The Filthy Animals Invade New York 6

9-25-12

Most of today went by with a blur. I randomly met T while in Shaolin and the fatigue of the last few days was shown in his face. T was ready  for the adventure to end. I felt I had a few good days left in me but regardless we went to the library to look up the schedule for the China Bus. At the ferry I gave T his half of the travel money and we went our separate ways once arriving in the city. The Filthy Animals once 7 strong was down to its last beast.

I hustled over to Union Square park to meet my old friend Daniel from my SCAD college days. Danny took me to a bar that served free personal pizzas with every glass of beer and we reminisced about old times and caught up on out present day lives and philosophies. After the bar Danny took me to a pizza joint across the street and I had my first ever 4 dollar zucchini pizza.

The walk back to the ferry was once of serenity and upon walking up the stairs to take a seat, who do I see but none other than the long-lost T. He explained to me how  the China Bus guys messed up his directions and he missed his bus.  I decided that tonight was the perfect night to say farewell tot he city so I told T I’d board the 7pm bus to Atlanta with him the next night. Back in Shaolin T and I got separated walking to the squat. Assuming that he found an alternative place to sleep I went ahead into the house and dozed off.

Hours later T barged into the room. He informed me in a panicked voice that the police were parked outside the squat. I immediately jumped to my feet and prepared myself. T was adamant about leaving but I wanted to wait it out. He descended down the stairs  into the darkness and I didn’t see him for the rest of the morning. Once the cops were gone and the coast was clear,I grabbed my bags and fled to the ferry. It was now 2am in the morning and I had a choice to make. Take the China Bus back to Atlanta or take the information that I had previously learned from a conversation with Fox  before the police incident and join her and her working group OOHA in Washington DC and catch a ride with them back to Atlanta.

I wasn’t sure if a trip from New York to DC was cheaper but I assumed it had to be but how much cheaper was the question. This entire week I had New York on the ropes but she answered back with a vengeful uppercut. Could I preserve all the way till Friday and link up with OOHA or would I take the sure bet also risking life and limb on the questionable China Bus. Whatever the case, the only real  mystery on my mind was finding T so we could put an end to this chapter once and for all.

I bumped into T later on at the library. I told him of my decision to go to DC and rendezvous with OOHA but he was unable to join because the day before he hastily bought a ticket for the China Bus. Later that night at 7pm I stopped by the Everything Goes Bookstore for their screening of Battle for Brooklyn; a documentary about a community fighting against big money corporations to save their neighborhood from being demolished and turned into a stadium for the New Jersey Nets. The documentary was very informative and gave me some back story about the culture of Brooklyn and the battles their activists have to face.

The Filthy Animals Invade New York 5

9-24-12

Awakening to the uncomfortable need to piss,  it being  a Sunday, the library was closed so I headed to the ferry and had the daily breakfast special of 2 pretzels for one dollar; but not before the cashier inspected my funky 20 dollar bill for a full 15 minutes.  Belly full of salt and bread I rode the ferry into town and stopped by the Native American museum. I couldn’t have landed in a better place. Not only did I get to gorge my brain  on native facts but there was also respect thrown to the African Native American community, something that’s not really recognized in mainstream culture and when it is it’s mostly in jest.

I stayed in the museum until closing time and went back to Staten Island to charge my phone at the local Taco Bell. By now I had regarded this particular Taco bell to be the shitiest Taco Bell in the world. They never had anything they were supposed to, whether it be napkins,  sauce, correct change, customer service, there’s a;ways a hiccup. And with any joint in the hood there are always irate customers venting their frustrations at the staff.

The Filthy Animals Invade New York 4

9-22-12

Spent the entire day traveling around Brooklyn or Manhatten, not even sure really, trying to acquire my EBT card so I could do useful things like eat food and eat food. Later in the night partied with T and Jason at a spot that served free hot dogs with every purchase of a pitcher of beer. The magic drunk moment of this night was when Micheal Jackson’s Beat it was played over the juke box. I said to our group something along the lines of “someone needs to start a knife fight right now.” T denounced my idea and as soon as he did the bartender himself comes up to me, from across the room mind you, with a plastic knife in his left hand and extends his right to me. I eagerly grasped his hand within my own and used my thumb in my free hand as a makeshift knife and together we payed homage to one of the greatest if not greatest entertainers of all time.

After that encounter  (and the others in the past leading up to it) T admitted that I had magical abilities and I had to agree with him.

The Filthy Animals Invade New York 3: Shaolin

9-18-12

Sleeping in dank, sweaty, sleeping bag on a concrete floor, my lungs full of sickness; it was the perfect solution to cure the fatigue of the day before. immediately as I awoke however, myself and everyone else conscience was bombarded with the fact that we had one hour to leave the warehouse. I cursed myself because I had yet to find an alternative place to live. In the battle against New York, the Bronx landed the first jab. Not a knockout blow, just a sharp tap on the jaw, testing my reflexes, seeing how I would react and counter.

Walking to the breakfast room I met an old friend from OA, Sean, and he joined our party. I said goodbye to friends and wished them well on their journey and then T, Sean, and I led by our hosts Isis Cat and Young Cougar walked to the ferry.

It was a grandiose piece of architecture made home on the restless waves of the sea. The cool winds rushed through my hair and every negative thought I previously had was carried away behind me into the past. The squat was a close distance to the ferry. A humble, green house with boarded windows and doors. The inside however was devoid of any light with debris scattered everywhere. The fact that there was complete darkness helped actually. It forced my eyes to focus only on the dimly lit trail ahead of me and not any of the possible dangerous that may have been lurking elsewhere.

Three flights of stairs we climbed and combined with our gear and my newfound shitty lungs, felt like we were hiking a mountain. When we finally reached the top, our first sight was the sunlight streaming through two windows on adjacent ends of the room, illuminating a golden treasure after hours of laborious digging. I’m not saying the place was the Ritz Carlton, sure it had its own problems, like the questionable bowl of brownish-yellow water, strong smell of mildew coming from the damp mattress and the cluster of gnats flying around but compared to the rest of the house, yeah, it was the fucking Ritz Carlton.

This journey complete, T, Sean and I unloaded our cargo and went sight-seeing around Staten Island or as T liked to call it, Shaolin. Our sight-seeing eventually led us to the St George library and there we decided to attend the free school classes at the park. Along the way there however we ran into a friend of Sean and we made plans to protest an Obama event that was supposed to take place later in the day. While eating pizza, in between my grade school day dreams of my new-found crush that worked as cashier and chomps of hot, cheese, pizza followed by scalding sips of coffee, we learned that the Obama protest got pushed back to 8pm meaning we had five full hours to explore.

We decided to meet our friend Jason at the Apollo theater in Harlem. With no desire to waste money on the subway, we walked it out. An untold amount of steps were taken and the tinted blue sky was fading to a shade when we arrived at Time Square. After a short break we resumed our quest for Harlem but New York, in a follow-up to its initial jab, had now advanced again with a stout karate punch to the chest in the form of drenching, heavy rainfall. Our group soldiered on and even met a MMA fighter along the way who sadly enough, his only claim to fame was that he knocked out Kimbo Slice.

Eventually we had to retreat under a structure. I don’t know why that particular structure, maybe it was the fresh smell of green in rotation but in any case we were there and had a nice chat with the folks entrapped with us.  One of them, a woman named Ty hit off pretty well with T and when the rain let up she followed us to the showdown against Obama. Unfortunately NYPD had the entire street blocked so no one was entering. We bade farewell to Ty and embarked on a new quest, a mission to find a restaurant named Croxlys who legend stated sold hot wings valued at only ten cents each.

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After what seemed like hours of subway hopping and street walking, we finally found Croxlys. Now safely at our destination we had another task in front of us; how to get the most fun but at the cheapest price. It came down to at least 20+ ounces of alcohol, 40 wings, and nacho madness. it took us 3 hours but we finally finished our meal down tot he bone. The night still young we wandered into a bar in the Village and before long drank more beers and partied with the locals.

We befriended a man named Jay, whose spirit animal was a warthog and after learning that it was my birthday, bought us all shots and a beer. After an extremely enlightening night we said goodbye to our new friends and decided to head home. Along the way we met a lively bunch of blue-eyed blondes from Switzerland who wanted to know “where the party was.” We joked around with them for a bit then continued on. Maybe 30 minutes later we ran into them again and stopped them from ordering food at McDonalds (blame the activist in me) and instead got them to buy pizza. We took a group picture with them and somehow finally made it back to the ferry.

At this point the mood was somber on account of everyone being dead fucking tired. And I did something I’ve never before done, something I had a great honor in but now that honor is no more. I barfed on account of over drinking. It wasn’t an ungodly amount, just a few gulpfuls. And I didn’t make a big scene and do it all over the floor, no, I quietly and respectfully walked over to the garbage can, handled my business and got off the ferry.

We climbed back up to our special suite in the squat and retired for the night. Best fucking birthday ever.

Live if ya can Survive if she lets ya

And then there was 1
The solitary coyote
The last of his kind,
of a band of animals
Filthy in their discipline
Armed with only 1 fang
Tossing all logic to the wind
He initiated his final strike against the Empire State
And when the empire strikes back,
for which it will
The laughing coyote will die a fool
but a happy fool
And the empire continues
without a hitch
Another day another victim

The Filthy Animals Invade New York 2: The Clash

9-17-12

Enter the 17th, the eve of my birthday in the city of the world and I was broke, ill (not in the hiphop way) and had an uphill battle ahead of me if I decided to stay. I made contact with the bank. They were unable to give me my pin but they mailed it to my house and gave me the address to a credit union where I could withdraw my money. With T as my navigator, I dragged my sick ass out of bed and we boarded the subway to try and claim victory over New York which so far had us locked into submission.

We found the credit union soon enough, ironically it was located in the very same area we were protesting yesterday.  I was able to withdraw the remaining $70 from the travel fund and money from my own savings account ensuring that our group had enough cash to make it back to Atlanta safely. Stepping back out into the street however, I knew the ordeals over yet. It was like my spider sense was being activated, warning me of some unknown imminent threat, and just as I thought it, my phone rang.

Ladybug was on the other end explaining to me that they lost Orangubision and Pheebz was ready to go immediately.  Pheebz had been a liability the entire trip and this was the last straw for some of us. My anger erupted like a dormant volcano as I explained to Ladybug exactly what a piece of shit person I thought “she who shall not be named” was for once again tying to dictate the outcome of the trip and threatening everyone else in the process just because she wasn’t getting her way (fucking suburbanites). T and I were forced to go back to the warehouse to make sure our stuff was safely in order and bid farewell to Ana and Softy who rode back in the car. As for T and I, we had no intentions of making the journey back to Atlanta with a crazy person behind the wheel.

And my ultimate premonition was fulfilled; New York had fucking captured us. The marbles were out of the bag and all the chips were on the table. This was now truly do or die. Later we went back to Zuccotti park, hung out with the fellas then retired for the day back at the warehouse.

The Filthy Animals Invade New York

9-16-12

Only one day in New York and this city may become the death of me. The adventure began modestly with only Orangubison and myself but quickly expanded to include T, Ladybug, and Pheebz. The 17 hour road trip from Atlanta to New York was tiresome but without argument and the only peril being when my debit card, which had all our travel money, decided to stop working and I had to charge all the fees on a mysterious credit card I had in my wallet for  a few years. I assumed that once we made it that everything would just flow for the better but it seemed as the Fates wanted this trip not to be an Action Adventure blockbuster as I had intended but a Dark Comedy.

 

My itchy throat which began to harass me the day before we left (gee what a coincidence) had grown over the road trip and now was a full on illness. Regardless, the first initial moments were amazing. The vibe of the atmosphere reminded me of old days of Atlanta’s occupation; like a large, extended family. Even the scent of it smelled like 60 Walton.

After resting, we journeyed to _____ park on the subway and were reunited with other OA alumnai, rocked out to a free concert of Rebel Diaz and Tom Morello, and planed for the next day of action. When we returned back to camp my brain was split with staying or returning to Georgia and I only had one day to make the decision. Whatever I decided I still had a responsibility to my team to make sure they made it back to Atlanta safely by acquiring the rest of the travel money, an attempt that was proving to be more elusive than I thought would be.

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Apparently my debit card had been blacked out earlier and  while I was successful in getting it reactivated, my pin number still wasn’t working. The current day being Sunday, I would have to wait until tomorrow to contact the bank and seek a resolution.