Friday, 26 June 2009

NYC DIARY - Touch down in NYC (Days 1, 2 & 3)

Where do you start... This 10 day tour of NYC was one of the hardest and grueling trips away yet!

Forget the drama on the Don't Sleep European tour - What we went through in the first 3 days in NYC was much worse. Let me try and quickly explain what went down:

So the trip started off on a positive note with all the guys meeting at Monorex HQ, we all then slowly worked our way to Heathrow airport to check in on the lovely Virgin Atlantic. So far so good, everyone was present and on board our 6.5 hours flight!

When we touched down in NYC, we had our first small hiccup as Jay (Secret Wars Southampton) got stuck in customs for 3 hours - basically because he has a Arabic background! Crazy but true...NYC and America in general is not an easy place to be entering these days.

While waiting everyone was slightly panicking as we had 200+ SW t-shirts in our bags, that looked like we were smuggling through customs to sell...

After a couple of coffees and macchiatos, Jay was released on bail (joke) and was told to return to the UK within ten days.

Taxi to Brooklyn
Outside JFK there are lanes and lanes of taxis all trying to hustle tourists into over priced vans, after talking with a few we quickly realised that the price should be $75 rather than the $200 we were originally quoted for a 9 man van. Tip: Use booking desk inside for best price!

After loading up we all jumped in for a hot and sticky ride to Brooklyn, this ride was meant to take 30 mins tops but our luck had truly run out as we were stuck in traffic jams for over 2+ hours...The Secret Wars team were melting faster than ice creams on the beach - Jimi and co all resorted in stripping down to just shorts, due to shortage of cold air in the van.

The Apartment
We finally arrived at the apartments 4+ hours late and then found out our landlord who had the keys for check in decided to go off and have food, leaving us all stranded on the streets for over 4 hours!! The guy would not answer phone calls and explained it was our fault for being late ?!?!?!? So we were patient and all drank 40's on the street hoping he would be back soon...But this was not his plan and after much team talk, we all decided the next best thing was to go leave our bags at our friends (James your a star) and then get wasted in a bar in Williamsburg...It was a fun but tiring night!

Reebok customs on Broadway... We were asked by Reebok USA to host a custom session, people could come and buy the shoes the guys just painted.

Monorex artists Disco and Alfa in the studio

Meet the team

T (Mr Monorex and Secret Wars)

Daniel (Secret Wars Sweden)

Martyn (Camera man)

Disco & Alfa

Session & Sam

Marc Ecko & Reeps (UK Beatbox champion)

Jimi Crayon

Jay (The photographer)

The local bar - Freddies!

DAY 3 - Ecko battle
After a couple of days of drama the Secret Wars crew were finally settled and ready for action, the artists got to work in the studio and created some kick ass canvases...While Daniel (Secret Wars Sweden) and T got to work building the Ecko battle wall.

This event was a RSVP event and went on to be a cracking battle - Marc Ecko was in his element hosting and introducing the Secret Wars show alongside our main boy Reeps 1.

Ecko had invited people from the fashion and creative industry alongside celebrities from Sopranos, Def Jam etc..

Team Ecko was made up of Marcs best 3 designers within Zoo York, Ecko and Complex..While the Monorex team were the usual suspects Disco, Alfa and Jimi Crayon.

The crowd were vibing to the art and music supplied by DJ Session, the eventual winners were Team Ecko - But all in all it was a great night that ended up rolling on till 5am!

Huge thanks to Jason for helping put this all together and Marc for allowing us to use his office.

ECKO (Left) vs MONOREX (Right) @ ECKO HQ

Marc in his office (The venue for the battle) - The other half of his office is a basketball court!

Disco Teck in full flow

Marc explaining "this is not a fix" ;)

One of team Ecko's disses - teabagging and a set of nasty english teeth on our beloved queen.

The Monorex team wall based on Henry the VIII and Rex in the city! I loved it when our guys dropped the roasted Ecko rhino, Marc came over to me and said "I cannot believe they picked on my rhino, thats dark but I have the balls to take this!" It caused a small outrage among the crowd.

More reports and photos to follow!

Photos from Jay - More here
Photos also from Suelan Allison-Modrzejewski - More here

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