Saturday 6 October 2007

Curious statcounter facts

I just got traffic to this blog from somebody in Brazil who was searching for "SEXY INDONESIAN CELEBRITY".

Somebody a few months ago was clutching their leg in Zaire, while googling help-i've-just-gotten-bitten-by-a-snake-and-it-hurts and they got smoothly through to my ode to Snake n Jake's Christmas Nola lounge..

But of course some of this stuff is dodgy human bot action.. The brothers of the Colombian Honorarios Concegales have recently visited LUCY TAKES OFF for 0 seconds. Nice seein' ya, boys.

Stoop sale scoop, or, All along the watchtower

And it happened right on my very own stoop, also. At least the stoop that is my very own until monday. There's a multi-block stoop sale happening today in Prospect Heights, and much of the proceeds are going toward the Develop, Don't Destroy Brooklyn fund, which is a VERY GOOD CAUSE INDEED, and is fighting off a major megadevelopment in this neighbourhood, which would threaten to change the living face of Brooklyn forever.

So.. the scoop. Well, right outside my current abode up here on Prospect place, amongst the second hand clothes, books and broken electronics, was a sign that read:

From Plaza Hotel Lobby ------->

Hurrah! Somebody in my house stole a bunch of Tiffany from the Plaza Hotel, stashed it in their one bedroom flat for a number of years, and finally purged it for ten bucks in a stoop sale! Fight billionaire development with nicked objets d'art! Hurrah!

Lets hurl Tiffany wares at the Atlantic Yards' "community liaison" building! This revolution has more options than two.

Further down the block, Emily was delighted at having found a wardrobe (a little miracle, she said) because she's been longing for a wardrobe for AGES now! Over the other side of Vanderbilt, Gloria from Jamaica is having a good day, selling her stuff for a dollar or two apiece, though she has to keep moving her chair to stay in the shade, because it is HOT today in new york city, folks. HOT! We sing the song of global warming as we celebrate our ability to streetjive in the heat this late in the season..

And further down Prospect again, by Flatbush, there are some dudes with a 78's record player, playing some Memphis Minnie records, and on the other side of the street there's a family man with a rare copy of the Peyote Awareness Journal, the inaugural edition. This little slender volume came out of a group based in Arizona back in '96, and they've got a Letter From The President and everything in there.. bankers on acid, clearly. Lets take minutes on our psychedelic journeys of revelation and grief! Have bi-monthly AGMs and conference tables and whiteboards as the tears of love flow down our cheeks and we vibrate to the beat of our internal atm machine..

I'm spreading the word, person by person, that I'm looking for a new place to live in this neighbourhood. And so far, each conversation is another reminder of why I want to live here. A weekend of jivin, dancin, rollerskatin, talkin and light aperitifs on the lawn, beckons.

Friday 5 October 2007

Four sweet chords

Do you know about having the blues at the same time as feeling electric and alive and thrilled and excited by life and the texture of the moment? It's so strange. Been going on, on and off, for a few days now. I suppose I've just got to write about it.

It's funny, you know. The human desire for simple, uncomplicated happiness, is actually the death knell for vibrant living. Rather, the state of uncomplicated happy satiation is that. The desire for it can be interesting and vibrant. But often, the presence of the desire for uncomplicated human satiation eclipses the nuances of living, and that's just where the good stuff is, really. So I can feel in me a somewhat suspicion of this blues, the blues left out in the cold.

And then I think of a conversation I had a couple of nights ago, about old cold feelings and outsider, stranger qualities, and treating them like human beings out freezing - open the door, for christ's sake, and come in and warm yourself by the fire. Come on, now. Are you hungry? Do you need something to eat? Human, you know. Sometimes it's hard for things to melt.

I need something to eat, I haven't had breakfast yet. Getting picky about food, lately. Food shopping has been so random for me over the past few months. I find it difficult to make wholesome and sensible food shopping trips. I mean, I usually end up with reasonably wholesome food (and haagen d), but not in my usual way of food shopping. I buy a hell of a lot more put-together foods and sauces now than I think I ever have before. I suppose it's just easier. I'm living in a flat with a broken oven and one pot. I haven't had much interest in cooking since I got to new york. I seem to have lost my libido for cooking (but not eating) : it's gone somewhere else. It's gone into sitting by this computer, it's gone into sitting with the guitar that's popped a string, into other stuff besides.

Going to look at a flat today. Maybe a few more over the weekend, before I head off. Within a week, I'll be blogging from Ireland.

I met the whippets for the first time in a couple of weeks, this evening

It was so gorgeous to see them attempt, against their leads, to break into a full run to come to say hello. Gorgeous. I love those gals. Here's another whippet pic just to celebrate the fact of the existence of whippetness.


Freddy's at 3.13 am

Folks, something strange happened yesterday

My stats went through the roof. Curious.

This is happening later this month

I would love to be there. I will most likely be in the bosom of my family, or out in the wilds of The Burren, crawling into hazel forests and singing ballads in county Clare pubs.

These are not bad problems to have.

Sunday Oct 21. 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM Can you prove you are human?

Reply to:
Date: 2007-10-04, 1:41PM EDT

Can you convince a judge that you are a human?
* Four participants are required to participate in the Loebner Prize computer contest. (google "Turing Test")
* You will be seated in front of a computer terminal in one room.
* Judges in another room will type in questions to you and a computer.
* The computer will respond, trying to fool the judge into thinking it is a human. You will be typing in responses trying to convince the judge that _you_ are really the human.
* Requirements:
1. You must be able to type.
2. You must attempt to convince the judge that you are a person.
3. You must sign a release allowing your image and your responses to be posted world wide on the internet
(your name/address will not be published without your permission.)

Lunch will be provided.

This is an internationally famous competition.

  • Location: Upper West Side
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation: $100 for 3 sessions of 30 minutest

Thursday 4 October 2007

Gonna kill you mister mosquito man

I've been feeling interesting combinations of feelings lately, sort of a bit like cornflake pizzas or jambalaya meringue, stuff that sounds impossible but works out kind of gorgeously in the moment. So today, it's sober and electric. Got the blues, and got electric. Yeah, I know. That makes me sound like Gary Moore. Well, so be it.

A mosquito slipped into my room while I was climbing back in from the fire escape. I said to him, "I feel like murdering you, little creature" and proceeded to interact with him in perfect consonance with my intention. The little creature had other ideas, however, and his DNA is clearly hip to this kind of jive, and how to deal with it. He's hiding out in my bedroom, taking his chances. I know the corner he's in. He's made himself invisible. Every now and then I feel his sting. That's my cue to not touch. All you can do when there's a mosquito in the room is kill, and not touch, and whip out the lavender oil. It's a pain in the arse, but that's alright.

Ah, a shift, over the course of this post, even. From sober and bluesy, to itchy and content. High and mighty and tired. Pointless and singing.

I love working with the dirty word

That feels good to say. I testify.

There's a lazy, slow vibe snakeing through the treetops up here on the fourth floor on Prospect, today. It's a day for the fire escape, I think. I feel so worded out right now, a shift feels like it's a-comin, or actually, a-happenin, into the music. Into the picture, into the song. I really enjoyed making my Wishing Well performance joint, last weekend, down in DUMBO. Some people took video and photographs, other people just jumped on in and hollered, others stood and smooched, clapped, made contact, and yet others walked on by. It was gorgeous! As soon as I see some of this video and photo stuff, you will too.

I feel at home here, in Brooklyn. Though I need to find a new place to live here, very soon (please send tips).

Wednesday 3 October 2007

It is told in the toilets of Freddy's

Hear those engines soar above and

Don't piss on the toilet seat. Fuckin' toddler.

Here's one I like

I think mum might like this one

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Good morning PS 9

says the megaphone at the children's playground in the middle distance here in Prospect Heights every morning at 9:06 am.

The school principle gives a different sermon every morning. I can hear her voice well enough, but only a few words here and there come through clearly. As I type, she's saying

Always remember, da da da da da
Always remember, ka ka ka ka ka
Always remember, the choices you make today shape your world tomorrow.
(Yeah cripple them from the getgo, why don'tcha, lady?)

If all else fails, read read read.
(though I could be mishearing this)

I've been up the past couple of mornings, incredibly early. It's a totally different world.

Monday 1 October 2007

In a mellow mood

I listen to wnyc every "morning" for a couple of hours. On sundays you get the sunday show with Jonathan Schwartz. He's just played Mel Torme singing a gorgeous love-fansong medley to Fred Astaire. Now it's Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra in a tribute to black women jazz singers in "Can't we be friends" in which you can hear the edge racial tensions of America getting a little more familiar, but it's still an awkward match. A bit earlier, he played Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins on "In a mellow mood". Jesus, I love listening to Ben Webster. He just loves that horn like a brother. And that low laughing fat vibrato and intelligent sound he makes...

Ben Webster rounded his life off in Koebenhavn, you know. I used to live right by the graveyard where he's buried. It was like my backyard, like living right on Prospect Park West. I was living in a very beautiful, roomy, high ceilinged two bedroom apartment with a 58 year old Romanian woman, a former actress who had lived in new york for 11 years of her youth, but had by that time (spring of this year) been living in Koebenhavn, mostly in the same building, for 23 years. She was planning another move, this time to Italy, to kick some sass into her sixties. She was having a hard time in Koebenhavn, felt herself to be isolated and alone and without much fun or friendship at all, so slowly she was taking the rope a little more firmly and finding herself pulled toward something hopeful in Umbria.

Koebenhavn was being gentrified like everywhere else it seems that I live, but the real estate market there is not broker-owned and developer-dominated like it is here, and I think this particular block I lived on is still quite undiscovered. See, when people buy property in Koebenhavn, generally they're looking for a place to live, rather than trying to feed their real estate billionaire habit, though that also exists, and therein lay the fate of A-huset. But that's another story for another time. And there's a more compelling version of that story living here, in Prospect Heights.

I can't believe I haven't written about Atlantic Yards yet. But it's really just lit up inside me in the past couple of weeks, so I think it's just lying low, gathering energy before it whips up and out. Lets go back to the story of the Romanian actress in Koebenhavn, and Ben Webster's grave.

The actress rented me one of her rooms. It was gorgeous. I took daily walks and cycles through the graveyard, which had been designed as a place for people to hang out. Assistens Kierkegaard, that's what it's called. Soeren Kierkegaard, the philosopher writer, is buried there, and Hans Christian Andersen, whom the Danes endearingly abbreviate to H.C. Andersen, pronounced a lot like Jose, which added a little kick to my first year in the town.

Assistens is right in the heart of Noerrebro, which is the Brooklyn, if you like, of Koebenhavn, though Island's Brygge is the DUMBO. You've got to be excited by a neighbourhood that demands capitalisation and brings images of Disney elephants and heartbreak stories as you walk through its big gorgeous industrial lines.

And each of these places is a state of mind.

There's something to be said about jazz musicians who understand how to take their time, and do. I love to listen to people who have gone through the whole arc of their journey and have come to a point where it's easy when it's fast, and deeply punctuated when it's slow. You've got to love Ben Webster. I think if you don't love Ben Webster, you know, you're missing out on something really joyful in the human experience. And it's not just Ben Webster, of course. It's the Ben Webster state of mind.

I used to cycle past his grave quite a bit, on my zigzag route through Assistens. I usually found myself stopping, tipping my cap (and you always needed to wear a cap in Koebenhavn), before moving on again. I always wondered about it, why the hell he found himself there and what it was that he found and loved there enough to keep him living happily in Koebenhavn for the rest of his life. I was there for three and a half years and it wasn't a cosy and warm set of experiences, except sometimes. It was a rich time, though, and I can see that now, thank God. But you know, Ben Webster's Koebenhavn state of mind and Lucy Foley's Koebenhavn state of mind are probably two entirely different states of mind, and even as I write that, I dig that these things are dynamically subject to change.

I'd like to have my own radio show on national public radio. LUCY TAKES OFF live on wnyc. Can't you hear it already?

The Irish accent, and all the performance bits that you just can't get in a blog. Not to mention the special guest stars, the on-street conversations. The word from the bar. The view on the street. The explosions under the bridge. Right from the beginning of this blog I've wanted to make video and audio posts. I'd like to add that feature soon.

Sunday 30 September 2007

Friends in Paris

I have two friends in Paris this week. Johs from Roedby in Denmark and Constance from Washington Heights in New York City. Kisses and good wishes to musicians in Paris...

Deleting ignorance

I've just found myself editing a sentence out of a post, and saying out loud, I don't want to show my ignorance. Sigh. It might just be an interesting day.

Art Under the Bridge

I have just come back from Dumbo, hanging out on the street with whoever the hell I met, and making impromptu art installations on the hoof and having a gorgeous conversation at the end on a grassed-over sidewalk right on the edge of Brooklyn.

Dumbo is right up the arse of Manhattan. It's an interesting neighbourhood. This weekend is open house in all the studios. Art festival. You can feel the edge of money meeting art. Razor, that one. I wasn't long there but I found some amazing places, good places. I fell in love again, with a neighbourhood. Just hung out and goofed off, talkin, talkin, writin. I was off the train about five minutes and dancing to Stevie Wonder on my iPod at full tilt volume, when I got to the bridge.

Took out my earphones and felt the rhythm of the train screech sixty feet above. It's a magnificent architecture. The whole neighbourhood is magnificent looking, in a totally different style to Prospect Heights. I think that shift alone was really refreshing, but then suddenly I found myself upstairs in a loft grooving to some rocknroll for a tune, and then standing out in a vacant space that reminded me of A-huset, the multi-artist warehouse megablock I lived in for a year in Koebenhavn.

Three boys were standin there, smoking a grass joint rolled in a cigar tobacco leaf. They called me over and we jived for 20 minutes or so. It was intense. One of them did kung fu to show off a bit, and he was really very good at the kung fu, but it was also a bit bizarre. They were turbo-smart kinds of boys, artists, full of money and high ideas, highly testosterised and American and young. I haven't actually been around that kind of men in a long time. Or maybe ever, really. I've been hanging out with middle aged guys lately, actually. And enjoying it a lot. Not old farts, divorced from life, but relaxed people right in the groove of life, at a different stage of it to me. So this was a totally different energy. Incredibly intense. Wild horses of men, these young ones, using their concepts and their arguments like upscale cheap come-ons. Fun.

So I was on my way to a party I never got to. There was a Prospect Heights crowd having a party there, but I had my hands full on the street.

I found a gorgeous spot under one of the arches of the bridge, and a spontaneous wolf call came out of me really fast. It was gorgeous to hear that echo. It's all blocked off with hoardings so you've really got to shout up into it. Everything you've got, you can offer to the arch under the Manhattan bridge and get cleaned of your sins. It was like church. There were two totally hip gorgeous party kids pissing in a corner and when they heard me they just came running. We had such fun. Pigs in muck. Fab.

Their boyfriends came to piss in the corner of the arch and I took pictures. One of them ran away fast. He used to curate the Brooklyn Museum, apparently. Another one was an incredibly styled punk, with diamante studded belts and various shades of soft toned hair, a kind of rhinestone cowboy punk. These people were gorgeous.

If Gwen Stefani had any sense, she'd look like you, I told the Venezuelan gal. She was a lot in the Gwen Stefani look, but totally hip with it. The other one was a gorgeous little sailor boy with a silver heart on a chain who had rips in his black jeans right up his arse.

We were incandescent, stood there calling whatever the hell came to us. Some fun ones. You know the Scooby Doo - "ya da da da da daaa! Puppy Power!" ? Yeah. And The Police's Roxanne. We all joined in on that one. Confessions came out really fast, too.

I confessed that I had once lived in a tent with a woman for two years. This place was like a wishing well, it was like the porthole of the universe right there on the absolute borderline between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Then we did the can can and laughed our arses off. The little sailor boy kept jumping up and down saying "yay! we're liberated! we're liberated!". The more classy society folks standing around stared at us like crack had just hit the neighbourhood.

I gave them two of my new batch of visiting cards and we parted ways.. I think I'm going to hang out there tomorrow from late afternoon, with a notebook and a visitors' guest book and camera and make sounds and see what happens in that arch under the Manhattan bridge, so if you read this in time and you're nearby and you're in the mood for some fun, come by and hang out. Introduce yourself, if I don't know you already. I'd love to meet you if you're reading.

And then I met Luisa. She's a film artist who's showing her work projected out on the water in the Brooklyn Bridge Park between the two bridges, this weekend. We found a grassed over sidewalk, kicked our shoes off, hung out on the grass and talked our arses off. I've made a new friend. She rocks.

Anyway, everybody being beautiful and all, I spotted a group sitting out in front of a warehouse and something in the style of their pose reminded me of an ad campaign and I said to Luisa, Calvin Klein. And wondered out loud, I wonder if I'm going to move here and become an advertising whore? Who knows? I really don't think so, I've got other fish to fry, but things move fast over here. The borderlines between art and money felt much fuzzier there than anywhere else I've ever been.

There is interesting shit happening in Dumbo, folks. Art reviews on the way, for a quieter moment.

Local news: block party on Sterling

I went for a stroll through the 5th avenue neighbourhood between President and Dean, this evening.. Got a love hit while passing the deli counter of Key foods, on seeing the deli dude's fro in a hairnet.

There's a block party on tonight on Sterling between 5th and 6th, and it's already pretty hot (and loud). It's currently a bit like three block parties on the same block, a hispanic party, with djs decks and drinks, then a bit further up is the black version, and a little further up is the chilled older ladies with cocktails, salad and babies version. There's a six foot trophy sitting out in the middle of the street that looks a bit like a wedding cake with the world cup on the top of it. The street is blocked off with jeeps and trucks up by 6th ave and witches hats on 5th.

Just being the neighbourhood roadwatch this evening, for all you Park Slope drivers.
I'm off to Dumbo tonight.