Jerks ruin it for everyone

Two posts ago I riffed on the new internet kiosks dotting Manhattan. They provide free wifi and unfettered internet access. OF COURSE people took advantage.


As that titan of New York journalism, the Daily News put it, pervs were using them to watch porn. The service has come to its foreseeable conclusion. The kiosks still radiate wifi signals but you can no longer surf the web.



June 2, 1993

Had brunch on Sunday with Klinger. His place on West 4th Street looks bigger since his live-in left and took everything with her. He still has the mirror that looks like the MasterCard logo.

We walked a couple blocks to Boxers and got a table outside to watch the parade of humanity. When I first got to NYC that place was called Jimmy Day’s. Sinatra used to drink there. It closed, was sanitized and now it’s Boxers. It’s charmless.

Klinger got into a shouting match with a homeless transvestite with blue fingernail polish. Ellen from work walked by and stopped to chat. I’m sure she thinks Klinger and I are gay. She said she’ll finish her summer internship and return to Stanford in the fall and some other stuff but I got bored and stopped listening. Klinger and I flirted with the waitress.

Klinger suggested I get some 8×10’s made and try to land some commercial work. He said my face is just bland enough for it. He said one toothpaste commercial that runs nationally and I’m set. He wrote out a working resume that was all lies. He listed classes I’ve never taken and work I’ve never done. I protested but he told me to stop being such a pussy. That everyone in the entertainment industry lies.

After Boxers, we stopped in El Coyote and sat at the bar. He had to work in a restaurant in a couple of hours and said he needed a margarita or he’d never make it. The barmaid was enamored with me for some reason. I didn’t do anything to encourage it. She’s from Yugoslavia. Her teeth and fingertips were yellow from chain smoking. She has straight, shiny, black hair, like a Japanese girl. I couldn’t understand a word she said through her thick, Eastern European accent. She had a pretty face but smelled like an ash tray that needed emptying. I told her I loved the background music so she popped the cassette out and gave it to me.

Klinger was supposed to start work at 4:00 but we didn’t leave El Coyote until 4:10. He’s going to lose that job, too. He doesn’t give a damn. He’ll get another. I wish I could be more like that.

I walked down Broadway and at Bond Street there was a Beatles cover band playing outside an art gallery. They were promoting a show of Beatles photographs. I went inside and was immediately accosted by a gallery rep who tried to sell me a photo for $500. As if. I wanted to shoot pool but I was broke so I went home.


The fam and I saw this beauty at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia.

Nari Ward
Iron Heavens
Oven pans, cotton and burned baseball bats


The oven pans reminded Ward of a starry night.


The bats ‘ground’ sky and earth. The cotton references the old South slave trade, but is also the material used for bandaging and healing.


Lots of messages and mixed meanings but, as is usually the case, this works for me primarily on a visual level.

You Only Live Twice: A 9/11 Story

True story.

15 years ago…

On September 10, 2001, I was working in the graphics department of an asset management firm located in midtown Manhattan. My graphics colleague from the Atlanta office, Jose, was in town for marketing and branding strategy meetings.

As he left the office that evening, he told me about his plans to visit the observation deck of the World Trade Center the next morning before coming to work. Jose was an architecture buff. He was thrilled at the opportunity to see Manhattan from such a rare perspective. The weather forecast was for bright, blue skies.

The next morning, at 8:46 a.m., the first plane flew into the North Tower.

At 9:03 a.m., the second plane hit the South Tower. The tower with the observation deck.

Our offices were on a high floor on 6th Avenue and 46th Street. The employees gathered in the main conference room, which had sweeping, unobstructed views of the southern tip of Manhattan. We watched in stunned silence as one tower fell. Then the other.

It would be up to our manager to contact Jose’s family in Atlanta to tell them of the tragic misfortune. He was a young guy. Really bright. And so happy to be visititing New York.

At 11:00, Jose walked into our office.

He had overslept.

The hotel maid had drawn the blackout blinds—something he never does himself, preferring to rise with the sun. When his alarm went off at 6:00 a.m. the room was dark. He was delirious from being woken from a sound sleep. He thought he’d set his alarm incorrectly and that it was still the middle of the night, so he went back to sleep.

While brushing his teeth and cursing himself for having missed the chance to visit the observation deck, a special bulletin came on the TV. He sat in his hotel room, transfixed to the TV, not realizing we all thought he’d perished.

I hadn’t spoken to Jose in many years. I reached out to him this past weekend just to confirm I didn’t imagine this happening. It’s all true. He left graphic design and now works designing medical devices at M.I.T.


I saw Springsteen perform earlier this year and sent a couple concert pics to my pal, Sharon Florin, an artist who specializes in New York City architecture and is a yuge Springsteen fan. She was inspired and made two fetching oil paintings based on the photos. That’s my photo on the left and her interpretation on the right.


I like the paintings better. The photos look too stark. Too ‘real’. I prefer the implied blur of the paint.


Lesbian baby daddy


June 19, 1992

Woke up on Sunday and there was a downpour, which I love. I was ready to enjoy a Brooklyn shut-in day with the cats, a pot of coffee and the Sunday Times when the phone rang. It was Kat. I’d forgotten that I promised to meet her for brunch. It’s her birthday. I swallowed my sour mood and got on the subway to the Upper East Side.

I paid $25 for two dozen half-dead carnations. The guy who sold them to me was an ass. Kat’s girlfriend was there so it was the three of us. Her girlfriend is a gym teacher. You wonder where these stereotypes come from. I am completely at ease around lesbians. I don’t feel threatened the way I do when I’m around a girl I want to sleep with. When you’re with a lesbian, the pressure is off. We can just enjoy each other’s company.

Kat has a big apartment but it’s right on 2nd Avenue by the Queensboro Bridge. It’s only three flights up so you get a fairly constant concert of traffic horns, bus fumes, sirens, yelling and other urban horrors.

Kat asked me if I wanted to be a sperm donor. She and her girlfriend want a child. She said I’d be free from any financial responsibilities or obligations. They can certainly afford to raise a kid. It’s very flattering but I said no. What about that poor kid? Isn’t he/she going to want to know who his/her father is? What do I say when that day comes? “Oh, your mothers said I didn’t have to have anything to do with you and I was okay with that.” That’s not right! I’d feel ashamed. Actually, the more I think about it, the more I don’t like the idea. They should look past their own selfish needs and see how these other lives would be affected.

I had planned to go back to Brooklyn after brunch but Kat insisted—INSISTED—I join them for the matinee of Man of La Mancha on Broadway. I felt kind of bullied but she bought my ticket and I ended up having a nice time despite my bad self. They already had tix so I sat alone, which was fine.

Raul Julia was Don Quixote. He’s such a good actor. And a hell of a voice, too. Sheena Easton was Aldonza. She’s so beautiful and so my type that I didn’t notice whether or not she could sing or act.

In one dance, Aldonza is beaten and raped by several men. Her hands are tied together and one guy gives her the business end of a whip. The choreography included a lot of gyrating and thrusting hips that inferred penetration. It was pretty graphic stuff, especially for Broadway. It was uncomfortable to sit through. I’m still haunted by it. There were a lot of little kids in the audience. Their parents must’ve been mortified. I don’t know how my poor Sheena does it eight time a week.

Rapper Sister Souljah said that black people should take a week off from shooting each other and only shoot white people. Isn’t that pleasant? Presidential hopeful Bill Clinton went on TV and called her a racist. There’s a huge outcry in the black community. They’re saying Clinton attacked her. Jesse Jackson called it a cheap shot. Vice President and professional idiot, Dan Quayle, was making an appearance at an elementary school. After a student wrote “potato” on a chalkboard, he walked up and added and “e” at the end, thinking it was a spelling error. What an imbecile. That guy is only one heartbeat away from the presidency. What an unexpectedly entertaining presidential campaign this is turning into.

I was alone tonight and happy for it. I went to Café Mogador on St. Mark’s Place. I had a bowl of split pea soup and a cappuccino. I watched the pretty girls come and go. I’m invisible to them.


These wifi kiosks have popped up all over Manhattan. In addition to a wifi signal, they provide a touchscreen with full, free, internet access. it’s paid for by city tax dollars and advertisers.


The problem they’re having is that homeless people are pulling up chairs and watching porn all day and night.

wifi2Fights have broken out. NYC is pretty cleaned-up as compared to when these journal entries were written, but it’s still got it’s share of grifters who game the system. In a twisted way, I find it admirable.