•Tuesday 23 February 2010 • Leave a Comment
i used to do some translation work for a website called ruavista. the site was hosted by a french guy living in brasil. we met at cafe luxembourg across from the luxembourg gardens in Paris. he handed me an envelope filled with cash. it felt like a scene out of mission impossible 4. the website is pretty much defunct now, probably a bit too academic. i loved it.
and i love signs. i adore the urban palimpsest. if someone wants to pay me to take pictures of all of the decaying signs in new york, i’m available.
i was walking across 116th street the other day when i noticed two workers covering up an old, rusty yet charming electric lighted sign that read “Restaurant.” i think i had my camera with me but i was in a hurry. when i came back, the sign had been covered up on both sides by a horrid “Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins” logo.
(above) this one looks hand-painted. i love the around corner footnote.
i thought this was a one of kind hand-painted sign. it may be hand-painted but i was so wrong to use it as some kind of GPS marker on one of my first explorations through the neighborhood. there are a whole lot of these hanging on fences just like that.
in the bronx. maybe if it warms up, i’ll get around to taking more pics.
•Tuesday 16 February 2010 • Leave a Comment
116th street is the main artery of my neighborhood. it hosts the crosstown bus, community gardens, churches, shops, cart vendors and two funeral homes. the funeral homes are just one block away from each other. we’ve seen confused cabbies trying to drop people of at “the funeral home on 116th street” only to realize they were at the wrong place. not surprisingly, we’ve seen lots of funerals: the hearses, the nervous smokers on the sidewalk, somber faces sharing grief and lineage all at once.
a quick scan of law and order shooting locations or the local news (see East Harlem Focus for an excellent East Harlem news round-up) will give you a feel for why I thought 116th street may need two funeral homes. in the last two weeks, we’ve seen news stories like this one, East Harlem Residents Call for Justice in the Murder of Adan Gonzalez, in addition to the street cat hit-and run. butcher knifed for a cell phone just a block away. makes Vermont seem like paradise right about now.
the real reason, however, is religion and culture. Baptist vs. Catholic. Latino vs. African-American. and that’s why we have the R.G. Ortiz and George H. Weldon funeral homes as fixtures of 116th street.
•Wednesday 10 February 2010 • Leave a Comment
•Tuesday 9 February 2010 • 2 Comments
we’ve been lucky to get the last couple of Saturdays free. this time, we split up. he went to a conference on community gardens at the New School. i spent the day doing application assistance for Haitians seeking Temporary Protected Status. we met up in BK to head to the Bell House EARLY. i don’t think i’d ever been to a club that early in my life.
i can’t remember the last time i made it out to hear anyone spin anything, much less at an event i really, really, really wanted to go to. it was probably some time, somewhere before that whole getting pregnant and having a baby thing happened.
it’d obviously been a long time because i forgot my ID. luckily i didn’t have to stand outside while he went back for it. we danced and had a grand ole time until the morning. absolutely loved both brainchild & Questo’s sets. Great pics and more pics from the event: here and here.
*if i’d gone to this event in Berlin, it would have been me, 5 other black americans and two drug dealers making up the people of color population… so this felt unbelievably just like home. it’s good to be back. i feel brand new.
•Monday 1 February 2010 • Leave a Comment
Trying to be on the first at the museum that Saturday (knowing it’s not the most almost-3-year-old friendly place), I checked the opening times. On the MCNY website, I found out that if you happen to live or work above 103rd street you’re a neighbor! Most importantly, neighbor, in this instance, means free.
So I have two free admission passes that I no longer need. Is there anyone in NYC who actually reads this blog? (other than Crain’s journalists doing google searches?) If you want the passes, drop a line at poisson.rouge.nyc [at] gmail.com, tell me your favorite insider NYC place to be and the passes are yours.
•Sunday 24 January 2010 • Leave a Comment