Halloween nYc Hitchabout ’15 | Travel – Golden Elixir – Sharing Information & Hearts | Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I have no income. I love Halloween. I love New York city. So, I hitched to celebrate Halloween in nYc. I work all the time – I simply don’t receive any money – YET – putting together my two blogs, food podcast, photographs I take, music that I play and compose or the book that I will complete within the next 7 months … ! I hitchhiked to nYc from Central PA for Halloween, and back the following day. I spent about $5 dollars over the weekend. Naturally, hitching in NYC drew some attention and comments (and I noticed some pics from peoples’ iPhones) down on Canal street in Lower Manhattan at the unusual site of seeing someone, anyone, standing along the three lanes of traffic inching towards the entrance to the Holland tunnel, holding up a “PA” sign. I had conversations among passersby with a French couple and an Austrian family, among others. I love languages and always go out of my way to interact with people when I detect a language with which I’m familiar; just to have the chance to interact and share information and smiles. I conversed with a French couple on my way back by a gas station along interstate 81 who had purchased a car upon arriving in the U.S. 3 months earlier. They were on their way to Quebec, where they will sell the car, after their months of traveling.

I had great rides, a fantastic time in Gotham city and tears of joy in the experiences that I had with the peoples’ whose lives touched mine en route.

The irony, is that barely a cent needed to be spent. Sure, I was hungry and sleepy, ha, but that’s part of the fun of it.

I had a wonderful time. Sure, I didn’t dine in the fashionable places or name drop who I sat next to at such and such club…but did happen by a synchronistic explosion of serendipities, upon the New York Village Halloween Parade which I knew nothing about until I discovered it would be starting within minutes of my arrival in Manhattan. I had already started to assemble my costume that was in my backpack and was talking with a woman standing before me who asked if I was going to the Parade. What parade? When does it start? It was starting within 20 minutes. I found out about where to go and was among thousands of people corralled in an area waiting to launch into the parade, which consisted of 50, 000 or so costumed people. That rearranged my plans entirely, a no brainer. I intended to go to a party in Brooklyn, but the parade took front seat. It was great timing, intuitive attention and open and friendly contact with people right next to me.

Village Halloween Parade NYC 2015

Huge display of every imaginable Halloween costume

http://gothamist.com/2015/11/01/91_photo_village_halloween_parade.php#photo-1

Gothamist, wild costumes, Village Halloween Parade nYc  2015

Gothamist 91 wild costumes Village Halloween Parade nYc 2015


“Thousands of people descended upon lower Sixth Ave. for the 42nd annual Village Halloween Parade. Lasting well over three hours and featuring dozens of mobile dance parties doubling as floats …. and approximately 60,000 often-outlandishly costumed revelers strolling, dancing, lurching, running, roller blading …. the parade is thought to be the largest such celebration in the world. The weather was perfect, the atmosphere festive, the costumes usually handmade and often pretty incredible…”

I can’t believe that I had no knowledge whatsoever about the ‘Village Halloween Parade’. Wow, was I glad I discovered it. My costume was a ‘Mermaid caught in a fish net in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I was wrapped in bubblewrap as the mermaid’s tail (walking in tiny steps like a geisha – or a fish outa water), tangled in fish net with plastic dripping off my costume – having gotten stuck in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This article mentions the young man who is doing something about it. There are vortexes of garbage archipelagos in every ocean. The GPGP is larger than Texas, and deep.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Great Pacific Garbage Patch

tip of the burg Great Pacific Garbage Patch

I didn’t have my camera with me nor a smart phone to document my 48 hour hitchabout. Yet Yougourthen kindly sent me the pic he took of us at the G bar in Manhattan hours after the parade had ended. G bar, indeed a gay bar, was packed with people, had a great ambience, good music and dancing and a fantastic array of costumed gorgeous men. he he.

Carol and Yougourthen at the G bar Manhattan halloween

Thank Yougourthen Ayouni for the pic of he and Carol at the G bar Manhattan halloween

Sure, with a working schedule, dependents, less time available and any other constrictions, one can’t just dart of hitching for a trip thousands of miles away for a couple days. However, I’m pointing out that since travel and discovery is about learning about the spirit of the place and its people and the other creatures and life that inhabit the area, it’s not about consuming, and spending, but finding joy in discovery and social interaction. I have done many hitchabouts which I’ve written about, particularly interesting when I lived based in Berlin, Germany. Here’s a string of these writings on my blog. https://carolkeiter.wordpress.com/?s=hitchabout . I love sharing information and smiles with people. I meet such wonderful people during my rides, that this in itself is as enjoyable and exciting as the destination. People whose lives I otherwise would not necessarily come into contact wtih. Sure, i realize that this is not everyone’s thing. but travel doesn’t need to always cost so much! i better stop now. I discovered by synchronicity (timing and intuitive attention and open and friendly contact with people right next to me) that the Village NY Halloween Parade was happening, and joined in with my costume that was in my backpack and ready to be assembled.

And because my heart was sickened every time I saw the body of a dead dear along the highway en route, I’m writing a corresponding blog about animal bridges / wildlife crossings. https://digesthis.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/animal-bridges-wildlife-crossing-witnessed-way-too-many-dead-deer-en-route-to-new-york-city-through-pennsylvania-and-new-jersey/

which provide means for animals to have their habitat extended, rather than blocked, by human construction. Why do I care? Because I care about all creatures which are awesome and beautiful inhabitants of this planet.

| Yes Lab | report on Clowns attacking Wall Street Bull

Speaking of masks and clowns, here they are engaged in political activism in NYC !-))

http://www.yeslab.org/bull
CLOWNS ARRESTED IN NEAR-SUCCESSFUL ATTACK ON WALL STREET BULL
Matador, bull both survive to fight another day

Photos and video: http://www.yeslab.org/bull

A small group of Occupy Wall Street activists engaged in a near-successful corrida against the Wall Street Bull.

The incident began when two clowns, Hannah Morgan and Louis Jargow, scaled the steel barricades protecting the landmark. The clowns began spanking and climbing the beast as well as playing the harmonica, traditional ways of coaxing a bull into anger in preparation for a Castilian corrida, or bullfight.

Within seconds, police officers grabbed both clowns by their colorful shirts and wrestled one of them (Jargow) to the ground. The other (Morgan) continued to play the harmonica until an officer removed it from her mouth.

With the officers thus occupied, a matador in full traje de luces leapt onto the hood of the patrol vehicle parked in front of the bull and boldly presented his blood-red cape to the beast.

“I wondered whether I, neophyte matador, could bring down this behemoth, world-famous for charging towards profit while trampling underfoot the average worker,” said the OWS activist/torero whose first fight this was. “Come what may, I knew I must try.”

Police officers took no notice of the matador, occupied as they were with the clowns.

“This bull has ruined millions of lives!” wailed clown Jargow as he lay on the ground face-down. “Yet he and his accomplices have been rewarded with billions of our tax dollars—and we, here to put a stop to it all, are thrown to the ground. ¡Un escándalo!”

Both clowns were charged with disorderly conduct and released an hour later; they returned to Zuccotti Park to great fanfare. The Wall Street bull continues to rage.

This is a nice pick, the angle taken:

http://www.yeslab.org/bull#photos

Meanwhile across the United States

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/us/occupy-protests-across-the-country

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/11/17/occupy_wall_streets_national_day_action

the identity behind the mask | which differentiates my group from your group |

A Polish neurologist acquaintance of mine sent me this article, continuing with the theme of our previous discussion. It’s all about the personas that each of us human beings pull around ourselves like a veil. The word person, is derived from the Latin word referencing the masks that Greek actors wore on stage, to be seen from people far away. I touched on the subject of masks in an earlier blog, referring to these gangs in Los Angeles who use masquerade together with dance, as a stand-off against other gangs.
http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/the-role-of-the-clown-humor-in-imparting-information

The blog “You Are Not So Smart: A Celebration of Self Delusion, prominently states in the introduction to the concept.

The Misconception: You are a rational, logical being who sees the world as it really is; who celebrates diversity and respects others points of view.

The Truth: You are driven to create and form groups and then believe that others are wrong, just because they are others. ! you are as deluded as the rest of us !

“You Are Not So Smart” is a blog devoted to self delusion and irrational thinking. “There is a growing body of research suggesting you have no idea why you act or think the way you do. The origins of your emotional states, your motivations, your behaviors and beliefs are largely inaccessible to your conscious mind.”

The particular article my friend sent, entitled the illusion of asymmetric insight, talks about the various masks that we use and identify ourselves with, both individually and in groups. What is asymmetric, is the lopsided way that we tend to believe that we understand what lies behind another person or group’s mask, yet feel that the other could not begin to comprehend the degree of complexity that lies beyond our own.

“The idea is this: You put on a mask and uniform before leaving for work. You put on another set for school. You have costume for friends of different persuasions and one just for family. Who you are alone is not who you are with a lover or a friend….and if you don’t step back occasionally and feel a bit bizarre how you are wearing a socially constructed mask and uniform, you are probably a psychopath.”

“You know, as a citizen of the Internet, you obfuscate the truth of your character. You hide your fears and transgressions and vulnerable yearnings for meaning, for purpose, for connection. “… So, you don social masks just like every human going back to the first campfires….You seem rather confident in them, in their ability to communicate and conceal that which you want on display and that which you wish was not. Groups too don these masks. Political parties establish platforms, companies give employees handbooks, countries write out constitutions, tree houses post club rules. Every human gathering and institution from the Gay Pride Parade to the KKK works to remain connected by developing a set a norms and values which signals to members when they are dealing with members of the in-group and help identify others as part of the out-group. The peculiar thing though is that once you feel this, once you feel included in a human institution or ideology, you can’t help but see outsiders through a warped lens called the illusion of asymmetric insight.”

In a series of experiments and questionnaires put out by a cross study or researchers at Stanford together with the University of Illinois, the data gathered revealed that “Most people rated their insight into their best friend as keen, yet in the other direction, felt that the insight that their friend’s possessed of them was lacking”….and when it came to groups, “Both groups thought they knew more about their opponents than their opponents knew about themselves.”

“The illusion of asymmetric insight makes it seem as though you know everyone else far better than they know you, and not only that, but you know them better than they know themselves.”

“The researchers explained this is how one eventually arrives at the illusion of naive realism, or believing your thoughts and perceptions are true, accurate and correct, therefore if someone sees things differently than you or disagrees with you in some way it is the result of a bias or an influence or a shortcoming. You feel like the other person must have been tainted in some way, otherwise they would see the world the way you do – the right way.”

“All primates depend on groups to survive and thrive, and human groups thrive most of all. It is in your nature to form them….humans have an innate drive to develop and observe norms and rituals (which) will express itself even in a cultural vacuum, but there is a dark side to this behavior. As psychologist Jonathan Haidt says, our minds “unite us into teams, divide us against other teams, and blind us to the truth.”

“When you feel the warm comfort of belonging to a team, a tribe, a group – to a party, an ideology, a religion or a nation – you instinctively turn others into members of outgroups, into outsiders.”

If this peaks your interest, read the entire article for yourself! I just wanted to skip to the poignant parts and paraphrase it, for those who don’t have the time or inclination.

Today, scanning the headlines, I found an article which magnetically pulled my attention to it. Once I listened to but the first featured video of an interview with this professor of philosophy, it resonated with me. I write about it in my other blog.

http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/a-c-grayling-the-freedom-of-creating-ones-own-meaning-is-a-terrifying-responsibility

The philosopher, A.C. Grayling talks about the fact that the meaning which lies behind things/events, effectively comes from whatever we personally designate – as that which has this or that value. And that our universe, the world that we each create around ourself, is all there is. There is no God, no other deities, just us, that render its meaning. A concept which in itself, is quite a frightening responsibility.

Halloween in Berlin | A deliriously decadant costume party at White Trash |

Okay, I don’t know about you, but when I catch the clock repeatedly at 11:11, or like I have in the last weeks, again and again at the hour on the hour, 00:00, 9:00, 15:00, 21:00… I begin to question why? I don’t know why this keeps repeatedly happening, with such frequency. It’s not like I’m always looking at the clock or have this self-fulfilling need to weave meaning into it, I’m just saying that’s it’s been happening A LOT, several times a day, for the last weeks. I find it peculiarly poignant. I usually try to be aware of what I happen to be doing at that moment – often I’m on the computer – and then flash on what I’m researching, pondering, what information I’m accessing, executing…on my laptop at that moment, and reflect that I guess I’m doing the right thing.

With that said, it was with the aim to go to the American owned club in Berlin “White Trash Fast Food”, to see my friends playing in their band Mamasweed, http://www.myspace.com/mamasweed on Halloween night. This venue was what I was looking forward to. I love Halloween, as do many Americans, and the myriad costumes pouring out into the sidewalk last night gave the natives something to gawk at.

Several days earlier I happened to check out, as I have been with more frequency in the last year, Rob Brezsny’s San Francisco based astrology column. I was familiar with it through local papers where it had been printed when I lived there. I was happy to see that it is also online, under the guise of http://www.freewillastrology.com. Having had my astrological chart ‘done’ by several amateur astrologers in the past – using the exact place and moment of my birth – I recognized an uncanny and resoundingly accurate reflection of who I appear to be, so lately I’ve been looking somewhat routinely at his often witty insights.

Because I happen to have a concentration of all of the planets in three houses, I pull information from all three of them. My Sun and rising sign are in the house that it rules Capricorn. And a group of 3 planets occupy both the signs of Scorpio and Sagittarius. It was viewing Scorpio last week – where my moon is – in which Brezsny associated this period with being blissed out, delighted and ecstatic, and suggested googling the Chinese character “double happiness”. I did just that on Halloween day – in which google employees created the occasion to carve giant pumpkins with the google name.

Upon looking at the character on the 31st

I made the impromptu decision, to incorporate this symbol into my costume, somehow. Then I decided that it needed to be painted prominently on my face ;-))

I happened to notice that the couchsurfing weekly language exchange meeting group mentioned that people come in costume; sporting the color orange was encouraged. That lead to me to discovering my very orange items in my closet. So, I frolicked by the CS party on my way to White Trash. Here’s a photo of me and the organizer’s of this meeting, Alex and Sarah.

Ironically, the first person I spoke with at “White Trash”, was a musician who said that the theme there that night was ‘double’ something or other, that was before I told him that the character written on my face was “double happiness”.

Upon arriving at the vicinity of the front door, the sidewalk was packed with people stumbling onto the sidewalk. Specifically for that evening, there were poles set up behind two front windows, with mangled women doing their pole dances. However, the first thing I saw was this man dressed in a cotton schwab, kindof puffy white mummy suit doing a pole dance – who later in the evening pulled off the outer layer and was doused on stage with fake blood, in costume as a tampon. His antics were his clowning attempts to pole dance, unable to really execute any moves, sliding, falling and fumbling all over it, slapstick style. It was in fact, hilarious. Then he appeared on the sidewalk and continued to fitfully throw himself around, and then crawled like a snake on the sidewalk back to the door. Pretty hysterical.

Once inside the club, the ferocious mob of people was daunting. Just so many people to negotiate moving through! There were in-house body painters equipped with everything imaginable. And judging by the people walking around, they did a dazzling and quite professional caliber of work; there were a lot of very, very scary people; zippered faces, bullet wounds, scars and blood oozing out all of the orifices… One after another slick costume. It was a delirious, crazy, debaucherous and raucous crowd from the beginning, and this pace continued all night. There were mostly rock band performances downstairs and the drag theatrical performances upstairs. I didn’t get so many pictures, because there would have been just too, too many to take.

I was on the final day of 11 in which I hadn’t had a dime, which I’ll be writing about shortly – regarding how I was able to survive and have quite an excellent – productive and social – time, which levied for two weekends – in Berlin, with absolutely no money. Something that I have survived gracefully and cheerfully, yet don’t particularly want to make this test on a sustained bases. On Halloween night, I was on the guest list through Mamasweed, and once I sat down at one free chair to scope out the place soon after arriving, I was waived over by a group of people at a table, half of them Croatian friends. They asked me to join them, and had flowing pitchers of beer the whole night and into the morning. Lucky me! Fortunately, one person in the group spoke English and German quite well, so he was the translator. “White Trash Fast Food” pulled off quite a gala Halloween event, the place decorated full-on and the staff working there in fantastic, Hollywood set lavish make-up and costume that was by no means amateur.

In the meantime on the right coast of the United States, there were also extravagant Halloween partiers, in the House of Horrors. On my other blog, I give a standing ovation to theDanger, an outstandingly eloquent party promoter who has contributed to many a New Yorker’s scintillating days and evenings out on the town! http://digesthis.wordpress.com/2011/11/02/laud-to-the-end-of-thedanger-the-most-eloquent-underground-events-nyc-has-scene-d

Here are the White Trash Berlin Halloween 2011 pics.