All posts in nyc

take your pic[k]

man, I’m in a good mood – and that might have to do with a whole lotta stuff. the new cover of the book came in this afternoon and we’re almost done and up for public consumption. it randomly got colder in NYC and the golden bath of a clear sunset lit up Lady Liberty on my drive back over the Manhattan Bridge on the way home from work – sometimes I wait on the corner until a tour bus goes over so I have an excuse not to drive 45mph and I can take it all in along with those paying. maybe it’s because I caved and started dieting – a bit. trading my bagel for fruit and eating smaller portions more times a day than my usual treat, which has sadly resulted in me feeling fantastic. maybe it’s because of stuff happening that you can kind of see here, maybe it’s cause I got pals like Johnny B – tattooed as a muthafucka and who’s good in a pinch – but still thanks me for bein’ his pal. maybe it’s because this horribly cheesy pop song that I’d never admit to you soberly that I like, but how often am I writing when I’m not? I’ll tell you now in case you ever look at my iPod and I stutter – it’s this… except I don’t know how to hyperlink [blessing] in this new format, so just know it’s bad. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. it came along on a really good fuckin’ day so I won’t apologize… much. I’m mostly sorry. or maybe it’s because twice a day, I cross a bride to/from Gotham – a cousin of mine wrote on my FB wall today that he’d always wanted to visit and here-I-fucking-am. or because I got to see Brother Cohn last weekend and an hour with him lasts my insides for a year. I don’t know. maybe it’s because of a few of the forms in front of me, or what was in the cardboard box that now lies on my bed in the basement that I live where I can sing along badly to this track and [hopefully] no one hears. there’s a grate, so maybe, but it’s Brooklyn and no one cares. or because Sister Jenni is in town and unknowingly reminds me of a not-so-innocence lost? it could be a lot of things – or maybe not. maybe it’s the wine.

or maybe it’s cause sometimes, a good mood just comes along and I like celebrating it.

the spell check suggests it’s the wine.

fuck it – I’m happy.

[and even more so you can’t hear this song – sheesh]

 

nyc p.shots – week 14

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are up here.

stop by and stuff.

it’s a good place.

[nyc, that is]

[and here]

come on, Irene – the sunday after

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while the meteorologists feverishly remind us that ‘it’s not over yet!’ and ‘there could still be devastating consequences to come!’ and, [my favorite] ‘there’s a new one forming off the coast of Africa as we speak!!’, New Yorkers pass each other on the leaf-infested damp sidewalks and all exchange a silent giggle. we believed them. we stood in line for batteries and water and emailed apologies to ex-lovers in hopes of absolution before this thing hit and some of us woke up every hour to make sure the house wasn’t about to cave in, we made cookies and huddled together – our house housing refugees from Red Hook [2 miles down the road] and we believed them.

but it never came.

some big rain and big winds that the television stations have been trying so hard to make you believe was a horrendous act of fury simply never came. by the time it got here, it was downgraded [again] to a tropical storm. oh sure, we had branches blown off and parts of Manhattan are under water – some others without power but that’s what happens sometimes in a big fucking storm.

was this Katrina’s fault? better yet – the people in charge when Katrina hit? did we all of a sudden become overly cautious or do we still desperately need to sell television commercials and open our umbrellas of togetherness to temporarily forget about the state that the country has gotten itself into?

Mom and Dad owe money to the bank and start fighting about whose car gets sold first to cover the mortgage and little Timmy just wants them to stop yelling so he runs into the living room screaming about the snake in the garden.

maybe that’s a stretch, but I can tell you from being here and watching the news how comical it’s been for us. I woke up and walked upstairs to the kitchen where our brave cast of 4 + dog + cat were and from the looks on all of their bemused faces, they might have been standing in the park with signs about their head that read ‘free shrugs’.

nothing happened, just a lot of wind and rain. and, brother, lemme tell ya – there are some pissed off people right now in New York City.

people who were told to leave their homes, people whose homes had the electricity shut off preemptively, people who couldn’t go anywhere because mass transit was shut down, people who couldn’t go to work and make money, people who couldn’t fly in and people who couldn’t fly out.

but they were just being cautious, some might say. fine – but they’re looked to for guidance. they’re supposed to tell us when it’s safe and when it’s not and they chose wrong for a whole lot of folks.

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look, I know some people are in a bad spot right now and I know I should consider myself lucky – which I do – to have made it through all of this with only a few wet spots in the basement and a large package of humorous content for the years to come, but at the same time, NYC – the baddest, nastiest and toughest city in the world just publicly freaked-the-fuck-out over an earthquake that some mistook as indigestion and then singlehandedly kept plywood merchants in business for the next few years with their Hollywood fear of the hurricane-tornado.

we got punked – we’re happy to be alive, but we got punked. a combination of Mother Nature and the powers that be unknowingly joined forces to have a laugh at our disaster-ready mentality.

and, unfortunately, what you now have is a city of people who were ordered to leave their homes, only to watch nothing really happen.

the boy who cried wolf could potentially be a city – and one I can almost guarantee will try to hold it’s ground the next time something big and nasty tries to visit.

now, that’s scary.

come on, Irene – the saturday afternoon before

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panic on the streets of London / panic on the streets of Birmingham

I wonder to myself / ‘could life ever be sane again’?

I woke up this morning to the roommates moving everything from our gorgeous back garden to the basement-which-is-also-my-room. ‘sorry man’, said Dave, ‘we waited as long as we could’.

as I sleepily walked out and helped them zip-tie to the fence every possible thing that could be zip-tied to a fence, I thought about Dave’s early morning [9.40a] apology:

‘we waited as long as we could.’

… and it got me thinking. what if, on Sunday evening or Monday morning, the city was a focus of more Hollywood trailer-voiced over-dramatic lines?

‘but no one could predict…’

‘…would change the way they lived forever.’

et al.

I’m still not entirely convinced, to be honest. not to take away from the poor souls being evacuated a few miles from where I write this, but in the history of New York, New Yorkers have an amazing way of coming together for the worst. we saw that almost a decade ago – but there have been other instances throughout history. it’s a tough town, but it’s also a close-knit town. during times like this, it doesn’t seem to matter than you’ve been here for 5 months or 5 years – everyone’s a New Yorker. full stop.

but mass hysteria is a proponent of a world run now on social media. back in 1821, there were no iPhones to Facebook the impending doom of the Weather Channel’s predictions – there was a guy in town who lived next to another guy who’s neighbor was on his roof and shouted ‘shit!’, but probably not in time. but iPhones and Facebook and the Weather Channel need to sell iPhones and Facebook ads and Weather Channel sponsors. so there’s a large part of me that thinks this is – in a large amount – a Turn The Page type overreaction. the mayor says ‘get out’, of course he does. better to say ‘sorry for overreacting’ over ‘sorry for not reacting quick enough’. no one will fault him for that. but still…

I don’t know.

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the storm herself has already been downgraded to a category 1 and Mary Maury, my stylist barber who gave me my monthly Keratin blowout dry razor shave while punching me, even commented that she was staying open all day, seeing how ‘New Yorkers love a bit of drama’. and Maury has been holding down Park Slope, Brooklyn before it became safe, so I believe her him. it would have been nice to remind me that I can’t get my hair wet for 3 days because of the Keratin product into the boxing ring, but she gave me her umbrella some Muscle Milk to make up for it.

so here I sit. my stuff is off of the basement floor, we’ve filled up buckets and sinks and bathtubs with water to 1 and 2, the drinking started a while ago, because hey…

and the longer I sit, the longer wonder what it’s going to be like – not so much during, as it’s all a lot of wind and rain, but more to what the aftermath will be like. mass transit has already been shut down, which is something that never happens, and if things get bad, then the bridges will all be closed, turning Manhattan into the Gotham you always see in Escape From New York and Batman – a quarantined island of bad decision makers.

but we shall see. and it stands now, I get the feeling this is a whole lot of build up for what is simply going to be a whole lot of shitty weather. and the guys telling us all of this are not known for their ability to be constantly correct with the weather [sorry, Jim], so you can’t blame me.

it’ll at least be interesting – I love a good adventure.

more soon…

possibly.

but if this was my final post, be sure and check out my hair at the funeral. if it’s curling up again, I’d like someone to have a word with Maury.

come on, Irene – the friday before

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look, I’m not saying New Yorkers don’t have a reason to be jumpy. make all the fun you want out of the recent earthquake, but this close to that day and you can’t fault anyone for thinking the worst. a good portion of folks here were around on the day they wounded the city and every one of ‘em had the same look when replaying it – that slight head tilt with one eyebrow raised – thinking mostly it was an attack on the subway line.

so, you have to give them that.

but when I woke up this morning and came into work, catching glimpse of the front pages outside my little bodega I go to every morning for a bagel 14 pieces of fruit, I did have to roll my eyes a little bit inside.

‘Target: New York” was a bit much, no? I mean, it’s going to be messy – what with the concentration of people and trash and opinions and price-jacking, but the office today was one Bill Pullman speech away from being Base Camp for what was about to be an all-out attack.

Interns were being sent to buy water, duck tape, flashlights and all of the batteries they could fight for – and there were, he reported, fights. Mostly over water.

Co-workers were busy calming their parents down or text messaging old girl/boyfriends. if I’m going to hunker down, they all seemed to write, I might as well have a little fun. or was that it? I mean, anyone can find an excuse in NYC to get away from the extremities, so it had to be more than that, right? who wants to watch the end of the world alone? no one, I suppose.

I made the mistake of going to Best Buy to buy some speaker wire. they had someone positioned in the front saying that ‘all extension cords, radios and flashlights were sold out’.

and then there was the drive home. sure, it’s Friday and sure, it’s Manhattan, but abandon all hope ye who haileth cabs. no way. I pulled up next to one who had no one, was turning others away, getting himself back to Queens. boxes and boxes of crates that used to hold bottled water piled outside…

and then there was the line to get gas.

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40 minutes I waited to fill The Black Mamba [bottom left] and 10 minutes to put in $6.38.

I didn’t know the pumps ran slow when the gas was almost out, but it does.

and then I came home to see that the roommates had bought $100 worth of water and 3 large plywood pieces to cover the windows.

and all I have is wine and a few slices of pizza.

I might start to freak out a little bit tomorrow – maybe with good reason, or maybe to get into the spirit of it all.

because, let’s be honest – it’s not a party until the guy who lives in the basement loses the plot a little, right?

more tomorrow – if the intraweb and things work.

if not, remind my nephew to always take advantage of an intern running errands.

a

 

twenty nine and 2190 days

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well, thanks, little nephew of mine.

it’s been a helluva year, since my last birthday…

let’s see:

- Josie and I spent my 34th cruising on Absurdity in the South of England, if you learn to sail, you can have her [boat].

- after that, I went to go see Nico [he'll be a quasi-uncle to you] in Paris and had the time in Paris that everyone wants.

- but I got into a little bit of trouble with the U.K. government, and had 30 days to leave.

- so, naturally, I dragged Josie to Vietnam. to live.

- we stayed there for a few months, but ended up going our separate ways. she to Australia to work. me to Oregon to finish a book.

- a few months into my stay in Bend, I finally got to meet you. and that very day, I started writing another book.

- a month of so after that, I flew to Perth to see Josie for her birthday. we took a campervan around wine country. it was fun.

- a few months later, I left Bend for a month in Oklahoma and the promotional run of the book would be released. it sold out.

- a few weeks after that, I got the call that I never thought I’d get – I was about to take a job in New York fuckin City! I’ve now been here a little more than 4 months and it’s been amazing. I’ve been sending you little postcards and stuff, hopefully one day you’ll be able to check them out.

- my birthday was spent with a lot of friends. which, considering how short I’ve been here, should tell you how lucky I am.

… so there you go, nephew – it’s been a fun 34th year. you just started walking and by the time my 36th [ugh] rolls around, you might even be able to talk with me on the phone a little bit. a lot of your and my birthdays will be spent on the phone, but I’ll try and make that up to you.

so, thanks for the card and the cheeky little grin. I showed this to a lot of people here and they all thought you were amazing.

and I think so too.

love,

Uncle Aric

[tough] love in an elevator.

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being from Oklahoma has it’s advantages.

- weaker beer.

- stronger antique value.

- being raised right.

now, as much as I love New York City, lost is the art of holding open doors, nodding to strangers on a nice day and walking in-between the lady and the road, as all seem to have been sequestered for anyone south of the Mason-Dixon. why, just this morning at the gym, I had words with some putz who decided to take up the entire changing area with his stuff – toiletries and dirty towel on one bench, his clean clothes on the other, and him standing right in the middle.

‘you kiddin’ me with this?’ I said only because I was slightly taller and younger than he was, hoping I wouldn’t have to drop to the fetal position wearing only a towel to escape a smack.

but manners – yes, they’re not here. everything else, just not manners.

and nowhere is this more evident than in our building’s elevator – which shall now be called The Shitiest Elevator Ever To Be Called An Elevator.

it’s slow.

it’s hot.

it jars between the 3rd and 4th floor.

and it smells. [much in part to NYC being a melting pot and the EU accepting anyone these days.]

but the worse part is those who ride it seem blissfully unaware that there is a protocol for riding in American Elevators.

so, people of 9– Broadway, let me kindly help you out with a few things:

  1. remember that time I sent you a transcript of a conversation between my Mother and I? no? probably because I didn’t send it. because you weren’t meant to hear me talk to my Mother. nor do I want to hear you speak to yours. stay off of the phone – it’s only a few minutes.
  2. face forward. I’m pretty sure that your feet pointing anywhere but towards the door is enough to get a visit from Homeland Security.
  3. the only person who could get away with public whistling was Mark Twain. and he did not live in the time of elevators. so don’t.
  4. pushing the ‘close’ button over-and-over has the same effect as pushing it once.
  5. yes, it’s a quirky fun thing that ladies in Manhattan do, wearing their running shoes under a power-outfit. it shows you’re going places. and if you’re going to change your sweaty New Balances whilst squished between 3 or 4 others, there might be one more place you’re headed.
  6. feel free to talk to yourself only if there are more than just you and one other person in the elevator. 2 people = scary as shit. 3+ = we can make fun of you as a group.
  7. if you must speak [IE: fire, flood, the Met’s actually winning something], point your breath down. even if you think your breath is nice breath. it’s most likely not. and this is a contained box.
  8. crop-dusters will be dropped down the shaft. shame on you.
  9. if you having to take off your wheel and hold your bicycle sideways doesn’t tell you that you shouldn’t be bringing it up with you, then let me.
  10. nothing says ‘America’ like tucking into your Dunkin Donuts while waiting 12 mins to go all the way to the 2nd floor.
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*photo taken from the incomparable Robert Frank’s The Americans. Jack Kerouac, in writing the introduction, made a point of asking about this gal.

nyc p. shots – week 11

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are up here. per usual. take a peek? I think you might like them.

stuff[s]. and more.

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every time I go to write something, I usually don’t write something because writing takes effort. and I’m trying to enjoy the downtime between this book being officially released [read: on Amazon in the next few weeks, ebooks, etc.] and the next one starting. it’s a collection of short stories between Dec ’08-present. I’m looking forward to starting it, and I’m looking even more forward to being done with the first one. did you know I’ve never even read it? it’s sitting right next to me, as I had to reference it for a slight design change, but I’ve never picked it up. I should though, it’s a good book. but I digress…

this shall be the most random of catch-ups. I’m doing it more for me than you, but that shouldn’t come as a shock:

- it’s a shame we lost in the final minutes of the Women’s World Cup. it’s a shame we don’t give a shit. but well-played [for the first 108 minutes, at least], girls. you actually made female professional sports exciting. weird.

- the Vespa Saga continues. that actually deserves its own post and I will – as soon as I’m official – post the entire headache. if I do it now, I’ll just be annoyed.

- speaking of annoyed. I can no longer hide my insane jealousy for Mel and Nick’s choice to put their stuff in storage, quit their [very successful] careers and took off sailing the world for a few years. the only thing that outdoes my envy is my intrigue. and respect.

- this has been a favorite summer song for some time, and it is again this summer. hey, you should make it one of yours.

- oh! the second day in Philly I wanted to tell you about? the crazy castle [yes, castle. see below] we went to, built by the eccentric tile-maker James Mercer? one of the coolest places in the States, I kid you not. the website doesn’t do it justice. well worth a day trip from Philly. no photos allowed inside, but I got a few of the exterior.

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- the hair stylist convinced me to get something called a ‘keratin blowout’ done to my locks. I’m still confused to what happened.

- the ’101 best sandwich’ attempt died out [shocking!], as they were all a] more than $10 and b] beginning to not be within walking distance from my office.

- my office is in the exact area the term ’23 skidoo’ was coined. good band as well.

- I haven’t picked up my Leica once since moving to NYC. this hipstamatic stuff is brilliant.

- ah. yes. photos and NYC – that reminds me. took a shot of this the other week and made a point of going back when it was open. one of the coolest shops I’ve ever been in. worth a trip to Park Slope. am pretty sure it’s a Dave Eggers project.

- speaking of iStuff. if you have an iPad, download this. Brother Scott did the music for it and it’s been charting for weeks now on Apple.

- while I’ve always been mildly interested in the occult, reading ‘The Serpent and The Rainbow’ has elevated my curiousity in voodoo and black magic to a point of virtual hopelessness. I’m obsessed. have never seen the film, but have it downloaded for when I’m done.

- speaking of things to watch, I get about 40 minutes a week of time to do it, but Californication is one of the smartest shows ever to come out of the States. season 5 especially.

- this also looks amazing.

- NYC is a fucking fun town. has anyone ever said that before?

- Brother Ben [remember Brother Ben?] has a new project he’s working on and needs help. am hoping to interview him before the deadline, but if not, try and wrap your head around this.

- I rarely drink beer these days. if you email me, I’ll let you in on the best kept secret in the wine world. I’m buying it by the case and would love to say ‘and I’m even dropping some weight in the process’, but no. it is good, though. and cheap.

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- please stop using photos of your child for your profile picture on Facebook. Brother Cohn wrote last year that ‘I’m friends with you, not your child’ and it caused a shitstorm. why? I don’t know. photos of your kids on Facebook? of course! photos of you + your kids in your Facebook profile? sure! photos of your kids as your profile photo? no. stop it. it’s weird.

- this little blog is about to have some major changes happen to it. I’m kind of excited. I hope you like it. it’s cool. and exciting… thus, the excitement.

- a copy of my book was handed to Annie Clark [St. Vincent]. I’m totally keeping an eye out for her next album to see if I’m mentioned.

- I’m turning 35 in a few weeks and change. please don’t forget.

- this is a fun town.

- see ya later.

the b.q.e. and streets prior.

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I’m writing this from a cab. It’s past 2am and I’m writing this on my phone from a cab… I’m tired, but maybe I should write. I’m always in cabs and it’s always late. do I bitch about stuff? I’m sorry. I shouldn’t. with walls and bullshit, sometimes I forget. it’s easy to forget, maybe you have someone in the other room who you havent paid a compliment to in a while. that’s okay… wait, it’s not okay. that’s something you say. you haven’t reminded the missus she’s pretty and I haven’t held out an embrace for this city. I guess I’m tired. I know I’m tired. I’m always tired. but I’m not the only one. I think that’s what new york city does best – remind you that you’re not the only one. there’s a lot of me here, tall dark-haired kids. in my office, there’s not only another Aric, but someone with a tattoo that says ‘absurd’. mine says ‘absurdity’. there might be snow, but there are no snowflakes. this cab is making me sick. too many people pass through and not enough people come and pass through. i just passed where they filmed Ghostbusters. maybe I should ask him to go back and have a cigarette outside. maybe not. they might not like smokers. Bill Murray’s dance by the fountain when he was waiting on Sigourney Weaver was classic. you can get away with shit like that here. you can get away with a lot, but please don’t think it’s original. we’re all pretty tired. yesterday, a girl who works for us, but a floor above, said she goes to bed around 4a – back up at 8a. ‘how long?’ I asked, ‘since forever’ from under her Ray Bans. and so it goes in the big city. and so we go in the big city. tomorrow’s going to hurt – not from drinkin’ though; haven’t had one of those in a while. just sleep. or lack thereof. the city hurts. no – not hurts. the city makes me a good tired. this Manhattan gives me a constant hangover. but that’s okay. but this cab is making me sick.

 

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