I was invited to participate in the Big Birthday Playlist Tsunami for Samara. The idea was to post a song that represents her persona out here in the ether but I can do one better. We have a song that’s ours.
Samara and I are seekers on the same path. We’ve never bumped into (or stepped over) one another along the way, but we’re on the same path. We lived in the East Village for many years before it got tidied-up and became a playground for the wealthy. When we were there, the wealthy only visited when they wanted to go slumming.
What was once this:
Those city years left an impression on us. You can call it a scar but I like to think of it as a beauty mark. We both fled to the New Jersey suburbs for the same reason; to make a better life for our kids. The East Village is no place to raise a child. She lives just a few towns over.
Joey Ramone sent us a post card from our past. This song fills us with blue melancholy. In addition to having a great hook, the video for his New York City is a stop-motion masterpiece. It winds through some of the same streets where we lived. Our streets. That guitar solo over the Brooklyn Bridge feels like going home. It’s like a home movie with a kick ass soundtrack. Reet, doll?
You nailed the celebration for our Samara, Mark. I love the way she can have a thing with everybody on here in her own way, on her own terms, out there, strong yet vulnerable. Yeah. Like New York City.
Hi, Mark. Samara, NYC and I: strong, vulnerable and occasionally in interesting financial predicaments. All peas residing in the same pod.
Add me and the city of Syracuse in from upstate if you would, kind friend.
That video was amazing. I love your city! Unabashedly so. I’m afraid to say that I have city-envy.
And now to start the day after the first day of school… three kids in school! I seriously need an award for this.
Can you imagine what went into filming that video? Amazing is right. I like the clay landmarks.
Here’s what I learned yesterday: do you remember all that horrid angst and anxiety and self-doubt you felt on that first day of the 8th grade? Well, guess what? You get to feel it all anew through your children. Because when they hurt, you hurt. It’s like a terrible old friend whose come for a visit.
I hear you, and that’s exactly how I feel. Like it’s happening all over, the uncertainty. Only my kids are less uncertain than I was, but I can still feel it now and then. Same empty feeling in your gut. My youngest just started pre-school for the first time, so that’s a totally new experience for her, and yet another new one for me.
I’m going to watch that video again later, because it makes me feel kind of exuberant. Thanks for posting it.
Love it! I’ve never heard that song or seen the video. There’s a guy at 1:23 who kind of looks like you. This wasn’t a test was it?
Thanks for getting my day off to a bitchin’ start, and happy birthday, Samara.
How is that video not in wider circulation? Even if you’re not crazy about the song (which would be crazy) it’s a visual feast. Repeated viewings reveals the nuances. Oh, and happy birthday. Yes. That, too.
P.S. P.S. You’re lookalike is Anthony Bourdain, apparently. Thank you, YouTube comments. I also spotted Kristen Schaal. Who else is in there?
I THOUGHT that was him but am not savvy enough to be certain. Thanks. Peel away the mystery.
Isn’t that Quest Love in the beginning?
P.S. I had a moment of dyslexia and misread your comment as “…my day of bitchin’ off to a start.”
Seriously? That’s what CBGB is now?
Great post and perfect song for her!
And, thanks. She is so that song that she should’ve been IN THE VIDEO.
I SHOULD HAVE BEEN, DAMMIT!
There you are. Hi. Happy birthday. You have a lot of reading to do. Get busy.
Very cool! I’m getting my black biker jacket back out now – bought it on the street there a few years ago for $100 bucks, but never wore it enough to soften the leather. Sad to see the birthplace of punk turned into a store!
Take that jacket, lay it down on Euclid Avenue and let some traffic dance on it for a day or two. That’ll soften it up.
city songs! gotta love’em. i still sing along to “i love LA” driving around my current little town. i think it pisses some of my neighbors off!
all of that aside, happy birthday to your pal, samara!
A city is a wonderful inspiration for a song. You can have your broken hearts and fast cars. I’ll take an ode to the olde town any day.
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Perfect song! Happy Birthday, Samara! Just a few towns over. You guys must hang out once in a while. Or maybe not. I know how it can be with kids. It’s so sad to the CBGB changed like that. That just shouldn’t have happened.
We have actually never met. It’s exactly what you say; kids and family obligations. I’ve met bloggers in the city—have had drinks with Guap on several occasions—but once I’m in NJ, it’s all family all the time.
I get it. I know how it goes!
You’ve shared experiences like only New Yorkers can, I imagine. A cool city with a life and mindset of its own.
It’s a cool town but it’s not for everyone. Most would find it dirty and unloveable. Especially the neighborhood we lived in. Do you know what I call people like that? Normal and healthy.
I tell you what I like about New York. Straight roads. They’re either lengthways or crossways, but never diagonal or curved, so it’s very difficult to get lost. Are there any curved roads in New York? And do you know what a roundabout is?
Oh, I know ALL ABOUT roundabouts. They’re all over New Jersey. The joke is you that can’t make a left turn in New Jersey. They’re called traffic circles. I was caught in one for weeks once.
Are you saying we’re not normal and healthy? Pshaw!
We just have a taste for the adventurous.
We’re going to need it, to survive this Patti Smith reading at the library.
I’m so glad we “met.” These friendships feel very real to me, and ours has always felt real. And of course, a month from now when I’m hyperventilating at the library, shit will get very real!
Great song. Great video. All hail Joey Ramone!
And fuck roundabouts. They blow.
I’ve always felt—seriously—that it takes some damage to think that living in the city is an acceptable lifestyle. It’s expensive, loud, dirty, etc. etc. But whatever damage is required, I have it in abundance because I never wanted to leave. But my life became more than just what I wanted. My life got bigger. People were involved.
Check your email for important ticket info.
Yes. My son’s needs eclipse mine. It’s that simple.
I couldn’t have afforded to give him the life he deserved in New York City. Meanwhile, here in the burbs, he just started middle school. Every kid got a laptop for the year. I don’t think they hand those out in the NYC public schools.
I may live in New Jersey. But New York will always feel like home. xoxoxox
They ALL get Chromebooks. My 4th grader got one. Try that on Avenue B. None of them would make it to school on the first day.
We made the right choice for our families. It was a no-brainer.
The good part is, we can still enjoy the city. It’s not the same as living there, but honestly, I don’t think I have the intestinal fortitude for New York city life. And I certainly don’t have the wallet for it.
That video is kinda amazing. I watched it 3 times in a row… because… wow! Also, the post is so charmingly wonderful. I love it. (Happy birthday, Samara!)
I had to approve this comment, which means these are the first words you dropped over here. I am genuinely thrilled. I feel like a quasi-celebrity visited my tiny corner of the blogosphere. Welcome!
The song is killer and the video even more so. It requires multiple viewings. The first time, you might miss that guy punching his own face and then it changes. Brilliant.
Again, publicly this time, thanks for the invite.
I’m sure I’ve commented before… I must have! I’ve read several and always redirect people to posts. I often say that your Harper Lee post is one of the 15 Posts to Read if you wanna know why people get so addicted to the ‘sphere.
But, if I haven’t, and if I’ve only distance-stalked you… then yay! I feel like I finally visited a quasi-celebrity. 😉
The punch changes are the best. If only that worked in real life…
(And no worries on the invite. Thanks for existing.)
Guess I start off with a “Thank you.” For the NY song, for the link to your friend[happy birthday,Samara], for the NY memories.
Always a good way to start my day. 🙂
It’s hard to think of you reading this over breakfast while my day is winding down. This internet thing SHRUNK the world.
No, we’ve been chained to the current time thing for ages.The internetz has expanded your your horizon. It’s not all bad.
What a lovely video to share in honor of your bud, Samara’s natal date (which coincides with my niece’s). Now that I’m working in Queens, what instantly caught my eye was the glimpse of my old block at 0:57, right by The Grind, when it used to be in Tribeca. Boo hoo.
Listen, you…I appreciate the comment and I guess I understand how you might mourn your relocation from TriBeCa to Queens, but this isn’t the place to boo hoo and look for sympathy. I’d say you’ve got a pretty sweet set up. If fact, I’m a bit jealous. So take it outside. And happy birthday to your niece. How old is she?
Sweet Pea turned 21. I gave her a Benjamin for beer money. She inherited my taste for suds. As for the new location, I took a walk with my colleagues around the area. We found a Doughnut Plant in a cool place called the Falchi Building. That place seems pretty happening to me.
Just bought my ticket for King Charles III. $37 bucks. Awful seats but I’m in the building. Next week: Fool for Love and Old Times. Here comes fall!
Happy Birthday to your buddy, Samara!!
Places seem to change rapidly and slowly at the same time. Weird.
We don’t recognize what was once ours. You think a place is going to remain static in your absence but it moves on without you. The oldest story in the book.
Happy Anniversary to you and the Bride…
Thanks, pal. 16 years today. 18 all together. But who’s counting?
Aooogah! Happy Birthday Samara! And happy anniversary Mark. Awesome song choice Mark. Whew! Talk about memories. I never got to investigate the night life- tractor trailers don’t fit well downtown. But I spent a lot of time in and out of the city with deliveries. Truckers get paid a premium when they have to go into the city as it is seen by the industry as dangerous (hi-jackings, theft, etc). I always loved it. The life seeps out of every brick and block of the city – everywhere you look. Ha! I recall being surprised one of the first times I went in and asked a cop for directions. His response was : I have no idea where that is. I patrol and live in this area and that’s it. Good luck.
The city is like Samara, slightly irreverent and yet oozing with life and amazing. A lady who will never surrender all her secrets but sure is fun to investigate. Take her on her own terms and enjoy! 😀
Thank you, Paul. 16 years. Pfft. When by like that *click*. Pretty easy. What’s everyone complaining about?
When I see tractor trailers snaking their way through the narrow streets of Manhattan I have only one thought: I couldn’t do that if my life depended on it. I’d take out every streetlamp and mailbox in my path. Maybe a few pedestrians, too. Those guys WORK for that premium.
Oh yeah, it is a challenge. I used to have a local (big, ugly and smart) who I would page on my way into the city and he’d meet me and ride shotgun – partly to discourage thieves, partly as a guide and extra set of eyes and partly as a helper unloading./ It was a great arrangement – it cost me $120 per trip but my premium covered that (usually $150) and it kept me safe and on track. The problem of trucks in a city that gets denser every year is a large one. Some Asian cities like Tokyo have banned large trucks and only allow small delivery vans to transfer all the goods from perimeter warehousing to the core. This is expensive and labor intensive and ultimately is funded by the city dwellers in the form of increased prices for all goods. A convenience store, for instance, may get 4 or 5 deliveries as the day goes on and as they need the goods. This also reduces the amount of shelf space needed to display goods and hence the store can operate in a smaller space – allowing still more density. New York now has a program in place where they have banned the larger highway trailers (still allow up to 48 foot); they give incentives for companies who use overnight deliveries; and encourage smaller trucks doing multiple deliveries.
Hey, as an aside Mark, I have another guest post over at Barb Taub’s http://barbtaub.com/2015/09/06/coffee-with-barb-and-paul-curran-a-truckers-response-to-bureaucracy/ This one is non-fiction, shorter and quite funny. I think you’d enjoy it. If you have the time to drop by I’d be honored. Thanks!
How are cities going to do without truck deliveries?! That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Chris Rock’s brother is a trucker and Rock said that everything you see, everything you touch, even that coffee cup in your hand, was brought to you on a truck. It’s the lifeblood of a city.
Thanks for the link, brother. On my way. Sorry it took so long. Kids!