Monday, May 23, 2005


On Friday M and I did indeed make it to the Brooklyn Museum of Art for the Basquiat retrospective, and my friend Kai's name was indeed scrawled on a piece called "Tuxedo." Such colors in that exhibit! And so many field trips in da house I was compelled to cover my nose and mouth with my scarf ($10 at St. Mark's Place) and take an Airborne afterwords. M's friend PSG couldn't be bothered coming to Brooklyn to see it: "I like his life, not his art" (said in a thick Glasgow accent).

Later I visited my friend G. on the Upper West Side and saw her dog with the fused vertabrae and $3K vet bill and ate grapes and kvetched and took a stroll through Joan of Arc Island. Then I walked down to Strawberry Fields (72nd and Central Park West, in front of the Dakota) for some peace gathering that turned out to be an ethereal peacenik woman's birthday party with votives, hipsters and blankets. Of course it started an hour late; it was hard to sneak away but it was frigid in the park and we eventually skulked off to have dinner at vegetarian Madras in the East Village, which has been spruced up a bit (the restaurant, not the Village). The vegan yogi thali was *all that* and then some, although the service was a little surley. Then a walk past Swatch, Coach, Mac, and every other high end chain store that has invaded SoHo of late (well Swatch has been there for awhile) to visit to PSG and family for some conversation outside on the Thompson Street benches and then tea and bundt cake (not a euphemism) inside; the kids are becoming like their adult selves. On the way we walked past the Puck Building and looked up at the seventh floor ballroom where there were colored strobe lights bouncing off the ceiling. Bottom chakra dwellers are there, Madam.

Then to the subway for the interminable ride that makes you understand to your core the term No Sleep til Brooklyn. But as the C-train pulled up we noticed a writhing brown arm sticking out from in between two of the doors; from the elbow to the fingertips it moved like a worm when it's cut in half. We couldn't take our eyes off of it. It was attached to a large large man with an Afro, wearing a black tank top and shorts like some kind of uniform. When the doors opened he got out, rubbing the arm and muttering, and walked onto the platform. We crept into the next car and hoped he wouldn't join us. We watched him walk directly to the garbage can in the middle of the platform and open the side door like a pro (he did it so effortlessly I looked to see if he was wearing some sort of MTA badge but he was not). He pulled out the interior garbage can, and fished out the the brown plastic bag inside (half full) and spun it closed and tossed it off to the side. Then he grabbed the silver can (now empty), and hoisted it above his head, arms straight, and started yelling (prior to this he was merely muttering). He was marching up the stairs with it high over his head, still screaming, when we finally started moving.

Nothing like this ever happens on the eFfing train.

Or in Chicago, for that matter.

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