if it’s yellow, let it mellow

4th Ave and 9th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

• The heatwave this week has certainly brought some odd people out into the streets.  “So, Barack Obama or that other guy?  You American?  You speak English?”  I was asked on the street, from a man who then ran up to a guy in a wheelchair and dove onto the sidewalk, pretending to shoot the man with a rifle.  New York.

Jenn and I saw a pretty serious screening of The Living End (1992) over the other night, but followed it up with a slightly happier screening of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull a few days later, also at BAM. The Living End was my first Gregg Araki film. The director’s introduction, plus an extended Q&A after the credits rolled, provided a full context (of the AIDS epidemic in the west coast gay community during the late 80s and early 90s). Slightly stylized violence and a large amount of character sympathy drive the film’s momentum, and keep it interesting. And yes, the token film school guy was there… with his trademark voice and that “I already know the answer to the question I’m going to ask, but I’ll ask it anyway so that other people can hear me asking it” style.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the fourth Indiana Jones, the latest Spielberg blockbuster, certainly felt successful on all fronts. Not only did the plot revolve around skulls and mummies in South America, but it also had borrowed cleverly from Dominic Sera’s Kalifornia (1993), when Indy finds himself in a fake desert town used as a nuclear testing facility (some may argue Brad Pitt’s identical discovery of the same location in Kalifornia is the only memorable moment in that film). My coworkers were right in suggesting the only lacking element of the fourth installment are the down/slow moments that can foster a little character development. Regardless, it fits right alongside the originals. I only wish I could have watched it with my siblings, like old times.

• The rolling summer thunderstorms are here. It’s not to the same voracity as down south for the most part, but the other night, Brooklyn did receive some hail.

Jenn and I saw Leticia at the newest vegan hangout, ‘Snice, in Park Slope last night — happy birthday! The cafe/restaurant has good prices, though I foolishly felt tricked into thinking my sandwich contained meat (on the no-meat front though, the meatless wings at Kate’s in the EV are good though).

• On Saturday evening, The Opera Singer & Archie threw a going away/engagement party at Justin’s loft in Bushwick. Big Joseph and James were there in great spirits, plus a bunch of other people. They head out for Illinois later in the month.

Radio Lab from WNYC (the full hour-long shows, not the 10 minute crappy ones) is a great option for helping one get through the morning office hours, in between meetings. I’m still catching up on a ton of old episodes. At moments, the two hosts become far more compelling even than Ira Glass’ praised “This American Life.

• “Who gets the girl? The guy in the SUV, or the guy on the bike? We know—at least in New York City… it’s the guy on the bike.” – Brendt Barbur (in an interview with L Magazine).

sixteen knives

OK, it’s been a busy few days. Shot in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Cassettes Won’t Listen performed on Friday night at Sound Fix. He created loops on the fly with a drum machine and keyboard, then sung and played guitar over them, occasionally altering the loops with foot pedals. Next, we hit up an Ad Hoc afterparty at a Marble Factory warehouse space (filled with lots of massive painted canvases) in Bushwick after a botched dinner order at Vera Cruz on Bedford.

Roommates Seth (right) and Johnny (left) have a moment.

• Easter brunch at Marta’s. The kids were calling it “feaster.” Bloody marys and champagne.

Jenn and I caught a performance of this crazy, dark puppet show called “Bride” at PS122 with Kathleen and Redux after a dinner at 7A, this past Thursday. The religious references and motifs were a bit bizarre and perhaps unnecessary, because I think Redux and I simply enjoyed the large puppet body parts that eventually formed a fifteen-foot-tall nude woman, and the giant rats that gnawed at peoples legs. I thought the junk was solid. Not for young children.

Apparently there’s a bed & breakfast at 405 Union in Carroll Gardens. I understand these days it’s more of a bed (minus the breakfast aspect). My cousin, Julia, who happened to be working there this past weekend, gave Jenn and I a grand tour Sunday evening before we made our way over to Bombay Dream on Smith Street for some good but slightly overpriced Indian cuisine.

Weekend brunch at Cafe Mogador is top notch. That’s poached eggs, hummus, pita (with garlic and spices), tabouleh, and some other Mediterranean salad thing. The best pita bread I’ve eaten.

• This evening, Will scored me a ticket to sit with the ranks of This is Pop at the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary benefit performance at Gotham Comedy Club called Komedy for Karma. We saw Dave Attell, Janeane Garofalo, Louis CK, the creator of Bizzaro (Dan Piraro), and a handful of other comedians perform for the cause. I was reminded of Jeremy’s hypothesis about the comedic differences between men and women based on the necessities presented within biological evolution (opinions of which I feel may be credible because he’s in a lifelong doctorate program for something like “philosophy of science”), anyway essentially that men need to be (and most likely are) funnier than women, as a whole. It does initially sound sexist, but I believe he had a dozen points of which it’s too late in the evening for me to convey now (but it’s not intended to be a gender superiority comment or argument). Regardless, I bring it up because there was only one woman in a male-dominated list of comedians tonight, and unfortunately she had to follow up the very funny Louis CK. Highlights included Will and Dave Attell joking about eskimos after the show, meeting some of the Pop team, and Louis CK keeping the crowd crying with laughter (his style was aging-related anger mixed with self deprivation and making fun of babies).

• From 1:20 – 3:20 the other night I caught James Dean in East of Eden (1955). It felt sorta like a blend of two of his other films: Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Giant (1956), though, I suppose that’s no surprise, being that they were all made within a year of each other. Slow by today’s standards, but there’s certainly something cozy about American golden-era cinema late at night.

“My best friend’s a butcher, he’s got sixteen knives. He carries them all over the city, at least he tries. Oh look, it stopped snowing.” This gem is located here in the Lower, and its a pretty close representation to, well, hell.  Check out the skulls on the left side.

Layfayette Station on the C train in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. If you’re waiting at Jay Street in the mornings, you’ll notice there are six F trains for every three A trains and one C train. Just saying.

The sun sets over a closed Lowes Home Improvement in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

Let’s do it up right, come election time. Bushwick, Brooklyn.