Thursday, May 14, 2015

I Come From...

On the shores of Chesapeake Bay lie many fine fishing ports and sleepy harbors, but none so misfortunate as …Onancock. What an albatross to drag with one into the wider, tittering and scornful world! It's bad enough that cock is involved, but Onan as well — Onan of course, being in one origin, the Old Testament figure who, well, hmm, became very dead after displeasing God with an act that some (the Catholic Church, for example) equated with masturbation, but more accurately, seems to have been coitus interruptus... 

Anyway, in an age when no one reads, perhaps it's safe enough to admit to coming from Onancock, without provoking snickering. If you're an... Onancockian? Onancockette? Onancockney*?? you can look at the above map and think "others are less fortunate than I..."

For no reason at all, this made me think of the story of the man on the train that was passing through a station in Scotland. The traveler, wondering if this station was his destination, leaned out of a window and querulously called out to someone on the platform, "Leatherhead?" and the someone roared back: "Bum face!" 

* Onancocker? Onancockist? Onancockman/woman? Onancockerel? Onancockonian?!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

James Garner

James Garner died yesterday. He was a one of those tall, dark, strong, square-jawed Hollywood actors whom we've all seen, but whose performances were all the more memorable for the complex vulnerabilities he allowed to show through that tough exterior. 

I saw one of his best, quirkiest performances late last year: Mister Buddwing (1966). The above still shows the stammering Garner, afflicted with amnesia, meeting Angela Lansbury playing a louche woman. The movie is a gem, filmed in black and white, and the plot keeps twisting to the very last scene. 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Apt Aping Apps

Using Etchings and Photoshop Mix

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mad Men: My Only Comment

My, look how authentically real his cigarette smoke is! 

What happened was: someone with a marker had tagged or graffitied the above poster. Then a less-than-zealous subway cleaning person had hit the graffiti with a solvent, but only to smear and obscure... When I came along, it was still wet, so I swirled it into a cloud of smoke.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015

The House of Mercedes

Mercedes House is a hot new residential property in Hell's Kitchen. The building has a series of terraces on the diagonal part of what would look like a visit from Zorro if seen from a helicopter or plane: a huge inverted 'Z'.

Why didn't the architect go all the way and make the building in the shape of the tri-pointed logo of its namesake car seller next door? Musing on this, but finding no answers, last night I walked around and peered in the windows of Mercedes of Manhattan, a majestic folly to the magnificence of fast, beautiful, cars. 

Seeing that discreet little 'V12' made me want to run inside, open the hood, and then watch and listen while someone turned the ignition key, pressed the starter, or perhaps it's best expressed as turned it on... 

Then I had to go, but not before noticing that the car's companion, also in black, had its own little silver letters and numbers, but slightly longer:  V12 TURBO

At Last, The Sequel To OMG!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Broad Way

"Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat…" 
                                                                            – Matthew 7, v. 13

Friday, April 10, 2015


This is Sarah Grand. Who? I hear all two and a half of my readers crying out, thirsting to know more about this largely forgotten Irish feminist and writer. 

Sarah Grand was born Frances Elizabeth Bellenden Clarke, in Donaghadee, County Down. She was married at 16,to a man 21 years her senior. Her experience of marriage, from her own teenage immaturity through childbirth and ultimately sexual estrangement from her bizarre husband, as well as what she learned from him during his career as a military doctor about sexually transmitted infections, led to her most successful novel, The Heavenly Twins, in 1893. 

She changed her name to Sarah Grand, she toured the U.S., and here is why I put 'meow!' as my headline. 

A copy of The Heavenly Twins rests in the New York Public Library: it is a copy once owned by Mark Twain. As he turned the pages, America's first and greatest funny man grew increasingly frustrated with la grande Grand, and scribbled copious notes in the margins, culminating with the comment: "A cat could do better literature than this."

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Morning Light Reveals Saturday Night

"Saturday night and we in the spot!
Don't believe me just watch!
Don't believe me just watch!
Don't believe me jush' wash' hey I said jush' watch! Watch me jusht you wash' me motherfucker, hey I'm not drunk I'm just you watch it buddy or gonna

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Reasons To Stay Inside And Go "Aaaargh!"

That was actually from over a week ago, and the 3° is in Fahrenheit, which is –16° Centigrade. 

Thankfully, the weather is much milder today, and once again, spring is inevitable. In fact, yesterday as I walked on Fort Washington Avenue, the cheeps and chirps and hollering of the sparrows was almost deafening: how did so many survive this dreadful winter? One of the saddest sights was to observe a despairing pigeon pecking a hole in a garbage bag one day, to eat some rice. 

Scenes from a tough winter: above, snow covers a section of Warinanco Park in New Jersey. The snow is completely hiding from view a sizable pond...

If the cold weather wasn't enough to drive people to buy warm coats... Throw in some New York neon...

Water towers, midday, 24 floors up, midtown, maybe minus 10 degrees...

This is Daisy, who never strayed far from the bedroom. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Anything Can Happen

As the late Seamus Heaney once said in a poem translated from Horace, "Anything can happen...", which is a truly unnerving thought. Really? Anything? Like... New Jersey turns into a doughnut, and is eaten by Governor Chris Christie? Or this, below, perhaps?

Anything can happen indeed... snow may persist through March, with freezing temperatures. Above, the Sunnyside Rail Yards, caked again with snow, on Saturday.

Even this stone carved lion in the Bronx, with its look of disgust and dismay, is tired of winter...

This van's driver may not be able to figure out where to park legally... but he or she certainly knows all about showing contempt of court.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I Wondered Why I

This image shows part of the central nervous system in a fruit fly.