Monday, November 24, 2008

picture post

I’m in Denver now with Ann. Am having such a great time that I’ve had no time to write (sorry Greg) and given my new camera (which I’m not particularly fond of) and the artfartsiness that is San Paco, this post will be more visual than textual:

Arrived without too much ado after a blast in NYC with Tim et many als. Tommy picked me up on Sunday and took me back to his crib:

Quite the climb up, but what a view when you get there:

And spending ‘more money [on me] than a drunken sailor’ ($15), Tommy took me to a fancy spa up in Calistoga for some hot springs (clearly marked as hot) and clearly ‘not for poor people’:

And although the abandoned boarded-up gas station may hint at progress to come:

the lines that wrap around the block at the Skid Row (aka Jones St.) employment office point to a different reality:


and while the SF mint works 24/7 to print more money, Fort Knox, emptied of its gold, is now open for self-storage:

Insulated from all this in a Korean karaoke with Ann, singing along to images of Prague for some strange reason:

and with a decadent macro├Ârganobiotic barbecue and faux band photo session as the fog rolled in at Golden Gate park on Saturday:

it was easy to forget our friends back on Skid Row, so we went to the track for $1 Sundays: dollar beers and dollar hot dogs, to place our bets with the rest on not-so-easy money and pipe dreams:

We broke even. Neuropathy marginally better. Miss you all. More soon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

intrepid

I’m winding up my time here in New York - off on Sunday morning to San Francisco to see Tommy and eventually Ann. I’ve made some changes to the blog (look to your right) to reflect the fact that I’m no longer in the hospital or even in Prague for that matter, while updating the picture from one showing me without hair to a recent one of me trying to pull it out (courtesy of Pamela – the picture, I mean).

I just got back from more laundry and yet another delicious soul food lunch special. I think I may be addicted to both. Soul food restaurants seem to be the only places to get large portions of unpretentious, pronounceable vegetables at reasonable prices in New York, not to mention jerk goat and grits.

Last Friday saw Tim, Sherm, Christine and me up at Tom and Pauline’s in New Haven, of all places, for a brief look at Yale, the fall foliage and to clear the beach of vermin for the season:


Back in Brooklyn on Saturday, I met up with Jessica who had flown in from Maine just to sing karaoke with me. We were out until almost 6 in the AM, still singing medleys of TV theme songs to anyone who would listen.

After lunch with Pamela and John Oliver, of all people, in Chelsea on Tuesday, I tried to catch up to the Veterans’ Day Parade, but those vets were either too fast or I was too easily sidetracked.

I stopped in to see a $10 ‘psychic advisor’ palm reading gypsy lady, who told me that I ‘will have a very long life’. That finally settled and much to my relief, I tipped her two bucks and took my time (now that I had more) getting to the Intrepid, the ostensible start of the parade:

The Intrepid had been billed as ‘the greatest symbol of peace’ in New York Harbor that morning by the douchebag singing Bush’s praises and running the Veterans’ Day ceremony. He must have missed the Statue of Liberty somehow on his way in - gigantic artillery piece or surface-to-air missile in the way, I guess.

The neuropathy has stabilized for the worse, but I bought a pair of high tops to improve my support, widen my wheel-base and fit in better in Brooklyn. Three hours of walking didn’t do me any favors, so I met Marguerite for drinks and Thai at the end of my hike in midtown.

Thanks for the comments. I’m off to town to buy a camera before the sabbath. Later.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

yes we did!

After a seemingly short transatlantic flight (despite the curmudgeon next to me - long dull story), I landed in a laundromat for the first time in well over twenty years. The locals walked me through the wash and dry, even offering well-guarded tips along with the detergent. I haven’t used a washing machine in twenty years, I said. Yup, it’s tough times, they all agreed.

When I went to mail my ballot on Friday, the line was about fifteen minutes deep at least. A really nice guy in line gave me a stamp and then gave me another when he found out it was for my ballot – just to make sure, he said. People are so friendly in Brooklyn; it’s almost weird.

Tims’ (there are indeed two of them) party that night went ween, with all and sundry all the groggy the morning after. Tim even made a traditional Halloween turkey to go with the pumpkin:


Got a free bottle of wine on Saturday at a fancy wine bar just by sharing it with the waitress – who woulda thought? As I say, people are nice; I’m not used to it.

And on Sunday, we walked the two blocks to watch the NYC Marathon blow through the hood. There was a gospel choir and band with a singing, hopping, dancing preacher cheering the runners on for Jesus in front of the Baptist church. The music was great:

Contrast all this good cheer with my trip to the Czech consulate on Monday. Boy, was it lousy to be home. Over an hour wait with only two (embarrassingly stupid) NYU girls ahead of me, only to find out I was missing a paper that I had two copies of – with me at the consulate. It’s kind of like when a southern cop breaks your taillight just to give you a ticket. So my application will be (surprise!) delayed as 'the document' has to be (surprise!) notarized (again) in the Czech Republic.

I went into Starbucks yesterday to use their bathroom and get my free cup of coffee for having voted (a promotion later declared illegal by party-poopers) and the atmosphere was electric with the prospects of free toilets and coffee, both incurring even longer lines than at the polls.

Around town, the preference was clear. From the sweatshop poster stuck to the bottom of a dirty window in Chinatown declaring the only single, solitary Asian voter for McCain:

To the upscale storefront in Chelsea with a dozen life-size Obamannequins sporting this winter’s (admittedly disappointing) fashions:

Back in Brooklyn, there was shouting, cheering, dancing and fireworks as the preliminary results began to indicate not only an Obama victory, but a landslide. And I couldn’t be more pleased and proud.

Oh yeah, my health. Neuropathy quite a bit worse – almost up to my knees. Other than that, I feel OK. Off to meet Sherman in our old ‘living room’ at Mona’s in the East Village. My number here is +1 347 633 7738. Miss you all in Prague; well most of you, anyway...