Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mouth of a Story

Last year, I joined a book club that I found on Craigslist and it was pretty fulfilling, for a short while. I only made it to three meetings because I was the only one who showed up for the fourth meeting.

There is nothing on this earth that can make you feel like more of a loser than being stood up by your book club.


Now I have joined a new book club and this time I'm not meeting with Craigslist floozies; I'm meeting with friends of a friend. These people are now my friends and so the odds of being stood up are slimmed down considerably.

Last night, we met at La Grainne Cafe on 9th Ave to discuss John Banville's The Sea. Unfortunately, I had already eaten dinner, but La Grainne serves very fine looking crepes that I will have to try next time.

And the book? I recommend this read if you like ponderous, depressing, yet beautifully written, Irish novels about a narrator mourning the loss of his wife while revisiting the sea of his childhood, metaphors included.

I will say this: Hemingway and Melville are solid, yet no one writes about the sea like the Irish do.

There were three of us at that meeting last night. I'm not sure if three people constitutes a club but it's good enough for me.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Roots & Crowns

Sorry, blahg, when I go home, I am a home body. But I'll be back in action next week.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)

Monday, November 20, 2006

Saturday Waits

About 90% of last weekend was inadvertently spent in Bushwick. This wasn't so bad since two of my favorite people live in a bomb shelter of an apartment and, best of all, that neighborhood is so deserted that nobody cares when you scream through the streets at four in the morning. Friday was a small dance party at the unmarked Syrup Room and Saturday, after the Whiskey Ward, there was a rave-esque event at the Third Ward which, were we not so drugless, could have been better. Back on the island, we spent Sunday night at the Film Forum, watching 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (perfect).

Friday, November 17, 2006

UFO, Please Take Her Home


Last night, one stop mutated into three. First, we headed over to W. 31st for a graffiti art event, where we watched an established Brazilian graffiti artist paint in a stark white loft of an art space with a 360 degree view of the rainy city. He wasn't wearing a mask, though, and I worry about what's going to happen to all of those Brazilian brain cells. I guess that is the price you pay for art -- your brain.

Then we trekked down to 41 Rivington for a Beaujolais Nouveau wine tasting with a bunch of Australian film makers. Even though the free wine was flowing, I had never made a toast to a divorce before and it felt appropriately coarse.

Finally, we ended up at Home Sweet Home to help some DJ celebrate his birthday. Bonus points for shamelessness: take a slab of concrete, give it a liquor license, throw some hipsters in there, and slap a cozy name on it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Distant Fingers


This blahg, only a vague reflection of my daily life, has been a bit too fluffy as of late. So I decided I am going to elaborate on my time at the soup kitchen this past weekend. My newfound desire to do good came from the realization that, although I love my new job, if I keep all of my time consumed with pop culture write-ups, I am running the risk of becoming a shallow bitch.

Last week, in the middle of this Florence Nightingale kick, I Googled: New York, Soup Kitchen, Volunteer. This led me to a church on W. 15th that is always in need of volunteers to help out with its Sunday morning soup kitchen.

So I sacrificed part of my Saturday night to get up early with the Christians on Sunday morning. When I arrived, I was assigned to tray duty, which means I had to bring the trays of food to the homeless. Being on tray duty is just like waiting tables, except you don't get tips and nobody really bothers sending back their food.

The soup kitchen is organized in a triage fashion so that the elderly and disabled are the first groups to go through the line. Everybody was very polite and some people even wanted to talk to me. But for the most part, they were just there for the food and could care less who was serving it.

I'm not sure where these homeless people came from, but I'm almost positive they weren't from the bottom of the barrel. For one thing, they weren't dragging a lot of crap with them; there were no shopping carts or heavy bags. Therefore, I can only assume that they came from some kind of rehabilitation shelter.

Taken out of context, the meals would actually seem pretty appetizing. There was a real hodgepodge of food, ranging from pumpkin pie, to chicken, steak, and wedding cake. And, of course, there was soup, although curiously enough, nobody really touched the soup.

After about thirty minutes of tray duty, I was pulled out of line to work on clothing duty. That, my friends, was a drag. This was my one day to be one with the people, to really get my hands dirty. Instead, I was sequestered to a stifling closet in the back of the church, where a gigantic bin of clothes was waiting for me to sort through it. As he left, the director warned me that no matter how claustrophobic I get, it's important to keep the door to the closet closed.

I started sifting through the clothes, which, by the way, were far from ragged. There were brand new men's dress shirts with tags from Barneys, Armani, Saks Fifth Avenue, you name it. Just know that wherever you are in this city, there is a bum crossing your path who is dressed better than you are.

After that task was complete, I was placed on bread duty and that was cool. People are a lot more willing to talk to you when you have the power of selecting their rolls. They would point into the bin, specifying whether they wanted a plain bagel or a wholewheat bun, and we would discuss the merit of cinnamon raisin bagels and pumpernickel bread.

As the line dwindled down, one woman, Sandra, came by with a huge cart and relieved me of all the bread to - you guessed it - feed the birds. According to Sandra, it's best to hit the lesser known parks, as opposed to Central Park, because the birds in Central Park are quite spoiled when it comes to handouts.

To wrap it all up, there was clean up duty, which, due to team work, did not take long at all.

Now. I'm not going to take this time to preach about how this experience changed my life, and the lives of those I touched with my careful distribution of bread, or how I plan on going to the soup kitchen every Sunday from now on, because that would not be the truth at all. I am, however, reporting back to you, my dear readers - or whoever is left - that I strongly urge you to get off your ass and try this out at least one time.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Instant Hit

Last weekend was an arts salon with a stale audience, in a ritzy SoHo apartment, where I kind of spilled a beer onto an oriental rug (estimated retail value: $14,000) because I am classy like that. In order to save our Friday night from total ruin, we took a late night trip out to the Royal Oak in Brooklyn, where we danced for three hours straight, and had 5AM grilled cheese sandwiches at Kellog’s diner.

There was also a catch up dinner with my favorite Bostonian and a Martha Dumptruck Massacre show, at the Lucky Cat, for a gathering that looked like a Myspace top 8 come to life. That was it for Saturday, though, as I was up to rise uncharacteristically early (9:30 !) on Sunday, in order to volunteer at the soup kitchen (seriously).

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Autumn's Done Come

Monday, November 06, 2006

Life's a Gas

Last weekend was the Ra Ra Riot show at Studio B (thank goodness those guys are finally getting the attention they deserve), another corner table at Enid's, Borat (exquisite !), a lavish late night oyster fest (west trumps east coast), and a leisurely stroll alongside 37,000 marathon runners. That last part was especially inspiring and for a second - a split second - I felt like joining in, but that wouldn't work at all. No, it certainly would not.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Monster is Loose


OK, now I am just beating Halloween with a stick. Last night was an evening in three acts.

Act One: Meat Loaf, live on Broadway, performing Bat out of Hell (7:45-10:30pm)

That's right. You might wonder, with this influx of Up&Coming spewing across the city for the week, why would one waste time with an old washed up fatty? Because it's the Loaf and I am not one to pass up $100 tickets to see him perform in all of his stumbling, boundless grandeur with a twenty-seven piece orchestra. In fact, I'm still digesting the magnificence of this show, so to speak, and I'm not even prepared to write about it at the moment.

Act Two: Three piece improv tourney at the Upright Citizens Brigade theatre (11pm-12:30am)

Oh wow, I like having funny friends. (Is there even a point to having friends who don't make you laugh?) Especially handy is knowing a group of boys who can take one word, seven minutes, and three chairs and turn it all into a riotous skit based around the puppet reenactment of 9/11.

Act Three: The Black Lips at the Cake Shop (1:00-3:00am)

Another over hyped band at an overcrowded venue with an overly pretentious hipster crowd and a certain over the boards friend who was supposed to show up at 1:00, but didn't arrive until 1:45, which left me waiting around on one of the first cold nights of the year, pissed off, to say the least.

And with that, Halloween is officially spent, as is my energy level for the week. It's fine, though, because I'll just catch up on my sleep this weekend.

((I just lied on my own blahg.))

Thursday, November 02, 2006

ToneBank Jungle

Seasonably, Halloween segues directly into a little slobber fest of a music festival. First up was a wayward trip to the Canal Room for Holy Fuck, which I know I've gushed over before but you'll have to excuse me once again. Fine, maybe four times is a lot to see a band, but I simply cannot get enough of these Canadians. Imagine: if Can played techno and their headline read, "Find something in the trash...plug it in."

Next was a brief taco break before heading over to Brooklyn for the Finger on the Pulse showcase at Galapagos. Like me, these guys are reluctant to give up Halloween, as they were featuring free zombie face painting. The Harlem Shakes put on an excellent show and those CSS girls are nuts.

CMJ grants me not only the opportunity to see some of my favorites in town from Seattle, but also the chance to see an excessive amount of music congested within a few days. Visitors from Seattle attend the festival under the guise of work and so it is all I can do to pretend that I am working, too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Burn 2 Ash

A Flavorpill party is exactly what you would expect: excessive yet culturally filtered.

There were rooms after rooms of very drunk people in costume, text messages every ten minutes, informing when/where the next band was playing, and an amazing set by CSS.

The only costumes I remember include: Amelia Earhart (back from the dead, again), Jack (minus Jill), a boxer and her trainer, a German barmaid, a Bible salesman, a paper doll, Sid & Nancy, Frida Kahlo, a giant, the dead Crocodile Hunter (stingray included), an exact replica of Bjork's swan dress, and a monkey with detachable ears.

Although only three people guessed my costume right away, I still stand by my decision to dress as YouTube.

Now. Why can't we celebrate Halloween at least once a month?