Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I seem to have succumbed to my first cold since quitting smoking. Not a bad haul at all: almost 9 months. Non-smoking colds don't pack quite the punch as smoking colds. Those suckers rip through your throat with a garden weasel, then hang around for a couple weeks to keep you company. And they liked coming back every couple months or so. No, this is much preferrable. But it's a mild summer cold, and mild summer colds are just a pain in the ass. They're the equivalent of mosquitos and black flies: aggravation manifest. At least you can swat a mosquito. With a cold, the best you can do is megadose on vitamin C, pop the echinacea, and reach for that bottle of Zicam, hoping that, for some reason, shooting more snot up your nose — highly medicinal snot, mind you! — will make the thing go away sooner.

Last weekend, I lost my wallet. Not this freshly-past weekend, but the one before. I've always taken a snooty stance with people who have lost their wallets, especially those who have done it more than once. How do you lose a wallet? You stuff the thing in one of two ass-pockets, your purse, or your man-tote. Lest it suddenly develop the ability to pass through solid matter, it stays there. You take it out, use a card, pull out some cash, stow a fresh number, put it back. Not quite sure where the losing happens. Well, I am now tempted to give credence to an emerging theory which posits that wallets sometimes leap out of their owners' pockets in the back seat of cabs, where they burrow into the seat cushions and look for other wallets, with which they then mate. It's an urban equivalent to spawning salmon, maybe.

In the frenzy of trying to replace all the cards of consequence, I decided that maybe it would be cool to add a couple more. I am ashamed to admit that, although I have lived catty-corner from the Greenpoint branch of the Brooklyn Public Library for almost two years now, it wasn't until this afternoon that my repertoire of cards was augmented by one of their own. After over two years, I've decided to lift the personal moratorium on reading. The selection isn't exactly a dream come true, but it's something to work with. All the "Top 100" classics seem to be represented in fiction, amidst a wash of Dean Koontz, Tom Clancy, and other treacly-looking distractions. The non-fiction shelves resemble somewhat the scant-stocked shelves of some of our neighborhood's darker and dingier bodegas, the ones you expect to see closed in a matter of weeks, although they do hold a full complement of The Idiot's Guide to X and X for Dummies books. If ever I wanted to sharpen my Polish or Russian chops, I'd be in heaven, but I had to request that a copy of Earth in the Balance be sent from the central branch. At least they do that for you.

While packing up to leave my Monday evening gig at Chez Oskar, a police car cut off a motorcyclist, resulting in some significant damage to the bike, as well as was was recounted as a sonorous collision of the 'cyclist's head (helmeted) with the pavement. Apparently, the 'cyclist, a large black man, wasn't all that pleased with the cop's driving style, and confronted the offender in something of an animated manner, such that when the second police car showed up, they misunderstood the situation and cuffed the 'cyclist. Facing a growing crowd of vocal witnesses, they quickly realized their error and released him. It was at this point that I walked outside, probably no more than a minute after the chain of events had been set in motion. In no time, five or six cruisers had blocked off the entire intersection, and the crowd of Ft. Greene locals was growing exponentially, both in numbers and intensity. I thought, for a moment, that I may be standing at the epicenter of a live version of Do the Right Thing — which is ironic in its own right, as Joie Lee drops in to hang from time to time. Now I see where Spike may have had the idea. Alas, I know not the conclusion, as I had to split to Manhattan, but shall surely hear it soon enough.

In trying to uphold the promise of more stunning visuals from the vacation, I leave you with a composite image of something else we don't have in NYC: a Gehry. Specifically, it's the Pritzker Pavillion, also in Chicago's Millenium Park, paces from the Bean. I'm not sure that the composite is any more spectacular than the base image, but at least it was fun trying to put it together in Photoshop:
'Til the next...


Anonymous Ben M said...

Google updated their Chicago satellite imagery lately, and it's now recent enough to include Millennium Park:

11:02 AM  

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