So I didn't really 'party like a rock-star, but this weekend was a full one. It was jam packed with self-realizations and fun/interesting/awkward events. I apologize in advance for the less than coherent progression of this blog. But....you know. I'll start with yesterday.
Everyone knows that I'm a hardcore Brooklyn proponent. I push flea markets and park events. Yesterday I went to a free concert in the park which was part of Celebrate Brooklyn Summer series. The lead acts were Talib Kweli (native Brooklyner) and The Roots.
I went with AB and while on the F train we ran into another friend MR. We met up with a bunch of friends and found even more there when we arrived. The concert, by my new Bonnaroo standards, was sub par. But you don't always go to concerts like that for the act and I was still glad that I went.
Celebrate brooklyn is an accurate sample of Brooklyn culture. There's a community feel that rivals Bon Bonnaroo. The crowd is diverse and happy. And we're all brought together by the promise of free entertainment and feel-good company. The ages range from less than 1 to over 70. There is regular seating and portable chairs and blankets line the back. And, while it rained sporadically, the crowd increased until fire-hazard and brooklyn law prohibited the admittance of even one more person.
This concert was the intro to a series this year celebrating African artists but there are acts for everyone from electronic-thumping tweens, to Nigerian natives, to country fans. But regardless of the act there are people of every type and nationality appreciating music that is culturally foreign to them.
On Saturday I was supposed to do many things. But comme d'habitude I accomplished a fraction. On Friday I was headed to Sushi with a Census friend and ran into someone from Penn. He had moved in a block away from me. He invited me to his housewarming on Saturday night. And because I am the person I am I was late, BUT I came bearing gifts. I have to pat myself on the back for the carrot cake I made (with cream cheese frosting) from scratch. And while I was supposed to head into the city after I 'popped over' I ended up staying the night because it got late fast and I'm lazy.
JST (friend from Penn) had moved in with a fabulous gay black man (Brown University grad) he'd studied abroad with in South Africa. So the crowd was Brown girls and awesome gay men. The Party devolved or developed (depending on you opinion) into a lot of Mariah Carey singing and shirtless dancing (shirtless with bow ties). It was great company and good music on a good night. There was indoor dancing and outside stoop-sitting, my cake was a hit and I made more than a few new friends.
On Friday after Sushi I went out with LW. We left her apartment and went to meet some of her friends at The Jane Hotel. I've been there before for MS b-day, but there was a whole section of the bar/lounge that had been closed off and the newly opened section was striking. It was a little elistist 'are you on the list' when entering but it has great drinks and a beautiful ambiance and I would totally recommend it if you bring your own crowd.
Then we headed over to Barbershop. This is when the love interest is reintroduced. He is someone I've known for a long time as a friend and the relationship we have currently is new and mildly confusing in its simplicity.
There's something strange about relationships in your early twenties, I think. Regardless of whether you are 'naturally monogamous' or kind of a heartbreaker, no matter whether you are in a relationship or playing the field there's something distinctly odd about this time. It's like we're all playing grown up. Some people live at home, some have their own apartments, some are financially independent and some aren't. But very few of us have gotten the hang of it yet. To be honest, I think it has to do with a tendency for the twenty-something to be self-preservative and selfish.
At this point most of us have been hurt romantically. But all of us are looking for something remarkable in someone else. It creates a strange dichotomy of narcissism and self-consciousness. With the uncertainty of impending adulthood a lot of us become, once again, dependent. Like the miserable uncertainty of our middle school selves, our twenty-something-selves look to others (older or our same age). It seems like as soon as you start to get a grip on one stage of your life your immediately ejected into another.
At 22 it becomes even more complicated because at this stage you start to involve other people (most of whom are feeling around in the dark as well). Part of me is inclined to believe that in order to survive at every stage you have to create your own boundaries. But then again like socrates said, "Wisest is he who knows he does not know". Maybe flexibility is the only way to survive. Maybe we should just accept that we're always going to encounter the unexpected. Darwinistically, those who can adapt can survive.
E (a Kansas native) was so perplexed by the new york dating scene she started a blog in which she explores her own experiences. Some of her points resonate so strongly I swear that I wrote them. But some of her more poignant ideas:
The realization that dating is both formulaic and spontaneous.
That dating is a mix of hope and disappointment of guilt and indignation and that there are betrayals that you can at once find yourself the victim of without fully realizing that you yourself have betrayed.
This relates to my new love interest in the sense that we have no idea what we're doing. I don't want to be dating anyone, neither does he. But we like, respect and are attracted to each other. We're free to date other people. But it seems strange to have those qualifications fulfilled in addition to proximity and to not go for it. What's worse is I'm not sure if this is a sign of progression or regression. Am I mature? Is this relationship evidence of us both realizing that we are young and selfish?
Like I said. This is disjointed. And I promise to elaborate on different areas of this post. but for now, I'm just going to have to leave it as is and hope that someone who reads this can find the subtext and understand.