the hazard of glowing reviews

christmasCB and I saw Christmas is Miles Away at the Connelly Theater. It’s a coming of age drama set in Manchester by British playwright Chole Moss. She’s all the rage and a Bright Young Thing.

The Connelly is small, 19th century theater on East 4th Street off of Avenue A. It appears to be an old Jewish vaudeville house. It’s an intimate space with peeling paint, a set of oversized comedy and tragedy masks above the stage and great sightlines.

Typically, I try to see a show before it’s reviewed. I am easily swayed and it’s better if I walk into a show cold without any preconceived notions. I had my eye on Christmas is Miles Away but didn’t see it until after Time Out New York gave it a 5-star review and the New York Times called it a “well-observed and ultimately engaging three-hander.”

Five fucking stars! Wouldn’t you expect a life-altering experience after a review like that!? Well, it was good. The story is believable and the young actors are all credible, although I’m not entirely convinced that the Manchester accents were accurate. How the hell would I know?

But I’m not sure I concur with all the fuss. CB said that he thought the first half was compelling but that it lost a little steam as it played out. I, on the other hand, thought it had a weak first act but then became more compelling as it drew to its conclusion.

Same planet, different worlds.

cell phone douche bag

Look at this douche bag on my train:


He is simultaneously working an iPhone in his left hand, a Blackberry in his right hand and watching a movie on a portable DVD player. I’d be afraid to have all those radio frequencies and electronic gadgets so near my crotch. I’ll bet his testicles are the size of raisins. He’s Sensory-Overload Man.

I thought technology was suppose to set us free.

random NYC pic—Chrysler R.I.P. part II

Since Chrysler is back in the news with the announcement that 25% of their dealerships are about to close, I thought I’d do a follow-up post on the Chrysler Building, so you can gauge how precipitous their fall has been.

Once again, I wanted to stay away from pics of the spire that you’re already familiar with, so I took a few lobby shots. Are you ready for some beautiful examples of 1930s-era design? Click on each for a detailed study.

Here’s the signage above the revolving doors that lead out to 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Like the outdoor Lexington Avenue entrance shot I posted last week, these have needle-sharp flourishes. They’re polished silver steel and look both elegant and industrial.



The elevator doors have beautiful inlaid wood. The interiors are equally ornate but I couldn’t get past the security guard to get a shot. Before 9/11 you were free to stroll in an out of any building to study the design but now, everything is on lockdown. It’s a shame. The terrorists fucked up my shit.


Here’s a mural that stretches across the lobby ceiling. The depiction is of a slightly elongated, thinned-out Chrysler building painted to match the inlaid wood of the elevators. Studying it gives you a stiff neck but it’s worth it.


This is the lobby. I’m not crazy about how this shot turned out—the lighting is all wrong—but I thought I’d post it anyway.



home again. i like to be here when I can.

Last evening was the first time since I started working for A Company Called Malice, Inc. that I got home before The Daughters were sleeping. I read to them for the first time in over a month. What a treat! Nobody has ever been as happy to see me walk into a room as The Daughters. You can see it in their faces. It’s sincere.

I’m sure when they’re angst-filled teens they’ll hate my guts but at this stage of the game, they still run up to me and wrap their arms around my waist (7-Year Old) and leg (3-Year Old) when they see me.

I was a reluctant father and had children very late in the game. I still believe that my life would have been just as satisfying if I hadn’t had them. I would have been one of those crusty old New Yorkers who everyone wants dead so they can have my apartment. That would have been fine with me.

But I have to admit; the attention they lavish on me is deeply satisfying. It’s a foreign sensation, as I never felt that way about my own father. As soon as I was old enough, I made damn sure I was out of the house when he got home from work. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

down home cookin’ down on avenue B

Have you ever bitten into a piece of fried chicken that was so succulent and so bursting with flavor that a tear of joy trickled gently down your cheek? It can happen to YOU here:

mama+2 mama+1

This is Mama’s Food Shop on East 3rd Street and Avenue B in the East Village. I was visiting my old neighborhood the other night and was glad to see it still in business. I remember when it first opened and how happy I was to have decent fried chicken just three blocks away.

[As I walked the familiar streets I noticed many places that I frequented while a resident are now gone. The Pioneer movie theater closed. Like sands through the hourglass…]

This place is sassy. In addition to Mama’s Chicken (fried, baked or roasted), you can load up on Mama’s Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf or Mama’s Seared Salmon. Each dish is only $11! (One side included. Add a side for just a buck.) They have the best mashed potatoes and mac & cheese on Avenue B. The portions are, shall I say, uniquely American.

Here’s Mama’s logo.


See what I mean? Sassy. Mama’s motto is: “SHUT UP AND EAT IT!” So I did.