Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bastille day at the Eastern State Penitentiary

As I rode home from a long ride from King of Pruissa, I passed the Eastern State Penitentiary (a historic prison-turned-museum close to my place) and ran into this festival. Will, it's true that almost a week after our Independence day, it's the French's turn to celebrate Bastille (seems to be the French word for prison, and also refers to the French prison that they stormed into back then) day; but I never thought people here in the US would join in the fun (人家嗨你也跟著嗨...). But anyways, it's fun.

So when I got there, there's already a huge crowd there, most of them have a cup of beer with "Kronenbourg 1664" printed on it. I was already hungry and thirsty from the ride (over 40 miles), and so first thing I did is go in to the pub near by to fetch my own cup of "Kronenbourg 1664" :D (after checking on the web, seems to be a French beer). Tastes real good, not too thick, more sweet then bitter; but I admit after a tiresome long bike ride, as long as it's not disgusting Miller or Budwiser, any beer would taste real good :)

There was actors acting as French revolutionists at the door of the prison, with a guillotine (斷頭台) right there. After singing the US & French national anthems, they started shouting at a Queen on the top walls of the the prison.

"We have this newest model guillotine called the *** nano (I forgot the name), it comes in may colors, red, blue, green, white and black. It can slice and dice and slice and slice and slice and slice and slice and slice!"
"How long have we lived with out freedom?"
"Too long!"

"How long have we lived with pests and rodents?"
"Too long!"

"How long have we waited for the 3G iPhone?"
"Too long...... Hay!"

And the protests went on, with occasional jokes sneaked in.

"How long have we starved with no bread to eat?"
"Too long!"

And the Queen replied: "I'd say, if the people don't have bread to eat, let them eat...... Tastykakes! (a brand of cakes, sponsor of this festival)"

And then, to my surprise, the Queen's army started throwing real Tastykakes down at us (the crowd) as if the cakes were ammo! And of course, instead of fighting back, everyone started to try catching as much of the raining cakes as they can. Yet, some people really threw cakes back up the wall, although only one succeeded in throwing the cake over the 3-story-high wall. Mean while the revolutionists are firing fake cannons back up, and through the bang and smoke, more cakes flew out.

After the Queen's army ran out of cakes, they held out the white flag, soon the prison door opened and the revolutionists stormed in and brought out the queen and her men, to the guillotine.

They said they wanted to behead one of the Queen's men, and then they put a watermelon under the Guillotine, and started slicing the watermelon. The crowd cheered with every slice.

After it was over, the crowd left and I get to get closer to see what the stage looks like. On stage, the guys were still slicing watermelon, and with every slice, kids who are watching cheered: "watermelon!"

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