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(For mah peeps living the bohemian novelist’s dream.)
A Moveable Feast is Hemingway’s memoir of life for the young ex-pats who enjoyed the first blush of American global economic dominance in France after the end of the First World War. Though he and Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and John Dos Passos complained about being poor and put on a show of living a bohemian lifestyle, they were all supported by the strength of the US economy and money sent to them from the states. The fact that the French franc was close to trash compared to the dollar supported their artistic ambitions.
This now infamous video is proof that the surveillance state cuts both ways. (Thanks to Shawn for pointing it out.)
My sympathies are obviously with the bikers. For that matter, I never liked cops much. Their job is to go out cruising for trouble. Bad news in my opinion. The only people who should be cops should be the ones who pass a rigorous exam on ethics. But then there wouldn’t be many cops. Or politicians probably.
Bikes need to displace cars in the modern city — absolutely. They need to be sacred cows, so long as they don’t make a habit of running over pedestrians, who are by far the most sacred form of life on and in the street. And cops who make asses of themselves and abuse their power on video should be canned — immediately, no questions asked.
Find yourself in a densely crowded downstairs Latino dance club, trying to find a drunken female friend and her roommate, with whom you were wildly (and unwisely) making out mere moments before. Get a call from a female friend who works in a bar. Miss the call. Get a text from her saying, “Come to the bar. X is single and ready to mingle.” Go outside, find the drunk girls, get them in a cab and wash your hands of it. Retrieve message from the bartender: “Come to the bar now! X just broke up with her boyfriend and is asking about you!”
Grab a cab to the bar even though it’s less than a 10 minute walk. Arrive and kiss your friend and thank her for the tip. Sidle up next to the newly-single, smoking hot, 20 year-old vixen.
(Editor: Be forewarned, the following is a graphic and explicit depiction of sexual acts of dubious legality.)
This is a jazz band taking a break at Astor Place in Manhattan. It is a perfect example of the spontaneous and organic enrichment of life that happens in a pedestrian oriented city like New York. By interacting with people on the street you encounter culture that broadens your horizons while you’re on your way to work. And it’s completely free — unlike books on tape.
By J.D. Oxblood
Caught the Monday night again at Public Ass. (“Public Assembly is just a stupid name. It will heretofore be referred to, in these pages, as Public Ass. Suits my idiom.) It’s nice to see that in spite of all the gentrification, the old Billburg spirit is alive and well at Public Ass—the bartenders suck. Too cool for school, way too cool to actually pour a drink or care about tips. Amen, my brethren
The less said about Jonny Porkpie’s Fresh Faces Showcase the better — although WordyGirl’s diss on the U.S. of A. was … something. And at midnight I had to get the hell out of there and get me some up-close-and-personal T & A.
Consequently I couldn’t stick around for GiGi’s Monday Night Blue, so so all you’re gonna get is the highlights of the main event. Deal.
A friend of mine who lives on the Southside of Williamsburg was complaining — though not in a mean way — about not being able to sleep because of the vigil being held in front of the building next door for a 22 year-old kid who was shot. This led to a conversation about the machete-wielding gangs that have been roving the Southside, the basic street-level knowledge that it’s all about gangs living the old school “what are you doing on my block?” code of ethics, and the fact that the neighborhood is full of cops — the problem being that they’re guarding construction sites. Of which we have many.
Since the editor and progenitor of this blog seems genuinely concerned about the future of America and its priorities, I couldn’t help but think about what violent crime really means to a New Yorker: rent prices. Truly, this is a perversion that seems unique to Newyorqinos: if violent crime is on the rise, does that mean my rent might not go up next year? It’s not lost on me how distinctly fucked-up it is to wish for more violent crime.
However, it’s worth taking a closer look at Williamsburg, which is a virulent Petri dish in the study of New York at long-range. In a city headed by a billionaire mayor who has unilaterally given permission to every developer to come down the pike, giving permission to build higher and higher in neighborhoods that have for decades been small-potatoes, watching what’s happening in Williamsburg is simply a malignant insight into coming attractions: The New New York, where everyone makes two hundred grand a year and the working class (read: servant class) are bussed in daily from ghettos in what used to be rural Pennsylvania. Next time you find yourself on the other side of the East river, take a little walk through Williamsburg, Greenpoint—even Long Island City. This entire waterfront will look just like Midtown Manhattan before the decade is up.
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Monday, July 7, 2008 marked the opening night of the new Monday Night Burlesque at the Performance Space Formerly known as Galapagos. The act to christen the space, or, to “embooben,” as Nasty Canasta put it, was no other than the now super-famous Julie Atlas Muz. She came on in classic black — eyes big as swimming pools complete with bikini-clad pleasure models lounging with Mai Tais — lost her black dress in under a minute, sucked off a rose in fellatiatic splendor, spat out the petals, spilling down her bare bosom, and before anyone could quite check the turgidity of his member, was crawling across the bar to bathe herself with a bowl and a bar of soap, complete with avid pit and crotch scrubbing. No one does nudity with laughter better than the Muz. She finished with a bottle of vodka upended over her entire body and I half-thought she was going to set her entire figure on fire. Let me be the one to tell you, folks: Julie looks hotter now than she did when I first saw her naked, 8 years ago. That’s some serious deal with the devil, and I think he got took.
This is a pretty cool documentary on hackers in New York City around the turn of the millennium. Check it out.
The New York Times published an editorial yesterday that argued against a $1 surcharge on taxi fares due to the spike in gas prices. They note that there are a few hundred hybrid vehicles in the 13,000 taxi fleet, and that the entire fleet will be hybrid by 2012. The question is, why aren’t all yellow cabs hybrid now, and why won’t we have a fleet of electric taxis by 2012. The answer undoubtedly has to do with politics and the T&LC. Cultural Capitol will look into the matter and report more later!
(Editor’s note: This is the first post by Cultural Capitol writer J. D. Oxblood.)
On Dining with Strangers
By J.D. Oxblood
I live on a small island off the coast of the United States of America. That may be technically untrue, but it’s more true than the truth. I live on the Island of Long, in a small corner that is vastly different from the rest of the island and—like the neighboring island of Manhattan—the rest of America.
This is a story, like all New York stories, about what makes us different, if not exactly special. We live in tiny, tiny apartments and pay anywhere between a third to half of our income on rent. This is alarmingly obvious to New Yorkers, but if anyone’s reading this out in flyover country (that’s right, I said it) read that sentence again. It’s insane if you really chew it over, and yet we do it, year after year. And as I was recently reminded whilst dining with out of town guests, it’s always all about the rent. As my visitors were wondering why we were paying $15 for a cocktail, I noted the address: we’re half a block from Rockefeller Center. Guess what—while the cocktails are weak, the service is crap, the décor is overdone and like something some rube from the suburbs would call “so New Yorky”—these people have to pay the RENT.