Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Gangs of New Paltz

I think I've mentioned here that Cory and I went up to New Paltz a couple weekends ago for a visit with our friends Frank and Amanda and their kids before we headed over to Bard College for the incredible Lucinda Childs Company's performance/film Dance.

People may say (and some do say it) "Oh sure, Mick. Very performance-minded and artistic/edgy - you talk a good game with your Lucinda Childs/Phillip Glass/Sol LeWitt groundbreaking multi-media masterpiece, but you're really heading upstate to hang with your aging college friends and their kids." Well I gotta tell you - these upstate families are not messing around. Check out Callie and Daphne:

"Wait a minute," some of those same naysayers are now exclaiming, "that bartender can't be more than five years old!"

True that. And did you catch that tiger tattoo she's sporting?

And maybe you noticed that not only is a pre-schooler mixing the drinks, she's training her little sister in the fine art of mixology.

Still thinking of them as the Cleavers? Think they can't roll? These guys are hardcore - slapping tattoos on their toddlers and having them run the bar for the big boys.

And don't be fooled by that sweet smile. I'm not saying that she's been specifically trained to deceive by the street gang she calls a family, but this girl is a pre-K killer. I asked her how her summer was going, and she told me how she just passed the test for her green belt in Aikido. I said "Wow! You could probably really kick my butt!" and she gave the cutest little giggle and the next thing I knew I was looking up from the lawn at that smile with a sore shoulder and a headache. I muttered something about the suburbs being tougher than I thought and she put me in a chokehold and said "What suburb? We are an hour and a half from the City and are a self-actualized community with a thriving arts scene and a life of our own."

I stood corrected. Rather, I knelt corrected.

And then there's this one:

Sure, sure - she looks all innocent and pure as the driven snow. And she's too little to do any real damage yet, I guess. But I'd venture to say that her harmlessness (if she really is harmless) will last another 15 minutes or so. And then she'll get ink on her own arm (dragon? cobra? barbed wire?) and take her place at her sister's side protecting their turf.

When I first knew their dad he was working for Greenpeace. Guess those guys learn a thing or two about survival when they chain themselves to oil derricks and giant redwoods. Sheesh!


Lori said...

It's a sad day indeed when another set of children surpass your nieces and nephew as the cutest kids on your blog.

Or, in other words, man those kids are CUTE!

JAT said...

I am curled over laughing. And that's not easy, considering the enormous obstacle in my belly. :-)