By Tom H. Brooks 3
THESE BOOKS JUST KEEP GETTING BETTER AND BETTER!…..
Street Journal 32…
…in which our protagonist moves to the Lower East Side of New York City…
THE FUNNIEST, MOST RIDICULOUS STORY OF ALL IS THE TRUTH…………………………………………………………
AT LEAST I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY….
THERE ARE MYSTERIES HERE THAT MAY NOT YET BE REVEALED…
EVERYTHING IS MEANT TO BE AS IT IS
“PEARLS BEFORE SWINE”
“WHAT A MAN HAD TO GO THROUGH FOR A PIECE OF ASS
IN THE MODERN AGE WAS HIGHLY RIDICULOUS.”
” `Where are you going?`
`To the other side of morning.` “
odd man out
an untimely man
9/20/04 Sandpiper Lane
Sunrise over the airport. Me–high atop a hill between the plains and the ocean….
the warmth of the morning sun. Pure, unadulterated joy….listening to Coltrane,
Brasilia; you people don`t know what you`re missing. The foaming and glittery
sea crashes far below in the blue LA dawn…
“Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days…”
“Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead…”
9/20/04 Playa del Rey–at the shoreline….
It is decided. I am going to move to NYC for a while and see how I like it. Quit the Marmalade job, leave
my photos and art and writings with Clark Crookshanks, pack some clothes, my camera, a book or two and myself,
and like THAT, I`m GONE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
2 weeks left in LA;
make every second count.
10:30am–hundreds of dolphins splashing just offshore have come to say goodbye to me…
Always, the sentimental fool…
Oh, don`t worry LA, I`ll be back. I could never stay away from your beaches and tacos and open space…
My farewell for awhile sunny beaches WALK….I carried my skateboard and took an epic walk by the ocean on the sand.
It was EPIC, of course. I walked along the shoreline from the airport all the way to Redondo Beach. Had a delicious lunch at Miguels.
On the way, nothing but myself, seabirds, seaspray, sunlight, and COMPLETE SOLITUDE. The water glittered diamonds under the
noon sunlight while I walked through mirages listening to the mournful cries of sandpipers. The blue sky was a giant dome above, broken
by the occasional jet airplane. Endless, empty white beaches. For awhile, I will be away, but I will always be here at heart, in soul,
alone by my vast ocean….always to return……
For now, I go into the east, into the sunrise……The City awaits….
“Behold, I come quickly…”
“And I will give him the morning star…”
You`re starting to think I`m a Jesus-freak, aren`t ya? HA! Think again, flatfoot….now you`re thoroughly confused….
Sitting in the courtyard of my favorite childhood birthday restaurant, the one in Redondo that used to be called “The Red Onion.”
It has been closed for many years now, and I sit alone with a beer in an empty courtyard with faded beige and brown tiles and the wind
hissing through dry and dead palms. Haunting….empty….inspiring…..
My specialty……burning bridges…..
I`m a BRIDGEBURNER
Wed/Thurs 9/22 to 9/23, 2004…..
orange slice moonset over the ocean
Down at the bunker….
Camping with Kojak out on the bluffs on the south side of Rancho Palos Verdes above the ocean. The view
is spectacular at dawn. Late last night we crept out here through the night fields with beer and weed and
drank until we passed out listening to crickets and the crash of the ocean. Now it is sunrise, you would be
amazed at the palette of colors splashed across this glorious morning sky. You can see Catalina out there
in the distance and a new day begins…
sleeping in the back of the truck at the top of Ivar because my roommate Chris is an idiot and an asshole…HA!!!
“The future`s uncertain
and the end is always near…”
“If they say I never loved you,
you know they are a liar…”
Dave and I were surrounded by 7 pigs in the subway for yelling…..”YAAAAAAAAKKK!!!!!”
Don`t you think that might have been a slight overreaction on their part?
“Today`s Pig is Tomorrow`s Bacon”
Hunter S. Thompson
C U in HELL
I`m so restless and bored I can`t even finish a sente……….
Driving down Santa Monica Blvd and saw a guy in a leopard-skin Speedo and a bowler hat talking on a cell phone
and we just about lost it laughing….
LET THE JACKALS COME FOR ME…
I WILL ALREADY BE GONE…
Tomorrow could bring anything…
“Living is easy
with eyes closed,
all you see,
It`s getting hard
to be someone
but it all works out,
It doesn`t matter much to me…”
“Strawberry Fields Forever”
Ballona Creek Wetlands…
In the marshes, saw the perfectly bleached white skull of a coyote or wild dog….
misty morning, the ocean is a deep, royal blue. The vast beach at Playa del Rey is
empty, as usual. Perfect. I look up to the sky and see a huge jet taking off west
and a lone white seagull gliding south, then east. It is burned in my mind`s eye forever…
Always better to SEE it than to SAY it…..you know what I mean, don`t you?
DAMN THAT INCESSANT CIRCUS MUSIC!
IT`S DROWNING OUT THE VOICES IN MY HEAD!
A glimpse of my near-future….
“New York was an inexhaustible space, a labyrinth of endless steps, and no matter how well he came to know
its neighborhoods and streets, it always left him with a feeling of being lost. Lost, not only in the city, but within
himself as well. Each time he took a walk, he felt as though he were leaving himself behind, and by giving himself
up to the movement of the streets, by reducing himself to a seeing eye, he was able to escape the obligation to
think, and this, more than anything else, brought him a measure of peace. Motion was of the essence. By
wandering aimlessly, all places became equal, and it no longer mattered where he was. On his best walks, he
was able to feel that he was nowhere.”
I don`t really know what to do with my life, to be honest with you.
I think I`ll just LIVE IT…..how`s that?
JUST FOLLOW THE SIGNS AND THEY
WILL LEAD YOU WHERE YOU NEED TO GO….
(even a book I`m reading says Washington Square Press…)
“…caught between the moon and New York City….”
A man walks endlessly through the City. He skateboards endlessly through the City. The City is vast and hard to
understand–hard to decipher. He is seeking something he does not know that lies at the very core of the entity. It
is vital….alive….powerful. He keeps a finger on the pulse of the City and thus draws more energy to himself. There
are Mysteries here that may not yet be revealed. The man moves on and on, deeper into the heart of it….
I almost got hit by a GIANT Budweiser truck pulling out of a driveway on Culver.
What a pure and classic irony that would have been….
People that say they aren`t stupid all the time ARE stupid.
regarding obnoxious and intrusive cellphone-users…
YOUR FUCKING HEADSET MAKES YOU UGLY TO ME
AND NOW I HATE YOU…
Everyone has a sarcastic comment for me today and I have 7 for every one of yours…
I`m warming up for NEW YORK…
THE ELEMENT OF SURPRISE IS WHAT MAKES LIFE WORTH LIVING
The sandpipers are dreaming. Isolation surrounds me in a warm embrace. A day of turbulence
is long over and I am alone walking under the ghostly light of a full moon at the shoreline of Venice Beach.
The moon glitters in pale diamonds on the black and indigo sea and the waves crash in a glowing froth
over the Windward jetty. There is no one but me. At low tide, there is a strange blowhole at the Venice
jetty and I am the only one who knows it….it gasps and heaves in the dead hours of the morning, like
the dying breath of a half-remembered and lost past life….
After the previous entry(written under the dim light of the moon), I ended up sleeping on top of a lifeguard tower in South
Venice/ Marina del Rey area. The previous entry also looked as if it was written in fucking Sanskrit….
NOT EASY TO DECIPHER….
I love super low tides….the beach is SO big…..
Pelicans in the blue dawn, phoenix sunrise, red fire, silence, the ocean is alive and it speaks to me….
“Misery doesn`t love company….it demands it.”
Let this statement stand alone:
THERE IS NOTHING BUT THIS MOMENT.
Beyond it lies oblivion, uncertainty, confusion…
Venice 7:20am…the Wind-Up Bird Alley……having a morning coffee (BEER)….
A big spray painted W on the wall across from me….for some reason, I`m sure
this means something totally different for ME than the guy who put it there…
“From dust thou art, and unto dust thou shalt return…”
all night, all day,
a bum, a beachcomber,
water warmer than air…
You know I ALWAYS have my swim trunks under my clothes…..
“The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory.”
Viktor E. Frankl
“Man`s Search for Meaning”
“Produce the book, then, so that it will detach itself, disengage itself as it scatters:
this will not mean that you have produced the absence of the book.”
“The Gaze of Orpheus”
from the back cover of The Paris Review
And the clock strikes 8am on the old town square at Main Street Mall, America…..(The Grove, of course…)
October 3, 2004 Sunday…
Last working day at Marmalade Cafe, where I have worked for more than 2 years ( incidentally, my record for duration of employment…).
I will definitely miss the faces of all my friends, and, in some sick way, I will even miss this goddamned job and this stinking mall. Go
figure. Have I gone crazy? Wait, I`ve already been THERE for years….it happened a long time ago. Maybe it is the security I will miss.
HA! When has MY life ever been secure?!? Anyway, Los Angeles is always MY town and I will always return to her….
I forgot to mention….last night, Saturday, I attended a “Quinceanera.” It is a celebration of a Mexican girl`s 15th birthday, becoming a woman
and such. These girls are so cute and they often take it to literally and instead of enjoying their youth and beauty a little longer, they go
and get knocked up right away and have 3 fucking kids by the time they`re twenty and get all fat. It was for Elsa`s lovely daughter, Stephanie.
There was dancing and food and traditional music and such. There was such a feeling of sensory overload, I could never describe it properly.
The girls were all dressed up in sexy and colorful formal dresses and flirty (too young for me, I don`t want to get arrested…). It was the kind
of overwhelming feeling of experience like I had in Talpa, Mexico. It was at Florence and Avalon in the hood and there were no drive-bys.
Afterwards, Carina, Tomas and myself topped it off with amazing tacos at a carwash….yes, A CARWASH that becomes a taco shop at night.
Don`t ask me, I was just THERE. It was my goodbye to the LA Latino community, for now….it was amazing….
“I tore my mind on a jagged sky,
I just dropped in to see
what condition my condition was in…”
Spent my last night at Tomas` house and my last day with him and Jose, Suzy, Carina and Veronica….
I`m gonna miss these kids….
Hundreds of swallows fluttering about in a violet twilight sky came to see me off at Union Station.
I`m taking the Southwest Chief Amtrak train to Chicago and then the Lake Shore Limited to Penn
Station in New York City. I`ve driven across America but I`ve never taken the train. This should
be a good time…..a new adventure begins…..NOW.
“What moves those of genius,
what inspires their work,
is not new ideas,
but their obsession with the idea
that what has already been said
is still not enough…”
(from a book that was a gift from Kanjanna Suwanna (Kathy) and Suzanna….
10/4/04 12 midnight…….
WELCOME TO THE NIGHT TRAIN…
A classic potpourri of Amtrak characters partying at the bar. Me thinks I`ve instigated a little bit of the
chaos devil in these fine folks. To be continued, I`m busy right now with this cute chick who`s just gone
to the restroom, oh, here she comes……
Well, I already LOVE trains…..lusty nocturnal hookup with a babe headed back to some country town south
of Chicago; we`re somewhere on the border of California and Arizona…..things are looking real good…..
I wake up with this Illinois girl`s head on my chest. She`s a sweetheart and we have breakfast and bloody mary`s.
She follows me everywhere for the next two days but I don`t mind `cause she`s sexy….(I found out later she was 17! Oh shit…)
The vastness of America by train….a lone cow in a desert field of red clay, the sunrise over Flagstaff, Arizona,
camaraderie amongst my newfound train friends….
Bloody Marys and sneak-a-toke bathrooms to smoke the herb, everyone going everywhere; New York, Chicago, Pennsylvania,
North Carolina, etc…
Ride this train across the land, see America out the window, see it pass through your mind like a dream, a vision, an
endless tapestry of changing colors…
a smokestack framed against an azure sky
billowing stacks of cumulus clouds like glaciers or jagged ice mountains
red clay buttes
abandoned rusting equipment in weed strewn lots
trailer parks in the middle of nowhere
vast and unforgiving
a moving picture before your eyes……America…..
A sunny morning; a rainy afternoon in Northern New Mexico…
just past high noon, and the train stops in the middle of nowhere
there is a massive hailstorm with sunlight on the distant mountains that encircle us
and a TWISTER in the distance! No joke. It looks like a big one, but it moves away from us(I have a picture of this somewhere)
Now I know why the train stopped….
I guess this train is quite an experience for everyone `cause I`m not the only one writing. Everybody seems to be
writing in their little books and journals about everybody else. I even saw my name over someone`s shoulder (“Tom
is an active character, somewhat manic in a good way, constantly talking to everyone and putting down the bloody marys.”)
I`ve met Kate (Indianapolis), “Kramer” (Aurora), Bob (Los Angeles), Vivian (North Carolina), John (Australia), and of course,
the little minx I`ve been hanging with, Violet (Illinois). The train is still stopped for the hailstorm/twister thing….
To inspire art as well as to be inspired by art; well, that is more than any one man could ask for…
We saw llamas, of all things, in New Mexico. Don`t ask me, `cause I don`t know….
Apache Canyon, red clay river, mud, yellow trees, and always….the trailers…
I love all these characters. If I ever write an actual novel, you`re all in it….
Another Vivian, this one from New Orleans, and Billy from Mississippi. Billy kept giving me E&J Brandy (bless him). This is
the coolest trip ever….YET.
Freight trains rattling by in the night. Darkness across the Great Plains. The silver pepper of the stars. Sunrise over Kansas,
rolling green hills. Stopped at a station somewhere and had a smoke break and felt the morning chill in the air. Turns out we`re
in Kansas City, Missouri (MissourA). A million colors across this land, a million faces and places; scarlet vines climbing chartreuse
trees as the birds wheel erratically about. We clatter down the tracks toward Chicago. The train inspires me…
Passing over a river outside Sibley, Missouri, I`m listening to Johnny Cash, the perfect train music….
“It don`t mean nothing, it don`t mean nothing……DRIVE ON….”
“Proceed as the way opens” An old Quaker proverb….
Golden plains, black horses and Cash, “Tennessee Stud”
Timing is everything….
“Have a round and remember
the things we did
that weren`t so tender…
Let the train blow the whistle when I go….”
“A man on the move
and just sick enough
to be totally confident…”
Hunter S. Thompson
The Mississippi River, “Old Man River” crossing….clitter clatter…..Stronghurst, Illinois…truly Main Street, America….
Lisa-Marie from the Bronx, Sandy from Chicago (she`s a prison guard in Barstow!)
Nowhere is a place ( “Where`s That?!”) Darren
The Southwest Chief is stopped at some random juncture. I was as high as I`ve ever been in my life when I spotted
a German Shepherd drug dog enter the train. I had a slight anxiety attack but I stayed calm. I had nothing in my bag,
luckily it was in my pocket and I was outside with the smokers having cigs….the incident went no further….
We`re in Chicago now. I have 2 hours to kill before I have to catch my connecting train so I take a walkabout.
In the past 30 minutes, I have seen so many gorgeous women it would make your head spin….seriously….
Downtown Chicago, across from the Sears Tower, McDonalds is a bevy of sexy black chicks just gossiping away….truly adorable….
Union Station, Canal Street, down Jackson to the lake, Columbus, Buckingham Fountain, Millennium Park, Monroe, La Salle,
quick descriptions….no time, time is short …..have to see SEE SEE…..
For some reason I want to meet a sexy goddess from let`s say…..Calcutta, India…..the colorful sari, the red dot on the forehead, the whole
kit and caboodle….
After being on a train for 2 and a half days, having my `train legs` back on solid ground has made me somewhat dizzy and disoriented…
I write these lines while walking through dark Chicago back to the station to catch the Lake Shore Limited….
7:20pm….off we go again….
The Night Train continues…..
TWO girls?! Trains across America are fucking great! Is THIS what happens on Amtrak or am I just super lucky?! One per train…..
Violet on the Southwest Chief was a sweet blonde country girl. This one on the Lake Shore Limited is an Italian
New Yorker named Autumn. What a trip! (It turned out she was an appetizer for a different type of woman, an aggressive NY woman…a WHOLE different story….)
Waterloo, Indiana….10pm talking to Kaiza and Andrea, headed from Oregon to Brooklyn, a couple of cool little hipster chicks….
I just love the bar car….
Syracuse, NY….9:30am…Catskills, Hudson River Valley, the Autumn foliage is staggering….
I am truly “2000 Light Years from Home”….
I just remembered this for some reason….
“I`M AT 1ST AND 1ST!! HOW CAN THE SAME STREET INTERSECT WITH ITSELF?!
I`M AT THE NEXUS OF THE UNIVERSE, JERRY…!!”
1:22pm Albany, New York
As I head south out of Albany, listening to “Duppy Conqueror”, I realize that I have probably only slept like 10 hours for the last 3500 miles I`ve traveled
over the past 3 and a half days, despite all the herb and booze. It doesn’t matter because DELIRIUM IS MY FAVORITE DRUG.
Drinking a bottled water that says AMTRAK on it strikes me as funny for some reason…
Pumpkin Fields…..shit, my head feels like a goddamned pumpkin…..
NYC Penn Station arrived at ….you guessed it……4:20pm…..HA!!
JB and Marissa pick me up. I get to check out the restaurant he`s hooked me up with a job at….
It is bad ass…..FREEMAN`S, Bowery and Rivington on the Lower East Side at the end of an alley….Stuffed animal heads on the walls, looks like a hunting lodge…
I am living with Grace on Orchard street. She is a tall, blonde lanky model chick….seems to be an interesting character.
I just saw the fucking GLADIATOR in person on Ludlow Street….Russell Crowe….
First bar, the Darkroom, met Simon, from Jerusalem….what a character…..
Guns n Roses, “It`s so Easy…”
“West Coast, West Coast….” Tupac irony at the Bungalow Club up at some place called the Maritime….
End of a loooooonnnngggg night and a long trip….I am stumbling homeward, where is that anyway? I find myself at East Broadway and Forsyth alone
and there is a chair just sitting on the street corner as if it was waiting for me all through these last 3500 miles. Naturally, I sit down in it and collect
my thoughts. When I look up, I see the Manhattan Bridge towering above me. It is 3:28 am. I watch the steam pour out of the sewer grates and tunnels
underground and I ponder the fact that I now live in New York fucking City. Amazing. I am delirious. 3:46am ahhhhhh yes, Ray`s Pizza on Houston….
yes, I am truly home…..how the fuck did I get from the bridge to here so fast?! How did I find it for that matter? I see a liquor store named PUNJABI
and I start laughing and mumbling to myself PUNJABI heeheeheheheh…..WHERE THE FUCK IS THE APARTMENT? Essex and Stanton 5am….
“YOU WANNA BUY A BIKE? 20 BUCKS, MAN….” HA!!! STOLEN…… Wu Tang country…Delancey Street….the sun is rising….I see CBGBs….the Ramones
are jamming in my head….”I WANNA BE SEDATED….” I am bound to get home soon…..have I really been trying? Who cares…….?
Ok, finally made it….good night, good morning….whatever……..
Next day…..McSorley`s Old Ale House, truly the bar that time forgot. I haven`t seen this place since like 1998. “Be Good or Be Gone” says the sign.
Nothing has changed since my last visit….although the fat cats got fatter…..
So, with all my manic enthusiasm, I have finally injured myself. I had to drop a deuce at McSorley`s and I was sitting in this tiny toilet stall. I finished my business,
stood up and CRACK!!….a jagged metal toilet paper holder tore into my skull and I started bleeding like a stuck pig. HA!! A shit-related injury!! It wasn`t funny at the
time, though. It looked like a goddamned murder happened in there. I was trying to wipe my ass, slightly dizzy, I couldn`t pull the TP for that AND the profuse bleeding
so SPLATTER, SPLATTER….finally, I got my pants up, washed my head 10 times with paper towels and stumbled out of there after trying to clean the floor and succeeding
only in smearing a faded coppery-colored film all over the ancient white tiles. Oh well, I`m sure that isn`t the first time this floor has seen blood….How`s THAT for a
fucked up injury story? Probably the most ridiculous thing that`s ever happened to me. I should have slept more on the train. What am I even doing writing this?!
I should be at a fucking hospital! Now, I`m stumbling around the Village and NYU with a bleeding head and a paper towel. Hope I get to make another entry….October 8th, 2004.
WELCOME TO NEW YORK CITY!! The fact that I didn`t pass out with blood pouring out of my head shows what a A BAD MOTHERFUCKER I really am (and also stupid….)
I just didn`t want to go out like Elvis… YES, I AM STILL ALIVE…..
Walking down 6th Ave (Avenue of the Americas) and I remember how I used to be able to see the Twin Towers rising in the distance to the south. And now….they are gone.
St. Paul`s church graveyard on Fulton, right across from the WTC Ground Zero. The gravestones have dates like `died 1794`…..death, always…..death…..
New Amsterdam City Hall at Chambers and Centre 1814?!? I have been EVERYWHERE today….the City is mine…..
“Don`t you know Love is dead?!
It was acquired in a hostile takeover by Hallmark and Disney,
homogenized, repackaged, and sold back to us piece by piece…”
Could be better, sure,
but never forget….
it could be worse…
At least 7 rats in view, scampering around on Ludlow at 3am….
I just saw a rooster in Manhattan at Ludlow and Canal! Oh….it`s Chinatown….I would expect no less…
NO MAN SHOULD HAVE
THIS MUCH FUN….
I`m sorry, my mind just went to the Bahamas for a minute there….
“He`s a beast….he`s got gorilla blood pumping through his veins…”
Nathan Grigolla speaking of Tim Hudock
Beautiful morning sunlight in Freeman`s Alley…
Corner of Mulberry and Grand…the heart of Little Italy…
Dean Martin permanently blasting from the corner tourist shop…
pizza pies and pasta everywhere…touristy but absolutely excellent….
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure,
it is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others…”
Nelson Mandela 1994
I love the Lower East Side….the L.E.S……
Midnight music jam in Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village….funk, at least 25 people….
I was offered drugs at least 5 times but I need nothing….this place and its kinetic energy keep me plenty high….
This is what I`m already loving about NYC….spur of the moment HAPPENINGS everywhere, drums, shows, music, art…..it`s got it all…..
1:00am…walking through the Lower East Side projects around Delancey Street….I need to familiarize myself with ALL aspects
of the City, from the dirtiest corners to the loftiest towers….
Waikiki Wally`s and 1stAve and 2ndSt…..
NYC….the ethnic concentration of this city is what helps make it so intense….
All the sexy, trendy Chinese babes at 11, Simon`s club….
As drunk as I get in this city, I don`t know how I ever get home….
So my new roommate, Grace, is a real character. I move in, she doesn`t know me at all, and I get to sleep in bed with her….interesting…
I just climb right in to HER bed and I`m home…..thanks, JB….
Off work, I make myself at home in this huge city….took an EPIC walk way uptown and back again to the bottom…sweet freedom, baby….
Back at old McSorley`s after the toilet incident. A quiet time of day, no one but me, the barkeep, and the cats. This is the only bar I ever
want to sit in with my back to the door, looking inward….
The bartenders nickname is PEP….he says, “Whattup?”
I say, “Hey Pep, how`s life in the fast lane?”
He replies, “Slow…”
Looks like they got the blood smears off the floor in the bathroom…
I have come to the conclusion that the LES is so much better than uptown….more….CHARACTER…
Although the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building are quite spectacular…
Street hot dogs in the City are $1.00….cheap and nutritious…..
Upper West Side, Riverside Park, Seinfeld country
Central Park West, Green Water Lake, autumn foliage, the city all around me….MAJESTIC….
The Central Park Rollerskate Funk Session is a pleasure to watch….almost makes me want to take up rollerskating. Reminds me a tiny
bit of Venice Beach but not really. This one is much bigger and everyone is dressed up in crazy outfits and the music is THUMPIN` and
it`s Monday at 3pm. Don`t these people have jobs? Who cares? They are CLASSIC. “Back to life, back to reality….”
3:20pm joint at a south Central Park waterfall….`cause I couldn`t wait for 4:20…..
What a headrush….for some reason, that joint really fucked me up. Now, I`m lying on my back by a beautiful and quiet pond, staring at
the sky….a plastic bag floats by overhead on the wind and my thoughts go with it…..really amazing….truly strange life……
South Central Park Hampshire House 1931
“Dedicated to yesterday`s charm and tomorrow`s convenience”
Some rambunctious NY kids singing “Let it Be” on the N train downtown, my first subway ride in years….
Wrong train (meaning the RIGHT train) across Manhattan Bridge…my first time in Brooklyn…TOTALLY lost (ironically on Pacific Street)
Still getting wrong numbers on my cell from LA and OC….
5pm…walking across the Brooklyn Bridge…feeling both happy and mad….the natural state of a conflicted mind…..
WHAT A VIEW
Window washers hanging from buildings by ropes like Spidermen….
Top the day off with sunset at Battery Park…a walk north to Chinatown and then I get home and collapse in exhaustion…
FIRST IMPRESSIONS…..are always scatterbrained….sensory overload in its most intense form…..
Waking up the next morning with a surreal feeling…walking through Chinatown in my ghetto-ass bedroom slippers…it doesn’t matter, all the Chinese
are wearing slippers…..
remember that show, “The Bowery Boys”?
New York is beautiful in the slanting autumn sunlight….
I`ve told you people before and I`ll tell you again–don`t forget to play Burning Spear`s “Jordan River” at my funeral. I don`t care who`s there, just play the music….
“Roll, roll, roll, Jordan River gonna roll…”
“I`m always hearing voices on the street
I want to shout but I can hardly speak…”
Rolling Stones (from “Exile on Main Street”)
meant for me at this moment as I step out the front door on the Lower East Side, Orchard Street at 3:15pm
Tuesday, 10/12/04 4pm
Finally, I`ve calmed down a little bit and began adjusting to my current status. I`m sitting in East River Park, just north of the Williamsburg Bridge.
I am going to walk south, via Two Bridges area, and go back to my pad from the Brooklyn Bridge….when the time comes for me to go, (whenever,
that may be, no hurry…). I am determined to know the streets and the life of this city like I know LA. I will learn them better than native New Yorkers
because of my insatiable curiosity….
Don`t start with me
`cause then I`LL have to finish….
Corlear`s Hook Park…5:23pm…looking South….Statue of Liberty in the distance, a cool wind brings autumn leaves fluttering down to clatter dryly across
the dirty sidewalks. I sit by the East River, watching the sunset over the projects of Two Bridges, Manhattan and Brooklyn both amazing in the soft light,
Williamsburg to my north. No words could do this moment justice, but my mind`s eye has it captured forever…for the rest of my life, anyway….
The Stones, “Shine a Light” plays on my earphones….
South Street Seaport….dusk. Although it is a touristy area, a lot of the buildings are very old, from the 1700s. There is a fish stink that permanently
taints and permeates the night air, but somehow, this just gives it more character….
NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
Water and Dover Streets….the Bridge Cafe claims a date of 1847 as the time it opened, older than McSorley`s…who knows if it`s true? It doesn`t matter,
the crowd consists of too many suits. Nothing beats McSorley`s….
I can sit on the deck above Allen Street in the afternoon and watch the sunset over lower Manhattan–facing south and west, towards SoCal, my native turf–
nostalgia? Sure, but there is nothing there for me right now, or anywhere for that matter–I am just drifting on the river of life. I must forge new roads.
That`s always been the problem for me…not enough DOING, not enough ACTION. I am NOT lazy, no, definitely not. I am just a dreamer, a visionary,
with my head in the clouds. I have SO MANY artistic ideas it would make your head spin, but I lack the brown-nosing skills and the go-get-em motivation
to make these things happen. I just keep doing my thing in the shadows, taking my photos, writing my poems, painting the occasional canvas….just
floating along like dust on the wind with no inclination or determination to make something of it all. I am always sadly tethered to working reality, the harshness
of routine and the almighty fucking dollar. Please, let me break free, one way or another. All I really want to do is travel the world endlessly, taking photos
and writing…..IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!?
LET`S JUST SAY THAT THE INITIAL EXCITEMENT OF GETTING HERE HAS FINALLY WORN OFF
THANKS REALITY. GOOD JOB. YOU HAVE KILLED MY ENTHUSIASM. (At least I won`t have anymore toilet-related injuries…)
If possible, I would almost always be on the move, endlessly traversing the globe, with Hawaii as a home base. The only thing that keeps me ANYWHERE for
long is lack of money and an insane curiosity, just TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS….
“MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING”
Classic coffee shop at Hester and Orchard….excellent place with good food….
“That Old Black Magic….”
“We cannot change;
but we can expand.
Most thoughts are jottings on a
memo pad which will never be used.
As long as I am thinking,
I am not fully present.”
“No matter what we talk about,
we are talking about ourselves.”
“I touch the earth, the earth touches me”
“Rainy day, rain all day,
ain`t no use in getting uptight,
just let it groove its own way….”
“The walls have ears
the windows have eyes
the dead man tells no lies”
“I can reverse almost anything I have written
and the opposite will be equally true…”
Hot Women from Torrid Regions 20s 30s
“You smell like the south end
of a northbound mule…”
NYC street art
A picture of a woman`s eyes over the sea and sunset, and in white letters, scrawled….
“TAKE HER TO KEY WEST AND FUCK HER, YOU DAMN MORON“
Just got some herb from “Chief”, the delivery guy. This is how they do it in New York;
marijuana delivered like pizza. Two big Jamaicans in an SUV, flashed their headlights
at me, and I jumped in and we chatted, laughed and hit it off and now I`m settled into a
serious Rasta groove. Oh yes, I`ll be seeing them again (many times……)
Freeman`s Cast of Characters
JB…my friend for like 17 years or something is the manager, maitre d and first class character….
Marianne Vitale…lovely artist and waitress and a classic girl….top shelf….all around….
Caroline Tran…a sexy little Vietnamese chick with a sparky wit and an attitude…gotta love her….(great hairdo…)
Aurora…a little Filipina chick, also a little minx with quite large breasts(you can`t help but notice!) for an Asian girl…also a clever and witty one…
Nathan Grigolla…a lovable fucking pain-in-the-ass, obnoxious New York bastard…you love him and you hate him…
Tim Hudock…from Pittsburgh, PA…been in NY for years and is a goddamned CLASSIC character…always smoking cigs in the shadows so we call him SLEASTACK (“Land of the Lost”)
Loren Crawford…an LA dude, cool cat, fun to hang out with, and a good guy all around…bartender
Taavo…artistic owner and creator…cool dude
William…other owner, nice but real reserved and serious…unlike everyone else around here…
Brin…little Chinese chick who`s always on the computer in the back…..I think she`s an accountant or something….
NOBODY GET HURT…”
Caroline “Why are you so happy all the time?”
Me “Why are you always so miserable?”
This got a smile out of her….
Howard Johnson`s Times Square….Jack Daniels, fight between the waiters, great stuff, seedy dive,
a piece of a dying era, a sad dump but I love it…
Bellevue Bar, 9th Ave and 40th? Hell`s Kitchen
“If my baby don`t love me no more,
I know her sister will…”
EVERYTHING I`M MEANT TO FIND,
It is already evident that there is an entirely different breed of women in New York City. They know what they
want and they definitely know what WE want and they don`t use it against us as much as the girls in Los Angeles do.
There is none of that, `what kind of a car do you drive?` and `are you a producer?` bullshit. There is, of course,
gold-digging everywhere but it is kept at a minimum….a much rarer occurrence. What a beautiful thing, indeed….
These ladies are different…lusty, direct, witty, much more aggressive. They do the work for you half the time. All
you have to do is turn on a little charm and someone will come along…they know what they want and they make it happen…
Therefore, I AM…
…like a fox in a henhouse
…like a bull in a china shop
…like a child in a candy store
…like a pig at a trough
…like a vacuum in a room full of dust
…like a kid on Christmas morning
…like a sex addict in a porno shop
…like a junkie in a room full of needles
…like a fat man at an all-you-can-eat buffet….
YOU GET THE IDEA…
Wakamba Lounge 8th Ave and 37th South Hell`s Kitchen
Trailer Park 8th Ave and 23rd Chelsea
NYC sensory overload continues….
I`m almost too busy running around to write….I just scribble and move on….
(flash forward….deciphering this gibberish was next to impossible…just a
scatterbrained list of random memories…what can I tell ya? Coherent stories
will come later…)
I find the best bars when I`m already drunk….`CAUSE THERE`S SO MANY!
EVERY SINGLE THING I DO
IS A STORY WAITING TO BE TOLD…
Taquieria de Mexico Greenwich Ave and 12th St. Meat Packing District
ONE MAN BAR CRAWL (SLITHER…..~~~~~~~)
And the story said, “I`M STILL WAITING!”
Film photography is a dying art, not dead, but slowly dying because
everybody and their grandmother has a cellphone camera now…(I`ll probably jump on that bandwagon later…)
(BUT MY PHOTO COMPOSITION IS STILL BETTER THAN YOURS)
The Empire State Building is purple tonight…
Lots of Mex food on 39th St between 8th and 9th Ave….
“Until we lose ourselves there is no hope of finding ourselves.”
“The only thing that confines me is my own skin.”
`…Don`t worry, baby, I just wanna put a little pudding on your pie….` heh heh heh….
McSorley`s Pep the Bartender…full of cheesy and still funny cliches…..
“The proof is in the pudding…”
“Cheer up…the worst is yet to come…”
East 13th Street and 1st Ave and beyond….untrodden territory…fresh, new, scummy….YES! heading towards
East River….where will this journey lead?
Upper East Village…14th St and Ave A…The Blarney Cove Bar….what an epic DIVE! It stinks in here…I love it….
The most raw part of the city….
I DON`T NEED GUIDEBOOKS…..THEY NEED ME…..
Same area as above… the Shrunken Head Tiki Bar….met a girl named Lindsay from LA….HA!….she`s wearing the
same camo thermal as me….she just got here…..small world and coincidence is everywhere….but she`s from LA so
I`m outta here….there`s plenty of those on the left coast….
I simply can`t write it all down…TOO MUCH HAPPENS EVERY DAY AND EVERY MINUTE….
Mars Bar…1st and 2nd (which one`s AVE and which one`s ST?) I forgot…whatever…the SCUMMIEST BAR
I`ve ever been in my life…
“SAVE ME JEEBUS!!!”
“Your money or your life!”
“Take it easy….I`m thinking about it…”
“Sapphires in the mud”
SORRY EVERYBODY…..I`M HOME!!
JB just turned down President George Bush`s daughter at Freeman`s Restaurant….HA!! It was a brutal wait anyway…
He said, “Don`t come back for another four years…” Classic! I could not stop laughing….
“I told ya`ll back then,
now everybody wanna change
their muthafuckin` name…”
JUST THINK OF IT THIS WAY:
SOMEDAY WE`LL ALL BE DEAD.
“Join the Army;
Travel to exotic distant lands,
meet exciting, unusual people,
and KILL THEM.”
you`d be amazed at how much happens in a
NEW YORK MINUTE…
Just saw a Coast Guard cutter jetting at 40 knots+ up East River through stormy gray waves
with machine guns mounted on bow and stern…..what`s going on?
In storytelling, details are atmosphere….(which are sorely lacking in this issue….sorry…….)
“Thus Spoke Zarathustra”…..the eternal recurrence of the same events….
Rhapsody in Blue…..at Pier 42……
I was just at what I like to call Brooklyn Bridge Beach (BBB) under the structure…..FLOTSAM AND JETSAM….
(Probably NOT the best place for swimming…)
Barrio Chino at Broome and Orchard…..LES (Lower East Side)…right by my apartment….
“WORK WITH ME…
“Damn those dirty apes…!!”
“Drive your cart and your plow
over the bones of the dead”
“Proverbs of Hell”
Living in NYC and REALLY soaking it up, into your heart and soul,
enjoying the hell out of it, seeing EVERYTHING clearly and really appreciating it,
making LIFE ITSELF the ART…..Well, THIS is the ONLY medium that can really
do this city justice…
I was in a store and I saw some men`s underwear that said,
“MY DICK WOULD MAKE A BETTER VICE PRESIDENT.”
Bereket……Turkish food on the LES…..cold day, the best lentil soup ever,
complete with excellent Middle Eastern music…
Everywhere I go in this city I hear Billy Joel…
A t-shirt….MY VAN HAS A WATERBED
New York City by bike
“I had no shoes and complained–
until I met a man who had no feet…”
East 97th and Lexington Spanish Harlem
Burrito Deli….tacos muy excellente con Modelo……
Found an old, gnarled tree trunk to sit on in an autumn glade in Central Park. This area is called
“Strawberry Fields.” Red, gold and green leaves are everywhere. It is like a scene from Middle Earth
in Mirkwood or the land of the elves….
Times Square Friday night….
I`ve ridden the bike EVERYWHERE today….uptown, downtown, eastside, westside……ridiculous….you know how I do it….
Now I`m headed downtown and through the Village. At this moment, I am in the vortex, THE NEXUS, as it were….
I just talked to the so-called “Dr. Geek” from Hollywood and Venice….he tells me he`s originally from Detroit….I LOVE coincidence….
SKATEBOARDING THIS TOWN IS NEXT….
Bicycling at high speed through Times Square at night like a bat out of hell, like one of those crazy bike messengers….
a near suicidal adrenaline rush of untold proportions that denies the possibility of any accurate word description….
Sometime….take Amtrak`s….”The Crescent” from NYC to New Orleans….
“IS THERE ANYTHING NOT WORTH DRINKING TO?”
Carnival Cruise Ship leaving NY by the Hudson at 7pm….
I drew a map of my ride here, but I cannot render it for you ….I wish I had a scanner at times like this…..
It`s not that accurate anyway….
My favorite Starbucks for a coffee OR a beer…East Village…by the Walt Whitman bench and the Cube
around Cooper Square and Astor Place….
Beer…like I always said….IN ONE END AND OUT THE OTHER….. A Ukrainian bar in the East Village….lively, to say the least….
Yucca Bar Cucina Latina East 7th and Ave A…..
6th St and Ave C….The Secret Garden….it really is a garden….not a bar….but you can make it one if you bring a beer…..
Just met the lovely Geraldine, a Vietnamese beauty from Paris at Ave B and 3rd St….that`s right, ON THE STREET, and NO she`s NOT a hooker….
Nietzsche speaking of the sun…..
“Oh great star, what would your happiness be had you not those for whom you shine?”
JUST DON`T ASK ME TO EXPLAIN MYSELF MORE THAN I ALREADY TRY TO….
“The firmament that is New York is greater than the sum of its parts. It is a City and it is also a creature, a mentality,
a disease, a threat, an electromagnet, a cheap stage set, an accident corridor. It is an implausible character, a monstrous
vortex of contradictions, an attraction-repulsion mechanism so extreme no one could have made it up.”
What it says on the Walt Whitman bench…
“What is it then between us?
Whatever is the count of the scores
or hundreds of years between us?
Whatever it is, it avails not–
distance avails not, and place avails not,
I too lived.
Brooklyn of ample hills was mine,
I too walked the streets of Manhattan Island,
and bathed in the waters around it.”
“Crossing Brooklyn Ferry”
Bloody Mary time….3:20pm at St. Mark`s Ale House…
some chick is freaking out…next to me at the bar. She`s stressed,
coming down from a bender, no doubt. Some guy says,
“You`re killing me, woman…want a valium? Some razorblades, maybe?”
Just another New York Minute…
Sitting on the Allen Street patio balcony at 4:20pm, smoking and looking up through the trees
at the gray sky….with patches of blue, and two white seagulls glide into view while I listen to Burning Spear…
Atmosphere is everything along with perfect timing….
“GET UP, STAND UP AND SPEAK THE TRUTH”
433 W 21st Street and 9th Ave 3E Chelsea….
WHERE THE HELL AM I AND WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?
Old NYC buildings….you find your way in but you can`t find
your way OUT…..!
Corlear`s Hook park…a lot of history over here that has been mowed under for the Projects. I sit here alone
on a gray day in my own private amphitheater staring at the East River and seeing new worlds ever-changing,
being born and then dying…NYC, a tapestry of endless colors, a myriad of shifting and whirling shapes and forms…
a vortex of orderly chaos….
I`m sorry, but you seem to have mistaken me for someone else….
perhaps someone who cares….
Some days, I don`t want to talk to anyone but myself…
Cute little squirrels running along behind me like puppies, yeah, cute little plague squirrels
with the black death flea, I`ll come back with some peanuts for ya….ok?
The Orchard Street apartment building I am living in with Grace was built in 1871…howzabouthat?
pinching pennies is just plain mean…
The Chinese laundromat across Orchard Street has a floor that rumbles every time the subway (F Train?) goes under the building…
Lunar Eclipse 10/27/04
Between 5th and 6th Avenues around the 30s streets…was known as the Tenderloin and Satan`s Circus back in the day…
sexy Chinese girls sucking on lollipops gives me a tear in my eye…
The streets are saying things…
Steve Brodie, the legendary Bowery character that allegedly jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge as a stunt and survived (faked?)…
“IT BECAME LEGEND VERY QUICKLY AND THUS JOINED THAT BODY OF LORE
WHICH NOBODY CARES TO UPSET, SINCE, AFTER ALL, THE LITERAL TRUTH HARDLY MATTERS…”
Central Park is simply beautiful but quite far from my local turf. My local favorite parks are East River Park and Corlear`s Hook, full of history
and colorful characters and often empty and peaceful. I believe their proximity to the projects scares off most of the lightweights, but I,
undaunted, sit on a bench on a glorious and sunny morning with a cool refreshing breeze, meditating on red and gold autumn leaves and blue
sky and diamonds sparkling on East River. Life is good…
“I want to be a part of it…
New York, New York,
if I can make it there,
I`ll make it anywhere,
It`s up to you, New York, New York…”
“New York is a city that will be replaced by another city.”
Don`t forget New Amsterdam…
“Now, more than a decade after I finished this book, the city has changed in ways I could not have pictured then. The tenements are mostly
still standing, but I still could not afford today to live in even my most desperately shabby Manhattan apartments. The furthest limits of the
downtown slums have been colonized by prosperity. Instead of disappearing, local history has been preserved as a kind of seasoning.
New York is neither the Wonder City nor a half-populated ruin, but rather a vulnerable, anxious, overcrowded, half-deluded, all-too-human town,
shaken by a cataclysm no one could have foreseen. I don`t live there anymore and I have trouble going and walking around because the streets
are too haunted by the ghosts of my own personal history. Thinking about it makes me melancholy, but I was forever changed by it, my imagination
is manacled to it, and I wear its mark like a scar. Whatever happens, like it or not, NYC is fated always to remain my home.”
Cafe El Portal Wed lunch…fresh tamales….
on Elizabeth between Spring and Kenmore…
Jesus loves winners and sinners….
I used to live in a room full of mirrors
and all I could see was me,
One day I smashed all my mirrors
and the whole world was here for me to see…”
“I got it one piece at a time
and it didn`t cost me a dime
and when I ride into town
you`ll know I`m around…”
“The Temple of Dendur”
at the Metropolitan Museum of Art…..amazing!
I saw more of the Met in ONE HOUR, than most people can see all day….
Streetlights curve in pleasant perspective…I sit on a bench by the southeast pond in Central Park
at 6:15pm, just as night creeps over and cloaks the gray sky in black. Darkness. Mystery. There
is a purple glow to this night and I watch the lights of the Upper East Side reflecting and twinkling
on the water. The city roars and hums around me, distant voices, whistles, horns, screams, car tires,
horses hooves, clippity clop, can`t stop till I drop…the energy here on Manhattan Island defies description.
It is off the charts, but as always, my finger is on the pulse. The City surrounds me with its cacophonous
song but I am here…an observer, quiet, objective, lingering on the border betwixt two universes, both of
which are indeed, ever-expanding outward…..
Some of Central Park is so densely wooded and swampy that it still seems wild….insects, birds, frogs, ducks,
flowing water, leaves, creaking wood…tonight it reminds me of “Pirates of the Caribbean”….MY image from youth,
not the movie……..”yo ho, yo ho, a pirate`s life for me….”
Times Square by night…as of yet, the CRAZIEST place I`ve ever seen–a city of flashing neon, live music, voices;
really does feel like the center of the world, ALIVE and pulsing with energy….
Bumpersticker of Bill Clinton smiling…
“BETTER BLOWJOBS THAN NO JOBS”
Cutty Sark scotch and “disco fries”(cheese and gravy french fries) at Howard Johnson in Times Square…
Now THAT`S a healthy dinner!
A HA! there`s a White Castle Burger at 8th Ave and 36th St….
Walter`s Bar ….Fresco Tortilla……8th Ave and 29th….
I can`t be stopped….
10pm Thunder but no rain…..YET….
East Village, St. Mark`s Place and Ave A
Pick a good street corner in NYC, anywhere really; have a beer. Listen. A million voices, a million conversations…
THIS, this is NYC…..all too human…..
“Nothing lasts forever in the cold November rain…” Guns n Roses at a Ukrainian bar on 2nd Ave and East 9th St….
I said see you later to this blonde Russian babe I`d been talking to and she said, “I hope so…”
WHY DID I LEAVE?! FUCKING IDIOT!!
Allen St and East Houston….Silver Space Ape….
Street quote….”I`ve been having a lot of trouble with Puerto Ricans lately…”
El Sombrero at Stanton and Ludlow
Graffiti at Rutgers and East Broadway
“CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT”
“Tommy the cat is my name…say baby, do you wanna lay down with me?”
Primus– overheard downtown…
still going, still going…still going…..
Two Bridges, Pike and Henry streets 3am …I am truly a Machine. “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.”
My day has been groundbreaking, the future is limitless, the sky has broken open….
YOU HEARD ME….
3:30am…DEEP Chinatown, what used to be the Five Points….ghosts walk the streets here….
Doyer, Pell St. and Mott St….a great and fascinating area….
On Grand between Elizabeth and the Bowery, I have wandered into the hottest Asian babes` after-hours party I`ve EVER seen in my life….
ohmygod…the last thing I see before crashing out is a trendy, trust fund babies club RIGHT NEXT DOOR to the Bowery Mission for the homeless…
The club is called MISSION. Irony is everything….rich kids partying while poor homeless guys lie on the sidewalk 20 feet away….
There is a WHOLE STORY here beyond the fragments I can remember…..TOO MUCH HAPPENS EVERYDAY….I CAN`T KEEP TRACK OF IT ALL….
Oh yeah, like that other bar with the hot London girls…..
I give up….I`m going to sleep now….I can`t take anymore……
“I hurt myself today
to see if I still feel,
I focused on the pain,
the only thing that`s real,
The needle tears a hole,
that old familiar sting,
try to kill it all away,
but I remember everything…
What have I become
my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know
goes away in the end…
You can have it all,
my empire of dirt,
I will let you down,
I will make you hurt…”
FDR Drive and East 6th Street…
just crossed Ave D heading to East River through the Projects and the construction guys
fucked up and a GIANT streetlight fell and shattered 20 feet away from me…I guess it wasn`t my time ….yet…..
The top of the Williamsburg Bridge is wreathed in mist….
A million shades of gray in a city of perpetual gray…everything is wet, misty, musty, moldy, fascinating, haunting, HALLOWEEN is coming…
Cars hissing by on wet pavement, an empty park surrounded by gray skies and a gray city…
a grove of trees, leaves falling to earth in a gentle breeze, yellow, orange, red and green, the only color….
glowing lampposts reflected in puddles on the ground, NARNIA…with cars…just for a brief moment, a flash……
“Moreover, others find far lesser obstacles sufficient
excuse for creating nothing at all…”
My mind`s eye is my favorite camera lens and it ALWAYS gets the best shots…
10/30/04 misty dusk at the White Horse Tavern on Pearl Street WAY downtown…
“Behold, I am weary of my wisdom, like a bee that has gathered too much honey; I need hands outstretched to receive it.”
The seemingly random and incredibly long, intricate walks that only
I take, are, in fact, what I like to call CALCULATED MAYHEM…
Walking down small, winding Greenwich Village streets by pale lamplight, faces a ghostly sheen passing in the dim light.
All Hallows Eve is tomorrow night, leaves falling from autumn trees on wet sidewalks and wind rattles the trees in front
of old brick buildings wreathed in ivy. It`s Charles Dickens, it`s Washington Irving, it`s Ray Bradbury`s Halloween Tree
or October Country, it`s haunted, it`s poetry and madness and dreams…
I JUST TRY TO MAKE A POINT ABOUT SEEING
WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DON`T SEE AND THEN
WRITING IT DOWN…
2 cops in a yellow NYC taxi caught me with an open beer in the Meatpacking district. I had just pissed and was about to
smoke some herb. I got a summons to court. That was one cab ride I DIDN`T WANT….
There is nothing for me here or anywhere except endless wandering because I AM A NOMAD…
…or maybe EVERYTHING IS FOR ME EVERYWHERE BECAUSE OF THAT WANDERING SPIRIT…
I may not be as fortunate and as internationally well-traveled as some, however, in a sense, because of my city walks and extensive
urban exploration, I have walked all around the globe. The City is a microcosm of the entire world, sometimes even more pronounced
in its ethnic diversities, often because of its suddenness to change and proximity of areas to one another. I`ve been EVERYWHERE…
I got up early to work the damned Sunday brunch and the time had changed on me. I had no idea. But I`m not really complaining
because I was blessed with an extra free hour on this beautiful, sunny, Sunday morning in autumn with golden leaves blowing
down the gray streets…
I close my eyes and listen and I am ANYWHERE…
Everytime I sit inside in New York City, I feel like I`m missing something… (and I probably am…)
Everywhere I go and everywhere I`ve been, I always hold it all somewhere in my heart and memory…
Let me tell you a story of
a million shades of gray…
a story of blue skies
and madness and dreams,
of a thousand faces and places
in a single day
and a thousand and one nights
of delirium and desire,
of hot breath
and beating hearts
bathed in sweat,
soft lips and velvety flesh…
Let me tell you a story
of tomorrow and yesterday
and this moment right now…
If I were to tell you a story
would you hear me?
Would you listen?
The wind blows golden leaves
diamonds glitter on East river,
everything bathed in light…
classical music somehow perfect on a crisp, windy day of sunshine and puffy white clouds…
“Players only love you when they`re playing..”
Nov. 1st…a dragonfly flutters on a knife of sunlight…
Both the LES and Tribeca, from the East river to the Hudson in the same day…
saw Mama Liberty from both shores, both sides of Manhattan Island…
New York is at the CENTER of town, an inward-looking City, but I, ever the waterman,
am always drawn to the edges of the island, the fringes, seedy back alleys and waterfront
bars. This is what intrigues my horror interest, the fine lines at the edge…
What else is new?
Everywhere in this city, the streets rumble, from trains tearing down the dark tunnels of the city BENEATH the city…
“Time keeps on slippin` , slippin`, slippin` …into the future…..”
Lucien at 1st and 1st…..THE NEXUS OF THE UNIVERSE
I got mugged at gunpoint, but I ended up talking with the guy and he thought I was
such a character that he gave the money back and said, “Gimme two dollas though, I want a beer….”
Well, that`s neither here, nor there…
Like a deer in the headlights….
They should put a bar out here to go with the ashtray…
“Alas, my brothers, this god whom I created was manmade and madness, like all gods! Man he was,
and only a poor specimen of man and ego; out of my own ashes and fire, this ghost came to me, and,
verily, it did not come to me from beyond. What happened, my brothers? I overcame myself, the
sufferer; I carried my own ashes to the mountains; I invented a brighter flame for myself. And behold,
then this ghost fled from me…”
“Thus Spoke Zarathustra”
“In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody,
and if we do not embrace that, life is wasted.”
Listening to Hawaiian music on my cell phone, while sitting in The White Horse Tavern on Bridge St. (“est. 1742”, so they say).
The streets are winding cobblestones wet in the rain and the place seems almost medieval in atmosphere and title…..
had a pint of Guinness followed by an excellent bloody mary….
Freeman`s Restaurant is KICKING!!
I can`t even fucking hear myself THINK in here…..
“Hell hath no fury like a woman`s scorn…”
“Night has come; now all fountains speak more loudly; and my soul too is a fountain…”
“I am a wanderer and a mountain climber, he said to his heart. It seems I cannot sit still for long. And whatever may yet come
to me as destiny and experience will surely include some wandering and mountain climbing: in the end, one experiences only oneself.”
“All that is straight lies.
All that is truth is crooked.
Time itself is a circle.”
“By many ways, in many ways, I reached my truth; it was not on one ladder that I climbed to the height where my eye roams over my
distance. And it was only reluctantly that I ever inquired about the way: that always offended my taste. I preferred to question and try
out the ways themselves. This is MY WAY. Where is yours? Thus I answered those who asked me, `the way.`
For THE WAY–that does not exist.”
“Nobody tells me anything new, so I tell myself.”
“Thus spoke Zarathustra, and he left his cave, glowing and strong as a morning sun that comes out of dark mountains.”
“It`s so very lonely
you`re 2000 light years from home…”
the Rolling Stones
“So long as prisons and madhouses exist, someone must be shut up in them.”
“The happy man feels only at ease because the unhappy bear their burdens in silence, and without that silence, happiness would be impossible.”
I don`t know why, but I just love giving lost people directions in NYC…
Central Park….”The Ramble” is a great section and also full of amazing birds….
I just stepped in fetid swamp water coming out of Central Park west….up to my ankle…
“He looked mournfully into the water, and thinking about his life, he came to the conclusion he had never said or acted upon what he
really thought, and other people had repaid him in the same way. And so the whole of life seemed to him as dark as this water in
which the night sky was reflected and water weeds grew in a tangle. And it seemed to him that nothing–nothing could ever set it right.”
New York Natural History Museum….in the Hall of Minerals by a GIANT topaz…..you look at these rocks and there is just NO WAY
to deny that we and this planet we live on, are formed of space dust….
I also touched one of the statues from Easter Island….
Central Park, “Strawberry Fields”…..a big circle that says IMAGINE….
inane conversations are funny
Sat morning 11/06/04
I feel like Rip Van Winkle, like I slept for 100 years….
I just saw a kid rolling and burying himself in bright autumn leaves and laughing hysterically, having SO MUCH fun, and I was reminded of
the magic and wonder of youth, always near to me…..stay close to me, that childlike wonder, that sense of fascination with everything….
Like Frank says….
“Fairytales can come true
it can happen to you
if you`re young at heart…”
Saturday afternoon live concert in Tompkins Square, East Village…at the edge of Alphabet City…
“Advantage” was the band name
“Are you ready to riot?!” they reminded me of a punk version of Slipknot…
St. Marks Pl. in a coffee shop….”Autumn in New York” sung by Ella and Louis….
“A boat beneath a sunny sky
lingering onward dreamily
in an evening of July–
Children three that nestle near
eager eye and willing ear
pleased a simple tale to hear
Long has paled that sunny sky
echoes fade and memories die
Autumn frosts have slain July
Still she haunts me, phantom wise
Alice moving under skies
Never seen by waking eyes
Children yet the tale to hear
eager eye and willing ear
lovingly shall nestle near
In a Wonderland they lie
dreaming as the days go by
dreaming as the summers die
Ever drifting down the stream
lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?”
I just love NYC abbreviations for various areas of the boroughs…
SOHO…south of Houston
NOHO…north of Houston
LES……lower east side
NOLITA..north of Little Italy
TRIBECA…triangle below Canal
DUMBO…directly under Manhattan Bridge overpass
….these last two are mine……
BBB….Brooklyn Bridge Beach (only exists at low tide)
CHUMBO…Chinese hotties under Manhattan Bridge overpass
From the vibrant red, gold, and chartreuse green colors of only two weeks ago, the leaves are distinctly
redder, rustier-looking, browner, drier, deader. They look tired, barely hanging on. As the leaves die
and blow away, Old Man Winter blows relentlessly towards us, ever closer….
Another New York Minute….
a little black kid, yelling excitedly to all his friends, “I`M TREATING EVERYBODY TO A HAPPY MEAL!!”
“Don`t try to compete–just stand back and let him happen….”
Vicodin, my new personal demon….(I already went through the valium phase years ago…)
“In the contest between life and literature, life wins every time.”
“Kafka was the Rage”
I`m a`goin ramblin……
“If I don`t get some shelter,
yeah, I`m gonna fade away…”
The Rolling Stones
Just when I thought I`d seen everything,
Japanese television cameras come to McSorley`s
They interviewed me.
(months later, they sent me an e-mail; I`m HUGE in Japan)
Southeast Central Park…on the Forbidden Rock at dusk, looking up at the city lights all around me….
A cold night; me, alone as usual, walking down endless avenues through the multitudes like a ghost,
“Boulevard of Broken Dreams” style….
I had a revelation tonight of why, deep down, I kind of like midtown central NYC in some sick way:
when I walk there, I am utterly lost and alone, a speck of dust in the maelstrom….I KNOW NO ONE….
NYC 40 degrees in Hell`s Kitchen…
“Death is a Lonely Business”
South Street Seaport 9:20pm…MUCH quieter at night….a whole different ballgame. Empty 3rd floor deck…just the lapping of the waves
on the East River against the rickety dock pilings. 3 bridges in sight and Lady Liberty to the south….Brooklyn looms before me.
37 degrees at the Watchtower. The night hums. It glows with a lonely light all its own. The night, she shows me her secrets, ever-changing,
mysterious, revealed like a neon flower blooming…exploding in the darkness…
How did my life become such an odd and strange waking dream?
I find myself walking under the Brooklyn Bridge, scribbling this in the dim light…
I move endlessly through surreal landscapes filled with the faces of the blessed and the damned…
I walk amongst them, drifting like a phantom, unseen, as a ghost…I float through the night…
wears a mask
but beneath it all
lies a tapestry of sorrows…
laughs all around
but tears within…
energy given away freely
but none taken…
and naught but
darkness coming on…
the shadow crawls
but he bravely
holds a tiny light
as a shield…
the battle continues
although quite one-sided,
it is fiercely fought,
but I think we all know
the final outcome.
there are no happy endings.
the sun shines down
the crescent moon rises
the cycle rolls on and on…
Why can`t NYC be in a warmer climate? Why?
“No man is an island.”
steaming subway grates and manhole covers blowing smoke are SO NYC…
BU$H…..4 MORE YEARS!!
LET`S PLAY ARMAGEDDON!!!
I SEE THE WRITING ON THE WALL
AND LET ME TELL YA,
IT AIN`T PRETTY
“The long and winding road that leads to your door
will never disappear,
I`ve seen that road before
it always leads me here
leads me to your door…”
“One Bright Morning
when my work is done,
fly away home to Zion,
fly away home…”
I just fell in love for a moment with a SEXY little Chinese girl in CHUMBO. She was in a US Army uniform
and her name tag said ZOU….at the corner of Market and Monroe….
Madison Street and Mechanic`s Alley under the Manhattan Bridge is spectacular…
“Waiting for a girl who`s got curlers in her hair,
waiting for a girl with no money anywhere…
waiting for my factory girl…”
The Rolling Stones
“We may be through with the past, but the past ain`t through with us…”
THERE`S JUST NO MIDDLE GROUND ANYMORE…
EVERYTHING IS JUST SO DAMN FUNNY….
Rainy day NYC…..Miles Davis “Blue in Green”
L.E.S. is more
“You remind me of that actor…..(fill in the blank here_____________)”
OH BALLS! they base characters like THAT on guys like ME….
“SHIMMY SHIMMY YA SHIMMY YAY
GIMME THE MIKE SO I CAN TAKE IT AWAY…”
I want to get back to the Garden
“somehow, some way,
I keep coming up with
funky-ass shit like
every single day…”
“The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things”
J.T. LeRoy (Laura Albert)
11/14/04 9:45pm NYC
“Sweet Paradise Lounge” on Orchard Street
empty, save for me and 2 Chinese girls who might be hookers…
“GO REALLY, REALLY, REALLY SOUTH OF HOUSTON STREET
daily non stops to San Juan
fireflies on the edge of my vision
CARNAVAL Houston and 1st Ave…
“pools of sorrow
waves of joy
are flowing through
my open mind…
Nothing`s gonna change my world…”
I GOT 3 ACES UP MY SLEEVE
AND ONE IN MY HAND, BABY!
Tres Aztecas (my favorite new authentic Mexican restaurant in NY)
at Rivington and Allen, great salsa music and narcocorrido on the juke
and I was BLASTING IT…..
Silver crescent moon mid sky in a cobalt blue expanse; silhouetted trees framed on Forsyth Street….
“Can you dig that? Can you dig THAT?!”
“Only when you have all denied me shall I return to you…”
Nathan`s rooftop with Timbo and I, Lower East Side……Champagne, life is RICH….the projects look beautiful from up here….
THIS MOMENT RIGHT NOW IS SO PURE THAT I WON`T EVEN WRITE IT DOWN.
“Art is what remains of history.”
dust is what remains of myself.
“THE SECOND WOE IS PAST; AND BEHOLD,
THE THIRD WOE COMETH QUICKLY….”