I received my first bit of promotional mail last week! Andy over in lovely Liverpool sent me 2 45’s & a CD from his record label Regular Beat. Andy is cool and likes talking about how much Americans suck & how crazy George DoubleU is.
Andy is in YellowKid. Yellowkid is folkstar chill. Yellowkid is a band that you might hear at Southpaw or maybe Pianos on a country night.
My personal favorite is the group Ambrose Thompkins. They have barbershop harmony & a banjo. Those are two good things. It sounds like something that should have been on 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'.
Order your copy here
A pictures of my 2 new cute 45's on my kitchen table.
Of course Zach Braff has a blog. I always liked him in scrubs, and am equally excited about Garden State because of my recent fascination with the place. I thought this was all whatever - just another movie - and it is just another movie - but last night on the radio, Zach was being interviewed and he was talking about how lonely the 20's can be, and how everyone is getting married in their early 30's, and all about his moving to a new city (LA) from Maplewood(!) So anyway - hearing of someone else experiencing the unknown blank page of the span of 8 years between college and your 30's was a relief. Thanks Zach - good luck with Garden State. You are now a big shot. (Go Maplewood-ites).
There is a homeless man who lives on my street (go 83rd!). I like to say “home-free” - homeless is such a label. Lets name him Scotch.
Scotch & I have been watching each other for about 2 years now. He used to sleep in the doorway of my building. The new girls on my floor weren’t keen with that idea, and they would always call the cops on him. I never thought there was any need to call the cops – he was wasn’t really doing harm.
I leave the building before him, and would always politely hold my breath, and step over him on my way out the door.
Now he sleeps on the church steps next door.
The old Scotch used to fumble on the streets of the Upper East, totally wasted in his free time. He could barely walk, and would just mumbling and tripping around.
I wrote him off as a lost cause.
However, about 3 months ago I noticed that it had been a while since I had seen Scotch tripping around 83rd st. It seemed as though he was keeping a rather healthy sleep schedule. In fact, I noticed that he was going to bed rather early in my opinion. Some nights, on my way home, I would see him setting up his bed on the church stoop around 5pm.
In the mornings when I leave for work at 6:30am – he is typically awake, patting his hair, and brushing off his clothes. He would always look at me, and I him – but we never spoke. Not even when I had to step over him in his early days of being home-free.
One month ago, he finally spoke to me. I was walking to work and he cheered: “HAVE A GOOD DAY!”
I was stunned. I shouted back over my shoulder “YOU TOO!”
I thought about how it seemed that Scotch was getting better in a way. I hadn’t seen him drunk in a while, & his clothes were changing.
The next day, I noticed that someone had left Scotch a bag of banana’s & other fruits where his bed typically lays. I thought this was cool, because Scotch never once begged for money. I was also kind of jealous – was Scotch making other friends?
Yesterday as I was walking around I actually saw Scotch talking to some of the video store clerks at The VideoRoom (that didn’t hire me!) He was just hanging out chilling with the smart film-buffs.
Two mornings ago, he was sleeping with a walkman and a bag of clothing beside him. Strange, because he never carried anything with him.
Lastly, the other day I was home during lunch. I walked by Scotch and he was actually reading a tech magazine like WIRED. I actually did a double-take.
I am starting to think that maybe Scotch has been recovering from a coma for the past 2 years. Maybe he was released early from some kind of accident, and has been slowly recovering - hence all the sleeping?
I know one thing for sure. If he gets that position as movie clerk at The VideoRoom – there is going to be hell to pay ol' Scotchy.
I am a big supporter of Upper East Thrift Stores. Its one of my hobbies. The best thrift stores in New York City are within a 3 block radius of my apartment. No joke. I try to keep it a secret. It pains me to see young or hip people in my thrift stores. No hip people live on the Upper East, and those considered “cool” would not shop thrift. (Lucky for me, they donate.) So its just me, the old ladies, and the bookworms.
For example, last week I actually met a woman at Council Thrift (my fave shop because the old ladies always make me feel like a beauty queen) who is headed down to the national scrabble competition in New Orleans. Cool, right?
There are other times, however, when thrifting can get down-right nasty. Here’s my story.
Last night I finally won a month-long battle that I have been having with an uptight cashier at Spence Chapin Thrift Store. I had found the perfect fancy dress.
Being a firm believer that every girl should have a princess dress, just in case Prince Charming trots over on a horse, demanding you accompany him to a ball (duh). I needed this dress. The price tag? $150.00. That’s expensive for thrift. Heck – that’s expensive for ME. It looked fabulous on. I contemplated buying it. My wallet said “NO”. So I bargained with the uptight cashier (UC).
“This dress is Nanette Lepore (fancy brand – but it ain’t no Chanel). There is no bargaining the marked price.” I didn't get it.
The next week I dropped in to try the dress again. It was still there. And marked down to 50%! So I contemplated buying it. The UC recognized my face, raised his eyebrows looking over his horned rims – “the price on the dress remains the same. There is no bargaining.” My wallet was still shouting “NO”. I obeyed.
The next week? Same deal. I was officially consumed with lust, and had started a savings just for my princess dress.
I politely asked UC if maybe he had undergone a change of heart. No go. “The dress is Nanette Lepore. I cannot bargain.”
So. Last weekend. Pay day. I marched into the store, ready to purchase at whatever price. I had to have my dress. In trying it on again, I realized that there was a small tear at the waistline (nothing that I couldn’t fix). So I tried bargaining with him again. This time he was absolutely snooty, telling me that maybe I should shop elsewhere. Insane! Out of selfish pride, I let him keep my dress, and left the store. I contemplated hiring my new homeless friend to help steal the dress for me.
Fast forward to yesterday. I was out roaming around. Dreaming about a fancy date, I went to the store to admire my princess dress from afar. To my surprise?? IT WAS HANGING ON A $10 RACK!!!! Oh my! I think I literally SQUEALED! He saw me running for the dress. I picked it up, and proclaimed (to the store) “this is my lucky day!” He knew what was going down. I noticed him shuffling papers – thinking up an excuse as to why I could not have the dress. So I of course plopped the dress down on the counter and said “hello! I would like to buy this dress!” All smiles.
“This dress cannot be sold for ten dollars. It is a Nanette Lepore.”
“We have been having this conversation for 1 month now. I have pointed out the tear at the waistline. The tag should have said ‘as is’ if you did not want it included in the ten dollar sale.” I handed him my credit card.
Silence from his side of the court. Reluctantly taking my card – he then jams the machine. (I got a kick out of that.) I just stood there, reveling in my luck.
When I am happy I really can’t really contain myself, so I burst out - “You know you have just made my day!! You are a STERN fella, but you have officially made my day!”
“well you have to be stern in this business.”
“right. The thrift store business. (???) I just wanted to let you know that you have made my day. THANK YOU!”
Silence from his side of the court. I pick up my umbrella, refused a shopping bag, and walked home not noticing the pooring rain, & gray skies.
I won. I have a fabulous new fancy dress. I am ready for my Prince.
Almost one year ago, I posted about a strange texture being applied to all the lamp-posts around the city. I pose this question again. No one knew the answer yesterday. Now that I have my handy digital cammy - here is a shot of the very same lamp-post that I noticed 1 year ago. Does anyone know the meaning of this???
On Saturday, Mona and Miles had their annual summer barbeque at the house in Rye. Sometimes there are magical moments in Rye. This was one of them. Let me share the few shots to help give you a better picture of what goes into throwing a party at the Hirson house.
Every BBQ needs ribs. Big Miles is responsible for this mess. Anyway, Big M is a stellar cook, and a hell of a good griller. Here are some of the ribs, knifes, and his hands covered in the barbeque sauce that he invented.
Meet Brigid and Little Miles. Brigid is the next door neighbor, and best friend of Little Miles. Here they are having a lime eating contest.
This is the accapella group named SPANK. Big Miles loves them (he is center on the left). Once, he heard them performing on the streets of NYC on his lunch break, and has been a fan ever since. This is the 3rd year that SPANK has performed at the BBQ.
Side Note: Once, I was out at my fave bar "The Kettle". I met this cool guy - Ari. We left the Kettle, and were walking around the village, when all of a sudden I saw SPANK performing on Bleecker St. So Ari & I walked up to SPANK, and in between songs I yelled "Hey! Do you guys know Big Miles???" to which they reply "YEAH, THE GUY WITH THE RIBS, RIGHT??" and I was like "yeah!!" at that moment I was like the coolest girl on the planet. Then of course they started serenading us. So that was cool. Ari didn't last - but SPANK remembered me when they saw me on Saturday.
This is Reid, receiving transmission from the watermelon gods.
This is a picture of Kristin's little brother Nicky with his grandparents (Medford Lake flood survivors.)
So on Saturday, I went to a barbeque for this punk of a kid. We all call him Nicky. He has successfully finished Jr. High, and is now entering high school. So. Of course his family had a party for him. I was happy to attend. Kristin's family is one of the coolest families ever. They are similar to my family, in that they have a party for everything: “What’s that? Grandma bought a donut? LETS GRILL IT!!”
I met Nicky a few years ago, at Medford Lake (formerly known as Medford Lakes). The dad, Lou (Medford Lake flood survivor) has a place there. On said trip – myself, and his sisters Kristin & Caryn showed Nicky how to properly rock out to Green Day’s “Dookie”, and Beastie Boys. Well, the kid is so cool we didn’t really have to teach him. He basically sat in the back and laughed at us screaming at the top of our lungs.
Aside from just finishing up Jr. High, Nicky is in a way-cool band called “Garbage Warriors”. This band is so goat-wicked. They have a hit song titled “Goatzilla”. They like singing about goats. They actually just won the regional competition of Battle of the Bands for the rockin’ state of New Jersey. They have been invited to perform at The Stone Pony.
For those of you unfamiliar with The Stone Pony, it is a New Jersey landmark, made famous by Mr. Bruce Springsteen, among others. According to Lou (Medford Lake flood survivor), “The Stone Pony used to be this little dank place of a bar. Then Bruce Springsteen played there a bunch, and kind of made the place popular. They have fixed the place up since then.” According to Kristin’s Uncle Gene – “I think The Stone Pony has a new back room for bands now”.
That has yet to be confirmed. Anyway – I know one thing. The family will be reconvening at The Stone Pony on Sunday, August 15th. Tickets are 8 dollars. Support music’s future, while visiting one of the finest states in this crazy pack of 50.
Aside from all of this Nicky news – I had a great time at the family barbeque. The ladies of the clan taught me how to gamble & play 3-dollar poker. I was excited to be included in the family 3-dollar poker games that I had been hearing about for the past 4 years. We all played poker on the back porch, late into the night, while making s’mores & eating left-overs. Kristin said that I did well for my first 3-dollar poker game. Cool. Can’t wait for the next one. It was a great Saturday. Thanks Linda & fam! See you at The Stone Pony.
This is a picture of New Jersey from the Dover line train to Maplewood. I think this bridge looks like a Brontosaurus. I have always liked this view & the meadowlands area. Its not really about scenery in Jersey tho - its more about the people. Theres no hype. They are as real as it gets.
I have spent the past two days randomly reading this site. Of course its in San Francisco. Aquarius Records is the coolest record store I ever read.
Might I suggest THIS SONG if you are feeling blu??? Its by Cedric Brooks.
If you are feeling like being a flower child, might I also suggest Flowery Noontide by Espers.
Yesterday was such a beautiful day. I didn't feel like going to the gym, and I didn't feel like being inside, so I got on a subway train and rode it to the end. In my opinion the ride was over too quickly. Luckily what I found on the 6 line was the beginning of Pelham Park (NYC’s largest park) and what I found after that was a sign telling me that the bus to Orchard beach was 2 blocks away! So I met this guy Jem, who was also digging the sign, and we walked to the bus to go check out Orchard Beach. I told Jem about my photo project, and Jem told me about all the “Spanish Honeys” that he was planning on meeting on the beach.
After saying goodbye to Jem, I tried to get an icey - but the lady running the stand tried to jip the woman ahead of me out of ten dollars – so I thought maybe I could live without an icey at that moment. I looked around and thought “Orchard Beach is really cool.” I couldn’t hear any cars, I couldn’t see any buildings! It felt like a different day. I walked along the water, watched a dad teach his daughter how to skip rocks, and took note of cool biking & hiking trails.
After I had enough beach, I boarded the bus and headed back to the end of the 6 line. I had some amazing Italian food at a nice Mob operated place by the train. I love those Italian places that are so apparently mob-run. It makes me feel protected. Not to mention the waiters were beefcakes.
So that was my adventure. The end of the 6 line.
Things I have noticed on this bloodbath aftermath of the premiere of Guns n' Roses: Behind the Music:
1. I haven't talked to one person today who didn't watch Guns n' Roses Behind the Music yesterday.
2. 2 people are re-buying their albums on CD today, (because we all have those albums on TAPE.)
3. 3 people have said "of all of the Behind The Music shows I have been wanting to see GNR the most."
At a roof party in Billyburg, we were all looking at the Manhattan skyline. I was pointing out little facts & tid-bits. Someone finally told me that I should make a quirky tourguide. So anyway. It got me thinking about architecture.
I now have this new conversation starter. Of course it only works on architects or those who actually look up at buildings, and have an interest at what they are looking at. I actually met an architect the other day, and so I said “oh, I have been dying to ask someone this: Name your top five buildings in Manhattan”. After some discussion about Manhattan architecture, and the like, I decided that my top five buildings in Manhattan are:
1. Citicenter on 53rd & Lex. I have a lot of interesting tid-bits about this building, and a general theory that 53rd street is owned by Citibank. 5+3=8, and there are 8 letters in citibank. Also – if you stand on 53rd, and look east, you see the citibank headquarters – the tallest building in Queens. They aligned the two for a reason. Citi on the brain. Sidenote: Last month I got that new Citi ad that they have running in the magazines – the bumpersticker with I (heart) blank. I was going to fill it in with something that I loved – but then thought it might be funny to fill it in with “(I heart) buying things with my citibank card”. Either way, it just hangs on my door, still blank. Maybe I don’t love anything. Some consumer I am.
2. My second fave building is this building that literally makes my temperature rise. I think that is his whole point tho... Its the Trump Tower on 5th and 55th. (Picture to left.) Dude. The building’s got trees growing in a triangle on the side... What more could you want from a building?
3. The Solow Building. I have a crush on that building. I take pictures of it all the time, and I plan on taking my kid there on their 9th birthday, to take a picture of it with the number 9. How sick is that?
4. The new Louis Vuitton on 5th. What a testament to style.
5. Flatiron building. Its why I am here people.
All 5 points are conversation starters – but lets save it for when you buy me drinks. Thanks. And good night.