Friday, August 31, 2007

Yankee Stadium

The Yankees Win....thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa YANKEES WIN!!!!

Yankees 5, Redsox 0. Great day at the stadium.

When I moved to New York in 1994, i had very little money, absolutely no knowledge of what to do or where to go. I had no strong political contact with what was going on in the world. I didn't realize yet that New York was a place that you could mold into your own image. I was 18, on my own, going to college and living in a single room apartment with a bed a dresser and nothing else.

What do I do with my time?

Well, during the baseball season, I went to the ballgame, as often as i could. For 6 dollars you could wait on line for day-of the game tickets in the right field bleachers of Yankee stadium. The bleachers back then were not the party all the time place it is now. There were a small group of rowdy bleacher-creatures that reveled in their love for the Yankees and shared a contempt for anything to do with the box-seat yuppies in any other section of the stadium.

You could sit out in the bleachers, stretch out in the open seating and listen to the inventive and very "un-family friendly" chants. I still think there is little better way to spend 3 hours in the city than by watching the ballgame. Maybe its my connection to the early lean days of my first years in New York. But I think its more the contrast to everything else in my life.

No matter how hectic or stressful your life gets, sitting at a baseball game is just fun.

I could create a list of reasons that the baseball industry is just another capitalist machine draining the working class of its money or complain about a bunch of spoiled millionaires playing a dumb game so the corporate sponsors have a larger vehicle for their own gain. And I would be right to bring up the games success helping to perpetuating sweatshop abuse, and its biggest market players ignoring their responsibilities by making money off the slave labor and not speaking out against the practices.

I would be right to make all these points...and i do often. But watching a baseball game is just watching a baseball game. It's fun, peaceful and it a great way to connect with other people in your city.

I know this blog is supposed to celebrate all of New York, but i hate the I'm not going to Shea!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Walk The Brooklyn Bridge

How many times have you walked across the Brooklyn Bridge? Or biked it? Or in the case of a friend of mine walked a third of the way, realized you were late for work, hopped over the rail onto the oncoming traffic and hailed a cab!

I used to do it every day on my way to work on Murray st. Now i bike across to and from work 2 or 3 times a week. It is a great NYC walking experience. The walkway is a little steeper than the Manhattan bridge and much more crowded than the Williamsburg bridge, but it has a better view of New York than nearly everywhere else.

You might be able to find a better angle of the Statue of Liberty (from the 18th floor law offices of 26 broadway for example) or a better look at the Verrazzano Bridge at night. However, you can see it all from either tower of the BB. Governor's Island, 2 bridges in one direction, 1 in the other the Empire state building, south street seaport, a view of all 5 boroughs plus an ugly look at New Jersey...all while getting some good exercise.

The walk across the bridge is the one thing i tell anyone visiting NYC to do before they leave. The best times to go: Sunset and Sunrise of course. Try and time your trip so you are walking back towards Manhattan as the sun is about to set. Watching the colors of the sky reflecting off the glass of the buildings change from a bright orange to a deep blue over a half hour is amazing.

Some people like the architecture of the bridge itself. I could take it or leave it. The bridge and the walk is all about the views.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

East Village Art

I have lived in or near the east village a total of 4 year of my 14 in new york. The most of any one area.
From what i can remember:

7th st. and 1st ave.

5th st. and ave. B

2nd st and ave. C

19th and 1st ave.

I have spent so much time walking around this old neighborhood that i am almost ashamed that yesterday was the first time i ever walked around just to look at the street art. There is probably no other neighborhood in NYC or perhaps the country so associated with its street art. Graffitti, stencils, stickers, tiled mosaics, amazing community gardens and thousand of random acts of self expression everywhere you go.

Some people complain about how the neighborhood has changed from the early days of Punk Rock to the current sate of Starbucks nation. I choose at least for now to focus on what is great about the east village. It is still a world as unique and open as any in the city. The evidence is everywhere. In the squats that still move from place to place (too many have been brutally destroyed) community centers, coffee shops, tompkins square and the dozens of activist meeting locals.

The art changes. You can still see the words of Basquiat on backstreet walls, and "Know Your Rights" murals from 20 years ago. But you also see new and yet very iconic images from the new guardians of east village culture.

Yesterday i walked down Avenue C. towards my old sublet on 2nd near Houston st. and came across a fire escape that held a half dozen umbrellas covered in paint and messages of peace and good life. Painted on the facade of the building were great images including an anarchist circle-A. These painting were not new. How is it that i live in the city and around the corner from there for 5 months and never noticed this.

This is the point of this blog and of this quest of mine: to connect with the things that we all miss everyday. Some of these things are inspiring or could be if we just look up.

check out some of the things i saw yesterday:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Farewell To NYC

Hello Friends,Do you have an hour to spare sometime over the next 5 months to spend with a friend.

Come with me and visit all of New York City!!

As some of you have already heard from my recent and near constant ramblings, i am leaving New York. Not to worry, it won't be that soon. I will probably leave in late winter or early spring. My lease is up at the end of it will probably be then?

Before you ask, I do not know where I am moving...or what i will do when i get there. Maybe I’ll start a radical trainers collective in Vancouver or become a school teacher in Thailand, or maybe I’ll find that job as a hammock tester in Hawaii. What I do know is that after 14 years in New York spent in 33 different apartments and a few random park benches, spread over 4 boroughs...I am ready to leave this most excellent city. It is not out of hate or frustration (maybe a little frustration) but out of a desire to see new things and force myself to think from a different platform. Each time I have travelled these past few years, I find myself exuberantly happy when I am out of NYC and equally as disappointed once I come back.

I will miss this great city and I will miss my wonderful this is what I want to do over the next 5-6 months:


I will spend every moment I can visiting everything I wish to see in New York. Most I have already seen but some I have not. Everyday that I can (probably 4 or 5 times a week) I will spend visiting somewhere new… maybe a park or a landmark or some music performance or a political event. And at least once a day I will walk into a place that I have not been before just to see it.

I want to remember why I love it here and I want to always remember not just the Central Parks, Lincoln Centers and Brooklyn Bridges...but the little landmarks that few talk about. I want to see where the gallows hung in lower Manhattan after early social upheaval in the 5 points; I want to visit the place where I first paid $10 for a bag of fish food I thought was weed, and I want to see where William S. Burroughs rolled the 65 year old woman to score some smack...and I want to do all these things with you!!!

I want to spend 5 months with friends saying farewell to New York.

I'm sure you all have some place you always wanted to go, but couldn't find the time or didn't have anyone to go with. Tell me...I’m there. Life in New York for me has been a special one spent with many different types of people, most of whom I have lost touch with. But wherever I have been, it has been better because I have had great people to spend it with. So maybe now is the time to:

See the sunrise from a New York Beach.

Go to your first opera.

Bath in the fountain in City Hall.

Photograph the Graffiti in the Staten Island Ferry Bathroom.

Visit All the precincts you've been arrested in (for some, this may take a few days)

Finally organize a 5 borough minigolf outing.

This may be a corny idea but at this very moment I am excited about it, and for the past few years there has been very little that some of you, myself included, have been genuinely excited about.

We all have very important things going on in our lives. This is not a replacement for the things you and we are doing, but rather an enhancement in the way that we do them.

If this all sounds stupid, please ignore it. If you have an idea of a place to go or something fun to do...please share. Some of you are not from NYC or aren't Living here now. Cool, if you visit, give me a holla and I’d be glad to be your guide for a few days.

In Anycase, I am starting this blog to document where I go in my long farewell to New York.
and putting up the photos on my flickr page:

much love,