Sunday, December 6, 2009

First Night: At the Root Hill Café.

I suppose this was inevitable.

I moved to New York City - Brooklyn to be exact - just over a month ago. I loaded everything I owned into my road-weary 1996 Geo Prism (not the first time I’ve done this) and headed for interstate 95.

It’s funny how much you think you own until you spread it all out. My new room resembled a well-stocked prison cell - like one they might give you if you do all the guard’s personal accounting – underscored by a single window with bars over it. On my wall, only the same Rolling Stones’ poster I’ve had since high school. This was it; the Geo was empty.

My first New York City comedy experience was an open mic in Brooklyn, in a neighborhood called Park Slope. On the corner of 4th avenue and Carroll St, was the Root Hill Café, scarcely populated on a Monday evening. It’s one of those places that goes out of its way to be quirky, rather than just stumbling upon it. Instead of seats, the Root Hill prefers thick wooden planks jutting from the wall, so at first glance it would appear they were floating in the air. I couldn’t help but think how impractical it was, as any rearranging that might be needed for large groups would require several power tools and at least a dozen unionized workers.

I told about seven minutes worth of jokes, to a waning crowd consisting of comics yet to perform and a stalwart comedy host. The man who followed me did magic tricks, including turning a one dollar bill into a hundred and pulling the world’s largest magic wand out of a brown paper bag. The host gave me her business card and wrote: “Welcome to New York!” on the back. I considered myself welcomed.

After my set, I tried to buy a bottle of water, but my debit card was rebuked because my Dasani did not cover the 10-dollar minimum. After contemplating buying a few slices of carrot cake, I returned the water and drank out of the sink in the bathroom

Thus was my first night in New York.

No comments:

Post a Comment