Sunday, October 23, 2011
[This one is for +Q Perfume Blog.]
Seemed like a nice day to tunnel into Manhattan—so I did!
First stop, the Sephora/Firmenich Sensorium. More about that in a separate post. Gulped down some truck food afterwards on 14th Street—tasty pork & scallion dumplings from Rickshaw Dumplings—then three more stops downtown on the A train. A short stroll and behold!: Zucotti Park, home to Occupy Wall Street.
One small square block, packed with tourists, police, and a motley and largely unimpressive assemblage of cranks, kooks, and die-hard “activists.” Do I sound too harsh and dismissive? Well, I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960s, and went to school at U.C. Berkeley. So I’ve seen a few protests and happenings.
On my personal rating system, Zucotti Park scores about 3 out of 10 for colorfulness; any Wednesday on Sproul Plaza has more exotic causes and more flamboyant performing weirdos. As for message impact, ZP gets a 2 out of 10; the Wall Street hate was almost lost in the general chaos. Regarding the drumming circles, the less said the better. The stoners on Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park have better polyrhythms and more ensemble discipline; the ZP slammers are a couple of cuts below the subway guys with their overturned plastic buckets.
I did get to meet the leader (and only member?) of the FSM: the Fart Smeller Movement.
He's a bit of dick (what, you expected Ghandi? Mario Savio?), but he has his standards. He won't ask to sniff a girl's farts unless she is at least 17 years old. Then again, he says in a pinch he'll also sniff B.O. (These are hard times for the 99%.)
Best of all, there were some old time Hare Krishnas, doing the classic chant. But this being the 21st century, they had a new twist: occasional Bourbon-street trumpet riffs by the guy in the saffron robe. Coolio!
For a big neo-hippie clownfest, OWS also failed to live up to its olfactory potential; despite the piles of bagged garbage, it didn't smell too bad.
The obese homeless guy dozing on a bench in the Chambers Street subway station was another story. Acrid butt-crack stench that pummeled you in the face at thirty paces. Pheeeeuuuuwie!