina, or when ice storms take down all the power lines, or ridiculous amounts of snow fall in a region like the Pacific Northwest as it did in 2008 and transportation ground to a halt and store shelves were empty for weeks, that’s when things start to get weird.

It’s good to have a network of people to rely on, who can help you out when you run out of supplies, or help you raid and loot other groups of people that have lots of supplies. Think of the Road Warrior and that crazy gang that Mel Gibson took on. Dressing in leather, wearing modified football pads and having a mohawk also looks cool and helps with the intimidation factor. Unfortunately for me, I don’t have much of a gang out here.

So here’s my impromptu list and remember, this is speaking in case of a purely hypothetical emergency, post law and order scenario.

1. Guns and ammo.

I’m not talking about the magazine, I’m talking the real thing. I know what you’re saying. Guns are bad. Guns hurt people. Yes they do. Just remember what Clint Eastwood said before he started talking to empty chairs: “There are two kinds of people in this world my friend, those with guns, and those who dig. You my friend, dig.”

It’s part of my American heritage, the wild west, if it’s me or you, well I’m choosing me. So don’t come busting down my door to rob me.

2. Drugs.

Legal, illegal, I don’t care. Drugs can be considered medicine, therapy, a way to pass the time. Even if you don’t use them, someone else may want them so it’s a good item for trade.

3. Booze.

Once again something to pass the time. Remember all the people looting cases of beer during Katrina? That’s why you better be able to protect your stash from the needy and the greedy. And whiskey is helpful if you need to remove a bullet or an arrowhead with a dull rusty knife blade. Just like in those old Western movies, sterilize the blade, give a drink to the patient, pour some on the wound, a little for the doctor…

4. Lipstick and Makeup.

This suggestion came from my friend Jenn, who pointed out that women still will want to look good. And guys, just like drugs, just because you may not use them doesn’t mean that someone else won’t covet them enough to trade for something you value.

5. Tampons.

Once again, I have to give credit to Jenn on this too. I don’t think I need to elaborate on the value of having happy women.

6. Candy.

One more from Jenn, who pointed out that living on ramen, insects, and forest berries will get old pretty fast. Good to have something for your sweet tooth.

7. Wet wipes.

Hygiene is important, and if clean water becomes scarce and hot showers become a luxury, these could come in pretty handy.

8. Condoms.

When your iPhone no longer works and the internet’s down and Netflix stops delivering, there’s still that old fashioned form of entertainment that never goes out of style. There’s always baby booms 9 months after disasters, but if you’re not ready to repopulate the earth Post Apocalypse and want to stay STD free while fleeing across the country to a safe zone away from the zombies, make Trojan Man your right hand man. Or use your right hand, man.

This list is not all inclusive and can always be tailored to suit your own personal tastes, but feel free to use it as your guide for survival, because not only is your physical health important, but your mental health is too.

Meanwhile, I’ll be waiting here for the worst and I’ll post some pictures if anything exciting happens in the ‘hood.