Today you hark back to a time when you remember headphones being less popular, wait, when was that? You're too young to be imagining these things. You begin to regret their existence. A middle aged mother of two with raw yellow hide boots with a pink ipod sits before you jamming hard in the morning hour. Many people find it as necessary as caffeine to blast themselves and the innocent passerby's with sophisticated tastes in Euro-trash drum and bass madness. Electrical acrobatics. Theory: If one is to listen to 'young' people's party music then one must feel young. Life is a party. Your morning commute well spent. A conscious effort to hold on to youthfulness in contemporary life turned into bad habit. Thumping away into oblivion behind oversized shades of the fashionable variety.

A red bag in your peripheral vision is echoed by another site of a red wool coat and red clad ipod. I begin to sense a theme. A light blue eyed brunette with rain boots on a sunny day? Clearly an optimist. Purple leather Kors bag can go. Leather is not allowed to be purple, you say to yourself. If so, then McDonald's would have never existed because all the peoples of the the world would have joined our Hindu brethren in worshipping the holly cows. Luckily Micky D's exists, but what do you care? You haven't been to that Irish restaurant since their colors were green and gold. The Manhattan Bridge.

The misty morning city basking in the glow of the rising sun. Question: Are large rings a symbol of deep insecurities? Two women side by side, one with a large rock that could take your face off, the other, a modest band. Whom is happier? Roughly both these women are the same age possibly batting on different teams, but really. Rock lady is done up to cover, the other seems confident and natural. My attention is diverted to a sudden realization that large bags are 'in'. Hmmm. Also, are ironed and creased blue jeans a symbol of organization, care, neglect, or indifference to norms? It's too much to ponder. 8:45 A.M. Almost there.


1.29.09. N. A.M. NYC.

New York City. Say it again slower. New York City. Never gets old. Or does it? Helicopter flying high over Midtown observing traffic developments on the West Side Highway and FDR drive. Police sirens, fire-trucks, cabs, trains, buses, people, cellphones. It's 5:02, time to roll on out of here. Make your way down the street to your train. Swipe it. Transfer at 34th St. Herald Sq. to somewhere. It doesn't really matter because your train line is unattractive no matter what time you ride. Once in a while a gem surfaces, makes bold headlines across your short attention span and fades back into obscurity faster then whence they came. The tragedy of a glimpse. A diamond in a passing train breaks your feeble reality and it's only 5:09. Women read a gold jewelry catalogue fully illustrated lusting over the gaudy lumps of yellow metal. Good, they leave. Off to spend. But what you ask am I left with? Alone in a packed train car of tired people after a long day's struggle. It's only Thursday. At least it's the same day for everybody. So then again you're not that lonely. A college student pours over her text book. The oppressive weight of an object of distant memory with their low budget design, awkward layouts and outdated graphics filled to the brim with stock photography and jaded illustrations from artists who used to have dreams and aspirations to attain much more. She hauls book and all away. Why? You ask yourself do all Chinese markets seem to use the red plastic bags exclusively. 5:51, you've reached your Brooklyn time zone. You notice Avocado green velvet track pants, you suddenly remember this is why you moved here. New York City, New York City. Living in the land of Kings.


Holding the train door open he stepped into the car laughing. His cousin followed. They chose a place to stand. Though choice is used sparingly, after all it is rush hour. He took off his fur-lined hood revealing an enormously large scar and pronounced veins in his forehead. As he smiled they bulged as if he was lifting strenuously. He wore an aquiline nose and a sinister smile. Proud machismo. His hair glossed with whatever gel suited him, tied back into a small tail. He glances about the car looking for what cannot be discerned. Chewing gum he rests against the do not lean on door. A large bag in hand, black and red with a shoulder strap. It’s been a long day.

1-29-09: Sushi and Brooklyn Car Vandals


I took Katya out for Sushi last night. We hit our local spot and ordered a beautiful meal. Three ultra fancy rolls and one old stand by that’s our favorite. I ordered Edamame, Hot Sake and all. Our dish was served in a triangular format over the large white porcelain plate. Each roll was set in slight arcs making the arrangement appear as a negative space between three packed circles, or women’s underwear depending on your state of mind. We enjoyed ourselves very much. It was a D.I.Y. gift from my mother. I still needed to cash the check. Money is tight but I was not allowed to use it on anything other than enjoyment.

Sunday past, the car was smashed into. Ugly. The Driver side mirror, front window, and whole side panels were damaged. Luckily the car was drivable. It ran about 300$ for glass and a mirror, no note. Do people leave notes? “Hey man, sorry, here’s my info.” No. This is Brooklyn, Fuggedaboudit!  Needless to say my mood was in the depths that made things wear down thin between K and I. She is such a great partner and I am thankful to her for all that she does. More so than I may express or that she may realize. A pure at heart champion if you were to ask me. I regret lacking finesse at times of which her sensitivity and romantic heart demand.

The past few days and weeks have been taxing emotionally, financially and otherwise yet we are healthy. The past two evenings were very fun and romantic and we enjoyed our selves. This is addicting. I think we both remembered some of the important things. Love and tenderness. 

Birthday Blues

1.23.09 N. A.M. NYC.

Reflections on Yesterday

It was a relatively normal working day for me. I don't take days off for these sorts of things. Back track. Katya woke up early and prepared an enjoyable meal of biscuits and sausage gravy, OJ and fresh coffee. It was so nice to spend the morning hour with her. We even took the train together. The workday as mentioned was fine. A photography deadline for our March catalogue and lots of incoming property to sort through set a brisk pace for the day. I let out to a few here and there and the word spread. People invest a great deal of energy and excitement into these anniversaries.

Emails between mom and myself contained wonderful moments of truth and reality. By the time she was my age now, she’d already mothered three of us, and undergone knee surgery, endured my brother and his condition, a relatively fresh marriage and so much more. I was thinking of her and a tremendous amount of things that I began sensing were far beyond what I would be capable of dealing with as effectively as she had. She wrote to me that there was no need to compare the two of us in any way. We all are different and confront our challenges in the best ways we can. She expressed a desire to regain some of the strength of her youth but she reminded me and reconfirmed what I’ve been doing here, whom I’m with and how far I’d come. This was not without the emotional charge you could only expect from one’s mother. This dialogue left me with more to reflect on and I was able to slightly enjoy the day more.

For me the birthday is that of being more a mile marker of one’s mortality, the ever-fleeting nature of life and change as we age toward the inevitable truth that waits in the corner of the room patiently. It sometimes or mostly feels like this.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, reminds one of the delicacy and precious precariousness of life which is at its base level borrowed time. A reality that let me enjoy myself last evening at the Blind Tiger Ale House in the West Village. Note: A blind pig, or tiger or any number of other names is an old speak easy code name for a bar.

6:30 P.M. was the marked time for arrival. My friend Aaron from work and I rolled down to the spot arriving real early to a bustling crowd of middle age men. The slow but fun realization of which settled in that this was not just a typical after work bar with a male majority on a weeknight. This became clear with several glances I caught from other patrons. (Train Note: Young woman in cerulean blue tights with red knit leggings knee high, black miniskirt and navy style sailor’s coat with knit beige solid hand mittens Union Sq.)

In short many friends arrived and we proceeded to have a grand evening filled to the brim with beer and then pizza near the Vanguard and further on to Reggio’s cafe which I was less moved by than it’s history. I picked up that tab from our party as a way to thank the crew for coming out in the cold night to play. (Train Note: Black suede boots with grey fur lining fringe. Same woman as before off to class according to her dialogue with her over charged class mate presumably.)

A first encounter with Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds

1-7-09 F. A.M. NYC.

It’s cold and rainy this morning and very hard to get up. Last night I was out with Katya and Alexis. An old Okie friend of A's from their High School days lives here too. A decent bass man as it turns out who sent along an invitation to hear his band. A real cool guy named Aidan. We set up with some drinks in the dark room at the back of old Parkside Lounge in New York's L.E.S. The band played super well. An 8piece crew with one chap out they still hit it hard with strong roots in Funk, Soul, Blues and Rock. The lead singer was a brown hair, light build, easy on the eyes beauty in a purple pleated dress with an open back halter-top. Arleigh's got chops for sure and if you don't believe it, she even had some moves that made the women’s heads turn. Red lights set a mood on stage and the grooves they were laying down were fit for a good time. I had a feeling while watching that I had finally found some people of my own generation that played music, at least the kind that I subscribe listening to.

When the band was setting up it took only a second to realize they were not a bunch of trust fund hipsters. These cats were authentic musicians that came howling from the great halls of Jazz, Blues, Reggae & Rock. You could tell all this by the way they blew a few notes, tuning away some colorful riffs into the room. The longhaired harmonica man looked like my father 30 years removed. He's the brother of the singer and cousins to the drummer man, Katya’s favorite. We had a grand time and I had a strong feeling we’d be seeing more of this group in the future.

Note: We had dinner near by at local place that ripped us off by $10 or so. A New York momment, you cannot charge $7 for bad chips and a readymade wholesale salty thimble of guacamole. This poor experience needed some remedy, which was found in a Japanese student run French style dessert place around the way. We enjoyed macaroons, coffee and a hot coco to boot. The macs, they were all good though maybe a half day old, chocolate, green tea, cherry rose and lemon dill. Interesting. After all the happenings and breaking out $50 to settle the score, we took the train back home to Brooklyn in the cold wee hours of our anniversary.


New Years Eve 2008



New Years Eve 6:03 p.m. I had spent most of the day laid up in bed with a mild fever of 100.8 or 101 tops. Just another day. Called in sick, it happened to be a half-day anyway. Most people were off on their vacations living fun interesting lives. Peaches & cream. A beautiful thing. Been listening to music and watched a documentary on ol’ Kerouac. He first smoked tea with Lester Young at a club uptown, who the hell else gets to say that? I dig. I feel so close to him in so many ways more so than my own brothers, father or friends. He could lay it down & with style & beauty – cool. Cool like when cool was still new. When cool was jazz blowing with smoke out of a saxophone in a dark club on 53rd St. or a nightspot way out in Frisco, back in a time when Bird was on the radio. What did it sound like then? Did they know they had it that good? K & M are here cooking for tonight’s dinner party at their mother’s. Looks like we might roll out of here at nine to her place. We grabbed some sushi at our local place at 3 p.m. for lunch. Always hits the spot. Always about $20 bucks give or take a few Washingtons. What I ask myself are my resolutions for the year? Well, I am loosing weight at the club, gotta get into shape. Keep painting and apply to publications, but the real deal. Be happier with it all. The girl I kissed to start off this decade/millennium is getting married in two weeks. I’m happy for her. Life, love, it’s funny that way. I say yes. Yes to it all. It’s cold outside, going to have to keep warm feeling almost sorry for all those Times Square bums in the windy bitter cold tonight partying it up. Red noses, ears pink as valentines, noses running, and cheeks rosy. White people’s faces show the real temperature or what they’ve been drinking. It’s a fitting way to end a rough year for us all, our blood rushing around in a hustle to keep us from freezing in the bitter cold of the midnight hour. 

TV? Fuggedaboudit!


Today the Times reports that according to the latest research polls, approximately 10% of the American population is unprepared for the nation wide switch from analog broadcasting to digital on the 12th of June. The government has spent 2 Billion on aiding Americans with the transition and has employed AmeriCorps, firefighters, and other public services to aid people in converter box installations. They have delayed the switch over four months to aid in the transition but declare there will be no more delay. Pictured in the Times as the cover image for this story they present three Baltimore women hugging inside their home after one of them, a worker, has installed the device as if it saved their lives.

 TV comes up in casual conversation with people the same way books once did in our culture. When I tell people I don’t own a TV many often are shocked with such a notion as to not be able to imagine life without it. An old friend used to refer to it as “the mother box”. This poignantly tells the truth because as an object and lifestyle, it has been deeply imbedded into our collective consciousness raising us for over 60 years.

 Now while TV in its various forms has existed since 1927, it wasn’t until 1947 that Americans could begin purchasing ‘affordable’ sets. It was the postwar boom in manufacturing and disposable income and increase in leisure time that allowed this to happen. In 1962 as much as 90% of American households had a TV set.

You see where this is going. Am I in the loony bin? Are TV’s this important? Can we stop and really examine our lives a minute? I suppose I am one of ‘those’ people who had given up on TV a long time ago for things like life or the occasional public radio show. Sure I’ve enjoyed the occasional endless channel surfing at my girlfriend’s mother’s home but it is a passing interest. The economics of the television are too powerful to contend with unless you flip the switch or toss it out the window.

In fact, I invite my fellow Americans to take their precious TVs and toss the things out their windows on June 12th and go ride bikes this summer. Maybe even talk to your loved ones or walk your dog. Walk a neighbor’s dog, garden, cook, start a social club, brew beer, read, knit, make art, make love, make pancakes. Do anything but sit on your duff and take in the endless stream of commerce. Paddle your way down a river and take in that stream. Just remember your sunscreen.