30 September 2008

Abandonment Issues

Another sad LES good-bye on the horizon: Johnson, a ladies' clothing boutique:
I don't love it the way I loved the Gemstore (nothing could really compare to the Gemstore), but I often stopped in to ogle the lovely clothes, and I don't stop in to just any boutique to ogle just anyone's designs. This note made me sad.

Tomorrow I'm signing a lease on an apartment in Williamsburg; increasing rent has driven me, too, from my Orchard Street home (ok, that, and the ever diminishing size of my studio apartment as it continues to be filled with things). When I see that good little shops, restaurants, bars are closing down (RIP Ronald's pizza cafe, former Orchard St. resident serving some tasty Italian, and soon to be RIP Good World, to make way for a hotel on Orchard south of Canal), I find myself wondering if I'm getting out of the sinking ship just in time, or if my abandoning the nabe (well, me and others like me) is contributing to the blandification of it. Then again, maybe it will go on with out me, just as interesting and full of vitality as before. As long as Sugar Sweet Sunshine survives, the neighborhood is safe.

29 September 2008

Waxing Philosophic

This isn't really the place for philosophy, and this isn't really on philosophy, but rather on the translators of philosophy, more specifically those who translate works by or about Baruch Spinoza. Shirley's translated the Ethics and other works brilliantly from the Latin, but Curley supposedly has a superior translation as far as the actual philosophy goes. Stirling's translation isn't much on the radar. Hurley translated Deleuze's Practical Philosophy - a Spinoza dictionary of sorts - from the French (Hurley relied on Curley's translation, but mentions Shirley's as an inexpensive alternative). Moe's translation is slated to come out next spring.

23 September 2008

Do Not Abuse the Magic 8 Ball

Oh seductive magic 8 ball, how cruelly you wield your power! One could lose hours, days, WEEKS of ones life in the grip of this omniscient mistress - the roller coaster ride of instantaneous fortune telling.

I was told once, warned, really, that one should only use the 8 ball in very particular circumstances: those being times when one is divided equally in half about a decision. This decision should not be of great import, but rather of the "should I wear this super slutty outfit?" variety.

One should not interrogate the 8 ball. "Is he gay?" (My sources say no - YES!) "Does he have a girlfriend?" (Very doubtful - Ok looking good) "Does he have a boyfriend?" (Signs point to yes - What?!?) "Does he have a crush on me?" (Don't count on it - Drat!) "Will he ask me out on a date?" (My reply is no - Shit two negatories in a row!). Things start to go downhill, fast. Before you know it, you're curled up in a fetal position on the floor wondering where your relationship with the he in question went awry - when all you really wanted to know was which way he swings.

18 September 2008

A typical morning on the LES

This morning, in the intersection of Broome and Orchard, a yellow (school) bus driver and a (delivery?) van driver nearly got into a brawl. I say "in" the intersection rather than "at" because they were, in fact, in the intersection. Which is why they almost served each other knuckle breakfast sandwiches.

Some of those streets on the LES are so confusing. Most of them have 4-way stop signs, but some tricky intersections only have a stop on one street, and the traffic on the other side just plows on through. Kind of dangerous for those tipsy UES ladies teetering around on their stilettos, not stopping before crossing because they assume a stop sign. As they should! There should be stop signs on all of those corners. But this is not the time to get into the nitty gritty of the many mis-steps of the NYCDOT with regard to the LES, no, not now.

I was in the midst of my coffee order when I heard yelling outside; I turned around and at first I thought the van was actually lodged in the bus, but nay, the front of the van was fully 16-24 inches from the side of the bus. Well, it was far enough away that the bus driver was able to open the doors and come out in a rage. Obscenities were tossed around like so many sailors on a stormy sea - there was pointing, there was yelling, there was raw male aggression. There was no brawl. I think Mr. Van backed down once he realized that, on top of him not coming to an appropriate stop at his stop sign, there was also NO stop sign for the bus driver. I bet he gobbled up those curse words and accusations in no time flat.