Friday, February 17, 2017

Sidewalk politics

The other night I was walking on Warren Street, trying to decide where to eat. A woman came out of a building as I passed.

"Hi," she said. I turned around, already ten feet past her.

"It's Jane," she said, except she used her real name. I had seen her around town many times but we had never spoken. My first memory of her is from a community meeting, in which I made a suggestion that she didn't like. She rolled her eyes and screwed up her face as if I had farted. But maybe now she was being nice. I walked toward her and extended my hand.

"We actually haven't met," I said, "I'm Matt."

"Oh. You're not who I thought you were," she said. "Never mind."

She turned and walked away.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Did what I think happened happen?

A couple Sundays ago (April 11) I went running, as I do a few times a week. As I paused to stretch at the top of Warren Street, I noticed a New York State Police vehicle in the lot of Todd Farrell's garage. I figured the trooper inside the well marked SUV was looking to nab drivers who failed to stop fully at the three-way intersection.

A Tesla appeared and rolled through the stop sign. The cop didn't budge. A Mercedes followed and also rolled through. Still no reaction from the trooper. A few seconds later, a BMW came up Warren Street (it sounds like I was at the corner of Wilshire and Rodeo, not Warren and Worth), made a full stop, and turned right onto Worth Avenue. The trooper flashed his lights and pulled over his target.

When I later related my puzzlement over the officer's selectivity to my partner, she asked if I had noticed the skin color of the drivers. Indeed I had: the BMW driver was, shall we say, less fair skinned than the other two drivers. Perhaps Middle Eastern or Hispanic. Sadly, it wouldn't be surprising if this was the reason he was pulled over, although I sure hope not. In any event, I'm disappointed in myself for not trying to learn more as the events were unfolding. The next time, I will stick my nose out a bit farther. And Mr. Bimmer Driver, if you're out there, I'd love to hear the story.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The creative conundrum

When you're trying to create something truly original, your ego dies a thousand times. And it's not the "bad" ego that repeatedly dies. It's not the part of you that is self important. It's the part of you that is trying hard to do the right thing. And right there is the problem: you're trying hard...which means that at some level and in some way you are seeking control. Which means your ego is in the way after all: you're putting your need to create the work ahead of the work's own desire to become what it wants to be.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hudson home movies

Friendly Neighborhood Economist Tom Masterson sent me a link to some old home movies, made in Hudson in 1939 and 1966 by Jozef Cipkowski. A lot of the filming was done on an unfamiliar looking South Front Street, whose long-gone west side was extant at the time. But you'll recognize a few buildings in the background of several parades and a surprisingly well-attended soap box derby race.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Found in Hudson

Found wedged behind steam radiator: movie stub ($6 admission for two), Shur-Fine
matches, Hello Kitty pencil sharpener, Henry and the Paper Route. Not pictured: one
pair men's white briefs, one pair of women's panties. We have been here over four
years, so we apparently need to deep clean more often. We are, however, more
conscientious than the previous tenants, as the $3 movie price, not to mention the
condition of the underwear, suggests these items landed there pre-1990.