Monthly Archives: August 2011

subdued, recollective.

“I don’t consider myself a pessimist. I think of a pessimist as someone who is waiting for it to rain. And I feel soaked to the skin.” – “Sincerely, L. Cohen.

Two beautiful, ugly, hangdog men who describe “wide and high” heaven and what it’s like to be “not lovers like that” with somebody who is maybe more even more beautiful, more ugly, but “besides, it would still be all right.” Men who are the Kings of the New York School and Chelsea Hotel sets, respectively, but stand also outside of them, bristling softly and elastically in their righteousness, the ones who teach me about Bruno Walter and the iniquity of those who want to drag you by your propped-up elbow off of your sheets as you listen to the needlepoint motion of rain. Men who love to smoke and eat citrus, like me. Men who love patterns, but aesthetic ones, as in floor tiles or quilts, not as in daily movement. I wish I were big enough to hold them both, or more truly, even one of them.

“Brahms turns his face like a bearded thumb and says, “There is something I must tell you!…think of it as a family planning where to go next summer in terms of other summers. A material ecstasy, subdued, recollective.” – James Schulyer

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nintendo!!!!!! nintendo 64!!!!!!!

The other day, I met someone off of Craigslist at a bar at one in the morning. It’s not what it sounds like, though – rather than being desperate for some weird sex jams, I was just looking to buy a Nintendo 64. The idea had come to me the day before on a whim, so I took to the Internet to try and relive my memories of being six and playing Beetle Racing and Super Mario 64 with my sisters. Laura, my oldest, was the best at it, so I’d read her the games’ instruction manuals while Maddy, two years younger than me, gnawed off the gray plastic knobs on the controllers’ joysticks. Their twisted remains stabbed me in the thumb every time I used them, often causing me to get blood all over the A and B buttons. It was a beautiful time.

With this in mind, I found a seller from Queens who was willing to meet my partner and me (d0n’t worry, I’m a safety-conscious lady) and sell us a system, controller, and fifteen games for the low, low price of $50. When I first got it, I ran around the bar all like:

Yes! Yes! Yes! I was really excited, even though some of the games included in the package were truly shitty. One of them was Superman, which is a total Super Nintendon’t and has been called the worst game on any Nintendo system as well as other dubious distinctions, plus something called Battletanx: Global Assault (? no).

The bright spot of the bunch was Paper Mario, which is a charming little adventure game that is basically Final Fantasy with a cutesy plumbing protagonist. It rules…and my thumbs are still intact, in what is definitely an upgrade on my childhood nostalgia. Any other recommendations? I promise I’ll buy them over the counter this time.

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you’re far away from home, but never far away from me

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Soixante Quinze

The first thing I’m doing when I move to France in January is going, ironically, to New York – well, kind of: Harry’s New York Bar, located in Paris, is a hundred years old this year, and although I’m missing its centennial, I’m anxious to visit.

Harry’s was first opened by an Indiana-born celebrity jockey, Tod Sloan, in 1911, when jockeys were the tabloid stars of their time, except that instead of being totally hot beach body celebrities, they were tiny, somewhat shriveled-up-looking men. Tod Sloan was no exception to this stereotype, as seen in this Vanity Fair caricature:

Vanity Fair caricature of Tod Sloan

I LOVE TOD SLOAN. I OWE HIM A LOT. It’s because his bar is responsible for my all-time favorite drink, the FRENCH 75, or Soixante Quinze. Although its base was first conceptualized by WWI fighter pilots who added hard liquor to champagne so it would pack more of a wallop, Harry’s perfected the recipe. It’s made up of gin, champagne (although I sometimes prefer prosecco), simple syrup, and lemon juice, and it goes down exactly – exactly – like a San Pellegrino limonata, which is the greatest sparkling lemonade of all time. It basically tastes like God’s pee.

Harry’s is also the original birthplace of  the Bloody Mary, Sidecar, Monkey Gland ( a cocktail named for the REAL antiquated surgical practice of grafting monkey testicle tissue into people, gross, come on guys) AND the classic George Gershwin piece An American in Paris. He probably wrote it while drinking a French 75 and the beauty and complexity of the flavors inspired similar things in his composition. I’m kidding, but not really, because this thing is unreal. Everyone I know who’s tried it goes bonkers for it, even Ernest Hemingway.

In short, thank you, Tod Sloan, even though I just made a pretty mean pun about you at the beginning of this sentence, and I will totally make a toast to you in January when I drink your original.

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Library Roundup, Vol. 1

The library near where I live in Greenpoint is the BEST PLACE. The corroborating evidence of this fact lies in my overdue fine balance, which I think right now is hovering menacingly somewhere around $30, although it could easily be more. I’m too scared to check.

Here’s a selection of some of the standout books I read during this last month, mostly courtesy of Kings County. Continue reading

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My name is Amy Rose and this is a picture someone took of me yesterday.

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