Archive for January, 2008

It’s Only A Game: Right??

Stay cool on Sunday– It’s only a game. live a long life and die with smile on your face while cheating on your spouse like a normal person. ( Spouses should fire from left to right) Repeat after me– They are the New Jersey Giants, not the NY Giants.

German researchers tracking cardiac emergencies during the 2006 World Cup of Soccer (which Germany hosted), found that on the days when Germany played, the rate of cardiac events, such as heart attacks, angina attacks or cardiac arrhythmias was 2.66 higher than the norm.

The rate of such events among women was 1.82 times higher than average, while the rate for men was a whopping 3.26 times higher than normal.

Among those who suffered heart emergencies on days when the German team played, 47 per cent had been diagnosed with heart disease in the past. Normally, only about 29 per cent of patients who head to hospital for a heart emergency have already had a diagnosis of heart disease?”

Life As An Artist In NYC Part Two

Here is part two of my rant that I am re-posting.

Things got really quiet. I mean really and I could tell that there were a lot of other birds that were listening now.

Teeny Bird: We didn’t get too much to eat. I am hungry.

Greeny Bird : This guy is a nut. I have an MFA fro

Middle Aged Bird: Yeh, We know. Why don’t we all admit it. A lot of us have thought about this. A lot of the birds I know moved upstate.Another Young Bird: Some of the birds from Tyler are staying in Philly. They say it’s pretty great and they get to spen..

Greeny Bird: I am from Philly and a lot of it just so dangerous and nasty and

Me: Like Brooklyn was? ( This seems to strike some kind of cord and I can see a lot of birds thinking )

Black Bird: I am from Pittsburgh and I hear that some birds a–

Other Birds: He’s a nut.

Greeny Bird: The fact is that we can’t leave and that is just a fact that we all have to face. The galleries and clubs and theaters and writers and curators and critics are all here.

Me: Arn’t they here because you are here?

Old Bird: ( really loud ) He is just right and you all know it. I remember when it seemed like the scene revolved around us and seemed to be about the work. I remember when I could do work.

Why don’t you all just look around. How many of you think you might lose your nests soon.

Pink Bird: Well we are in court and I think I am OK for a few months.

Black Bird: I gotta move out in two weeks.

Other Birds: We can help ( one say’s he has some space on the floor of his place since his roomate moved to L.A. )

Black Bird: Didn’t you move to Pittsburgh?

Me: Yes. I came there because I want to help make scene that revolved around the artists.

East Village Italian

Photo from

If you want Italian in the East Village, there’s no shortage of options. I already have a few favorites in the area, but last night I tried out a little Italian place called Via Della Pace. With a small interior (though not as tiny as Frank), this restaurant has a cozy atmosphere. The menu didn’t have a huge range of vegetarian pasta choices, but the simple spaghetti dish I ordered was very tasty. Possibly the best part of the meal was the price – $28 for the spaghetti and half the cost of a sangria carafe, including a rather generous tip. Not bad for a Manhattan meal!

18 Steps to NYC Tourist Experience

Gridskipper has a great list of stuff that is left out of tourist guide books. If you are visiting our city anytime soon, you may want to read these.

1. Don’t Just Stand There, Ask for Directions.
When I see tourists looking lost or confused, I have the urge to come to their aid and set them on the right path. It’s as though it hurts me personally if they have a bad New York experience. Almost every New Yorker is happy to help tourists with directions and show off their city knowledge, even if it means consulting with other New Yorkers and making up stuff.

2. Fear Not the Subway.
Everybody complains about the subway, but it really works well overall, and you should use it with alacrity. On crowded trains, remove your big-ass backpack and hold it to your side. Learn the difference between local and express trains, and beware the empty subway car on an otherwise crowded train — it’s empty for a (smelly) reason.

3. Wear Black.
If you’re looking to blend in, just wear black. That’s it. Oh, and for the love of God, ditch the fanny pack, sports jersey, shorts, Tevas, and Greek-letter sweatshirt, but you knew that already.

To get the entire scoop on all 18 points head over to Gridskipper

Misery loves company–and we’ve got plenty of that!


So. Forbes ranked us the fourth most miserable city in the U.S. And while misery would seem a difficult thing to measure, their methodology takes into account unemployment, taxes (cost of living), commute times, weather, crime, and yes, the presence of toxic waste sites. Weird. That’s one thing I definitely don’t think of in terms of contributing to my daily misery. Though the general filth does sometimes get to me.

So yeah, my initial reaction to this report was something along the lines of “Damn straight! This place is pretty fucking miserable!”

But then, such wholehearted agreement immediately lends itself to the question, “Well ok, but if it’s so fucking miserable, what am I doing here? And why have I been here so long?”

And we all know the myriad answers to that question, since we’re all her for so many of the same reasons…

But the fact remains, life here can really wear you down. And if I’m saying that–single middle-class white guy who’s reasonably comfortable in the grand scheme of things–my god, I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be here and be poor, unemployed, sick, homeless, living in sub-standard living conditions, etc. etc.

So yeah, I’m sometimes miserable here, as are most of the people I know. But we’re also not miserable at all. And even somewhat happy to be here some of the time. Turns out misery, like happiness, is pretty damn complex.

But hey, I’m totally fine with the rest of the country perceiving us as miserable. Stay away, people! It’s fucking miserable here! All misery, all the time!

How would you rate your own personal level of NYC-inspired misery?

[image (c) Shutterstock, from the Forbes website.]

Giuliani, His 9/11 Halo No Longer Shining, Drops Out of Race

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, has just officially announced he is dropping his bid for the Presidential Race. He had been banking on a Florida win, which didn’t happen yesterday. He was attempting to ride on his laurels as “America’s Mayor” after 9/11. And he was probably counting on all the ex-NYers who are now Floridians. But his liberal views on abortion, as well as his family situation [pre-marital affair, subsequent divorce, and lack of loyalty from his own kids] , didn’t sit well with conservatives, and evidently overshadowed Rudy’s role as 9/11 hero.

When asked if his political life is over, Rudy just said “Never say never”.

Artist’s, Do You Like Sun?

So, I think that by now, I’m not to confident in the citys future ability to hold the position as the the world’s cultural capital or even a decent place for creative people to exist in. Like almost everyone, I know– I am keeping my options open.

The federal reserves latest BIG ASS BURSTING BUBBLE seems to be in housing and one of it’s epicenters is starting to look interesting. There certainly seems to be nice oversuply of fancy new construction in Miami, which just happens to be the location of the world’s largest art fair orgy. Could we end up with prices getting down to artist levels? Chances are that they will at least attract more dealers.

This is kind of an open thread– anyone think this makes sense?

Same Old Song For Artists In London

This video about a squater eviction in London indicates it’s the same over there if not worse. The particular symbiotic relationship between these squaters shows they were in fact doing some good for the neighborhood by maintaining the building, keeping out vandals and helping keep the area safe, things it’s unlikely the city was prepared to do. Of course, a number of them may have also worked in and patronised local businesses.

Who is Hernado de Soto???

Subway Inn


A venerable old drinking establishment – the Subway Inn, has been around since at least World War II , perhaps longer. The drinks go for about $ 4 – a far cry from $18 + in establishments a few blocks further uptown. The clientele is an interesting mix. The bar seems to be open i every legal hour of the day and is conveniently located at the 60th and Lexington Number 6 Uptown entrance.

Life As Artist IN NYC

With apologies, I am re -posting the first part of a long crazed rant, I did about the lives of creative people in a city that is so short of livable affordable housing and creative workspace. I aint claiming it as a work of art, but I hope it is worth reading. It’s one of the first posts I did on my Digging Pitt Blog after I moved to Pittsburgh and started a gallery. I now spend ime in both places.

I used the bird metaphor after reading this statement on the website of Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn.

The canaries in New York City’s real estate gold mine – the emerging arts – are no longer talking about the next show they hope to land, they’re talking about the next city they think they can land in once their current lease runs out.

But for many that lease on life has already run out. Affordable habitat in the cultural ecosystem is becoming hard to find. For everyone.”

Are the artists really just the tip of the iceberg or not. The city has historically treated them as an expendable group and never had much trouble finding new bird brains to come into the city. But, this may be changing.

I know all of you Yinzers are eager to hear about my little trip to NY. I met a few of the little birds there and this is sort of how I remember things. The setting is Kellogg’s Diner.

Me: Hi There little birds.

Birds: Hi.

Me: My, there are a lot of you in here and look at all the flocks on Bedford, but it seems a little thinner this year.

Birds: Are you buying? We need food.

Me: OK, I will try to help, but you have to talk to me. Bird number 3 a little male passes out on the counter– a little tuckered out from his three jobs.

Me: So why are you all here? Tell me little about yourselves.

Yellow dreadlock bird: I use chewing gum to confront gender is–

Me: It’s OK. Relax.

Pink and green Bird: I want to act. Isn’t this where I have to go?

Yellow d: I always wanted to be an artist. This is the place isn’t it?

Other Birds: No one has ever asked us this question. We Just have to because…

Me: It’s the lights isn’t it?

Greeny bird: Yes, I saw them on TV in Iowa.
Other Birds: And all the sound and some birds would dance and some would sing..

Pink Bird: Also, I feel more at home here. There are so many different colored birds.

Other Birds: And it’s going to work out– I know someone who served Andrea Ro ( other birds break in.. one says that’s a lie )

Me: So, Where are all of you from?

Other Birds: –India, Germany, Boston, Idaho, Mexico, Alabama, Long Island ( can’t remember them all)

Me: So, most of you aren’t from around here?

Old Bird: I ain’t but I’ve been here forever, seen it all.

Other Birds: No. most of us are not from around here.

Teeny bird: I came in on the bus a week ago and I am looki–

Other Birds: We ain’t got no room– Find your own nest.

Me: There is a slight shortage of nests? Huh,

Old Bird: Not like when I was young. I had a huge nest on 11th St. ( He meant more than one bedroom. ) and I did my art and the went to The Bottom Line and

Me: Didn’t they close?

Old Bird: Well, then the rent went up and I moved into The East Village.

Other Birds– Cool, tell us about CBGB’s ( closing )

Old Bird: Well it was rough. Birds wer shootin and wailin and things were dirty and all the garbage.

Middle aged Bird: Yes, I was scared to go there. I got a place in Soho. I wasn’t supposed to live there and it was empty there were no stores.

Me: And, what was your place like?

Middle Aged Bird: It was so raw, there was big hole in the floor and there was no kitchen and not much heat. But the space was big and I was handy. Me and my friends put in new wiring and plumbing. We fixed it up over a bunch of years and of course we lived there.

Old Bird: You guys did shows– They were so great, the place was so sincere and…

Middle Aged Bird: Well, we did a lot of great stuff. But then rich people started coming to watch us and we thought it was great untill, I had to move to Brooklyn.

Old Bird: They kick you out?

Black Bird: They kicked me out of Dumbo. I fixed my place up almost from scratch.

Other Birds: They Kicked me out of ( everyone chirping at once, so I can’t remember all ) Soho, Noho, Tribecca , Long island City, Hoboken, Harlem , Chelsea. Something has broken and a few birds start to cry. A few walk out they have to be seen at some opening or they want to try to do some art. Many have to leave, they live in places like Red Hook or Jackson Heights and they have to work the next day.

Me: So, can we get back to why you are here?

Dreadlock Bird: I need to be near the galleries that might want to show my work.:

Me: Do you get much art done?

Dreadlock Bird: No, partly because I can’t sleep with my four roomates working all hours and then after I get back from work ( an hour on the subway ) I have to be seen at a friends opening.
and I get into the studio around 10pm and–

Greeny Bird: He is just lazy and won’t stay up past three. If he was a commited artist-

Pink Bird: Yes. Ed told us that he is looking for serious artists who are willing to ( All the birds look down, they know they should work harder and then they would get a break. )

Me: So, If I get you guys right you are all here because you like the other birds and all the cultural exitement. You are here because the other birds are here. The filmaker birds and the dancer birds and the artist birds. Why don’t you all move?

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