Friday, April 30, 2010

Never Too Much Whitman

"All truths wait in all things,
They neither hasten their own delivery, nor resist
They do not need the obstetric forceps of the
The insignificant is as big to me as any,
What is less or more than a touch?

Logic and sermons never convince,
The damp of the night drives deeper into my soul."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Bryant Park

Last week Roosevelt Island, this week Bryant Park. This is an absurd habit to get into, but it gives the morning subway ride a burst of energy. Instead of falling asleep over the crossword, there's a jolt of energy & light mid-journey. Bryant Park is great around 7:30 am. Green & fresh, the park is almost your own territory, with just a gentle stream of low-key commuters passing through, and a handful of dawdlers at park tables, enjoying that brief moment of liberty before routine finds them out.

Red Hook House

I wouldn't mind this one.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Coney Island Monuments

There's something about this place, a combination of its name & its modest appearance, & perhaps the woman waiting outside it, that almost breaks my heart. I wish I'd taken a better photograph, but I'm grateful that I got it at all.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Quentin Rd.

I took many photographs this weekend, most of them shots of faded storefronts, memorial chapels, & schnitzel emporia. What melancholy treasures. I usually post photographs the same day I take them, or at least within a day or so of taking them, but the Coney Island Ave./Kings Highway ones may keep showing up for a while. Not the best quality, but good enough to keep. Anyway, this one, of a store on Quentin Road, is decidely more perky & colorful than the rest.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Across 110th Street

Heard this Bobby Womack song on the radio yesterday. Knew about the song, but not the original 1972 film of the same name, with Anthony Quinn & Yaphet Kotto. Kotto might be best known for his role in Homicide:Life on the Streets, one of my all time favourite shows. The whole movie can be seen on youtube, & there's some great footage of the city. This is a remix of the opening credits soundtrack. A good sound, with classic 70s orchestration.

Coney Island Avenue Twice in One Weekend

Friday, April 9, 2010

Malcolm McLaren

Plenty of obituaries of, and tributes to Malcolm McLaren in the press. At the Guardian, an interesting selection of video clips, including, of course, The Sex Pistols, & this entertaining (vogueing pre-Madonna)number of McLaren's from 1989:

Let Your Wisdom Ignite

Monday, April 5, 2010

May 6th!

And they're off...

Lit. & Phil.

I came across this 1978 Iris Murdoch/Brian Magee interview a couple of days ago. I like it for a number of reasons. The brisk opening music is ripe for satire, & Brian Magee seems to be exactly the kind of media intellectual Stephen Fry liked to spoof in A Bit of Fry & Laurie: accent, intonation, repetitions, hand gestures, it's all deliciously there. And what about Iris Murdoch - gruff voiced, and glowering, with the beautifully plummy "Yus, yus," as she agrees with Magee? What a surprise when she smiles! From this vantage point, it's funny, and endearing, but the conversation is also a genuinely interesting one, and the two are allowed plenty of airtime. It's a timepiece, and reminds me of what a lifeline television was to a teenager marooned in a dull provincial town, with little access to adequate libraries or bookshops. Even though there was plenty of entertaining dross to watch (and watch I did!) television in the 70's still had a mandate to Educate the Layman and Propagate Culture. There were plenty of good quality plays (earnest social realism, the pioneering drama of Dennis Potter), & plenty of talking head discussions & documentaries. I lapped this kind of stuff up.

South Slope

Sunday, April 4, 2010


In this month's Atlantic Benjamin Schwarz considers David Kynaston's Tales of a New Jerusalem, and Terence Davies' Of Time and the City, works I've mentioned earlier on this blog.

"Of Time and the City is frequently described as “nostalgic,” and while that word fits the filmmaker’s yearning for an irrecoverable past, it doesn’t convey his profound ambivalence toward that past, his appreciation that “we love the place we hate, then we hate the place we love. We leave the place we love, then spend a lifetime trying to regain it.” In this way, Davies shares Kynaston’s insight, unsettling to both progressives and reactionaries, that, as I pointed out in reviewing Austerity Britain, the past was a better place for being a worse place: that the better grew out of the worse, the worse out of the better."

Red Paint