Archive for November, 2007

You will be relieved to learn that the scaffolding we told you about is finally coming down; but to reveal what, exactly? A new apartment palace, a refurbished monument to gilded living? Well, perhaps for some, but as we watch the men arrive in their trucks to disassemble the steel beams and wooden planks, we are not as pleased as you might have expected. We […]


Recently we arranged a visit to the doctor, who in frantic tones described the many maladies he had encountered just that morning in his other patients. “One young man just contracted ____, which means he will probably not live more than _____; meanwhile the drugs I prescribed for Ms. _____are not exactly helping with the […]


Music courtesy of Saturnine from the album Remembrance of Things Past (VictoriaLandRecords 2007); released under a Creative Commons license here.


Please wait while we stop for a second to listen to this piano and watch the reflection of the city street in the glass. In fact, since you asked, nothing could be more important: it’s more than just memories we hear through this door, but scenes from a past unlike any we have every known.


In today’s Times, in a continuing effort to never acknowledge the gay voice as a force in 20th-century art and literature, film critic AO Scott heaps high praise on the Italian film director Pier Paolo Pasolini but never bothers to mention that he was gay: “Poet, playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, Communist, Christian, moralist, pornographer, populist, artist,” […]


Do you remember what it was like to be sick as a child, when you would stay home from school and relocate to your parents’ bed to watch television? Some days we were faking and would do anything to avoid the tedium of school (if only that were an option now!) but when we were […]


While this day is not so different than so many others, to the extent we feel like we are under siege — fending off sickness and financial ruin and political censure at every turn — as we survey our past and contemplate what lies ahead, we are grateful for many things. Such as? Well, life […]


With our old headphones broken and new ones en route, we were not able as hoped to sequester ourselves in the aural safe harbor that is our “portable media player” but instead had to brave the sound system at the gym. You ask: exactly how barren is this sonic wasteland? We will tell you! Today’s […]


Recent artwork in the local museum of the ephemeral:


To our dear friends, the realtors and developers of Washington Heights: thank you so much for inviting us to your delightful open house! As happy as we were to learn that you had bought the vacant “shell” on St. Nicholas and 157th Street for $1 (and don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone about the $500k […]


As we ride the uptown 6-train, we peer through the window to catch a glimpse of the dead station at 18th Street. A friend once went by foot through the tunnels to this station and described finding there among the abandoned gates and pillars irrefutable evidence of human habitation: a doll’s shoe, a pornography magazine […]


But did you not hear about the trial of the man who killed a cat that was stalking migratory birds in a Texas sanctuary? What a nightmare! On one hand, who can deny the allure of the cat, creature of the night, possessor of dreams? Yet who has not stood in awe of birds flying […]


On Beatrice

16Nov07

When the russet hues of the setting sun stream through our western window, as happened today, it is quite possible to imagine Beatrice in the distorted, filtered light, contemplative and hovering as if she were still there, peering into the distance, longing for something to take her away. The first time we saw her, however, […]


In our dreams, the Empire State Building hovers and glows with a radiance that is seriously awesome to behold; it is a beacon to all who seek refuge in the city, and furthermore is not — as Fay Wray tells us — unstinting or cold in this respect, even if like the rest of us […]


Andrew Sullivan expressed the idea (and admittedly, with thoughtfulness) in an essay he wrote a few years ago for the New Republic, while more recently British playwright Mark Ravenhill tackled the same theme (with much less success) for The Guardian. Their collective story goes something like this: in the dark ages of oppression (i.e., approximately […]


On Cardinal

13Nov07

Each day at our midtown gym we brave the sonic assault of soulless dance music and sadly dated AOR rock that reminds us of the FM radio we grew up listening to in Pittsburgh. But as soon as we get changed and put on our headphones, we turn our attention to Cardinal, the eponymous 1994 […]


It already seems years away, those hours spent sweeping up the golden leaves of the European white birch, which has always been the focal point of our garden in Washington Heights. Each leaf, of course, represents a day in our past, and for this reason might seem more valuable if there weren’t so many. And […]


At the opera last week, we ran into a friend who we were surprised to note had gained at least 500 pounds since we had last seen him. “You’ve gained weight,” we said, not wanting to ignore the obvious. “Are you in good health?” “More than good,” he nodded enthusiastically, and then began to explain. […]


Andrew Sullivan and his conservative ilk should realize that we too — and despite easily falling on the “left-liberal” side of the coin — can never digest more than a word or two of Bob Herbert’s stultifying prose before falling asleep. It’s unfortunate, because we ride the C-train with the same class of forgotten gilded-age […]


As we turn the corner from the Upper Riverside Drive onto 160th Street in Washington Heights, the intricate but repetitive brickwork of the apartment palace lulls us into a dream in which we hear the droning, distorted guitars of Spacemen 3. This was the “Heroin” of our youth, the soundtrack of delirious, pretentious ambivalence for […]