DAD: So your mom and I are planning another trip up to New York in a few weeks, and we were thinking we might bring you kids along this year, if you'd like to go.
ME: Are you paying for it?
ME: Then hells yes.
Now, this isn't my first time up in New York, of course -- I wouldn't call myself an expert on the city by any stretch, but I've been there enough times to not be one of those people wearing brightly colored clothes and a fanny pack through Times Square and stopping dead in the middle of the sidewalk to look up and go "Gol-dang!" at all the skyscrapers. In fact, I've kind of developed a routine for when I go up there, and while it's not like I follow this to the letter to the exclusion of any other activities, I do have a few specific things on my list that I like to try and check off if I have the time. So this week's +5 is the Five Things I Plan On Doing In New York This Weekend.
Shopping for counterfeit designer goods
Maybe I'm sheltered, but there's nothing like jetting on down to Chinatown and coming back with a fake Prada bag and a Breitling chronograph you paid a total of forty bucks for. It just feels naughty. Plus, it's not like anybody down here in Birmingham can tell the difference.
Waiting outside Rockefeller Center to see if Tina Fey comes out
Yes, I know Liz Lemon is not a real person and there is thus little chance I'm going to catch her strolling out after a taping of "TGS with Tracy Jordan." But dammit, nobody ever said celebrity stalking was easy, or productive, or grounded in reality. And as New Yorkers go, it's way better than stalking Donald Trump.
Going to ethnic neighborhoods and gorging myself
The last time I went to New York I was walking through Times Square with a friend of mine and I saw there was a goddamn T.G.I. Friday's there now. No offense to T.G.I. Friday's -- if you're waiting for me to say a single bad thing about their menu, particularly their fried green beans, you can just keep waiting -- but for shit's sake, who goes up to New York City so that they can eat at T.G.I. Friday's? No, what you do is find the most hard-core ethnic neighborhood you can, Little Italy or the Greek part of Astoria being just a couple examples that spring immediately to mind, and stuff your fat face with delicious food cooked by the people who invented it. And no, in spite of what Steve Carell's character once said on "The Office," Sbarro doesn't count.
Watching street drummers in the subway
When you go to New York, you do so with the knowledge that you're going to be hit up for money at numerous points during the course of your trip. The thing is, I don't have a problem giving someone a few bucks if they actually have some kind of talent. And while some of y'all might think this is stupid, I really enjoy listening to the kids who hammer out rhythms on plastic buckets and garbage-can lids in the subway stations. I realize it's not for everybody, but in a world where Heidi fricking Montag has a recording contract, you've got to spare some props for the little guy who's actually doing something original.
Consuming large quantities of alcohol
This is a no-brainer. I realize that in cold practical terms, there's really not a lot of difference between "I went to New York and got shit-faced" and "I stayed at home in Southside Birmingham and got shit-faced," but somehow the first one just sounds cooler. It's also a hell of a lot more expensive -- I'd be lying if I said I was thrilled about paying six-fifty for a Bud Light -- but sometimes you just have to be willing to spend a little.
Whee, exciting! And now the Ten:
1. The Beatles, "All You Need Is Love"
2. Underworld, "Peach Tree"
3. Passengers, "Miss Sarajevo"
4. Oasis, "Wonderwall"
5. Blondie, "Rapture"
6. 3rd Bass, "Herbals in Your Mouth"
7. The Smiths, "Is It Really So Strange?"
8. Radiohead, "Creep"
9. Nine Inch Nails, "Head Like a Hole"
10. Thievery Corporation, "Treasures"
Enjoy your weekends, suckers -- and feel free to regale us all with your Random Tens, and/or tales of what you'll be doing sitting at home on your asses, in the comments.