So last weekend was Labor Day weekend. A few things happen over Labor Day weekend in NYC: New Yorkers flee to the Hamptons, Cape Cod, or the Jersey Shore; tourists take advantage of the long weekend to descend upon Manhattan en masse; and a whole new batch of freshman move to The Big City to start their college careers.
These fresh-faced, full-haired, wrinkle-and-beer-belly-free eighteen-year-olds were out in full force last Friday night. They roamed the 8th St/NYU neighborhood in packs. And, they weren’t wasting any time getting the “Woo! We’re in college!” party started. Judging by the eclectic mix of outrageous costumes that these kids were rocking, there were theme parties going on nearby. Several of them.
I was in the neighborhood meeting my dad and Taka for dinner at Knickerbocker Bar and Grill , and, truth be told, seeing those kids out—so excited, newly free, and obviously experiencing a grand adventure—left me wishing for a moment I could be back in their shoes. Until I remembered that none of them was old enough to legally drink.
Near quarter-life crisis averted, I met with Taka and dad and we enjoyed a delicious meal (caviar egg salad cake, clams on the half shell, and Kobe beef steak, thanks for asking!). We had a great time at dinner. Then, strange things started happening.
As we left the restaurant, there was the bottom half of a mannequin—a mannequin’s ass, if you will—propped up against the umbrella stand as if its being there was the most natural thing in the world.
That was strange, but not really such a big deal. We had a laugh and didn’t think anything more of it.
Until we got outside and realized that nearly everyone on the street was carrying some part of a mannequin. A hand here, an arm there, a head… Finally, we had to ask. My dad stopped a kid carrying an arm.
“What’s going on with the mannequins tonight?”
“I don’t know,” the guy answered, shifting his stance to better carry the plastic appendage. ” There’s a dumpster full of mannequins back there and people are just grabbing them.”
We did a little investigation and, sure enough, there was a dumpster full of dismantled mannequin for the taking. Pictures below:
A few feet down, a man had secured a nice bony leg for his dog who was yipping and gnawing on it in a most disturbing, although highly hilarious, manner.
I had to grin, knowing that the next morning there would be were dozens of NYU dorm rooms with proudly displayed plastic mannequin pieces: mementoes of that one time the beginning of first semester Freshman year when they stumbled a dumpster full of plastic people parts, and took that as an invitation to grab one.
Remember that night? That was crazy. That happened. Check out my mannequin hand to prove it.
I so vividly remember the feeling of my first night out as a freshman in college. And I’m certain that, had I been presented with a dumpster full of mannequin bits, I would have risen to the occasion and taken one for myself. You can’t pass up an opportunity like that on a night like that night, a night that’s all adventure and magic and infinite possibilities.
So I guess what I would like to say is this: Welcome to New York, NYU’s freshman class of 2011. I can already tell you’re all going to fit in with the rest of this crazy city swimmingly.