Sunday, August 27, 2006

Spitzer for Governor

The New York Times endorses Eliot Spitzer for NY Governor.

(Who wouldn't?)

Eliot Spitzer stands so tall this election season that some New Yorkers might be excused for thinking he is governor already ... The attorney general is running for governor with a national prestige and statewide popularity that could give him extraordinary power to impose change on the backward and recalcitrant State Legislature. Mario Cuomo and George Pataki both came into office with the intention of being a reformer in some important way, but neither man arrived with the independent political strength that Mr. Spitzer could bring to the job.

It's a thoughtful side-by-side, and it's refreshing to hear that -- for once -- voters are choosing between two good candidates and not trying to figure out which is the least noxious.

Site Update

I'm in the middle of completely redesigning my photo website, so take a look and let me know what you think of the layout. The old one was horribly confusing and convoluted; I'm trying to make this one cleaner. Some of the pages haven't been uploaded yet, but the general idea is there.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

More Subway News

At 6:06 a.m. yesterday, 24 hours and 2 minutes after setting off on their quest to pass by all 468 subway stations, Dan Green and Donald Badaczewski pulled in to the end of the No. 6 line - a full hour faster than the record two other pals set in 1998.

(Incidentally, the journalism world is amusingly small; the story's writer was my news editor at Spectator last year.)

In Which the Addressees and Title Are Longer Than the Letter Itself

To the busdriver who stopped to let an arthritic old man and his terrier cross 5th ave. while a bevy of taxis honked irritably, to the old man who turned to kiss his dog and wave at the bus, to the flower man who refused to charge me for the sunflowers, to the little girl who told me she that liked my earrings (and that she was wearing new shoes), to the man chalking sonnets on the sidewalk of 73rd st., to New York City in general,

Thank you. I love you.

Friday, August 18, 2006

For Modern Art Skeptics

...Jason Polan brings you the Every Piece of Art in the Museum of Modern Art Book for only $20, which, I might add, is the price of admission. For an extra $80, Jason will take you to the MoMA himself for a guided tour, draw your favorite piece of art for you, and buy you a pretzel.

Picnic, Lightning

My very photogenic mother died in a freak accident
(picnic, lightning) when I was three.

It is possible to be struck by a meteor
or a single-engine plane
while reading in a chair at home.
Safes drop from rooftops
and flatten the odd pedestrian
mostly within the panels of the comics,
but still, we know it is possible,
as well as the flash of summer lightning,
the thermos toppling over,
spilling out onto the grass.

And we know the message
can be delivered from within.
The heart, no valentine,
decides to quit after lunch,
the power shut off like a switch,
or a tiny dark ship is unmoored
into the flow of the body's rivers,
the brain a monastery,
defenseless on the shore.

This is what I think about
when I shovel compost
into a wheelbarrow,
and when I fill the long flower boxes,
then press into rows
the limp roots of red impatiens--
the instant hand of Death
always ready to burst forth
from the sleeve of his voluminous cloak.

Then the soil is full of marvels,
bits of leaf like flakes off a fresco,
red-brown pine needles, a beetle quick
to burrow back under the loam.
Then the wheelbarrow is a wilder blue,
the clouds a brighter white,

and all I hear is the rasp of the steel edge
against a round stone,
the small plants singing
with lifted faces, and the click
of the sundial
as one hour sweeps into the next.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dear Customer,

You know, I may not look Vietnamese, but even so -- correcting your waitress's pronounciation when she works in a Vietnamese restaurant and you are a skinny white boy whose name (according to your credit card) is very, very Polish is bad form, no?

Pho Is Not Pronounced "Faux,"

Friday, August 11, 2006

New Meaning for "Spiking" Food

What kind of a person do you have to be to target a labrador retriever?

Watch, one day when that bastard is senile and cooped up in a nursing home, some malicious aide will lace his gruel with tacks. Karma's a bitch.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Music Plugs

Two local bands worth investigating, thanks to MySpace's sole redemptive function as an online music community:

The Falsies, a Brooklyn-based "powerpop" group featuring my co-worker and xylophonist extraordinaire, Collin. Definitely listen to "Judy and the Dream of Horses." Their shows, scattered through Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan, are (usually) free, very entertaining, and completely worth the subway ride. Check the "Upcoming Shows" section for more details.

Farm to Market, a folk trio of Columbia undergrads with an incredible lead singer and a simple but beautiful acoustic mix of guitar and cello. Give "In Silence" a listen (but don't forget the other songs, too). They periodically upload new music, so keep checking the page for updates.

Excuse the Photographic Cliche

In Keeping With This Blog's Theme

Conductor: This is an express, uptown C train. You heard right: an express C train. Next stop: 125th Street. If you need local service on the Upper West Side, please transfer across the platform to the D, as in "Daddy done did it" or B, as in "bad boy Bobby Brown" train.

--C train, 59th St

More unusual subway announcements, courtesy of Overheard in NYC. How come my conductors are never this amusing?