I was in college when I started to really figure myself out. I liked punk rock and watching Saturday Night Live reruns all day. While these discoveries led to an increase in my confidence, no one else particularly cared about any of those things. But when my roommate Mike and I started cooking food in our bathroom (filling our countertop with a toaster over and two separate George Forman grills), we discovered that everyone loves food. It was pretty ridiculous I hadn’t noticed it more already – after all some of my favorite parts of the day involved sitting around with my roommates and friends for a communal meal.
Admittedly, I hadn’t really considered myself much of a “foodie,” and with my schedule, I’d spend more time ordering off the dollar menu wherever the shortest line was in the Penn Station food court. But after a while (and feeling like I was on the verge of death more and more often), I made a decision; I was slowly going to take what I ate more seriously. At the very least, pay closer attention, and try to branch out – after all, I spend roughly half my time running around New York City, where I’ve got a lot of options.
So I’m filling in with House Boat, the new incarnation of The Steinways; pop punk about working crappy temp jobs, and the fairer sex. Fortunately for me, I work temp jobs and have crushes on said sex all the time, so it was a natural fit. Unfortunately for me, it also means that it’s not in my best interest to spend a lot of money on food (and in turn, leaving young ladies relatively unimpressed). The plus side is that we’re playing at Lost and Found (actually, it’s called Lulu’s, but it’s bounced back and forth multiple times, and frankly Lost and Found is a better name), which is a good place if say, you haven’t worked in over a month, and have a budget that reflects that. I end up getting there pretty early, so I drop off my stuff inside, and walk to the bodega across the street to buy some ice cream. There’s some sort of weird Spanish things in tubes, while tempting, seeing I was playing a show and a little nervous of the unknown; I stick with something I know, a strawberry FrozFruit bar to eat outside while the sun set (and watched as the rain storm from earlier that day causing the manhole covers to start shooting up from the street).
The bar has a deal where if you buy a drink, you can get a free pizza, so naturally that’s what I did. For the fact that it’s free, it’s actually decent – after some remodeling, they took out a lot of the dank atmosphere, and put in a small pizza kitchen, so they’re freshly made and not just frozen. You can even get extra toppings for a dollar, which I skip in favor of saving a dollar. Sitting at a table eating by myself, I was reminded of getting personal pizzas from Pizza Hut as a kid from a school program, except now I’m being rewarded for playing music for drunken nerds instead of reading unchallenging books.
When the show finishes up, it’s too late for me to get back home to the suburbs, so I end up sleeping on the floor of my friend’s apartment out in Queens. The next morning, I make my way back home, trudging through the New York City subway and NJ Transit, but by the time I get to Hoboken to catch my final train, I’m feeling pretty ragged. I was hoping to avoid spending more money, but decide splurge and get some breakfast; an egg sandwich and a can of Arnold Palmer.
It’s pretty simple, but I figure getting a whole-wheat bagel would be a marginally healthier option. And it was fairly cheap, and thus up my alley. Sure, doing nothing but playing in bands often prevents you from doing things like, say, being able to afford an apartment. But, at least it affords you small pleasures like eating breakfast while enjoying a nice view.