Tuesday, May 13, 2008

tour part 4

so i ended up at david and boris' russian and turkish baths, so named because david and boris switch off ownership / management every other week and they have plenty of signs around to remind you. the place is old old NYC, the last of the old-tiem bathhouses, founded 1892, with signs reminding you "no spitting or cleaning teeth in the steam room." the front door has a signed photo of somebody named "the beastmaster" and this beastmaster is holding a spear and dressed in just a loin cloth. i guess he likes coming to the baths?

so you put on slippers, slip into their bright red bathing suits they provide, and head down the stairs to a large room with a huge brick oven... you sit in the room and pour water over yourself with one of the buckets sitting under the constantly running faucets. turban clad dudes giving massages with swatches of oak branches grunt and hustle for your business... to expensive for me but i like watching other people get thwacked with soapy tree branches... the thwacker really winding up and going for the big shot on these folks.

outside the door, there's some crooked home-made lettering ordering (in all caps): "SAVE WATER." the roaring of 20 or so faucets going full blast in the room make the admonishing a little ironic and amusing.

there's plenty of languages being spoken in there... many not english... large bald hairy eastern european men probably discussing some important business deals... i saw a signed photo of the former president of Finland hanging upstairs.

i roasted for 3 hours and put on my slippers and robe and walked upstairs for a hot bowl of borscht, this bright red cabbage soup dobbed with sour cream... so good so good.

walked out refreshed and not giving a shit about bad reviews or anything really. a deep serene feeling. drifted back to tyler's apartment, met up later with cousin liz and her boyfriend joel... passed out standing up after one sip an old fashioned made by their friend mark. they folded out the bed and i passed out.

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