Sunday, 20 June 2010

Madness Magnet & 2010 Mermaid Parade

Hope you are having a lovely weekend. I had a bit of a busy day yesterday, but today I am in the office, which isn't great, but it's horribly humid outside, so not so bad to be here in the air conditioning as I would only be lounging at home watching the footie. While Sunday may be a bit of a bust Saturday was a good day; it was the perfect blend of me time and time with friends. I worked out like a demon in the morning - I'm ultra-motivated to exercise at the moment, specifically trying to tone my obliques for an upcoming beach weekend through regular use of the muffin top machine. See below.

Well okay, technically it's called something like the back raise machine as it's intended use is for strengthening the lumbar spine, but a personal trainer once had me stand on this machine side ways with my feet stacked on top of each other and do side bends over it and let me tell you it doesn't half work out your waist. I encouraged Megan to try it the other day while we were killing time before Pilates class and she tentatively tried 10 reps each side - I usually aim for between 30 and 50 per side - and agreed with me that it's a tough one when she was still aching 2 days later.

"That was a killer, I'm never again going to do any exercises you recommend. You always say 'try this it really works your abs or whatever' and I try it and find myself incapacitated for 2 days."

Honestly you try to help and that's the thanks you get. Some people are just so ungrateful eh ;-)

Admittedly while I am pretty used to using this machine I often find that for the couple of days post workout even breathing in too deeply can wake up those achy muscles in my exhausted obliques and make me wince and I've developed a habit of instructing my team not to make me laugh on Monday if I've had a weekend session on the muffin top machine.

After the gym I walked down to Union Square* to meet Megan and take the 45minute subway ride out to Coney Island for the Mermaid Parade, which has happened every year since 1983 on the Saturday closest to the official start of Summer.

Anyone can register for the ocean themed parade, so it's similar to the annual Halloween parade in that respect, and pasties are a popular choice of um...attire (are pasties considered clothing???) for many a mermaid. I'm not exactly sure where the ocean theme fitted in for these two save for the tenuous link of fishnets.

Photo via bigrob1970 @flickr

Despite many scantily clad participants the parade is very much a family affair.

Each year they also have a king and queen of the parade and this year it was Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed did NOT look happy to be there when he passed by Megan and I watching from the boardwalk. I fancy that Laurie strong armed him into it against his will and that there were strong words exchanged in the Reed household on Sat evening ;-)

Look....some fish DO have bicycles!!!

After a couple of hours we'd had our fill of the parade, which seemed quite poorly timed and we felt so there were long gaps where we didn't see anyone, and decided to head back to Manhattan around 3.30pm, however we were somewhat stymied by the cops refusing to let anyone cross Surf Avenue to get back to the subway station. Typically at these events there are crossing points every few blocks and the cops will let people through every 15minutes or so, but the Mermaid parade seemed more than a bit disorganized and we must have waited 30minutes in the blazing sun and I have a nice sunburned forehead to show for it despite the SPF 45 cream I'd applied. The crowd got a bit unruly after a while - and who could blame them, the cops were idiots to be honest - and I was slightly concerned that things might get out of hand and I have to say it wasn't a pretty sight when they finally allowed us to cross as they didn't move the saw horses out of the way and so when the crowd behind me surged forward I was propelled into the older woman (60s-ish I'm guessing) in front of me, through no fault of my own, and she got caught on one of the barricades, although I couldn't see that she was caught from where I was because there were so many people. Anyway she got through okay, but then turned back and shouted at me "my pants, my fucking pants" - I am not sure what happened, they looked fine to me, no noticeable rips - as if it was my fault and not the fact that we were both being pushed from behind by 50 or so people all equally keen to reach the subway. Whatever lady!!**

To be honest this has been a bit of a weekend for run-ins as I had an encounter with a deranged bloke on the subway this morning. He was sat on the end seat with his arm through the rail at the end of the seats and I was stood by the doors next to where he was sat. As the train pulled into the next station I turned to move away from the doors so I could make room for people to get off the train and my bag accidentally brushed against the arm he had extended through the rail and he went mental with me. I told him to grow up and appreciate that it was an accident, but he wasn't having any of it, so I walked to the other end of the carriage. I stood there for a couple of minutes and the next thing I knew he followed me to tell me off. He was tall I told him to leave me alone and repeated it was an accident, but he wasn't having any of it and then declared he had 3 knives in his bag. I walked away again and he followed me, but thankfully a muscular tourist came to my aid - and not the burly young bloke standing at around 6ft 3 who just stood back and enjoyed the show I noted. Pillock!! - and told him to leave me alone or he'd have him to deal with.

"But she started it" he sputtered. What???? Clearly deranged!!

"I don't care, leave her alone" Mr. Tourist responded, holding him back from following me.

Fortunately the train had stopped one station from where I needed to be so I got off, thanked my rescuer and decided I would walk the rest of the way, even though the shoes I had chosen to wear were reasonably new and were starting to rub.

The whole experience was upsetting, although I was more angry than tearful at the time, it was only after the fact that I felt a bit shocked by the whole thing, but I suppose it's just one of those things that happens and I'm lucky to have lasted 10years in NYC without anything like that happening before. I hope it's not a sign of things to come. I was cheered up a little when I rounded a corner to the street where the office is located - I'm in work writing my team's performance appraisals - and an attractive older man sat on the stoop reading the New York Times smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye and told me I looked gorgeous, so I'm trying to think of that moment to negate my upset from my encounter with the subway psycho.

I think I'll walk home from the office this afternoon, humidity be damned. I'm feeling a bit of a madness magnet today and I don't want to risk some mentaller trying to push me onto the tracks.

*I paid attention
to some of the guys I saw out and about on the 4mile walk - 260 calories burned. Yes, take THAT muffin top. Of course I ruined it later with a humongous Spanish Armada sandwich at Saltie in Williamsburg - down to Union Square and couldn't help but wonder if the guys I considered attractive when I saw them on the street would come across equally attractive on OkCupid. Somehow I don't think so and this is one of the reasons I am not a fan of online dating as a way to meet someone, since there's something about the way a man carries himself in person that can't be conveyed in a photo and although I always consider someone's profile as well as their photo it's just not the same, but beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

**Tip for attending the parade - take the Q subway train to or from West 8th Street/NY Aquarium instead of the busier Stillwell Avenue as there is a footbridge over the street so you don't have to worry about trying to cross,


Spandrel Studios said...

Fish, you lead such an adventurous life! I was just in New York for a 3-day conference and despite being just off Times Square and walking through the sea of humanity each day, I barely saw anyone not playing with a full deck! Glad to hear you had at least one weekend day to yourself for some fun and downtime.

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Hi Spandrel, nice to hear from you. Hope NYC treated you well. To be honest today's adventure was the kind I could well do without.

Kitty said...

Wow! Thank goodness you're all right after that psycho.

I saw something like that the other day, where an obviously psycho guy randomly picked a fight with a fellow just walking around. You can't reason with such people and it's just a matter of terrible luck.

And I know what you mean by that je ne sais quoi about people, which can't be captured on film. You never know (I guess my ok/lukewarm internet experiences have outweighed my bad ones!)

I hope you are resting easier tonight, Fish!

fishwithoutbicycle said...

Thanks Kitty :-)

Amel said...

Ouch about that subway psycho. Glad to hear somebody rescued you...gee...hope nothing like this ever happens again!!! I can understand the need for you to negate the experience.

Anyway, the pics are GREAT. My fave are the fishes who have bikes HE HE HE HE...:-D