Weekend of Epic, Part 2(A): Babeland, Fast Cars, Fast Tattoos & Not-So-Fast Burgers

As mentioned in previous posts, the weekend of May 17th was an Epic weekend of Epic Awesomeness. Mostly because Sare Liz Gordy, Eric Sipple and Miranda Doerfler, three of the authors from Hot Mess: speculative fiction about climate change, came to NYC and did a reading. Feel free to catch up – both on the Thursday reading and the Friday awesomeness that followed – before (or after) reading on.

Saturday morning, Miranda and I woke up and started on our way to SoHo. Mostly, we were going to check out the Wooster Street Social Club, which is where NY Ink was filmed. But as a secondary mission, we decided to detour through Babeland – just so I could show M that not all the, ahem, adult entertainment shops in Manhattan were totally skeevy.

Babeland is…well, I guess I’ll just let their website explain. Their website (and the store) contain what we shall call “The 50 Shades of Gray Collection.” Mostly we will call it that because they do. The collection itself is worth a laugh or two; mostly the book that inspired it was the butt of many a joke over the weekend.

Pun unintended, but unavoidable.

After Babeland, we headed over to Wooster Street and to the Social Club. There was already a line outside when we got there, and by “line,” I mean “loose collection of people standing around looking like they really wanted tattoos.” Wooster Street opened promptly at noon, and we ducked inside to take a look.

I don’t spend a lot of time in tattoo shops, so this was an interesting experience for me. The shop takes walk-ins, but the way they put together their list of walk-ins was really interesting to watch. Everybody lined up as the doors were opening and streamed into a tiny corridor; from there, you walked up to the front of the line and explained an idea of what you wanted to the guy who was checking folks in. He was in the midst of assembling some kind of complicated matrix that correlated design to tattoo artist. Miranda got in line, ready to get what may have been the coolest tattoo idea ever, but when we got to the front it turned out there was a $200 minimum. After quick debate, it was decided that saving up and coming back another time might be the most prudent course of action. We had her name taken off the list and skedaddled.

Given that no actual tattooing had taken place, there was plenty of time for us to make our way up to Madison Sq. Park – and Shake Shack – before meeting Eric and Erin (and a couple more folks Miranda knew in the NYC area) for burgers and shakes. We started walking and before we knew it ran smack into the Fab.com pop-up shop.

For those who don’t know Fab.com, it’s a website where you order cool, designed pieces that are then fabricated (get it? Haha) and sent out. A couple people I know have purchased from them in the past and been really pleased with what they got, although I know I’ve heard shipping times can be a bother. Anyway, they have a pop-up shop in SoHo at the moment (or at least, as of this writing) and you can go and look at the cool stuff they have for sale.

I got a free poster, which is now on my wall. I did not get awesome huge lifesize robot recliners, nor cute little robot climbers that stand by electrical outlets. Both exist. Pics to prove it.

The free poster is awesome. It reads, very simply, “Smile, you’re designed to.” And you know what?

Every time I see it, it makes me smile. It makes me smile to the point where I’m going to share it with all of you now, in the hopes that it makes one or two of you smile, as well.

After leaving the Fab.com shop, we carried on up the road until I spotted a sign that made my blood run cold. Or, well, made my blood run with shoes. Betsey Johnson, as you may or may not know, recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Her loss is the gain of many a deal-hunter in SoHo, though I couldn’t find any of the promised items at 60% off. I did spot some sweet shoes. Here is one pair.

If you want a full post on Betsey Johnson sale shoes, leave a comment, and I will see what I can do to make you wish you had lots of money to spend on completely impractical shoes. (You wish that already. I’m just saying I’ll show you more pictures, really.)

The store really was full of cute stuff, it’s just that I’m not a size that Betsey Johnson makes, and also I blew all my money on hanging out with cool people that weekend. And on gorgeous personally inscribed journals. Which you’ll have seen, by now, in the previous Weekend of Epic post.

Leaving both Fab.com and dear old Betsey behind as we continued our journey northward, Miranda and I passed a spot on Broadway near Bleeker – one of those funny little tent-city markets that tends to pop up here and there in larger cities.

This one is mostly clothing (surprise surprise, welcome to NoHo), but there was one shirt in particular that caught both our eyes.

You didn’t know A Clockwork Orange is one of my favorite films of all time? How sad for you. (Note for tweeple: you know how I always say I don’t re-watch things? This is one of few exceptions. This film is epic awesome amazeballs, and if you haven’t seen it and are over the age of 18, you must must must go see it right now. Yes, before you finish reading this blog entry. It’s available for streaming on Netflix. See you in three hours. (One day, I should really do a post about book vs. cinema as re: Clockwork Orange; absolutely fascinating comparison there.)

This was around the time when we found out that Eric and Erin had beaten us to Madison Square Park. While they knocked around Eataly (pretentious name, phenomenal products) waiting for us, Miranda and I hopped on the subway and headed up to meet them for the next experience of the day: SHAKE SHACK.

Except, wait. There was one more awesome thing that happened. Remember how Miranda decided not to get that tattoo? We figured out what she was really saving up for:

It’s a ’75. Asking price is $28,500. I wish I had that kind of change in my pocket.

Anyway. Back to Shake Shack. Do you know Shake Shack? Madison Square Park, opposite the Flatiron building, hosts the original location of Danny Meyers’ burgertopia empire, and often has the waiting lines to match. If you don’t know Shake Shack, you should totally go. After you finish the blog entry, though. You’ve already had a break from reading to watch a young Malcolm McDowell get brainwashed into being unable to abide by any sort of violence. Here we are waiting in line for our milkshakes and burgers. Did I mention, Eric and Erin had already *been* to Shake Shack on Thursday? I don’t think I mentioned that. Lucky bastards.

Here we are waiting in line:

From left: Miranda, Eric, Erin, Me

I swear there are times I don’t wear sunglasses. They just rarely seem to happen in front of a camera.

Back to the important part: BURGERS. I was a total glutton. Had a double shake shack burger and a shake, and then picked at Miranda’s fries (along with the rest of the table). I’m pissed because apparently the moment my buzzer sounded and I got up to leave was also the moment when a bird decided to dive-bomb Eric and grab a piece of his burger out of his hand and fly off with it. Well, that or I’ve been the victim of a practical joke based in the idea of a shared consensual reality in which I was not a participant.

This gets us to about 2pm on the weekend of epic, and brings this blog to just over 1300 words. Which makes me think it may be time to declare Weekend of Epic Part Two a two-parter.

Next up, for part two of part two: We head to a party in Brooklyn. Afterwards, in the city, there is whisky, hilarity, knee socks and grilled cheese. Tune in for the next segment!

One response to “Weekend of Epic, Part 2(A): Babeland, Fast Cars, Fast Tattoos & Not-So-Fast Burgers

  1. That is an epic weekend!! I love Babeland. I’ve been going there since it used to be called “Toys in Babeland” haha!

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