Category Archives: NYC

Irene, you’re my kinda lady

That promise about final dildo post*? Complete bullshit.

We have a major national emergency on our hands here, people – which is that Irene is shacking up with a rusty dildo and there’s photographic evidence to prove it.

Though one wonders – is a corroded knob the result of underuse or overuse? And who else thinks this apparatus looks like a rotten frozen banana?

*Thanks MKR, for inspiring this post by um, turning me on, to important dildo news.

My bicoastal tendencies are stirring

Dang, NYC! This is the stuff I miss about that great city. I guess I’ll have to figure out a way to bring this sort o’ fabulousness to SEA. Or just bunk it part-time in Brooklyn so I can get my fix.

Seen, heard, smelled, and tasted in NYC

On this day, 7/10/11:

  • The “Men in Black 3” set along Madison Avenue. Walked right through it. This movie filming shit happens to me on nearly every visit to NYC. I’d like to think it means something. It very likely doesn’t.
  • Veggie omelettes at Coffee Shop. I was last here in 2006 for drinks at midnight, when a guy asked if he could give me a free breast exam. Note: Unless you want my knee to meet your junk, this is a terrible, terrible pick-up line.
  • A giant pile of barf on 16th between 5th & 6th. I stepped over it and kept moving. Just like old times.
  • Pee smell. Pee. Everywhere.
  • Cat call whistle from a homeless dude. Am sure he’s a very discerning fellow.
  • The Hudson River from LZS’s rooftop pool in the JC (thanks, m’dear).
  • Steamed mussels and lobster & truffle gnocchi at this incredible JC establishment.
  • Milk chocolate brownie gelato (thanks again, LZS).
  • Friends I will forever love: Jules, Mel, LZS, and MKR. Hearts to y’all.

Live from New York…

…Bayport, NY, that is. This past Friday. Ari’s show at the awesome Grey Horse Tavern way, way, way out on Long Island. I could go on and on about how spectacular he is live, but I’ll let you see for yourself – in this clip courtesy of my iPhone:

The journey of getting to Bayport from the city in the POURING, HUMID-ASS rain is worthy of its own blog post. Suffice it to say that as soon as we arrived at the Grey Horse, we were informed that the plumbing was not working. Toilets not flushing, water not running – and P.S. after that long drive, I had to piss something fierce. Yes, the show would go on. No, they couldn’t serve us anything to eat because it’s a health violation to do so when the plumbing is in the shitter (I’m sorry. I had to.).

The good news is they fixed the plumbing prob, they are amazing and kind people at the GHT, and I can’t say enough about what a wonderful venue it is. Ari (and his super-talented friend, Eva, who opened for him) played to a room of about 25 people – which, in my opinion, is the very best kind of show. But my favorite part was not the intimate nature of the evening or their incredible performances, but Ari’s opening line as he took his place at the mic, tuned his guitar, and immediately addressed the elephant of the evening:

“So. Did anyone poop their pants?”

Great, dirty, in-the-shitter minds.

SIFF-citement

In the two years I’ve been back in the homeland, I’ve been jonesing to drink in SIFF. Attending Sundance in 2007 got me into serious film festival mode and, unless you’re a complete zombie, living in NYC just has a way of imbuing a deep appreciation for art & film. I always thought people who touted their affinity for documentaries and foreign films were full of hoo-ha – until I actually watched a few documentaries and foreign films. And realized there’s a reason people love them so dearly; that reason being mainly that there tends to be a stronger message, even call to action, a feeling that something within you has shifted as a result of simply seeing a film, and – in the case of foreign films – more complex characters than your typical American box office fare.

And so the film snobbery descends.

For whatever reason, I simply couldn’t get my act together to attend any SIFF screenings in 2009 and 2010. So – just as I make deals with myself in other areas of life (such as not allowing myself to watch a 47-minute episode of “Thirtysomething” unless I run on the treadmill the entire time…and yes, I’m re-watching the entire series from the perspective of someone actually in the target age demographic, instead of a clueless teenager who thought all that drama was just for television…turns out, whoops!, all that shit – every single storyline! – actually happens in your thirties) – I bought a pack of SIFF tickets as incentive to get the show on the road.

And so it is. The festival’s film repertoire is wide and varied, but I’ve made my selections. I know it’s heavy on the documentary side – but then, I’m a storyteller who has always found non-fiction and tales of real people’s lives far more intriguing than any shit anyone could ever make up.

How to Die in Oregon – I know it’s grim, but my parents and I have discussed this topic several times and, the truth of the matter is, they’re aging in the state of Oregon. So, sadly, it’s relevant.

Something Ventured – I’m an alum of one of the largest technology companies in the world *and* an entrepreneur. Further explanation not warranted.

Norman – The premise is unique, and Richard Jenkins and Adam Goldberg are incredible, but it was the trailer that sold me. As much as I adore Judd Apatow, this is an intelligent and thought-provoking twist on the coming-of-age flick that is ripe for its time. Also it was filmed in Spokane. Booyah!

PressPausePlay – Creating and sharing art in the digital age. Lena Dunham. Seth Godin. SOLD.

Go forth. View. Enjoy. Think. Be changed. Create change. GO.

More fun with wieners on the NYC subway!

You thought I was making up this shizz?!?! I should have gone all batshit whoop-ass like this on the guy who was jerkin’ it on the 1 train while staring at me.

But – all nasty-ass perverts aside – the quote of the night is without a doubt: “Oh this shit’s goin’ on YouTube, yo.” And I’d personally like to thank YouTube – and camera phones – for doing their part to publicly embarrass sex offenders. Woot, technology – bringin’ down the pervs!

Love in 10 to 20 bites

Or, in these cases, 10 to 20 film shorts. All about falling in love – with someone else, with yourself, with the idea of love, with a city.

The first, “Paris je t’aime” (a flick best enjoyed avec le vin francais):

And the NYC version – which seems incredibly apropos on 9/11. I will always (heart) you, New York.

Always.

Eau de NYC / Ode to NYC

And I thought it was just me.

Don’t worry, New York. I’ll always have a soft spot for ya. Really, truly I will.

But God love The Onion.

Dudes Who Rock Part II: Arthur Caliandro

Here’s where I manage to go from Chris Rock to a Reformed Church minister in 3.4 seconds. That, my friends, is called Embracing All Sides of Oneself.

First, let me clarify that I am not some super religious zealot out to preach the gospel to y’all. In fact, one of the things I love most about Arthur – and his former congregation, Marble Collegiate Church – is the lack of preachiness. I never became a member of Marble, but because of its warmth, openness, and acceptance of all people, I went to church more often during my four years in NYC than I had since leaving my parents’ jurisdiction (at least legally, if not geographically) at the age of 18. People of all races, religions, ethnicities, and sexual orientations flocked to Marble, were welcomed at Marble, were loved at Marble. Even Muslim and Sikh cab drivers would park along 29th Street and stop in to hear Arthur speak. It was a wonderful respite for so many people from a city that’s often cold and isolating. And Arthur was the center of it all. When he retired on February 1, 2009, I was buying my house in Seattle and was unable to attend his final service. I was so saddened by this, but was determined not to miss it, so I set my alarm for 8:00 a.m. (on a SUNDAY…yes, ME) and watched the entire thing via streaming video on my laptop. And filled an entire wastebasket at the Alexis Hotel with Kleenex. An ENTIRE wastebasket. Because this man’s words reached into my heart every. single. time. I knew I was going to miss his presence immensely – even if only virtually via streaming Sunday sermons.

When Arthur announced his retirement, the church elders sent a letter to everyone in their database, asking us to consider writing a letter to Arthur, telling him how he had touched our lives. I’d never met Arthur personally, but I knew I had to write to him. During that final service, he was presented with over 1,000 letters in a beautiful wooden box. Given that volume, I never expected to receive a personal response from him, but I did. Nearly nine months later, along with an explanation that he initially felt he couldn’t possibly reply to everyone who had written, but then knew it was something he had to do, because these people had taken the time to do the same for him. I was floored. And touched. And in awe yet again of someone who was such a powerful force in my healing during those years in lonely, bizarre NYC.

And with that, I turn him over to you so you can judge for yourself – make sure you listen to at least one of his sermons before you scroll through the “read” options. I think you’ll find he’s among the greatest storytellers of our time. Even if God isn’t really your thing, I hope you can look past those references to see the larger, more compassionate message in every word he delivers. The man is a wonder, he is a force, he is a dude who rocks.

  • Listen (scroll down to the bottom of the page for Arthur’s sermons…”Forgive and Move On” is one of my faves)
  • Read (so many good ones here from the last few years of his tenure at Marble – through January 2009)

Can’t get this outta my head

It’s been two months since this originally aired and Jules and I are still quoting it. Presented by Jenny Slate – one of the most amazingly talented comedy ladies I met at Rififi during my years in NYC.

Give me a couple glasses of wine and I’ll launch into my Tina Tina Shanoose impression. It’s totally weird that I do an impression of someone I know.

Supreme funniness.

Vodpod videos no longer available.