May 14, 2013


It's a toss up for me regarding favorite "cheap eats" in the city. These are my two favorites, hands down. Above, Hummus Fava and a small Health Salad from Hummus Place on Bleecker and 7th Ave. South, about $12.50. Below, two original Mexican tacos and a bowl of Yankee bean soup from a little corner diner on Kingsbridge Ave. and 231st Street in the Bronx, $8. Given this or some fancy-schmancy expensive place, I'll take this any day. So good, I'm never disappointed.

After having Chinese food with Katherine the other night on the Upper East Side, we both got the same fortune... We just looked at each other waiting to hear what the other's proposition would be. I'm not saying anything.

The San Remo

After dinner we walked through Central Park long after dark. She kept asking, "Are you sure it's safe to be here after dark? I don't see any people. Are we going to get killed?" I must admit on some of the darker trails it did get a bit spooky. Halfway across we ran into some interesting characters at Bethesda Fountain. A large group of people lined up with tripods taking a class on night photography, doing long exposures, as well as a smaller group practicing with their Star Wars lightsabers. Very nice people, though I didn't have the heart to tell them I've never seen a Star Wars movie in my life. They would probably have killed me. Katherine and I made it safely across the park and had pie in Columbus Circle. A lovely night.

Bethesda Fountain tunnel at night. Beautiful.

May 11, 2013

My Wonderful Week of Art

I went to a David Sedaris talk and book signing tonight. As I was walking up to the bookstore on Prince Street in Soho, I saw the HUGE line of people halfway around the block. Pal Rebecca sent me a message wondering where I was, she was already inside. I walked in and made my way through the crowd and there she was in the very front row, an empty chair saved next to her. It was like Christmas, from the perspective of getting a great seat. After signing books for an hour and a half Sedaris read from his latest book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. He was hilarious. So warm and entertaining, and he stayed to sign a million more books afterwards. And, I spoke with him and gave him some photos of his sister Amy I had taken a few years ago.

A strange little man--he would occasionally reach into a tote bag after signing someone's book and give them a little bottle of lotion or shampoo taken from some random hotel he had recently stayed in, or maybe offer a little piece of chocolate from an open box lying on the desk in front of him. He's very engaging, speaking with everyone and seemingly interested in one's answers to his questions.

Rebecca and I left around 8:00 and walked to a local favorite Italian place and had Penne a la Vodka that was to die for, a huge caesar salad (split both) and a freezing cold beer. Even with the split I took home half--so much food. Walked out at only $22 each. Awesome. Going down the steps to the subway, it came almost immediately, I hopped on the A train and was home by 10:30ish. A perfect night.

Big sign as you walked into the event: "No Photos Allowed". Stealth snap...I could have been a spy.

The place was packed...upstairs and downstairs. Someone said it was the largest turnout for an author ever (there, not ever ever).

Thursday night was art night (as usual). First stop was the Jeff Koons opening. Standing in that line (20 minutes) I decided that when I die and go to heaven (fat chance), I'm going to ask Jesus how this happens. Guy makes giant sculptures that look like balloon animals and becomes the richest artist alive. And, he doesn't actually do anything, he just tells people to make them. Here's the number one star/artist Jeff Koons with the number one art dealer, Larry Gagosian.
 Getting closer... in line with the masses. No line cutting for me... moooooo.

Koons showing his 4-year-old daughter how daddy has become a multi-millionaire making phallic-looking balloon sculptures on a grand scale. 

This is the Dennis Hopper show I hit on Tuesday night at Gagosian's uptown gallery. Here's my take on this show: Dennis Hopper the actor (and sometimes amateur photographer) shoots a bunch of photographs from 1961-1967 with a Nikon his wife buys him for his birthday. At some point he tosses some 400 crappy, cheap, machine made prints into a box. Yes, a few are nice and a few are of famous people like Jane Fonda and Paul Newman but all the rest are nothing more than snapshots of daily life. Dennis Hopper dies in May 2010 and someone goes through his estate, finds the box of photos and decides this is genius and puts them up for sale. No frames, bent edges, flat lifeless prints. Go figure.
The scene at Gagosian's roof deck on 77th St. and Madison Ave. There were two shows that night, Cecily Brown and Hopper. I didn't enjoy either. I did however enjoy the atmosphere, the wine and the people watching. It was good for that.

May 5, 2013

More Odd Sights

 Nothing gets the breakfast conversation going like seeing a casket. "So, been to any good funerals lately?"

  Seems like an odd, uncomfortable place to hang out.

 "Please do not tap on the glass! The Puppies." What a weird sign. So I tapped lightly. The boxer was unresponsive. 

Art night Thursday... Two escapees showed up. Their outfits were more entertaining than the show. 

May 1, 2013

Hey, What Are You Looking At?

Occasionally I'll go stand on some random corner for 30 minutes or so and watch people go by. I usually do this after a meeting or dropping off images at Conde Nast in midtown. Last week I stopped on 42nd St. near Grand Central and then on the corner of 42nd and 5th Ave. I usually tuck myself into a corner and flip up the viewer on my tiny Lumix so my head is tilted down looking into my camera. The way older video camera viewers worked. If anyone happens to look at me, my eyes are looking towards my feet, camera at my chest level. Obviously I'm trying NOT to be obvious while watching them. I thought doing this it would make me more stealth-like. But, I soon realized that a good number of people look at me wondering what the hell I'm doing. Apparently people are so used to having devices aimed in their direction they don't pay any attention so I might as well just hold the camera up to my face from now on. So much for using the optional $200 flip-up viewer.