Tues, Aug 25 – 6 Days Left

– Writing klatch at The Grind

– Biked to work. Sweatshirt weather.

– Excellent lunch from Garifuna Flava, a Caribbean restaurant on 63rd and Western. Jerk chicken over red beans and rice with fried sweet plantains. $9. I’m going to eat mad Caribbean food in New York.

– Read Why the Rich Love Burning Man in Jacobin Magazine. Fuck Libertarians, fuck tech billionaires, fuck Burning Man.

– Read Taking the Heat on Grantland, about con men in Miami fleecing sports teams. But really it’s about the endemic hustler culture of Miami and how you should never trust anyone in that town, especially if they’re writing you a check.

– I actually read this the other day, but The Late, Great Stephen Colbert in GQ is a must-read profile. What a remarkable person.

– Iced coffee from Big Shoulders food truck

– Biked home. Still cool, cloudy.

– Got a haircut

– Mini-workout in my apartment. I can do eight pull-ups now.

– Met my three main dudes at Velvet Taco for Jon Night, a farewell celebration dedicated to being goofy and getting drunk that they secretly organized
+ Ate a buffalo chicken taco and a Cuban sandwich taco with tater tots and a marg
+ Everything was super good. This place is probably the only redeeming part of Viagra Triangle.

– Walked to Dave & Buster’s. A lot happened.
+ If you think yourself an immune-to-distractions purebred Millennial, raised on pop-up banners and iPhone games, un-rattleable by flashing lights, loud noises, a waterfall of stimuli, stop by your local Dave & Buster’s on a Tuesday evening and get back to me.
+ We ordered a 100 oz tube of beer, one of the many fun ways to imbibe alcohol there. A selection of actual drink names from their menu: Black Raspberry Prossecorita (an overturned bottle of Prosecco in an enormous margarita glass), X-Rated Passion Fruit Mega Mojito, Painkiller, Tie-Dye Snow Cone, Strawberry Moscow Mule, Angry Balls.

– Dave & Buster’s is like if an Applebee’s fucked the iPhone App Store while watching anime with its peripheral vision. The vibe there is strange. Kids were running around (there were babies in strollers and wide-awake 10 year olds when we left at 10:30) alongside fratty guys, young parents, and stragglers with unclear motivations. There’s a thick, sweet smell that hangs in the air. Irrelevant pop standards play over the din of video game bleeps and boops to ensure there’s never a half-second where something isn’t making noise. There’s an oaky sit-down restaurant that actually looks sort of nice, but it’s adjoined by the kaleidoscopic game room, which combines arcade games, ticket-dispensing games, and a preponderance of familiar mobile phone games that have mutated into larger-than-life versions of themselves. Huge Angry Birds consoles with real slingshots you can shoot from, Flappy Bird the size of an actual bird, Fruit Ninja writ large, Candy Crush boulders big enough to crush a man.
+ We played multiple versions of pop-a-shot many times each
+ We played four-person air hockey, which is excellent
+ I played a Simpsons-branded soccer ball-kicking game that was an abject failure of entertainment
+ We played a virtual jump rope game that was weirdly super fun
+ We played a terrible trivia game
+ We played skee ball
+ We played a Jurassic Park first-person shooter where you gun down hundreds of escaped dinosaurs
+ We played a Star Wars game where you sit inside a sealed off chamber with an enormous, all-consuming screen in front of you. Wind blows through your hair whenever your ship accelerates.
+ We played four-person Pacmac, which I recommend
+ We played a knockoff DDR dancing game. It was humbling.
+ We played Mario Kart
+ We played a beer-pong simulation game that used real ping pong balls and red cups, which we lost.

– Afterwards we cashed in our virtual tickets, which had been logged onto the keycard that you put money on to play the games. It’s a tidy system, but it was lame to not get physical tickets after a strong round of skee ball.
+ We debated the merits of the various tchotchkes our collective 1,034 tickets could be traded for. Eventually settled on a Dave & Buster’s branded coffee mug and a Dave & Buster’s branded pint glass. I will treasure them for always.

– Walked over to Blue Frog for a nightcap
+ The bar was packed for a late Tuesday night. Drunk people in business attire performed karaoke songs terribly.
+ Drank another beer
+ They have a promotion where for $3, you get to spin a wheel and take a shot of whatever booze the spinner lands on. We all took a turn. I got Ciroq coconut vodka. One fellow wasn’t so lucky, landing on Absolut Cilantro.
+ Despite one buddy giving the DJ $10, they never called our name, so we never got to sing “Empire State of Mind,” which I can live with.

– Uber’ed home, the only thing I paid for all night. My friends are wonderful and Jon Night was a smash hit. Thank you.

– Water, sleep.

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