i can’t go out and i can’t stay in


My good friend Mike Mararian had another solo show opening Friday night, at a gallery in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  Great turnout.  Katie Scott (left) and Alicia (right) are seen here.


I borrowed Mike’s hat briefly.  And that’s the man himself on the right (and I believe that’s Dan in the background).


Jenn pays tribute to the legendary Allan Lee.


If every city has its own official liquid, you don’t want to know what New York City’s is.

• Scavenging has been a fun and often-productive activity for me for as long as I can remember.  Perhaps it could be linked to my Southern roots, where you drive around town, and anything out on the curb is fair game to add to your own packrat collection (I think several of you guys have ridden shotgun with me, years back).  That moved onto the justification of removing of remote, government-owned objects sometimes, and certainly anything in an abandoned area was available for the taking.  Never did this feel too much like direct stealing.

I haven’t fully considered aquiring food the freegan way, but scavenging lately has been on my mind in the context of bicycles here in New York.  I’m referring to abandoned (but locked), rotting bicycle frames that you probably see a handful of every day you commute.  It’s been an internal battle for me: surely bad karma will hunt me down, should I decide that I could use an old threaded stem attached to a decaying corpse of a bike.  So, I’ve never touched a locked but abandoned bike.

Let’s take the red Shogun road bicycle currently attached to the fence of the dog park on 7th Avenue and 17th Street in South Slope.  It showed up a month or two ago, in pristine condition, connected to the iron fence via a standard-size U-lock around it’s top tube.  After it remained unmoved, untouched, un-checked-on for the first solid week, the front wheel walked away.  Then, in a matter of days, the rear wheel was gone, perhaps at the same time that the handlebars were pryed from the bike’s stem.  The pedals, seatpost, and saddle were the next to vanish.  I guess it may be similar to the way flies and beetles naturally break down dead animals on the street to aid in the decomposition cycle.  The frame (often the only thing actually locked in these cases) is permanently left, the same way that the insects will consume the skin, tissue, muscle, and body fat of carcasses, yet will leave the bones to eventually become brittle and succumb to long-term weathering.

But the question is still there: is there a threshold for the exact moment when a discarded bicycle is legitimate, honest “fair game” to potential scavengers?  Obviously if your bike is locked for more than about ten seconds in the Union Square area, it’s considered fair game by the scourges of society (the number of stolen bike posts involving Union Square on Craigslist is scary).

• On the subject, this evening I found some steel drop bars and two bike tires in a large pile of trash on my street.  It’s business as usual around here.

• Sadly, two of my old staples in Manhattan are looking pretty rough: both Lounge (ideal for its inspirational, curated fashion), and National Wholesale Liquidators (ideal for achieving middle-america prices on household junk) are getting priced out of their SoHo and NoHo spots, respectively.  Both stores are heavily marked down and tearing down excess aisles daily, and may be gone completely by early January, at this rate.

• Last Wednesday I caught a performance of Pina Bausch’s Bamboo Blues at BAM.  While it seemed good, I’m not positive I’ve yet aquired a taste for contemporary dance.


Recently at the Broadway-Layfayette stop in Manhattan, there’s been a resurfacing of the top-notch Belvedere Vodka ads, but in print.  This self-portrait of Terry Richardson is on a poster about six feet tall.


Macri Park near Metropolitan and Union in Williamsburg.  Pretty laid-back atmosphere, but cozy.


The Gowanus Canal has high tide and low tide.  During low tide, you can find all your lost stuff.  The smell of this highly polluted waterway can be a little foul though.

6 thoughts on “i can’t go out and i can’t stay in”

  1. Ohhh — weird, I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t actually pick up on that being Charles Manson until you mentioned it just now. There used to be this large stencil-mural on the shutters of some store in the East Village on Avenue B and like 5th Street that looked very similar (high contrast, face-only portrait) that I always thought was Snoop or Dre, or some west coast rapper. That said, the little kid’s shirt feels so similar to that graffiti, that I instantly assumed it was a strange shout-out to early 90s hip hop… but the fact that it’s Charles Manson gives it a lot eerier of a feeling (and it certainly makes more sense). Also, I’d like to add that your image of Manson there looks a lot like Vincent Gallo, haha, good stuff. http://images.eonline.com/eol_images/Profiles/20061003/244.gallo.vincent.100306.jpg

  2. yeah i never though about it but I guess he could play him in a film….that image of manson is a classic, standard icon of him….but I think i like it better that you thoguh he was a rap artist. Well you were close – he’s got a pretty long rap sheet on him that’s for sure….

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