,

The Legend of Huey

There’s a store in Marietta, Georgia.  It should be called a warehouse really; it’s bigger than it probably has a right to be.  Perhaps conscious, or self-conscious of this fact, a few years ago store planners built additional walls ranging from 20 to 100 feet inside the originals, making effectively a store within a store, a retail Matryoshka doll, if you will.

Read more

,

Even More Villa Elaine

This March my quixotic quest to regain entry to the courtyard of the Villa Elaine (an apartment building in Hollywood I lived in for less than a year in 1982) came to a sudden and surprising fulfillment.  The building has always had a security gate but in my attempts to access I was mostly hindered by the fact that I (over the years) lived at least a thousand miles away and was back in LA pretty infrequently.

Read more

,

Atlantic’s Antics

I love those websites that show a picture of an intersection, maybe on a street that’s familiar, from a long time ago and then one of now. It reminds me of those drawings I used to look at in magazines, 2 identical cartoon images side by side, the same but with a few differences.  The trick was to pick 10 or 15 or 20 things different from the one image to the other.  Nowadays I especially love these photos if they are of New York, the New York I used to know, and then the one now.

Read more

,

Destination: Denny Regrade

One of the best theoretical questions out there is this:  “If you had a one-time-only use of a time machine, when and where would you go?”  Of course this query should invoke a seriously wide variety of responses, all of which, however, would fit into only 3 categories:

1)      “I want to go back and change something in my personal past,” like perhaps going to a certain college, or maybe hanging out with a deceased loved one a little more.

2)      “I want to go back and be a fly on a wall for some awesome event or era,” maybe the painting of the Sistine Chapel or to just live during the Roaring Twenties.

3)      “I want to go back and change history,”  like possibly making sure Hitler got accepted into art school or maybe infecting Lee Harvey Oswald with Ebola so he won’t be at work the day the Kennedy Motorcade passes by.

Read more

, , ,

Minor Con Men

Brooklyn is known nowadays for its growing population of Indie Label elitists and baby stroller pushing moms and nannies.  It used to have more of an edge, even as recently as when I lived there in the ‘90’s.  Ask any old timer and you’ll hear that Brooklyn was the home of New York’s schemers and scammers, its minor league flimflammers.  I met just such a character back in 1997.

Read more

, ,

The Purple Wave

The morning of March 17, 1985 was a Sunday.  Because of that we had to wait an extra-long time for the K Bus to take us to downtown Miami and our destination, the Omni Mall.  It was about 9 am but it was already hot as we stood out on Washington Boulevard and 10th Street.  My sister Mary, her friends Marina and Melba and I were going to meet our friend Johnny Pagan at Mother’s Records to buy concert tickets.  We were full of anticipation and dread, fearing they might sell out by the time we got in line.

Read more

,

Re: The Lido

Waking up the morning of Tuesday April 1st, 2014; I had no idea how deeply fulfilling the day would turn out to be.  I was in San Diego with my wife, and as she was busy all day at an Art Teacher’s Convention downtown; I thought I’d head up to LA to make yet another attempt at the Lido.

I lived at the Lido Apartments for 3 years with my mom and two sisters, starting back in 1979.  Read more

, ,

Memories of Hollywood

It was good to be back on the train, it always has been. I started off in the morning with all the other rush hour people. Another good thing; I knew my way around so I automatically fit in.  It’s important to me to fit in in a place where I used to live. And I lived in New York a long time. I mean, who wants to come off like a tourist?  But I wasn’t going to work, technically I was being a tourist.  When I’m in my old homes I guess appearances are everything; it was just a minor example of my recasting myself, if only for that day.

Read more

, ,

NY Ephemera #2

Sometimes when you’re sitting on the subway train there’s nothing to do but stare at the ads.  Remember these ubiquitous ones from the 80’s, glossy yellow squares that said “Pregnant?  We can help!”?  I was an art student then and I collected them for kicks.  You used to be able to pry ads out of the subway cars, even the 24”X36” ones at shoulder level.  I’d find myself on the D or N Train about 1 o’clock in the morning, alone, and take what I could.  The only things that were secured were system maps.

Read more

,

6 Train Turnaround

During all of my visits the last dozen years or so, there was something I just had to see in New York, but for various reasons, couldn’t.  One thing that always held me back was the sight of NYPD officers in the subway; wearing Kevlar and toting automatic weapons in those queasy years after 9/11.  Another hold back was from fear of detection and a possible fine by Transit Authority officials.

Read more