Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Highs and Niches

Let’s try something:

Is there a first step down a mildly trodden avenue for opportunity and success, or does it bloom from nowhere?

I’m guessing it depends on the troddener and the avenue. I think I’m slowing coming to see the notion that if one does truly put their mind to something, that something—whatever it may be—is indeed achievable.

Now, typically I’m quite frank in personal narrative and seething—or at least hoping to be—with odd, slightly morbid, lurid sarcasm. But unfortunately, what I’m dappling with needs to be kept silent before official take-off.

In other news:

I am SO far behind on my fucking Christmas Cards.

[Note: Author recognizes the ridiculous religious reference, however, he sends cards to any human being, regardless of religious preference or affiliation, thus making them Holiday Cards.]

And as much as I’m loving the winter weather (though today (12 Dec 2007) was an exception), I’m finding out more reasons to dislike radiators and multi-story buildings.

No, my building has not burned down, but it has certainly heated up; and I’m on the forth floor. And though I’ve lived with radiators before—most recently during the construction of my parents’ current home in 2003. And such becomes the case while jaunting on the second story of a late 19th Century Victorian home; it of course, was my grandparents’ home. And though it certainly had its perks—same day laundry service: Mem washed while Pep either folded or ironed, and they loved it because it kept them busy(!); fresh cookies and desserts almost daily; centralized city location (mind you I use the word city mildly: Norwich has a population of about 36,000); and a delightful transitional place to be whilst going from home to college—the radiators and their heat were ruthless.

That was an incredibly long sentence. I don’t think I mind, but I do apologize.

Anyway, the point of my radiator story is that I now have to add more water during the week to my fish’s bowl because of the dry heat. Yes, that is a mildly pathetic reason to dislike radiators, but it is perhaps a tic.

Just like tic’s up an avenue and tic’s of “city” population; they’re all just minor niches in the rotunda at large.

Somehow, sleep is always overdue.


Thursday, November 29, 2007


This is surreal.

Well, not really.

I’ve been itching to run with words since I was forced to eradicate my festering hard drive a few weeks back. Thankfully, I was able to grab an old version of Word, having lost the re-installation CDs from my most recent laptop. Oh so fucking typical.

No matter what, and as much as I may hate it, there is comfort in our beloved technologies—my laptop being my most prized. Nancy Gibbs of TIME magazine humorously paid due tribute to our adamantly adorned technologies in an interestingly critical fashion:
Love Thy Blackberry, Love Thy Kids. Now, clearly the article is speaking to a much different audience, but it is still a poignant perspective from a pointed journalist about the addicting advancements shaping our lives. And to think she didn’t even mention “Nano” anything.

Anyway, in other news: the world, as usual is bubbling in atypical comport. But then again, what’s typical? I’m loving the Astor Estate stories right now, almost more than anything—especially presidential politics. Frankly, I’m tried of them. Or maybe I’m tired of just the Democrats and just the Republicans. I want them to face each other so we can finally place where the hell the American public stands on a lot of issues right now. And that’s the scariest part of it all.

Peace in the Middle East, or at least while W. and Condi are attempting to mend smoldering ties.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Not Sure What to Call This...

It has been far too long since I last posted. If it were not for lack of technological savvy, I’d have been posting galore. But of course, in trying to fix a minor computer glitch…I erased my internet application program from my computer…the very program that is needed to connect to the internet. Thankfully, I’ll be back online by mid-next week.

As for the past few weeks, they’ve been hell on wheels. The world is continuing to bubble and Pakistan is at the top of the pot; presidential politics are somehow, in some odd way, continuing to snowball—and yet they’ve been doing so for a year too long already; fall has once again come almost two months late this year, and now, now it seems there will no longer be a fall, just a long summer into a heartless, cool, not cold, winter. The trees barely have time to adjust, let alone humans.

My blood is typically thicker this time of year, but now it has just clabbered grossly because of the awkward jump void of middle cool period. I regret to admit it, but I saw Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” for the very first time last night (10 Nov 2007). My oh my. What a film. Shocking really, and yet somehow, again, it has done very little.

He still drives an SUV (a hybrid Mariner), along with his wife, and yet he is saying we can all make change. Now, to the extent I can understand Mr. Gore’s SUV driving: It is a Mercury, an American made car, and one of only two American made SUV models available (the other, a Ford, (the same as Mercury), the Escape). American automakers have yet to produce a hybrid car—unlike Toyota (the world’s newly leading automaker) and Honda (the world’s most fuel efficient automaker).

Frankly, I’ve always felt that Hybrid SUVs are oxymoronic; they get slightly better gas mileage than their guzzling sibling, yet they pale in comparison to Toyota’s Prius or Camry, or Honda’s Civic. You’ll note also that GM does make a hybrid vehicle: a heavy duty pick-up truck—whoopie. Also, most Chevy (and some Pontiac and Cadillac models) vehicles are coined “flex-fuel” vehicles, meaning they can run on ethanol. But, I was wondering…where was the last place anyone saw an Ethanol fuel pump besides the 8 that are in Illinois and the few others scattered across corn country? I thought not.

Yeah, so basically, go fuck yourself GM, then pass Ford and Chrysler the dildo you used.

If you, the Automakers, really wanted to make a difference, you could put more money in your pocket: start opening Ethanol fuel stations!!! But that would be far too simple.

Besides, I don’t want to plug too much for Ethanol as a means of alternate fuel because it is certainly not a permanent solution. In fact, it should barely be considered because of the further degradation the environment will see if Ethanol becomes the new crude oil. We’re seeing the environmental effects of it right now in Brazil and Indonesia; the Amazon is not only under attack by just McDonald’s anymore, nor simply sordid foreign developers. Because of the governmental push to free Brazil’s formerly sluggish economy from foreign oil, they’ve successfully switched to Ethanol. But they need fields to grow all that corn…sustainability? I think not. And though Indonesia as a state is not doing any sort of switch to better their fuel consumption or efficiency, they’re feeding the rest of the yearning world with it. They’re leveling age old endangered forests to produce corn in order to sell it off to thirsty places like China and India.

Oh god. I think I better stop before I get myself wrapped up in a India-Iran-China-Wall Street is Blind issue.

If the first name doesn’t conjure up much, fine. But if the second two don’t make you squirm, squeal, and get squeamish…you must be living with that Wall Street guru who still thinks our economy is flourishing.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

I <3 Harlem


I fall in love with Harlem more and more each day. And today may be a cherry on top of a half week’s worth of sundaes.

Last week, while reviewing my credit card statement, I realized that my liquor store, New Harlem Liquors, charged me an extra $253.10. I immediately knew what happened.

On 5 October 2007, I paid a visit to the packy. (If you’re unfamiliar with the term “packy”, you’re clearly not from New England.) In doing so, I picked up a bottle of Stoli Raz, as I was feeling a bit stressed and needed a reliever, and I just wasn’t feeling the bar scene. On the rocks with a fresh lime, it never fails as a sweet but subtle prescription.

Now you must understand that the packy’s in Harlem are hangouts; much like the barber shops and salons are, when evening rolls around, the liquor stores fill up with people—families even—in search of bottles, cigarettes, or lotto tickets.

In the New Harlem Liquors all the selections, and there are quite a few—even of good wines—are behind the counter. I told the gentleman what I was wanted; he grabbed it and rang me up. I handed him my credit card, he ran it through, and I blindly signed the slip, as I was distracted by all the commotion going on around me. Besides, he had told me my total before I handed the card over, so I didn’t think twice about what amount I was signing for.

Well, fast forward to the 10 October, when I was officially reviewing my recent activity. It was then that the transaction that took place on the fifth had posted on the eighth and I noticed it. Instead of a charge for $28.12, it was for $281.22. A seemingly simple, honest mistake—hopefully one that could be easily fixed.

Well, I immediately contacted my credit card company, hoping the process would be simple. Naturally, as with all irrelevant receipts, I had trashed this one. Furthermore, I chose not to use my AMEX so this made life all the more difficult, as American Express is the sole credit card company that will simply bend over and take it. And even though life takes VISA, VISA is not one to up and just take it.

The lady on the phone, as nice as she was, explained the process and I was dreading it, hoping I could resolve it with the store. I went there to discuss the matter with someone, but since I don’t have a printer, I was asked to come back with a copy of my statement.

Fast forward to today: I had printed the statement out, and of course my cycle closed, so now a payment is due on an amount I didn’t spend! But regardless. I went this morning with it in hand, talked it over the Carlos whom I’d spoken to the week prior, and he asked me to come back around 3. Ok, fine.

Well, I just returned from there and to my great relief and surprise, it was as simple as handing them my card to receive my credit of $253.10. The owner, whose name I did not get, laughed as we went over the sales from that day. Like most small businesses, the credit card machine is separate from the register, so since the register balanced at the end of the night, there was no reason to scour the credit card slips. He, like me, said it was a simple, honest mistake with the 2 being hit an extra time.

We shook hands.

He credited my card.

I bought a bottle of red—paid in cash.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Apples, Bathrooms, Kites

LL, well, well: Hello and hello.

I went apple picking this past weekend. It was lovely.

My love affair with Turkey has grown deeper, if only because of my disdain towards the United States and its current sordid, unilateral leadership.

I have a new found and deep respect for NBC journalist Matt Lauer. He had the distinct privilege (if you can call it that) to sit down in Boise, ID with one of the GOP’s finest scandal producers: the mendacious Senator Larry Craig (and his picture-perfect wife Suzanne, too). It was a respectfully cunning and inquisitive interview with regards to the Senators most recent debacle: a gay sex sting in an airport bathroom.

Finally, a family values senator gets what they deserve: an ousting.

And then there’s Afghanistan.

I know, random.

But I’ve fallen in love with the place all over again: Its mystery; its culture and once pukka population; its robust history; its tear jerking turmoil. Each of those a facet of a state which the west knows very little about, nor do they seem to have a desire to understand—the proofs in the present.

I was introduced to the country by Mr. Rory Stewart, Scottish journalist and author of The Places in Between and The Prince of the Marshes. Both books are non-fiction accounts of time Stewart spent in Afghanistan and Iraq, respectively. Stewart is a brilliant writer with a prose like no other. He paints a vivid picture of an often scarce, barren, and dangerous landscape. But what he did in Afghanistan was something I could not even fathom tempting: walked across the torn state right after the fall of the Taliban in 2003—and he’s still alive, and continues to do civilian work throughout the Middle East. His second book was about a year in Iraq as a civilian worker for the British government.

I have so many reasons behind my love affair with the most war-torn part of our world, but Afghanistan stands alone for me. (So do Turkey and Israel, but they’re both states in quite different political and societal shape.)

Now, you must know, rarely do I read fiction for pleasure. But over the summer, I was at the book store with Katie T. and we both recommended books to each other and promised we’d read them. I recommended Stewart’s Places, Katie lobbied for The Kite Runner; I went for it. I know it’s despicable that I hadn’t read it up to this past summer. But I’m now happy to admit that I’m one of the millions of readers who so eagerly read through Hosseini’s captivating novel. And thus my love affair has further flourished.

Of course Places was the first book Kate read of the four she bought. Kite Runner was the last I read of the four I bought that day, with a few others in between. But I read it and loved it and am now vehemently following the turmoil behind the film’s release.

Katie and I have talked about how we must travel somewhere absolutely outrageous together someday. I now have no doubt that with or without her, though I’d much prefer she joins, that absolutely outrageous place will be Afghanistan.

But then again, it’s not really that it?

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Friend-ly Iranian Visits Furthered by Platformed, Cocaine Vacant Discos and a Gay Wedding

Well, here’s to Kevin Federline being a better father than Brittany that fuck up of a whore of a mother. I’m only opening with that because my Times, the paper of note, had a fucking article about her custody battle in the A section but nearly a day after it happened. And here it is: Brittany's Loss

Bullshit. Leave it to Mr. Murdoch, his Fox fucking Post and Journal.

Anyway, enough with the gossip I never note because of its absurdity, indecency, and inconsideration.

I’ve been frustrated lately, and I don’t think the feeling is going to dissipate soon; there’s a lot behind it. Regardless.

I had the craziest week—and then some—ever [second to last week of Sept to the last weekend of Sept] though. Not only did the United Nations commence, but the delightfully charamastic Preisdent of Iran spoke in my hood at Colombia only to be shushed, shunned, and frankly punched before he spoke at an education World Leaders Forum. Wow. Check that shit. Not only does he—whose name spelling I don’t care to look up—“possess all the characteristics of a petty and cruel dictator,” but he also claims there are no gays in Iran. Wow, what a fucking feature. It must be so dull, ugly, and plain in Iran…please note my sarcasm.

But, more than anything, my dear old friend who is now an official South Carolina resident came to visit me: Miss. Kaite T (Twomey). We had a most fabulous time, even though she missed her first flight. Now, this should have come as no shock to me, as I spoke to her after midnight on the evening of her flight only to find her, and to no surprise of mine own, incredibly inebriated. Luckily, damn luckily, she made stand-by on the following two flights to arrive at JFK but merely 5.5 hours behind schedule. Whoopise.

She’s knows I hate her but still absolutely adore her, so whatever. We had a most fabulous four days together, even though I had to work five hours Sunday and six Monday. I have great friends to thank for filling her vacant time with theirs: Miss. D and my roommate, Roger. They wined and dined her as only fellow New Yorker’s can do, and I’m so thankful for it.

Anyway, fast forward to the following weekend (last official weekend in Sept). There was a Disco on Friday night on 138th and Lenox (that’s no mother fucking joke, bitch); a semi-subtle night on Saturday; and my very first, absolutely official gay wedding in New Jersey on Sunday morning.

[Note: New Jersey has gone further than any other state in these United States to recognize homosexual couples and their right be recognized under the law. Though they do not define it as “marriage,” the language of the law parallels the rights of heteros and homos quite closely, closer than VT, HI, CA, CT (though note MA .because they do indeed call it marriage). Allen and Mike came close to receiving the 1100 rights that hetero couples so unknowingly enjoy, all thanks to bright blue, albeit industrially and nuclearly glowing, New Jersey.]


I’ll quickly cover the disco: I went all out, to no surprise of any who know me.

I had my mother mail me the fur coat I bought many moons ago at the Salvation Army in Norwich for a 70s themed coronation dance in 11th grade; I ran to Andy’s Cheepes (which turned out to be not that fucking cheap) and picked up bell bottoms, paten leather white platforms, and a huge silver peace sign necklace. I already had my light green, huge square frame, light lensed Versace sunglasses to compliment; not to mention a ring for 6 of my ten fingers. D had a fabulous costume too: a perfectly Pucci-esq dress with her fabulously afro curly hair, gianormous gold hoops, heels and a tackily matching headband to tie it all in.

We were a pair fit for a shitshow, a cocaine buffet, and a whirl wind of a disco, and that is what it fucking was (minus the cocaine buffet…George Jung is still in jail, and in a recent Times report, Coke prices have skyrocketed:
Coke's Inflation). For I have never been to a party where more party goers dressed up! It was surreal and I loved it. If only all themed parties could be so successful, maybe 70s attire would be vogue again.

Or maybe just in my dreams.

As for the wedding:

It was absolutely unbelievable. D and I (Diana, that is) toasted the Sunday wedding with our first drink (a half-ass White Russian) at ten-ish. The wedding started at noon; we arrived a bit early, with all her work’s good company, and because of it were blessed with passed Champagne. Well, we indulged. Who wouldn’t?

It was a lovely day in Jersey City at the Hyatt, stunningly overlooking downtown Manhattan. The ceremony took place on the Hudson and with un-obstructive views of the greatest city in the world, specifically its lower half, mine and D’s home for the past four years. It was lovely. I’ll admit I had one grip though. To “commemorate” their partnership, once the JOP made it official, white latex balloons were released into the air…right on the edge of the Hudson. And to think that I just read an article last week about how recent reports of Sea Turtle populations are continuing to dwindle, even with the supped up efforts to help them. Regardless, it was a most fabulous day for a most fabulous couple for an incredibly overdue legitimate and indeed legal celebration.

After that, the fucking party began. Kettle was my only choice for vodka….god for fucking bid. I think I’ll start it there and end it there as well.

Somehow, and thankfully, I made it to work the next morning. Perhaps it was because we were wasted well before 4pm, or maybe it was because I was passed out by ten…but then again, who knows.

And then, here we are, Wednesday evening. Besides Dexter and Weeds, which I could write full reports about both for, there’s not really much else. Wizard of Oz monopoly with Kimmie is all the cherry I can give.

Till next time.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I’m just elated about so very much right now. Because there is so much and it is so random in so many ways, I’m going to title and number them with a synopsis following each. I’m going to do my best to put them in chronological order. We’ll see how well I do.

[Note: There were far too many “I’m” and “I’m going” in that four sentence intro.]

[Author has taken note.]

1. Harlem Nights

Holy Shit. As a new apartment renter, I wanted nothing more than to have a most fabulous first party. With friends and freaks all together, booze and bud, and maybe a little lip too, there is no better way to christen a new pad. And so that is just what Roger and I did; with me doing all the stressing. And I’ve learned, because it was such a success, that the stressing was unnecessary and simply irreverently fueled my psychotic, quixotic, meticulous, maniac-like mind instead of, perhaps, focusing on fielding an even more eclectic guest list. But I’m fine, so it doesn’t matter. And besides, I’m going to freak out and stress all over again before the next bash.

Anyway, on with a few highlights: A few words back I mentioned an eclectic guest list. Was it ever. I think I’ve been so taken aback by the cluster fuck of random people because I’ve never had the type of experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a numerous NYC house parties; and christ, I’ve hosted a couple Connecticut Keggers in my lifetime as well. But the difference: this was my NYC house party at mine and Roger’s (and temporarily Kevin’s) abode. Friends from each and every network that Roger and I are apart of made some sort of appearance. Our old time city friends and even some from home, Sabor Latino and the Pace Press, soccer teammates and fellow Semester at Sea Sailors(!) were all in attendance, with even more in between. And then there are the friends of friends of friends that were even delightful. I guess I’ve never been able to have a party to such caliber as my living locales were a hindrance when it came to revelry. But that’s now thankfully changed.

The only hindrance to partying came around 4am when we ran out of beer and just could not stomach any kind of hard booze. We’d resulted to funneling beers out of a whiffle ball bat. My former roommate of two years, Kevin Schaffert, had the brilliant idea of slicing off one end of the bat in order to fill it with beer and chug, chug, chug. My earlier slicing endeavors involved limes and my finger tips ended up bloody. But the bat funnel worked. And after Roger, Kevin, and I each had our time at the bat, suddenly it hit Kevin and me: Meatloaf. And so, just like old times (those in the New School Dorms), we severed up a killer dish of “Paradise by the Dashboard Light.” In our drunken stupor however, we naturally cranked the volume of the bass bumping beat. After the almost nine minute tune finished, Kevin proceeded to the bathroom where he promptly passed out until later that morning. This, my friends, is not at all unusual for Kevin after the night that had just ensued.

Suddenly, after laughing and photographing with Christina and Roger, the buzzer rang: It was the Police. Or the Harlem 5-0, as my father aptly put it once I told him. Apparently, someone called in a noise complaint. Whoooopsie! I tried knocking on doors days prior to the party, but no one answered on our fucking floor!

Roger buzzed them in and up they came to find only two people in sight. Christina had slipped in the bedroom and like I mentioned, Kevin was, well, resting. Roger opened the door with me smiling and laughing on the couch, probably looking more like a mental patient than a drunk, they said to quiet down, that it was 4:30 in the morning. And that was it. No yelling, no unnecessary questioning, nor was there even a sense of power, sarcasm, or degradation in their tone of voice. Perhaps if there were more than 2, a mere 2 people, they would have been a bit harsher. But cheers to you, NYPD…for once.

The next morning was nothing but laughter. Christina had to wake up and practically drag Kevin out of the bathroom around 9am when she had to use the pisser; Roger woke up for all of five minutes before going back to sleep only to wake up maybe a half an hour before he had to leave for work…fucker; and though I was still a bit lit when I woke, I wasn’t hung over and it turned out to be a delightful day. I even got my hair cut and liked how it came out, which is never the case during the first week. Never.

2. Showtime’s Dexter
Dexter, America’s favorite serial killer will be at it again come September 30, and I just couldn’t be more excited!!! I was thankfully able to get Kim hooked in time to start jumping into the second season with a partner, as opposed to viewing it solo.

In light of her loving it, she called to tell me how much she did in fact love it on Monday. My lobbying efforts paid off. So, I ran down there after work and we watched one of the season’s most revealing episodes. It was great and it got me yearning and bleeding for the new season.

There is so much I love about the show. Michael C. Hall being either number one or two, leading or closely trailing the shows weekly introduction. His morning routine is turned into an abstract of his job and life: that of a blood analyst for the Miami Police Department and also an incredibly successful and absolutely brilliant serial killer. From shaving to shoe lace tightening, and frying to slicing, every facet of the show is beautifully and elegantly encompassed in the opener, week after week.

I’m sure you’re bothered by him killing people. You’re simply more caring than I am. But trust me; he’s the type of killer you adore, not abhor. You don’t even love to hate him. You just love him. So go. Read about or even better, watch the show.

3. The Metropolitan Museum’s newest exhibit: “The Age of Rembrandt”

It was just two weeks ago when I started to hear the names of some of the world’s most famous 17th Century European artists: Rembrandt, Vermeer, ter Borch, and Hals, Steen and di Hooch, Maes too. And then to learn that all these names and so many more would be on display together, at the greatest Museum in the world, for the first time. That is right folks, this is the Met’s first time it has ever displayed all of it’s 17th Century Dutch Baroque Art at once, together, in one exhibit!

Not only had I been baited by talk of this exhibit for the past few weeks, I ended up indeed hooked by Holland Cotter’s review of the show in this mornings
"With his opulent paint, acute
ambition, stumblebum’s mug and pilgrim’s soul, Rembrandt van Rijn was a god of
17th-century European art. Some 20 paintings by him — the largest number outside
Amsterdam — pulse through “The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Painting in the
Metropolitan Museum of Art,” a show with an elusive heart."

With some 228 paintings on display (which never have more than a third have been on display at once), from each and every Baroque genera, it was a cluster fuck of sin and seduction, professionalism and portraiture, vanitas and virginity. It was obscene, in the most artistically overwhelming way. Of course it was also a cluster fuck of people: exhausted Europeans, WASPs in town for the day, and those that had no idea what they were looking at. And then there were the regular’s: New Yorker’s, intrigued, art admirers, and free—for the day anyway.

There I was, sitting in the reading room that was apart of the exhibit and on display were other paintings along with the newly published 17th Century Dutch Catalog. I was in awe. It is a massive, two volume, wonderfully composed art literary document. I spent almost an hour reading the section on my favorite 17th C Dutch artist: Jan Hanvick Steen. Steen was a revered painter and savvy humorist. His’s paintings are noted for their sexual innuendos, self and family portraiture, wit and underlying theme. His dissolute households are quintessentially Baroque and were part of the reason American’s adored them. His juiced jovial smile that adorned his face in every poignant snapshot scene allowed the painting to exude Steen, even if he was just acting his way through the piece.

Suddenly, while I was delving deeper and deeper into the paintings of Steen, an obnoxious cell phone ring rang. I was just appalled. Because of this ear piercing sound, I was immediately thrown off reading course and I’m sure near by viewers concentration went awry as well. I just could not believe it; I never can, as phone silencing is something one does before they even enter a museum. I looked up, noted her age (50s), overdone make-up, dyed blonde hair, and saw her slowly reach the phone, take it from her jacket front boob pocket, open it, then just close it in order to silence it. She didn’t even push a button to turn it off! She slipped it back in her pocket and I slipped her a line of my own: “Could you please silence your phone?” I said with a polite yet pointed tone. You’d think she was being scolded by the police. She could barely respond: “What are you talking about, I’m sorry,” exclaimed her snooty, thick accent. To which I replied: “This is a museum.” As I finished my statement backed by a glare, I looked back down only to smile more as I heard her say to the person she was with, “Who is that guy, as if he’s never made some sort of mistake. Piece of shit. Who is he?” And yes, she did call me a piece of shit, to which I just chuckled.  I’m sure she heard. She continued to babble as I continued to read.

I caused quite the stir. People gave looks of approval and also of perplexity. But really, I was just looking out for every proper museum goers well being. It really bothers me when guards do not hold up the integrity of the museum, and since there was not one to do the scolding, I did. And it was great; Steen would have toasted and laughed.

While writing, I grabbed my 17th C Dutch Art text book and flipped through the pages and as I did, I noticed painting after painting, all with the notation: New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art. I realized then  that the Met really did have all these pieces and now, finally, you can see them all, together at once.

Run, don't walk, to this show of masters.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Though I’ve known it forever, it just dawned on me: I’m far from succinct. But somehow, I get there, 75382625489 words later.

I just updated myself on several blogs of people I lovingly and respectfully acquaint myself with. Frankly, I wouldn’t spend time reading their words had they been “just another person.” To no surprise, I was amazed.

But no matter how concise and short they may be, my blog heading properly point to it: “Also, I can be a bit prolix...”

A bit?!?!?!

Hopefully my new atelier on 118th does something for me.


[Note: Shortest blog entry(…ever).]

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Harmony in Color


There is something numbing and indeed mind-boggling about truly moving from one place to another. I mean literally, literally taking all that you know and love from wherever it has been, and putting it where you now reside.

Now, I do understand the poignancy and outrageousness behind my previous statement, but I must admit: at 22, I’m still a virgin. Well, as of yesterday (01 Sept. 2007) I was. I recently become a resident of 160 West 118th Street—right on top of the Park.

[Note: continuing this entry on 7 Sept 07.]

It has been a whirlwind of a week. Of course, it was even more of a storm leading up to the big move in—there were just so many damn decisions to make!! Design and décor decisions took top priority last week and continue to occupy most of my time, thought, and physical activity.

From the time I, well, we really, Roger and I, stepped foot in the door, I haven’t stopped. I immediately started painting. I didn’t have a choice. People have told me it is a waste of time, money, and effort, but on the contrary, I’ve found it to be quite the opposite. I find myself more and more allergic to white walls everyday which is the reason behind there being only one white wall in the whole apartment; and its not even totally white. I painted the depth of the window sills the same color as the neighboring wall…but you’ll hear more on that later.

For the past four years of my life I have lived in rented rooms. It was accommodation that could only be enhanced by artwork and not wall color. And if you fucked up the walls too much, you had to pay for it in the end (the reason my diploma was delayed getting to me this summer…wall damages in my room at the George. HA!) For too long my eyes were strained by the walls that surrounded me in my college rooms—be they beige or white. Thankfully, I was never too far from a painted place, be it Kimmie’s green and purple walls at 2 Gold or my house in CT. And now, now I have my very own place coved in color for my eyes and good company to enjoy.

When Roger and I first started talking about being official roommies, not just former residents of the New School Dorms (the GREATEST dorms on earth, by far, no matter what), he threw the interior design into my court; I’m not sure he fully realized what that might entail. Well, now at least he does. He laughed while telling my friend Laura who stopped by after our first weekend in the new abode about how he loves asking me where something should go because he doesn’t get a solid answer from me for at least 24 hours. And I’ll tell you, it’s true.

For the two weeks leading up to our move in on 1 Sept 07, I tossed and turned at night over how to go about choosing a palette. Though I knew what basic colors I would be working with (Green, Orange, Brown, and I was even considering Blue), it was the tones and shades, hues and saturations I was unsure of. But after much discourse and debate with my mother, I made my decisions for the wall colors in my very first, very New York apartment.

There was much to consider in this decision making process. Allow me to quickly describe the floor plan: It’s a fourth floor walk up; upon entry to your immediate right is the real live eat in kitchen (with a large window); in front of you is a hallway leading to the rest of the apartment; slightly after the kitchen entry further down the hall is an offshoot to the hall closet and bathroom; continuing down the brick lined hallway leads to the grand living room with two windows facing east, a dimmable light fixture and two spotlights for artwork on the brick; at the start of the living room is the first of two alcoves in the brick, both are set in eight inches and are white-walled, the other is at the end of the living room, where one would walk into my bedroom; therefore, clearly, the bedrooms are off the living room with my room having more exposed brick, another fabulous alcove, and a large, 42” wide window, complete with a fair sized closet; while Roger’s room has two windows and a very, very large closet. I’m sure you are stunned to learn that I took the smaller of the two closets. This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make in my entire life, and you think I’m fucking kidding. It was practicality vs. aesthetics (wardrobe vs. décor). As you can see, I chose the eye pleaser, and I couldn’t be happier.

Because the brick plays such a dominate role in the entire apartment, and because it is not your typical British Red Brick, it was imperative to constantly consider the shades of brick while choosing wall color throughout.

Now for colors: the kitchen, with its tiled floor, light maple cabinets, and white appliances was vivified by a baked aqua on the walls. Now, I know what you’re thinking: You painted the kitchen BLUE?!?!?! Since when is blue a kitchen color (other than an accent) and what the fuck food is blue? Well, none really and rarely do you see a blue walled kitchen. But I went ahead with it and I’m just thrilled I did. Never in my right mind had I expected to chose a blue hue for anywhere in the apartment, let alone the kitchen. However, after I found and fell in love with an antique cherry table and six antique coordinating chairs, I was off in search of fabric to recover the seats. Low and behold I fell even more in love with a very rich, very baroque, very tealish fabric; of course there’s a nice taupey orange print to compliment on two of the six chairs.

The hall color for the entry and leading to the bathroom is a burnt sienna—its official name: Chai Spice. This color leads you into the living room and around the immediate wall corner, if that makes any sense. Looking into the living room on the back wall where the bedroom entrances are is a cocoa, Fudge Truffle. By placing the brown on the back wall, it elongated the space because dark colors recede, thus immediately enlarging space by illusion. As I mentioned earlier, I left the alcoves in the brick white. I did so for two reasons: Roger and my father both said they like the white with the brick, and also because the wall opposite the brick with the windows I decided to leave white and paint only the depth of the sill in Fudge Truffle. I did so for fear of shrinkage—not because the room was cold you sicko, but because of a loss of light. Though I still may go ahead and paint the whole wall.

So if you can picture it, you have one wall predominantly brick with a touch of white, and the opposite mainly white with a touch of Fudge in the sill (arguably, alcoves with windows)—balance indeed. Of course there’s art work in both alcoves and a shelf made and built by me pops and I. I won’t even get into the furnishings.

As for my bedroom, with its striking exposed brick, I went with a split pea color. It’s called Raked Leaves, which makes no sense what so ever considering raked leaves are typically brown, orange, or red. But I believe, and as color theory would prove, it is the absolutely perfect compliment for the brick and its grand array of color—it has reds and browns, tans and oranges throughout. I’m madly in love with it; no one else seems to enjoy it as much as I do, but I could give a shit.

Oh, and the floors are a medium oak throughout, except the kitchen and bathroom—obvi.

Sorry for boring you with designers talk. I could go on for days, but instead I’ll just explain why I chose what I did.

Each color was chosen from the same range on the scale. All were the richest or second richest color above the saturated sample. This therefore allows for the colors to work together, in compliment and in contrast, to warm or to cool the space they fill. Each room has a touch of the other room’s colors, thus allowing for everything in the apartment—its furnishings, that is—to be completely interchangeable without fear of clashing or mismatching. When working with limited space, especially NYC apartments, it is important to be able to swap, substitute, and mix everything as needed. Chairs will go from the kitchen to the living room in one evening, as will pillows from the couch to my bedroom. Since each color is from a similar place on the wheel, this also keeps the eye from being overwhelmed or startled by a sudden change of intensity in color or reflection of light. A harmony in color.

There is so much more that has gone into this apartment as well. The bathroom is white tile, halfway up on the walls outside the tub, so above it is a Carmel Latte—a richer, more copper brown. Roger painted his room in the color scheme of the NY Nicks: Silver Gray, Cobalt Blue with an orange accent. It’s so Rog. My Dad and I also built a room dividing screen, a Chinese Curtain really. It’s a dark stained frame with a sort of fleur de lis patterned fabric that has all the colors of the walls (except the blue, thankfully). This helped to create the sublet space in our living room. But don’t be afraid, there is still far more space in the rest of the living room than most city apartments have all together. And besides, everything is interchangeable, moveable and far from permanent.

I am truly in awe each time I walk into mine and Rog’s place on118th St. I just can’t wait for the parties, the people, and the memories. I’ve already got a few pretty ridiculous ones, and I’m sure they’ll be crazier highlights to follow.

It’s a New York City apartment; it’s been dirtier than Brittany Spears’ battered pussy and endured more change than W’s supposed developing and evolving Iraq war policy.

It’s funny how I talked about roast beef curtains and Bush in the same sentence…somehow, they just go together.

Cheers and I’ll see you in Harlem.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lost at Sea

Pardon my hiatus. Between returning from afar (and, regrettably, not finishing my travel blogs), throwing a massive graduation bash where my parents did dueling keg stands (and my mother won), entertaining out of towners for a week, and now being planted on the beach in Sandbridge, VA, there really hasn’t been a moment to write, but nevertheless, there is always moments to write about.

I’m brought to the page today (18/7/07) because of what happened to me yesterday. We (my mom, dad, and I, along with 14 of our closest friends (we vacation every season together)) arrived in VA on Saturday. The weather has been perfect and the sea just a delight. Reading and sunning, eating and drinking, drinking, drinking, the days commence with the rise of the sun and end in some other beach-themed way. But yesterday, there was something that happened that made the day different for me.

Four years ago, while my dad, Emily Constant, and I were jet skiing on the back bay, something happened that has kicked off a steady and yearly train of events: I flipped my dad off the back of the jet ski and he lost his brand new Oakley glasses to the shallow depths of the murky, hot bay—this was most upsetting for him as he had just purchased the glasses the week prior to departing for vaca; the following year, also while jet skiing on the Back Bay (it’s official name), I lost a ring that I bought on a Madison Avenue street sale and had worn for three years. It was a beautiful sort of chunky basket weave topped ring that I adored. Of course I didn’t realize I lost it until long after we returned to the house and started eating. It was a sad day, likely comparable to the loss of my father’s glasses. All of these past occurrences lead us to the grand and indeed heart wrenching events of yesterday.

On Monday, we all decided Ocean Kayaks might be fun for the day. Dad and I, being the crazy adventurous ones that we are were the first ones to cast off over the rough surf during a lull. We rowed about, parallel to the shore for a while before deciding to get tossed ashore by the crashing waves; I was incredibly excited for the rush. We made our way, slowly, cautiously, waiting for the right wave that would effortlessly carry us to solid sand. Finally, our wave arrived. We began paddling, quickly working to get ahead of the wave so we stay perpendicular to it and be cast ashore flawless and without capsizing, and more importantly, to get the rush-feeding perfect wave ride. So much better than a boggie board.

Needless to say, all of our paddling and planning efforts were thwarted by the restless, powerful, and unpredictable sea. To our grand delight, we were flipped right at the shore. Both of us popped up with ear to ear smiles, breathing heavily, laughingly reflecting on what the hell just happened. It was a blast and we needed a little rest.

By this time, mom had arrived and was there, laughing, taking our paddles and walking with us up to our chairs. We sat down, told her of the massive feeding frenzy we came upon where bait fish were just flying out of the water, trying to escape the jaws of a hungry predator from below. Little did the jumpers realize, there were also hungry stomachs flying above—a looming pelican, several seagulls and an unrecognizable hunting bird, circled, knowing full well their chances were enhanced because of what was going on below.

Now, on with my point. As we sat, laughing and recalling, it finally hit me, “Where are my sunglasses?!?!!?” Shit fuck cunt mother fucking shit, whore ass bitch. Damnit. We ran to the shore, quickly running up and down, in and out, hoping to find them washing back and forth in the turbulent and turbid waters. Our beach neighbor came down and began chatting with my mother about how his son lost glasses and they found 8 pairs, except his. I was in shock; I still am.

You see, the glasses I was wearing were the first designer pair of frames I ever bought—ever, in the history of my 22 year life. They were classics, ones that the world had seen (seriously, they’ve been around it) and friends knew just by glancing. I reached for them when I needed comfort, when my attire was casual through and through, and also when my outfit was screaming and if my glasses were any louder, I should be imprisoned. They toned it down while keeping it spicy, and vice versa. They were a perfect green plastic frame with a subtle CD on each side in a pewter silver color. From that I’m sure you can surmise they were Dior’s, and clearly cost a pretty penny. I had them for seven years and adored them, even as my sunglass collection grew more outrageous, more flashy, more luxurious.

It didn’t matter, they were classics. But I’m the fucking idiot. I know the sea and her unforgiving ways. She had no reason to throw them back on shore; I’m the one who wore them on the kayak to begin with. And to think that when I left the house and threw them on my face I thought, “Christ, I better not loose these out there.” I’m truly an idiot and I have no one to blame, no one to be mad at but myself.

Perhaps if I had realized sooner, perhaps moments after, not minutes, that my frames had disappeared, I would of found them. As it were, the next person I went out with, Timmy G, also wore his glasses and lost them when we came in; however, he was able to quickly recover them from the rushing surf and crashing waves. I was pissed. But oddly, and surprisingly, I never expressed it. My disdain was for myself.

I love the sea and there’s just no getting mad at her. Arguably the most powerful force on our earth, making it more blue than green, her powers run deep and what she takes is hers for the taking, be it a freighter or a frame. And though I’d give anything to have them back, it’s comforting to know they went this way. It’s not like I broke a lens or sat on them, had them stolen or even misplaced them. It’s kinda like dying in your sleep or just collapsing without knowing you’re dead; it just happens and there’s nothing you can do about it, but supposedly, it’s the way everyone wants to go. It wasn’t their choice and it certainly wasn’t mine.

In the end, I’d say they had a damn good life, and I know my eyes and outfits were always thankful to have them adorning my face. Fare ye well, my prized green glasses—enjoy the sea for me.

So, there they be;
Lost at sea.
My green Dior glasses
Were so very good to me.
I’m not mad at her,
Just pissed at myself.
For if I’d thought it through,
They’d still be on my glasses shelf.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Medaba from Istanbul

Where does one even begin after their first 13 hours in Istanbul? I’m in my room right now, and yet, there are still streets crammed with people like SoHo on a Saturday in July and then some—though I’m about a perfect 20 minute stroll, literally right off the main street in New Istanbul (Istiklal Cadauk), from busy Beyoglu and famous Taksim Square. And to give you a better picture, before we go any further, I’ll describe exactly where I am in this truly astonishing place.

If you chose to look at a map (which I highly recommend), you’ll notice the city is split in two by the Bosphorus. I’m on the west side of it (European side); furthermore, you’ll notice there is a rather wide tributary that juts off the river and splits the western half—the Gold Horn. I’m staying on the southern part of the northern side of the river (if that makes sense), in a neighborhood known as Galata. To the north is “New Istanbul” (or so it has been recently coined) and it is unreal. Old mixes with new as boutiques, bars, clubs, and restaurants line the streets and vendors fill the corners. It is simply divine. Over and across the Galata Bridge is why I came; Old Istanbul, or Sultanahmet, is where the vast majority of historic sites lie. The Grand Bazaar district is also on the southern half. I chose to stay in Galata because it is right in the middle of old and new, perfectly juxtaposed in this (I’m running out of words) awesome city.

When I first started planning this trip, one of the words of the day that appeared in my gmail box was errant. More often than not, the words of the day are obscure and difficult to assimilate into ones daily vocabulary, and if I were not planning on running about to a far off corner of the world, errant, too, would be just as fucking random. However, I cannot find, nor create a more fitting word. Errant, in my own words, is to spend a day in Istanbul with all that you have to cover on your mind, and yet cover none of it because the scenes are so captivating, all the while misbehaving here and there; the streets so lively and full; the city undoubtedly surreal. Why have a plan on my first day—especially after only about 4 hours of sleep in the past 36 hours—when you’ve never been to a place? Get to know it while not knowing it first at all.

You might consider noting that I’m writing this blog at a rather obscene hour (04:13 local time, 21:13EST (I’m seven hours ahead)), but my brain just can’t stop spinning; words are running, sporadically, randomly, and thoughtlessly through my head. All I have been able to think about since I arrived in this historic metropolis is what the fuck I’m going to write about. And here, as I sit in my room, I still have no idea. It is simple going to spew from my fingertips.

I’ll quickly recap my departure from the City—New York City that is. ( Please note: “the City” will always and forever be New York City, no matter what.)

I left from JFK on Alitalia on what was supposed to be a fight that left at 18:00, to say the least it didn’t. We were stuck on the plane for just over an hour with no air conditioning…now, I can handle no air conditioning (I’m staying on the 4th floor here, its 85-90 and humid, with no AC), but on a plane with 290 people, it’s a bit rough. One of the engines would not start properly, hence the necessary delay. Needless to say, I got through it with no problems, as did the rest of the passengers. Thankfully it was a plane full of mostly Europeans who do not wastefully use as nearly as much AC as we devouring American’s do. Anywho.

The flight was fine. Of course there was one glitch. I booked my ticket through American Express Travel, and to my grand realization and stunning surprise, there was never an option when I booked my ticket about meal specifications. It dawned on me while I was checking in; I asked and she said it’s was too late and the best I could do was hope there was an extra one on board.

The plane was a Boeing 777 and holds 291 people, including crew. There were Four sections: first class, business, the frontal coach class and the rear coach class (no difference between the two coach classes). I was in row 34, so I got to board first. I asked every flight attendant I passed about a veg meal and their response was the same as the lady at the ticket widow: if you didn’t request it in advance, you’ll just have to wait a see. Well, wait and see I did. I got so jealous as all the other people with special meal requests got served first—as vegetarians, diabetics, and any other food specific person always does—I was pissed at myself and at American Express. Thankfully, the cabin stewards were all delightful and when they came around asking if I wanted “Chicken or Fish,” in their Italian-English, I finally had the chance to ask if there were any veg meals left. After everyone else was severed, finally I was too. And I’ll be dammed, it was a fabulous Indian Cuisine vegetarian meal (I would argue it was vegan).

Besides the meal escapade, my fucking seat would not stay in a locked position. Now, this was fine for me, but since it went back further then all other did, the woman behind me was a bit perturbed. After it happened a few times and I felt her evident, yet polite nudge, I turned back and said, “I’m so sorry, the seats broken.” It was annoying and relieving at the same time.

We landed in Milano with about 40 minutes for me to spare until my connecting flight to Istanbul took off. And it was the perfect amount of time. Back through security I went and by the time I found the gate, I only waited about 7 minutes before boarding. Almost three hours later, the Alitalia 737 touched down in Istanbul.

I was numb. Emotionless, really when we touched down. Why, I do not know. But it was probably a good thing that I was over tired so very awake and not to eager to get where I needed to go because a problem immediately arose once I arrived.

After grabbing my lone and quite small checked bag, towards the exit I went. I needed cash. I had spent the two previous days in the city all over the place, from banks to embassies and offices galore, trying to find Turkish Lira, but had no luck. To my delight, I spotted a CitiBank ATM. I did the ATM thing, insert card, type pin, choose account, how much, etc., and then was blatantly greeted with a not-so-positive message. “The issuing bank has denied your financial request.” Well, fuck you CitiBank. I traversed the globe with this ATM card and never once had a problem (well, until it got eaten in Brazil by the HSBC machine). Coincidently, I hesitantly tried the HSBC machine—no luck. Then both Turkish Bank ATM machines and got the same response each time. Thankfully, I had my Washington Mutual debit and had just deposited a very small amount of money which I was not planning on touching just before I left.

Well, it worked, and damit, I didn’t even tell WaMu I was going anywhere. I told Liberty Bank that I would be in Turkey and Greece at such and such times. I never once had a problem previously overseas with Liberty; I prefer using them because they refund all ATM transactions fees at the end of the month.

I withdrew 150YTL (Yeni (new) Turkish Lira) with my WaMu card. I was pointed to a shuttle service that would take me right to my hostel. Perfect. They set it up, I paid, waited about ten minutes, and then was off to my hostel in Galata with a driver that spoke maybe five English phrases—and that was just fine.

I checked in with home to make mummy and daddy happy, only to report my dangerous and dire financial inaccessibility. You see, it is better to withdraw from ATMs if you can because you get the best exchange rate as opposed to bringing cash and buying the local currency. So of course, I had a ten, a five, and probably about 17 ones which I purposely brought just in case. Nonetheless, they were virtually worthless; right along with my fucking Liberty Bank ATM card.

The drive into the city was sort of a blurr. I was tired, but wholeheartedly ignoring it. I talked to mom and dad, gave them the report and off to work they enthusiastically, though unfortunately went in order for me to have cash. Credit cards are easy to use, but you can’t get as good of a price if you’re paying with plastic when bargaining—so fuck it, I needed the paper damnit! Anyway, they had an hour before the bank opened, so I would be calling them back sooner rather than my planned later second phone call.

Like I said, the driver spoke only a few words in English; he said “Thank you very much,” for just about everything. I politely smiled and nodded as he went on in Turkish. He was able to point out and say what I was numbly viewing—the Sea of Marmara (to the south of Istanbul). It was beautiful though depressing. It was filled with cargo and oil tankers, some anchored, some sailing, but nonetheless, each ship hindering the should-be stunning and serene view. We kept driving.

It was beautiful all around us. The middle of this road (I’m guessing the main highway) was landscaped with geraniums and marigolds, brightly popping out below the many maple trees that filtered then scattered the sunlight from above. Still driving.

Finally, while I was still on the phone with my mother—who was excitedly and legitimately inquisitive already as to my adventures thus far—there it was: The Aya Sofya, or westernly known as the Haghia Sofia. This stunning mosque (though it was originally it was a place for Christians to worship) was emotionally moving from afar. I quickly told my mother I had to hang up the phone and that I’d call later because I needed a moment to take in the dreamed and picturesque view as tears trickled down my check. (Whatever, make fun all you want. Either way, it was my first time crying over a piece of art history, though I’m sure the Acropolis will bring floods). You see, my love for art history began in this corner of the world; first with the Greeks, their massive thrones and seemingly effortless sculpture (the Romans, too, but they mostly copied the Greeks and just furthered from their already perfected styles), then, slightly further more to the East in Turkey and Iraq. (Iraq was once home to more architectural structures and indeed feats than any other region in the world, though closely rivaled by Greece, Turkey, and Egypt. Today, well, I’m sure you can just imagine what is missing from their tarnished and tattered landscape.) For an adorer of late antiquity, this is unequivocally the place to be. And hey, here I am!

Anyway, back to the drive. It took maybe a half an hour to get to my hostel; through part of Sultanahmet and over the Galata Bridge, the driver skillfully weaved the van about the steep and truly chaotic streets. In getting to know the city more today, I learned that streets in Boston are brilliant compared to here, but at the same time—I’d take this place any day.

Down a steep slope we went that was barely wide enough room for the van, let alone the people walking and crowding around it. He asked a few people exactly where my place was, and we finally, and quite randomly, parked right in the middle of the street. Well, two streets actually, though neither separate nor together would they legitimately be considered a pathway for a vehicle in the West. He jumped out, and quickly stared walking in the direction of my place. It was a hike. I never realized Istanbul was an incredibly steep and hilly metropolis (nothing like San Francisco, though oddly reminiscent of Hong Kong Island (in some parts of it)). We walked what I would say was the distance of about five blocks and boom, there it was, he pointed out my place. Never, ever, ever would I have found it one my own. There was only a small sign on the doorbell saying the name of the place—The Chillout Galata Hostel.

And chill it is. Every inch of every paintable space is painted in a psychedelic yet geometric pattern; the walls, the stairs, the floors (though my room has carpet). There’s even this really creepy stenciled girl as you round the second floor stairs that reminds me of the crazy girl from the Ring. Creepy. But it’s a perfect place to stay. I’m on the forth floor with my own room. There’s a spiral staircase that takes me there, but it’s a breeze compared to the ones in Amsterdam. Everyone here, the staff (though they seem to live here, too) and guests are all quite nice and certainly fit in with the hippie ambiance.

I threw down my stuff; unpacked some stuff with hopes of getting some wrinkles to fade (oh, the trouble with linen!); washed up and hit the street, and thankfully I stayed on my feet. And there I went, errantly perusing about this beautiful place.

Passing by music shops and cafés, kebab stands and boutiques, taksi’s (taxi’s) and even the occasional tram, and of course, the thick masses of people, I made my way into the heart of New Istanbul. Of course, I was continuing to try ATM machines here and there, as I had yet to understand the problem with my card. Once I called mom and dad back at the shop, I learned of the problem. For some reason, the bank failed to tell me that Turkey blocks certain American banks. Why, I have no fucking clue, but I was livid. Especially since my WaMu card worked and I never told them I was going overseas—and christ, I even overdrew!

Well, regardless, we went through it all. I found an internet café in hopes of getting my WaMu account number so money could be wired into it from Liberty. Of course, finding your account number online or getting it over the phone is damn near impossible. After asking the WaMu rep on the phone, “Are you going to tell me that you are going to leave a customer stranded with no access to currecy, 4300 miles from the United States?” he managed a way to find help for me. Anyway, a story I’ve made too long already short, I got my account number, gave it to mom and hopfully she’ll be wiring me money.

[Note: my computer died at this point and I’m finishing up this entry at a great Koffehause on Tuesday.]

But it was the one and only American Express who truly saved my life. I called them up and they amazingly gave me a one-time use pin number for an ATM. In never would have called them had I not noticed a lone back with their logo…gotta love the AMEX. And I love their customer service even more. I can’t wait to cancel my Capital One, I couldn’t even get someone on the phone with those fucks.

Anyway, I had to have a beer. I ended up having a few, no big deal, I was in serious need of them. I ate the most amazing nachos ever along with my Turkish beer before continuing to peruse about the main street. After eating, I wanted to scope out some of the hot night spots the many travel books I’d read had talked about. So I continued on, finding myself on streets with no names and people, locals, running about. There are cats everywhere, too. Cats and kittens, all running around, looking for fun and looking for play. They’re all adorable and a mommy and a kitten are residence in my hostel. They are clean and cute. Anyway, I was starting to wear down and so I made my way back, errantly of course, to my place, for a quick nap. Yeah, I know, the fact that I even use the word nap is amazing, but I was very much in need.

After a brief snooze, I woke, put clothes on (had to sleep with nothing on—well, you could say I slept in the thick layer of sweat that coated my body and carried the sheet with me wherever I moved, but nonetheless, naked indeed.), and off I went, back the place I had discovered earlier.

BarBache was its name and it was about a 25 minute walk from my place. I started walking, not 100% as to how to get here, but I’d find my way, and yes, that I did. You’d think this place didn’t exist because of the area it was in, even the building. But it did, and in I went. It was empty when I got there—about 2230-2300. It’s the same in the City. It started to get crazy closer to 0:00, and my, it only got crazier. I started chattering on in my best non-existent Turkish in hopes of making some new friends.

I did. Two of them and my are they crazy fuckers. I ran out of money because I only bring a limited amount out with me at night, leaving my wallet and credit cards at home because I certainly don’t need to be pick-pocketed while dancing and drinking. Also, drinks were FAR more expensive than I thought, so I was making sure they poured properly, if you get my drift.

Of the two I met, only on spoke English. It’s funny. And they are crazy. Everyone in Turkey does an obscene amount of drugs, and depending on what bar you are at is what type of drug you’ll do. Not to worry, I was good. But they were rolling like crazy and wanted to get crazier. I was in for the fun and for the laughs, and laugh I did. I watched these two guys smoke fucking crack from a yogurt container—there’s a first time for everything. I just laughed and they laughed at me laughing. It was really a great experience.

Never once did I let me guard down nor did I feel nervous in their company; in fact, I felt much more secure than when I was alone. For being on the drugs they were, they were very tepid and polite and enjoyable. They were always looking out for me, putting their arm out so I wouldn’t cross the street too soon (which annoys the FUCK out of me—I survived Saigon, I can cross any street), and just constantly making sure I was enjoying myself. Once I explained that I really couldn’t do anything else, we agreed to meet the following night in Taksim Square at the McDonalds…eh, I know. Just the thought of meeting them there made me want to vomit, but it was easy for them and easy for me, so I was fine with it. And I knew I wouldn’t have to eat there, so whatever.

Well, I made my way back to my place for around just before the time I started writing this blog. The streets were still teaming with people—tons of them. Drunk and stumbling, loud and laughing, musicians and food vendors, police (way more than NYC) and people, strewn all about. For my first night, I couldn’t have imagined, created, fictionalized anything better—not one bit of it.

So much more has happened since then, but I’m not going to get into it quite yet. I’m fine and well and absolutely adoring Istanbul…and I’m not sure I’ll be leaving.

Of all the cities I’ve visited, Istanbul, but far, is New York City’s closest cousin—in every facet they can be related. An eastern rival, if you will. I’ve yet to find the perfect words for this place and I do hope I can find them before I leave—the people, the places, the culture, the goods, the food, the…everything.

So here I am; I went to the Aya Sofya (at about 0730 only to realize Istanbul doesn’t come alive—at all—on Sunday’s until at least 0900 or 1000) and realized I could die happy now, but I’ve got to make it to the Acropolis. Life is absolutely perfect and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Until next time…

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Begining

Finally something to write about and my how good it feels.

I just opened this blog with a fragment which I really don’t like to do, but there is simply no other way to put it—frag-ed or otherwise. I’m sure you’re wondering what it is I’m just so elated to write about, but at the same time, you might know already.

Side note: I turned on my computer as soon as I boarded my train for the City. The conductor just came by while I was halfway through my third sentence, took my ticket, punched it, and said quite simply and void of emotion: “Enjoy your trip.” If only he knew what the trip I’m about to embark upon only modestly entails, perhaps he would have smiled or lifted his voice a bit more. But regardless.

Here I go and I’m so very excited to be able to take you right along with me as I did just over a short year ago on my voyage around the globe.

I just left the New London, Connecticut Amtrak train station—Union Station (and yes, to answer your question there about 10000000 Union Station’s across the United States of America). I’ve got a two hour and twenty-eight minute rail ride ahead of me, directly following the Connecticut’s Long Island Sound (LIS) coastline. New London and a touch of Waterford are a bit of a bore for the eye. But continuing further, riding past the marshlands in Niantic, the old, rotting and flooded broken down docks, with seagulls and egrets perched about and flying above, the coastline livens as we head south. Niantic is lovely: the rock formations off the beach protruding above the dark churning Sound sea; the chilled walkers filling the three-year old boardwalk as they try to enjoy the melancholy sky of this chilly Wednesday (13 June 07). Suddenly, Niantic ends—forest fills the landscape, surrounding the train.

A minute further south and Connecticut’s main artery is exposed—The Connecticut River. With its mouth just out of sight, its first Marinas are just a stone throw from the train’s bridge. The river ends in Old Saybrook. It has just snaked 600 some odd miles south from Canada, down through Vermont, Massachusetts, making its way through the capital city of its given name, still churning further, feeding its flood plains as it has done for centuries, finally dumping its contents—pollutants and all—into the LIS. Usually at this spot in the river, one of its widest, it is bustling with boat traffic, well, as bustling as this part of the river can be; yachts and sailboats, fish catchers and people towers, today there was only one measly powerboat cranking her way up the river from the Sound, I’m sure. Oh the pollutants.

The train stops. Passengers exit while other people now become passengers; it’s the nonstop cycle of Amtrak’s Northeastern Corridor Train system—Boston to Washington with some of the county’s greatest city’s as stops in between. But of course, just one of them stands out and shines above the rest, and it’s where I’ll be stopping soon…six more stops.

The tide is rising, making its way in from the mouth of the LIS, Stonington to Mystic, Groton feeding New London, creeping further and further in towards and up into the Hudson—New York’s main artery.

But I’ve digressed—big surprise.

I’m spending the night in the city and will be wine-ing and dine-ing with some of New York’s finest. Old college friends, if you will. Anyway, I’m going to call this City trip fluff considering what I’ve got in store for the next two and a half weeks or so.

I’m running off east, well, flying really, to what has been known as quite literally a gateway to the East—Asia, that is. It’s a country that, much like Russia, can fall quite comfortably into either a European or Asian category. Turkey is my first destination and I’m just fucking thrilled about it.

I’ll be spending my first days in its most known city—Istanbul, formerly and famously known as Constantinople. This was once one of the world’s richest cities, in all facets a city can be rich in. And yet, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire, it seems the world forgot about Istanbul. The sorrow of Empire and how a melancholy mood can linger on for centuries as a nation tries to rebuild itself into a world player. And that is just what it has done. Commonly confused as Turkey’s capital city (Ankara is the capital: its slightly southeast, 281 miles to be exact of Istanbul; it’s more centrally located, yet with still much more Turkish land to the east than west.), Istanbul is alive and well indeed.

The world’s second or “New Rome,” as it was coined by Emperor Constantine the Great on 11 May 330, sits, literally, as a gateway from east to west. The river running through it—The Bosphorus—empties the Black Sea and then feeds the Sea of Marmara, which then fills the Aegean and its abutting Mediterranean Sea neighbor. Land on both sides of the Bosphorus is part of Istanbul, but the western or European side is what we, knowers of history and art, war and peace, nation and state, understand and indeed envision when we speak of Istanbul: the Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia), the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, and of course—the rugs. The eastern part of the city is more like New York's Brooklyn and Queens. The east is connected with the west by an elaborate system of ferries, endlessly running back and forth to keep the metropolis alive, hoping it never falls again.

Turkey’s geography, Istanbul alike, plays more of a role than just the weather. It is neighbors with some of the worlds most spoken of states. For starters: Syria, Iraq, and Iran, followed by Armenia, Georgia (where they tried to throw the bomb at W.!), Bulgaria, and Greece’s outreaching eastern arm—along with the majority of its islands. And though to my mother’s great relief, Istanbul lies in the most northwestern part of the country (picture an oval with an arm and hand off its top left corner—there’s Istanbul, right on the wrist), as far from Iraq, Iran, and Syria as a traveler in Turkey can be, it is still a city of focus for radicals and politics, conflict and turmoil, urban dwellers and business folk alike.

If you’re a reader of international news, perhaps you’ll recall that Turkey has been in the headlines for the past few months and more recently, for more deadly reasons than the norm. They have a young government (though older than Iran’s revolutionary one) with a devoutly religious population. And yet, as a secular state founded in 1923 by the revered and infamous Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, radical Islam has made its way into the Parliament and is indeed evoking religious and political trouble throughout the country. Bombs and threats, wars games and spies are a daily part of political life in the newly tumultuous Turkey. I won’t even go into the debates being had over what to do about Kurdish Turks and Iraqi Turks at the moment. Maybe I’ll save that talk for when I’m back soundly in the states…though I do enjoy the cliffhanging adventure, but I’m trying not to turn more of my parents hair grey.

Nonetheless, as a global player—and that Turkey certainly is—it has done one hell of a juggling act. They’re trying to join the European Union (EU) while at the same time radical Islam is slipping into its government whilst they fight on both sides of their border with Iraq. They have tightly tied interests in the Middle East, and yet also have to appeal to the dollars in the West, all the while pleasing their citizens at the same time. Wow. WWWD? (What would W. do? Ha. Ha.)

Well anywho. After I tire from the sights, the tea, and the bargaining, I’ll board a plane headed southwest for Bodrum; a popular peninsula between the Aegean and Turquoise (Mediterranean Sea) coasts. This is a spot where wealthy and well traveled Turks and global citizens have enjoyed for years. I don’t even remember how Bodrum came into play as a part in my travel plans, but I don’t really care either. There’s history and culture, shopping and a shore (supposedly stunning), and Ephesus is not far if I’m in need of a day trip. (FYI: As a city with one of the biggest archeology draws in the country, Archeologists digging in Ephessus just found (about a month and a half ago) the first ever graveyard of Gladiators—you know, the ones who spent their lives fighting each other for the people’s entertainment so their days in prison would not be as boring…ha.) History, art, life, and death…oh how I love the rest of the world and its aged cultures.

After a few sun kissed days in Bodrum, I’ll board a ferry bound for Greece. Well, one of its many islands anyway. Kos is my first stop and it’s only a 30 minute ferry ride. I’ll spend a night on the large island of Kos (though not nearly as large is its southern neighbor Rhodes or Crete) in the hotel where I had the most interesting of conversations when I made the reservation.
Me: Hello. I was wondering if you have a room available on 22 June for one person for one night.
Greek Hotel Man Employee (with very broken, very thick Greek accent): Yes, we do.
Me: Oh, great. I’ll take it.
GHME: Ok. What is your name?
Me: Jeffrey.
GHME: My name is John. Nice to meet you Jeffrey, see you soon.
Me: Ummm, you don’t need a credit card or anything to hold my room?
GHME: No, you pay Euro when you get here. It nice room with balcony and view. No worry.
Me: Wow. Great. Thanks, see you soon John.

Kos is one of the many islands in the Dodecanese Islands which are east of Greece on Turkey’s border in both the North Aegean, Southern Aegean, and Mediterranean Seas. Ferry’s run from Bodrum three times a week, Monday, Tuesday and Friday (yeah, pretty random). After my night in Kos, I’ll head to the airport, of which I can’t imagine will be more than a dusty landing strip, and board the plane for 25 minutes north to the much smaller island of Leros. My conversation with the hotel man in Leros was not nearly as exciting as the one in Kos—he took my credit card information.

After my night in Kos, the second true part of my grand adventure begins. I’ll be boarding a fifty foot sailboat with 7 other passengers, and three crew members—a captain, first mate and cabin boy (which I very may well become as well..teehee). From Leros, we’ll sail and peruse about the Dodecanese islands for seven days, making six hidden stops in some of Greece’s smallest and least populated islands. This, I have no doubt, will be one of the many highlights of my grand expedition.

After I came back from my Semester at Sea aboard the grandiose MV Explorer, I was itching for a real sailing adventure. Having had a 100 day love affair with the sea, I was in need of a much closer, albeit it shorter, experience together. For the Sea, in all its glory is the most unexplored and misunderstood facet of our world. Scientists argue that more is known about outer space than is known of the sea; it’s deep, dark, and dangerous, and technology, thankfully, can only go so far. However, thanks to the one and only Rachel Carson and her brilliant ‘The Sea Around Us” (and let’s not forget “Silent Spring”), much more is known about the ever powerful, ever changing, and forever surprising sea that surrounds us. As for the Greek Islands, it’s a region of the world I’ve yet to delve into, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.

After sailing about, and learning the ropes as much as I can, our final port of call is the large central island of Samos. In Samos, I’ll board an overnight ferry bound for Piraeus, Athens’s bustling and famous port on its eastern side. Greece has a brilliant and indeed elaborate ferry system; and rightfully so considering it’s lively, numerous, and popular off shore islands.

Once in Athens, I’m parking my archeticture adoring ass at the Acropolis where I’ll probably pass out or even die from shock. The Acropolis is the one place I have dreamed of ever since I’ve started eating up all of Art History. More so than Rome and anywhere else in Europe, Athens and its stunning thrones will indeed fulfill a massive amount of my art and worldly pleasure, and I simply cannot wait. But then again, I will. There’s lots to see in between, too.

Well, I’m in the tunnel at Penn now. Never did I expect this to take me the full 2.28 to get done, but hey, what are you going to do.

Until I’m in Turkey…cheers.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Potpourri and Such

Well hello and hello.

So I just can’t stop thinking about the World.

Knowing I leave in ten days for the most excitingly historic, architecturally rich, conveniently juxtaposed region of the world is truly mind boggling. By conveniently juxtaposed I mean Turkey and its perfect geographical location. How Istanbul, once a powerhouse economic capital, the second Rome if you will, straddles the Bosphorus, looking north to the Black Sea and south to the Sea if Marmara—the crossroads from West to East, Europe to Asia. But even that is not the only reason I can’t stop thinking about the World.

The G8 conference is in full swing this week and host, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, is trying to pull her industrialized and coal laden weight to sway the most hegemonic and hedonistic of powers to commit to serious and meaningful environmental change. But before anything even began, there was already a ‘no’ from Washington. George W. Bush is still being himself. And to no avail to the rest of the world—or even the US—he will continue to be the ignorant, selfish, illegitimate president of our poor United States. Merkel wants W to commit cutting greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2050. Sounds simple, right? Not in the minds of an oil-slicked, blood-tainted Texan. Especially since the Republicans only started believing in "global warming", or perhaps more properly, "climate change" not even a year ago. Talk about a flip-flop.

As for the Democrats, they’re pissing me off too. I found it absolutely appalling that Obama, Edwards, and Clinton took part in an Evangelical Christian Q&A session. Obama quoted the bible; Edwards paid it all to the lord above; and Miss Hil said it was the lord who helped her through her marital woes. Bullshit, bullshit, and bullshit. If we haven’t noticed already, it’s organized faith that seems to be screwing up our world the most…Jerry Falwell anyone? Or wait, what about "radical Islam," you know the new fascists of the world? And how about those born again son of a bitches? I think maybe the Jews have it the best: clean penises, an embattled homeland that no one really gets involved with unless they are there, and christ, even their most conservative of sects has allowed for gay clergy and same sex union blessings. But at the same time, none of them have it. Maybe the Buddhists. But I don’t know.

Now perhaps you found that all a bit rude. Fine, take it that way. The thing is I have no problem with faith, none at all. In fact, I consider myself to the a spiritual person, in an agnostic sense of the world, of course. Which is why I have such a massive problem with FAITH AND POLITICS, together, in the same topic. People pushing their god on my, espically in political ways is simply absurd and an invasion of my rights and privacies. They do not mesh, faith and politics, just look at Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the new secular problems boiling about in Turkey. We are indeed a secular state, but day by day, the all mighty and downright horrifying church hacks away at our separated governmental institution. The Separation of Church and State is so simple and yet it is under the most vicious of attacks by the most hypocritical people in the world. Morals? You want to talk about those religious morals? How about lending a hand in Darfur, that would be moral, would it not? A genocide has been occurring there for how long, and what the fuck have our moral l eaders done…nothing. They simply said, "Not on my Watch." Well, W., clearly you didn’t learn how to read a watch while blowing coke off your gym teacher’s ass and snapping your towel at other locker mates, prancing about at Yale, knowing nothing about the world around you…and all the while your future wife kills someone. But that would be to simple, sending troops to a region in need, where we know there is a problem, and people of mass destruction are killing hundreds of thousands of people day in and day out. But then again, we’re bogged down in a quagmire and our troops are truly stretching thin. Cheers to them, our strong and brave troops, regardless of their duties—they’re simply following their Commander in Chief who unfortunately happens to be the most stubborn son of a bitch on the planet.


What a rant. Whoopse. Anyway. Connecticut has been interesting. Besides preparing for my graduation party non-stop, there’s not much else one can do in the western hills of Norwich, Connecticut. Well that’s not true either, but do you want to hear about the drinking and the toking and the absurdities past ensued?

Either way, I’ll tell a quick graduation story.

It was the night before the big day, the 22nd of May….
My family was in town for the night, Mom, Dad, and Joel, Betty and Amanda, too. Off to dinner we went, never expecting what happened to indeed ensue. We were at Choice Kitchen on 28th and 3rd and to our great surprise, they serve happy hour drinks to the dining tables! Well, that did it. Martini’s all around, everyone. And like that, the laughs got louder and the stories more outrageous. The Sox were playing and of course my brother was overtly cheering them on, just to be the asshole he is, but oh well. It was great nonetheless. From dinner, we started walking back up third towards their hotel.

Dad had expressed earlier that he would certainly get thirsty on the walk back to the hotel, so we’d have to stop for a drink. Knowing my brother and my father, we stopped by Joshua Tree. This place is kinda odd, but crazy too. They have big screen TVs muted with sports playing while the best of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, blasts away. Joel was immediately frustrated because our drinks were not coming fast enough damnit, and how was it possible that there was only one bartender and one server for a bar full of people!?! Well, after our first round of drinks, shots were necessary. Mom and Bett split, so we just kept drinking. An hour probably went by and Amanda finally called.

I had to run and meet her at Grand Central, maybe five or six blocks from where we were. And so I did. Running all the way, I finally caught up with friendy and she immediately handed me my grad present: a bottle of Van Gogh Vodka, one of the finest of Vodka’s without question. She hadn’t been drinking, so I immediately opened the bottle and we started chugging it as we walked back to the bar. My dad called me wanting to know what we’d want for a drink when we got back. Fucking sweet. We walked in the door and there were our drinks, and the shots Joel surprisingly ordered as well. We stayed for a few more drinks and out the door we went.

Now, my father is a working man. He’s up at 0530 every day and the more and more wasted he got, the less he could believe how many people, his age, older and younger, were still out drinking. He asked the bartender I can’t count how many times, "Don’t these people have to work tomorrow?!?! It’s Tuesday!" But it’s New York…it doesn’t matter what day it is.
We walked up the street a bit more and Dad realized he was "parched." So, we stopped for a few more drinks and a few more shots, and holy shit, were we bombed. After snapping some hysterical pics, I pointed them in the direction of their hotel and Cooter friend (Amanda) and I jumped into a cab, bound for the Heights. We arrived, and off we went to a far off place, high above where our minds typically function. Devon came over. Supposedly, I fell down a lot.
It happens.

So morning comes. We’re supposed to be at 2 Gold for Bloody Mary’s with the girls, but by time I got out of the shower in which I didn’t even wash myself, we were not making it. I was in a tremendous amount of pain, though somehow, it wasn’t affecting me…yet. We jumped into a cab, and pulled up at Radio City just as my family was arriving as well. My brother looked distraught and beat, my father’s eyes squinty and just a big sluggish. I didn’t take my sunglasses off. We snapped some pics and off I went into what would become a pit of hot air and cramped bodies. Fun, though difficult to manage when you’ve only consumed nothing.

I fanned myself the entire time with my graduation ticket. People took pictures of me and told me how much I reeked of booze…which is how I learned that I didn’t wash myself in the shower, only my face when I realized it. But through it all, I made it. Across the stage at Radio City, I shook the hand of our "retiring" president all the while taking jabs at classmates and speakers, laughing it up with the friends surrounding me. What a day it was, and the weather was perfect too!!
I spent the entire day and night recovering. And frankly, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Follow Up

The good things I failed to mention about my Tuesday (5/15).

Something that myself and several colleagues have been working towards all year finally came to fruition. The President of my University, Pace University, David A. Caputo, resigned. This was a true victory in the hearts, eyes, and minds of students and professors at our struggling institution. No doubt there will be a positive outcome to the fall of the bureaucratic Goliath.

And yet something even greater, someone ever more absurd floundered as well. The one and only, Jerry Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority and radical Christian Right voice died. Hopefully the fucker is burning in the hell he so often describes. I have not been happier since Strom Thurmond died in 2003. Falwell was 73 and was found unconscious in his office. For those of you who don’t know who Jerry is, quite simply I think these two quotes sums him up:

“AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.”


“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say "you helped this happen."”
Referring to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

So cheers to a fallen president and a dead right radical. My hope is that Falwell is getting fucked by the Devil right now and will be forever burning in the hell he created through his speeches for so many years. And as for the Captain, President Caputo…well, good luck and good riddens, and hopefully the door hits you on the way out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

C U Next Tuesday

Talk about a Tuesday.

I’ll call it a cunt if you will, because that’s when I’d prefer to see it next, if at all ever again.

This morning I woke before 8am. And though this was nothing new to me as a creature that requires little sleep, it was for a good and indeed uncommon reason. I drove into the City yesterday (Monday) and had parked the car on Pineapple Street, less than a block from where I reside. It was perfect. Only thing was, I had to move it before 8am because Tuesday’s street cleaning day for the welcoming fruit street. And so I moved it, in time no less. I drove around the block a few times and then went further down Pineapple Street, more towards the Promenade and found a most perfect spot; or so I fucking thought.

Stephanie was in the city for the night and we had a lovely uptown day planned: The Metropolitan Museum, Central Park Perusing, and an Upper West Side Lunch. We did all three. We had a lovely time at the Met, except for the haggard bitches—four of them—who shushed me as I walked into the new Greek and Roman Court. They had no right or reason to shush me. I was explaining to Stephanie that the floors in the Court are exactly like the ones in the Pantheon in Rome: beautiful red and green marble inlaid in circle and square patters, settling only on sand—no grout. Clearly, this is a facet of the room one might take note of. Not these old witches. They were on the outskirts of their massively tacky tour group and seemed to be a bit perturbed because god for bid, their batteries was dying in their hearing aides and were closer to my voice than that of the guide’s. And I know I’m loud, but I do have museum edict. I glared at them as though I was invisible; and frankly, I was—I had sunglasses on.

But I digress.

After strolling throughout the new Court and then onto the Barcelona exhibit, with Gaudi and Dali, we decided it would be best if we walked west. And it just so happened today was just stunning. Across the park we went, perusing about through strollers and nannies, elementary school kids and dogs, making our way to the West side. We ate at a lovely little French Bistro, Citron Bistro on 83rd and Columbus. The crêpe was TDF (to die for).

After dropping Stephanie off at Penn Station for her ride home, downtown I went, back to the Heights. I had a bit of work to do and had not seen my neighbor, Devon, in a week and we magically didn’t cross paths the night before, so I needed to see her as well. And the things about that is, when we get together, it brings trouble more often than not. And today, today was no exception.

You’ll recall that I had my mom’s car in the city and had moved it further down Pineapple that morning into what I thought was a perfect parking place. Dev and I wanted to go for a ride to pick up some stuff, so we headed down the street to jump in the car. As we walked down Pineapple, with the sun shining down on us as the perfect City day passed, I recognized cars I had seen in the morning and knew I was close. Suddenly, I was stopped.

The car was, well, ummm, how do you say it—missing? Not where I remember it? Not where I parked it? Yeah, that works. It was only then I realized the problem.

Once I picked my jaw up off the ground, stopped running my hands through my hair, and stopped my “oh my gods,” I noticed that the typically bright yellow paint that boarders a “No Parking Zone” was once evident and indeed, noticeable. But now it was barely visible. I had to really strain to notice it, let alone be prevented from parking there by it. Upon further investigation, I realized why the spot was a no parking spot. As with many of the Height’s homes, they are majestic and massive, and the one I happened to park in front of was no exception. And of course, with a house such as it, there must be a drive way, right? Right, indeed. And I was parked directly in front of it. Fuck. There was a large, tall fence, one would think was fencing in a yard. But of course not. This fuck had to fence his fucking driveway and make it an inconvenience for those who don’t have a 56 figure salary.

So there I was. Stunned and shocked by what just occurred; I got on the phone immediately. 311 is a godsend for New Yorker’s and it was my first time using it. Cheers to its simplicity and usefulness, I got exactly what I needed right away and was on course for getting my (mom’s) car back. Eh.

After speaking with the 311 rep, she transferred me to one of the many offices the city has. They then transferred me to the Police Department’s Impound office or something. Thankfully, once I spoke with them, I found the car. It was at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a mere 15 minute walk from where we were.

As always, walks through new places are exciting in a city with 8.3 million people, and once again, this was no exception. Up York Street we went, through DUMBO and into quite the sketchy neighborhood. But it was day time. Anyway, we finally made it to Navy and Sands Streets where we came upon the Yard.

I was once again fucking shocked. The condition of this place was horrid. Facades falling down, dirty, just horrific conditions for a place that tows cars and charges an exorbitant amount for getting them back. Anyway, in we went to a DMV like place that was sticky and icky. Thankfully, the gentleman behind the window was so much nicer than he needed to be. I’m not saying he was a delight, but just way more pleasant that most in his type of position.

After he looked up where the car was, I handed over my license. From there, I was sent to the driver who took me to my car where I had to get the up-to-date insurance car. Thankfully, I knew that would not be an issue. However, what scared me more was that my license I left with the nice man behind the counter (not curtain) expired on my birthday this year and I haven’t gotten it renewed!!!

I grabbed the insurance card and back in the escort car I got. Back into the sticky icky place I went with hopes of getting an OK so we could be on our way. Thankfully, I did and was back into the escort car, after they took a big chunk of my money, and into my car I got. I picked up Devon who was chatting it up with one of the lady gate guards. She was wearing her Tribeca Film T-shirt that we both have; it says “I got action at Tribeca Film.” I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty fucking sweet T. Anyway, they reminisced and whatevered, but what the fuck, I still had to pay full price to get my car back.

Regardless, there we were and off we went…only about an hour later, probably more.

It didn’t end there. Little did we realize it was getting close to rush hour and our trek to the island would be retarded by traffic. And so it was. After running, well, driving really, up and down, over and back, we returned to the Height’s and I garaged the car on Love Lane.

We jumped on the 2/3 to head to dinner in Chelsea, well, South Chelsea boarding the West Village. We got out of the subway and were abruptly stopped by what looked to be an unfolding police scene. The 14th and 13th street region on 7th avenue was blocked off and there were police and medics all around. We just couldn’t figure out what the fuck was going on, but we wanted to. We walked down and across, with hopes of catching a better view. We didn’t. But more and more people were now looking up. So we did too. But no one jumped. Damn…still 8.3 million.

Anyway, we had a delicious dinner with drinks that were far too weak for their price and headed back home to finish our work we should have done weeks before. But of course, we’re seniors and procrastination is not atypical.

We have a class together and our final paper’s due. We were just taking our time with it. Of course, to our fucking luck, as we got off the train and headed to the elevators in the Clark Street stop, there he was, the fucking professor whose paper we were putting off doing. Talk about fucking awkward. I tried to hide behind my bright orange glasses as long as possible (even though he knows my look well) and breath takenly whispered to Devon, “Holy fuck, look who’s here?” She did, made eye contact, and did the right thing: she looked down as if it wasn’t her who had just caught the eye of our professor. Fuck. Shit. Damnit.

So we got on the elevator, laughing out loud, enjoying the moment regardless. He seemed to laugh at it as well, even calling it out as an awkward moment. Not only were we in the elevator, but we also had been caught in the act of doing something other than our papers…awkward, ironic, annoying…karma. Whatever. My car got towed—ha.

So there it is, my Tuesday in one fuck of a nutshell.

You might consider noting what I took from today:

1. Non-New Yorker Old Ladies in tour groups are total bitches when you hinder their hearing ability with other pertinent facts.

2. I still hate having a car in the city, no matter what.

3. Procrastination is still like masturbation; in the end, you’re only fucking yourself.

Cheers and cunt.