March 15, 2004

agentcrusher: BLOG DAMMIT BLOG

Auto response from Aperockets: The world must be peopled!

Aperockets: :-)
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agentcrusher: you're one of my favorites. Blog for godsake. I check your site three times a day.

Let it never be said that if a pretty girl asks me to do something I won't do it.

Aperockets: but I just got up and it's 60 degrees so I have to go outside first
agentcrusher: ahh
agentcrusher: ok

And so I did.

Chapter One. He adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion - er, no, make that: he - he romanticized it all out of proportion. - Yes.

- Manhattan

I don't think I write half as many New-York-centric entries as I realistically could, or have in me. I don't write half as much of anything as I could, which is another story entirely. But if every time I had a cliched moment of transplant's affection for this most miraculous of cities I wrote about it, you would hate me. And with good reason. Perhaps you already do. And fair play to you, sir. But today, Constant Reader of my Inconstant Tripe, you're just going to have to indulge me.

So, nobody's here.

Well, not "nobody," I exaggerate for effect, but very very few people are here. It's spring break, and there are five people still on my floor. Not that many more in the building altogether. NYU purposely schedules Spring Break over St. Patrick's Day to try to get students off the island and outside the perimeter of their legal responsibility for this drinkin'est of holidays. To that end, all the dining halls are closed. This is a lot more catastrophic than it sounds.

I don't keep food in my house, usually, as a rule. I have a bunch of meals on my plan and I fill in the gaps with pizza, falafel, Wendy's, and Drake's Fruit Pie from the vending machine downstairs. One time, when we were both drunk as lords, a girl down the hall bestowed upon me a whole roll of Oreo's, which I promptly put in one of my desk drawers and forgot about. A week later, looking for a pen or something, I opened said drawer and happened upon the lost cookies. Food. In my room. In large quantities. It was the happiest I have ever been about anything.

So, yea, I'm not used to concepts like "going to the store," nor was I, as of Friday when the dining halls closed, financially equipped to become super-familiar with it, either. So I did what any broke college student who's just had the rug of subsidized eating temporarily pulled out from under him would do: I bought peanut butter and bread (So it turns out white bread is the cheapest. But what it lacks in flavor it makes up for in...uhm. White.) and copped plastic knives from the store's deli section, and I went home with wholeheartedly intending to eat that and only that for the next couple days.


Well, okay, it wasn't entirely unrealistic, just extravagantly unrealistic. My grandma is coming out tommorrow, along with one of my little brother. So, on Saturday I'm figuring all I have to do is feel very bohemian, watch a lot of TV, learn to enjoy hunger-induced hallucination and bide my time until Tuesday and kingly spreads at breakfast, lunch, and dinner with Granny. On Sunday morning, I awoke feeling practically two-dimensional. I was able to babysit that afternoon, which I didn't think was going to happen, so I've been able to supplement my diet with a few things that are distincly un-peanut-butter-and-bread.

I have lost interest in whatever I was saying and I'm too tired to segue out of it. Today was gorgeous. A couple weeks ago we had a string of days in the fifties and sixties and I think all the bastards that said spring was here jinxed it (Thanks, assholes) and it proceeded to rain and snow and be generally winter-y, but today was the bright spot in a forecast that continues to be dreary on into next week. I went outside.

So did everyone else.

I'm writing a bullshit essay for a bullshit class, and one of my theses was that human contact does not really occur in Union Square park but in the subway station below. Clearly, I am wrong, and an asshole. People were selling artwork.

People were skateboarding.

People were selling fruits and vegetables.

Between the red brick building and the McDonald's, on the bottom floor of that ugly silver monstrosity, is a great Japanese restaurant, Republic, which Emilie recommended to me and I later took a girl from my floor to on a date. Emilie got mad. Later on that date, when we were having coffee, there was that telling conversational lull and I leaned in to kiss her, and a few seconds later realized that the slow part of Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue" had just started playing, as if on cue. Ranks up there as far as New York moments go. She later told me she just wanted to be friends. I was disappointed, not because I didn't want the same thing, but because you always want to be the one to say it, not hear it.

It's important to have a personal geography.

So that was the park. Glorious. I headed west, through Chelsea, for the water.

Somebody was filming something.

Back in the day (y'know, two months ago. Think hard.) if you saw camera equipment and catering trucks in the Village, you could safely assume it was "Sex And The City." But that show is over. Which, by process of elimination, leads me to believe that this was "Law And Order."

The facade of a hotel in Chelsea.

More personal geography: When Chelsea was in town, (to those of you easily excited by similarities between the names of people and place: you're welcome) we walked by this place. We remarked upon its coolness. Chelsea said she'd like to stay there. Good luck. I'm pretty sure that, to gain admittance, you have to be a 60's super-spy, or, failing that, a sexy robot.

The Hudson.

I learned from a helpful placard about riverfront renewal that these jagged ghost-pier remains are called "piles." Piles is also a term for hemmorhoids.

School's not in session, but the learning continues. The learning continues.

A park on a pier.

This is where I wrote this back in the fall. Today I had every intention of sitting down here and reading, but it was hell of windy. I moved on.

I think you're supposed to like the East Village more, since it's hipper and edgier and what-have-you. Unless charming brownstones and cozy three-tabled restaurants are edgy, the West Village can't compete. But I think I like it more. At least in daylight.

Things are old here.

Nothing in Arizona dates back to 1868. I'm pretty sure much of the West was still in the prototype stages back then. But history's everywhere here. Judging by the abundance of plaques, a famous poet or essayist was born, lived, or died in every room below 14th street. Buildings that look like they once sold anchors or contained scriveners hunched over at rows of crude ink-stained desks now house novelty condom stores. I love that.

The lecture part of the afformentioned bullshit class is taught by a guy who used to be the photo editor at the New York Times and can't get over Photoshop. Class consists of watching him have a series of anuyersms about magazines not disclosing when they've digitally altered pictures. So, if only for Fred the lecturer's sake, I feel it's necessary to tell you I fucked with the contrast on this picture of a birdhouse and a tree and a building and a sign. And some other pictures, too. It makes 'em look deep.

Speaking of deep: Fire escapes. Flowers. Good CHRIST am I sensitive or WHAT?

I have a photographic preoccupation with bikes chained to poles (see also).

New York is one of your finest examples of that wettest of the civic engineer's wet dreams, the grid system. Avenues run north-south, streets, east-west. Except when they don't. In the West Village, they start to go all to shit. I live on Tenth. Like many others, past Seventh Ave. it goes crazy diagonal and runs smack into W. Fourth, which itself ricochets and zig-zags erratically, like if a coked-out Margo Kidder were a paved surface.

I rule at writing.

The roof of my building, from a block away.

It turns out you can get up there if you're industrious enough. A dean or a vice-president or something lives in a townhouse on the roof, so when Patrick and his two friends from Texas and I went up there last night to take in the view, we were quiet. Except when discussing Spiderman and contemplating alternate universes. I called Trevor to tell him jokes I'd heard (What has nine arms and sucks? Def Leppard.) and he told me Mike The Coolest Person In The World stories. Christine, Patrick's friend, gasped when the lights on the Empire State Building went off, like they do every night at midnight, a procedure I disagree with on general principal.

I watched streetball while eating a Frostee from Wendy's.

One of my Life's Goals is to live in a building whose name begins with "The," like The Alabama, which is up the block, or The Dakota, without all the unpleasantness of getting shot by a crazed Salinger-obsessed fan out front. This is a corollary to my ceaseless desire to live at an estate with a one-word name, like Tara or Monticello. I am thinking mine will be named Mesopotamia, or, failing that, HammerTime.

It's supposed to snow tommorrow. Spring coming on the installment plan is annoying, but it's better than it not coming at all.

I used the phrase "failing that" twice in this entry. I must think I'm such hot shit.

Posted by DC at March 15, 2004 09:27 PM


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