Out Of NYC

Pencil drawing of Normal Bob Smith
Drawing of Normal Bob Smith by Walter Roberts a week before I left NYC

I am no longer in New York. In fact, where I’m at is really REALLY not New York! Where I’m at in Michigan is a very different land to say the least. And here is where I’m getting my head together.

I just got off the phone with Shaggy, and he’s turning over some new leafs as well. “No more hanging out with the homeless!” is what he just told me.

After I left, he said he realized he wanted nothing more to do with them. He’s got one, maybe two that he’s still talking to since I left, but decided he’d rather be rollin’ solo than caught up in their drama in any way, shape or form. He even said he’s stopped introducing himself to people as Shaggy (his homeless name) and now says “I’m Bob.”

selfie of friends
Selfie of Shaggy, Colyn & Normal Bob the day before he leaves the city for good

I was the one normal person in his life for such a long time there, and with me now gone he has no interest in hanging with the street people. He stops by Union Square for no more than an hour on any given day, hangs with the skaters who say hi to him and keep it movin’, but that’s it. Union’s totally empty now. He hasn’t seen any of the regulars hanging out there lately, and now with Fall just around the corner things are only going to get quieter.

Union Square NYC
Union Square before I left the city taken from Burlington Coat Factory window

I feel very good about being out of there. I’m still settling into my new schedule of doing less. A lot less. And forgetting I don’t have to be as stressed any more. My brain has been programmed to look for things to worry about. And when the top thing gets resolved it goes to the next one. And so on. That has to end.

Just starting to work on new freelance jobs and feeling productive again. That’s the key for me to start feeling good and at home. I need to feel purpose here, so I’m putting those ducks in line now.

artist guy
Richy in his appartment

I had one last video posted for less than 6 hours before the subject of it, Richy, told me he was really disturbed by his behavior in it and he wanted it taken down. It kills me to have had to take it off, but I also don’t want to disturb him. I really do like him as an artist and a person, so I’m trying to figure out another way to present it so he can sleep at night with it out there. He’s just such an amazing artist, and the piece itself I think is one of my best, so I’m going to do everything I can to get it to you in one piece at some point. And this is where it’ll be when it goes up again…

On the flip side, Ricky Dale called me and loves her video. I do too. But I especially love the swan-song she gave me to end my final video with Shaggy Bob.

If I were still there I’d be having a lot of trouble keeping my camera away from her. I hope someone else can pick up where I left off. She deserves to be discovered.

I’m still figuring out my new patterns and goals here. I have a new version of Jesus Dressup I plan on getting to the printers in the next few months. I have drawings I want to do, and freelance jobs keeping me busy at this moment.

“I feel like I just returned from a trip to Oz.”

I’ve also been going through my backup of Union Square videos with a new appreciation. I’m experiencing that bizarre sensation of it feeling like a dream of some sort. It’s really strange. Hard to describe.  I feel like I just returned from a trip to Oz.

If you haven’t heard it yet, I did an interview with Smug Films explaining a lot about why I left NYC, and delved further into some of the less talked about situations I got myself in at Union Square. Listen to that here at Smug Films website.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all this footage yet. I’m still trying to wrap my head around everything I’ve got! Until then though, I’ve put off posting all the photos from my last couple months there, so I’ll be getting those up for you to see as of right now.