Monday, June 25, 2007


Everything was in full color last weekend. There was a rooftop soiree alongside a gray wolf mural, a psychedelic (but not overly so) Panda Bear show at the Bowery, and an overwhelmingly bright Pride parade on Sunday afternoon. And there you have it: New York has officially reached summer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

After the Gold Rush

The difference between a gala and a party, I found out, is that you pay something like $2,500 a plate at a gala. At least that's what patrons were doing at the opening of Romeo and Juliet in Central Park last night. No thanks (impossible). But I did get dressed up -- although no matter what you wear in that kind of crowd, it never feels like enough -- and joined in on the celebrity gazing and lemonade-vodka cocktails.

The play itself is dazzling, with a rotating, bare-bones set featuring a shallow moat which every character at one point dips into, their waterlogged actions reflecting the sentiment of the moment. The trees provide a fitting canopy to the setting and the moon works well with Shakespeare's words. The acting is topnotch; the rollie-smoking, raw-mannered nurse standing out in particular. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what time period the production is going for, since Romeo has a surf dude slacker act going on, the pair meets at a flamenco-styled party, and all the costumes are a mishmash of period pieces.

But then, just as Juliet had taken the potion and the nurse came in to wake her, it started to rain. It was not just drizzling, it was pouring. They say that people watched the Globe performances rain or shine -- the show must go on -- but this is not the case in Central Park, as there was a mild tint of hysteria when the crowd bolted from its seats. Yet a group that pays $2,500 a plate is slow moving and it took a while for everybody to shuffle out of the theatre into the park. It didn't really bother me, though. The rain being the only true tragedy of the evening, I like leaving Romeo and Juliet in bliss.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

No Shouts No Calls

For the record, I don't like Michael Moore. But I do think his new film, Sicko, is definitely worth checking out, even if you have to make the slow Q train commute to Prospect Heights to watch the pirated version on a laptop while crammed onto a couch with three other people. A trip like that is worth it because his new film isn't as polarizing as the others; it's more cut and dry, less looped out liberal. The American healthcare system actually hires people whose sole purpose is to screw you over. Everybody can relate to this film because everybody knows somebody who's been there. Of course there's more to it than that, just as his argument, like everything else he touches, has ample room for flaws (would he choose to have a tumor treated in Canada or Cuba instead of the US? nope.). I'm just saying that it's easier to watch than his other films, no matter how many people are crammed onto the couch alongside you.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Greater Times

Hanging around my girlfriends is like huffing compressed joy. These days, however, I have to make a trip all the way to Chicago to do so. Chicago is like a flat wasteland of fat people, only on their way to getting fatter, a sad excuse for a city. Other than that, we had a great time. Because it's the company you keep, see, not where you're keeping it. Although I can't think of a single thing we did over the course of two days, I know for a fact that it was fun. But damnit, I wish my friends weren't so dissipated.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Comfy in Nautica


Last weekend, four of us rented a car, ditched our routines, and took off for Wolfeboro Falls, New Hampshire. After spending almost an hour stuck in Manhattan's Friday evening rush hour traffic, driving through Connecticut (the most nondescript state I've ever seen) and Massachusetts took us about five hours, with a couple stops here and there. Adam is a tall guy and so, naturally, his entire family is tall and they live in a gigantic house, on an expansive slab of land, overlooking a gigantic lake surrounded by gigantic trees. As soon as we arrived, his parents started feeding us and then they never stopped.

And in the morning, the strangest thing happened: nothing woke me up. I could feel at ease in all that quietude, even when we spotted bats playing in front of the porch one night. I'd much rather go rural than deal with a trifling city. But all that space in between sounds, all that driving along empty strips in a car just made everything I arrived back to on Sunday night -- my smelly city, dumpy apartment, fire escape perch, sliver of a view -- seem oddly refreshing.

Vicious Traditions

Even though I've only seen a total of three Sopranos episodes, and this superbly edited little clip, I had to watch the finale last night. I wanted to feel a small part of the phenomenon and, well, I'm a sucker. Having felt no connection to any of the characters, least of all Tony, I wanted somebody big to die last night and I was disappointed when that didn't happen. Actually, I was pissed off. Today, however, I couldn't get Journey out of my head. I also hunted down the poem that the little turd A.J. referenced and it all makes sense. The entire episode plays out like Yeats says, and now I think David Chase is kind of brilliant. Nonetheless, I don't think I am going to spend two months of my life watching the entire show.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Young Team


I decided I would never want to be a kid in this city. Not that I've ever personally met any city kids, but I can imagine. I see them in the parks, on the streets, everywhere. Just the other day, I sat across from one on the train ride home after work. He appeared to be about 8 and as though he was unceremoniously placed on Ritalin a few weeks ago. I guess the drug wears off in the early evening and the kid begins an hour-long phase of manic, uninhibited hyperactivity. His eyes were like a plastic googly set, the pupils just constantly, rapidly, arbitrarily rattling around in psychotic-looking orbits. Everybody was staring.

I think the issue is that these kids are never allowed simply to sit and be bored. Everything in a small town/suburban childhood is insulated by stasis. I remember sitting with Kelley Anne - and all of my other little double-named friends - for eight hours on a summer day, selling over sweetened lemonade to anybody who would pay attention to us. But it seems like each 15-minute interval of these Manhattan kids' lives is scheduled. Left without a clear destination or goal for more than ten minutes, they lose their heads. The fuckers don't need another school activity, they need some boredom.