When my spouse and I found out Scottish legends the BMX Bandits were scheduled to play at the 2007 NYC Popfest, we quickly booked some decent lodging and grabbed a red eye to JKF. For their first visit to our shores in a decade, the band played a poorly-attended weeknight show in Brooklyn and an afternoon acoustic pickup gig in the basement of a cafe on the Lower East Side. Then they scrambled back home on a red eye of their own in order to immediately drive four hours to the next gig. As if this weren't excitement enough, one of their members was arrested and spent 20 hours in a Manhattan holding cell. Luckily, he managed to free himself in time for the show (which was great, by the way). In a nutshell, it was a textbook example of why I retired from touring.
Since our entertainment was taken care of, all we had to do was map out a short list of vegan restaurants in the city. These were our anchor destinations, around which we planned our urban hiking adventures. Unfortunately, we left our Trimble-compatible mobile phone at home, so Geocachingwas out. But naturally, we brought along our camera. For as terribly hayseed-like as it may seem, there's nothing I like better when I'm in the city than a good long gawk at all the tenements. There's something about a code-straddling subsistence-level multi-family dwelling that starts something fluttering in my breast. I don't even mind if it's just a crumbling old boarded up office building, as long as its got that hungry look of potential flammability about it.
Of course, to truly capture these mighty beasts in their own habitat, I'd have to live among them. But one look at the state of my complexion after a mere three days on the street tells me this option is out of the question. The slow buildup of toxins would surely kill me. So you'll have to forgive my piddling and rather scatter shot approach. Still, I think the cumulative effect of the photos is stirring enough. I'll leave the detailed documentation to those better equipped for more extended efforts.