What would the world be like if people in the US were seeing this clip on the five o’clock news?
Entries Tagged 'arts' ↓
But of course I do.
Seen on top of a car parked in the East Village, NYC:
Seen on a lamppost in Long Island City, Queens, NYC:
Seen on a C-Town supermarket door in Astoria, Queens, NYC:
I love you, so I remind you to eat more MUMMs.
I am not certain if 5 MUMMs a day, or 5 entire MUMM plants a day, is optimal for health. Why don’t we ask Mr. C-Town?
St. Isidore, Patron Saint of the Internet. The Pope has deemed Isidore Patron of the Internets. (And here I thought it was Saint Al of Gore.)
Maybe things will run a bit more smoothly from here in?
I guess the weatha was nice that day, cause the shoe shiner was out, slipping around in the DC sunshine.
Too bad, as missbhavens said, that $1 info sounds like a good deal.
The Mucha window in St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague
The week before last, I was at Silver Bay of Lake George in the Adirondacks, with Quakers at New York Yearly Meeting 2006.
The American Friends Service Committee were exhibiting the New York and New Jersey sections of the travelling exhibit Eyes Wide Open, which you can read about here. A pair of combat boots represents each soldier who has died in the current war in Iraq. (They have a pair of boots for every soldier from every state — labelled with name, age, hometown — but since this was a conference of local Quakers, they brought just NY and NJ).
There were also shoes to represent a small number of Iraqi victims of the war. A small percentage indeed, since there have been many more than 100,000 Iraqis who have died.
I am trying to think of the size of field that an exhibit of well over 100,000 pairs of shoes would require.
I would like, Dear Reader, to blog you some wee photos from a recent vc tour. But I have temporarily misplaced my camera’s USB cord. It’s some A male to B mini-male contraption that I simply don’t have extras of. It might have fallen out in the airport when we discovered the Sicilian’s backpack had come open. I should have a replacement shortly. In the meantime, I can only try and entertain you with camera phone pictures of beautiful Long Island City.
A boy and his (somewhat-anatomically-correct) mannequin were waiting for the subway at Broadway-Lafayette.
And then, they just rode off.
These are some amazing photos that flickerer Runs With Scissors dug out and scanned, from his teenage years — the early 80′s. Start the photoset here, or go to Gothamist, which has blogged it as yesterday’s Photo of the Day.
They’ll take you back. For those of us who weren’t in NYC in the 80′s, they’ll take you there.
She had been in ill health in Italy for some time. Nevertheless, the loss of Muriel Spark caught me off guard. She wrote twenty-one novels, and the best known and most celebrated The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie is not even her best. Mind you, the movie of the novel gave Maggie Smith (another Dame) the chance to act the part of a crazy middle-aged woman, which is what she has always done best.
I have long been fascinated by Spark–as much as an example of what it means to be a woman and an artist in the mid-20th century, as anything else. She married young, divorced young, and raised a son as a single mother, while churning out those twenty-one novels. She was divorced, working and raising a son alone, when those were not things women did. Graham Greene was an admirer of her early work–no surprise, since they share a certain sensibility–and he helped her out when she was poor as a church mouse. She was a convert to Catholicism, and like most converts of any stripe, slightly obsessed (I speak from experience). Like Greene, her characters were as liable to think about moral questions (good vs. evil) as they were to drink a cup of coffee or read a newspaper.
If I only read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, I probably would have stopped there. It’s a good enough novel, but not my cup of tea. But in my 20′s, I went on a Spark bender, reading a number of her works in close succession. I started with The Girls of Slender Means, which is set in London just at the end of WWII. The Girls live in a women’s residence, which I think attracted me because at the time, I lived in one too (a women’s hotel: remember Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari in drag in “Bosom Buddies”?) In the 90′s, when I lived in one, of course, it was a hangover from another time, when young ladies who worked too far from their parents to live at home, did not have their own apartments. These places still exist, and can be a great place to crash for a few months when you move to a new city, like New York. They’re also quite archaic and funny, and always home to a few odd older women (not unlike those in the May of Teck Club in the novel).
So there I was in a women’s residence reading about the Girls in their 1945 version of the same. A kind of palimpsest, no? The novel was layered with narrative upon narrative, voice upon voice, another palimpsest. David Lodge once said something to the effect that Muriel Spark has employed all of the techniques associated with postmodernism–she just did so forty years ago (and he said this 10 or 15 years ago). I think this experimentation was often overlooked by critics.
Then I moved on to Loitering With Intent and my personal favorite A Far Cry from Kensington, in which the main character lives in a rooming house, works for an editor, and loses an enormous amount of weight by “eating half” of anything she would have eaten before. That in itself is a clever enough idea but takes an enormous amount of focus and will-power, and obsessiveness. And Spark’s characters are so often obsessed. Muriel Spark knew something about people. The idiosyncratic craziness inside each and every one of us, just waiting to surface.
Spark returned from South Africa to London, and then lived in New York and the Rome and Tuscany, but she always wrote in long-hand on a particular brand of bound, lined notebooks, shipped to her from a stationer’s in her native Edinburgh. She was as obsessive as some of her characters, but I mean it in a good way. The English language has lost one of its best living writers. RIP, Dame Muriel Spark.
…not right now. But I walk a lot. And I have been taking some photos here in beautiful Long Island City (LIC, NYC). For the uninitiated, we are in Queens, just over the East River. It’s only technically Long Island (like Brooklyn is Long Island, you know?)
Soon the water taxis will be running and the “beach” bar will be up and everything will be rocking and rolling here in LIC.
This is the view northwards: Queensborough Bridge, the illuminated Pepsi sign (that’s the big red light you see, which looks like a hand pointing to the heavens, or maybe one of those foam hands people buy at sports games, which proclaim “We’re Number One!”).
And this is the view across the river: that’s the Empire State Building lit up on the left, and the large rectangular building towards the right is the UN. This one’s especially for Warwick in Australia, whose folks lived in NYC a few years back while his dad was a UN delegate.
Okay, that was pretty easy. It isn’t high art–they’re all taken on my camera phone.
I will be doing more photo-blogging, kids. Stay tuned!
I just don’t understand this sofa.
October 9th, 2005 — arts
I am not a fan of the boxing, you know, but I found this account of Oscar Hijuelos’s friendship with August Wilson in today’s New York Times charming, I guess because there’s nothing like an account of a famous writer’s friendship behind closed doors. Hijuelos writes of sitting down to a boxing match on pay-per-view with Wilson last May, and says of the playwright,
He loved discussing literature: Ralph Ellison, Gabriel García Márquez, James M. Cain, Jorge Luis Borges and Tennessee Williams were but a few of the writers we talked about over the years. We tried to maintain a scholarly tone about such things, especially when our wives were around, but when it was just the two of us, our upbringings kicked in and our language was riddled with scatological turns of phrase. August’s sentences blossomed with such language, especially when we came to the history of slavery and the black man in this country.
That night in May, as on so many similar nights, we ended up in my study to watch the fight, the sound turned low and some Clifford Brown on the stereo until the main event finally came on. In times past he’d sit in that room with guests ranging from my old, blue-collar neighborhood friends to Lou Reed, who, to August’s delight, played a couple of his songs one evening on a nylon string guitar. But whoever had joined us, August always remained somewhat apart from the persona of one who had received so much acclaim.
If he at all considered his creative output the product of genius, he distanced himself from such thoughts, as if the social August Wilson were the caretaker of the creator. He talked books, boxing and jazz; sometimes about his own plays, the hard work of putting them on, the vagaries of tinkering with the script. And often he spoke about his family: especially his little girl, Azula.
“Sign your novel for me, but make it out to Azula,” he’d say. “It’s for her library.”
Famous writers are just people, but we don’t often think of them that way. Thanks Oscar. RIP August Wilson.
I am loving this site called Book Coolie. The author says, “We are a gang of people who like books and carry them like coolies;” count me among you.
A glance at the blog calls up descriptions of Joyce walking in Trieste, an interview with Jamaican writer Geoffrey Philip, a review of Selvon’s Lonely Londoners (one of the most important books in my world, as some of you know), a blurb on Bass Culture, and an interview snippet with Linton Kwesi Johnson.
Check it out.
In the great abyss which is the new reality television, producers are willing to sink lower and lower in order to gather our attention. Whereas reality TV was once an original concept (with an albeit absurd premise–that what we would see in the fishbowl on the screen would represent some kind of reality), it’s now been done to death.
The latest offerings from VH1 are the nadir (the Ralph Nadir, if you will):
Celebrities on a diet (Daniel Baldwin vs. the judge from Divorce Court), a burgeoning reality-romance featuring Brigitte Nielson and Flava Flav, and the new edition of the Surreal Life, featuring a whole lot of people I’ve never heard of, and Christopher Knight, AKA Peter Brady.
He looks as he did all those decades ago, that Peter Brady. He always was a hunk, even as a gawky teenager.
Tonight, I took a break from grovelling-for-money (aka fellowship applications with looming deadlines), and my current reality was pretty frustrating. In the offerings of the local cable service, frankly, I was fit for nothing more sophisticated than reality TV tonight.
And I saw clean-as-a-whistle Peter Brady (who’s gotta be 47 now) getting a lap dance in prime time on a Sunday night.
All my illusions are now shattered.
If this is reality, I’ll take some more fiction, please.
On the other hand, here’s some real reality: the Children of Iraq
I found this on Bitch. Ph.D.: an amazing story by Nalo Hopkinson, with a link for donations for those afflicted by Caribbean hurricanes, and another link for recipes for items in the story; what more do you need, people?
I have been off-kilter for weeks. Suffering from like 6 weeks of insomnia, punctuated by the occasional sleep binge. I think it’s stress, brought on by the in-between status of my dissertation proposal. Damn!
And when I can’t sleep, I read: work stuff when it is a decent hour, surfing the web when it gets later, and when I feel guilty for being in a chair at 2 or 3 am, I move to reading in bed. Sometimes I get cocky and think I will sleep, but no, it usually does not work, and the light goes back on.
The latest book is The Trick is to Keep Breathing by Janice Galloway. Engrossing, kind of depressing (um, it’s about a clinically depressed woman). And perhaps it is bringing me down a bit. But it’s also funny at times, in the way that even bad things can be funny.
I usually don’t like depressing novels. But it is quite engrossing. The narrative style is very complex and non-linear (there are even weird little blurbs in the margins, an extra thread of thoughts). And the main character also spends a lot of time not sleeping, sitting in a chair at night, until she forces herself to go through the motions of going to sleep.
But my next read will be a mentally balanced one… Um, anybody want to recommend a book about someone who goes to sleep at 9 pm and wakes up at 5? Maybe it will get me back on track.
I once read that by nature we humans have a 25-hour clock. So if we did what was natural, we’d go to bed an hour later every night. At times like this, I think it must be true. And yet, completely impracticable. I mean, once every 25 days (if my basic math serves me right), we’d be going to bed at noon and getting up at 8. And Seasonal Affective Disorder would be even more rife, with everyone going through days and days of no natural light.
I just wanted to write impracticable. I think I have not used this word in years. Actually, this entire post was a ruse, just so I could say impracticable. What a weird, clunky word.
This is a website full of photos of Oolong, a rabbit who appears to enjoy having objects rest on his/her head.
Sadly, Oolong is no longer with us. Still this site makes a good argument for the reason the internet was invented. The link below looks like jibberish, but it works; you’ll be taken to a page with Oolong sporting what appear to be pancakes on his/her head.