another blackberry maniac on the loose

I understand owning two Blackberrys. A lot of people have one for professional use and one for personal use. That’s fine. But how empty and needy do you have to be to use both simultaneously?

Here, our subject is talking on her old pink Blackberry while texting on her shiny new black Blackberry at the same time. I have neither the attention span nor the dexterity for this sort of thing.


Can you carry on two texting conversations concurrently? Apparently, you can!


Here, she frantically texts on old pink Blackberry, sets it down on her purse, picks up new black Blackberry and shoots off another message. Back and forth. It didn‘t stop. I have to believe that this is a New York thing. People in the real world don’t engage in this sort of behavior, do they?

Am I making too much of this or does she need to get a grip? Read a book, for Christ’s sake!

alley oops

tpa1Artisté Florenza and I saw the Roundabout Theater Company’s production of The Tin Pan Alley Rag at the Larua Pels. It’s a fantastic premise and an elaborate production for such a small space that delivers the goods in uneven servings.

The play imagines a meeting between Irving Berlin and Scott Joplin in Berlin’s music publishing office on 28th Street—the Tin Pan Alley of the title. The meeting is fictitious but the idea is ripe with possibilities. Though not a big Berlin fan, I’ve always admired Joplin’s music and was predisposed to like the show before it began, but it could use a sharp knife to trim some fat off the meat.

Scott Joplin wrote an opera that’s a hybrid of ragtime and traditional European opera. Treemonisha was finally produced in 1976 and won the Pulitzer but, honestly, I didn’t think it was all that. So one of the main plot devices and some of the music is sourced from something that I couldn’t get interested in. But I do like The Maple Leaf Rag.

Sad coincidence: Both Berlin and Joplin lost their wives to illness just months after their wedding.

This YouTube vid isn’t much to look at, but it’s Scott Joplin playing and of the several versions I previewed, this is by far the best. I’ve always heard that ragtime is very difficult to play. Can anyone confirm that?

hello, stranger. i believe we’ve met.

Mrs. Wife won a night in Brooklyn at a charity auction. Nope, that’s not a typo. We dumped the kiddies at the in-laws and stayed at the Brooklyn Marriott, which is a beautiful hotel in downtown Brooklyn. In addition to the hotel, we dined at The River Café. I sat across the table from Mrs. Wife and soaked in our solitude. We are usually flanked by a 3-year old and 7-year old who feel it necessary to fill in every quiet moment with dialogue.

The River Café is one of the most elegant restaurants in town (although it’s a bit of a tourist trap). I had to wear a jacket, which isn’t terribly comfortable in July. Fortunately, I clean-up quite nicely, if I do say so myself. It’s located at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge on the East River and overlooks the southern tip of Manhattan. There’s a panoramic view of the bridge (an architectural masterpiece) and off to the left is the Lady in the Harbor. I had a duck breast that melted in my mouth. Dinner for two with drinks and tip: $275.

I looked across the river at the big hole in the sky where the World Trade Center used to be. It dominated the skyline. A lot of architect snobs didn’t like the twin towers, but I did. They were the first thing I spotted when flying or driving home. They were my beacon. Now, the skyline looks a bit more pedestrian. I miss them.

We took an after dinner sunset walk on the Brooklyn Bridge. The Bridge has a beautiful promenade. Anyone who visits should make the effort to walk from Brooklyn to Manhattan. It’s something to see, that’s for sure.

As regular readers know, I love The Daughters. But it was nice to walk without them, hand in hand with my bride, in the city we use to own.

All the folks in Manhattan are sad
’cause they look at her and wish they had
The good old Brooklyn Bridge


For brunch I had baked eggs at Bocca Lupo, a swell little cafe in Cobble Hill. I didn’t know you could bake eggs but here they are. Were.


Check out Mr. Fancy Pants

These two dapper gents were queued in front of me at the theater the other night.


How do you like them slacks?

I wish I had the guts to dress like that but I’m too repressed. I have a deep-seeded fear of drawing attention to myself and having people take clandestine photos of me and then posting them to a blog.

Do they have the nerve to dress like this where you live?

random nyc photo: amazingly graceful

Early in the morning in Bryant Park behind the 42nd Street library, you can occasionally catch this chap playing his bagpipes.


He usually warms-up with a mournful rendition of Amazing Grace and then plays one or two other tunes. I think he works in a nearby office and likes to get in a few bars of practice before the grind begins.

If I see him when I approach the park, I quickly grab a cup of coffee and a chocolate cigar from a coffee cart guy and get a nearby table. It’s like dinner and a show except it’s breakfast.

New York City is chocked full of small, undiscovered pleasures.

They say there’s always magic in the air.