Posts Tagged ‘New York’


Sean Lennon not interested in your opinion, will dress as he damn well pleases

March 12th, 2011 at 8:20 pm ET

You’ve got to hand it to Sean Lennon. When he was mocked by a New York magazine blog and its commenters, he took it for a few days, then fired back in no uncertain terms, under his own name, in the very same blog’s comments section:

In what way am I to dress exactly that would please you? Has it occurred to any of you insightful people that I was in fact hired specifically because, and in order to dress in a rock and roll fashion? It was my bloody job to dress crazy that day, and frankly I enjoyed it! It doesn’t mean I’m a bad person, it’s just more fun than wearing flannel.

And it certainly doesn’t make any of you better than me that you choose to read so negatively into my outer appearance. You are just bigots disguised as moralists.

I feel no need to apologize for dressing in a manner that you deem unacceptable for someone so despicable as myself. One need not apply for a license or be a professional couturier to have permission to dress as they please. One need not be the most successful, or the most loved, or the most suave or the most handsome, just to wear a pink bow-tie, a bowler, and an old coat. This is not Prussia, or Victorian England.

I am sorry that you are all so vacuous as to think you understand me simply because you dislike my clothes, that you think I have committed some criminal offense in having had a wealthy and successful father.

I will continue to make music and dress as I please, and none of you have any right to tell me I cannot or should not. You of course have a right to hate me for it, but then again, it’s you who have to live with yourselves for being such judgmental idiots.

I wish you all luck in pursuing what must clearly be elevated and enlightened lifestyles. I yawn in awe at your ‘moral supremacy.’

Sincerely,

Sean Ono Lennon

It doesn’t get much more honest, or true, than that. I literally never gave two sh*ts for Sean Lennon before in my entire life, but I have a newfound respect for the man for being able to put words together so sensibly. Sounds like a smart guy who doesn’t take himself too seriously, unlike a million other children-of-the-famous who can’t manage to get it together.

Sympathy for Bernie Madoff?

March 12th, 2011 at 8:06 pm ET

I didn’t think this was possible, but the recent New York magazine profile of Bernie Madoff and family, based on a series of prison interviews, has left me feeling a little sorry for the guy, who apparently got in over his head and couldn’t believe nobody caught him for years. Secrets are difficult to keep, especially from one’s family, and I don’t envy him.

He also made the point that one of the outcomes of the situation is that many of his friends who invested early became exceptionally wealthy, thanks to him — he says that their gains in the early years were all legitimately earned, but it doesn’t matter, his point stands either way. Now these various influential families from Long Island and New York City won’t have anything to do with him or his family, but as he accurately points out, none of them are living out of Dumpsters.

Read the whole thing for yourself…

From the bowels of Penn Station

July 22nd, 2010 at 8:23 pm ET

I’ve been in Penn Station, what, a hundred times by now? Two hundred? And yet when the train from Boston pulled in tonight, and I hustled onto the platform and up the nearest stairway, I ended up in some subterranean hole I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. It constantly amazes me how Byzantine everything in New York is. (Even after more than eight months living right on top of it, I still sometimes get disoriented inside of Fulton Street station.)

So I walked down a short corridor filled with Long Islanders and their Long Island ways, followed a cryptic sign reading “C-E Downtown Street” up an unpromising-looking back stairway, and there I was standing in front of a subway turnstile as the downtown-bound E pulled in. What luck! Not only that, I’m at the front of the train, at the closest exit to my house.

I’m guessing I was on some mid-level north-south cross-corridor on the Eighth Avenue side, somewhere near the 31st Street corner. But God knows I’ll never find it again. Maybe next time, it won’t even be there anymore.

“We’ve got spies all over the building”

July 8th, 2010 at 11:26 pm ET

This light NYT profile of Lesley C. Weston, head of costumes at the Metropolitan Opera, is worth reading just as a reminder that it takes a village to produce the arts, nowhere more so than at the Met (average cost per production: $1 zillion). I didn’t realize that soloists are essentially sewn into their costumes every night, but they are, and the reporter, Robin Finn, gets this gem out of Weston:

It would be a very rare occasion when someone confesses to putting on weight, but we’ve got spies all over the building. We don’t refer to it as putting on weight; we just say someone has “changed.”

Yeesh! “Spies”?

Happy Pride!

June 30th, 2010 at 10:29 pm ET

IMG_3631I didn’t really celebrate NYC Pride this year — I was on a train coming back from Baltimore — but I did have the experience of being on the Newark PATH platform on Sunday afternoon as people massed for the trip into the city. And what a festive, jostling mass it was.

In a train like that, you’re reminded of just how wide the definition of the word “gay” has to stretch in order to encompass all of us. At least once a year, people turn out and claim the label who might not fall into the neat Chelsea (or Astoria) or Park Slope (or Red Hook) categories that come first to mind. Even in our homogenized, corporatized, cupcakes-and-Carrie-Bradshaw New York, there’s some diversity left.

Thank God for diversity — not the politically correct one-child-of-every-hue-on-the-cover variety, but the actual festive, jostling reality of America, gay and ungay and everything in between. We would be less than we are if any of the pieces were missing.

And thank God for the generations that came before mine, who marched angrily and proudly in drag and leather chaps (and swept me along with them at the tail end of things, to stand up to LA police on horseback and to CHP officers in Sacramento on the Capitol steps in 1991 to yell “Shame!” at Pete Wilson) so that my boyfriend and I could spend Gay Pride 2010 walking along the Hudson River in lower Manhattan not really thinking about gay rights at all. It’s not over — it never is — but wow. The social changes I’ve seen in the past thirty years go beyond what I ever would have imagined in 1980.

“We’ve got spies all over the building”

June 28th, 2010 at 11:11 pm ET

This light NYT profile of Lesley C. Weston, head of costumes at the Metropolitan Opera, is worth reading just as a reminder that it takes a village to produce the arts, nowhere more so than at the Met (average cost per production: $1 zillion). I didn’t realize that soloists are essentially sewn into their costumes every night, but they are, and the reporter, Robin Finn, gets this gem out of Weston:

It would be a very rare occasion when someone confesses to putting on weight, but we’ve got spies all over the building. We don’t refer to it as putting on weight; we just say someone has “changed.”

Yeesh! “Spies”? And I thought I had to watch my weight!

That Maryland accent

June 28th, 2010 at 12:59 am ET

One more quick comment about my three days in Baltimore: that Maryland accent is still alive and well. And I don’t just mean in the mouths of old people and diner waitresses, although there is of course that too. Apparently, they’re still making new people, young ones, who talk like they have a mouthful of chewing gum. (I kid, I kid!) Who knew?

Every time I left the hotel — when I went out to Little Italy, for example — I encountered people half my age or younger who spoke in frank, unattenuated Baltimorese. There were one or two (I’m thinking in particular of the host at one restaurant) who I could barely comprehend — and I’m not new to this accent, I lived in DC for years!

This is a marvel to me. These kids live in the same culture I do, absorb largely the same national media, but come out talking in the local way anyway. This despite Baltimore’s being more tightly bound than ever to the vastly more generic DC metro area. For my whole life, people have been griping about the loss of local color in America, but regionalism seems very much alive to me — if anything, it may be stronger now than 15 or 20 years ago.

The New York Neo-Futurists

June 27th, 2010 at 4:52 pm ET

I’ll have plenty to say about the conference that’s just concluded over the next few days, but right now, I want to call your attention to one of the most colorful threads that ran throughout the entire event: the New York Neo-Futurists.

The Neo-Futurists were part of the opening, a feature of the closing, and ever-present throughout the long middle of the event. They were waggish tweeters, made a spectacle of themselves at tables in the banquet hall, closed down the bar at the Saturday night networking party, and generally served to lighten the mood of an event that, at times — despite the fact that we are, after all, artists and arts administrators and arts service professionals — tended at times toward the serious. I was blown away by their energy — and I didn’t even see their closing performance!

I want to thank all the Neo-Futurists who participated in this year’s conference, and promise that I’ll be seeing you real soon at a performance of “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” in the East Village.

Below are some of my photos from their participatory afternoon break on Saturday:

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Cold AC pouring into the street? Here’s what to do

June 21st, 2010 at 10:01 pm ET

I did a little research (one Google search, it took five seconds), and was able to confirm that yes, it’s a DEP environmental law violation in New York City to leave the doors of your store open on a hot day, with freezing-cold air-conditioned air flowing into the street. (Exemptions apply, e.g., if you’re not a chain store or are under 4,000 square feet.)

Today at lunch I passed five violating establishments along just three blocks of one side of Fifth Avenue. I shut one of the doors myself; I had words with employees of two of the other stores, one of whom immediately closed the doors (perhaps to reopen them after I left). The greeter in the third, it was clear, had no interest in the ravings of a sweaty lunatic, but it turns out there’s an easy way for me to get my revenge: I’ll fill out this form on NYC.gov and the DEP will put an agent on the case. Your tax dollars at work, doing just a little at the margins to reduce our carbon footprint. Go team NYC, and score one for the grumpy old man!

Followup: Clearview, Ed Koch

June 20th, 2010 at 9:38 pm ET

Once you’re looking for it, you see it everywhere. Clearview’s starting to show up on ordinary street signs (the green ones on every corner that say, e.g., “Broadway” and “Fulton St”). Just this evening I saw a “Clinton St” Clearview street sign here, and multiple Clearview street signs in Chatham Square, all looking spanking new.

Also, the green point-of-interest signs I mentioned are called “trailblazer signs” by the DOT.

Regarding the decades-out-of-date Ed Koch sign: we visually pinpointed the location tonight as we went past at 60mph, and it’s within a block or two of Southern Boulevard and Leggett Avenue in the Bronx.