"Hey, beer man!"


this evening's street lunatic 

I was telling her that the mural in the West Village schoolyard was painted over.

"which one?"

"You know... whaddya call it... "Urban Blight."

The angry scraggly black man who was sizing us up as he approached (and apparently eavesdropping out of context) took immediate offense.  He didn't know we were talking about an old mural by an NYU philosophy professor's kid's band.  How could he?

He just didn't like the way the two words rolled off my lips.  So he repeated those very same words several times with increasing volume, added a few scatalogical expletives to express his disgusted disbelief, and began a loud Mutabaruka-esque rhyming rant against our use of the term.  He didn't bother to stop walking away from us, but he did raise his voice, cup his hands in front of his mouth, and turn to walk backwards so we could share his audible paranoid anger.

He sure did seem to know alot of words that rhymed because they ended with the letters "t-i-o-n."

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outside the Coney Island school bus graveyard Posted by Hello

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way ahead in the ugly polls Posted by Hello

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wholesale battery buying 

The Red Sox celebrated on the field like they won the Little League World Series this afternoon. 


Varitek called for the A-Rod plunk and then instigated a fight with his mask still on.  Real hard man.  He tries to rock the macho Motorhead facial hair, but he's just a punk like Pedro.  Ortiz, Nixon, and Kapler tackled the Yankee starter (a Worcester born lifelong Sox fan) and scratched him bloody with Ortiz's long platano-peeling fingernails.

Of course, the homecrowd goons cheered ugly like Southie residents rejoicing next to a smashed school bus.

Varitek better wear that mask the next time he stands on first base in the Bronx, cause I got me a D battery with his name on it.

I'd love to plant a coppertop in Kapler's skanky sweat-salted cap next time he reaches  for a fly ball in the Stadium.  I better stock up on batteries, 'cause Captain Caveman in centerfield looks like he could use some Energizering too.

God I hate Boston, the city whose stupid combat boot sporting airport security guards made 9-11 possible.  What a shithole.

Before Cape Cod journey on Tuesday, I might just get the Stadium facade shaved into the sides and back of my five-day old head growth in full Anthony Mason style.

I wish I could understand how this silly rivalry between tribes of millionaires who really don't care gets me so pumped up. 

Commisar Cheney's must be pulling the silly strings I'm dancing too.


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Son of Barney Posted by Hello

Al wants to take over for Cheney Posted by Hello

Marty the fan's number says it all Posted by Hello

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lots of tourists take this shot Posted by Hello

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Steph rocks the Cliff Robinson look

egg cream afternoon 

I took my nephew down there for an egg cream. 

We went in the park.  I described how it was a homeless refugee camp way back when and how nice and dull it had become. 

I showed him the monkeybars where the bandshell was located way back when.  I thought about the time the homeless guys hid us in there and switched clothes with us to assist in our evasion of police detection.  I didn't tell my nephew those stories.  I didn't want to set a bad example.  I didn't want to sound like a loser looking back on a waste of time past as glory days. 

We sat in the sun away from the bums and discussed nothing.  

I told him the Crocodile Dundee scene with the prostitues was shot outside the bar on the corner.  He asked me if that was the Crocodile Hunter guy who dangled his baby in front of the reptiles. 

Then a person from the past stepped up and looked at me and I offered a reluctant hello.  Hewould not have recognized me with my head shaved, but I forgot.  Father Time yabbered and blabbered embarassing tales about me in Mwaam-Mwaam-Mwam-Mwaam-Mwaaaaam-Mwaaaaam Charlie Brown adult speak.  I looked through him at the inked up girl stripping down to her bikini bottoms and bra and I tuned my left ear in on the shouted insults of the nine  eleven year old black kids who had stopped at the fence where the Suicide Girl was sunbathing to shout at her and bang a stick on the fence.  She shook her head from side to side with a disapproving smile like she didn't mind being called a dirty hoe by seven of the nine little kids.  The kids yelled as much as my friend yabbered. 

My innocent egg cream afternoon in the park turned into a bizzarre R-rated indie film that hopefully meant nothing.

When my friend's monologue got too revealing, I made my excuses and extricated my suburban nephew and self and huffed it to Chinatown where we found out the tic tac toe chicken of my mispent youth was finally kaput.  The homeboys and Chinese gang wannabes were still there, just too young now to seem cool or scarywhile.  The video games had become far too expensive and complicated for me to play.

simple tastes 

I like kasha with mushroom gravy.

movies viewed with nephew in the last twelve hours: 

Anger Management
Romper Stomper
The Godfather
The Warriors
Billy Jack
Ali G, Innit
Bourne Supremacy

Nephew's favorite:  The Godfather.


Tuesday Night's brush with greatness 

I saw NY Knicks analyst and part-time ticket scalper John "Johnny Hoops" Andriese at one of the John's Pizza's Tuesday evening.  He was wearing a white Knicks polo shirt.  That's like a cop wwho wears the freebie cop shirts he gets from work to give to buffs.  Okay, maybe he had a bad laundry day.  His pal, wearing the Modell's $12 A-Rod tee shirt and short-short running shorts with netted pockets that obscenely stuck out the bottom of the shorts with the bulk of his wallet or whatever else it was that he had in there, certainly did. 

I thought about asking Johnny Hoops to sell me some of his comp tickets for next season, but I did not.  Perhaps this was a brush with not-so-greatness..

another brush with greatness 

Tonight's brush with greatness: Jim McGreevey.

He's very short.  When he spoke to me, I realized the six low-budge secret service types swarming around the hall.  He said, "You guys looking at property here?"

I wanted to say, "No. We're like Chris Christie.  Looking at you."

I got up there early.  Bought a pack of smokes and smoked one, before giving the full pack to a Balco construction worker.  I don't smoke right.

She was impressed with the fealty of my shaved head.  Her daughter, upon hearing of my fealty by phone, exclaimed, "He shaved his beautiful hair?!?"

Her last words to her husband before surgery were to ask ME to secure a can of Tab for the post-op.  I puffed up with pride.

I waited twelved hours with people who really cared and some people I cynically suspected were happier sitting in a hospital waiting room for the day than spending time with their children.  The crazy volunteer whose entire family must have killed themselves after spending twelve minutes within earshot of her voice yelled at me for talking at some point.  She was crazy and dumb and irritating, but I appreciate her service.  I just wish she knew that I didn't start it.  i was just answering a question.  if all goes well, my permanent record won't be blemished.

Things went well.  She looked much better than I thought she would considering what she'd just been through.  She responded to questions and laughed at my bad bedside standup.

"Just cuz you look like Sinead, don't mean you gotta start tearing up pictures of the Pope, you know."

"Yo, I'm 'onna set up the Aerobed jam over here.  If you make a run for it in the midfdle of the night, try not to step on my head."

"Don't laugh you'll ripp the stitches."

She kept raising her right arm a few inches off the bed in some kind of salute.  I told her to stop giving everybody the finger.  Hardy Har.  Good times.

The most eloquent term I could use to describe it is the homeboy phrase "realness."

Shit was the real realness, know'm sain?  Shit.

I left with the mob.  When the dust cleared I went back.  They turned me away.  I'll be back at daybreak.


I knew I was sleepy this morning when I felt the warm water from the shower slowly saturate my tee shirt.



who needs a brush 

I got my first ever crewcut today.  It was a long time coming.
If I knew it would be this easy, I wouldn't have suffered through some of those really bad uneven haircuts in my youth.
First, I ran down to my Hitler-moustachioed Kroft Superstar character of a barber.  I hadn't been there in a while and I was close to braidable length.  I was halfway up the block and just  in time to watch him lock up and waddle off toward Lexington Avenue.  He doesn't move fast, but he turned the corner before I could snap his photo.
So I wandered downtown.  I quickly dismissed any notion I might have had about going to Atlas.  Last time I went in there they were on Third Avenue and the one ex-con student barber who did not say he couldn't cut straight hair, told me he could give me a Howard Beach cut.  I told him Italians used to chase me around MY OWN neighborhood when I was coming up.  What do you expect for five bucks?
So I continued on to Royal figuring all the fade and coconut-headed thug types and the neatly groomed gays who fill up the window waiting area after work each night can't be wrong.  
I knew it was now safe because Emphysemic Stanislav with the white wire brush hair and the glass-block spectacles hasn't been wheezing in the first chair by the door for several years.  Stanley's sickly wheeze was unforgettable, but what I remember most was his knack for blowing a strong blast of wind from his nasal passages directly into the my ear drum.  Fear factor couldn't concoct a task worse than sitting in Stanley's chair.
I'll also never forget Stanley's sagacious response when asked to give me a natural back, short on the sides, a bit longer on the top: "I  sorry, my friend, I can not make longer."  I was always scared Stanley would have have a coughing fit and slice open the back of my neck with the straight razor.  Too bad Stanley had to go the way of the White Castle on Fifth Avenue in the 30's.
With the mission accomplished, I left the barber humming some made up ska tune.  I had the haircut.  Now all I needed was some impressive lambchops, a flight, maybe some high-waters, and a pair of Ronald McDonald shoes.  Unfortunately, the new doo has failed to toughen up my rather soft appearance.  I'm afraid I'm more Moby than yob.  So long as I'm not classed as one of those Yul Brenner Michael Jordan imitators who hide baldness with a shaved head.  They'll find out soon enough.  
As I walked off I began to regret jokingly asking the barber to "be gentle" since it was my first time.  Maybe I shoulda said something more tough, like "Yo, go easy, bro.  My first time, awright."  Everytime I go in that place the musky air of Easternblock machismo chokes me and makes me feel like a soft inadequate American whose identity information might just be worth more than a lifetime of repeat haircut business.  So what if they think I'm soft.  I just wish the clippers didn't make the back of my neck so red everytime.
Oh well.  I won't be going back to the barber anytime soon.

a dream deferred 

For years I was a slurred word prophet with a vision.  I spoke of how I'd place a few cameras in the White Castle on Fifth Avenue just below the Empire State Building and shock the world.  I'd change tapes frequently and present carefully on public access television. 
The brilliant glow of the fluorescent lighting was perfect for the camera and beamed a clarion call that drew all manner of late night mutants out of the shadows and into an asylum like setting.  I often went out of my way to take in the gratis freak show.  The all night McDonalds a few blocks away offered better bad food to the better clientele, but White Castle was special to me, like a frost-crusted Carvel bonnet top cone to a kid who's pop owns a Baskin Robbins.
This was the one White Castle in NYC that did not seem to make an awkward racial comment by its very location.  It was a UN for urban zombies.  Schizo scribblers frenziedly set down their spiral notebook manifestoes without interruption.  Lip-licking junkies got warm and changed seats and paced and panhandled.  Sonorous ghetto superstars sought nourishment before their subway journey home.  It wasn't the only game in town, but it was the only one you could see for several blocks in any direction.
I pray that the Insomniak guy on Comedy Central paid a visit to the White Castle on Fifth at least once before taking his show internationally.  
The White Castle is gone now and with it are my dreams of public access TV freaksploitational grandeur. 



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