Published on October 18th, 2013 | by Emmi Jacqueline1
Fourth of July with Strangers
The Fourth of July is a holiday that is usually full of fanfare and passion. Unfortunately, I have never really gotten into the spirit; maybe it is because I’ve never really had the chance to celebrate with friends. Never before have I felt the urge to scream and shout during a fireworks show while grilling and drinking a Pabst Blue Ribbon, until the Pirate Yacht Club. My former lover is a very interesting man. He founded this sketchy yacht club. When I was first invited after three days of playing nice as the third wheel to him and his new girlfriend, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
I was visiting New York and had never taken the train out to Jersey so I looked at it as an adventure. I woke up early and took a yoga class at Yoga to the People, a fantastic donation based nonprofit yoga studio. Once afternoon rolled around, I hopped on the PATH Train and headed to Hoboken. When I got off the train, I put in my headphones and walked a little over a mile to the cove where the Pirate Yacht Cub is located. I met some people on the shore and we dinghy-ed over to three small sailboats. The boats were far from fancy and filled with pirates, hipsters, and new friends!
Swimming in the Hudson
The day progressed and the boats filled up. Eventually, after a few beers, it became acceptable to go swimming in the Hudson River on this hot summer holiday. I went to go change into my bathing suit, only to find this lovely couple getting intimate on my bag. I politely asked the two of them to move so I could get my bag. The girl, a gourmet chef, got up, apologized and coyly kissed the boy with the promise of more beautiful moments to come as she bounced out of the cabin and onto the next boat. The boy, who I later found out is an architect, didn’t leave in such an adorable way. He slowly exited the cabin, lingered near the entrance and began some intense eye contact.
“Are you just going to watch?” I said with heavy sarcasm.
He proceeded to look me up and down, “Oh yea,” the architect said with a devilish grin.
We never broke eye contact for the duration of my wardrobe change. I wasn’t sure how to take this. I’m sure my face betrayed me, letting him know that I thought this whole exchange was extremely bizarre. His face was certainly betraying his excitement.
After my strange encounter, I jumped into the Hudson. Slightly drunk and feeling refreshed, I swam around with this corporate lawyer and lazily hung out in a sinking dinghy. We created this complex fictional story about the cold war, the Russian mafia, a Miss Doubtfire type nanny and of all things, Bill Clinton.
Over the course of the day, I met a strange assortment of people. There was the Pirate Captain, the Naked Girl with Face Tattoos, the Criminal Defense Lawyer, the Bartender and a literal boatload of Brazilians. There was an extreme communal vibe, take what you need and pass it on was the rule whether it was chips, sausage, fruit, or cognac. It was beautiful the way everyone was getting along, I have never been to an all day drinking marathon where there wasn’t any arguing. In fact I’d never been to an all day drinking marathon that I can say I fully enjoyed! Tensions never arose, hurtful words never heard or spoken, just a bunch of friendly pirates on some old boats.
The sun sank lower and the afternoon went on. The barges for the New York City fireworks were set. Amazingly the Pirate Yacht Club was perfectly situated right between two of the four barges. I have never had such an amazing view for any show! I stood there on the bow of our boat with the bartender from Long Island City and the criminal defense lawyer from Harlem. We screamed and waved our beers at the festive fanfare of the fireworks, wondering if each big display was the finale.
The Journey Back
Once things started to wind down, I headed back to Manhattan with the lawyer and the bartender. Instead of walking the mile to the PATH station, the boys decided we should grab a cab. After a day of good vibes and great people, the attitudes of people who approached our cab were mind-blowing. It was such a strange contrast to the literal island we had been on for the last few hours.
“Oh you’re full? WELL FUCK YOU,” one drunken female shouted.
“None of you have the balls to sit in the front seat? WELL FUCK YOU,” one drunken male shouted.
We tipped the cab driver well, apologizing for the rudeness of the strangers we had encountered. He explained that this was normal for that part of town. We were amazed. This made us really appreciate the kindness of friends sharing their friends, who were strangers just hours before.