Being the random thoughts of Greg Tito, age 29.

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Friday, April 21, 2006

A lunch hour in New York

I've expounded before on the wonders of napping during lunch. And I still do grab at least 20 minutes of nap time most every day. But there are sometimes days when I have to get some errands down in the alotted hour of time in the middle of the day. These tasks range from getting my haircut at a place that always seems to play men beating up other men (Also known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship) on the tvs all day. to buying that new dork book that just came out.

Today's assignment: Buying supplies for a (very) low budget digital film shoot tomorrow.

This was a challenge. I had at least two stops to make, over twenty blocks to walk, and only an hour to do it. I left my cubicle at 12:01pm, hoping to get back by one so that my coworker could go on her lunch date with her Indian friend. I didn't actually leave the building until 12:08pm, however, because, while waiting for the elevator, I had a sudden urge to move my bowels (2nd time today!) which may or may not have been due to the mexican pizza I ordered at 10:11pm last night.

Feeling several pounds lighter, I emerged onto the Manhattan streets at Park and 50th. I had a lot of ground to travel as I had to make it to Madison and 40th. Here's my secret weapon: I walk through crowds faster than a hippy gets high on Earth day. Which is Ironic because, unbeknowst to me, Vanderbilt Ave between 47th and 42nd was closed to car traffic because of, that's right, the Green Apple Music Festival which coincides with Earth Day. Tactical error #1 on my part was to actually walk through the music performance by some chick at a piano and the countless corporate booths giving away free stuff while telling everyone how Green they are (while, of course passing out enough flyers to choke a small blue whale.) I managed to get by the meandering hippies, average new yorkers (smoking cigarettes and blowing it in the hippies faces), and the urge to wait in line for a free Google totebag. Ooh, teh shiny!

I made it to my first stop, Film Emporium at 274 Madison Ave., Suite 204. I know what you're thinking and no, much to my chagrin, it's not a nudey booth place. My mission here was to get DV tape stock and I was surprised to walk in to the premises to find, not shelves of merchandise, but miniscule cubicles with people slaving away at them. My first response when the fat, bearded, balding and pony-tailed guy (yes, comic book guy works here) looked at me was to ask, "Is this retail?" He assured me I was in the right place and I received my 5-pack of panasonic Master Mini DV tapes after he took a short trip into the back room. I can only assume what goes on in that room, but I think that's where they film the amateur porn we have all come to enjoy on the interweb. While he was charging my card, I noticed a flyer advertising the fact that this place also sells film insurance. Talk about your one stop shop. "Get all the supplies you need to insure your film is good." They would never sell malpractice insurance at a medical supplies store. Why do it here?

A timecheck after leaving the Emporium reads 12:32 (I lost 2 minutes going back up to retreive the information for my next stop which I left on comic book guy's desk.) I was doing all right, timewise, and I hoofed it over to 46th and 3rd Ave. where Tudor Electrical Supply Co. is located. This stop was more of a crapshoot. I found the address on Google maps after searching for Lighting supply stores nearest to my workplace. I had no idea if they had what I wanted or if they even existed.

I walk in to a very cluttered, but large, store littered with opened and unopened boxes of lighting bulbs, fixtures, lamps and other electrical mumbo-jumbo. 3 guys are clustered around two messy desks somewhat in the center. They are immediately friendly, which is odd, but then I notice the open bottle of Southern Comfort on the desk and the styrofoam cups around it with their names sharpied on.

"Been that kind of a day, huh?" I said to the guy with dark hair, moustache (which doesn't look creepy for some reason) and glasses.

"The funny thing is, it was that kind of day yesterday." He pauses. "And the day before that. And the day before that."

I genuinely laugh and ask the guy about what I came for. I explain that I was looking for something portable to light a subject in a car while driving. After saying he had nothing like that, I eventually track down a 6 in. battery operated flourescent tube. I buy two of those, 2 300 watt bulbs, 2 200 watt bulbs and batteries for the fluorescents.

While ringing me up, the other guy at the desk (bald, grey, looks like the sports talk guy from Frasier) mentions queitly to moustache that they should ask me for a ting. I play dumb until the happy black guy comes up and picks up the bottle of SoCo. "You down for a ting?" he asks. "Sure." So they pour four double shots into four styrofoam cups. Happy black guy hands me one, "Don't drink it yet," he warns. When everybody has their drink, they stand and hold it out, as if making a toast. They then touch everyone else's cup saying, "Ting, ting, ting," and down the shot. Happy black checks my work, "Good, he said ting." They put down the cups and continue working. I pack up my bags, bid them all good day, and hit the streets with a warm belly of Southern Comfort.

Timecheck reads 12:51pm. Just enough time to stop and grab some lunch on my way back to the office. I weave through the crowd, the hot blonde in tight pink sweat pants walking her tiny dog (also wearing pink,) the Grand Central Partnership dudes picking up trash, the middle-eastern guys selling halal meat and falafel in the lunch wagons. I'm only stumbling a little bit due to the liquor eating away the first layer of my empty stomach. But it feels good. I love New York right now.

Carrying a fresh Subway (foot long honey oat, ham, swiss cheese, onions, pickles, olives, jalapenos and Southwest sauce) sandwich, I arrive back at my cubicle at exactly 1:03pm. Not bad. One hour. Mission accomplished. Shots drained. Sandwich eaten while writing this blog. Now I just have to wash my hands, fill up my water bottle, and begin the day again.


Britt said...

Bob - That is my kind of day!! I bet right now you are sitting at you desk, wondering if on your 20 minute coffee break, you could make it back to the lighting shop for another "Ting, Ting, ting!!"

Rain Delay said...

I feel bad cause you told me to read this thing the other day but i did not get to it until this afternoon, I really wish we could film a day in the life of these lighting guys. I can only imagine what happens when they are having a bad day and thus consume multiple bottles of Southern Comfort.