Monday, January 31, 2011

How to Spell Success

AFC Championship Pep Rally in Times Square

J-E-T-S! Jets!  Jets!  Jets!

Time Square was lit from end to end in green and white for the second AFC Championship Game Playoff Rally on Thursday, January 20th!  For the second year in a row the New York Jets are in it to win it!  Hundreds of fans turned out to send the high-flying Jets to dominate the Pittsburgh Steelers!  Chris and I were among this crazy green crowd with higher hopes than last year!

Fans of all makes and molds showed up with rally towels (some even in costume).  The green mob was alive and ready to spell out everyone’s favorite New York football team!  People brought huge signs (that blocked most of my view), decapitated Pittsburgh Steelers’ heads, stuffed animals dressed in Jets gear, and baby dolls painted green.  I came in a green coat, so I was safe, too. 

The rally had a huge line-up of guests including Mayor Bloomberg, Fireman Ed, owner Woody Johnson, General Manager Mike Tannenbaum and a performance by Ready in 10.  It was amazing to hear the roars of the pack of fans and be apart of something so huge two years in a row.  We screamed every time Fireman Ed instructed and booed every time the band played (trust me, you would have, too).  However, the highlight of the evening wasn’t the foam fingers, it was hearing the entire crowd chant, “Plow my snow!” during Mayor Bloomberg’s entire speech.  Only in New York

Chris and I got there too late for the totally awesome foam fingers, and no matter how cute I tried to be, none of the middle aged men were giving them up!  How rude, I know, but I feel like I should have expected that.  As I left empty handed, I had hopes of another pep rally two weeks from now for Super Bowl XLV! 

Let’s go Jets!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How to Twist and Shout

You shake it up, baby.  Then you work it on out.

Hypothesis: The more you twist, the better you get.  The more you shout, the worse you get.

Proof: Beatlemania

Example 1: 1964: The Tribute
My $17.50 seat at Carnegie Hall became a time machine traveling back to the 1960s during the height of Beatlemania.  Isaac Stern Auditorium became the Ed Sullivan Show as four mop-top musicians gave the audience a history lesson in rock n’ roll music with a set list including songs pre-Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band accompanied by a 16 piece orchestra conducted by Robert Miller. 

They covered songs from I Saw Her Standing There to Yellow Submarine (lead by Ringo, naturally) and everything in between!  The entire performance was unbelievable; however, one moment stands out and still gives me goose bumps.  With a breathtakingly beautiful introduction by the string section, Eleanor Rigby blew my mind.  I will never listen to that song the same again.

This foursome has been performing together for over twenty years, and it shows in every motion, witty exchange and personal characteristic displayed on stage.  It would have been enough to go to Carnegie Hall, hear some Beatles music and dance, but this performance was purely perfect.  George muttered shyly into the microphone.  Ringo offered peace, and Paul sang about love.  Oh, and John was just super cool. 

I swayed to every slow song and twisted to every fast one without a care in the world (especially about those sitting behind me).  I sang at the top of my lungs, and I shouted, “I love you George!” because the spirit had taken hold of me.  I left Carnegie Hall with a horse voice and as the best twister this side of the 1970s.

I was fortunate enough to see the last show of the season on January 15th.  This was the 11th performance of 1964: The Tribute at Carnegie Hall. 

A two day event covering all 185 Beatles’ songs on ukulele took over Brooklyn Bowl the weekend of January 15th and 16th.  For $10.00 (or free if you brought your own ukulele) I saw the second half of the performance on Sunday, January 16th.  It was incredible to see such a wide range of people dancing and singing along to these era defining songs. 

There was nearly a different performer for each song.  Some of the classics had been redone to personal interpretation, but mostly they were sung as we know them.  Children and adults alike all over the dance floor shouted Yellow Submarine and Octopus’s Garden as if it meant something so much more (and it did).  It is comforting to know we can always count on music to close the generational gap, sometimes without even recognizing it. 

Though I was still horse from my evening at Carnegie Hall, I danced and sang like I hadn’t practiced the night before, showing off my superior twisting skills.  When my voice was completely gone, my hips sore from twisting, and I had decided my new life goal was to learn to play the ukulele, I left. 

Theorem: Twisting and shouting have an inverse relationship.

Friday, January 21, 2011

How to Escape From Handcuffs

I have given this some considerable thought.  I think asking politely should work.  However, I have never personally been in that situation, except that one time, and being nice definitely wasn’t the answer.  It was a totally different set of circumstances. 

On Saturday, January 15, I visited The Jewish Museum to see the Houdini: Art and Magic exhibit.  This experience was similar to a one night stand. You get frisked heavily when you walk in the door.  It is extremely hot, and if you don’t take your clothes off right away, you’ll end up sweating in your coat the entire time. 

Let me explain.  When you enter the museum within two feet is a heavy duty metal detector.  You can check your coat directly after walking through security, which seems fishy.  If you chose not to check your coat, you will not be allowed to remove it during the entire exhibit.  It is hot in there, just a warning.

One of Houdini’s first stunning acts was the East Indian Needle Trick.  He would swallow a spool of thread followed by a pack of sewing needles.  Moments later he would pull the string out with all of the needles threaded!  Though small and kind of gross, this was my favorite piece in the exhibit, a pack of needles and a spool of thread because I stared at it wondering whether or not those items had been regurgitated by Houdini himself.  I’m easily impressed. 

Other than the TSA style brutality that occurs, I enjoyed learning all about the mysterious character, Harry Houdini.  The exhibit spans three decades and explains how Houdini created a showmanship status that few have been able to follow.  The exhibit showcases numerous videos clips, pictures, and physical restraints such as the water chamber, straightjacket, milk can, and, of course, lots of handcuffs.  The videos are as unbelievable today as they were during his lifetime.  Though I am still not convinced he didn’t have the key to the handcuffs in his mouth. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How to Bare It All…And Get Away With It

No Pants Day 2011

Join over 3,500 other people without pants in New York City for No Pants Day. 

Sunday, January 9th was the 10th Annual No Pants Day, an unclothed festivity celebrated in over 20 countries around the globe.  Created by Improv Everywhere to be a secret mission to shock other straphangers has become more than an urban myth (My boyfriend’s neighbor’s friend did that a couple years ago) due to an increase in participants each year. 

Now I have done it!

There were six meet up locations throughout the city; I chose Maria Hernandez Park in my neighborhood.  After doing the Polar Dip the week before, the cold didn’t frighten me, but I was scared.  You know the dream when you leave the house without pants.  Well, this is one dream about to come true.  I was terrified.  What if my underwear came down with my pants?  What exactly is proper etiquette for wedgie removal without pants?  These were genuine, reasonable questions!

Wearing my I Love JETS panties, I walked with my fellow exhibitionists to the L train.  I took my pants off at Montrose Street and rode bravely all the way to the end of the line.  As a team, we walked across the platform at 8th Ave to go back down to Union Square for the No Pants Party! 

No pants!  There were people with no clothes (other than a strategically placed sock)!  This quickly became a sea of naked, chanting people trying to get passers by to declothe. 

People loved my underwear!  Everywhere I walked people were taking pictures of my butt and that was okay!  Jets chants followed me the rest of the day. J-E-T-S!  It was smart I spent a week planning exactly what to wear (and that the Jets beat the Colts the night before).  I need to start preparing for next year; I’m thinking thermal. 

In the end, the best part of the day was meeting similarly naked and adventurous people, oh and putting my pants back on.    

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Overcome a Fear of Hypothermia

2011 Coney Island Polar Dip

The only advice I can give: Run in as fast as you can, and get out quicker.  When I reached the shore and felt the icy, January surf wash up on my toes, I instantly pulled back on my boyfriend's hand.  There was just no way I was doing it.  But I did.  Twice.  It was one of the proudest, most exciting and exhilarating activities I have done in my life.  I can’t wait to do it again in 2012!

The Coney Island Polar Dip is an annual event that takes place on January 1st.  Other Polar Dips are scheduled all along the East Coast from Maine to Virginia.  The purpose of these events is to raise money and awareness for Camp Sunshine.  The donations and pledges go to children with life threatening illnesses and their families. 

Thrill seekers like my boyfriend, Chris and I joined the Coney Island Polar Bear Club Saturday, January 1, 2011 in the brisk Atlantic Ocean and helped raise over $46,000.00 for Camp Sunshine. 

2011 is going to be a great year. 

How to Start Fresh

New Yorker is what I wanted to be when I grew up.  It still is. 

Acquiring citizenship status is an unclear and never ending debate between those born here and transplants.   There are many guidelines, expectations, and prejudices that stipulate when you are, in fact, a New Yorker.  What does it take?  Some people argue it takes five or ten years before you earn the right to be from the greatest city in the world.  I believe you are from a place when you have lived there longer than the place you were raised. 

I am from Hope, Kansas, a town of nearly 300 people.  I went to a school that was an elementary, junior high and high school in one three-story, brick building in the middle of the town, a town that didn’t have a stop light or even a Starbucks.  I spent six years in Hope, and I haven’t looked back. 

I arrived in Brooklyn in January 2005 with my luggage and a small list of Things To See including Chinatown, Little Italy, Times Square on New Year’s Eve and more nauseating tourist traps. Needless to say, the list was completed and thrown away.  Since then I have seen and done more activities that I could have ever imagined existed. 

Hello.  My name is Tiffany Lynch (Hi, Tiffany Lynch), and I am a New York transplant.  I have been living in citizenship limbo for six years.  This year in New York City marks my first official year as a local.