This morning, as the bus drove down Fifth Avenue, we noticed that there were people camping on the sidewalk. On Fifth Avenue. In the 70’s. That’s a pretty ritzy neighborhood, so it was surprising to see. And when I say camping, I mean with tents and air mattresses. One guy had a little camping stove and some chairs set up. Other people were laying on a mattress, covered in a blanket, with just their feet sticking out the bottom. Another guy was standing in socks and boxer shorts wrapped in a blanket. This is not a typical sight in that neighborhood and we all started chattering about why these people might be out there. When we stopped at a light the bus driver pointed to a sign that said “Gaga GMA” and then it all made sense.
These people are lining up to see Lady Gaga perform tomorrow on Good Morning America. And clearly, they’ve been there since at least last night.
My first thought was “Seriously?”. I’m not Gaga’s biggest fan…I like her music and I think she’s got an amazing voice…but the outfits and the “shocking” behavior turn me off. In a million years I would never sleep on a sidewalk to see her. But then again, I would never sleep on a sidewalk to see anyone.
Except…once, I did just that.
I mentioned this once before, very briefly…when Erin and I were in college, we slept outside of Tower Records to get Bob Dylan tickets. We’d been at the diner when some of her friends came in and said they were on line for the tickets…which were free. We though “what the hell” and went home, grabbed two blankets, two pillows, our homework and our neighbor…who was supposed to be protection, but ended up just being a pain in the ass. We parked ourselves at the end of the line, Erin studied, I wrote a paper, we chatted with people around us. At some point, we all fell asleep and were woken up by the guys behind us…because there was a homeless guy trying to kiss Erin. There was a crazy hippy/biker lady walking around, trying to keep everyone happy and excited. She handed out cardboard stars and told everyone they were memorobilia…I still have mine. There was a brawl because someone tried to cut the line. In the morning we gathered up our stuff, got our tickets, I went to class and handed in my paper…still carrying my blanket and pillow…and then went back to the dorm and slept the rest of the day. At the time we thought we were so cool and that it was the best idea we’d ever had.
Now I think it might have been the stupidest thing we’ve ever done. Especially since we didn’t have tents and an air mattress. The people on Fifth Avenue could have taught our 18-year-old selves a thing or two about sleeping on the sidewalk. They really know how to do it in style.
My 18-year-old self though it was a great idea to sleep on the dirty, nasty ground with just a thin blanket under me. But my 35-year-old self knows that no concert is worth it. Of course, my 35-year-old self has a job and can call a ticket broker and pay their astronomical prices for the shows I really want to see…which makes sleeping on the sidewalk totally unnecessary. But even if I couldn’t…no one is worth it.
I hope the people who waiting to see Gaga actually get to see her. I hear that the tickets sold out really fast and they are going to be very strict about who they let in…no ticket, no entry. I hope they love the show and that it’s worth it to them to have people like me staring at them when they sleep.
I’ll watch it on TV.