When the rain is pissing down so hard that it looks like the book of Exodus has opened at your front door, that’s the best time in the world to make your way to a tree-hugging festival in the middle of NYC, right?  Right.

Which is what I did yesterday.  Wifey’s idea, natch.  She was all into celebrating Earth Day so she signed up the whole family for the NYC Green Festival.  Which I suspected was going to be every bit as terrifying as it sounds.   You fucking know it: a fully-sustainable clusterfuck of granola, drum circles, and hemp shampoo.

To help protect Mother Gaia, do we do the right thing and take public transportation to event?  Fuck no, we all hopped into our 250hp fossil fuel-fed four-wheel drive family sedan and gunned it down the West Side Highway.  I may have even hit a bird on the way down.  We then spent another 30 minutes circling the west side looking for a parking lot that wasn’t full so we could park our car.  Fuckin’ A.

Eventually, we got to the event, which was tucked into one corner of the Javits Center.  It was the smallest event at the convention center that day.  It was dwarfed by something else called the International Beauty Show (they used the most unfortunate acronym, IBS New York – I was expecting row upon row of portajohns), and some college fair.  We snaked our way through what looked like a million Snookis and another half-million high school imbeciles.

 

When we got into the Green Festival, it wasn’t entirely what I was expecting.  Being at the Javits Center, this was like a trade show.  But open to the public.  Four massive aisles of booths, multiple stages set up across the floor for talks and workshops, and a floor full of extras from Portlandia.  We started our wander through the booths.

What did the kids immediately make a beeline for?  The first few booths, which had tons of chocolate, all boasting fair trade, organic, small batches made by Nicaraguan cave children or some shit like that.  Kids didn’t give a shit, they just saw open bowls of chocolate and they were encouraged by the nice hippie ladies behind the counter to help themselves as much as they wanted.  Thanks for nothing, bitch, you’re not the one who has to deal with the sugar crash in 20 minutes.

 

Eventually, I came across a booth that didn’t piss me off – a bike shop!  They had some sweet small brand bikes, but in the end, they didn’t really have anything that excited me too much.  The only bike I wanted was the owners fillet-brazed steel fixie.  And he wasn’t about to part with it.

Right in the back of the hall was this big white bus.  The inside of the bus was a kids’ play area, but the whole thing looked suspiciously like some brainwashing lab on wheels.  I imagined my kids going in as normal kids who eat hot dogs and play with lightsabers, but then coming back out wearing a hemp sackcloth, eating a bean taco, and asking to adopt a goat.

Thankfully, Kid Uno did not disappoint, as he took to their whiteboard and happily predicted the devastation of the earth’s poles (left).  I have never been prouder.  My kids ain’t half bad, after all.

Also not half bad was the centerpiece of the event, an all-electric Ford Focus.  I have a difficult time with Ford.  Being an American car, I can’t be blamed for thinking it’s going to be a piece of shit, but the Ford Focus also has roots in Europe, which means it can’t be completely awful.  This electric version was eye-opening, that’s for sure.  Not only did it not suck, the build quality was quite decent, design fairly ergonomic, and the ripped-off-from-Aston Martin front end was flattering rather than offending.  Downside was that it’s still a short-range, single-speed, 40-grand hatch.  It may be one of the first all-electric cars that doesn’t look like a Tamagotchi toy, but it’s not quite the answer yet.

And in what shape did I emerge from this whole thing?  Fuck if I know.  All I know is that my kids had a blast, wifey enjoyed it, I ate some really shitty food (vegan cheese and kale chips), some not-so-terrible food (corn salsa and vegan macaroons), and I wanted to punch this fucking guy who kept walking around playing a guitar…

 

And I escaped without getting caught up in some tree-worshipping pagan ritual.  Boo yah.