Category Archives: new york city

charging $5

HurricaneSandy-1-2Bastard opportunists at The UPS Store on Eighth Ave and 26th Street, the first block with power in Manhattan. Don’t shop there. Lots of places in the upper twenties allow charging for free, churches, cafes, etc. Power strips abound. Generators are popping up, too.

Oh, in case you didn’t lose power and don’t follow, it’s for charging your cell phones, laptops, etc. Phones drain fast with only one bar of occasional reception.

So, yeah. My tooth broke on day four of the blackout. I made it to the dentist the next day, to be told it needed to be ripped out and replaced with an implant and crown. It’s the second to last tooth in the back of my mouth, pretty crucial for chewing. Though I have dental insurance that covers $3000 of work a year, they won’t cover it. It’s “cosmetic.” Yeah, EmblemHealth-GHI thinks that basic dental health is cosmetic. So, I’m out $3100 and have a mouth full of blood. And I can’t get the crown ($1000 more?) for a few months. It’s painful, gross, and maddening. Thank you, Mo, for taking care of me until lights come on and my mouth is happy again.

When told about the blood, T told me not to worry. “Don’t worry about all the blood. It’s cosmetic.”

And the election is days away? Heaven help us.

Some heartening things going on? Bareburger, on Eighth Ave between 17th St & 18th St, one of the very few restaurants open in Chelsea, was grilling burgers on the street.

BareBurger

And hey, I’ve been meaning to defrost my freezer for awhile, anyway. Done.

 

hey, look

downtown power out

Hey look, people uptown prancing about like you have a few fun days off work. We Have No Power Downtown. No streetlights. No hot water. No internet. The paltriest phone reception. No computers. No cold food. No ELECTRICITY. It’s not fun. It’s not charming to work by candlelight on halloween.

And I’m not grumpy because the city looks sad without lights.Or because it’s superdangerous to walk around after dusk with no streetlights (cars won’t stop) and no way to see who’s lurking on street corners. Or because my tooth just broke on Two Boots and I’m trying not to ram my tongue between the raw root and the exposed mercury filling. Or because my dentist is in Queens and there is no subway or moving traffic. Awesomeville. Or because my flight to a beach might be cancelled on Saturday.

I’d just like to take a look at my photos. That’s all. Not the cell snaps. With electricity.

Thank you uptowners who have provided love, electricity, communications, and showers for your downtown friends.

Happy Halloween.

IMG_20121031_093128

content to have missed the fall

Building before collapse, 8th Ave

I took this photo on a walk at about 4:30p yesterday, and walked back this way an hour later as winds were really kicking up. The building at the far right behind the bus signs lost its facade sometime after 6p. I am content to have missed the big moment.

Safe and dry, but haven’t had power since about 8:47p last night. Am at a friend’s on the UES, where it feels like nothing happened, charging my phone battery and gathering info before I head back downtown to candles, walnuts, and an evening practice.

Stay safe everyone.

five ways to leave your lover: #4 brighton beach

Last night, Lukas screened Five Ways to Leave Your Lover, shot on 16mm film. It went to the Short Film Corner at Cannes this May, and I finally saw Way #4: Brighton Beach. Watch it.

In less than ten minutes Lukas, a pro-snowboarder turned filmmaker from Vermont, somehow captures the essence of Brighton and Russian relationship dynamics (leave and come back, anyone?). It’s almost amazing. Inna is in the red dress, and her own father plays her father in the short. Watch.

Lukas was my student while he was at Columbia. Last spring he asked me if I knew any Russian actors for one of his shorts. I did, and told Danchik’s Inna about it. The short was meant to be filmed out in the Rockaways, but the location had to be changed to Brighton. Perfectly so.

At some point when filming, Lukas asked Inna how we knew each other and Inna replied, “We share the same boyfriend.”

Lukas was intrigued. I can just picture his expression, head slightly lifted, eyes sparkling, mouth open in “ahHHhh.”

“Uh, not exactly,” I laughed, much later. Definitely meaning was confused in her translation.

Initially Inna did not get why I connected them. I explained that Danchik is now like a little brother to me. I love him but am not in love with him. If Danchik loves you and has for some years now, clearly I love you, too. And why not introduce one amazing artist to another? (I’m not being douchey. They are amazing. Watch it.)

Nevertheless, Danchik and I aren’t really speaking at the moment. He’s annoyed with me for reasons I find mysterious and tiring, and I’m annoyed with him. Danchik can be an asshole. He knows it. He owns it. Unlike most people, he doesn’t pretend to be a good person, nor does he need to rely on such pretense as a mode of seduction. Yet he can be a very, very good person. I admit my acceptance was based on his not being an asshole to me, or in front of me, and recently he was. And I was offended. Whatever. I’m over it.

Seeing Inna fanned my current frustration about people, relationships, and how we view the world. We live in such little boxes of thought and expectation that we do not really perceive or understand the world around us. Inna and I discussed Russian men and American men, the pros and cons of each, and I admit I see her relationship with Danchik as being completely Russian in its patience and execution. My lack of this “womanly” patience (yes, to my American view, doormattery) is inherently why Danchik is annoyed with me. Yet it’s our difference and we won’t talk about it. We will let time heal us or we won’t.

Now, we will size life up as it fits our stories, not ever pulling our projections off the world to see it as it is. It is exhausting and the root of all misery. Danchik probably does not know or care that I am annoyed with him, and I am exhausted by his story around why he is annoyed with me. We are so attached to THE WAY WE SEE, the way we think and understand (not least because it is how we define ourselves), that we don’t give life a chance.

How to stop? Dunno. I think I’ll watch this for the 41st time for clues and comfort.

And this too, more kind of unbelievable student magic in film art & yoga: Purva’s Kumaré opens this week at IFC. How am I so lucky as to have such amazing people in my classroom and life? The list goes on and on. At risk of wanking, I will say I am hugely grateful. I never wanted to teach yoga, but it’s brought me the best of everything.

 

9E71: a time out

home-1Last week Mar and I saw a play (Rx at 59e59. Very cute). I haven’t seen her in years and it brought me back to our Time Out days. Her photography is beautiful. Like me, she’s not particularly commercial, though she leans toward fine art and I toward documentary. The cover image at right (mine) is still one of my favorites. I was in Uzbekistan when it was published and didn’t know it made the cover until I came back and saw it in a bookstore.

Jpeg is back Monday, thank god. I missed him, but in a nice way. He’s classy enough to call regularly, not use the “ah, oh, yeah, there’s no internet here” line on days we don’t speak, and didn’t need to pick up a Russian prostitute to keep him company on his travels. Respect, gentlemen. That’s all we ask.

Danchik likes to analyze why I stop speaking to people, just cut them out completely. It’s not that I’m angry or upset. It’s that I’m done being angry and upset. After I’ve explained that certain behaviors aren’t acceptable (e.g. lies and inconsistency), not once but ad nauseam, and it’s clear he’s incapable of basic civility, I lose all respect. A line is crossed and I am done. I never really know where this line is or when it will appear, which is perhaps what causes confusion (“she put up with it before. What’s the problem now?”). Sooner or later, clarity descends and the person’s little world seems both toxic and boring. I’m no longer able to look past the trite and unnecessary excuses and lies, justifying them because of the person’s obvious pain. I finally see my own behavior as aiding and abetting, and I’m done. Danchik doesn’t get the respect thing, and he doesn’t get why I haven’t cut him off, a self-proclaimed asshole.

“You’ve always been good to me. Well, maybe there was a short time you weren’t, but you were a baby and I let it go.” Behavior that is understandable at 19 is not acceptable at 25, and definitely not at 49. And that’s the issue. The bottom line is that Danchik is good to me. We have a history. As Bij would say, “He’s family.” I can’t say that for those I can no longer be bothered with. (No, I’m not talking specifically about you. You are typical. You are one of many. And that is, actually, the bottom line. It’s not all about you).

There was some time to think about this with Jpeg out of town. I say it because I’m relieved I broke a 5-year string of bad luck (disingenuous, selfish men) but also because bad behavior seems to be a dating trend in both women and men. I own my misery—it wasn’t bad luck. I let poor behavior continue, and chose to ignore the reality for what I’d hoped was there. Or put up with bad behavior because I felt sorry for the guy. It’s fucking hard to be close to someone, and I’m sure I will always fear it. But I will no longer choose men with whom closeness is impossible—for recreation or relationship. It causes dreadful problems and more pain than simply facing my fear of intimacy and the hurt behind it. But it’s familiar. And easier. Easier to look outward to solve problems than within. Not just for me, but for many.

Take this depressing blog, “Uptown-Lowdown,” about a young woman’s adventures on the dating site OkCupid. My gawd. She started off genuine and endearing, but then somehow got wrapped up in the need to exude freedom and cool, and she lost her voice in the process. It reads now as if having deep feelings for someone and risking vulnerability is wildly unhip for either gender. “Women can be douchebags, too!” Wow. I think most of us got that awhile ago. The need for young women to flaunt it seems to indicate just how far we haven’t come. Or just how scared we all are. Better to justify excitement about a guy in his FULLYPAID invite to Jamaica than to admit vulnerability and excitement the person himself. Sad times. Sad times.

Further, it is amazing how poorly behaved people are willing to be, in writing, in an age that such behavior can be published at large on the internet (and I’m not talking about a dating blog). It’s especially shocking when such people have PR as their first and only concern. But then, in an age of narcissism, nothing should come as a surprise.