Author Archive

New York Comic Con 2013 aka “The Mothership Called And We Answered”

Well, another New York Comic Con has come and gone, laying siege to the local (and not so local) geek population once again. This was the first year that I made it my business to get to more than one panel and, while I greatly enjoyed the ones I made it into, it does take up a significant amount of time away from general strolling of the show floor/Artist’s Alley. Never mind that you’re lining up for popular panels AT LEAST an hour before they begin; each panel is about an hour on top of that. The more panels you catch, the less time you spend on mingling, shopping and basic things such as eating. Do I regret my decision? Eh, not really. It may have saved me a bit of cash, though panel hopping can be just as exhaustive as spending the majority of your con days on the massive show floor.

This was also the first year where I decided to cosplay each day I attended i.e. Friday, Saturday, Sunday. I didn’t even do anything all that complicated and, STILL, I found it to be a hassle between getting dressed and getting to the Jacob Javits Center on time to actually BE at NYCC. For the record, I went as Art Nouveau on Friday, Lieutenant Uhura (original flavor) on Saturday, and Stormy from ‘Rainbow Brite and The Star Stealers’ on Sunday. As I said, nothing too involved, but I think I’ll stick to dressing up for only ONE day next year! And speaking of cosplay, who doesn’t die over the epic get-ups other con-goers put together! NYCC is a place where passions and creativity beautifully collide to beget stuff like this:

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Get up and glow: My experience at Living Social’s 5k Dance Party

living social logo

Lately, there’s been a visible upswing in what I like to call “theme runs”. Unlike your old, standard race for this or that, fitness based charity events are being paired with playful themes that are rapidly taking off. I think the first I ever heard about was the “Color Run”, about a year ago, which I was sadly unable to participate in. During the “Color Run”, participants begin dressed in white to run/walk/jog for 5 kilometers, each passing kilometer being marked by the baptism of a different color. Come the end of the event, everyone is experiencing something of a runner’s high, completely covered in brightly colored powdered. Then they get to party! Truly, it’s unsurprising that this sort of thing is catching on when the benefits are having fun, added health, and charity donations. Enter the “Living Social 5k Dance Party”, one of the aforementioned offshoots of this very idea.

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Feet Off the Ground

I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a bike. Seeing fellow city dwellers casually cruising along the bike paths reminds me that I’m missing out on something. Not to mention that there’s finally a bike share program in NYC? Clearly, it is time to join this party.

The fact that I can’t ride a bike isn’t due to a lack of trying, mind you! Oh, I’ve tried! Numerous times throughout both my childhood and early adult life. But there was a disconnect between my body and what it was attempting to achieve. There’s also the fact that I can’t balance worth a damn if I have both feet off the ground.

While my dad has always been an avid cyclist, my mom suffers from the same balance issue as I do. Early on it became clear which ticket I landed with in the genetics lottery. Thankfully, bikenewyork.org are on a ceaseless mission to help folks like me. So, I strapped on my big-girl panties and signed up for one of their free “Learn To Ride” classes that take place every weekend, throughout different parks in the city, for the duration of the summer. Are you praying for me yet?

courtesy of bikenewyork.org

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“Sleep No More”, No CliffsNotes Required

sleep

Imagine going to a play where you felt you were only getting half of the story. Now imagine having the freedom to crawl on stage and be immersed in what you had only been watching a few minutes before, invited to even go backstage to touch and smell props, to become one with this play that has ceased to be a play and has somehow become something real. That’s the best way I can think of to describe “Sleep No More”. It’s a 4D experience. The premise is likened to live-action Shakespeare with extra bits thrown in, but it’s so much more complex than that. While the Bard’s tale of “Macbeth” is, indeed, acted out, there are also several different tales being told in the vein of “choose your own adventure”.

“Sleep No More” has had a successful presence in NYC’s Chelsea district since December 2011, though I wasn’t aware of it. In fact, I’m sure most people weren’t, which boggles the mind as every single showing sells out on a nightly basis. It’s literally one of those clichéd best kept secrets of the city, though, sadly, it isn’t permanent. My friend, Roxy, was the one who convinced me to go despite the admittedly steep price. We, along with another friend (Mary Beth), went to the 11:30pm showing on a Friday night to try and alleviate said price ($90 at that point). By the end of the evening, I heartily declared that it had been worth every penny and I’d be more than willing to do it again!

The most fascinating thing is that everyone’s experience will be different. Even your own experience will differ if you go multiple times, as Roxy was able to attest. They took an old hotel, the McKittrick, fleshed it out into the warehouses beside it, and filled it with a fantasy world of murder, mystery, seduction, dance, fear, love, and psychosis. And tantamount to being absorbed in this world are the two main rules of “Sleep No More”: 1) Never remove the Venetian theatre mask you are given at the beginning and, 2) Never speak once you enter what is essentially a 3 building, 6 floor maze.

You are suddenly given the freedom to openly stare at a marital spat as it leads to a marital bedding or chase a murderer down a stairway as they run to rinse the blood of their sin away; the mask protects you from feeling responsible, and accountable, and self-conscious. I rifled through the drawers of strangers, read letters certainly not addressed to me, played spectator in extremely intimate (read: naked) moments, lost my friends in a graveyard, and lost MYSELF in the psych ward. Continue reading

“For a Good Time, Call…” is NOT Bad Porn (Or Porn at All, of Any Quality)

The first thing I’ll say about “For a Good Time, Call…” is that it succeeded in its mission. According to creators, they wanted a “chick flick” that was more along the lines of “The Hangover,” seeing as “Bridesmaids” was so popular. Basically, women can be just as vulgarly raw as men and it’s just as hilarious; why not make bank on it?

“For a Good Time, Call…” centers around a pair of women who are friends under duress and realize that they can solve all their money woes (NYC rent anyone?) by running their own phone-sex hotline. Ari Graynor plays Katie, the typical wild-child with a secret soft side, while Lauren Miller stars as Lauren, recently dumped, whose ex kicks her out of their apartment before jetting off to a foreign country.

The film is raunchy and can appeal to both sexes, but it’ll definitely resonate with the women in the audience. There are some inside jokes about the occasionally romantic nature of female relationships that will lead to genuine tears of laughter and commiseration. Continue reading

Assemble! “The Avengers” in review!

On April 14, 2012, I ended up being one of the lucky few granted access to a free advanced screening of Marvel’s “The Avengers”, possibly THE most anticipated movie of the Summer season. Disney had run a contest on Facebook stating that the cities with the largest population of Avengers fans, who “liked” the FB page, would get this most coveted prize. Is it really any wonder that NYC, being the headquarters of the Avengers and Stark Tower would manage to pull this coup?

To say I was trembling in excitement is putting it mildly, but I was also trembling with cold! Merely being on the list to get in wasn’t, in fact, a guarantee at all. It was first come, first seated, as most screenings are. And if anyone knows the meaning of sacrifice, its a bunch of geeks who happily revel in fandom. Yes, I am proudly one of those geeks. Which is how I found myself waking at 4:30am in the morning (late, to be honest) to make it to the AMC 25 in Times Sq. by 7:30am, freezing with my fellow die-hards.

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HIM at Irving Plaza

Date: May 7, 2010
Venue: Irving Plaza
Bands: HIM, Dommin, We are the Fallen, Drive A

Instruments at the ready

I can’t remember when I first heard that HIM, the self-proclaimed “love metal” band from Finland, were making a return appearance to New York in support of their new album.  What I DO remember, is how I felt.  Ask anyone, and one of the first things they’ll tell you about me is that I’m a HUGE fan.  HUGE.  As in I proudly display 6 HIM-related tattoos on my person.  But being a HIM fan isn’t easy, because, same as most bands, HIM has had more than a few trying times. Both their last album (“Venus Doom”) and last NYC tour date left much to be desired.  So, even though I’d fallen in love with the new album (“Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice”), I was still worried about how the tour would play out after the previous disillusionment.  That’s not to say that I thought about skipping the show!  On the contrary, I bought a ticket as soon as I could and another ticket once extra dates were announced (there were three NYC dates in total, but this girl has gotten a little too old to withstand 3 straight days of rocking).  I knew the proof would be in the pudding and I was ready for a taste. Continue reading