Gogol Bordello in NYC
My brother and his friend Pat traveled up to New York City to see Gogol Bordello perform on New Year’s Eve. They report it was a great show. But… they did have their fair share of complications. Here is my brother’s write-up on the trip. I’m particularly fond of his shoe hunt.
Pat and Jay’s Fear and Loathing in New York City Excursion
To Whom ever is reading this I just want to say first that I am a responsible adult but I wanted to convey my intense New Year’s going to a Gogol Bordello concert in NYC. I purchased some tickets for Gogol Bordello in NYC online for my girlfriend and I thinking she could get New Years Eve off. She couldn’t go so I decided I wouldn’t go and that I would just give the tickets to someone else as a Christmas gift. I went through several different people and couldn’t get rid of them if I held a gun to someone’s head. My girlfriend convinced me to go anyway and suggested I take my friend Pat. Pat was happy to go so it’s set in stone I am going to NYC for my first time to see Gogol Bordello.
We arrive at our hotel with no incidences in Brooklyn, NY. We have time to spare so we decided to walk around Brooklyn a little bit to get a feel for it and to have a cocktail or two before we left for the show. We strike up some conversations with some locals (who are very nice) and found out our show is not in Brooklyn like the web site I got the tickets from said but is in Manhattan. The locals are laughing at us because it’s New Years Eve and the club where the concert is located right next to the beginning of the Times Square New Years Eve bullshit. Even though they are snickering about it they still insist we should be fine that the club won’t be that hard to get to. Our bartender did the same snicker when he heard what we are doing that night but said we should be good. Before we left this bar the bartender gave Pat and I a free drink to help move a pool table.
We take the subway and find our stop pretty easy and the subway wasn’t crowded. We take a quick bathroom break to find the worst bathroom on the planet which smells like what I imagine a prison laundry room to smell like. We walk to the street to find the beginning of the massive sea of people that are waiting to go to Times Square. Our club is only 6 blocks from the metro but every direct root was blocked off. On top of it the direction that we have to go is the opposite direction that the sea of people is going. We are like salmon. After an hour and a half and fifteen or twenty blocks we arrived at the club.
The club is impressive as big as the capitol ballroom if not bigger. In our excitement we make our way to the bar and have a victory shot/beer. I buy Jacklyn, my girlfriend, a tee-shirt while I still have money and decided to wear it under my shirt so I don’t lose it (Great Idea!) The show hasn’t yet started so we keep making our way in between the bar and outside cigarette smoking area while having stimulating conversation. The show starts and I feel pretty good.
Gogol Bordello rocks the house. Pat and I are fucking excited. Everyone is jumping, screaming and singing. I keep looking at pat and saying, “I’m Happy!” and he’s like, “I’m happy too!”
The night goes on and we still keep making are way between the bar, crowd and smoking area. Gogol Bordello starts counting down and its 2008! By this time I and Pat are in “I Fucking Love You Man!” stage. The show starts getting more and more intense and Pat and I want a piece of the action in front. We start making our way up to the front by just walking where we want to go and we get real close like 3 rows away. Everybody is jumping and we’re jumping and we still want to get closer. We try just moving people out of the way or sticking our arms in where we want to go and a few people get pissed. People started pushing us and we’re like, “Oh you want to push” on each side of us we’re pushing like 6 people a piece and they would push back which would push us into other bystanders and suddenly it’s a classic 1992 mash pit. I get real hot and I decide to ditch my jacket (Great Idea!) It reverts back to jumping and singing and I feel the urge to jump on stage.
I start position my self to jump when suddenly my shoe falls off. I look down and try to grab it when it disappears. I turn to Pat who is still jumping and say, “I LOST MY SHOE!” He’s like, “WHAT!?” I scream, “I LOST MY SHOE I AM GOING TO THE BAR.” He laughs but comes with me we make our way back to the bar. A few shots and a beer later and a couple of snickers from the bartender about my predicament the show ends. I make my way back to the floor to find my shoe. They had some DJ music playing and it was a lot less crowded but there was a cesspool of trash, clothing articles, and people dancing everywhere none of which is my jacket or my shoe. I keep looking and try to act like I was dancing in between my searches. I did find a hat I though I would need and a black ballerina looking slipper which I did try to put on (it was way too small.) I decide to let go of my shoe and jacket and we stumble back to the metro.
We go to the metro and Pat is looking at a map like he can read a fucking map. I have the address of our hotel in my pocket and I tell him I am going to ask someone. I ask the metro guy and he simply points to the train I need. I turn around and Pat is nowhere to be found. I comb the area. I check the bathroom first and then I look everywhere else .I look twice, and again and again. That fool is nowhere to be found. I decided that hopefully he smart enough to find his way back. I did try hard to find him but he is gone.
I get on the train only to find to these 2 sketchy looking crack-heads who keep trying to give me a hard time but I am still in invincibility mode from the club. They keep trying to make fun of my missing shoe. We start arguing about things like “the Irish vs. the English” and I over shot my stop by one. I vocally blame one of the shady characters who I’ve been arguing with. As I leave I also call him Dracula because of his weird trench coat thing.
I know that I am like ten blocks away from my hotel and its raining. I still don’t have a shoe so I decide to take a cab. I hail like 10 cabs who all speed pass me and finally I get one by walking in front of one that was stuck at a red light. I tell him where I need to go and show him the address and we get on the way. We get to the street my hotel is on and I notice he is going the wrong way direction. I’m like, “Hey we’re going the wrong way can u bust a u-ee?” He responds sharply,” I’m not getting a ticket for you, you get out here!” And so I am back to the streets in the rain with no shoe and I still have seven blocks to go.
I finally make it to the hotel and the first thing I do is go to my car because I have an extra pair of shoes in there. I reach in my pocket to find my car key is missing. I am thinking to myself that Pat and I are screwed. I go to my room and I try to call pat (I would’ve called him earlier but my phone doesn’t work in the subway,) it rings like 10 times and the voice mail picks up. I keep calling it over and over and then someone picks up, “Hello?” I’m like, “PAT!” They guy on the other end is like, “No this is Robert I found your buddies phone in the club.” I told Robert to leave the phone in the club. I am very angry at this point but I am tired too. It was 4 in the morning I decided to go to bed. I hoped pat was alright and that I would be able to find me key. I fall asleep.
I awake to Pat saying,”Wake up man lets go to the bar!” It’s about 7 in the morning. I blow him off and he lies down and immediately starts snoring. At about eleven-fifteen in the morning I wake up and remember that check out was at 11. I call and get an extension. I wake up Pat and ask to borrow his shoes so I can go buy some shoes. He fucking laughs at me but points them out. I start walking to a shopping area on a quest for shoes.
First place I see open on New Years is a gym. I have an idea that there might be a lost and found there with someone’s shoes they never claimed. No luck. Most stores are closed but a few small clothing stores are open and they don’t have any shoes. I keep looking. I walk for like an hour and decide to give up on shoes again. I turn around and start walking back. I walk by this trash can and there on top is this white beat up left shoe. I thinking well I got to go back to Manhattan to try to find my keys so I might as well wear the fucking thing (Although my other shoe is brown.) I make my way back to the hotel.
I show pat what I found and he’s in hysterics. I give his shoes back and put my new one on which is soaking wet and we are off to Manhattan again.
We get to the subway and we can’t stop laughing. I got two different shoes on and my beanie cap that I found last night. Pat keeps walking ahead of me and turning around yelling not to follow him and called me names like hobo. We get on the train to Manhattan and he sits where I can’t sit next to him. I try to hide my new white shoe but it is totally obvious. No one will look at me and a few people whisper and point when they think I’m not looking. I still keep laughing uncontrollable sometimes about the situation which probably makes me look schizophrenic. We finally arrive back in Manhattan and we start walking to the club again.
Pat told me about how the previous night how he didn’t remember leaving the club and when he snapped out of his drunkenness he was on a train. How he was lost for 3 hours and has pizza sauce on his shirt and doesn’t remember eating.
We get to the club and luckily it’s open and has some kids’ dance competition in it and is magically very clean. We find the club owner and we explain or situation. He pulls out a pen and starts making a list of what we lost. Pat’s like “My phone. His jacket and his car keys,” and I add while pointing down, “And my shoe.” The guy laughs at me but he’s British so he’s like “oh dear.” He goes and looks in the lost and found and doesn’t find a single thing. He told us to call in a few days and we leave.
We call this “Robert” who picked up pats phone and he says he has it (my battery is dying) Pat gets his address and we head back to the metro to retrieve his phone. We think we are going the right towards this guy’s house but we aren’t. We get off and go look at the map. We get back on but another wrong train. We get off again and look at a map and we see a certain color line of train that we need. We wait for the train and it never comes. We look at the map again and it doesn’t run on weekends and I guess new years day counts as a weekend even though it’s Tuesday. After 3 hours of this I mention to pat that we really died last night and this is purgatory. I decide to split from pat and return to the hotel to work on my not having a car key problem. Pat agrees. We still keep having flashbacks about last night and keep laughing hysterically. We part ways again this time intentionally.
I return to the hotel and call a locksmith. His name is Joey and he says they can do it, ”But its gonna cost 400 bucks being New Years and everting” Luckily, I have my credit card and if it weren’t for that thing I would be homeless in New York because for now after last night I only have like 20 dollars in my account. Even though this key making thing took a while it was a lot quicker then Pats cell phone scavenger hunt. When they came to fix it the first thing I did was get my shoes out of the trunk. When I put them on they had dogshit all over them which is why they were in the trunk. I washed them off and threw the two old ones away. No fucking souvenirs for me.
Pat returns with his phone and we eat in a pizza place. We start having flashbacks again and laughing hysterically at my day as a hobo. We then make our way out of the city to the highway. We get lost a few more times which set us back another hour but we finally get it right.
Through it all the trip cost us about 1100 dollars for one day. Key made, tolls, hotel, tickets, gas, drinks, food all that stuff. Even though were on the brink of being homeless we did not stop laughing hysterically the whole time. I would do it again in a heartbeat and highly recommend everyone do it. Although I think if it wasn’t Pat and I, whoever it would have been would have broke.