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.