Saturday, March 31, 2007


Over the last few years, I've been perpetually amazed by what the human body can endure. There's cause and effect. Do this, and that happens. Take this drug, and here's definitive results, some bad, some good. Sometimes, the results aren't so defined, but still, your body can put up with a lot of self imposed physical stress. Over the last few months, I've felt the same way about my building. These fuckers are destroying its identity, and yet here it stands, defiant, like us last few remaining tenants putting up with randomly adverse living conditions.

The last step in making the central stairway a trendy pretentious faux artist loft is the removal of the original iron and wood railing, and replacing it with something out of the "how to make your tired old building look like an old factory to attract spoiled rich kids looking for edgy street cred" handbook. Sorry that was such a long sentence. It went along with the newly exposed brick walls, and outdoor light fixtures they put over everyone's door. I guess the finishing touch was when I was going out to do laundry yesterday, and found that the whole front entrance to the building was gone. Not just the door, but all the way up to the 12 foot ceiling of the lobby area. I figured there was no way they would finish before five o'clock quitting time, and wondered what state of disarray I would find when I returned from work later that night. What I found was the crew still there trying to rough-in a door. And what kind of door? A ten foot tall glass door, that's what kind. The kind that doesn't have a frame. Just some form of solid, thick glass, and a handle, with a magnetic lock at the top. Not only is this thing ugly, and even offensive with it's opulence in the face of a fairly economically depressed neighborhood, but it doesn't even match the bullshit industrial look of the hall and stairs. And I know what you're thinking, but a brick would just bounce off this thing.

After walking past the eastern European crew putting up the door, I walked up the stairs, and realized it finally happened. I'd been waiting for this moment for months. First I heard the noise. Then, I saw, from the apartment next to mine, steam leaking out from the cracks around the door. I knew eventually someone would leave some open pipes at the end of a work day, and since it's been back down into the 30s this week, the heat came on full blast, turning several apartments into saunas. I stuck my head out my livingroom window, and witnessed thick steam pouring out of various open windows below. All I could think was how I hoped it would fuck up some of the new floors they just laid down, and why hasn't a neighbor called the FDNY thinking there was a fire? Unlike the broken pipes, it didn't seem to be hurting any of the other building inhabitants, so I just let it go. The steam let the building live out the night as a living, breathing entity, and after having the life sucked out of it by unnecessary, unrequested cosmetic surgery, it seemed like that's what it needed to do. One last time.

But it's just a thing. Brick and mortar and a steel beam over every door. There are far more important things to get sentimental over. Just keep standing. Just be a roof over our heads. No matter how hard they try to make you into something else.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Rat story.

So I call the landlord office. I think her name is Stacey. She's the one who answers the phone, but I think she's a little more than a receptionist. But I don't want to put it all on her, so I say, "Hi, is there someone there I can talk to about the rats?" I think the dichotomy of my subject and politeness catches her off guard, but she recovers and responds, "I'll let the super know." I'm ready for her. "Well actually I just spoke to the super. He woke me up this morning to drill a hole in my wall, and I told him that there was a rat right there in the hall waiting for me when I got home, and he said, 'yeah, the rats are really bad.'" A short pause, and then she cracked the fuck up. And I really couldn't blame her for laughing. Sometimes, the stupidity of others can be funny. She told me she'd take care of it, and I told her that the super probably isn't the right person to talk to. She assured me she knew who to talk to. Thirty minutes later, she calls me back to tell me someone would be there that day to take care of it.

A few days go by, and I do notice a decrease in rat activity in the trash/lobby area, but it could just as well be the cold and snow. The next day, I don't see any rats as I walk past the trash to the door of the building, but there is a cat sitting there. It's really cold out, but he looks perfectly content, sitting on his paws, and nodding hello. I hold the door open to see if he wants to come inside, but he just looks up at me as if to say, "what, you don't think I can open a door? If I want to come in, I'll come in." I walk up the stairs wondering if Stacey just called the local animal shelter and told them to bring over some cats.

Last night, again I don't see any rats as I walk past the trash. Then I get to the door. There, I find a pile of rats. Literally, a pile. Four or five dead rats just outside the door to the building. In a pile. It's as if they all drank the Kool-ade and held each other, waiting for the mothership.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

It's snowing.

They were making a giant mound of snow in the intersection of 14th street and 8th avenue. All kinds of plows acting like they weren't making it up as they went along. I hope someone's sledding down that temporary hill on a piece of cardboard box right now, making the sanitation police get out of their cars.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Where did all this stuff come from?

I'm not one for entertaining. Anyone who's seen my apartment knows that. But where did all this stuff come from? I clean out a room one day, and the next, there's a pile of random, unrelated items in the middle of the floor. Boots, bubble wrap, a tripod, a backpack full of framed prints, a book, a plastic bag. How about my couch? Four cameras, a horsehair brush, a book, negative pages, jacket liner, pillow, scarf, three plastic bags, assorted art that people mail me. My desk is just a pile of paper with a calculator in there somewhere. And a passport application. There's a camera under there too. Oh, and a new focusing screen. Bought that today. Just put it in a 30 year old camera. Seems to help. It came with tweezers designed for changing focusing screens. Just found a box cutter on my desk.

It's easy to not do things. It's easy for me to not do things. It's easy for me to not smoke. To not drink. Not do drugs. Not drink coffee. Not scratch that itch. Do my taxes. Clean up this mess. Call you. Tons of acts I can easily not do. Easy. Easy way out. Loser.

The guy on the radio is putting the pieces together. China pretty much owns the USA. They wanted to dump the trillion US dollars they have lying around, making the dollar fairly worthless. China gets its oil from Iran. We went over to China and said that if they dump the dollar,we'll take out their oil supply. One plus one ...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Hardware store.
Post office.
Call mom.
Call dad.
Change Ammirati.
Go to B&H.
Go to work.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I can't remember what lens this is.

I was thinking of a parallel between my search for the perfect camera (for me), and the search for the perfect woman (for me). I didn't get very far. Really no comparison to be made. Sorry for even bringing it up.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

6am is the new 11pm.

I sold three pictures on thursday night. I closed a few bars this week. They're rewiring the phone/cable lines tomorrow. There are a few cameras I decided to acquire, and dump the rest. The heat is a little overkill today. I think I should set up my drums. I think I'm bailing on my website and starting over. I did very little today. I can't seem to get to sleep before the sun comes up. I missed tonight's eclipse. I made some new friends. Tomorrow's Ruby's birthday. What is taking up so much room in here?

I said, "oh, he bought the one with my ex and the TV."
She said, "you didn't want that one around anyway."
I replied, "no, enough time has passed."
I should have added that I felt good making some money off of that relationship.