Thursday, May 31, 2007

File Under: Easy Listening

It was 7:30 in the ayem when I heard a piercing beeping sound coming from the living room/dining room/kitchen/office. My roommate, MJ, was already up, inspecting the source of the noise. It wasn't the smoke detector, which she discovered only after she hoisted herself up on a ladder to check the battery status (yes, even though we are lacking in a vacuum cleaner, we do have a step ladder). The sound was coming from the carbon monoxide detector.

Okay. MJ asks me what to do. I dunno, I just woke up. MJ calls 311 and asks them what to do. 311 goes into emergency mode and calls the fire department over to our apartment. At 7:40, approximately, I hear sirens approaching the block. I went down the five flights of stairs to greet the firemen. Several of them stay behind in the truck and three of them follow me up the stairs, emergency gear in tote.

"What floor do you live on?" One of them asked me after we climbed three flights.

"The fifth."

"See, Larry, it's always the fifth floor. Even though her apartment number is 27, she lives on da fifth floor."

When we finally reached the apartment, the men crowded into the multipurpose room, panting as they set down their gear. With all of their tanks and life ropes and bags, the apartment felt very cramped. MJ was sitting with the beeping detector.

"That's beeping, not buzzing," the lead fireman informed us, "you just need a new battery that's all."


I escorted the men out of the building, offering an apology at every floor, even though they assured me that it was 311's fault, not ours. And yeah, that little stunt probably cost all New York tax payers about $100, apologies.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Continued Story

Well, blahg, it's been awhile, huh? First there was Memorial Day weekend, out of the city for a few days, and then there was a new job opp at work, then I was just busy, and then lazy.

Friday, May 18, 2007

When The Alarm Clock Rings

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Overheard in New York

While passing the Sunshine theater on Houston Street...

Woman: Hello, we'd like two senior tickets for the movie.

Ticket Agent: Yes, which movie?

Woman: Um...I forgot the name!

Ticket Agent: Away from Her?

Woman: Yes, that's it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Watch the Tapes

The first time I saw LCD Soundsystem, it was in a small venue in Seattle after the release of the first album. Everybody in the room was dancing. You could feel the floorboards shaking underneath your feet, that's how excited the crowd was to finally have a new band that knows how to combine rock and dance music. Last night, I saw LCD again and the crowd at Webster Hall wasn't quite as responsive, either because New Yorkers are too cool to really dance -- or, rather, not cool enough -- or the novelty of the band had died down a notch.
But LCD's second album was just as good as, if not better, than the first. And the show was riveting. Because it was the last night of tour, James Murphey exclaimed that he didn't care about his vocal cords and was ready to let it rip. Even though they didn't play Losing My Edge, I heard everything else I wanted. Thankfully, their lineup included a gorgeous encore of New York I Love You, a sardonic, slow paced valentine to the city, the only song in LCD's repertoire that is virtually impossible to dance to.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Dump the Body in Rikki Lake


Just as I predicted: I turn 25 and the malfunctions start rolling in. I lost my voice for approximately three full days this week, think less Kathleen Turner and more Yoda. I never realized what a paraylsis it is to have no voice. All dramatics aside, I think it was a delayed hangover from the winter. My body is simply not conditioned to deal with this subarctic weather.Thankfully, though, I tend to keep company with people who talk a lot. Plus, I felt more like a true New Yorker than I ever have; when tourists stopped me on the street to ask for directions, I would huff right past them, completely ignoring their idiotic queries. I have noticed, however, that with the loss of voice, the inner monologue multiplies and I started to feel that rapid decline into my frumpiest middle age self (frazzled gray roots, my mother's dopey nightgowns).

Seagreen Serenades

A museum visit is a wholesome way to top off a weekend. So we headed to MOMA on the latter half of Sunday afternoon to see what all the hype is over this Jeff Wall guy. There's something about the institution of MOMA that makes it very difficult for me to take anything seriously, unlike when I am inside the Guggenheim, the Met, or even a 7pm Thursday cheese fest on W. 25th.

In any event, it was pretty easy for me to accept Jeff Wall's work even though I was not immediately WOWed. I hear it takes Wall an entire year to craft one of his glossy light box/back lit color transparencies, which is not at all surprising given there is nothing improvised in his photos. In some of his staged photos, it's almost as though he made his subjects pose for an entire year. However, I do like the sociological slant he lends to his subjects and the magic realism of his imagery. Also, the over sized proportions of his pieces give a cinematic flavor to his themes that you definitely don't receive two floors down when viewing a Dorothea Lange portrait.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Shapes of Things

Paris Je T'Aime is a film I could really get into, a collection of shorts by various directors offering their views on the city of Paris and the topic of love. But there is by no means a lovey-dovey film in the series. I'd never seen so many shorts lined up in a row like that and there were a few that I wish lasted a bit longer, some a bit shorter. I could have had less of Elijah Wood as a vampire, and more of Gus Van Sant's studly actor, more of the Coen Bros' befuddled Steve Buscemi, and less of the wacky hair product salesman, more of Juliette Binoche as a grieving *, and less of Wes Craven's take on Oscar Wilde. Almost all of the films have a melancholy hint of loss, adding to the beauty of the series, and vividly capture the chance encounters of life in a city.
*when typing this, i could not find a word for a mother who has lost her child, which strikes me as odd bc we have 'orphan' and 'widow' but nothing else.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Train Kept A-Rollin'

Then! We were already in the Bronx, so we decided to stick around and watch the De La Hoya/ Mayweather fight because, honestly, what better place to watch a boxing match than the Bronx? We got some Cuban sandwiches to-go and headed to a buddie's bar, where they ordered me a Bronx Bomber, a blue concoction with about seven different types of alcohol. Again, I'd never watched a boxing match all the way through, but I have to say, it's ten times more exciting than baseball. Bing-Bang, it's over, none of this waiting around for five hours to get the final score. Thankfully, I'd seen Chavez the week before, so I knew where to place my bets. After the match, the bar immediately turned into a Spanish karaoke lounge, which was fine by us. Only in the Bronx, only in the Bronx.


I'd been waiting to see Bjork for at least ten years now. She's been the one contemporary artist in my rotation that I haven't gotten sick of over the years, probably because she's brilliant. And weird and beautiful and innovative and, fine, I have a crush. The ticket was last minute and very much appreciated. The venue was all the way up on 178th Street in an old, gilded church that is very beautiful, yet slightly lacking in acoustics. She had loads of people on stage with her (a backup orchestra/chorus, dressed in neon ensembles), including a couple of guest appearances (Antony), playing a solid mix of old (Pagan Poetry, Army of Me, Hunter, Immature, Bachelorette) and new (Earth Intruders, Wanderlust, Dull Flame of Desire), ending with an encore of Declare Independence, and dancing around the entire stage like a tie dyed, kimono-sleeved balloon, finishing each song with, "Thank Yooo!"