Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Monday, June 27, 2005


A Tale of Two Cities

This was a very interesting weekend in New York City. In addition to the sweltering heat, which always makes things just a little more special, this weekend saw NYC play host to not just one, but two huge, huge events. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Flushing Meadows was filled with evangelical Christians and people who dig evangelical Christians. I've heard that an estimated 90,000 people made the trip to Queens to feel the spirit upon them.

Meanwhile, in Manhattan, this weekend was Gay Pride. About a half a million people made the trip to drink spirits and feel queens upon them.

I did not attend the Billy Graham event, so I can't speak knowledgeably about the crowds there. I was at the Pride Parade and can say that it was like being in a sardine can on a stove, packed in shoulder to elbow with a bunch of sardines in much better shape than me. I'm not huge on crowds, shirtless and oiled-up or otherwise, so I was forced to leave the parade route after moving down the sidewalk at a glacial pace for three blocks, parallel with a group of really angry marchers in the street with a P.A. system who alternated between a poorly syncopated "We've got to beat...back...the Bush attack! We've got to beat, beat back...the Bush attack!" and something that started "Hey-Hey! Ho-Ho!"

I need to take a moment here to reiterate my strong feeling that, if you can't come up with something better than "Hey-Hey! Ho-Ho! [insert "bad" thing here]'s got to go!", you should stay the fuck out of the parade.

I've heard a lot of people talk of the strange combination of having both the Graham Crusade and Gay Pride in town on the same weekend. Some of the folks I overheard at the parade sniffed that the Christians were targeting them. I wondered about that, so I called my friend Art Raddison, who works in the Mayor's office and he told me that New York is out to show everyone what a Big Tent city it is. Art said that the Mayor and his staff are actively seeking to book diverse events in town at the same time. Apparently, the rest of 2005 is rife with 'em. Here's a partial list of seemingly incompatible events that will set up shop in the city.
  • July 15th--Scientology Info Expo at South Street Seaport vs 22nd annual meeting of the Society of People Who Don't Believe a Bunch of Crazy Bullshit at Cooper Union.
  • August 29th--MENSA Annual Mental Decatholon at Pace University vs Bush Cabinet Annual No-Wives Weekend at Bare Elegance Gentlemens Club, 50th St. and Broadway.
  • October 16th-18th--First Annual New York Comic Book Convention at Jacob Javits Center vs the Foundation for People With Active Sex Lives at Madison Square Garden.
  • November 2--Jews for Jesus at Alice Tully Hall vs Christians Who Dig Bagels at 92nd Street Y.
  • November 26th & 27th--National Organization of Pharmaceutical Executives at Waldorf Astoria vs the Brotherhood of Non-Evil Guys at the Hell's Kitchen Denny's.
  • December 1st--Day Without Art (citywide) vs Day Without Publicly Showing My Privates (Tara Reid's Apartment).
All of which goes to show that this city has room for everyone, big or small, rich or poor, intelligent or Republican. I love New York!