dumbo festival of lights (a.k.a. riot/war has broken out)

i would not do well in a war zone. or riot. as in, if a war or riot were to break out and i were to have to get from point a to point b, i would fail (miserably).

i was to meet D in dumbo to see the brooklyn festival of lights. meet, we did. see, we saw. but survive? barely. (D survived just fine, by the way. by barely, i’m referring to yours truly).

i don’t have a pic to post alongside this entry. if ever i were to get stuck in a war or riot, there would be no pictures of the experience. you see where this is going.

the “war/riot” starts at the york street F train. as i step off the train and onto the platform, throngs of tourists approach out of nowhere. they’re apparently here to see the same lights. police buzz about, announcing that this train┬ástop has reached maximum capacity. undeterred, the tourists keep pushing ahead.

finally emerging from the subway tunnel and into the night, i dash towards our meeting place. i run smack into what must be the center of this light festival. it is surreal. instead of pretty colored lights or lanterns┬ádraped around this part of town, i see crazy flashing lights and people screaming for more (of what, i don’t know). this is what a war or riot must feel like.

somehow, i make it to D.

“how in the world were you able to get here?” i ask. “oh, i didn’t have much trouble at all. it was quiet the way i came.” he says.

balloon glow

Image

doesn’t that just sound amazing? ever since i watched a swarm of lanterns being floated into the air in tangled, i’ve been obsessed with seeing pretty things being floated into the air. en masse. at night. and glowing. so, this festival of lanterns is actually a thing that happens outside of pixar. in chiang mai, thailand, apparently. i’ve been to thailand, but never to chiang mai. and definitely never to this festival of lanterns.

seeing as i wasn’t planning on another thailand trip anytime soon, i decided that jersey would have to do. yes, jersey. we hopped on the nj transit, took a school bus (literally), and found ourselves in readington, nj. random, i know. but hot air balloons being floated into the jersey night sky would have to do. and we were excited.

imagine our shock and horror when, after a few attempts at floating an Elvis hot air balloon into the night sky, the festival directors (i have to call them something, right?) gave up and announced over the loudspeaker that no, there would be no balloons floated into the air tonight. high winds, apparently. the King would have to stay tethered to the ground.

since every tethered balloon has a silver lining, so too did these balloons.

the silver lining was REO speedwagon. the band that brought us “keep on lovin’ you” and “can’t fight this feeling.” listening to REO speedwagon on a sprawling lawn (albeit in JERSEY) on a breezy summer night is an experience in itself. and a pretty awesome one.