Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Here's a clipping from a 1931 issue of the Brooklyn Standard Union.

"[redacted] died yesterday at his home, [my address], New York City. He was born in Beirut, Syria 71 years ago and lived in New York for 38 years. He was the proprietor of a restaurant at [redacted] Washington street, Manhattan, for 10 years. He is survived by his son, Francis. Funeral Saturday..."

I found a picture of him on the internet, in fact.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Enjoy the Saturday night rhubarb outside my window. I like how everyone is dressed like P Diddy.

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Unfortunately, the picture is a bit too fuzzy for you to make it out, but around the corner from my place I found the warehouse where they store all the downtown street signs. That's them on the shelf in the background there, all those black-and-white printed rectangles.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What is the sound of an apartment sweltering?

I think this is the fate of a lot of air conditioners in the city. Actually, that's why mine is on the fire escape instead of the other window, since it would only be a matter of time before that shit just slid off the flaking century-old masonry and smashed onto the concrete below.

This man is obviously not dissuaded enough to walk wide of the building. This brave, brave foolish man.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

212, 646, 718, 401,

Today I was calling contractors around the North Eastern seaboard about some very important filing business, and I came across this guy who turned out to be a big fan of the New School and chatted me up about it and then invited me to lunch the next time he is in the city. And I think this is just the sort of impetuous-but-casual thing people do here, and the idea of it beguiles more than intimidates me, but none of that changes the fact that this guy is probably just a big fat loser.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

In conclusion, New York is a land of contrasts.

Woke up at 2:00 pm today, either hung over or still drunk, and raced to work. I managed to squeeze a few hours out of the business day, and then battle the greasy rails and the steaming sewer grates and the slow-moving, polyestered behinds and the brumes of cigarette smoke and make it back to my clean, quiet hovel where I crank up the AC and lie on clean sheets and make people deliver food to my door.

photo source
I found this by accident but it turns out it's a famous artist who went to the New School.

Monday, July 23, 2007

The upside of inane work errands

The New School is spread out among a bunch of mostly older buildings in the Village. The kind of buildings that have bricked-in windows where a new building has sprung up next door and remnants of curved mouldings inside what is now a storage closet and old stairwells with half doors that make you really curious as to what's behind them, but are always locked and painted shut many times over except.. wohoah! What is this? This is a little crazy janitor's closet -slash- interrogation room.

Monday, July 16, 2007


All I've ever asked from you, Sunday in New York, is three beers on the Lower East Side and somebody to double me home on their bike. Well done.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Went and saw a musical

I've been a tourist my own city for the past few days since some out-of-towners are here. I went and saw my first Broadway musical. It was at the Eugene O'Neill theatre. It was called Spring Awakening. It was not so good, but I like to leave the house, and... tick.

I also have to say I liked walking through Times Square, because in my overly urbanized and sardonic life I forget that things like TGIFriday's and fat midwestern suburban families exist and it's nice to be reminded.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Posting is hard

Maybe because I am used to it here. All I know is that it is really hot out, and at least 20 hfahrhenheiht degrees hotter because the pavement radiates heat and the car hoods radiate heat and the asses of the air conditioners blow hot, dry air at you when you walk by them. Luckily all I do is travel from my tepid apartment to my frigid workplace and back. Oh yeah, that's why I don't post anymore.

photo source

Friday, July 06, 2007

When in Sodom

I live across from a preschool. When I first moved in I didn't have blinds and after a few days they got annoyed and actually closed their blinds.

Well come on, preschool marms. This street is known as "Sodom South". There's a strip club and a sex shop and a giant wall of porn in the corner bodega. You can get a lapdance in the back room of one of the sandwich shops.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Happy America Day

I did my first fourth of July. I celebrated it by watching American tv in my room in America. Then I finally dragged my ass outside to watch the fireworks. It was one of the longest shows I've seen, all of us crowded under the FDR at the South Street Seaport since it was raining a little. Some of the fireworks exploded into shapes, like stars and hearts and cubes. I have NEVER seen this.

Well played, America.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The triangle above and to the left of me

In a city this dense, moving (eventually) just a few blocks west of where I used to live actually significantly changes my neighbourhood and day-to-day. Jubilee is farther away, so I go to Gristedes in Battery Park City, which I think is supposed to be kind of yuppie and upscale, but is dirty and annoyingly overpriced. Sometimes I take advantage of Jubilee's free delivery, but usually I feel too guilty making some guy ride over here on his bike to bring me cigarettes and a carton of organic milk.

Also, I now live just a few steps from Tribeca. I guess I did before, but I didn't really explore it much, because it was west of my path uptown, and whenever I did happen to stumble through it, it seemed kind of deserted. Now I've realized that it's cunningly that way - the streets are very quiet, but around every corner there is a fantastic dimly-lit bistro or wine bar or cucina with, nowadays, a spill of tables outside. No wonder the celebs hang out there.

Last night I went to one of those unassuming places and hung out with some lawyers - by coincidence the only non-grad student type I ever associate with here. Probably everybody around us was somebody, but what do I know. We drank wine and tequila until they put all the chairs up and turned the lights on and swept us out the door.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Scan this, pal

Didn't pre-clear US Customs on my way home since I took the red-eye and the customs office in Calgary was closed. So I did that in JFK for the first time. And I see this cheery poster:

Dear passengers, US-VISIT procedures are in effect. All visitors to the US will be fingerprinted and photographed. Passengers with privacy concerns can visit www.dhs.gov

The "photograph" being a little retinal scanner. Just about lost my shit. Stood there while the guy processed my paperwork, looking at the biometric-gathering machines on the counter, and wondered How can I argue this? That I am a resident, not a visitor? That I should have pre-cleared in Canada and wouldn't have had to do this? That I simply refuse?

Fortunately, I wasn't asked.