Potpourri!

Sun. Sand. Seclusion.

beach1The perfect atmosphere for…

beach2…yammering into a phone for HOURS while simultaneously texting into a second phone. PLUS, he wore a collared shirt. Double-douche bag beach fail. Somewhere, Nero is tuning his fiddle.

My Bride (the voice of reason) asked, “Why don’t you just mind your own business and enjoy the beach?” Seriously? Why didn’t our Founding Fathers mind their own business? Or Louis Pasteur? Who’ll be the arbiter of acceptable behavior if I sheath my sword? Mind my own business, indeed. Where’s the fun in that?


Web Site Under Construction

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Archie is a Gateway Drug

I fed my girls a steady diet of Archie comics early on in the hopes an addiction would take root. Comics are a vital part of growing up, so you’ve got to start their craving as early as possible.

We were in the city to see a big Broadway musical (Aladdin—expensive and dull). Before the show, we visited Midtown Comics. You can lose track of time in that place. 13-Year Old Daughter walked up to me with a comic in her hand and said, “Dad, I think I’m going to buy this with my own money.”

WWShe acted without any encouragement from me. And look what she’s going for. Girl power. Mission accomplished. At least I got that right.


Web Developer

spider


My friend’s marriage imploded. Do you know how they say it takes two? Well, not in this case. She didn’t do anything wrong. She’s a gem. He was a creep. Anyway, they sold their two-bedroom co-op in the Bronx and she just bought a co-op in Manhattan.

It’s located on Riverside Drive, across the street from the park. It’s in an old, elegant, impeccably maintained, highly desirable, doorman building. The asking price was $359K but she ended up paying $375K thanks to a heated bidding war. Add another $487/month for maintenance.

It’s 250 sq. ft.

Here’s the listing if you don’t believe me. Scroll down and check out the floor plan.

http://corenyc.com/310-riverside-drive-609

I’m writing about this because it’s sensational. I’m sure most of you think it’s an outrage, which, of course, it is. Another zany New York story. But she’s not paying for a 250 sq. ft. co-op (or, as she put it, coop).

When I walk out my front door, I’m in suburban New Jersey. When you walk out your front door, you’re in (fill in the blank). When SHE walks out her front door, she’s in Manhattan, on Riverside drive, across the street from the park, a short cab ride away from so, so much.

THAT’S what she’s paying for.

I’m sure it doesn’t seem like a fair exchange to most of you. But do you know what? I GET IT. I understand that for a person who desires a very specific lifestyle, a lifestyle that’s not a popular choice with the masses, it’s totally WORTH IT.


Web Site Up and Running

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Last month I did a post that featured some superhero illustrations that were done with spray paint. Remember? Well, I bumped into that girl again on 42nd Street at 6th Avenue. These are new and they are badass.

art1 art2I chatted her up a bit. Those illustrations are only $20 bucks a piece! What a bargain! Here’s her contact info if you’re interested. She ships worldwide. This stuff is even more fetching in person.

Iuliia Koloskova
sprayart.nyc@gmail.com
(646) 255-7358


“We’re all going to die, all of us. What a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn’t. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities. We are eaten up by nothing.”

Charles Bukowski (of course)


Is anyone interested in Gothic architecture? They just finished a multi-year restoration project of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue. Years of soot and grime were blasted away. The stone is pure and pristine.

pats1 pats2

You don’t have to be Catholic or spiritual to be moved by this (although, I’m sure it doesn’t hurt). Catholic diocese all over the country are closing churches because they can’t afford to maintain the properties. Congregations are shrinking. I wonder what this restoration cost? And if any churches could have been saved with those funds? They did a nice job.

pats3 pats4

What a lazy post. Gimmie a break. It’s August.

120 thoughts on “Potpourri!

  1. Not a lazy post at all – and if it is, then happy August. All the world should try to kick back, some. I liken it to you spinning a prism to see how many colors you can fan the walls with. Keep the Buke coming. Reminds me of an obscenely large cucumber we have in our kitchen, that’s like a club if you choose to use it that way.

      • Yes, that pleasing tendency can get into trouble though. Trying to break that with our oldest daughter, but it’s engrained. Gets in there early, doesn’t come out – you know better than me, I’m sure. Then apply that to corporate, working life — and well, that’s a different rant. It’s nice to watch you coaxing your kids to what you think are the positive corners of the universe; that’s the best we can do. And save the Bukowski for when it’s time, maybe that first boyfriend as a test to see if he’s really cool, or perhaps a real threat. They go hand-in-hand don’t they? BTW — absolutely hysterical one-liners on my blog from you, had my wife and mom snorting, and my mom actually transcribed them in her notepad, by hand. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

      • My wife actually gets kind of irritated when I bring comic books home for them. She thinks I do it too much. But they read enough serious stuff. My 13-year olds summer reading list was like a host of serious horror. They need the break. My 9-Year Old recently saw a news story about a coming Broadway musical based on Archie. She’s thrilled. None of her friends have any idea what she’s talking about.

        Your compliment about my one-liners is the nicest thing anyone is going to say to me for a long, long time. If I were a cat, I’d be purring.

  2. Thank you for the contact info on the paintings! Good job on the girls. 250 sq ft apartment? Hmmm. Gorgeous cathedral photos. Did you shoot the spider ones, too? Excellent Louis Pasteur reference and valid point there. Movers and shakers do not mind their own business!

    • I shoot all my own photos. I think occasionally, I able to produce one that has genuine artistic merit. (Not fishing for compliments). Let’s face it…photography has become a much, much easier medium to participate in since the dawn of digital photography. Remember when we had film? There were anywhere from 12-36 shots and you had to make them count. If you got ONE good one on a roll that was an accomplishment.

      There are movers and shakers and there are whiners. I wonder which my wife considers me to be?

      • That’s true but I believe digital images aren’t as warm as film images. Not trying to sound like some kind of snob here, even though that’s exactly how it comes off.

      • $500/month maintenance for a 250 sq feet apartment? Are they re-plating the entire unit with gold leaf every year? I could easily imagine living in a 250sqf unit because I used to share a house with roommates for several years and had a room just a little smaller. Except that $500/month was about what I was paying in rent.
        P.S. That web developer must catch a lot of bugs…

      • The bulk of the maintenance is to pay the on-site super and 24-hour doorman. Those guys don’t come cheap. And the maintenance is a sliding scale. $500 is CHEAP. If the coop were bigger, the maintenance nut would be, too.

        The web developer only works nights. He sleeps all day. Eats flies. Typical tech geek.

  3. My bride tells me the same thing. “Just enjoy where we are and my company”. I can’t help myself.
    Great pics of the spider and his work.
    St Pat’s looks great. I was wondering when it would be done.
    Only a few get it about living in Manhattan. Especially by a park, in a co-op, with a doorman.
    Nice touch promoting the artist. Good prices. Is this your intro into the art dealing world? (American Hustle)

    • How are we supposed to enjoy ourselves when we are surrounded by such madness? SOMEONE has to speak up. I remember that you were in NYC not long ago. Was St. Pats still wrapped in scaffolding? It’s about 95% complete now and it looks pretty spectacular. Fits right in with Rockefeller Center. Manhattan ain’t for everyone, that’s for sure. I liked it. Don’t know if I could get by in 250 sq ft but it’d make a great pied-à-terre. I Hope it gets back to that artist that I posted her contact info. She’d appreciate it, I’m sure.

  4. Oh, I’d love to see the cleaned up St. Pat’s! I do love cathedrals — I was born a catholic but my parents strayed when I was very young. Cathedrals are the only place this non-spiritual person becomes, well, spiritual.

    As for the guy on the cell phone, oh do I hear you. My husband and I are on “vacation” here in Maine. Neither of us has any time off, except when we walk our dog in wonderful places. He, an independent attorney with three big projects going simultaneously, refuses to turn off the notification on his phone. Ding-da-dum. All day and all night (asian clients). After 2.5 weeks, yesterday I was reduced to tears at the top of a trail — PUT THE DAMN THING ON MUTE! I screamed. I had asked nicely 183 times already. He finally did. Murder avoided.

    • The burnished cathedral is almost enough to make me go to mass on a regular basis again. It’s really awe-inspiring. I know that phrase is tossed around a lot but it absolutely applies here. I’m sure your husband’s phone use is professional and necessary. That may be the case for the guy on the beach, too. But it makes me incredibly sad to see. Sad for society.

      Murder avoided—this time.

      • It is necessary. But I argue that we need an occasional hour off. When we’re on a trail he cannot help solve a problem. And they can wait a few minutes. None of this is life-threatening, trust me.

        It probably wouldn’t bother me quite as much if my deadlines didn’t constantly get rearranged so that they come due when I have planned to go away. Every.Single.Time.

        Neither of us has actually had a vacation in years — because of WiFi. I am going to collapse, literally. The human brain needs time off.

      • I hear you, Elyse. I told my office I don’t know how to pick up office email from home, and that I won’t answer my phone on my days off. Otherwise, I would have been working 24/7, and I don’t need that.

      • I’ve said this before so forgive me for repeating myself, but if I could put the whole cell phone genie back in the bottle I’d do it without hesitation. The internet is fraught with dangers but there’s value so let’s keep that. But cell phones are like organized religion; everyone is addicted and while they might have some redeeming qualities, overall, they’re a destructive force in society as a whole.

      • Nonsense. It’s never too late. I don’t believe that. Tell them it’s causing a crisis and that some boundaries need to be set. What kind of monster wouldn’t be sensitive to that?

    • Actually it was $375K because of a bidding war. A bidding war! Can you imagine people fighting over that? With money? I would LOVE a place in the city like that. Then, my life would be perfect and I’d have to stop complaining.

      • Maybe so – but where would you store anything? At least my daughter’s studio has a separate kitchen and some closets.

        (I love her little place – it’s over a garage behind an apartment building, so it’s really quiet and there’s just one neighbor at the other end of the garage building. In the suburbs, with off-street parking – and really, really low rent. Definitely, I could see something like that in my future.)

      • Off-site storage is a big business in NYC. That and meditation classes so you can learn to live with fewer possessions.

        Her place sound perfect. Ideal for just starting out or retirement. Good that she found it.

  5. I love your pot pourri posts, it’s like we’re just hanging out shooting the breeze together, you know? I think I’ve missed a post or two of yours, I’ve been away, just trying to nip round and visit a few sites today before doing a post tomorrow! I can totally understand that apartment choice. I do love having a lot of space, but I could see living somewhere like that if I was on my own, for the luxury and location, obviously couldn’t contemplate such a thing with a family, that would be madness. That’s nice that you shared the contact details for buying those paintings, of course now the price will probably skyrocket!

    • It’s nice to see you. I have your site bookmarked and I haven’t seen any action for a while, so I’ve wondered where you’ve been. I’m hoping you don’t abandon us for your other site exclusively. Hope you were away on a holiday and that you’ve enjoyed yourself. You owe us a post. I can’t say I feel that way about all my bookmarks. 😉 Sometimes, if I’ve been away for a length of time, I take all the unread posts in my reader and just clear them out. It can be quite cathartic.

      Someone (was it you?) described my potpourri posts as like a magazine with short articles. I love that. It wasn’t my intent but it’s appropriate.

      You (like myself) are urban creatures. If we lived in the same town (and both had a lot more disposable income), we could split a city pad. The perfect life.

      I hope the prices for her paintings do skyrocket! Maybe to the $30-$35 range. Seriously, though, she’s doing something unique. Doing an old thing a new way is very difficult to pull off.

      • Yes, I have been on holiday which was very enjoyable and that’s what I’m going to post about tomorrow. If I’ve been away I don’t attempt to catch up on all missed posts, not enough hours in the day, but I do try to pop round and see my fave bloggers such as your good self.

        You’re right, you need lots of disposable income to make the most of a city pad like that, we’d have such fun wouldn’t we!

      • Look, if we’re going to dream, let’s dream big. You get a tiny place in London and I’ll get one in NYC. We’ll swap off every six weeks or so. Glad to see you were on a holiday. We all need it.

  6. My son and I almost went to Aladdin when we were in New York, but we opted for the Lion King instead. Sounds like it was a good choice. The Lion King was fantastic.

    250 square feet. Wow, that’s a tiny place. I had small sleeping rooms when I was a poor college student, but I knew more space waited for me down the road. But like you, I can see her desire to be in the thick of it.

    • You absolutely made the right choice. I took 9-Year Old Daughter to Lion King just last year and it still, after all this time, has the power to move. That 10-minute opening is some of the best theater you’ll ever witness. The music, regrettably, is completely forgettable. Sorry, Elton. But it’s such a visual feast that it makes no difference. Matilda is also good, fun, dark, stuff, too.

      It turns out the thick of it is quite expensive. I think tiny living quarters are a young person’s game. That or someone who is wealthy enough to support multiple residences. Living there won’t be easy but the fact is, people do it and have been doing it for generations. There’s obviously a market for these places. A bidding war, for cryin’ out loud!

  7. Cool post Mark – you have the ugliest webmaster I’ve ever seen, ha! the price of the 250 sq ft for the location doesn’t surprise me. I have an efficiency unit – about 150 sq ft – and it works fine. I don’t have much in the way of possessions and there is lots of room. Possessions sort of go by the wayside when you’ve gone through cancer.

    Beautiful pictures, great street art and I think it is wonderful that your daughter is interested in what is now known a graphic novels.I like her choice of material – woman power.

    There’s tons of stuff in this post – i feels like a real reflection of your life.Excellent. Thank You.

    • I keep these little bits and pieces in a folder. They never blossom into a full-blown post but eventually I have enough to make one of these shotgun posts. There’s got to be SOMETHING in here to interest people!

      My webmaster is fugly but he works for flies.

      Some folks just don’t need that much space. I find that kind of admirable, frankly. Being free from clutter and possessions is the way to go.

      The art museum visits and comics will do one of two things: Draw them in or make them never want to step into an art museum or read a comic again. Fingers crossed.

  8. Hahaha. 🙂 May be full of bread but a great post nevertheless. I’m about to move for the second time in less than a month (new job), this time 1000 Km away. Property prices are keeping me awake – along with all the other details.

    • Moving is INCREDIBLY stressful! Right up there with a new job, a breakup and having a baby. I can’t imagine moving 2x in a month. And so far! Are you a Bedouin? The only reason I have such a long, insufferable commute is because of property prices. I could have had a shorter commute from NYC but the property taxes would have killed me. Plus, the houses available in my price range were DUMPS.

  9. There is always something on this blog.Even when you whinge, you do it with flare, elan. And then there’s the comment thread…the blogs I read have good-to outstanding commenters(many of whose blogs I now read!)

    Archie’s gang were part of my youth.It wasn’t that we copied those comics – those comics reflected our lives.

    St Pats was scaffolding-shrouded both times I was there;nice to see what they’ve done.

    OK…time for Dinah’s Gold Star Award (make your own appropriate sounds)….the spider thing, with the witty captions, the nice sharp images.

    Enough slavering on your boots! Go and polish next week’s gems!

    • I’m the best whiner around! Woo hoo! Do you know what? I’ll take it!

      I’ve always said: the posts are nice but the real party is in the comments section. I don’t know if I’d blog if the comments were to suddenly dry up.

      I really don’t make the statements to fish for compliments although in hindsight, it looks as though that’s exactly what I’m doing. I do like the nice words though. Don’t stop. Even if I beg you to.

  10. Not a lazy post! Love it, Mark. If you think this is a lazy post, I hate to think what you think of mine. You talk about so many things in these potpourri posts. Whenever I see “Potpourri” from you, I know it’s going to good! That spider and his masterful web are incredible. Great photos! My husband is a comic collector, but reads them all. That’s great you encourage your girls. What do you know, sometimes they can surprise you, right, doing it all on their own. And, she made a great choice with Wonder Woman. I also GET IT with that prize tag for a tiny, bitty space. If I were single with no kids, I might want something like that. That artwork is a bargain! I seriously might contact that artist. I wonder if she has a website. I’ll look her up. If she doesn’t, she should.

    • Well, thank you for saying so. I thought this post was kind of meandering but if you like it, that’s good enough for me.

      I’ve been watching that spider for a couple weeks now. He lives our basketball hoop right next to where I park my car. Every night his web looks kind of beat up and when I leave for work in the morning it’s perfect again. Pretty amazing and beautiful.

      That artwork is such a bargain that I’m thinking of contacting her and asking if she’ll do a Wonder Woman for my daughter. Giving someone a piece of art as a gift is a pretty dicey proposition. It’s such a subjective thing.

      • That spider is badass! How do they do it? Seriously, great photos and so good of you to keep your eye on the progress/destruction/reconstruction of the web.
        Ooh, I bet your daughter would love that! You should do it. I’m sure the artist can whip that right up for you.

  11. I used to make video CD’s with Betty Boop on them. The wife would make comments about them being in B&W and ooold. They were my daughter’s favourite cartoons.

    The laziness doesn’t seem to handicap the ambitions of the post. 🙂

    • Do you remember The Little Rascals? I have DVDs of every episode. My daughters love watching them. That stuff is timeless. Just like comic books. They’ll never disappear.

      Maybe lazy wasn’t the right word. I wasn’t fishing for compliments. How about meandering? Can we agree on that?

  12. Eh. Keep the coop. I’m a short subway ride from the city, and I have room to park my car where I live.
    Also, right down the block from a magnificent park.

    Suck it, Manhattan!

  13. This wasn’t a lazy post! I loved everything about it! Very interesting and informative – describes you well, Mark! The inside of that church looks just like Trinity Cathedral on Euclid. They are holding smaller – sized, intimate concerts in there now, and mass as well. I saw Howard Jones there last spring – it was the coolest venue for a concert I’ve ever been in! A friend of mine just let me know the lead singer from Men At Work is coming to perform there in October. Love the spider photos – their webs are truly amazing!

    • Thanks, Kelly (Nurse). So they’re holding concerts in the cathedral? Is that correct? Miraculous that it’s allowed. A good way to generate revenue, I suppose. Back in the day I saw Howard Jones at Music Hall (just adjacent to Public Hall). A few weeks after that I saw Tears for Fears in the same venue. The girl sitting in front of me kept yelling out “I want to have your baby!” What rock star is going to be drawn to that?

      I love these Cleveland dispatches I get from you. Most appreciative.

      • Yep – it’s for revenue. Cool idea, me thinks. I really don’t get obsessions with rock stars or bands – if I was at that show, (and I like Tears for Fears), I would have told that girl to get a grip!

      • I hope the concerts don’t compromise the structural integrity of the cathedral. Those old stone joints can’t take the vibrations. How are the acoustics? I’ll bet the sound is bouncing all over the place.

      • That’s a good point – dunno. Acoustics were better than we thought they would be, actually. There were around 400 people there and they were expecting that many the following morning for mass! It’s an Episcopal church, if that has anything to do with it. Might be more tolerant.

  14. I vaguely remember Archie, Veronica, Richie Rich and Big Moose. Funny you encouraged you daughters to read those comics – the characters seem very dated now. I suspect you wanted to show them an era when good girls didn’t put out!

    Great job on the Gothic Cathedral. Try to visit York the next time you’re in England.

    • My oldest daughter moved on from Archie fairly quickly but my youngest still loves them. I play the old Archie cartoons for her. They’re awful. Poorly animated with stupid plots. But the voices are pretty good. Everything’s Archie!

      If I had my way I’d be visiting a cathedral in York this afternoon.

  15. Yah, your lazy posts are still immeasurably above the average post whinging about this or that or exploring the exciting intricacy of that one time I changed my hair colour. On that note, I have black hair but dyed it blond once. Next blog topic? Shit yeah.

    I think the spider deserved a voice here. That little guy works a crap load harder than I do. If we’re lucky, he can even eat the beach douchebag… that guy aside, I’m glad you got out of the museum and to the sand. I’m getting there this weekend. Do you know the difference between lake beach and seaside beach? The smell. You can’t beat the sea smell. But you can pretend.

    Love those superhero images… I grew up on comics too. In this set, that Batman sings to me. I bought comics forever, until The Dark Knight Returns came out. I think that Frank Miller creation is a masterpiece not just of comics, but of literature. I stopped reading after that, just couldn’t figure that anything would equal that. Years later, he did Returns Again… what a nightmarish slice of crap, utter self-indulgence. I was so sad.

    I gotta ask: how much did your daughter pay for that WW book? Seems like comics are really expensive these days.

    • I really did think this was a junky post. It was a throw-away line at the end but everyone ran with it so now it looks like I was fishing for compliments. Well, that’s not the case, but I’ll take them gladly.

      Is it true blonds have more fun? Are they any surviving photos of your youthful exuberance?

      I grew up on Lake Erie (why do you think they call it eerie?) and know all about lake beaches. I guess on the beach hierarchy, lakes don’t rank up there with the ocean beach, but even within that realm there’s a ranking system. The New Jersey beaches are beautiful and sandy, but not like a Caribbean beach. Have you ever seen one of those? Top of the food chain.

      Have you read The Killing Joke?

      I think the WW book was about four bucks. That’s generally what they’re running now. About $3.50 or so. That’s not so bad. The artwork has never been better. I just bought her another WW last night and the illustrations are terrific.

      • Yeah on the books… I’d pay more for better art. I have several hundred old-time books sitting around and they don’t compare to what’s done these days. The art is so much better now… worth paying for.

        Blonds do have more fun… but when black hair underneath starts showing, it’s kind of an anxious time and you’re really between worlds. Yes, there are photos. God are there a lot of photos…

        Where on Erie? I’m going to Port Dover this weekend, there’s a lovely place. Every Friday the 13th, the bikers take over – they swarm the place. It’s a zoo, but awfully fun. I have been a Caribbean beach once in my life, and it was supreme – I know what you’re talking about.

        I’ve read The Killing Joke. Have you read The Dark Knight Returns? I would argue that it influenced the last Batman movie (which I hated). Same basic story but the build up to a tired, drunk Batman who can’t hold himself back wasn’t earned. You have to earn your redemption.

      • On the shores of Cleveland, of course. All the Lake Erie you’ll ever need.

        I like that you used “bikers” and “swarm” in the same sentence. That’s a writer there.

        Surprisingly, I haven’t read The Dark Night Returns. I honestly don’t know how I’ve avoided it all these years. And as far as the movie you hated, do you mean the last one with Bane? I thought it was pretty well executed. Not a masterpiece, like Ledger’s Joker, but good enough. It adhered to the comic plotline, which I always appreciate.

  16. Nothing lazy about this post. There’s a lot going on here.

    1. That would have been me at the beach watching that jerk and seething. And that would have been my new bride trying to be the voice of reason and wondering why I let my insane hatred stop me from having a good time. So yeah, I can relate. Talking into one and texting into another? Why even be by nature at that point? Why not be in that scary “actual world” in the Matrix in a little black box. Screw that jerk is what I say . . .

    2. Those spray paint super hero pics are pretty awesome. I think I would commission her to do an Aqua Man for me. Not because he is my favorite or particularly useful, but because he is blond like me and being useless is part of his appeal.

    3. So sorry to hear about your friend, her jerk ex, and her tiny-ass apartment. The only place with more insane property prices is San Francisco. $1,000 a square foot. That’s fair, right? Beautiful city though.

    • Maybe I’m living in Superman’s Bizarreo world, where everything is opposite. Maybe the efforts that I feel are cast-off are actually quite stunning and my perceived best efforts are actually all flat. I’m going to think about this in bed tonight. And tomorrow night.

      I get upset about guys like the phone talker and people who set their towels too close to me. I was thinking about filling my daughter’s red plastic bucket with seawater and dumping it on his phones. Heh.

      You could send that girl your best picture of yourself, ask her to do an Aquaman painting and insert your face. Just an idea.

      I hear Tokyo real estate is off the hook as well. If you scroll up in the comment section, someone linked a listing in Hyde Park in London. Also insane. That’s cold comfort, though. She’s pretty sad about the divorce but she’s better off. I think happier days are ahead for her. I hope so.

      • You have to tend your comment section like it’s a beautiful garden. I’ve said it a million times: the posts are nice but the real party is in the comment section. The back-and-forth you’ll read in here is usually more entertaining than what’s up above. Plus, it’s respectful. If someone is going to read and then comment, have the courtesy to respond.

  17. We just paid way, way less that that for our 5 bedroom, 2400 sq. ft. house outside of Denver. But you know what? In an alternate universe in which I didn’t marry my country-boy husband, but stayed single and lived in a big city, I could totally do it. NYC wouldn’t be my choice, but London? Paris? Florence? Absolutely! Who needs a house full of stuff when there’s so much to be done in the city?

    • I remember telling my mom what we paid for our modest house when we left the city for New Jersey. She said, “You could have bought a palace for that here in Cleveland!” It’s all relative. I, too, could’ve settled in London. I have friends who’ve lived there and insist the weather would have brought me down but I don’t think so. I should’ve been born British.

      • Both times I’ve been to London (in the summer and in the fall/winter), the weather has been sunny and quite pleasant. I still harbor a secret fantasy that I’m a long lost relative of the royal family and the Queen Mum will come whisk me away to live in a castle.

  18. I feel sorry for people who can’t, or won’t, turn their phones off when on holiday. However, if they want to ruin their own holidays and ignore their families, that’s their choice. The problem is when it ruins the atmosphere of a beach or a garden, places never intended to be sites where you transact business.

    There used to be someone selling an illegal mobile phone jammer. It’s hand held and blocks out all signals in a certain radius. It might even have been you that mentioned it, years ago, given your radiant love for mobile phones!

    (Sorry to have to get you to moderate this but I have absolutely had it with WP comments and am faking my account details from now on).

    • I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time with commenting. I don’t use verification for every comment because I think it’s a pain in the ass and waste of time. Does this mean you’ll have to create a new account every time you want to comment? That’s more trouble than it’s worth.

      I’m convinced that mobile phone use is a genuine addiction. Deck I couldn’t stop if you wanted to. And, Innoway, my wife is right. I could simply choose to ignore it. But I don’t!

      I used to carry a signal jammer when I commuted on a train and sell phone use was a big problem. Knocking out phone signals is the most fun I’ve ever had.

  19. This is wild. I bid $360k on that place. It’s in The Master, a very cool building with a lovely vibe at 103rd and Riverside. Milton and I loved that place. They have four art exhibits a year in the lobby. There’s a sliver of a view of the Hudson right outside the window. And I loved the low maintenance. It’s more like 350 sf with generous closet space and a nice bath, but yeah, I think that your friend overpaid. But that’s the market right now. People are paying crazy prices for these micro-units. If I had gotten it, I don’t know what I would have done with the almost non-existent kitchen. And it’s electric. I’m spoiled. I’ve been cooking with gas for the past 32 years. I hated the thought of giving that up. But again, it’s so wild that you know who got that place. My broker thought that it was a slam-dunk for us. I wish your friend all the best there and I love the fact that I now kinda/sorta know who got it. Wow, what a small world!

  20. One other thing: I think it rocks that your daughter bought herself that Wonder Woman comic. Yep, you doing something right with your kids. I look back and I think that my dad did something right with my siblings and me.

      • Please forgive her if she turns out straight. Looking back, my dad was very accepting of me when I came out at age 14 (when Nixon was president!). For a macho Italian guy, he really was on point and he truly loved me. He was a wonderful father. He knew my being gay was nature, not nurture and he dropped a friend like a dead weight who insulted me. What a dad!

  21. I was in that church just two days ago as well. Very pristine indeed. The last picture you posted, I took the same one.

    Also I think I saw that girl’s work outside Union Square one time. I wanted to get one but resisted it. Maybe I will text her and see where she is selling them now. Won’t be a hassle since I live in Brooklyn.

    And lastly, I had planned to go to the MET today but was derailed by shopping around 5th ave. I didn’t know they had a Van Gogh exhibition on. I was planning to see the Chinese fashion collection I read about.

    NYC is such a small world sometimes, especially when two people have such similarities in interests! Really odd coincidences. Wow.

    • We are practically related! Well…we like the same stuff. You can say that much. I am sorry to report that that Van Gogh exhibit is closed. I hustled the family into the city that weekend because it was winding down. It’s unlikely those four paintings will ever be shown together again, so I made a point of seeing them.

      That Chinese fashion exhibit turned out to be a blockbuster for the Met. They had astronomical numbers for that show. They’re having more and more fashion exhibits because they’re so popular. Did you see the Alexander McQueen exhibit? Lines for days.

      Art before commerce. Always.

      • Like your daughters, I was dragged by a certain parent! She has never shopped in that area before so I needed to go and guide her. I wish I grew up with a parent/someone with a passion in the arts instead of finding out that I enjoy that stuff so late in the game. A shame.

        I’ve never been much interested in seeing fashion exhibits but am going to the Chinese one because I am one! Also to see what the fuss is about.

        With Van Gogh, I remember seeing Starry Night when I was about 12 and was instantly captivated by it. What is it about this painting that strikes me so intensely? No painting since has mattered more to me. When I get my own place I sure as hell will buy a large copy and hang it up behind the sofa for all visitors to enjoy.

      • “I wish I grew up with a parent/someone with a passion in the arts instead of finding out that I enjoy that stuff so late in the game. A shame.”

        Could you please have a talk with my daughters? I’m pretty sure they appreciate what I do but it never hurts to get an outside opinion.

        You are what? A fashion exhibit? Ha. See what I did there? You have a cultural obligation to see that exhibit and you’d better hurry. It’s about to close, methinks.

        That painting has moved a lot of people. A LOT. It’s juicy. It has movement. It’s enough to fill you with hope. Just think…if you end up doing REALLY well for yourself, you won’t have to buy a copy. Just a thought.

      • “China Through the Looking Glass”

        I was really amazed by the sheer elegance of several pieces. Also, by the setup, especially the, formerly, garden area. The exhibit was still packed with people-I had a hard time maneuvering around it. Well worth the trip in spite of the heat today.

      • Glad you got there! You were culturally obligated, after all. The crowds are insane but, remember, people are flying in from all over the world for that. All we have to do is hop the 6 train. It’s a privilege.

  22. I would totally choose a tiny apartment in the city over a mansion in the suburbs, if I had that choice. All that life on your doorstep.

    The cathedral is wondrous.

    I’d buy that Joker picture if I had twenty dollars. One day…

  23. Wow the pictures of the church are phenomenal. I’m always fascinated reading about tales of the NYC life, being stuck in the middle of the Midwest will do that to a person.

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