Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Shakespeare in the Dark

'Parkwifi,' the elusive Central Park free wireless signal, (ready?) doesn't work. I know it's hard to see, but with a 1.3mp razr camera, under a black umbrella in today's weather, this is what we get:

Now what? I may be the only person who didn't know that parkwifi is about as accessible as the reservoir swimming area. Judging by the fact that I was the only one with a laptop out 250 yards from Delacorte Theater this morning at 9am it was either the grey skies or no one told me that was no wi and no fi, I'll bet not even at 8:02:11am.

Why did I choose today? At 7:45 I was finishing up my morning run with a friend and I spotted the short line. We discussed that the park now had wifi access. As I looked down at my NikePlus badge of data collecting honor I thought why not just surf here, manage my runs here, be onlineonline? Surfing with a park backdrop sounded nice, and free tickets couldn't hurt. I wasn't worried about the rain, I had a golf-ready umbrella and a folded polyester promo blanket brought to me by Wishbone brand dressing which encouraged me to 'ranch up my day'.

And someone's already ranching it up. The Park Theater staff'person, I don't know her name, but she wore a Brooklyn hat, no team affiliation, just location based pride and an internal megaphone. She explained that there was no way to fool the park theater staff by junior highish tricks of cutting, back-cutting or faux family reunions. You get here and you stay here until 1pm, which makes for an interesting experiment in NYC. Enter Rain, and Rain related Hawkers "Umbrellas, drinks, I've got umbrellas and drinks." So I think to myself, 'oh the heavy stuff shouldn't be coming down for quite a while now.'

So I set up my umbrella to cover my laptop, and I'm proud of how I have not compromised my behavior due to the rain. But the setup did not last long

I did learn however that you do not need wifi to offer Location Based Services. To the left we have Jazz flute, free with advertising at the end, keeping it classy. I think you would call that an interstitial ad, no? Anyway then a lady talks over my nano about her new haircutting service on the upper westside, while one of the sherpas from Andy's deli on 80th and Columbus is delivering black plastic bags to 3 people on line. Unfortunately the hair cutting service was ahead of the young lenny kravitzalike handing out artsy movie fliers. I was part of the real life internet that Dave Chappelle so brilliantly displayed in season II; mostly popups. Traditional is how I would characterize how people exploited us on-line. They offered food music and haircuts - maybe services can get abstract from there, Dylan Kidd maybe hires Roger Dodger alikes to stand next to a girl and point to some random guy in line and say thathe has something to tell her that will blow her mind, or Samuel L can bring a jake the snake bag and scare people into leaving for the movies. No that would be too much. The heavy stuff is in fact coming down now, from about 10:00am to 11:00 and I needed to think about something other than my soaking butt. Puddles were forming under me. Eventually I had to move up towards the 'big rock' which I am told is a landmark. At least Andy knew where it was, and with that and my name I was able to procure a roastbeef on a roll. As chappelle used to say, now that's real, son.

So I'm at home now and have two tickets, the park theater kept to their word and pretty much everyone got their tickets by 1:15. Question is, should I go?

-- I braved the rain to see the show, and Merryl Streep outdid huhself in Mother Courage. In fact I think the rain helped the scenery since it was a muddy war set. The show ends soon, so get thee to the park.

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