Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Melinda Gomez Sighting

Since I've yet to recieve permission from the paper which first ran the article, I'll have to use my own words here, so bear with me as I try to hit all the vital parts:
(For pictures of the scene: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cloudsandcandy/3052539021/in/set-72157609707768817/)

Melinda Gomez, a mother of three, was outside of her Queens home, on the fireescape, taking down the laundry, a "familiar task" by any measure of the term, so commonplace and dreary that she'd sooner fall asleep than expect any excitement to come of it.

And so there she was, taking down her underwear and her teenagers underwear and her husbands underwear, and all the sudden she had to ask, "What is under there?" because she saw something, like a giant pigeon, or else maybe a stray cat, hunched behind the familiar outlining of the slight gap--the ever so slight gap--between the wooden fence and the pile of bricks strewn between her building and the next, as seen in the photo.

Now she did not go back to her laundry duties so quickly, but continued to stare at the black lump, until she eventually decided, upon a minute of watching the thing without incident, that the thing was, in fact, a trash bag. It was night, of course, and she couldn't see so well.

From the clothesline, she takes down a white shirt and as soon as she does and her vision of the outside world is restored, the black thing is gone. She looks around. There is nothing and nobody. She does not like this one bit. She wants to go back in the house. But a storm is coming--this she can smell--and she assures herself that it was a sneaky black cat in that little gap, and nothing more--nothing more at all--and that she should hurry and get the dry clothes in before they get wet once more in the coming rainstorm.

Her hands work swiftly. There is a clap of thunder. And with this clap, which lasts no more than a second or two in length, there is also a ching, a metallic ching--like a buttoned shirt dropping on a fireescape--that lasts just a half second, if that, longer than the thunder, and which causes her to observe her own fireescape and find that she has dropped nothing, and then to observe the surrounding fireescapes, which are dark and brooding, for in the alley there is no light to speak of and the slightest distance can render things distorted if not invisible.

And then comes the luck--the luck which always seems to be involved in a ninja sighting--the light in her neihbor's kitchen goes on, and a glow is cast out the window, and in this glow, on the black iron fireescape, is a ninja, crouched, staring directly at poor Melindam Gomez, the lucky gal.

And she flings the laundry up and screams (most of her family and neighborhood can attest to this) and runs inside her open window and slams the window down and calls for her husband who laughs then gets slapped then exits the window to observe for himself and sees, well, nothing at all. There is the glowing window, the wooden fence and bricks below, and of course, the adjacent rooftops, but he sees nothing but the night and the city of New York and there is absolutely no ninja to speak of.

But to this day, Melinda swears on what she saw, says there is no doubt about it and while I would very much like to use her quotes, as convincing as they are, I am legally restricted from doing so. Needless to say, she claims that she saw the ninja, that it was not a cat, or a rat, or a pigeon, or an illusion, or a shadow coming out of her neighbor's kitchen, or the neighbor himself, but a ninja, all in black save for the slits of its eyes--a ninja. She does not know how it went so quickly from the ground to a fireescape platform fifteen feet up. But she does know that she believes in NYC ninja, because not only did she see a ninja, but she saw proof of its capabilities and thus authenticity; and this is why the Melinda Gomez sighting is one of the most highly regarded in the strange conspiracy ridden world of the NYC Ninja.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Back Alley, Harlem NYC

Trust me on this one, it's a lot darker at night. A man was killed in this alley last April. No cause of death could be determined. The man was thirty three years old with no history of heart problems. Nobody knew what he did for a living. No wife or kids. His wallet was still on him, five hundred thirty dollars cash inside. He was found in the morning.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Weird Alley

Weird Alley, originally uploaded by Seth W..

They say Manhattan doesn't have any alleys. Well, it does. I don't know what you call this, but I call it an alley (or a ninja nest).
And they say Manhattan is just a grid. Well, it is, but there's gaps in the grid, little dangerous slivers between buildings, even in mid-town.
Just check it out on flickr: nyc alleys. There is nothing in the world more beautiful than a nyc alley, except nyc itself.
Fire escapes and litter, dig them!

Rats and Pigeons

Another Rat Sighting, originally uploaded by andy in nyc.

If anything fakes me out more on this ninja search, it’s pigeons. I’ve always disliked the dirty birds, (despite some eerie warm spot they hold in my heart--let's face it, the city wouldn't be the same without them) but now they’ve become more of a nuisance than I could have ever imagined. First off, the city is overrun with them. Secondly, they’re often in high secret places, flying from ledge to ledge, nook to nook, hidden nest to hidden nest, and I can’t stop thinking, as I see a dark moving object in the distance of my peripherals, that maybe, just maybe, it’s a ninja. But it never is—it’s a low down dirty street pigeon settling down for the night or scavenging for food or pooping on everything in sight or doing God knows what else pigeons do with their infinite free time. Maybe the birds aren’t so bad and maybe they are. But they are causing me a specific problem in my hunt; namely, I no longer get excited when I catch a brief glimpse of something—and out there, in the long hours of a night time search, you need that excitement just to get by. Who would have thought that the ninja’s greatest doppelganger would be the lowly pigeon?
And then there’s the rats. New York city is infested with rats. They are giant and sneaky and will bite you. In the alleys, I see them often. They are fast and stealthy. Did you know that there are an estimated X rats in NYC, but how often do you see a rat? You see them, to be sure you see them, but you don’t see that many if there’s actually X rats in the city. They live underground and when they come up to our streets in the dark hours of the nights, they are searching for a secondhand snack in our alleys and, yes, in our houses. When I hear a skittering behind a tin trashcan or a jostling behind a dumpster, I almost want to think it could be a ninja, but I know it’s just another rat looking for an evening meal. And sometimes they make giant shadows on a dead end wall, and my senses fire up in excitement…until I see a long snout emerge from the bulky silhouette. I thought I hated rats before. Compared to rats, the dumb ole pigeons, often dubbed rats with wings, seem like lovable dogs.
I’ve often conversed about the city’s rat problem with my homeless friends, who have a Master’s on the subject. They tell me strange stories by the light of a burning trashcan. We warm our hands and shutter. These are tales of monstrous sightings, red eyed rats the size of cats, and of mass infestations beneath the tunnels where some of the bums once lived, of bold rats, hundreds of them, that will crawl all over you, bite you, kill and eat each other and then in the next instant work like a loyal pack to launch a cumulative attack on you—you, who are just trying to sleep and stay warm and make a home for yourself on these streets that rats are increasingly making claims to as their own.

( Feed a Pigeon; Breed a Rat orignally posted by jasoneppink)

As a hunter, (err well…fan) of ninja, rats interest me for their ability to survive in the city with such prosperity. They grow to such ludicrous sizes (maybe not as big as a cat, but big enough to scare the skin off of you for sure). Perhaps another set of rumors are true, perhaps some rats in NYC have evolved into a unique New York super rat species.
Why is NYC the best place in the world for rats to thrive? I suspect it may be the same exact reason that ninja chose the city as their new den.
(new york rat orignally uploaded by vic15)

--Manhattan Joe!

Friday, July 3, 2009

NYC, America -- The Land of Opportunity

Who is the leader? That’s what I’m pondering right now—as I stare 1250 feet up, at the top of the Empire State Building, lit a glorious red, white and blue for the occasion.
I decided I wasn’t even going out tonight, the day before the Fourth. Minutes later, I’m on the street. Sleep—screw that!—I’ll sleep when I die. Let’s do this.
I don’t mess around with energy drinks. Coffee baby. Coffee.
I get my stride going. Not taking the subway tonight. Just gonna walk it. A familiar round. Why not? My neighborhood is ideal for ninja activity. That’s half the reason why I moved here, haha. Seriously, there’s been more sightings in the Upper West Side than anywhere else—so either we’re bigger liars, or have bigger imaginations, or…
Because of the holiday tomorrow, my thoughts from before resurface. The leader. What’s that guy got to be like? Every organization has a leader, a head, a big boss. What could the head of a modern ninja organization be like? Pretty badass, no doubt, but that’s obvious. At first I thought, he’s got to be old. Japanese respect the elders—with good reason, they’re wiser—they can lead the young and teach them the discipline needed to remain unseen in such an active city. The temptations must be great—or maybe they don’t exist at all, so thorough is their training. Do they ever get the urge to scare a smooching couple? Or drop in front of an old lady and make her drop her groceries? Or…what happens when they see a crime going on?—are they like the rest of Japanese youth or American youth, or any youth probably, that has grown up infatuated with heroes? Don’t they have an urge, just once, to be like Batman and stop that mugging, that murder, that rape? Discipline. Discipline is what is most required to keep hidden. Yes, you need all of the stealth skill, but without discipline it would all fall apart. And I think the only person who could inspire such discipline is an incredible leader, a great teacher. Such a man would not only be older, he would be a ninjutsu master—for nothing is respected more than skill, strength. Such a man would also be highly intelligent and entrepreneurial for uniting the old with the new, bringing ninja into the modern city and taking advantage of a clear business opportunity. Yes, such a man must be quite a character. I wonder if he can speak English.
Then I thought, it could easily be a younger person too—the young are more likely to take risks and blaze a new path. Perhaps the greatest student of an old master decided that his training was not enough, that the ninja should be resurrected not only in technique but in practice. Such a student would be eager, ambitious, and deadly talented. Would an old Japanese man really want to leave Japan and start a stressful business in a stressful city? The more I think about it, the more likely it seems that a young man, a gifted student, a true entrepreneur, a true ninja, a true romantic idealist, would start the NYC ninja empire. For it is the young which romanticize the far past and crave for its revival. It is the young who thirst for the night, for activity, and for success. It is the young who loves challenge and bloodshed. It is a young student—no a young master—who leads the ninja. Or so I believe.
For years immigrants have come to America in search of opportunity. For some reason or other, Tokyo was not adequate for the revival of the ninja. And so the ninja passed the Statue of Liberty, surely smiling, as so many have before them, and began a new and better life, where their skills would not rot, where they would have work and riches—they took a chance, that is for sure; but like any immigrant, they carved a niche and made a name, and now they are hot on the breath of the city, and people are starting to worry, and question, and search…and die.
In a future entry, I’ll discuss some of the more curious corpses—the ones with the most rumors circling around them—the ones belonging to rich, important with mafia contacts—the ones without bullet holes, without any sign of anything at all—the ones with poison in their system—and that one—that one…with its head cut off.
This country was founded on immigrants. God Bless It. Happy Fourth of July. When you look up at the fireworks, be aware of what’s going on behind you, on the city’s silhouette, or atop the crumbling warehouse, or perhaps in one of the warehouse’s tiny broken windows, or maybe behind that particularly large chimney stack, or, worst of all, maybe right behind you. BOOM goes the firework! And nobody hears your last cry of death. OOH goes the crowd. And nobody sees you slump to your knees. They are looking up. You look down at your stomach, at the growing cloud of red, glinting in the light of the fireworks: red, white, and blue. And then all of the fireworks are over forever. And the ninja’s long gone.

--Joey Manhattan

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Fossils of NYC

The Fossils of NYC, originally uploaded by Llima.

Water towers, functionally extinct. Or so they were before ninja came to town. Besides genreal concealment...I mean, what do you think the chances are that one of these things is hollow, and there's a ninja in there just watching us? Just kidding, of course. But think about it. I don't know. Why the hell not? The masters of environment must surely conquer the NYC streets if they want to effectively survive on them--and doesn't that mean a great deal of trickery with the natural set pieces of the environment? All I'm saying is, look out for the water towers. I gaurantee you this much, there ain't no water in 'em.