5.31.2008

seeing strange things

when i lived in boston, and before that in western mass, i never thought i'd live in new york.

now that i'm here, i still don't think i live in new york, i live in brooklyn, which is really worlds away from that scary, creepy, overwhelming, overly vertical, sketched out, maxed out place across 3 bridges and a tunnel from here.

still, creepy, sketchy, overwhelming things happen here in smalltown brooklyn, the likes of which cause neighbors to stare dropjawed and get loud in the street.

d and i took a walk down 7th ave after a nap, at around 830 or so this evening. we were headed into town to find some dinner, maybe catch a movie or just a stroll. right by the tea lounge, which is slated to close in july, we come across an older man sitting with his back to a storefront, waving a handheld video camera at a small person, who upon walking closer we find to actually be a 7 or 8 year old little girl. the little girl, easily mistaken for either a little person or a slightly deformed adult of incredibly tiny stature has two balloons stuffed in the front of her dainty tank top, emulating the look of giant implanted titties. the little girl is running her hands over the faux boobs, doing little dances for the man with the camera, and dramatically posing herself on a streetlamp pole. all very odd behavior.

as we pass, i ask d if this seems a bit strange to her, and in agreement, we hear someone ask, yeah, does that seem strange to you guys too? a woman perched on a stoop two doors down is disgustedly oogling the entire scene, recruiting onlookers to cast discouraging looks and speak pointedly and loudly about the situation. another woman stops who turns out to be a teacher nearby and says this seems out of control. everyone wants to know if the man is the child's father, and if so what are they doing. the woman approaches the man and asks what they're filming. the man answers, 'a documentary about the terrorism and war in iraq' and the woman inquires if the little girl is ok, she seems happy enough, and she says she's fine. the woman goes on to ask why the little girl has balloons under her shirt, to which the man begins yelling, you go home, go away, go smoke your crack, and other such mumblings. he notices d and i standing nearby, keeping an eye on the girl, as we felt compelled to do, and says something to the girl about the lesbians in lesbianville ruining the sanctity of marriage. the little girl nods solemnly in agreement and dances around the street pole some more.

cops are called and recalled, when they finally arrive an hour later, they basically tell the woman who called to shut up and let them handle it. they ask the man for ID, he provides begrudgingly, and tell him he needs to move along. he makes some comments about filing a report for neighborhood harassment, the cops leave, and the man walks up the block and winds up right back where he was, apparently finishing his film.

the video i shot is only about 30 seconds long, but disturbing nonetheless. i might have to take it down at some point, though i hope not. an example of the system i guess.

video


it wasn't all bad though - after we walked on, we stopped in front of the tea lounge to say hello to a girl that d had noticed earlier, who turned out to be none other than the famous erin mckeown, a former friend of d's, and folky girl songwriter.

i love when creepy weird things get intertwined with celebrity sightings.

of course i didn't realize it was the erin until after we'd walked on from the tea lounge, but still....

we can't win 'em all.

xo

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