There’s just something magical about this place. I went to Manhattan earlier today and really, there’s such a big difference between the heart of New York and everything outside of the main island Manhattan. This was the third time I went to Brooklyn and for some reason, this place amazes me every time I go here. It feels like home, but differently. Brooklyn is in the capital of the world, though it doesn’t feel like New York. Brooklyn has this weird, laid back ambiance. The people I’ve met are so open to what life has to offer and as opposed to Manhattan, they’re genuinely interested in the words you say. I guess you could say Brooklyn doesn’t have boundaries, it’s mellow though upbeat, it’s young, vibrant, international and it has this original swag. I can’t describe it otherwise, you have to experience to believe it.
At the moment of writing I was at Shea Stadium. It’s a small venue in East Williamsburg, 7 minutes walking distance from the nearest subway (if you wanna go there, take the L train to Brooklyn and hop off at Grand Central/Bushwick). It smells like sweat, their bar is about 3 feet big and their unisex toilets look like ones you’ve never seen before. One of the two restrooms even has a crooked shower. The venue is hidden behind a grey door, very unnoticeable, and you gotta walk up the stairs as it is on the second floor. The venue is twice the size of my living room and there’s couches everywhere, as well as hipsters (everyone wears either Converse, Vans or brothel creepers). The decor doesn’t make sense at all but the bands are cool and energetic.
Before I went to Shea Stadium, I was just wandering around the area. On my left hand, there was a night club and right after that, a furniture shop. The owner was inside and curious as I am I looked inside. I saw this beautiful cat, named Santo and after I finished my cigarette the owner invited me to have a look around and have a shot of some really good vodka. The guy is from Syria and his name is Ibraham. A long time ago he moved here because of the Taliban, crazy Muslim rules and the unpleasant society in Syria. He told me about Muslim stuff in Syria and how he didn’t like living there. The furniture in the shop are all handmade by him. He’s a very positive person and I enjoyed the 10 minutes I spent with him.
I walked out of his shop and went to the venue right next to it. I’m not familiar in Brooklyn, everything is still new and exciting, I’m just trying to discover this place. I asked the bouncer if I could have a sneak peak inside and then someone else showed me the place. It’s small, just like the other two Brooklyn venues I’ve been to, and it looked pretty much alike every other place. I gotta say, the venues are very practical. The bar is located on the side, stage in the middle in the back and merchandise is on the side in the middle. The damage isn’t too bad either most of the times. Count on about 8 to 10 bucks, and a double vodka is far below Manhattan prices. The bouncer gave me directions to Shea Stadium, literally ten steps away from where I was standing.
So how did I end up at this place? On Thursday I went to see one of my favourite bands, We Are Scientists. I bought their CD ‘With Love And Squalor’ 6 years ago in London. I didn’t know them, just liked their album cover so I bought it. Turned out pretty good! They have a British indie sound and are very well received in the UK. In fact, they’re more popular in England than anywhere else. I read they were performing at the GAP store on 34th in midtown Manhattan so I signed up and one week later I was standing in line (in the rain) to see them. 21+ which means free drinks, cool! The gig was simply amazing. They were very talkative and funny but more importantly, they played well. After the concert I talked to Keith Murray, lead singer of the band. I want to explore and experience New York like real New Yorkers do so I asked him what he was going to do this weekend. He said he was going to Shea Stadium to see the Paws (band from Glasgow) and recommended me to go there. So here I am, writing this post on the couch in Shea Stadium (named after the home of the NY Mets).
After the gig was finished, I went to this bar called ‘The Anchored Inn’ just around the corner with Keith and the Paws. We talked, drank and laughed. Just wonderful.
Here’s a little shout out to my friends Michalis, Mathias and Phil. Thanks for picking me up in Williamsburg, you guys are the best.
Have a great day you all. I’m off to Miami!