Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm making it hard for me

Insofar as: I have a paper due tomorrow, what I have been neglecting for months, and instead am drinking wine at people again, this time on a hotel roof (accessed by key card, in exchange for photo ID, as per phone call arranged ahead of time) in SoHo, with the beautiful people - again, my age (I have wasted my life). The hotel is marked only with by an address - "60" - short for "If you are from Saskatchewan, you don't even know that 60 Thomson is a hotel SO KEEP WALKING". Four - no less than four - doormen lead me in, I am drunk on rosé.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Who wants to go for a car ride? You wanna go for a car ride?

Holy shit. A week at the lake and I don't want to be back, working like a stooge like this. Friend works around the corner, so I called him and he brought me along on his errand, which turned out to nail the triple crown of secret afternoon break-taking.

First, his errand took us into this apartment in SoHo, which belongs to an Italian greyhound-owning lesbian lawyer MY AGE (fuuuck) who is never even home to use her apartment because, I don't know, she works. By the way, her fridge contains: three condiments, and a phalanx of 325ml Poland Springs and Diet Cokes. Little phalluses, hee.

"How much rent do you think she pays a month?"
"I don't know - five thousand dollars?"
"That's it?"
"Well, only because I can't imagine rent ever being more than five thousand dollars."

Then we got back in the car and drove through SoHo and got stuck behind a moving truck trying to parallel park next to another moving truck and - yes!! - that satisfying, satisfying crunch of one vehicle abusing another. Took a nice piece off, oh wow.

And then we got stopped at a red light next to a garbage truck with New Jersey plates loading up giant, sloppy piles of pork fat. In my imagination this has everything to do with protection money and generations-old Italian family businesses and perhaps even with the disposal of snitches.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SMS Highlight Reel, vol. 16: Wednesday morning, Verbatim

"I am so wound up I just yelled in fright at a towel hanging on the door thinking it was a person."

"But also :("

Writing On My High Horse Again

Now in the summer, I end up all over town, at job interviews, meetings, errands, etc., which means that I have collected that many more corners, intersections, and restaurants that will come back to me, dream-like, when I encounter them for the first time again years from now. That has a potential to happen in any city of course, but here it seems all the stranger because Manhattan is an island, and the island is a grid, and everywhere is someplace to be - not some remote suburb but a buzzing, blooming confusion of stores and venues and cabs and people. It's a small city, in fact, especially as compared to Calgary or Edmonton, but bigger on account of some fractal expansion inward, so that, as I have pointed out, any repetition becomes a fetishized little bit of novelty.

So. In the morning, I get on the 4/5 train, which takes me to 1 of 2 jobs. The trains come so frequently that the route becomes sort of like a moving sidewalk. And yet, if I am on time, I will often get the very same conductor (not to be confused with the driver, the conductor sits in the sixth car, and he's the guy who opens and closes the doors, announces the stops (often only to himself), and will answer your questions if you wait for him under the hatched black and white lines that mark his car's position on the platform, you're welcome for that info bomb). He has a low, low voice like Barry White, and he gets on the PA at every stop. Now, this is not necessary on the 4/5 line, since it runs newer trains with automated announcements. But he helpfully tells people to step aside so that others can exit, or to move into the centre of the car to make room. And, showing that the real reason he makes the announcements is so that he can feel important or useful, or just to talk to other humans, he pipes up even when there aren't many people on the train, just to say "You watch your step and have a nice day too."

Anyway, I used to find this somewhat embarrassing, as in, too much enthusiasm is embarrassing, but now it makes my day (for ten minutes).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some parks

Gramercy Park is the city's only private park. It has a high, wrought-iron fence on all sides, and all and only the residents of the stately old apartment buildings that ring the park get a key. I both hate this for heaping yet another elitism onto an already elitist city, and love it for being inconsistent with the rest of the parks.

Madison Square Park has a "Shake Shack" in the southeast corner. I both hate this as an instance of privatization and love this because MILKSHAKES. When I walked through a squirrel ran up to me - I mean right up to me - and blocked my path and sniffed at me and held out his hands and looked at me incredulously for not having anything to offer. Everything shy of punching me in the face and taking my wallet. A propos of which, further on, I saw a few guys walk over to a sleeping hobo and just take his umbrella. Normally, like any good New Yorker, I would say something to that shit, but these guys looked serious.

Battery Park I oddly enough never frequent, even though it is close to my house. I also don't normally take walks in the evening because I have been walking all day and I am home now. But the other day I went, and shortly after I crossed the threshold, the lawns came alive with thousands of tiny neon send-offs into the crepuscular air. Fireflies in action, what I had never seen before, and all the couples on all the benches kissed.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Travelling Picnic

Yes, I invented this and you're welcome. The best of the street food - like the Belgian waffle truck parked in Astor Place - and Sofia Coppola champagne in a can (for the incognito factor - you think a cop from Queens recognizes what that is?) chilling in a shopping bag full of ice from the bodega. Walking while eating means I won't get quite as fat. As you can see, the shopping bag was all like, "You guys, I don't know if this is a good idea. What if we get caught?" And we were like, "Whatever, shopping bag - it will be fine."

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

K-star, I'm finally getting my 5 to 10

In addition to the slice, I now eat about a pound of fruit a day. It's so nice to live in a place where the produce isn't picked cement-unripe 3000 km away. These little fruit carts pop up on almost every block during the growing season, and the cherries, nectarines, blueberries and apricots are beauuutiful.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More borrowed content

I am not normally melty when it comes to kids, especially in New York where they are all raised by terrible, crazy parents, but this...