Tag Archives: 127 Jane Street

I Still Want You

It’s a Friday and so far so good. A lazy day at best, and the funny thing is, I am actually going out tonight. Me. On a Friday. It should be an early night, once more home by midnight. I am going to the Mercury Lounge to see Port St. Willow. A mention by Brian Eno in Mojo Magazine about Port St. Willow was enough to peak my curiosity. I trust Eno with musical choices. He was the one who hipped me onto My Bloody Valentine 22 years ago, and last year it was Port St. Willow. An affordable ticket, an early show and I am there.

But not yet, since I am still home. In all these years I don’t think I’ve been to a show at the Mercury Lounge, though I could be wrong. I do remember a friend who had a record label having a showcase with an open bar but once Rand and I got there, the bar was not so open so Rand and I wandered around the East Village winding up at Downtown Beirut instead. We had a good time there though Rand was a bit disgruntled about the bait and switch which he grumbled about.

Today has been very low key so far. I ran into the Russians in the hallway last night. Now there are 3 people plus a baby living downstairs. One speaks English. They don’t complain, and I don’t give them any reason to complain. I do try to walk light footed around the apartment. Living above Chang & Eng Kleinke for 11 years in Weehawken was a lesson learned since they were the landlords and prone to complain about everything thing I did, including complaints emailed about Bill’s raucous laughter while watching Saturday Night Live. They went so far as to restrict Bill’s visits.

They claimed it wasn’t fair to my roommate William, but William didn’t care. It was the beginning of the end for my relationship with Chang & Eng, and towards the end of the year I had moved out, back down to Hoboken. Apparently Chang & Eng were upset with my leaving and not saying goodbye as they watched through their venetian blinds. Chang Kleinke was heard to mutter that I should be glad the door didn’t hit me on the ass on the way out. Chang & Eng eventually royally screwed William and Chaz by not offering the house for them to buy.

Chaz and Kathe went one way (and then split again), William went another and Chang & Eng Kleinke have been safely ensconced in a condo a block away on Gregory Avenue in what was once some sort of factory. They will be together forever and I can only hope they are happy with that.

So tonight I am heading out. In a few hours I’ll be on the Path train, then walking through the Village to Houston and Ludlow. A Facebook friend expects a report so I suppose I will be writing one either tonight or tomorrow. More than likely it will be tomorrow.
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Oh Yeah

I Can’t

It’s been a very nice day off today. I slept really well finally. Still it would have been nice to have been off on a Saturday or Sunday (or maybe a weekend) like most people but I suppose it’s a tradeoff. I have five days off coming up and I am looking forward to them.

My sister will be in town and my nephew Earl might also be around. There will be time spent away from Manhattan, away from Hoboken which is something to anticipate. I just have to get through Thursday and Friday and it should be fine.

I spent a lot of time indoors today, throwing things out. Newspapers and other things, and lots of shredding was done. Still there is more to shred but I paced myself in the 90 degree heat. I found out yesterday that my former roommate William is in the hospital with a collapsed lung as well as fluid. I hope to pay him a visit if he is still in the hospital.

There is still some affection for him after 11 years of living together. It wasn’t all a bed of roses and we did have major fights, with the underlying theme of one trying to get the other out. I left voluntarily after finding an apartment thanks to Julio and moved back to Hoboken, specifically Julio’s now former building.

I found the Weehawken abode through William’s brother Charlie, whom I write about here as Chaz. Chaz saw the apartment on Jane Street via Blankie Blank. I knew Blankie Blank from Maxwells, one time even giving her a ride home when I still lived in Lodi.

The apartment was something of a fixer upper and that was too much for Chaz and his wife. He knew I was living in a crappy situation in Lodi and mentioned it to me. Chaz suggested that I check it out and maybe think of having William as my roommate since he was due back from Mexico and had no real place to stay.

One night I ran into William who had just gotten back from south of the border just that minute and told him about it. He was interested and I made the arrangement to check it out. We liked what we saw and that night made a deal with Blankie Blanks mother & father.

They lived on the second floor of the joined building in 129. William and I were taking the second floor on 127 with Blankie Blank and her brother Toatly living underneath our floorboards. There were ups and downs in the 11 years.

A major event occurred when William’s then girlfriend Monica believed William when he told her he was going to kick me out. Monica and I went head to head and William hid in his part of the apartment. Needless to say Monica never set foot in the apartment again, as far as I knew.

I’m sure I was no saint either and that William has his tales about me.

I’d be disappointed if he didn’t.

Bango (To The Batmobile)

And here is the last installment of what was written in 2002 about 1991/1992

Monica went back to Little Willy’s room and probably confronted Little Willy who shrank even further from reality. I didn’t care. Within a week she was gone, never for me to see her again. I did find out that while in her travels, she was badly bitten by a dog in Tibet. Poor dog, I hope he was alright.

That Thanksgiving, I woke up Thursday morning, to find that the phone had been turned off. It seems that Little Willy felt that I was reckless with the phone bill and perhaps he was right then.

But instead of talking about it with me, he took the advice of Sally Starfish an old drugging buddy of mine. The tiny terror they called her.

Good old Sally told Little Willy that he should, A) Shut off the phone and put it in his name only. B) Put a lock on his bedroom door since I was bound to go and use his phone C) Put a lock on his phone in his workshop in the basement because that would be on my list of places to visit and use his phone once I found out that his bedroom door was locked.

Sally Sally Sally. She always said she knew me better than anyone, even better than myself.

Little Willy still waiting for his backbone to arrive in the mail, merely left a note on the kitchen table, telling me what he had done.

Of course, being Thanksgiving, my family would probably try to contact me to check and see if I was ok, and I would’ve done the same, had I had a phone.

So that cold Thanksgiving morning I went out to the street armed with as much change as I could get, and set out for a pay phone. I went to the corner and it was cold in the shade of the building.

Then I remembered a block away on Palisades Ave was a pay phone in direct sunlight and went over there. Armed with all my change, I stood in the light and deposited my coins.

The coins came back out in the change slot, after the connection was made. A free call to California! A free call to Garfield! A free call to Montvale! I was living large! But without my phone book couldn’t call everyone, just the one’s who’s numbers I had committed to memory.

After the family, I called Julio. Julio I had known for a few years, both of us working at McSwells. Party buddies, drinking buddies. Very handsome he was, and all the gay barflies at McSwells couldn’t tell him enough.

I never did.

Alright I did, once, but that’s another story. He was surprised at our mutual ‘friend’ doing what he did, switching the phone off and creating a new line in his name. “That’s fucked up man.” He said. I agreed. He was busy getting ready to see his family for Thanksgiving dinner. I was getting ready to do nothing.
That was fine with me. Watched a lot of TV, smoked a lot of herb. Fairly typical. Just another day. I was able to call NJ Bell and arranged for a line to be installed in my room. Another expense, but one that was needed.

Julio mentioned my phone habit which I don’t think was that great, but he insisted otherwise. I called the Friday after Thanksgiving and scheduled an appointment for the next day. The phone guy showed up around 10am.

I was groggy from the night before and probably smelled like the night before. He took his ladder and made the connection outside and then came inside to finish the work.

When he came into my room this guy saw my records and pegged me for a DJ. He was right, and cute, but I concentrated more on his being right.

He started telling me about an old friend of his that he used to DJ with. “Goes by the name of Todd Terry. Ever hear of him?”

Almost instantly I pulled out “Bango/Back to the Beat” A very hot 12” by Todd Terry. He was impressed. I was impressed. We hung out for a while, or I hung out he worked.

I offered him some herb but he said no, he couldn’t. Small talk followed and when I asked him about the charge, he said there was none.

“You seem like a pretty cool guy. Don’t sweat it.” He left and I had a phone, free of charge, well, at least free installation.

That was a case of being in on the Cosmic Joke.

Little Willy still scampered about once again, staying out of sight.

Sally Starfish later wound up doing a similar thing to Julio vis-à-vis his roommate.

And dats da name of dat tune.

Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Well last night I went to the Yankees/Blue Jays game. Bill was right, saying that he didn’t want me to be intense, he wanted a good time. I wanted a good time too. Bill enjoyed himself, I didn’t. More about that further down the line. In the interim, here is the third installment about 1991/1992 written in 2002.

“What are you talking about?” Miss Pasty asked. “I have nowhere else to go. I’ll do anything to stay here. I like you guys. Please reconsider.” Mr. Derf and Miss Pasty looked at each other.

Mr. Derf said, “Well we had a problem with you dropping the coats on the chair and the chair crashing and you guys thump around a lot but we didn’t ask you to leave.”

Miss Pasty chimed in, “Where did you hear that?” “Little Willy told me that you guys wanted me out.” “Our parents rented the place to both of you and that’s it. You and Little Willy.”

Mr. Derf added, “If one of you goes, then the other has to go too. At least that’s what my father said.” “Yeah, you should talk to Little Willy.” “Thanks Pasty, I will. Have a good dinner.”

I was relieved and confused. I saw Little Willy and asked him. He shrugged his shoulders, ran into his room and hid. Monica was still floating around the apartment.

It was now about 6 months after we moved in. I ran into Miss Pasty one day outside the building. She mentioned that her mom wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of three people living in my apartment, and then she dropped a bombshell.

“Your roommate’s girlfriend has been going around the neighborhood telling all the neighbors that you’re gay.” Wow. Monica? What did I do to deserve that? I mean I was gay, still am, but never been one to be all up in your face about it.

“Everyone?” I asked Miss Pasty. “Everyone, even the firemen.” “The firemen? Hmmm….kinky…” Miss Pasty laughed, “Even my mother.” “Oh no, what did she say?” “She told Monica, that it was none of Monica’s business and it wasn’t her business either. She thinks you’re a good boy. She likes you.”

It was good to have someone in my corner.

I found out that Little Willy told Monica that he was going to kick me out and have her move in. And apparently Monica didn’t think Little Willy was acting fast enough so she decided to speed things up and attempt to slander me.

It didn’t work.

Monica being a German tourist figured that these Americans with their meat eating ways would be so disgusted that I’d be run out to the windmill like the Frankenstein monster chased by villagers.

Little Willy started playing both sides against the other. I was working at a video store and giving video rentals away to various friends and bartenders I knew, and also DJ-ing at McSwells. I was a DJ, ID checker, doorman, and bar back sometimes on consecutive nights.

There were records usually piled up by the stereo system that Little Willy and I shared. 2 Live Crew had a smash hit called ‘Me So Horny’. A decent song, usually guaranteed a laugh from me and my friends.

The B side to ‘Me So Horny’ was an aptly named song called ‘Get the fuck out of my House Bitch’. I left it lying around so Monica would see it.

She did.

One night while I was in my room, there was a knock on the door. It was Monica. Her German accent furious, eyes full of rage, she started screaming at me about how I was trying to seduce Little Willy.

“Leaving a record called ‘I am so horny’ around the apartment. Don’t take my man!” I laughed which enraged her even more.

“John, Little Willy said you were leaving. When will you leave?” “Leave? Monica, I ain’t going anywhere! And it’s not ‘I am so horny’ and I’m not horny for Little Willy. He’s not my type. I like MEN. Not skinny little toothpicks that can’t stand up straight.”

“Well he said…” Monica continued. “I don’t care what he said. And it’s the flip side you bitch. It’s called ‘Get the Fuck Out of my House Bitch.’

You should play it sometimes. It should have instructions on what to do.” She yelled. I yelled louder. Little Willy hid in his room.

It ended with me screaming, “Get the hell out of here you hag!”

Blue Jay Way

Well I am actually doing something today. Visiting Greg Stevens office for a few hours then meeting up with Bill and some of his compadres, heading off to see the Yankees/Blue Jays tonight. So since I won’t be back until late, here is part 2 of what I wrote in 2002 about 1991.

It seemed like a great deal. A nice apartment, close to the city, good neighborhood, and a decent room mate. I would find out later that 3 out of 4 wasn’t bad, but wasn’t entirely good either.

I was living in Lodi with my father who I hadn’t been getting along with for about 20 years. I moved in with him despite everyone’s warnings. I had seen a side of him that I had never seen before.

He was grieving.

Quite sad, his wife, my mother decided to leave her mortal coil on Mother’s Day. Talk about making a statement. May 12 was a day of infamy for me and my siblings. So having seen a side of him that I had never seen before, I moved in with him into the house I grew up and threw up in.

It was hell. Everyone was right. It was a mistake. I started drinking a lot and at night when I was hiding in my brother’s room where I slept fitfully at night. One night I had to pee but I didn’t want to risk waking up the old man who slept across from the bathroom.

So I did what anybody would do in a similar situation. I opened up the window and pissed down the side of the house. It seemed to be the only peaceful solution.

After battles and wars, I told my father I was moving out. Little Willy had parked his dilap-a-van outside and I warned him to stay away from the house I’ll bring my stuff outside to the van. Dad was watching me like the crotchety old hawk he was.

Annemarie, my sister was there at the time, calming me down and acting like a buffer between 2 grown men who couldn’t stand each other. Little Willy and I got all my stuff down to Weehawken.

Annemarie was sad to see the relationship die between my father and I but I was glad to see a toe tag on the body of the relationship.

It was quite pathetic when I moved. I didn’t have a bed; I had a sleeping bag lent to me by Raul the owner of the video store and a strip of foam rubber padding that I was using as a mattress of sorts.

My cat Zed was able to return from exile. I brought him with me to Lodi and he basically lived in the basement until my father almost tripped on the stairs one day and swore that Zed was trying to kill him.

I then brought Zed to Hoboken where he lived in the basement of the video store, which was actually the storage room rented in a basement 2 doors down. Poor Zed felt abandoned but now I was able to put a bona fide roof over his head.

Little Willy and I seemed to get along. I didn’t know then that he told Monica his traveling companion that he was going to kick me out and the two of them would live in quasi-Aztec bliss forever and ever.

Little Willy told me after a month or two that Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf were quite upset with me and wanted me out. I didn’t understand it.

There were one or two incidents where a chair over laden with coats crashed one late night hang out, but it was taken care of.

Sure there would be an adjustment to the fact that instead of one old man who couldn’t walk much living above them was now two men who can walk with relative ease taking his place. I asked Little Willy and he was vague, saying he didn’t know what was going on but I had to go.

Panic stricken and faced with no options, I was leaving the apartment one night when I saw Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf. I asked them I pleaded with them. “I’m so sorry. What have I done? Why do you want me to go? I have nowhere else to go. What can I do to change your mind?”

They didn’t know what the hell I was talking about. All they wanted to do was to go to dinner next door at their parent’s apartment. My eyes were tearing up. It’s been said I can cry at the drop of a hat, and a major sombrero had hit the floor.

Come Together

Nothing much happened today. In fact I just left the apartment building for the first time at 5:15. Ran out of juices you see. Too hot to do much of anything except lay in front of a fan.

It’s a scorcher. The most that I did today was take a nap.

Over the weekend, I bought a selection of songs from the Fun Boy Three on iTunes, after which I was asked to do a back up.

It seemed like the thing to do. As I ran the back up onto 6 discs, I lost my playlists, some of which were a few years old. So I’ve been trying to find them to no avail, but I also found something that I wrote in 2002, about 1991.

Since I didn’t do anything today, I thought I would serialize it. Today is part 1. In case I don’t do anything else this week, I may add the following parts as installments.

Riding the bus with Miss Pasty. I was unusually charming despite the unwelcome hour of 8:20am. I would’ve preferred being alone, but hey, she is my landlord. Or Landlady. Or something resembling both.

“I heard on the radio there was a 40 minute delay in getting into NYC. I’m gonna take a van” Now this would ordinarily sound fine, but Miss Pasty has a relatively shrill voice and for a non-morning person like myself it was nearly unbearable, and that was after my initial three cups of coffee, rocket fuel.

Miss Pasty and her brother Mr. Derf are my landlord and lady. Quite royal I think they think. It feels like I’ve been living above them all of my life though physically it’s been 11 years.

It’s been an up and down ride with them and any problems I’ve had with them are generally because of my room mate, Little Willy Archas.

For example, in 1991 when Carl and Katie Archas told me about the apt, Carl had mentioned that his brother Little Willy was probably going to look for an apartment since when Little Willy got back from Mexico he wouldn’t be living with his parents in Jersey City.

I took it into consideration.

So one day when I was walking down Washington St in Hoboken from Take 99 video to Blockbuster to pick up an errant video tape, I spied a dilapidated van with 2 even more dilapidated passengers within.

It was Little Willy. He was with Monica. Some chick that was in love with him, enough to travel to Mexico and back with him. Of course I had the luck of bumping into him as soon as he pulled into town.

“Your brother told me you might be looking for a new place. I might be looking for a room mate. Into it?” “Yeah, sure, I guess. Where is it?” “Weehawken. You know Pasty K from McSwells?” “Uh, I don’t know.” “Well your brother knows her. I once gave her a ride home. Nice neighborhood. Anyway if you want I can set something up for tomorrow night.” “Uh, yeah sure. I guess so.”

Little did I know that his vocabulary skills wouldn’t really go farther than that. “Alright, call me at the video store and I’ll see if I can set something up.” “Uh yeah sure. I guess.”

I called Miss Pasty and set it up. Little Willy met me at Take 99 Video the next night and I was able to take some time off and see the apartment.

We met Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf’s parents, Adele and Derf Sr. A very old couple. A bit strange at first. But so was my room mate to be. I wasn’t used to being the most normal in a group but that is how it was turning out to be.

We left 129 Jane Street, climbing downstairs in order to get to 127 Jane to climb upstairs. Little Willy was able to turn on the hallway light which greatly impressed Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf.

We saw the apartment which was previously occupied by an old man who really didn’t or couldn’t walk around much. Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf were quite used to this fact that no one was walking around the apartment above them.

Little Willy and I both liked the apartment and since Little Willy painted houses and apartments, offered to paint the rooms from a purple yellow Easter combination to something more than that.

We went back to Miss Pasty and Mr. Derf’s parents and told then we were interested. Derf Sr. thought that was fine and since it was the beginning of October we would be able to move in anytime and not have to pay any rent until November 1.

Tenth Avenue Freeze Out

Well it was back to work for me and I made it until 3:00PM. I had an errand that was close to the Path train which allowed me to leave early. I wasn’t feeling 100% and Tom Chin mentioned quite a few times that I don’t look so well and I sounded congested.

I thought I looked ok but it’s true I was still congested. It seems like the cold or bug or whatever has moved from my sinuses to my chest. Some coughing, in a Flemish style.

I spoke with my brother Frank and texted with my brother Brian as well as emails with my sister Annemarie. I seem to be the conduit for all three. Brian asked me to forward an email to Bill which I did, and later speaking with Frank about an email I offered to write it for him, saying ‘Duh’ a lot as well as ‘I forgot what I was trying to say’. He laughed at that which was good.

Annemarie, 3000 miles away was expressing concern for me and my ailment, suggesting various things to make me feel better, which I did but still never got the zinc lozenges. Think it would be best for all concerned, meaning co-workers, that I stay home tomorrow.

Fridays are generally slow and quiet and I usually leave early anyhow and who knows how many people I’ve infected just by going to work. That’s probably how I got whatever it is that I’ve got. I just made some pasta which took care of some hunger.

On the way home I ran into William Charas my former roommate from my Weehawken years. It was good to see him but I didn’t stick around much since he was heading into the Hoboken Farmboy and I was heading home and it was 25 degrees out with a whipping wind.

Going to be 7 years since I moved from Weehawken and 6 years since he was forced out of a lovely living situation at 127 Jane Street. We definitely get along better now that we don’t live together. We had gone through a few ups and downs, the loss of our fathers but through it all we occasionally did get on each others nerves.

The last part of our living together was silently wishing the other one would move out. Since both of us were friends with Julio, Julio got to hear both sides of the problem, eventually telling me of the apartment on the top floor of his building.

It turned out to be the right choice since within a year William, his brother Chaz and his wife Kathe in 129 Jane Street were all forced to move due to the hideous landlords. The landlords were such a pain in the ass to deal with that in order for Bill and myself to have a fun time, we rented a hotel room in Manhattan for the weekend. Things were cheaper then and the hotel had a really good deal.

But it was great seeing William, we parted ways telling each other, I love you. I came home feeling good and lucky to know that I had so many good friends that love me, and I of course love them right back.