Saturday, July 05, 2008

New York City When It's Beautiful

I Feel Like: "It's Mine All Mine Today!"
I sailed out early this morning, hit the sidewalk singing, "Look at that moon/It's shinin' so pretty/It's shinin' up there/For you and for me...," and, yes, there it was, that moon standing still over Jersey, and I whistled up the opposite direction, up that street down there in that photo up that street the other way toward Fifth Avenue, which is in back of that photo up there--and when I got up to Fifth Avenue I turned south (downtown)--even that song "Downtown" was written about "going downtown to downtown Manhattan"--even though it was sung by a Brit chick--anyway, I headed downtown on the sidewalk walking along by the west side of Fifth Avenue--wide Fifth Avenue--and it is really wide until it gets down to 23rd where Broadway bulls its way in a slash across it and it narrows and then slinks off headed downtown not as wide as it was--right there at the Flatiron Building, the first skyscraper--and there's a great old-time grainy film of 23rd there in front of the Flatiron Building--and there's a ferocious wind blowing in this old film--and the filmmaker you soon realize is focusing on this ferocious wind blowing up the sidewalk running in front of the back-then Flatiron building and blowing up the sidewalk-dragging bottoms of women of that day's 19th-century full-in-bloom dresses as they were fighting against this ferocious wind--and then the randy filmmaker's camera spots three rather young women coming along, up to the corner of 23rd and Broadway, and they're hatless and their dresses are more 20th century than the kind'a flamboyant dresses of the other women, and these "girls" are fightin' that wind on that sidewalk in front of the Flatiron Building, too, as they come up to the corner--you know, how women even today grab their skirts and hold them down when a gust of wind comes up under them and tries to balloon their full skirts out--I mean, these are obviously by the time they get to the corner of 23rd and Broadway three younger-than-the-other-women babes--and as they step off the kerb to cross Broadway there at 23rd, this ferocious wind suddenly pinpoints these babes's dresses and suddenly their more youthful and loose skirts are blown sky-high upward, a la Marilyn M standing over the subway grate as the wind made by a passing subway below gushes up to blow Marilyn's full pleated skirt way up above her waist--showing her panties--and what a great promotional stunt that was back when a woman just didn't go ahead and let her legs show and even let her panties show--what the hey, women show it all in bathing suits--promotion for that great little 50's whitey-life-in-NYC movie--The Seven Year Itch--a film I still find fun, with good acting from Tom Ewell and good acting from even Marilyn, though she's simply acting out her Marilyn Monroe persona--lush acting from Marilyn and comedic-half-slapstick acting from Tom Ewell acting out what used to be call a "Mister Peeper's" character, a Don Quixote character--and Ewell's playing an EDITOR in this movie--he's an editor for a cheap-ass paperback publisher except he imagines he's actually working for one of the top publishing houses in New York City--it's a good Whitey New York City 50s film--filmed in the city--with an especially good view of old Penn Station--a magnificent edifice that PROGRESS destroyed and replaced with the current 1 Penn Plaza and the new-now-old Madison Square Garden, both structures now in need of repair, both shoddy looking--that tacky-tacky architecture of the 60s--and one side of 1 Penn Plaza has been dormant, neglected, and blighted--shops boarded up and a Cox fence put up around the entrances and steps and approaches on that 31st Street side for years now--, like I was saying, this ferocious wind comes along in this old film and hits the dresses of these three young babes just as they are stepping off the curb into Broadway and it catches the girls off-guard and blows their skirts up ferociously high, one girl's up high enough that you see that her legs above her high-tops and half sox are NAKED, and all three up-blown skirts naked ankles--and you can also see if you look quickly enough that all the girls's legs above their ankles are NAKED--the filmmaker guessed right and kept his lascivious camera on these sweet girls, cranking away on that camera waiting for that right moment--he was obviously filming from the southwest corner of Madison Park there--and he was expecting at least some NAKED ANKLE--and don't those two words go together nicely?--also, as language, they speak interestingly--I say, "Ne-kid-ank-el"--and it comes out neckidankel sometimes--which is an interesting word, neckidankel--and he got more that he imagined--he got some NAKED LEG! Neckidlayg.

And I turn down Fifth to go down to the deli on 30th and Fifth and get my pomegranate-cherry juice, a chocolate croissant, and a large cup of French roast coffee--black--my breakfast every morning for the past century it seems like--and I wish I'd'a brought my camera because I see the Flatiron Building up in front of me so clearly, a huge American flag is hanging off the building next to the deli and it's flapping and when it flaps back toward me the Flatiron Building stands shining in all its morning-sun glory and then the flag flaps away from me and blots out the Flatiron Building. I was photographically visualizing that scene when it struck me, I was all alone on the sidewalk, and looking up the sidewalk in front of me up toward the Collegiate Marble Church, I saw no people--I looked across the street--there were no people on that sidewalk over there either--I looked out into Fifth Avenue, and it was empty, no cars, no buses, no TOUR buses, which I hate but which are essential now that New York City's only industry is the tourist industry--remember when our finest fashions were designed and made right here in Manhattan?--now we must kiss the asses of tourists--especially the Euro Trash and their mighty Euro dollars--the Germans love the many hotels that now are ruining my once cool Korean-Chinese-Vietnamese neighborhood--and an 18-story hotel for god-damn salesmen and that ilk is going up right over east of my apartment, right up against my building--so far the noise hasn't bothered me--they have already demolished one 6-story brick building and except for the swirlings of lethal dust as they front-loader shovel all those crumbled bricks and the brick dust they shed while they're being dumped into a huge demolition garbage truck--or a huge dumpster--gagging, killer brick dust swirling all out and all over the sidewalk and part of the street, though the actual noise of the destruction has been surprisingly minimal.

By the time I got to the deli, I realized it was Saturday, July 5, the morning after the commercial hoopla--I was amused that this Scottish fop-phony-dead-at-night talk show clown--he gained his acting fame on the old Drew Carey Show--and I dig Drew Carey--I've known a lot of Drew Careys in my life--but anyway, this Scottish fop--his comedy is atrocious, trust me--I can't stand him and I always flip him off--both ways--when he comes on and I'm not near the teevee--but anyway, I thought it ironic that he was hosting the "Independence Day" affairs for CBS last night--I didn't watch it on teevee, though I did on early teevee this morning see them interviewing a blonde early-thirties-something tourist over at the fireworks on the East River and she said something very disturbingly stupid to me, she said, "I want to thank our troops--and I'm praying for them daily--but I want to thank them for making it possible for us to enjoy this magnificent fireworks display in peace"--whooooo, how scary dumb is that statement?--and being made sacrosanct over our hired soldiers for our all volunteer armed forces who were used as cannon father in a preemptive invasion and attempted occupation of a sovereign nation that was absolutely no threat to us but that unfortunately did not possess nuclear weapons but did possess lots of oil--our 21st Century Lord and Master. I did once have the privilege of attending a Fouth of July party at a dude's apartment in the Waterside Apartments whose livingroom window looked right straight out on the length of the East River from the 59th Street Bridge all the way down to the lit-up Brooklyn Bridge--and I must admit that it was some kind of experience sitting in this dude's window and seeing and hearing the whole schmear of this Gucci-family's ultra-expensive fireworks display--supposedly paid for by Macy's Department Store(s)--who the hell knows?--and it I'm sure was like being in a city being bombed--like London in WWII, or Tokyo in WWII, or Hamburg in WWII, or Panama City, Panama, when Pappy Bush bombed it, or like used to happen every day during the Clinton Administration in Baghdad--and these Waterside Apartments on that East River with these spectacular views of this extravagant fireworks display were originally Mitchell-Lama (a New York term) affordable apartments though now they've become market-based and they are now privately managed and that's driven out most of the school-teacher-types and city-worker-types who gobbled up those apartments when they were Mitchell-Lama--but this dude invited me and my woman at that time up there to watch the show--and my women then was a beauty from Illinois who when she bent over every man's eye in the room was on her absolutely perfect bunny wagon--besides, I love Illini women--especially Chicago women--they're tough women--like Detroit women, too--and one of my current female sidekicks is a Detroit woman--from the heart of old Detroit, down behind Briggs Stadium--or Tiger Stadium--still standing, by the way, away from the tackiness of Comerica Park or whatever corporate name the new Detroit ballpark has.

Meanwhile...back walking toward the Flatiron Building:

Photo by tgw "The Flatiron Building in Early Morning Light"

And long holiday weekends are the best time to live in New York City--especially if you are drawn to this city like I am and love it as your own like I do--and I've been drawn back to it a lot of times--yes, I've tried to escape it--I've tried to leave it seriously--the first time when I decided I wanted to finish my PhD and moved to Austin, Texas, to go to UT--then saying "Fuck You" to UT, my young wife and I moved back to Santa Fe, New Mexico, from where we had left to come originally to New York City, and back in Santa Fe, I went down to UNM in Albuquerque to study with old Frank Hibbard, at that time one of the great preColumbian archeologists in this country--expert on Mexican digs and southwestern US digs--but, nope, it didn't work--I missed New York City and so did my wife so back we came--back to New York City--and I stayed tight here then until this woman decided to and actually did divorce me, and after getting "our" divorce finalized in Haiti, I tried to stay and live in Haiti--lived there long enough at this one hotel to have two Haitian mistresses--and I lived there three months--and one day I got homesick for New York City and so I came back and got myself a tiny apartment on East 57th Street, an elementary school playground right outside my "picture" window--though also a Rear Window-reminding view of a huge apartment building behind my building--there was even a garden between the buildings again like in Rear Window. And I like Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window used to sit sometimes on a night when I didn't have a girl friend over and watch the various shows going on in the windows of that apartment building--the girl who did her exercising naked--and then every morning this same girl put her makeup on and did her hair in her open window topless--and then there were the gay guys who bugger each other every god-damn night it seemed like--on their room floor every night--and then there was the sophisticated gay guy who had men over for coffee a lot--the coffee klatch--I had five women I was seeing at that time so I wasn't lonely that much at night--though I never missed the topless chick putting her makeup on and doing her hair every morning--come on, I'd just been freed from a marriage that lasted 11 years, and I was still young, with a lot of wild oats to sow, and I went out every night with my best friend, a handsome man, a photographer by profession, a photographer of beautiful women by profession--yeah, he'd been a horse race photographer, too--and he attracted babes by the barrelsful--I mean beautiful women flocked around him all the time--or he'd have one of his latest model girlfriends in tow--one I especially liked who was so damn beautiful and smart--she ended up getting a PhD from Harvard Biz School--but before then she partied with my friend and me--he went with her for at least 6 months--and she partied hearty with us--and I necked with her sometimes when we were both drunk--like in the kitchen getting fresh drinks, you know, she'd let me kiss her and smell her up--she wore a great perfume and I usually don't like perfumes--

And it was in that East 57th Street tiny apartment--the building was owned by Argentinians and the top two floors was a whorehouse--beautiful Sud Americanas and they were always on my elevator--the elevator air thick with their scents--musky scents--and while living at this apartment, I met the next chapter in my "married" life, a 105 lb, 5 ft 2", beauty of a Philly woman, so damn pretty that the minute I spotted her I wanted to possess her and I spotted her when she and her girlfriend came into this bar/restaurant/disco my friend and I hung out at kind'a always except this night he wasn't with me and I was lonely and on my own and I looked up and this totally perfect-for-me dreamgirl walked into the bar--went to the bar--ordered drinks--and as quick as a rabbit, I was over asking them if I could reach over them and get my fresh Heineken--they said yes and the next thing I knew we were jiving--and then we moved over to a table--and this dreamwoman knew what I was after, she was out on the town offering what I was after--a night out from her husband who was babysittin' at home while she was out getting hit on by guys like me--and I hit on her heavy that night and that was the night that changed my life for better or worse up until about a month ago--and we ended up in bed until 4 am the next morning and she left me to rush home to her husband and child and then called me that evening and told me she thought she loved me and she missed me and she was crying and I then knew I had a dilemma. I was seeing this smooth-luciously-smooth-skinned Jamaican woman, too, at the time--and there's a story here but I'm gonna side-step it--and I'm tempted to tell it while it's on my mind--this Jamaican woman I called "Sleppy" 'cause she looked sleepy all the time--and I was also involved with a truly sweet and extra-loving warm girl from the Old South, too--and oh the stories that are popping up like mad in my mind--there's a story connected to this North Carolina woman, too--holy cow, the stories, the stories, they're piling up in my cranium--I feel compelled to suddenly write a whole god-damn colossal tome, an epic, a Homerian epic...

As Samuel Johnson said, "Only a blockhead would write for anything but money." Damn, Sam, you mean writing because I have to write--fuck trying to sell what I write--I've done that--and even when I was selling my writing it wasn't enough to live on--so damn, Sam, I'm a god-damn blockhead...

And I am a blockhead...

Walking in this empty city this morning made me feel so good I've decided to modernize my life; step out of the past--out mafficking with thedailygrowlerhousepianist last night--and he, a little soused, said I was a little too old-fashioned! Wow, he's right...

Thus to hell with my stories--my affairs--my god-damn past--today I'm alone in my favorite city in all the world--I'm sitting here enjoying an absolutely beautiful and very quiet day--me, myself, I, and my city--this whole god-damn big wonderful city all to myself--Fuck MY PAST. Fuck my rambling stories. Fuck my leaving New York City--end of those stories, I have lived in this one room for the past 26 years and haven't left New York City for longer than a couple of days...

for The Daily Growler

Joe Girardi (Yankees) vs. Joe Torre (Dodgers)
First off, Joe Girardi's not doing so good--even though the Yanks are still playing above .500, they are nine games behind Tampa Bay and the Red Sox...and Hank Steinbrenner is already getting juiced up against Girardi--now probably realizing they got rid of the best manager in baseball for a guy who's too baseball dumb to be a manager--Joe Torre wasn't a back-up catcher--he was a real catcher. Also Hank's forcing Joe Girardi to move Jabo Chamberlain to the starting rotation has been disastrous--Jabo is no starter--Joe Torre knew Jabo combined with Mariano Rivera (he blew a game the other night) was the best closing combination in baseball--but, oh no, Hank and George Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman--I'll bet none of them ever played baseball (hardball) in their lives--know more about baseball than the best manager in baseball and even his protege, who they said was gonna revitalize the Yankees--add youth to the mix--and then stupid Joe Girardi, who like I said if it had not have been for Joe Torre would be selling Budweiser door-to-door in Northern New Jersey instead of managing what is the greatest offensive team in the MLB right now, stated he was going to take the Yankees to the World Series or else. Their pitching will be the team's and Joe Girardi's downfall!

American League East
Tampa Bay5332.624-34-1319-1924-156-411-79-1W 5
Boston5237.584331-1021-2718-1612-511-95-5W 2
Baltimore4441.518925-1419-2715-199-79-85-5W 1
N.Y. Yankees4542.517923-2222-2015-1711-159-34-6L 2
Toronto4146.4711322-1919-279-1415-79-155-5L 3

On the other side of the MLB fence, Joe Torre and the Dodgers have just won 4 in a row and are now only a 1/2 game out of first place--with the Diamondbacks on the skids lately--and Joe's Dodgers are only 2 percentage points off playing .500 ball! Amazing! Oh how good it must feel for Joe when he checks the standings every night--especially when he sees how stupidly bad the Joe Girardi Yankees are doing--and I don't blame Joe Girardi for taking the best-paying managerial position in baseball--to get to manage the Yankees! Hey, there's been a ton of Yankee managers since George "Sportsdumb" Steinbrenner bought the team for a wooden nickel. Go Joe! And I hate the Dodgers, folks!

National League West
Arizona4344.494-26-1817-2610-137-1320-93-7L 1
L.A. Dodgers4244.488½22-2020-246-717-1414-137-3W 4
San Francisco3849.437516-2722-229-78-1615-145-5L 1
Colorado3651.414724-2012-318-98-1113-234-6W 4
San Diego3453.391921-2613-278-88-1215-182-8W 1

The Willie-Randolphless Mets? Well, they're not playing very well but neither is any of the other teams in their division--so the Mets are only 4 1/2 out of first and are just a bit off playing .500 ball--I mean, Willie could have done just as well had he stayed on--dumbass baseball owners (subsidized rich assholes--yeah, our Congress subsidizes MLB owners!). Hey, Jerry Manual ain't so bad, but neither was Willie Randolph.

for The Daily Growler Sports Extra


Marybeth said...

I miss you, you old fuck. And I miss all your stories. I want to hear all of them. What are you doing that's so much greater than writing?

Marybeth said...

People like you are why NYC is so great, at least according to E. B. White.

from "Here Is New York"

-E.B. White

There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter--- the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last--- the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York's high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from Italy to set up a small grocery store in a slum, or a young girl arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh eyes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company.