I’d like to tell you about Trucks & Trains, the Sunday afternoon event of the NYCWFF sponsored by the New York Times and Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co., and hosted by Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods. I’d like to tell you about the lines I encountered for the many food trucks parked at Pier 36, a spot of asphalt wedged between FDR and the East River. I’d like to tell you about the spicy chicken dumplings from Chinese Mirch that, only partially because of the reasonable wait at that truck, lured me back for seconds. I’d like to tell you about observing the cell phones pulled from purses and pockets like guns when Zimmern addressed the crowd outside his new venture, AZ Canteen, to apologize for the wait. I’d like to tell you about how, during that very wait, I heard two humans have the following exchange in earnest: “This is what real refugees feel like.” “And I’m not even starving.” I’d like to tell you about Zimmern’s Cabrito Butter Burger, and how I topped it with veggie mayo, and how that was a good choice that complemented the pretzel bun and charred onions.
But I can’t.
I can’t because something horrible happened during Trucks & Train. See, going into the event, I knew that there would be a special musical guest. Check my Twitter: I joked that it would be David Carr, because I have a secret wish to hear his voice over Kraftwerk-like percussion. That’s not what happened.
The bass drum artwork read Train, and I dropped my glass of Drops of Jupiter red and it fell in slow motion while I screamed, “NO! NO! NO!”
Witness me in the early moments of my Trucks & Train ordeal. I’ve only just made it past the gates. A woman from Save Me, San Francisco Wine Co. offers a plastic cup of red, from a bottle labeled Drops of Jupiter red. That’s funny, because I hate that song. Maybe I even chuckle to myself as I down it. And then—
Are you familiar with the end of The Usual Suspects? In that moment, I became Chazz Palminteri’s character, standing in a parking lot rather than a detective’s office, but I was suddenly a parking-lot detective, my eyes darting from the wine bottle to the drum kit on the stage erected at the event’s heart. The bass drum artwork read Train, and I dropped my glass of Drops of Jupiter red and it fell in slow motion while I screamed, “NO! NO! NO!”
In reality, I looked around, muttered the word “fuck” at a polite volume, and then took a second glass.
Next page: Train takes the stage, and the day becomes irreparably broken.
Something you should know: Train comes on stage to the sound of a train pulling out of a station, chugging into gear or whatever a conductor would say in conductor-y jargon to sound right, as opposed to wrong, which is how I sound a lot of the time. However, I am not wrong when I tell you that Train makes music that makes me want to harm things. Do you have a place on your body where you don’t like to be touched? Even by someone you love? That’s your Train-spot. I love my mother, but if she smacks the back of my head more than once in a row, by brain turns red and then black and then I can’t be held accountable for my actions. I am Anger and my shoulders do that thing where they try to crush my neck and I hate everything. What’s your Train-spot?
I suppose I should have seen it there in the name the whole time: Trucks & Train. I’d like to take an informal poll of the Internet to see who had made this connection before me. Then I want to go to each of these people, grab their generous lapels, and scream, “WHY? WHY WASN’T I TOLD? WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME?”
Then I’ll find a dark room, for crying.
Do you have a place on your body where you don’t like to be touched? Even by someone you love? That’s your Train-spot.
I get that everyone eats food in order to live, and so yes, food events will sometimes feature things that I don’t personally enjoy or find to be “cool.” But goddammit, Train?
They opened with a song I’d never heard before, but soon learned to hate when the lead singer, who I’ll call Trainy McTrain, sang, “Put your cell phone up in the air and just be glad that we’re here.” Then he put his cell phone up and aimed it at the people who had their cell phones up aimed at him and somehow we all didn’t die.
Then McTrain sang “Meet Virginia” and cleverly, in a move I bet he’s never done before and thought up on the spot, sang, “Meet Virginia, but I’d really rather MEET NEW YORK.”
Then he asked if we had his permission to cover Led Zeppelin.
Then I left.
But before I left, I did watch a woman climb onto a picnic table in a rabid attempt to take a picture of the band performing, and in her excitement she dropped her phone and her glass of wine and in the air they met, the phone and the wine, and so that was one good thing that happened.