Archive for January, 2005



A homeless man shouted “Change Spare!” as i walked by.

Shitting at work with nothing to read, i cleaned out my wallet only to drop all of its contents into the toilet. (and yes it was mid-shit)

I saw a man with an eye patch drinking a mini-bar size bottle of Goldschlager on the corner. Pondering which was funnier, the eye patch or the Goldschlager I walked into a door.


A few lines that were particularly note-worthy while reading Joseph Heller’s short story “The Day Bush Left,” about George Bush the elder deciding to step down and let J. Danforth Quayle run the country:

(George H. W. Bush): “And I play dumb. That’s where I’m smart. That’s pretty easy for me.”

(GHWB): “The way we designed it, Charlie, was to give the public the impression that the other people in the background were making those dirty campaign decisions and I was just an innocent wimp doing and saying whatever they ordered me to, like some kind of dumb dodo.”
(Charlie Stubbs): “But isn’t that pretty much the way it happened?”

(CS): “What confounds me still, George, is that you could be the standard-bearer of the vilest, dirtiest, most ugly presidential campaign in modern history and still come out of it looking so squeaky clean. How can it be, George, that people still think you’re basically decent, kind, and gentle?”

(GHWB): “We didn’t really run an antiblack hate campaign, Charlie…[a]ll we set out to do was reach those white people in the country who hate blacks. We figured if we could get our message to voters who are antiblack, we would get close to a hundred percent of the white vote.” (Since you clearly see where I’m going with this, re-read the above statement and substitute “gays”, “pro-choicers”, or “people who don’t feast on the blood of newborns” for “blacks” and see how accurately it describes Dubya’s tactics)

There’s a saying about those not paying attention to history being doomed to…something. Damn. I’ve forgotten it already.

Holy unplowed borough, Batman

Working in the suburbs is a pain in the ass most of the time and a death wish when it snows. Five-hour trip to work: normal. Being run off the road by a guy in a fancy SUV that thinks the snow cares how much he paid for his car: normal. Returning to Brooklyn and wishing you’d stayed in the suburbs: what?

A newspaper job means that no amount of snow or natural disaster (read: Bush’s election to a second term) is an excuse to miss work. I drove in Saturday’s storm. I stayed in Westchester in a company-funded hotel room, not because they care about my well-being, but because they were afraid I wouldn’t make it back in time for work on Sunday. After 38 snow-filled hours in White Plains, an ably plowed and salted town, I returned to Carroll Gardens to find my worst nightmare: no parking due to gi-normous snow candies with car-filled centers.

Seriously, what’s the point of plowing if there’s still six inches of snow on my street and most people need a backhoe to get out of their parking spaces? Did they salt at all while I was gone? Should I check in to the nearest mental-health facility for wondering if I can afford an apartment in Westchester where they know what to do when it snows? WESTchester, people. Do you know how far that is from a subway stop?

Excuse the snow-induced mania, but I just looked outside and saw that it was snowing again….


Fire Cripples 2 of City’s Busiest Subway Lines

We all know that rain can take out a line for an hour or two. But three to five years? That’s serious. I’m not an A/C/E rider myself, but I know that the lines I do take to work, the F or N/R/Q/W will certainly feel the spillover. And with no temperature drops significant enough to melt the snow in the near future, I know I’m going to start getting up a few minutes earlier each day, just in case.

Feels like -3, what?! has issued a blizzed warning for Manhattan, including the following statement: THIS IS A LIFE-THREATENING WINTER WEATHER SITUATION! PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY NEED TO BE COMPLETED BY NOON SATURDAY!

And, HA! I can’t help but laugh, because here I am excited as can be with my newly purchased instant hot chocholate and soup, and I still totally want to make a snowman on the roof of my building.

Life-threatening…ppsh. I suppose I must make “preparations to protect life” for Rufus’s sake. He’s sleeping in the closet, where it is warm.

Smart kitty.

(And, I feel totally terrible for making my favorite Chinese place deliver to me in such frigid temperatures, but, like, I REALLY wanted some sesame seed chicken)

A post for a Friday

So last night I and a friend went to Florent in the meatpacking district for dinner. Florent is a 24-hour “diner” that serves, in addition to burgers, salads, etc., a nice menu of French dishes and has a full bar. We were relaxing, enjoying some wine, and finishing up our desserts when the hostess – who sports a beehive, by the way – came over and asked us if we wouldn’t mind leaving, because there were a lot of people waiting for tables. Which was true – there were a crowd of people gathered by the door. But I did not want my Thursday evening to end at 8:30. I also found the request a little rude. If we had been picking at salads for two hours, maybe, but we each ordered drinks, entrees, dessert, and had been in there less than an hour and a half. I have a lot of respect for people in the food service industry, and did not stiff them on the tip, but I doubt I’ll be going back anytime soon – at least when it’s cold outside and there’s the possibility of being prematurely ejected back into the freezing temperatures. Especially on 9th Ave – the wind off the river is positively frightening.

Is this standard for NYC restaurants, or do I have the right to be annoyed?


On a more positive note, the other day as I was heading in to work I was sitting next to a woman and her male friend. The guy was misquoting the “Simpsons” so badly I wanted to reach across her and smack him on the back of his head. However, a few moments later he began speaking elegantly and in depth about some of the highlights of MoMA’s collection and the new building. So all was forgiven. And I was grateful, yet again, to be in the little bubble of a city where guys who look like ex-fratboy business-types nevertheless know a lot about Robert Rauschenberg. If anyone needs me, I’ll be at the MoMA myself, quoting the Simpsons *correctly* and hoping anyone notices.

The Broken Kilometer

Gentrified and 5th Avenue-ized as it may be, there’s still art in Soho. Today as I was walking back to work with lunch — more ramen, shame on me — a plain block of text caught my eye through a window: The Broken Kilometer, a Dia installation. I went inside. Rounding blank white walls, I stepped into the gallery space, where I was mesmerized by row upon row of shining brass rods lying on the floor. I walked back and forth, letting my eyes unfocus. On the way out I grabbed a flyer. The artwork, it told me,

is composed of 500 highly polished, round, solid brass rods, each measuring two meters in length and five centimeters (two inches) in diameter. The 500 rods are placed in five parallel rows of 100 rods each. The sculpture weighs 18 3/4 tons and would measure 3,280 feet if all the elements were laid end-to-end. Each rod is placed such that the spaces between the rods increase by 5mm with each consecutive space, from front to back; the first two rods of each row are placed 80mm apart, the last two rods are placed 580 mm apart. Metal halide stadium lights illuminate the work which is 45 feet wide and 125 feet long.

I’d love to go back on a really bright, sunny day; it was like an abstraction in metal of sun on water.

Apparently, this installation has been there since 1979, a companion piece to the artist’s Vertical Earth Kilometer (a brass rod sunk a kilometer into the earth, naturally). I find it fascinating to imagine the neighborhood changing around this bold, simple artwork over the last 25 years, going from true, down-at-heels bohemia to fashion flagship land.

One thing that made me fume on the way out was the little placard on the flyer table, which said “PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT PERMITTED”. Why not? What would a few tourist/art student photos take away from this artwork? Well, you might say, De Maria probably makes money only off of photo prints and videos of his work. If so, he should work hard to make his photos the best out there. A little amateur competition would generate interest and drive buyers to find the best photos. Rrrr. I hate artificial scarcity. /end rant


So, the old adage about the Almighty watching over children and drunks is true: hundreds of thousands of people killed for no other reason than they were stupid enough to be born in the wrong country, yet nothing, not even a minor-league plague of locusts, stops Bush from taking office for his second term. Thanks a lot, Yahweh.

Anyway, here’s a headline from
“President Bush pledged to seek ‘freedom in all the world’ as the surest path to peace in an era of terrorism across the globe.”

Good thing his speech writers edited GW’s first draft, which had the next sentence as:
“That’s right: PEACE. Even if I have to kill every single one of you non-American motherfuckers, there’s going to be PEACE up in this bee-yatch. God is OURS, damn it, He blesses US, and don’t you forget it you dirt-worshipping heathens – I’ll shove freedom so far down your fucking throats you’ll bleed from your collective anus. But don’t worry – when it’s over with, I’ll cut your taxes and tell you that I love you…Bush Deuce OUT!”

The Gates, Project for Central Park, New York City, 1975-2005

As I

Something Different for Monday Nights

Part of my plan this year is to try new and different things around the city that aren’t going to break the bank. I need to save some money since I’m moving out of my apartment. Funny how you have to save money to move out of an overpriced apartment just so you can get into a cheaper one.

One of my first tries of 2005 was Monday night Dinner and a Movie at Suba. At $29, it’s not a bad deal – 3 course Contemporary Spanish meal and a screening of a movie. Of course, it’s not so much of a deal if you’re planning on having a few drinks to calm you down after a long day of work – those aren’t included. The movie they were showing the night we went was “The Commitments”. A story about Irish band manager Jimmy Rabbitte, who works to bring soul music to Dublin by forming the “World’s Hardest Working Band”. Fun movie – I’m wondering what I was doing in 1991 to miss it. Oh yeah, college.

I’ve wanted to check out Suba for some time now since I kept hearing about their so-called moat. When we were taken from the lounge area to be seated for dinner, we saw it. Basically, the 2nd level dining area (which they call the Grotto) is surrounded by water – not what I would call a moat. No doubt, it’s a beautifully done room, and the water makes for a very tranquil setting. I just expected a real moat and I was hoping to see some fish swimming around. Silly, I know.

While I was enjoying my meal and movie, I had a thought… would you go to a restaurant if you could fish for your food. It gives new meaning to the “catch of the day”. They could have pool of sorts filled with the special of the day, and have the customer catch it. I don

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