Last night (just seconds before the storm hit Manhattan) I went to the launch of King Brown magazine at the Klughaus Gallery down under the Manhattan Bridge.
King Brown's an Australian skating/graffiti magazine curated by a couple of artists (one of which is The Yok who's done a lot of stuff around New York and Brooklyn). This was the launch of their 8th issue, and their first launch party in America (I think?).
There was lots of stuff going on in and around the gallery - there was a skating/trick competition in the skate park opposite the gallery. The skate park sits directly underneath the bridge, so the noise of the skaters mixed with the racket of the train makes for an interesting blend.
There was also a couple of murals outside the gallery - both of which had been done during the event...
Just as I was arriving the clouds were thick in the air and the lighting was striking everywhere - so I was glad to get some shelter, but going into the gallery wasn't much better than being outside. It was absolutely heeeeeeeeeeaving...
It was a bit of a squeeze - it's a long thin gallery with not much in the way of air conditioning, so it was boiling in there... I ended up chatting to the man at the merchandise stall for a while just because there was a fan in that corner of the gallery!
When it came to leaving I looked outside and saw that it was raining... really raining. It was proper American Hollywood thick rain and lashing down like a monsoon. It didn't show any sign of stopping either.
The biggest problem was I had just bought the latest edition of the magazine that came in a hand screen-printed brown paper sleeve that was hand stitched close and I didn't have a coat that I could tuck it under... so it was going to get pretty wet if I left.
Luckily a very nice person behind the bar (I say 'bar', it was a fold out table with bottles of beer on it) let me have a bin bag. So I wrapped the magazine up and made a run for the subway station, which was about 6 blocks away.
I don't think I've got that soaked that quickly before... It was so so wet out there. In hindsight I should have asked to two bin bags, one for the magazine, the other to fashion a poncho out of... but instead I got soaked and had to ride two trains back, dripping.
The storms continued for the rest of the night, with huge lighting bolts lighting up the whole sky - it was all very dramatic. Rumour has it the storms are hanging around all weekend, so hopefully I'll be able to get some of my own photos next time!
It was a good night depsite the weather - I think it would have been far more enjoyable if it was 2 months ago or in 2 months times when the weather calms down... I love New York, but I blummin' hate the humidity here during the summer.