I'm a-going dancin tonight! I don't feel good for much this weekend except dancing, having fun and hanging out on my fire escape.
Have a great weekend..
Friday 14 September 2007
I'm a-going dancin tonight! I don't feel good for much this weekend except dancing, having fun and hanging out on my fire escape.
I found a page from a book sitting on the ground on my block two days ago. Just reached down and picked it up. You never know what might be incredibly interesting in this town, and where you might find it. Here's what it said:
HERE WE GO QUIETLY NUTS IN MAY
Do you hanker for April showers
Or a rarefied day in June?
Give me a grade-A May day,
And please deliver it soon.
I am weary of branches naked,
Creaking like lovelorn cats;
The earth underfoot half bak`ed
And the sun overhead ersatz.
Send me a balmy zephyr
To play me a rigadoon,
And I'll gulp of my grade-A May day
Till my hiccups hammer the moon.
On my big walk yesterday, I walked the block on the other side of the street, and spotted several more dogpissed-on and new york shoe'd on sheets of the same book, and my response was ecstatic. More book, more book! I left one page there, because it had fresh dogpiss on it, and that was just a step too far for me on that occasion. I will, however, have a look out there today, see if it's dried.
One of the pages is, luckily enough, a cover page, with the words Good Intentions written on it, so I'm guessing that's the name of the book.
So I'll be posting what I have of this anonymous book in intervals over the next while. I have five pages, printed on both sides.
I was walking through Prospect Heights toward Fort Greene/Bed Stuy this evening around 6, when I saw them. Five groups of white birds, each group maybe 200 birds, dancing in the sky. Weaving into and around each other, playing. They shimmered like the sun against a rippled river surface, continually as they danced, each group moving as one, and moving in and out of each other across the blue sky.
I think I'm in love.
It reminded me of a group of birds I watched one evening in the Amager Faelled wild park in Copenhagen, when I lived there (was it last year? yes, I believe it was last year, though it feels like a hundred years ago) one evening when I was still wearing shorts but the air was crisp and freezing, the way the air gets by September in Denmark.
I heard them first.
They made a huge chatter, getting their chirp on, a couple of hundred birds up the top of a very tall tree. They sat there, sang and chatted and chirped for a few minutes, then suddenly they all took off, as if the tree had run its fingers through its hair, and they moved around a bit like musical chairs, dancing, and then resettled at once in different parts of the tree, resuming their song, chats and chirps with fresh chicas and chicos.
This went on for about a half an hour, and the more they went on, the more birds came. It was like a nightclub by the end of it. About a thousand birds in the tops of three tall trees, and then when they were ready, it was like they just heard the opening bars of Dancing Queen, and instinct propelled them toward the dancefloor. The thousand birds took off at once, as one.
They moved across the great expanse of sky over the faelled, moving like a manatee. All I could do was stand there, and watch. Jump up and down occasionally when the cold got really intense. Because I couldn't leave. I couldn't leave.
As soon as they took off into the sky - a thousand birds gracefully moving as one, a thousand bird iceskaters skating a perfect dance - they were silent. Not a peep, not a chirp. Nothing. Just singular movement. After a while, a very small subgroup developed, of like-minded avant garde birds, clearly, who were in sympathy with the mainframe, but they needed to break away to express their own dance in a more intimate unit. They met the large group every few seconds like a pair of dishwashing bubbles gliding and bouncing off of each other and moving apart again.
This evening, there were five groups of birds, and they moved and weaved and danced too, and shimmered like the sea. I stood on the corner of Dean and Underhill and watched.
Thursday 13 September 2007
I had a new york moment on the F train. I recognised a bloke sitting on the train and I had no idea where from, or what country, or context. Could have been anywhere. I just have a strong feeling that I've met and talked with him before. Young, college-looking, with wiry red hair and a wiry red beard, very American looking in a thin, malnourished kind of way, baseball cap.
And he got up to exit the train at Carroll Gardens. I wasn't in the mood to go and find out the scoop. And so he disappeared back into the new york ocean, teeming with every kind of sealife in its 300 square miles.
They have sealife in Freddy's, also. Underwater swimming toads in a water tank, with human arses. I freaked one out. He saw me and jumped. Underwater.
In the background, ladies sang arias and men sat at the bar, chugging whiskey.
My dad sent me some post that had come to their house for me since I've come here. One of the letters was an invitation to my cousin's wedding in October. I'm flying back to Ireland for it on the 8th. It was a sweet invitation, no doubt chosen with intense deliberation, and I have a feeling that they hired someone to write the names by hand in fancy calligraphy. There was also a handful of little shiny winged angels with bugels, confetti-style, scattered in the envelope. Anyway, somehow the angels have found their way all over the place. I'm stepping on angels as I move through the flat.
It makes it a bitch to hoover, though.
I've just been involved one of those conversations that felt like we were rollerblading at speed through the boroughs of new york city. One of those conversations that had us. Tonight, at Freddy's. We drank of that conversation like two thirsty feckers, jugs and jugs of it, half afraid to stop in case there mightn't be more of it for ages. Beautiful.
Here's something I started writing in the street earlier tonight, and finished it just before that conversation happened.
Did you ever get the feeling that nobody likes you? I mean, nobody. I've had the feeling that nobody likes me. Just now. It's kind of still sticking around a bit. Yes. It's still here. The more people I meet, the more unfriendly things seem to be getting.
People keep sending me away. I must have some strange magnetism this evening. Even the bartender told me to get served by somebody else.
Knock, knock, knock on wood.
Wednesday 12 September 2007
I'm trying to think of a joke. This is the kind of evening that requires a joke and a bottle of beer. Of course I would ask you to kindly post jokes in the comments section, if I had a comments section. It disappeared in the night. There is some anti-Competition Olympics troll prowling around the internet, and I want to make it clear RIGHT NOW that YOU ARE MESSING WITH THE WRONG OLYMPIAN HERE, ye little fecker. Hmm.. a joke a joke my kingdom for a joke. Nothing comes to mind, except a bunch of very very very dodgy jokes I heard last night which are of the kind only repeatable in small hushed groups.
I do have some news about my parents' forthcoming Majorca holiday. Mum has bought some snorkel sets in Dunnes so they can put their heads in the water and still breathe and the fish apparently swim all around you. They are very excited about their holiday.
I am, too.
Anyone got a guitar? Lets have a sing-song. The wind is blowing and the night is cold and you can feel autumn in the air today.
Tuesday 11 September 2007
Ok, lets turn up the temperature a little on this one. There's gonna be prizes for the outright winner of each leg of the Inaugural Honorary LUCYTAKESOFF Competition Olympics 2007. I would like to clarify that these individual-round prizes will NOT be presented on a plinth with garlands and a cup to hold aloft in pride and achievement, but are merely teasers, you might call them, to string you along and get you entering. Good lord. Racy.
When we have completed all the legs of the Inaugural Honorary LUCYTAKESOFF Competition Olympics 2007, then and only then will all the names be put into a hat and drawn from a drum that goes round and round by an air hostess with a blindfold on, and the winning names read out over a microphone in some kind of a live webcast by a minor Irish rockstar. Flashing discolights might also feature. And the plinths, garlands, medals, bathing suit etc. bit you already know from previous posts.
This week's prize:
drumroll drumroll drumroll drumroll
A set of five vhs copies of Simpsons Featurettes, or perhaps they're Simpsons Thematic Treasuries, each about 88 minutes long, which I found on a stoop at 6th avenue and President Street in Park Slope, this evening. Here's the rub, though. You'll have to watch them with me, because I don't have a video player and I'd love to see them. But I'm saying it now, ladies and gentlemen, I will NOT be wearing a bathing suit for the screening.
So far, the lovely Constance is in Pole Position as the ONLY entrant in the competition. And for all of you who have recently started reading the blog, dig deep to at least a week ago, there's another competition, which was Leg One of this prestigious and highly unusual Olympic variety, which is still open, though another New Yorker, the lovely Chris, is in a similar Pole Position there.
I wish you the best of luck.
"LUCYTAKESOFF is the only blog for me at the end of a hard day, because ... " in words ten or less. Post in the comments section of the original post please.
I've heard ugly rumours that the comments section is a gmail or blogger account-only zone or someshit by Blogger. I do hope this ain't so, and will be investigating whatthefuck.
Good lord, I've got a dirty mouth this evening. Just come back from the spelling bee at Freddy's Backroom tonight.
It's got to be that.
Monday 10 September 2007
Last week was happily a rocknroll kind of week, what with the arctic monkeys in central park on wednesday, barband singing in chinatown on thursday, the brooklyn country music festival at southpaw on friday and uh, Shakespeare in the Park on saturday. Well you know, rocknroll is a feeling, my friends.
I would post the review I wrote of the arctics gig, but my microsoft word test drive has just expired today and it won't even open any of the documents I've written in it.
So this is a bit of a bollocks moment. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can avoid paying microsoft four hundred bucks for access to the documents I wrote in word (and I have been writing like a pig in muck, ladies and gentlemen), please email me at herecomeslucy AT gmail DOT com.
There's a facet of new york life that I find disconcerting every time it occurs. Of course I love it also, and miss it when it's absent from a place I'm living in, but somehow here, it has a little uncanny edge.
I spent yesterday between union square and tompkins square park, hanging out a little at the howl festival, before doing my grocery shopping in trader joe's and hopping on the Q home. On the walk around town, I met a few people, had chats of varying degrees of depth, varying durations.
I was feeling kind of antsy.
Walking from 14th st. across town, I stopped by a tiny secondhand designer shop on 11th st. As soon as I stepped into the place, there was a seriously unfriendly vibe. The shop is the size of a shed, and stacked with driesvannoten and blahy miblahy, all the way up to the ceiling. In moving around one customer, I bumped into another, and she looked at me like I had shat into her fake ysl bag, so I said fuck this, and headed out the door.
The instant I hit the street, random passing bloke asked me, "what are you listening to on your iPod?" It was a direct question, and it got a direct answer. "Seal", I said, looking at him a bit defensively. I wasn't in the mood for some sort of coolness judgement. And I suppose I don't think of Seal as being particularly cool. Not in the way that John Lennon's Rocknroll album, for example, would probably be considered cool. At least, that's my expectation.
And this guy seemed cool to me. So I was wary.
Funnily enough, he said he liked Seal too. He said he was 31, and when he was 17, 18, 19, Seal's videos were around a lot. I told him that I had heard him before too, but not really LISTENED to him, you dig? And there was a nice vibe between me and this stranger, we started to groove, and then suddenly we were at the streetcorner, and I seemed to be heading straight across 11th st. and he was going downtown. And we said goodbye, and there was a really nice vibe there, and off I went. And I found myself missing this dude that I had just spoken to for approximately 90 seconds. Actually missing him, the way you might miss a lover, as I walked across the avenues.
When I got to TS park, there were large scale paintings wrapped around the park, many with painters working at them, and tables all through the park with people selling zines, soap, trying to impeach bush, tell you about their community arts centre..
The first person I saw when I entered the park was a bloke with a tshirt that said "Ollscoil Luimni - University of Limerick" on it. "Oy, you!" I shouted after him, "hey, you! I'm from Limerick!" Turns out his girlfriend, who was also there, had spent six months in my hometown. Nice to be able to pronounce the name Tom Collins (a Limk pub) a few times over in Alphabet city. Felt good, that.
I met a drummer who walked around with his sticks, getting kinetic with whatever was going on around him. There was a fair whack of old neighbourhood folks in the park, which was kind of great, and also a reminder that when these people go, the neighbourhood is literally history. At least, until gentrification starts turning backwards.
And later, there was a longish chat with a native upperwestside woman in her sixties, who was full of life and we jived a little about guacamole and rhubarb tarts in the all-sunday-long line at trader j's.
Random connections are rife in this town. They come and go like sparks from a faulty socket, like synapses z-zz'ing off each other. I suppose what I find disconcerting is that they go as unexpectedly and as casually as they come. No ceremony, no goodbye, no flinch or blink of the eye as its focus settles elsewhere.
I was raised in a landscape of casual friendliness, but this is new york city. With a population of over 8 or 22 million people, depending on how you define newyorkcity, it is so incredibly unlikely that you will cross another new yorker's path twice ever as to render the moment when that happens utterly sacred and monumental.
The odds against it happening are pretty stark. And yet it happens.
I saw a beautiful photograph today.
It was taken in CBGB's in 1975. Patti Smith is wearing a sleeveless Ronny Wood t-shirt and she's holding court, grooving, dancing. And Bob Dylan is standing beside her, watching her at the centre of things, with a huge warm smile of pure delight, looking healthy and bearded, his hands clasped together tightly at his chest. It is entirely unlike any photograph of the man that I have ever seen. Of course neither of them seem aware of the camera. And even if they were, it was probably taken by a friend.
I'm still thinking about this image. I can hear his laugh, her drawl.
The US senate has voted to raise the bounty on Osama Bin-Laden's head to $50 million. Well, lets hope it's not a Euro-zoner who finds him, because the exchange rate will be killing.
This is unbelievable. This is the most wanted man in the world since Adolf Hitler and the land of the moneymaking free's governing body is willing to give fifty million dollars to have his head carved and brought to their table on a plate? Who the hell do they think they're talking to?
This isn't a missing kitten poster, tacked to a tree.
They are demanding, in effect, that this man's closest associates betray their leader. The Senate is effectively requiring the creation of a whole Gethsemane scene that could well become the start of a new worldwide religion. This is the big time. Fifty million dollars may sound like a lot of money when you're trying to pay your rent in New York city, but it's probably not quite enough to give somebody who's looking for it, the life of an oil sheikh.
But surely anything that happens now in the bin Laden story is all gravy, as far as he's concerned. He's had his rockstar moment, he's made his impact, the world knows his name and quivers when it's mentioned. His big idea has been sent through the world, and it has reverberated.
Meanwhile the "9-11 was an inside job" campaigners were out in Union Square today, handing out dvds and flyers. Convincing conspiracy theories are still pistol hot in America. As is the "Impeach Cheney, Impeach Bush" movement.
I saw a touching documentary about Al Gore a couple of weeks ago, made by Spike Jonze before That Election. The documentary was never officially released. Gore seemed very possessed of a sense of civic duty, but more than that, he was human and sincere (and also half naked and bodysurfing). There is a huge desire in the hearts of many here, trying hard to convince him to run. You can find these people at draftgore DOT com.
Elsewhere on the planet, Bill Clinton is planning to fundraise in Ireland, for Hillary's campaign. That has got to be a first.