Probably not since the last time I was in NY have I crammed so much into one weekend.
As the calls from several unaware friends reminded me, I left pretty much without notice, so for those that I forgot to inform I was in New Jersey this weekend to tag along with Dave, Carrie, Justin and Ally on a trip with many purposes.
Our first day we traveled over to New York by way of the NJ Transit system, where I gave everyone the grand geek tour, showing them all the best toy and video game stores and the like. We also hit a few of the more traditional spots like the MOMA, where I was reminded of just how glad I am to not be forced to look at "good art" on a daily basis anymore since graduating. I loved being able to show Dave and Carrie around since they had never been, and I was glad they could finally see for themselves just how incredible the place is.
Our second day we spent at the Chiller Theater convention in Jersey, where we got to see the most eclectic gathering of celebrities I've ever been witness to. The lines were a little too long and disorganized and the autograph prices were a little too high, so I mostly just looked on as Dave and Ally worked their way through the mob. Celebrities I got to see included:
Plus a couple others I'm probably forgetting, and a ton who I'm not pop-culture savvy enough to know what they were famous for. The one autograph and picture I did get was Misty Mundae, the soft core adult film star. Now before you go correctly branding me a pervert, you should show know that this was only a big deal because on a trip to Chicago we were introduced to her work by catching the movie "Spiderbabe" on hotel tv late one night. It was so terrible that it had us laughing all night instead of getting any sleep, and it's been a beloved chapter in the history of our travels ever since.
Our third day we headed to a gallery in Prefectville, USA to see Carrie's art on display and listen to her participate in a gallery talk, which was awesome.
I call it Perfectville because the place was seriously like something out of a 50's television show; it was absolutely unreal. Please know that I am not exaggerating in the least when I describe it. Everything was immaculate: the streets, the buildings, the people. All the stores were bright and colorful and there was a happy family on every corner. One store had a window display of clothing that was the style women wore on the Andy Griffith Show, but was brand new. Within a mile or so we passed at least 6 perfectly maintained fields where kids sports teams were playing, in what must have added up to hundreds of kids in this one small town. We passed kids learning to ride bikes with training wheels in the middle of the street, an ice cream truck with a line of youngsters, and a middle school with a LAKE. We could barely drive we were laughing so hard at how absurdly ideal this place was, it was really like someone was playing a trick on us.
It was a stark contrast to the rest of New Jersey,however, which didn't leave us with quite the same heartwarming feeling. The roads are absolutely impossible to navigate, to the point where even our GPS had no idea what to do. There were signs that read "No turns" at the sole entrances to store plazas, and at one point we ran into a stop sign less than a foot from another sign reading "no stopping anytime." We had to park our car in an area where it was the only one not equipped with "the club," all stores closed by 10 at the latest, even Walmart (all Walmarts in the entire state, we were informed) and not a single restaurant had Dr. Pepper.
I've never been to any other state that caused me to exclaim "why in the world do they do it like that here?" every five minutes, but griping aside it was an amazing trip and I'm a little melancholy to be home, as I usually am after traveling.