Thursday, December 21, 2006

there's no place like the Apple Store right before Xmas

I hope i make it out of here alive...So many dreams unfulfilled, so much life yet to live.

My fucking DVD player is broken and how am I supposed to continue my TV tutorial (Six Feet Under Season 1 awaits!) without it?

grumble, grumble, grumble

I love Housing Works

It's an advocacy and services organization for people living with HIV and AIDS *and* it's a great used bookstore and cafe with free wifi.

And they sell knishes, which I've yet to try; but the mere fact of their existence pleases me. Plus, I've just noticed a very odd mannequin holding a key and a cane, standing crosslegged against a wall, atop a bookshelf. Bonus points for that.

Can someone please recommend a good hair stylist in NY who won't bankrupt me?

I got my hair did, as Lil' Kim might say, the other day, and though I'm not horrified by the results, I'm not ecstatic either.

Somehow, my hair has gotten blonder and I want to restore it to a redder, more headshot-consistent hue. Meanwhile, the same dude who did the color also did the cut and he did a serviceable, but remarkably inelegant job.

I miss Andrea Bolding.

And, frankly, for the proce of a haircut from a "top salon" in NYC, I may as well fly RT to SF and have Ms. Bolding reenact her magic on my tresses herself.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

yum - Brown Cafe on the LES

I had a delicious wild rice and roasted veggie salad with arugula, beets, leeks, and carrots today. It was scrumptious. Too bad the place is nowhere near where I live and/or where I seem to spend most of my time (and just where is that, exactly? I think I spend most of my time in transit!).

Anyway, go there. It's delish.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

my new digital camera

makes its blog debut.

Where should you go for dim sum in NY?

Not Jing Fong (Canal and Elizabeth)! That's where Frank and I had brunch today. I'd return if circumstances required, but I certainly wouldn't recommend the place. The black sesame things were very tasty, but almost everything else was pretty lackluster. And there was a serious siu mai deficit by the time we arrived (and it was only 11:30). On the upside, it was pretty cheap, the staff was very friendly and the people at our table were pleasant in an appropriately distant, we're-all-stuck-at-the-same-table-in-this-weird-cavernous-former-department-store-esque-mess-hall way.

I did get two birthday meals today, though, and the second was courtesy of spontaneously jetsetting Cousin Harold. Franchia, sister tea house and restaurant to Hangawi, on Park between 34th and 35th. Yum, yum, chrysanthemum (I didn't actually have any chrysanthemum, though they do have chrysanthemum tea on the menu). I love kimchi pancakes.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

blessed unrest

As I continued to navigate the vast landscape of institutional and experimental theater companies in NY, I had the good fortune this evening to attend a fundraising/dancing/karaoke party for blessed unrest. They're an experimental company run by a bunch of folks who've trained with SITI. I'll be out of town during most of the run of their next show, Measure for Measure; but I hope to catch the tail end of it. Very warm and welcoming people.

bike paths

1) FDR Drive/E River path at night - crrrrap! Hexagonal faux cobblestone for most of the way, which makes for a very bumpy ride. There is one really nice stretch in the upper 70s - I had forgotten that East End Avenue existed - where the lights are in working order and it's (relatively) peaceful. Mind you, you're riding alongside four lanes of constant, fast-moving traffic, but you get a wonderful view of some truly extravagant apartments. Then you get to the poorly lit, rat-infested part where, at any moment, it seems someone might spring out of the bushes and rip you off your bicycle. At around 63rd St, everything grinds to a halt because of construction.

When I took this route on Thursday evening, I transferred to the street for the rest of the ride home and got to experience my favorite bike ride from childhood. I remember thinking the hill just before the Queensboro Bridge was huge when I was a child and, of course, it's nothing as an adult (and certainly insignificant when compared with most of San Francisco's terrain).

2) The Greenway (path alongside and under Route 9/West Side Highway) at dusk - lovely. I entered the path in the upper 40s and somewhere around 79th St. it seemed to persuade me into Riverside Park, which then spewed me onto Riverside Dr. at around 95th/96th St. All in all a lovely ride - much quieter than its east side counterpart.

3) The Greenway at night - impossible to find and has a treacherous track record. I simply couldn't get to it and had various false starts down some unsavory paths in Riverside Park and at the mouths of some uninviting tunnels so I gave up. Also, three people people have been killed by motorists while riding on or en route to the greenway (all, I think, below 57th St.) in the last year.

And, in other news, 52nd St. has a ton of potholes.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


I can take my bike on the subway, any time of day, any car!*

So that almost makes up for the fact that bike lanes appear to serve the following multiple functions:

1) wandering pedestrian lane
2) random wheely pushcart/hotdog vendor lane
3) double parking area

*as long as I respect these rules:

You risk eviction or fine when you violate the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, Chapter 21, Section 1050, governing the conduct of the public in using the transit facilities. In particular, rule 1050.9 (g) deals with bulky items like bicycles:
No person may carry on or bring to any facility or conveyance any item that:
A. Is so long as to extend outside the window or door of a subway car, bus or other conveyance, or
B. Constitutes a hazard to the operation of New York City Transit, interferes with passenger traffic, or impedes service, or constitutes a danger or hazard to other persons.
You risk eviction or fine when you violate the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations, Section 1050.7 (k) covering disorderly conduct which states in part:
No person on or in any facility or conveyance shall:
Commit any act which causes or may tend to cause injury or harm to oneself or to any other person including, but not limited to riding a bicycle, skateboard, roller skates, in-line skates or any self-propelled or motor-propelled vehicle.


Rule 1 is my favorite.

For more exciting (and blindingly obvious) bike-on-subway safety tips, check out:

more on biking in NY

I've discovered some bike lanes (there's on on 8th Ave, wahey!), which pleases me despite the fact that they're all co-opted by pedestrians and people pushing various wheely things.

I spent the better part of 10 minutes (and enlisted the help of a nearby stranger) unearthing my bike from a mountain of grimy delivery bikes and numerous heavy chains. And, as soon as I managed to wrench my bike free, the two delivery people popped onto the street and unlocked their bikes.

There are so many people here, on foot, in vehicles, on bicycles. It's like a non-stop parade except without the marching bands and drag queens. Oh, an no shriners either.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I'm about to head out

to Mike and Em's farewell drinks in the East Village, but before I do, I have to write about the sheer ecstacy (or is it "ecstasy"? I can never remember which is the illicit substance and which is the state of bliss) of resuming use of my bike.

I got some new grip tape (pink, so I'm riding in style) and I rode downtown, midtown, uptown. The best part, though, was stopping by the ATM on the way home and riding right past the spot where I had my first bike crash and my 7-or-8-year-old skull was saved by the most gigantic, absurd-looking helmet in creation. A speed bump right outside the UN Plaza residence, just south of 49th Street, just east of 1st Avenue.

In other exciting news, I returned home to find John, the ancient doorman, in his usual reclining position, stealthily concealed (or not) by the hallway cabinet door and drawer, opened precisely in such a manner as to obstruct the view of the bench on which he lies prone and snoozing. Luckily, door attendants in Auntie Mame's 'hood are really more about tradition, class, and general ambience than they are about security. Or so one hopes.

Monday, December 11, 2006

upcoming performances

This Thursday I have a roundtable reading (closed to the public) at the Lark of a new play inspired by the life of Baruch Spinoza (how cool is that?!).

This weekend I'm performing in a site-specific adaptation of The Memorandum by Vaclav Havel as part of the Havel festival at Columbia University. We perform Fri-Sun at 6, the show is an hour long, and the audience will be between 15 and 30 people per performance because the audience has to travel through the site with us.

If you haven't already received an invitation to the show and you'd like one, please drop me a line.

Directed by Michael Rau
Dramaturgy by Tessa LaNeve
Performances by: John Behlman, Davina Cohen, Babis Gousias, Mary Grill, Emma Jackson, Christopher Kaminstein, Derek Miller, and Samuel Knowlton

Pina Bausch at BAM

It's all sold out, but I managed to buy a ticket from one of the performers (it was for her mother, who had undergone dental surgery earlier in the day - she couldn't even get a comp for her mom!) and saw the show on Saturday night.

Oh. My. God.

Fucking gorgeous. I was exhausted, as it was the day after the party, I'd had rehearsal, and my battle against imminent winter headcold began its next phase that day; but I am soooooo glad I saw it. I wish I had the dance technique required to work with her. It was just extraordinary.

The Second Coming

was also a great success. The first party I've hosted in New York since I was in college! No catastrophes, much festivity, and tremendous amounts of food and drink consumed. I may throw another one before I move across the river (that's the East River, mind you, not the Hudson!). Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Danger o Bleeding Brown reading

was a great success, all things considered! Rehearsal was just barely long enough to read through the script and put the play on its feet.

It was a pleasure working with Enrique and Mary again as well as the other actors (in particular my "friend slash roommate slash compatriot in gutter-trash go-go couture", Ephraim Lopez, who played Marco).

After the reading we went to Vynl Diner for a little food (think: gorging on french fries and assorted drinks involving watermelon juice) and strategizing about the next phase for this play.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Lark!

Several exciting things are happening tonight.

1) I am participating in the Lark Underground, an informal reading series at the Lark (the same place where I'm doing the formal reading of The Danger of Bleeding Brown on Thursday).

2) Enrique arrives from Providence this evening.

3) Something TBD (the presence of Enrique, Mike, and Emerald more or less guarantee unforeseen silliness of the most enjoyable variety)

stay tuned.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fast Food Nation

I saw the 10:40 showing this evening at the gigundoplex on 3rd Ave and 11th street. I cringed and cried a lot. It made me think about the gradual introduction of seafood and chicken into my diet. It made me think again about vegetarianism - my choice for almost 13 years - as an ethical/political choice. A choice that may very well have nothing to do with compassion for animals, but rather compassion for the people who work in the meat industry.

Go see the movie. It sheds light on so many interconnected issues. Unfortunately, I'm too exhausted to say anything insightful about any of them right now.