Tag Archives: Manhattan

I Get It In 50 Cent

Having the time off from the cigar shack is quite nice. I haven’t been doiong anything extraordinary, just keeping it burning at a low flame. It works for me. Bill has been stupendous of course. Always there, always supportive and always ready to take the wheel when it needs to be taken. I suppose that could be why he enjoys being a bus driver, a big wheel to steer and Bill is happy.

We’ve been watching movies lately. Last night we watched Snatch which he had never seen before. He does like the British gangster thing and definitely made the connection between Snatch and Pulp Fiction which it so deftly resembles. Bill went to bed after that and I stayed up watching something on cable, definitely unmemorable.

Bill was up and out around 8:00 this morning and I lay in bed trying to avoid the sun streaming through the blinds. A passionate kiss and a strongly worded declaration of love was said before he headed out the door. I got out of bed a little bit earlier than the past few days and made some coffee before stepping into the shower.

After reading emails and updates I headed to the supermarket where I saw the mighty Isis once again. It was the last time for the year. She couldn’t wait until 4:15 when she gets off of work and here it was around 10:30, with a ways to go. I headed home and had a nice breakfast and read the paper which is something that gets rarer and rarer these days.

I once again headed into the city a while after that. I needed a new calendar and figured Barnes & Noble would be the way to go since I still had a Barnes & Noble gift card to use. Alas, the calendar pickings were nearly nonexistent unless I wanted a Dilbert or a Jack Russell terrier calendar. Still I wandered around a bit and mainly looked at books that I had taken out of the library.

It was certainly a nicer day weather wise, than yesterday and I had a cigar as I walked up Park Avenue South. Covering all bases, yesterday was Park Avenue itself and today was Park Avenue South. I eventually walked up to the bus terminal where there was another line like the day before.

I was a little bit earlier today so I was more up in the line, meaning that I was able to get on the bus unlike yesterday where I was turned away. Still, I had to stand for the ride back to Hoboken but I didn’t mind. I made it back home safe and sound, cleaned the apartment a bit and had a nice dinner.

That’s about it. It has been quite a mellow day and the evening promises to continue in such a manner. I did check my work email and saw the latest schedule, making sure I didn’t read any other email about so & so leaving the cigar shack corporation with an ‘Auf Wiedersehen’. Not sure if I will write tomorrow so I will wish you all the best wishes for the new year.








02 These Days Nico

The Green Manalishi

From last night as promised to both my anxious readers.

Been a while since I wrote in this notebook. Over a month actually. Presently sitting in 273 Bowery at the Gotham Writers Workshop. I received a free invitation to sit in on a class for non fiction writing so I thought I would check it out.

It’s quite cold on the street. I killed time by walking around, spending a few minutes in a bookstore on Carmine Street. As I walked towards Houston Street I got a phone call from Publishers Service. Apparently Publishers Service liked something that I did, so much so that that they are awarding me with a gift certificate for a $1000.00 online shopping spree.

The guy who called me as I walked around asked if I would be interested in a subscription to ESPN Magazine, Rolling Stone or Men’s Journal to name a few.

As I stood by the bus stop at Sixth Avenue and Houston Street, I played along waiting for ‘the catch’.

It seemed there was one forthcoming. I told the guy there were only 2 magazines I would be interested in subscribing to and they were from the UK. I don’t think the guy knew what UK stood for.

The class is slowly filling up.

The guy on the phone asked if whatever deal he was talking about sounded good. I said ‘yes it sounded good but sounding good doesn’t necessarily mean it actually IS good.’

The class is labeled Non Fiction Writing with Pauline Millard.

Back to the phone call, I could hear other telemarketers in the background. I told the guy that before I commit to anything I would like to see it in writing rather than make a decision standing out in the cold and talking to someone out of the blue on the phone.

I don’t think it was something he wanted to hear. I maybe getting ESPN Magazine in 3 to 5 days, a subscription that lasts either 16 months or 60 months.

I also signed up for a fiction class which may be tomorrow. I thought tonight was fiction but the organizers said otherwise. I still think I am right, but when I got home and checked, they were the ones who were right.

Pauline Millard sits at her table, reading a magazine (possibly from Publishers Service), waiting for 7:00 so the class could begin.

It’s funny, I haven’t been downtown in months. It seems a lot cleaner.

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The door closes and the class begins. Pauline says she has one contact lens in so half the class is blurry to her. My half.

There is money to be made in non fiction writing. She brings up Huffington Post as an example.

It’s a 6 week class, covering Memoir writing, Personal Essay and Op Ed features, as wells as Profiles, Travel, Reviews and Business. Pauline says she makes you read and write a lot, and you can’t write unless you read.

We’re going to start with a short memoir exercise on Why you came to New York, or Why are you still here.

THE 5 MINUTE ESSAY- WHY I CAME TO NEW YORK. Well I got as far as Hoboken actually. I am a music lover and would come into Manhattan to see bands playing at various venues. Manhattan was a bit too pricey so I opted for Hoboken, which is directly across the river.

I actually grew up in North Jersey and could see Manhattan or rather the Empire State Building and from the town I grew up in. I do like to maintain a distance, perhaps an arms length with the river between me and the city. I like the ability to relax, to let my guard down so to speak.

I do work, or rather, did work in a variety of Manhattan jobs. The music business, magazine publishing and the corporate world which are all situated in Manhattan. 5 MINUTES ARE UP.

Pauline says you don’t have to write everyday and on that count, she is no Lewis Lapham. Some tips for non fiction writing, go online and look up writing prompts. She says the prompts might be geared towards 7th graders.

Short sentences are good. Simple language. Pauline recommends reading Stephen King, On Writing.

A memoir is a portion of your life, a slice on her pie chart.
‘Write down every year you’ve been alive’ with different events becoming writing prompts.

Memoirs have a beginning, a middle and an end. Journals, not so much. Nothing is said about blogging.

ANOTHER 5 MINUTE EXERCISE this time, ‘Somebody you can’t stand’

Oh how I disliked Howard’s wife Leslie. Short, loud and obnoxious with a mouth on her. She tried to ingratiate herself into the rock and roll scene I was a part of. Out of kindness I tolerated her I suppose. Others went further but to me she was a gnat and I called her that.

Not to her face of course but behind her back. Somehow she got others to believe in her and actually became business partners with 2 friends of mine. Not me though, none of my business. Surprisingly my feelings about her became manifest.

She wound up suing the 2 friends to get out of the business agreement. It’s been years since I even thought about her.

Last I heard she and Howard divorced, Howard was a cipher but could easily have done better than having a gnat for a wife.

Do I wonder where she is now? No, not really. She popped into my mind a few weeks ago when I saw a business card from that ill fated venture, scanned onto a Facebook page

I actually that aloud to the class.

More non fiction advice from Pauline: Start with Action. Timeliness/Topical issues. Trendiness.

She also mentions that she worked for the Associated Press, now she writes for the Huffington Post and is in the Columbia Masters program.

3 people have gotten up and walked out of the class.

Pauline says writing is hard, but it depends on the circumstances or what you’re on. She has also brought up the TV show ‘Lost’ 2 times already.

“Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn’t.”

She quotes Dorothy Parker, ‘I hate writing but love having written’.
Pauline advises ‘Don’t expect too much of yourself’.

An exercise in coming up with ideas- What’s interesting about your hometown, your neighborhood. I write-
Friends.
The Fact that it is Hoboken,
Everything is within walking distance.
Sinatra.
Baseball.
Musicians.
Artists.
Old Italian Ladies dressed in black.
Maxwells.
Major transportation hub.
The view of Manhattan that you can’t see if you’re in Manhattan.
The Mile Square City.
Blogging battles.

I misunderstood and made a list instead of a short essay.

Pauline mentions how she sneaked into a book publishing party and got there early. Later on at the party she met a guy who she asked who he was, did he write fiction or non fiction?

It was Jonathan Letham but she didn’t know who he was much to Jonathan Letham’s annoyance.

A woman asks about ‘her piece’ but the way she says ‘her piece’ sounds like she’s talking about herpes.
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And that was what I did last night. Walked from Bowery and Houston Street to 14th and Sixth, smoking a cigar.

Stopped by what was Farfetched. It was closed and instead of the lightness of the space, it’s dark with a gargoyle that confronts you right by the entrance.

Tonight I attend a class on fiction writing, so expect more of the same tomorrow. Maybe.

Last nights dreams involved fighting with Samuel Jackson. And also a reunion of the Replacements with Ann Boyles, Steve Fallon & Bill Ryan passing through.

Pity & sympathy for Haiti.

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Hi Ho Silver Lining

Getting an early start today since I have something scheduled for later tonight which I will write about later. Something out of the ordinary which you may or may not get a kick out of. I don’t even know how it will turn out but it’s something that has been suggested to me once or twice before.

It’s a free thing whereas other times it was something you had to pay for. It could all turn out to be a plea to give money to this thing, or it can actually be useful. Or at least, interesting.

And tonight is part one actually. I suppose I’m leaving you anxiously waiting for whatever is going to happen. It does involve heading into Manhattan and at night too. So I’m leaving a little after 5PM and taking the Path train in and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

What else is there?

Well I did have some more strange dreams, cannabis free of course. New Jersey legislature approved the use of marijuana for medicinal reasons but that’s besides the point and that happened in real life not in my dreams.

One dream involved being down the shore, around Sandy Hook it seemed where I came across a horseshoe crab that was shaped like a box. Quite strange.

The other dream was involved with a church which may have been Saint Philip’s Church in Saddle Brook. It may have also included some kids I hung out with, Billy and Kenny Hayes,. One of them was diagnosed as psychotic and the other was a fireman, which is what their father was.

In the dream I was attending a service and holding the sacraments which when I looked closely at it, contained fruit flies. I tried to dissuade people from taking the sacraments but all they did was chuckle as they were passed around. It was pretty gross.

I’ve already eaten dinner, and now it’s 4:30. Seems I’ve been eating earlier and earlier. Is it my slide into senior citizen status? No more than likely it’s because the food is ready then. Plus since I’m going out and won’t be back until later (my cut off eating time is 7:00) now seemed to be the best time.

Some pasta and chicken. Fortifying and good for going out into the cold cold night. I’m also wearing my father’s silk long johns, for the first time in 10 years. I got them when we cleaned out the house in the last century but never had the nerve, or guts to wear them.

Very comfortable and they do keep my legs quite warm, though the true test will be when I am out on the street in the city.

And from what I read on the New York Times, Conan O’Brien is leaving NBC since they’re moving the unfunny Jay Leno back into late night scheduling. Conan seemed a bit pissed, after all he and his staff picked up and moved to Los Angeles from New York.

It’s a shame NBC didn’t give him a chance but he will have his millions to keep him warm and dry his eyes with. And here I go heading out into the night, or rather, twilight.

Hopefully you both have good nights and I will tell you all about tonight’s excursion tomorrow.

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Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

It’s back to work for most, and another day with less people around for those of us between jobs, or to put it less delicately- unemployed. It’s now raining out quite hard making me glad that whatever I had to do today, I got it done before the downpour.

I did laundry, ran around midtown looking for a photograph of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in ‘Top Hat’. It’s for one of the occupants of the offices at the old job. Owner of the company is a multi millionaire and I was asked by his assistant to find the photograph and get it blown up for his mansion in Palm Beach.

Fred & Ginger

I didn’t mind, but Jerry Ohlingers’ once of west 3rd Street by Bleecker Bob’s, then on 14th Street is now on 35th Street. At this rate they will be across the street from the Apollo in a number of years. But I couldn’t find that exact picture and they suggested Movie Star News on 18th Street which was closed today, presumably for Yom Kippur.

So I will have to try tomorrow. Weather permitting.

I spoke with my sister in law Elaine today. She was off of work due to the Jewish holiday. It was an unexpected and fun chat. She was thinking about seeing Leon Russell yesterday but she was a fan of his back in the day. I emailed her some pics of ol’ Father Christmas and since she didn’t see them, not being at work, I told her about them which really isn’t the same thing as seeing them.

And since a picture is worth a thousand words, and I sent her 4 pictures…well, do the math.

One of the things that came up was my brother Frank. I don’t know if I mentioned it in an earlier post, but one thing I told him in my Beatle remastered euphoria was the fact that there was a slight jealousy regarding the Fabs.

It was also an attempt to boost his ego.

I told him that I was envious that he was aware of the Beatles releasing new records back then, and when I started listening to them, they were history and nothing new was going to come from them as a group, only as individuals which as you may well know, is not quite the same.

It was just something that came into my mind as I was riding the bus into the city. Just odd little transient thoughts that take up temporary quarters in my mind. So things seem to be back to normal, which is so loosely defined in my world.

Not like ‘Next to Normal’ the Broadway musical about a woman who’s having a nervous breakdown. People apparently leave the theater very depressed and not singing a happy tune. Not the show for me to see though it did win a couple of Tony awards I think.

I myself happy that I haven’t won any Tony’s. I don’t have a mantle to put them and wouldn’t know if I should get the mantle first or win the award first. Overall, I am content, not contentious. That was Saturday
and not today.

Bummed Out City

Yeah, It’s been one of those days. I should have stayed in bed until the afternoon instead of rising at 9:00.

Last night Julio and I took yet another walk along the river, a few other people looking at the wreckage or at least trying to. It was dark and all that could be seen were police boats anchored around the site where the helicopter and the plane hit the Hudson River.

Like I wrote yesterday there were no survivors.

Not much to see yet people kept coming and staring into the darkness that lay between the shores of Hoboken and Manhattan.

A block or so away the girls were all dolled up for a Saturday night on the town. Big bouncers stood next to them as the girls tried to entice Julio & myself into various bars and clubs.

We just wandered up the boulevard, running into the Latino kid who works at the shoemaker shop around the corner. He invited me to stop by the store sometime, saying he had a gift certificate for me.

Since the last time I was there in November 2008, things had gotten ugly real fast. It wasn’t his fault, it was the runner they have, some GED program drop out who turned up the heat on the problem at hand. A born & raised Hobokenite from way back when with nary a tooth in his head.

The Latino kid was gracious and shook my hand and wished me a good evening before going on his merry way.

Julio and I continued walking when we ran into Bill who was just getting back from stage managing a play in midtown, off off Broadway.

Actually we heard him first, saying that Julio and I made for a nice couple. The three of us walked back to our building, Bill explaining his plan for the night at 10:00.

He was going to rent a Zip Car at midnight so he could drive around Bergen County and explore the routes for the bus company he’s going to be driving for.

Having grown up in Bergen County I knew of some of the routes, but I wasn’t about to head out there and go driving. He expected to get back in a few hours, like around 2:00 or 3:00.

I didn’t stay up, I just went to bed. When I woke up this morning, there was Bill in bed. I asked him what time he got in and he said 5:00 making me feel I did the smart thing and stayed home.

It’s ridiculous, but Bill wants to drive a bus that badly and who am I to say otherwise? He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t do drugs. He just wants to drive a bus.

Now I’m at home after walking around by myself. I was going to head into the city, just to get out of Hoboken and brave what appeared to be approaching storm clouds.

But, I missed the bus and walked along the river and sat, enjoying a cigar and finishing up the New Yorker and reading some of the Tom Waits biography by Barney Hoskyns.

Not much to see again, just some boats and some buoys making where debris was submerged as well as various news trucks parked alongside the road.

I should have gone into Manhattan.

8.9.09 Recovery boats 001
8.9.09 Recovery boats 002
8.9.09 Recovery boats 003
8.9.09 Recovery boats 004

News crews in their tents

News crews in their tents

Ain’t No Sunshine

Using the old school Open Office docs which is what I used to use daily. Then it wouldn’t behave like I wanted it to, and in a fit of artistic pique I moved over to Google docs. But here I am using this again. It just seemed so forlorn on my desktop, pleading for me to use it, see if there’s a spark, rekindle whatever it was that we used to have.

Well so far so good. I’m trying to clean up the desktop which has many things on it, effectively grabbing a lot of memory. So I’m moving things to disc to free up some space as well as deleting a whole bunch of stuff I haven’t used in a while, if ever.

Last night I met up with Bill and his friend Fred and his lady friend Lila. We met in front of the movie theater and caught the 8:15 showing of The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3. It’s a remake of the classic 1970’s movie starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw and Martin Balsam.

Not a very good remake.

For some reason it got some good reviews but I couldn’t see why. I was hoping to see John Travolta meet his fate the same way that Robert Shaw met his. Really it was THE main reason.

No Travolta fan here and his performance as Edna Turnblad in Hairspray: the Musical alienated me further from the former Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

The audience applauded but trainspotters like Bill and myself wondered how the action can go from 33rd Street to the Waldorf Astoria at 49th Street. A car chase scene that involves a cop car going off the overpass at Tudor City was bewildering.

I used to eat lunch in Tudor City years and years ago and it has not changed one bit, except for the flying, crashing cars. So many plot holes you could drive a subway car through them.

Despite all that it was a brilliant night to be out and about. Just wandering around Chelsea, so many interesting monsters.

I remember when people were considered tough to get tattoos, nowadays everyone and their Aunt Ditty has one. And such ornate designs, that you know will just get better looking as they age.

Much like the brawny former Marines that were in the VFW with my father. Those dark aqua blue splotches on their arms really told a story. What that story might have been I couldn’t tell you and neither could the splotches.

Cheers to those hardy souls with their entire arms covered in ink. I’m not putting tattoos mind you. Just the ones who go overboard.

Today was a gray overcast day. I decided to take a chance and make an attempt at my big ride up to the George Washington Bridge and over into Manhattan. As I stretched before riding the sun came out for a moment and I decided I was doing the right thing.

I rode over to the light rail station at Ninth Street and got on the elevator to Congress Street. As I rode over to Palisades Avenue the clouds were foreboding. Still I pedaled on up to Shippen Street where I stopped and thought for a while.

Shippen would get me back to Hoboken, but did I want to do that? The clouds were getting darker and I decided to ride down Hackensack Plank Road, towards Hoboken. But I didn’t feel like going back home so I rode around Weehawken on the waterfront. No one was around except for maybe 3 joggers.

It really sucks that New Jersey can’t get it together to create the river walk that they’ve been talking about for years, from Bayonne to Fort Lee.

If that was ever completed, or even started in some spots I would be doing that ride a lot more often. Manhattan has an excellent bike path. A little dodgy is some areas but nothing too bad.

But New Jersey? Fuggedaboutit.

Lame lame lame.

Bill figured out last night that I am taking him to see Paul McCartney at the new Mets Stadium. When we were watching TV at home after the dreadful movie, a commercial came up for the Macca concerts in July.

I think I showed too much restraint with my interest in the concerts. ‘Oh really? Interesting.’ Bill saw right through it, my showing of enthusiasm. It was the date that gave it away anyhow.

Weehawken Tree, Hudson River Sky

Weehawken Tree, Hudson River Sky

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A view of Hoboken from Weehawken that I had never seen before

A view of Hoboken from Weehawken that I had never seen before

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Don’t Tell Mama

Oh it’s Wednesday and it’s been merely alright. Of course there was room for improvement but I wouldn’t know where to begin. Most likely I would begin on Thursday. Pet peeve time. I usually zoom around the city, I’m a fast walker.

In never ceases to fail that I can pick someone who maybe be 20 feet away from me that they will stop exactly where I need to walk. Every single time. It’s almost like they see me coming and think, “See that big guy, 6’2” coming in our direction? I’m going to stand right here and I don’t care if he’s bigger than me.”

I’m convinced that people are getting dumber. Even in the bus terminal. It’s so much easier to push the door rather than pull it, but 9 times out of 10 they pull. I wait until it’s clear then I push making it easier for all those behind me.

Last night was ok. Bill came home after my niece Corinne dropped me off. Gave her and her mother Elaine a nice big hug and kiss before I climbed the 4 flights of steps to my apartment. Bill came home a little after that and told me of his plans for me to write a play that they could work on for the workshop he attends.

Sounds like a good idea but I was trying to figure out what I should write. He mentioned 10 pages should be enough and that’s the rule of thumb, one minute for every page. It’s mainly an African American theater group but Bill says that doesn’t matter.

I’m sure I could write something color blind, but I think it might lean to existentialism and I don’t know how that would go over. I’m thinking like maybe a Beckett play. Write now I am writing about writing which could be a line of thought, a one person play.

Still looking for things to do. I did go out on a personal errand. I need hair gel. As usual the things I use seem to be on the way to being discontinued. I like hair gel and where I bought a few jars of it last year, now they’re unavailable online.

So I walked from 50th and Third Avenue to 36th Street. That’s where I almost ran into the various people in my way.

At one point as I was waiting for a light to change, some handsome young man in a truck says, ‘Hey hows it going?” I say, ‘It’s good. How about yourself?’ ‘Good good’ he says, adding ‘Are you still working over there?’ I say, ‘No man, I’m working over here now’

The light changed and he was on his way. Turns out he was a fling from many years ago, Jose. Still handsome and hot but he was the passenger in a delivery van so it obviously couldn’t get much further than a 30 second chat.

I didn’t figure out who he was until I was in the line to get my hair gel. And that was odd. The bill came to $6.13 and I had $6.12. I asked if they had a save a penny/leave a penny and she looked at me as if I was speaking Latin.

All I had was a $10.00 bill and wound up with a pocket full of change which seems to be heard by anyone standing on the street asking for change.

Another interesting thing happened to me while I was running around outside. I’m heading back to my office building when an attractive woman jumps in front of me.

She asks where I got the suit I was wearing and I tell her Syms, where an educated consumer is their best customer. She asks if I ever heard of Tom James. I did and ask if it was the maker of bespoke suits and it was. She tells me I look good and asks for my card which I gave her in exchange for hers.

I’d love a bespoke suit, which is basically a suit made from scratch. You pick out the fabric and they make it according to your size and tastes and will alter it if you gain or lose weight.

That was nice, telling me I looked nice, and it’s also a nice selling point, compliment the potential customer and maybe they’ll spend $1000.00 on a new suit, with 3 free shirts! That Amy Sacks knows her stuff, but I have about 12 suits now and I really don’t need anymore.

I am saddened by Natasha Richardson’s accident. Falling while on a beginner slope while skiing. Apparently something happened with her brain even though she was walking and talking afterwards.

I’ve hit my head many times, one particular incident was when I was working in a book warehouse. I was under the racks getting some books and I thought I had cleared the steel rack and stood up and smacked my head. I literally saw stars and had to sit down for a few minutes.

I guess having such fatty tissue for a skull had an advantage. Now apparently I would be taken to a hospital to be checked out. Not then. And now if you’re going skiing, helmets are almost mandatory.

I didn’t see Natasha Richardson on Broadway in Cabaret but I know the soundtrack inside out and she’s on it. She certainly was a beautiful actress and a pleasure to watch and to listen to. It doesn’t look good for her, reports are that she’s brain dead.

It’s been said that she was scheduled to be on Broadway again with her mother the great Vanessa Redgrave in A Little Night Music, but now that isn’t going to happen. I would have loved to have seen it.

8:08 PM- New York Times
Natasha Richardson, Actress, Dies at 45, Family Says

Natasha Richardson, a Tony Award-winning actress whose career
melded glamorous celebrity with the bloodline of theater
royalty, has died following a skiing accident on Monday north
of Montreal, her family said.

Shakin’ All Over

Oh that Kenny G. He’s on TV right now playing his horn on some ice skating program. He’s the butt of a lot of jokes but I talked with him a while ago on the phone while working for Arista Records and found him to be quite a nice guy.

So I have no beef with him. I won’t run out and buy his records or anything like that but I really have nothing bad to say about him. I wish I knew him better so I could recommend Harpy working for him.

I just got home from Manhattan. Nice day to walk around the city. I headed into the office and cleaned some vases with bamboo shoots in them and roots and rocks covered in algae. I try to clean them once a month but I’ve been lax in that department.

I was also able to take care of a few things that occurred during my absence yesterday. It’s true, these people I work with and support can’t do anything for themselves. They are spoiled. I’m not complaining since I’m the one who’s spoiled them and it keeps me busy. The smallest thing I do makes me look good I think and I intend to keep this up until the lease runs out in March 2010.

Last night I watched a little bit of Factory Girl (The Edie Sedgwick story) which had a bit of the song, Shakin’ All Over. I loved the version and went to iTunes to find out who had done it. Of course it’s a classic and covered by dozens of artists. I found a version I really liked by Iggy Pop and downloaded it. But still- who did the classic 1960’s version?

I enjoyed a Padron as I walked back to the Path train. I wasn’t going to take the bus home since it took forever to get into the city on the bus. One lane going in through the Lincoln Tunnel, plus the bus had a slight collision with a truck. Nothing bad happened and we only stopped for a few minutes.

I was reading about Caroline Kennedy in the New Yorker and a woman next to me asked what I thought about the article I had just finished. We would up having a nice chat about the Kennedy’s and politics. I mentioned that it’s sometimes confusing and infuriating that being so close to New York, we get all the information about New York politics, like Caroline Kennedy thinking about becoming a Senator for the Empire State.

Ultimately it wouldn’t concern me one way or another, but I was drawn into it due to the Kennedy myths. My seat mate felt the same way. She’s an Irish Catholic and I’m a Irish Atheist, formerly catholic. It was a nice chat. She was chubby cheeked enough that she could have passed for one of my cousins. And we both still feel bad about John F. Kennedy Jr and his untimely demise.

I talked with my sister on the phone as I puffed on my Padron and walked down Fifth Avenue towards the Path train. She and her husband, Rex are enjoying the Robert Plant and Alison Krauss CD I got Rex for his birthday this past week, Raising Sand.

Annemarie is going to burn it for me since I was pretty much intrigued by the song that I had heard. I, in turn promised to burn a copy of Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It. I posted the 100 Yard Dash on my Facebook page page and Annemarie liked it.

It promises to be another quiet night tonight. No plans really. Got the new Mojo and Uncut magazines which I will likely peruse while perhaps watching Renee Fleming on the Elvis Costello show, Spectacle. That’s it on this end. Hope all is well with you and yours, as it is with me and mine.

There Is No End

I love New York but I also love being able to get out of New York and back to the relative safety of Hoboken. It always amazes me the difference one river makes. Things in Hoboken are somewhat normal and quiet, whereas across the river it’s go go go all the time, no chance to rest.

There was a time where I would go out after work, drink, see a concert, do whatever and it didn’t matter what time I was finished with whatever it was that I was doing, the Path train runs all night and I didn’t mind waiting for the train at whatever time I happened to be in.

I didn’t like waiting in the bowels of the Port Authority though, after 1:00AM all buses leave through the basement and it’s horrible down there. Time crawls, and there’s no real escape, plus I was usually in an altered state which didn’t help the waiting at all. The scenes I used to frequent are over or changed, clubs have closed and things cost a lot more money now than they did then.

Funny thing is I make more money now, but then again my expenses have grown. No more cheap rent in Weehawken, lower rent than most in Hoboken and I have a job that’s not in the music business and they frown on coming into work hung over or still drunk from the night before. And everything is more expensive now that it was then. Even more expensive than it was last year.

I’m not complaining, that is just the way things are lately. Somethings I’ve noticed lately that I hadn’t noticed before, like the fact that so many young men are going bald and have taken that preemptive strike and shave their heads. Really, a lot of guys in their twenties are going bald. Was it like that in my twenties?

I wasn’t in danger of losing my hair at that age. Bill’s in his forties and that seems to be the ripe age to start to lose one’s hair. Just something I’ve noticed. No longer a stigma, the male pattern baldness, and they mostly shave it all off rather than assuming the role of Lord Comb Over.

One thing that has been driving me crazy is the Blackberry. A lot of people have them, I don’t and I don’t want one. What I do want to do is smack them out of people’s hands as they walk down the street not paying any attention to anything going on around them. They walk and stare at that two inch screen as if their lives depended on it.

Maybe their jobs depend on it, but to ignore everything that is going on around you is just insane in this day and age. Oh if I only had the cojones, which by the way is not a song cut out of the Wizard of Oz.

I have a feeling that another blackout will occur in New York City this summer. Just a feeling. I hope I’m wrong. And if I’m not wrong in the off chance, I hope it’s only a blackout, nothing worse though that is still pretty bad. That was a thought I had in my head last night as I lay in bed listening to Bill saw concrete as he slept.

I voted today, partly for the democratic machine, partly for an independent. We shall see how that turns out. I met the independent when she was handing out fliers at the Mother’s Day 5k run that Meghan and Rob participated in. So my fingers are crossed which makes typing difficult.

The haters have got the anti-same sex measure on the ballot in November in California. And a christian legal firm has sued to bar New York State from recognizing same sex marriages that were performed elsewhere.

Ages of You

It’s Monday again. How that happened I’ll never know. Woke up to the sounds of the Rascals singing ‘It’s a beautiful morning…♫ and I searched for the snooze button while the Arif Mardin production went on. No fault of the Rascals and definitely not Arif’s fault. It was battleship gray outside once again and I just wanted to sleep. But no, work was waiting and I had to get out of bed. Made coffee, had cereal, showered and then I was out after getting dressed. I no longer hustle to get the 7:10 bus, instead I take my time and catch the 7:20 bus. Not as nice a bus, but usually less crowded.

Got to the city and for some reason I decided to play REM’s first album, Murmur on my iPod. I remember when I first got the record around the same time I got my first Walkman. It was the beginning of the cassette age for me. I wanted a Walkman for Christmas a few months before, but my father, figuring that I was mentally retarded said no. I would more than likely be crossing train tracks and playing music so loudly that I wouldn’t hear the oncoming train taking me to my death.

Instead of a Walkman I got a Sears cassette deck with an AM/FM radio. I was crestfallen that Christmas upon opening the box and instead of seeing Sony, I saw Sears. Still I had to show some gratitude and thanked both my parents for the tape deck before going up to my room and beating up my bed in frustration. I didn’t have a car at that time and still trucked around wherever it was I had to go with the tape deck cradled in my arm. It was 1983 so I was probably jazzy all the time. I walked to the 7 Eleven in the snow, just to get out of the house, just to get high.

Eventually I got a car and wound up driving the company van for the book company I worked for. On one lunch hour I decided to take my cash and go to one of the rip off shops by Grand Central where I bought a Walkman II for about $80.00. Soon enough I was putting everything on cassette and playing it wherever I would go. I wasn’t stupid enough to wear it while driving, I did have the Sears cassette deck for that.

One occasion, one of the last reunions of a sort while my mother was alive, had my parents and me with brother Brian and his then fiancée Karen driving down to Bordentown NJ. I was playing Murmur over and over, and loudly too. Loud enough for my mother to complain that I was going to go deaf playing it that loud. I grumbled and lowered the volume, staring out the window at whatever it was that we were driving past.

We made it to my cousin Eileen’s house, where we sat in her backyard and smoked cigarettes (everyone was doing it) and drank Budweiser (everyone was doing that too). Don’t remember much about going home but we made it all in one piece and didn’t get pulled over. All these memories came flooding forth while playing Murmur, which still stands up on it’s own, a near perfect record. Finally got to see REM at McSwells touring for Murmur.

It was one of the first shows that they sold tickets to, and I swear there were only about 30 people in the back room watching a shaggy Michael Stipe hang on the the microphone for dear life while tossing his curly locks to and fro. Won’t be seeing that again anytime soon. Michael Stipe with hair that is.

Here are some pics from an errand this afternoon in midtown.

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Neighborhood with Slow Children
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Gray Manhattan
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Silver Cup Studios where Julio was working today
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Artists Only

Today being Saturday means I get to sleep in. I slept until about 9:00 which wasn’t too much of a stretch considering I went to bed at 1:00AM. I watched Bill Maher last night, he was ok, definitely needed his writers, and he even said so towards the end of the show. After that I watched Ringo Starr on VH1 Classic, Ringo being the subject of the Storytellers show. He was ok, an enjoyable hour spent. Of course the Beatles songs had stories I had heard before.

Mainly Ringo saying that the White Album is his favorite album but it’s also the one during which he left the band for two weeks. Perhaps it was a pretty good fortnight for Ringo. He wrote Octopus’ Garden while out of the group. Obviously he came back, then George quit for a couple of days, followed by John nine months later. Paul was the only who actually left, telling the press he quit to the dismay of the other three. Ringo didn’t get into that mess though.

Last night’s blog was a way for me to let off steam. I’m back to what passes for normal when I’m concerned. Today was a nice day. Went out, got the usual, did some shopping, dropped off dry cleaning. Came back, had breakfast, read the papers and started on some laundry. I had a sketch of a plan to head into the city and see the last day of a Warhol exhibition. Time Out NY had the gallery on 57th Street so I hopped on the bus and walked up to 57th street. At 20 west 57th, I walked in and asked the guard for the Susan Sheehan Gallery. He tells me it moved. I call up the gallery and they tell me they’re on west 22nd street now, and she told Time Out that fact, but they haven’t changed it.

I was annoyed but thanks to some transcontinental prodding from Annemarie, I hopped on a train to 23rd Street. Made it to the gallery, saw some very old Warhol drawings from the 1950’s and two early 60’s silkscreens. It was good to see Andy’s stuff and it made me glad that I went out and did something. I wandered around 22nd street and looked at some other artists in different galleries. Good stuff, a good day to look at some art. It was getting dark out and I was getting hungry so I walked over to 33rd street and caught the Path train back to Hoboken.

Made a burger and it was good. I may watch Inland Empire tonight. I don’t know what to expect but I’m sure to get something out of it. David Lynch can do that to you. I heard from Juan yesterday, he’s having a gay old time in Costa Rica. All the young men have faux hawks in Costa Rica, so he’s probably standing out with his New York City style by way of Seoul. He was planning on heading tot he beach, the Pacific Ocean, and surprisingly enough, I’m not jealous.

I took some pics but having difficulty with my editing program so I’ll post them tomorrow hopefully. That is if you want to see them.