*VILLAGE OF IRVINGTON, USA
09:40 AM The Village of Irvington is the epitome of “charming small town America”. An intimate population of 6,000 spanning just 4 square miles. Perched along the Hudson River as New York City is just 30 minutes away, from where I just came by train.
09:42 AM Getting off the train, the crisp breeze from the river feels different from the city, or maybe it’s the realization that I just went from mega metropolis to tiny town. The railway runs along the river with Main Street perpendicular to it on a San Fransisco-like steep hill as far as the eye can see. I start the climb up.
09:49 AM As with any perfect little American village, Irvington has an actual main street called Main Street with all the quintessentials of a street that is main. A little too perfect, like a Hollywood set.
09:51 AM On this arduous walk up, I pass by an ancient but active video rental shop, a couple of mini-marts, a few ma-and-pa restaurants, office space here and there, a manly barber shop, an expected beauty salon, a prominent florist, a few never-heard-of banks, an archetypal comic book shop and a bunch of curious little stores seamlessly blended with residential space. Not a single chain/retail store in sight.
09:58 AM I’ve finally reached the top of this mountain they call a street. Waiting for my friend Roman to arrive, I look down the street and see the width entirety of the Hudson River and across it through the haze, what seems to be New Jersey.
10:00 AM Roman parks his car and we each get a slice from Nick’s Pizzeria but buy drinks from Good-Life Gourmet, the mini-mart next door. I remember that used to be called “This n That” from a decade ago, now that’s a mini-mart name.
10:09 AM While eating pizzas on the steps of this building, a couple of kids no more than 15 years of age on bicycles stop in front of us and nervously asks if we can buy them cigarettes. As a joke, Roman says if we can borrow their bikes for a while, he will. The kids say no because apparently their bikes costs $5,000 each. I’ve never ridden a friggen $5,000 bicycle so I tell them we’ll tell on their parents for smoking unless we can take a spin on their bikes. Kids being kids, they let us.
10:45 AM Only in places like the Village of Irvington will you see children rolling around in bicycles that cost more than cars, and it’s a blast. We abuse these bikes speeding through the Aqueduct (a dirt pathway that stretches across town) not knowing how much time has passed. While admiring some long abandoned castle ruin, we joke about how we should get the bikes back because we’re technically committing grand larceny.
11:21 AM Now back on Main Street, we find the kids smoking Camel Lights behind a dumpster, trying fiercely to look cool. I feel bad though because they’re smoking cigarette butts from the ground.
2:35 PM A common misconception of small suburb towns is that there’s nothing to do. A natural response is to drive around aimlessly, kinda like wanderlust, except any travel is usually within city limits. Now this may sound boring and redundant but it’s a great way to explore and you never know who you’ll bump into, besides it’s the ultimate time killer. But 3 hours is enough…
2:40 PM After countless turns, u-turns, roundabouts and reversals, we end up at the end of a hill of a hill of a hill that turned into a private driveway of where a real live Bruce Wayne might live. So a monster mansion amongst a town full of beastly homes. It was our friend Mike’s house. Two words just popped into my mind… House and Party… House Party!
2:45 PM It takes almost 5 minutes to walk from the front door of the house to the rear door to get to his backyard, of which half of the Village of Irvington could probably fit. Is that meat I smell cooking?
4:12 PM This is the most fun I’ve ever had BBQ’ing, this hi-tech grill that looks like a spaceship certainly helps. Time to hit up the bar.
5:16 PM By bar, I mean the fully stocked pub in Mike’s house. Now for a game of pool.
10:36 PM Bored but far from sober, we decide to play a prank on a bunch of high school kids throwing a keg party in the woods. Mike’s butler drives us into some Blair Witch Project looking spot where a bunch of our friends are waiting. We march into the forest.
10:49 PM The party is clearly well underway as we watch from a distance under the cover of darkness. We each get our flashlights ready to begin phase 1.
10:50 PM We spread out from each other exactly 10 paces then we turn on our flashlights pointing towards the party standing still. With our lights held steady, we listen and wait for someone at the party to notice us.
10:53 PM Then a straggler who wandered off to take a piss sees our lights and waves hello. I yell out 1 word; “POLICE”. The shit is about to hit the fan…
10:54 PM The straggler with his pants about to fall off, runs back to the party yelling, “it’s the cops!, it’s the cops…” We start marching forward, slowly.
10:55 PM As if this were an actual Blair Witch Project chase scene, they run and scatter for dear life thinking we’re the police out to bust them.
11:01 PM It takes us a few more minutes to get to the now completely deserted party. It’s as if they instantly vanished into thin air, like the rapture. The bonfire was burning strong, purses and backpacks were laying around, jackets were on the ground and the steel keg was graciously glowing from the fire as if it was being presented to us from the party gods.
11:50 PM We all take a seat around the fire and toast to a perfectly executed party crashing, I mean party invasion, uncontrollable group laughter ensues. And they say there’s nothing to do in the suburbs.
12:08 AM We’re jerks but not assholes so we contacted one of the high school kids to tell them what we did and it’s safe to come back.