Monday, September 22, 2008

At least no one threw up this time

Yesterday we went to Six Flags. We figured it we should probably use our season passes one last time, since we've only gone twice all summer. It was just as ghetto as ever, with broken rides all over the place, although not as bad as last time. Although I still am not sure how comfortable I am riding a roller coaster that was closed for maintenance just a half hour ago.

Anyway, safe or not, we at least got to ride all our favorite rides. Meaning the three rides that are actually good. Two of them were broken for a while. And the ridiculous bad and inefficient way they manage their rides will never cease to amaze me. I mean, I could do better. But whatever, the park was almost empty so we only actually had to wait for the Batman ride. When it was our turn we tried to get on, but the safety vest was closed and I couldn't get it to release to get in. The attendant finally made it over and fiddled with it and said "I guess it is broken". So I said "OK, then I guess we will have to wait for the next car." And he said "Are you sure?" Um, what is my other option? Riding the ride that hangs you upside down without wearing the seatbelt?

On the way out we notice we are just in time to see a live musical revue show. These kinds of shows are, of course, always bad, but can be totally enjoyable in their own way, so we sat down. We ended up with mothers taking photos on either side of us, so we knew we had to be on our best behavior and not laugh at things too much. The show started, and it was just as awesome as we'd hoped/feared, filled with humiliating choreography and medleys that included songs from "Rent" to Christian pop. Then about ten minutes in, the show lurches to a stop and a voice says "Due to technical difficulties we have to stop the show." This park is so ghetto that even the live shows break down!

Then we drove over to Roosevelt Island, which we've heard about but never gone to, and just walked around for a while. Very pretty, and we even saw a deer. Actually, it is kind of funny, because David can find bugs hiding on the bottom side of leaves, but he is totally blind to anything larger than a small dog. The deer practically walked right up to us on the side of the trail and he walked right by it, much like he did the moose in Newfoundland, but the deer wasn't even hidden behind a bush.

The statue of Roosevelt is kind of funny looking. Doesn't he seem to be screaming "Dang kids! Get off my lawn!"

1 comment:

  1. "I'm not green, but I could be," reads one. Others have similar messages printed on them, "My Bag", "Use Me and Re-use Me".

    Since the Chinese government issued its June 1 ban on free plastic bag handouts, retailers in China have found themselves in the midst of a "green" phenomenon.

    They're anxious to turn fashion-conscious customers into eco-aware shoppers.

    Under the new regulations, free plastic bags are banned and shopkeepers are required to charge shoppers for plastic bags. The prices vary, but range from 0.2 yuan ($0.03) to 1 yuan ($0.14) depending on the size of the bag.

    But, a plain bag is far from satisfactory for the China's fashion-conscious - and this mindset is pushing the country towards a "green revolution" in the closets.

    "It is cool to carry a simple colored eco bag to go with my Levi's jeans and sneakers," says 21-year-old Huang Min. "It is a direct way to contribute to environmental protection. And, it is a popular vision for saving the planet."

    The Beijing college student wears her new eco bag proudly on her shoulder. It is an important part of her outfit - and has a statement to make.

    Eco bags are increasingly being seen as fashionable as more and more celebrities appear on "green issue" magazine covers with the reusable bags matching their outfits.

    "Going green" appears to be a growing trend. Stars as big as Madonna have even dazzled "green-oriented" magazines. The artist was chosen to dazzle the cover of Vanity Fair's third annual May 2008 Green Issue.

    As environmental issues spill into the fashion world, the "green shopping bag" campaign seems to be a win-win solution for all those involved.

    Companies can adopt the bags as a brand-building tool. Consumers see it as an iconic statement against throwaway plastics - which have previously been given away in the billions annually. The "green movement" has been seeping on to fashion runways and marketing strategies - so why not on shopping bags and totes?

    Muji, a Japanese lifestyle store established nearly 30 years ago, launched its own version of "My Bag" when it opened its first Beijing store in Joy City this March. The simple yet stylish bags made from linen and cotton threads have sold well over the past few months in the capital, according to Muji staff. Initially, they sold bags ranging from 5 to 100 yuan, but now they only have bags priced from 24 to 100 yuan remaining.

    "People of different ages love the bags because they are light, simple and convenient," says one of the shop's workers Chen Weimi.

    "To reduce waste and conserve resources, we encourage our consumers to use 'My Bag'," says the store's manager Akita Toru.

    Other well-known international brands are also striving to set the eco trend in Beijing. Diesel, Marc Jacobs and DKNY have also released low-priced eco bags made of organic cotton.

    And, apart from the big international names, young designers based in Beijing are also working on the green bags.

    "Young people in China are aware of the environment and want to do what they can to protect it, especially when it is becoming a trend," says 30-year-old designer Peng Haofeng, from Yunnan province.

    Together, with two other friends, the three opened a green-themed store, Kidults, or Tong Huo in Chinese, last November on Dongsi Street. The company aims to promote the green fashion concept among the Beijing people.

    According to the store's marketing manager, Gou Chenglong, many people were unaware of the eco bag concept when the store first opened last year.

    "People, especially the older generation would not accept the idea because they didn't think about the simple green bag value that much. But, half a year later, more and more people here are becoming aware of the eco-bags or eco-fashion trend, especially when the government issued the ban on plastic bags at supermarkets in Beijing. It is a good start."

    With handmade pictures on them, the bags look trendy and self-expressive. The bags generally contain no dyes and are known for their creative trims and decorations made from wood or bamboo.

    "The price is normal and acceptable for students and office workers," says 26-year-old Zhou Fei, as she rifled through the bags at Kidults ranging from 15 yuan to 100 yuan. "I am a frequent buyer of green bags and T-shirts."

    "It would be fashionable to carry beautifully designed cloth bags rather than monotonous white plastic ones down the street."

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