Saturday, July 31, 2010

No Jokes, Please: That Would Be Heartless

Former Vice-President Dick Cheney was fitted with a new device by heart surgeons earlier in July as his heart condition continues to deteriorate.

I'll go right to the amusing bit: the ventricular assist device is a pump which pushes blood continuously instead of "mimicking the heart’s own pulsatile beat." So Cheney, like other recipients of this type of pump, now has no pulse!

They say vampires have no breath, and no reflection. That's hardly news when it comes to Cheney and his ilk; do you imagine Cheney ever reflects upon his bad deeds?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Recently: Strange Things Around Town

Today, tonight, this eternally-odd city gave its standard performance... was that a werewolf I saw bounding over a fence in Central Park around 10pm?

Whether it was a werewolf or not, it seems the animals aren't happy — see above. But my question for Mister Cat is: exactly when were you in charge before? And given your attention span of, on average, 30 seconds, can we really rely upon you to regulate the markets, or just spit at your own shadow?
A beast of a dump truck idled on East 79th Street around midnight...
You've heard that they're building the Second Avenue Subway at last... well, is that the Second Avenue Submarine I spotted tonight? Such weirdness, could it be... the End of ...

Sign on the Upper East Side

As I passed this sign outside a Catholic Church earlier today, I could not help wonder if on the other side, the sales pitch intensified: "Tired of All That Old Jew Crap?...Bored by the Five-Times-a-Day Mohammed Drudgery?...Were You Laughed At by Other Kids Because Your Parents Were Moonies?...We can help you with that bucket list..."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Filtered Fun II

The further mellow yellow adventures of a fotog and a makeshift filter...

Postal workers going it on West 19th Street.

View south on Seventh Avenue...

Smoke break.
The Maritime Rapture, I mean, Hotel.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Filtered Fun

Someone gave me a rather odd pair of sunglasses yesterday. They sort of make anyone look like Elton John in his early days (before he went from being bald to whatever his miraculous opposite of hair loss is), and they are a sort of hysterical yellow tint.

The effect is to make the world, especially with the strong New York sunshine at present, seem like a wildly optimistic place, where buildings and cars facing the sun are Singing! With! An! Optimistic! Yellow! while the darker shadows are Singed. With a Profound Sepia. At some point while out walking, I thought I would experiment with my little FLIP video camera, using the sunglasses as a filter over the camera lense. First, normal vision.

This is Chelsea, around Seventh Avenue and West 19th Street, without the makeshift filter. (I should warn you that I did go a little crazy with this, so...)

And this is with the sunshades as filter:

And so, I went filter-crazy!

A & F billboard in the Meat Packing District (above)...

The Heat Cracking District's cobblestone streets...

An expensive shoe store in the Beet-Hacking District (above)...

Along Greenwich Street.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bronx Math

Here is another tale from the Bronx. It's from the Inner City Press, a web site which started back in the early years of the Internet, and which is pioneering also in the unique investigative rigor of its founder, journalist and advocate Matthew Lee.
For some weeks we've somewhat coasted in this Bronx Report, reviewing Albanian groceries and juice and salad bars. But this week we sampled a place so surreal, so in a sense revealing, that we must remain on the theme. 
It's "Dolce Amaro" on Arthur Avenue, sporting signs of Karaoke and Internet Cafe, "BYOB" Bring Your Own Booze. There is only one problem -- they charge five dollars for you to "bring your own booze." This after offering to sell you bootleg wine. We mention this because they also, while purporting to take credit cards, tell you that the tip must be in cash -- then impose an extra five dollars on credit cards anyway. 
The karaoke, on Friday April 2, consisted of five people in a red painted basement, one of them asleep in a La-Z-boy reclining chair in front of a Good Fellas poster. In the front were two Roman statues, in the back an Asian family reading the lyrics on the screen. Upstairs the main waiter couldn't recite the list of specials. 
"The book they write them in," he said, "got wet." 
He brought the sandwich board in from the sidewalk, then charged five dollars more than listed for the ravioli with shrimp pesto. The ravioli, he said when asked, came from Restaurant Supply. Why not from Borgatti's?
In the middle of the meal, an Asian woman came in selling bootleg DVDs. She had the Hurt Locker, Green Zone and Brooklyn's Finest. An offer to break bread was ignored. It was surreal.
The cold antipasto, we must say in fairness, was not bad. It's not difficult, in a neighborhood full of fresh mozzarella and sausage. But there was also shredded eggplant, and small but tasty olives. We suggest that dish, and bringing your own booze and glasses, to protest any extra five dollar charge.