Saturday, December 14, 2013


Edward Haiduk, 1949—2013

My dear friend Ed died this morning, peacefully in his sleep. Rest easy.


Rant! Rave!

[Begin angry rant] Am I the only person who thinks that skateboarding is stupid, and stupid specifically, because, as a means of transit from point A to point B, one is required to put in laborious effort to propel oneself along, while experiencing a high risk of personal injury. And so, it was with a strange feeling of glee that I spotted the above and took a photo. [End angry rant]

Get a job? But he just did! Finally, New York City has gotten the 6', 5" tall, left-wing liberal mayor (and family) that it always seems to have deserved. And the Bloomberg era has come to an end. Let's not forget its many high points: 


But it's too soon to say much about Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio (and family!), and I wish him all the luck in the world, remembering that, as Albert Camus said: "luck is the residue of design..." 

In his victory speech, de Blasio thanked his wife for her uniquely important support, and said that she and he made decisions collectively, and that this would continue to be the case now that he will be our mayor. But the people elected Bill as mayor, not his wife... Also, though his victory was indeed a gratifying landslide, and gives him a clear mandate for change, the record low voter turnout (24% of eligible voters) ought to temper that, somewhat. In New York magazine, Chris Smith summed up things crisply:
The risk of a Bill de Blasio mayoralty is that it sputters with politically correct incompetence. But the great promise is that he might turn out to be a complicated, highly unusual mix of ideologue and operative.
It's Christmas season, of course. And I can't help it, and you may accuse me of Grinchian tendencies, of failing to enter into any of the holiday spirit, or my lacking the ability to see that 'it's for the children, really'... but really, here we go again:

          ...That vast moth-eaten musical brocade 
         Created to pretend we never die,
         And specious stuff that says No rational being 
         Can fear a thing it will not feel, not seeing 
         That this is what we fear—no sight, no sound, 
         No touch or taste or smell, nothing to think with, 
         Nothing to love or link with, 
         The anaesthetic from which none come round.  

From which none come that's an eggnog recipe I wish I had. And anyone who says Christmas is really all about and for's precisely because of that attitude, that ¢hristma$ is handed on, generation after generation after generation, meaning nothing.

New York City can, on occasion, give one a visual that seems precise to the sentiment of the moment. And so:

At the bottom of the subway stairs, I saw... a rat tucking into a pile of vomit.


Movies, movies: I saw Brad Pitt as a heel, playing Achilles, in Troy...

And I saw O Henry's Full House, a retelling of five of his short stories for the movies:

This is a scene from The Gift of the Magi, in which boy meets girl, they fall in love; it's Christmas, so she sells her beautiful hair to buy a chain for his gold watch, while he sells his watch to buy her a comb for her hair...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Turn To Me... I See Eternity

Downtown Brooklyn. 

What's in the Back of the Car in Front?

It's...a cow. In the back of a Citro├źn. In Norn Iron.