Thanksgiving was a good time. I had the day off from work, so I spent most of it with my friends from TGC. In the morning, I met them at the Riverbank State Park baseball fields overlooking the Hudson for a few tournament-style football games. My team won (with little thanks to me...) and we took home the "chimp-ionship trophy."
Legs sore, I made my way back home to post a Thanksgiving Day blog - a plea for folks to help bring back Word Up Bookshop. Please please please read that blog entry now and consider making a contribution to our cause.
Ok. Next, I rode back down to 145 street with my backpack and hands full of leftovers from Darling Coffee. This was my contribution to the feast taking place at my friend's apartment in Harlem. We had a large meal with many friends, many vegetarian sides, a few more televised football games, lots of great conversation; and the hosts engaged us in one of their favorite - though admittedly campy - Thanksgiving pastimes: each guest was given three popcorn kernels and they were to state things for which they were thankful, dropping a kernel into the tiny bowl that circled the table until everyone's kernels were deposited. Campy it was, but also charming and meaningful.
I went in to work early (Black) Friday morning, anticipating a freegan action that was to take place in the afternoon at the Atlantic Center Target store in Brooklyn. Unfortunately I was stuck at Darling until about 1:15, just 45 minutes before the event was to take place. So I rushed downtown after work, hoping not to miss it in it's entirety. This was my very first Whirl-Mart, after all.
I showed up maybe halfway into the action and grabbed my shopping cart, tossing my mandolin into the child compartment. I proceeded to find my fellow freegans, whom I expected to find slithering in a long chain of empty shopping carts around the store. To my dismay, there was only a handful of us that came out for the action and I was never in a chain longer than three. I guess the dark forces of Black Friday were stronger than our message of anti-consumption this year. Or else our promotion just needs to be more effective (I was pleased today to find a video of the stunt that Improv Everywhere successfully pulled on Black Friday. Kudos!)
We exited Target and stepped to the curb outside, where activists had set up a huge free store. They were giving away clothes, books, and assorted other items (I assumed these folks were from Occupy). I opened up my mandolin case and busked at the store for a short while. It got dark - and pretty cold - rather fast, so a few of us freegans headed to the subway station where we could catch the next train towards the church location of our Black Friday Freegan Feast.
Freegans trickled into the kitchen and found ways to help prepare the meal. I peeled potatoes that were greenish on the outside. Apparently the green color indicates some kind of toxin that is no bueno. After a couple hours of preparing everything - soup, rice, ratatouille, bread, salad, roasted veggies, and all kinds of desserts - we sat around the table to dig in. It was nice to break bread with these old friends, many of whom I hadn't seen in over a year.
Saturday morning I headed to the Inwood greenmarket to do some more busking on the mandolin. I'm getting much better at it :) Then I played at TGC (djembe, not mandolin), and went out to eat dinner with friends. We topped off the night with a viewing of Elf, a great kickoff to the holiday season ahead.
Stay tuned for Part 2, I'll explain and post links to all the fun stuff I'm working on in the coming month. It will include free music to download, videos, and more! And if you missed the donation link for Word Up above, CLICK HERE!