Yesterday two Shans had a Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg. One of those Shans was me.
Both of those Shans were kind of hungover. As I mentioned in a previous post I drank too much wine on Saturday afternoon and the scales of my life were thrown completely off balance. I awoke with a pounding headache, couldn’t find any Excedrin, and missed the JaneDO class I had signed both of us Shans up for.
But we had committed to a Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg and that was what we were gonna do.
Williamsburg isn’t a bad commute from Jersey City. At the risk of sounding like one of those assholes we’re always surrounded by, I’ve been making the trip from JC to Billy for the last 12 years and it’s changed a lot. Both places have changed a lot, it’s a thing. I think what sets me apart from the other “I’ve been here for years!” folks is that I like it just the same. And “Billy” is my own personal nickname/term of endearment for it. Maybe other people call it that too but I wouldn’t know because I don’t talk to strangers.
We had tickets for 29Rooms at 1:30pm. I have been to 29Rooms in the past and enjoyed it so I was pretty pumped. When we got to 25 Kent I was a little confused about where we were supposed to go but we followed the crowd and figured it out.
The lighting in the area where we waited in line was exceptional. I think they really must have considered the fact that people would want to take well-lit photos there. Initially I thought this was 29Rooms exclusive but the other part of the same building we went in later also had the same exceptional lighting.
I mean, my god.
Once inside 29Rooms we checked coats at the free coat check – woo! – and then started to take a look around. At first glance it looked much different than the other years I’ve gone because there were windows with sweeping Brooklyn views! In the past it has been in a garage or a warehouse and has felt like being inside of a dark hole. Which was actually cool for making the colors and lights of some of the installations really pop against the dark background.
It was nice to have to windows with the views, for a little change.
The first room we went in we had to write about a character in a story we would write by answering questions on a note card, then pinning that to the wall. Basically a visual representation of “we need more women as story tellers and also as decision-makers on which stories get told.”
Next we came across some black lights and glow in the dark paint and that was pretty much my favorite. As two Shans on a Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg would do, we got some paint and we painted. I became entranced by filling in the pre-drawn illustrations with neon pink paint. Then I wrote my Instagram handle. But just once. Because I saw a sentence scrawled on the floor paper that said “NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR INSTAGRAM HANDLE” and I felt judged and ashamed.
One of the best things about the neon paint and blacklight area was that there were little eyes all over the wall and I had some fun finding them. I love little eyes and rolling eyes and googly eyes and eyes in unexpected places. It’s a thing.
After this, other Shannon was interested in the 29 questions room, in which you are paired with a stranger and you ask each other questions. This sounded like my worst nightmare and I actually cheated on this one last year and made my boyfriend pretend he didn’t know me so I didn’t have to make a new friend.
Needless to say I moved on to a different “room” and made a little craft. Crafts don’t require you to talk to people you don’t know.
I was instructed to make my interpretation of a still life using construction paper, colored tape, and scissors. I greatly enjoyed it. It’s so relaxing to sit and make a craft that isn’t hard to make, and any possible way it turns out is the way it’s supposed to turn out so it’s no stress. I think someone did try to make a friend with me but I was like “Ohhh sorry…DEAF.” Because I am.
Speaking of deaf there was a palm reading room that other Shannon did when we were separated and then told me about it and I was interested but it was hard for me to hear the instructions so that sucked. The room didn’t suck OVERALL but it did suck that I couldn’t hear and kind of just watched everyone else and read the little sign to piece it together.
I didn’t enjoy the palm reading because you had to touch another person’s hand and they had to touch yours. But you couldn’t see who they were or their face so in a way that made it less awkward and more acceptable as far as my rules regarding touching and being touched by other people I don’t know very well. No touching. Don’t touch me. Those are the rules.
According to my palm reading…I forget and can no longer interpret what this means. Darn.
A Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg isn’t complete without a nap and that’s what I got in the Uber room. JK I wouldn’t usually nap on this type of excursion but they had a whole big space with comfy places to lay down so I took them up on that. Within this big comfy space they were also playing some white/ambient noise and the sounds of cars but the quiet sounds. Not the honking of horns. It was a good place for a little bit of peace.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?), I didn’t need much peace because it wasn’t very busy. In other years that I’ve gone it has been bananas with so many people and everyone trying to take pictures and buzzing around and you can check out everyone’s outfit and it’s very exciting stuff.
This year it didn’t seem as crowded or exciting or special and I’m not sure why. I’m not saying it sucked, it was still a cool event. It just seemed less exciting in some way. I don’t know, maybe it was me.
I did notice that not as many people were taking pictures of themselves. And I felt sad, because I feel like an event like this is MADE FOR PEOPLE TO TAKE PICTURES. OF THEMSELVES. But when I was setting up my little tripod or taking selfies, I felt like no one else was participating and was therefore shamed. I didn’t even get the best pics of my outfit there and felt I had to take more at home. And then I did.
After 29Rooms I was STARVING so as we walked back to the L train I was on the lookout for something delish. We didn’t get very far before we walked past a sandwich board advertising “Smorgasburg” and I was like omg yes obvi. So we went back into the same building we were just in but it was on the other bizarro side that looked exactly the same. With the same IMPECCABLE lighting for photos, I might add.
Smorgasburg is one of my most favorite things of all time because it is a bunch of delicious food all in one place and that has great value in my life. It’s usually outside in a big lot by the water during the warmer months, but I didn’t know they had an inside one! I was VERY excited to come across this INDOOR Smorgasburg because that means it can be Smorgasburg all the time! Not just when it’s nice out! Anything that keeps life closer to the way it is when it’s nice out is a big win in my book.
They also had some fun shopping/flea market stuff but I’m trying not to shop so shhhhh don’t speak of this any longer.
I wanted to get a Frito pie but they were PLUM OUTTA FRITO PIE, YEEEHAWWW! JK about the “yeehaw” but they WERE out. And they gave me a free chili for my trouble. BAD. ASS.
Then I wanted donuts but the Dough donuts stand only took cash which is fine but I didn’t feel like getting cash. So I got a ‘smores hot chocolate and it was grand.
To finish off our Sunday afternoon in Williamsburg we went into Madewell and I wanted to buy everything OMG GET ME OUT OF HERE.
Did you go to 29Rooms? What did you think? If you’ve gone previously did it seem as cool this year? I still can’t put my finger on what I felt was missing. Do you agree that 25Kent has the best outside of a building lighting of all time? Have you been to the inside Smorgasburg? It’s great.