March 29, 2012

Repeat Offender & Robert

Back in November, I wrote about a crazy woman (man/transvestite) knocking on my door sobbing that a child in the building had been electrocuted the night before. She was asking for donations for flowers. I gave her/him money. I was scammed--there was no kid and no death.

A few days ago I heard a knock at the door and when I opened it I quickly realized that my little scammer was back. Not recognizing me, she claimed that a man just down the street had been electrocuted and was collecting money for flowers. After hearing the whole tragic story, I looked concerned and said, "Let me get you some money, I'll be back in a moment." I closed the door, ran into the kitchen and called the police. They said, "Stall her." I opened the door with cash in my hand and said, "Explain to me what happened again." She looked at the cash in my hand, thinking she was so close to closing the deal. I asked how much the average person gave where she replied, "Oh, 10 or 20 dollars." Then, I quickly pulled out my point-and-shoot camera and took a photo of her, which startled her. Suddenly, she paused and seemed to remember me. She quickly excused herself and started down the steps as I followed. When we reached the lobby I held the door shut and said, "You bitch, you pulled this stunt a few months ago. Give me back the money I gave you the last time." She panicked and said, "I never took your money." I said, "Yes you did, stick around, the police will be here shortly." She ripped the door open and ran outside. I yelled at her, "Give me back my money you thief!" There was a small group of Hispanic people on the front stoop, wondering what was going on. I watched the scammer run across the street as I dialed the police to see what was taking so long. They showed up 15 minutes later. The scammer got away.

The scammer.

The other day I saw the worst gallery show in recent memory at the Leica gallery by Frank Dabba Smith. Total crap. Leaving within minutes, I pressed the elevator button and noticed the name "Robert" just below it. This reminded me of my late grandfather, whom I hadn't thought about in years. We weren't close nor do I have many fond memories. He always favored my brother Mike to the point of being obvious. Perhaps he was reaching out from beyond. Or, more likely, it was just an elevator named Robert. Or the company of....

March 28, 2012

B&W City Scenes

Legs, Chelsea.

As long as I've lived in the city, I've never set foot in the main library on 42nd Street and Fifth Ave. It's an amazing research/reference library with this huge beautiful reading room. But, you can't check out books there. You fill out a little slip for the books you want, they bring them to you, you read them, you leave. Who knew?

Walking down the steps of an old building on West 46th Street, I glanced over the railing from the 4th floor.

Old people in front of a laundromat in Hell's Kitchen. At that age, the dating ratio looks pretty promising. Man-about-town and his harem of goddesses.

March 23, 2012

Art Night

"You talkin to me?" You never know who or what you'll see when doing the art crawl in Chelsea. A show of paintings by Robert De Niro, Sr. (1922-1993). Meryl Streep and John Turturro showed up as well. Not that I'm into celebs or anything, just thought it was an interesting sighting.

A great night of good and bad art, cheap wine, good friends and Thai food. For my birthday (Wed.), my friend Laurah gave me a SIGNED copy of Cindy Sherman's book from Moma. It was a gag gift after I called the show "a thirty-year exercise of extreme narscissism." A very cool gift though.

Reminds me of my wish to be buried under a Japanese maple after I die.

[Art Night, cont.]

Ridiculous crappy art for around five grand. Seriously?

A naked painted lady strolling the Mick Rock show. She got a lot more attention than his 70s era snapshots. He's gone a bit too "Warhol" for my taste. Taking his classic old snapshots of rock and roll legends and overly manipulating them in Photoshop, taking them away from their original, and better, state. Overall.... they sucked. A lesson that most of the time "reinvention" doesn't work.

Interesting ceramic piece.

More stupid art that looks like a six year old painted it: $10K

An owl made from cardboard and rubber bands. $4K. Whoever buys this should be locked away in an asylum. It'll never sell and will be in a recycling bag by next week. Total bullshit.

March 21, 2012

City Sights

Rainy cobblestone street in Soho.

Just when you think every single inch of real estate in Manhattan has been developed you run across a derelict vacant lot like this one on the Lower East Side. Shocking that something hasn't been built on it yet.

Another lot just off Fifth Ave., only a few blocks away from the Empire State Building.

They remind me of photos taken of Harlem in the 60s by Bruce Davidson.

March 19, 2012

Funny and Inspiring

Someone sent this to me and it made me chuckle. I should have business cards made up like this. I'd give out 500 a day.

Yesterday I went to the Guggenheim to see the new exhibit of photos by Francesca Woodman. She received her first camera in her early teens and over the next eight or nine years she created a fairly large body of work. Mostly small self-portraits of herself nude. She attended RISD, then went on to study at various art colonies, before finally moving to NYC. She tried her hand at fashion photography, which didn't really pan out. In 1981 at 22 years old she jumped either from a bedroom window or off her roof and committed suicide. Her body was not identified for some time because the fall rendered her unrecognizable. Her parents, who are both artists, have been releasing her work since the 1990s for books and various exhibits. A sad ending to what was a promising career in fine art. Then again, as in the case of Diane Arbus, one's early demise can have an enormously positive effect on an artist's career, creating the persona of another extremely talented artist who was literally tormented to death. Look at what it did for Van Gogh!

Anyway, it was a lovely, inspiring show. When I got home I dusted off my old medium format YashicaMat. Just like the one she used.

As an homage to Francesca, I've added two frames of my new friend, "S". A lovely and willing muse.

March 18, 2012

Everything Good Is Bad

Why is it that ALL things that taste great are bad for you? Ice cream, butter, croissants, pasta, chocolate, sugar, milk, all pastries, pancakes, booze, candy, red meat, processed meat, non-organic fruits and vegetables. Shit, not much left. And what is left, doesn't taste all that great. I tried to eat a bowl of berries ("nature's candy") but without a bit of sugar or honey they weren't all that great. Ever eat plain oatmeal? Tastes like wallpaper paste. I do love my Fuji apples, cantaloupe, watermelon but they're all seasonal. Basically, all the really good stuff kills you.

I hate to admit it but I love Pepsi. Knowing it's bad for me I only allow myself maybe two a week. Yesterday I saw this article in the paper and immediately grabbed my chest. Now I can't even have that... ever.

They can put a man on the moon but they can't make a single sweet treat that is healthy and delicious.. I find that amazing...and sad.

March 14, 2012

Dangerous Pop Tarts & Hair Styles

I found this odd police report on some random site. I imagine it had to be an old stale pop tart.

Walking through Soho the other day I glanced inside a barber shop window to find these fine examples of haircut styles they offer.

March 11, 2012

Game Change

I watched the movie "Game Change" last night and all I can say is "holy shit." I remember the first time I saw Sarah Palin and wondered how such a dim-witted, uninteresting, self-proclaimed "soccer mom" could actually get that close to being the vice president of our country. Then again, the biggest imbecile in the world, George W. Bush, became president. Why and how am I surprised at Americans' stupidity? And poor McCain, convinced by advisers to choose her as his running mate, was in the dark about how stupid she was until it was too late. His staff protected him to a fault. I actually feel bad for the old guy. He may have won that election had he picked someone else.

I suggest everyone watch this movie on HBO. Especially those of you who were stupid enough to vote for Palin. Because if you actually pulled that lever with her name on it, even after her countless media screw-ups, you will be ashamed of your own stupidity. Then again, those same people pulled levers for Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush at the voting booth and can't (or won't) believe they're two of the worst presidents in U.S. history.

And now it looks like the Republicans will have Romney. Another bible-thumping, pro-life half-wit trying to win over other gullible morons with his campaign promises. But this time (I pray) the smarter man will again win. Like him or not, history will show that Obama's eight years in office will have been a hell of a lot better than Bush's war-infused, financial-implosion fiasco. Thank God that moron is gone. I actually point and laugh at people who admit to ever voting for Bush Jr. And, if you were stupid enough to vote for him, hopefully you have realized your mistake and will try to redeem yourself.

Or, then again, maybe you don't regret it, which again shows how stupid and gullible some Americans can be. When, even after all the facts are compiled they still stand behind their man... or woman.

I'm sure skeptics will claim "Game Change" is a some sort of liberal-biased propaganda film. I laugh at them too. Sometimes the truth hurts.

Here's how it works:

If you voted for Reagan = You made a mistake.

If you voted for Bush/Cheney the first time = You were stupid.

If you voted for Bush/Cheney the second time = Really? You should be ashamed of yourself.

If you voted for McCain/Palin = You need serious psychiatric evaluation.

If you're planning to vote for Romney = Please don't vote. You're obviously mentally retarded and not capable of making logical decisions.

March 5, 2012

I fell in love on Saturday

While at the farmers market buying my weekly supply of Fuji apples, I glanced down to see the cutest thing I'd ever seen in my life: a 9-week-old Australian cattle dog. It was love at first sight. I felt a sudden rush of paternal instinct flood my heart, imagining the closest I'd ever come to fatherhood. (Not to mention a hell of a lot cheaper and one millionth the responsibility.)

Maybe one day when I'm a reclusive artist living in my cabin in the woods. Just me and my Australian cattle dog.

She was jumping around so much I didn't get a sharp frame. Obviously pet photography is not in my future.

March 4, 2012

Tell It Like It Is

New Yorkers vent in creative ways. That's why I like having a blog. I love having a forum to bitch and rant about the things I dislike (as well as the things I love). My friends who read my blog will usually tell me I'm crotchety after I post something they don't agree with.
Someone scribbled their two cents on about 20 of these subway notices posted along the West 4th Street platform. Track construction makes travel very inconvenient at times and it never seems to end. I guess writing "You son of a bitch" on every notice made that person feel better.

This scribble was on fire hose bag in the stairwell of an art gallery in Chelsea. Seems an odd place to make a political statement.

This was on a bicycle parked in Soho. Evidently bike shops are usually run by unfriendly people. Zen Bikes claims, "We're not dicks!!!" Great sales slogan!