It’s hard to explain the holiday season in New York to someone who doesn’t live in New York. It’s like this place that makes you feel alive, but also makes you hate the holidays. New York is a place with so much holiday cheer, that it can suffocate you, but it can also make you feel lost in the city that never sleeps.
But the city you’d give anything to have sleep and not feel so alone in. Because it’s just that city. It’s that city of chaos meets perfection, dark meets light.
It’s a city of possibilities, hope, forced cheer, craziness, and it’s a city where if you’re lucky, you can find that one person meant for you.
But how do you find them? How do you find the possibilities when everything seems so overwhelming and over populated?
Well that depends on the person you are and the way that you let New York affect your spirit.
Not everyone in New York loves Christmas. Part of us are cynics. We’re so devastated by certain things in our lives that they have hardened us. It doesn’t matter what they were meant to do – it matters what the experiences of life did.
But I don’t believe anyone in New York is hardened forever. It’s just a matter of what adventure it will take in order to open our hardened hearts.
Dash hates the season. He probably shouldn’t be in Union Square on December 17th if he hates the season, because that’s like peak holiday cheer right there. Coming up the subway stairs that lead right into the Christmas market – well, the holidays are going to commit to vomiting all over you at that location.
And when you’re a cynic (as I am too – so not judging) it’s an overwhelming place. But there is one thing that I will say about Union Square area – the best place to escape to is The Strand.
If you aren’t familiar with The Strand, it’s one of the best bookstores in the world. Dash finds refuge there – though he’s kind of annoying while there. There are books out of place and he brings them to the information desk.
The guy at The Strand is all sorts of annoyed – and I can’t help but laugh, because they have always been kind to me there and I also have never in my life seen The Strand that empty.
Heres the thing about New York – just when you think that it can’t get to you – that’s when it strikes and reminds you why you were supposed to feel alive in the city in the first place.
THE RED BOOK
Dash should have learned the first time that the guy at The Strand doesn’t want his bullshit, but when he finds another book out of place – there he is – ready to tell him that something is wrong again.
I feel for Dash, because he’s lonely. We know that he’s getting over a broken heart and that’s why he’s a little cynical (well, I am assuming that is part of it), but he’s so closed off from possibilities. Who knew that a notebook would change his life?
Dash finds red notebook, goes to bring it to guy at the counter. No shocker that it’s not well received. The dude doesn’t want to pay attention and I can’t blame him.
The cover of the notebook asks if he dares and upon opening, the notebook says that there have been some clues left – if they dare. I have to say that I like this person who left it because she’s thought of all the possibilities, and hey, possibilities are important.
There is a coded message on the first page and the first clue is French Pianism. Let me be frank – if you have never been to The Strand, finding clues in there would be next to impossible. But maybe that is part of the fun.
The information guy won’t help him and we find out that it’s because he’s told the person that left the book that he wouldn’t help with the clues. And I admire the fact that he’s stuck to it. I think part of it is that Dash has already annoyed the fuck out of him.
But Dash didn’t give up and he finds the needle in the haystack and finds the next clue. And then the next one.
It’s funny how in life some clues lead you to facing awkward moments sometimes, but maybe moments that you need to face.
SEX AND SEXUALITY
The next clue is the most popular title in Sex and Sexuality. What is that book? The Joy of Gay Sex.
While looking for the clue, Dash runs into his exes best friend, because of course. It’s an odd encounter, because they no longer run in the same social circles. See, when his girl left, he lost the same friends. The talk about a party and she says that she didn’t invite him because she thought he would be out of town like everyone else, but since he’s there he should come.
He tells her that he’s going to Sweden, and she tells him that Sophia (the ex) would be back. You can see the color drain from Dax’s face and you want to hug him. Oh young love.
But I can tell you what made me respect Dash more is that he doesn’t run and retreat. He instead continues with the clues, following the instructions and finally deciphering the clues.
The message reads, “Are you going to be lonely on Christmas?”. Well, I feel attacked by that one.
Some people would have given up at this point, but Dash is hooked.
One of my favorite things about New York is it’s pizza. Dollar slice may be greasy as fuck, but they are also tasty as fuck.
Dash goes to pick up a pizza from a friend, and by the time he gets there, his friend already knows about Sweden and him having been reading the Joy of Gay Sex. His friend assures him he’s an ally and Dash says he’s straight, not going to Sweden, and he’s just trying to avoid seeing people over the break.
I can respect that.
One thing leads to another and he tells his friend about the book, asking if he recognizes the writing. Boomer (the friend) may be my favorite person, because his response is that it’s a girls writing.
No shit Boomer.
Dash looks alive for the first time when he talks about the book and how he’s trying to figure out who the girl is. Boomer suggests a sting operation.
I personally hate the Christmas season, so I can’t even be mad at Dash for lying to his parents – telling his Mom he was spending Christmas with his Dad and his Dad that he was spending Christmas with his Mom. But what I do feel immediately is bad for him because his parents don’t communicate and they don’t know he’s lied.
It’s a lonely feeling and I have to say for the first moment, I feel like Dash isn’t angry enough. He deserves to be pissed off at the world – because the world isn’t noticing his pain.
He’s alone, he’s watching some bad movie, he’s surrounded by Christmas shit, and he’s giving himself the gift of solitude. HE IS A TEENAGER AND FEELS THE NEED TO ESCAPE. But he can’t escape the memories and he’s surrounded by those.
But remembering his ex makes him write in the book and respond to the girl about how Christmas makes him feel. It’s the most detestable time of the year.
And so he returns the book to The Strand and leaves clues in it for her to return it to the pizza place where Boomer works. These two feel like they have the perfect plan, but the thing about perfect plans – they have a way of not being perfect at all.
She brings book back during lunch rush and Boomer misses her. She’s upset that she was sent into a trap. She says if he wants to know name, he as to earn it with a dare.
SANTA LAND DARE
Now, taking ones picture with Santa is an institution. In any department store, you can find children lined up waiting to take their picture with the man himself.
I have to admit, I already like the girl behind the book, but the dare – well that makes me like her even more. Sure, it may be traumatizing to the kiddos, but hey, it’s a story to tell the grandkids one day.
Boomer and Dash go to Macy’s and he’s gotta get Santa’s hat. See, on the hat will be the mystery girls name. And Dash is feeling fearless, like he knows the girl and like he has to get to know her more. So, though we don’t see it – we do see that he gets kicked out of Macy’s and has stolen Santa’s hat.
Her name is Lily.
- It’s important to pay attention to everything because well, there are clues everywhere.
- At the beginning of the episode we see a girl run into Dash and don’t see her face and then we see him looking at the carolers. Goes to show you – you never know who you are running into.