We had an unsettling experience at this afternoon's kickoff of Dickies and Jelly Present Saturdays! at Rock Yard that made us think the people behind this series of six free Shabbos shows in Williamsburg, bringing back the Pool Party slip 'n' slide that's been verboten at East River State Park, must be worried about bad publicity.
Someone talked to us.
So far our age (sixtyish) and nondescript appearance, like the ring found by Dylan and Mingus in The Fortress of Solitude, have given us the superpower of invisibility and kept any hipster from saying a single word to us at the events we go to. We like it that way.
About twenty minutes after our arrival (the Q59 bus - be warned! it's been re-routed - took us from Metropolitan and Union right to the front entrance of the Rock Yard
- is it "the" Rock Yard or just Rock Yard?), a young man came over and asked us if we had the time.
Who doesn't know the time in 2010? Look at your phone, dude! But we're old and slow and said, "3:16." Then he asked us if we lived around here ("Yeah") and where we got the DVD ("Someone gave it to us at the entrance" - we'd thought it was a CD) said, "So what do you think of this?"
Our first thought was actually of the Bible salesman in "Good Country People":
“Mrs. Hopewell,” he began, using her name in a way that sounded almost intimate, “I know you believe in Chrustian service.”
“Well, yes,” she murmured.
“I know,” he said and paused, looking very wise with his head cocked on one side, “that you’re a good woman. Friends have told me.”
Mrs. Hopewell never liked to be taken for a fool. “What are you selling?” she asked.
But instead we said that the first few people to use the Slip 'n' Slide didn't get far in it because the black mat on the gravelly ground of the Rock Yard wasn't long enough to give them an adequate running start. Some people had only gotten about a quarter of the way through it.
Then we said, "What do you think of this?"
He told us it was a great thing for the neighborhood, great music, place to hang out, cheap beer, etc. although he allowed that it was very hot today. Then he said he was actually a friend of "the people putting it on" and he told us his name and asked us ours and shook our hand.
We were so nonplussed that we found a seat in the shade. Was it that in a small crowd a gnomish old man in a Brooklyn Law School T-shirt taking cell phone pics sticks out like Sissy Hackshaw's thumbs? Did the people at Jelly keep photos of bloggers in the back room the way restaurants keep photos of Sam Sifton?
Did they think Gawker is now sending out elderly Jews undercover to gather snarky comments? Did they think we're Anonymous at Brooklyn Vegan? Did they realize this blog covers children's puppet shows, press conferences at synagogues, lectures on African-American history, Christmas shopping at rural Wal-Marts and openings of skating rinks? We'd cover the opening of an envelope! (Even one from Vito Lopez.)
And didn't they realize that we like everything like Larry King or Mikey in the old Life Cereal commercials? That we don't write about the events we go to but have been bored at, walked out on, or were treated badly at (this means you, Union Pool)? That we're old enough and uncool enough to actually wear Dickies? That we use our first-person plural persona only to recite banal fawning superlatives?
Everyone seemed to be having a (genuinely) fine time at Rock Yard, and we think the pics here prove it. The cornbread was tasty. People seemed to be enjoying the beer and other drinks. The DJ was just fine. The portable toilets were spotless (but there weren't many peers who preceded us). All the bands - Thee Oh Sees, The Beets, Xray Eyeballs, Gun Outfit, Tough Knuckles - both the ones we saw and those on after we left - were really, really excellent.
We think you're crazy if you don't get out to Rock Yard on one of the next five Saturdays. Truly. What's not to like?