Monday, November 29, 2010

Quote Of The Week

"If I take death into my life, acknowledge it, and face it squarely, I will free myself from the anxiety of death and the pettiness of life — and only then will I be free to become myself."

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Artwork courtesy of CHINO BYI

Monday, November 22, 2010

Quote Of The Week

"The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth — that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Song of Nature

Mine are the night and morning,
The pits of air, the gulf of space,
The sportive sun, the gibbous moon,
The innumerable days.

I hid in the solar glory,
I am dumb in the pealing song,
I rest on the pitch of the torrent,
In slumber I am strong.

No numbers have counted my tallies,
No tribes my house can fill,
I sit by the shining Fount of Life,
And pour the deluge still;

And ever by delicate powers
Gathering along the centuries
From race on race the rarest flowers,
My wreath shall nothing miss.

And many a thousand summers
My apples ripened well,
And light from meliorating stars
With firmer glory fell.

I wrote the past in characters
Of rock and fire the scroll,
The building in the coral sea,
The planting of the coal.

And thefts from satellites and rings
And broken stars I drew,
And out of spent and aged things
I formed the world anew;

What time the gods kept carnival,
Tricked out in star and flower,
And in cramp elf and saurian forms
They swathed their too much power.

Time and Thought were my surveyors,
They laid their courses well,
They boiled the sea, and baked the layers
Or granite, marl, and shell.

But he, the man-child glorious,--
Where tarries he the while?
The rainbow shines his harbinger,
The sunset gleams his smile.

My boreal lights leap upward,
Forthright my planets roll,
And still the man-child is not born,
The summit of the whole.

Must time and tide forever run?
Will never my winds go sleep in the west?
Will never my wheels which whirl the sun
And satellites have rest?

Too much of donning and doffing,
Too slow the rainbow fades,
I weary of my robe of snow,
My leaves and my cascades;

I tire of globes and races,
Too long the game is played;
What without him is summer's pomp,
Or winter's frozen shade?

I travail in pain for him,
My creatures travail and wait;
His couriers come by squadrons,
He comes not to the gate.

Twice I have moulded an image,
And thrice outstretched my hand,
Made one of day, and one of night,
And one of the salt sea-sand.

One in a Judaean manger,
And one by Avon stream,
One over against the mouths of Nile,
And one in the Academe.

I moulded kings and saviours,
And bards o'er kings to rule;--
But fell the starry influence short,
The cup was never full.

Yet whirl the glowing wheels once more,
And mix the bowl again;
Seethe, fate! the ancient elements,
Heat, cold, wet, dry, and peace, and pain.

Let war and trade and creeds and song
Blend, ripen race on race,
The sunburnt world a man shall breed
Of all the zones, and countless days.

No ray is dimmed, no atom worn,
My oldest force is good as new,
And the fresh rose on yonder thorn
Gives back the bending heavens in dew.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Quote Of The Week

"If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, so fragrant, so intoxicating, as possibility!"

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cryin' Into The Beer Of A Drunk Man

JJ's Navy Yard Cocktail Lounge
Rest In Peace

Growing up in NYC, I've always been a fan of the real dive bar, having started my early drinking days in such classic lowbrow spots as The Brooklyn International Bar (R.I.P.), Carty's (R.I.P.), The Blue And Gold, The Distinguished Wakamba Cocktail Lounge, Montero's, O'Keefe's (pre-renovations), Ruby's, the Holiday Cocktail Lounge, Between The Bridges (R.I.P.), McGovern's (R.I.P.), The P&G (R.I.P.), and so on. One spot I always wanted to check out was the JJ's Navy Cocktail Lounge, which sadly shut its doors last week. I drove by the "lounge" many times and was fascinated by its no-frills exterior and promise of possible danger that lay within, though never found myself in the area so as to give it a visit... and now it's gone.

[ For my money, Queens is the place to go for real dive bars these days, and my favorite area in Queens to drink is easily Jackson Heights, which features the great Café 75. There are still some real dives in Manhattan, mostly in Hell's Kitchen, like the venerable Rudy's, the Holland Bar, and Dave's Tavern (one of the scarier, nastier places I've wandered into as of late). Also not to be overlooked, right in the heart of the Times Square area, is the fantastic boxing bar Jimmy's Corner. Brooklyn, sadly, seems near to dead, though we've still got Montero's, Sunny's, and O'Connor's. ]

(Short documentary on NYC dive bars)

Photo by Coery Kilgannon (NY Times)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

45 Revolutions: The Purple Hearts

Formed in Brisbane in 1964 by vocalist Mick Hadley, lead guitarist Lobby Loyde, rhythm guitarist Fred Pickard, bassist Bob Dames, and drummer Adrian 'Red' Redmond (later replaced by Tony Cahill), The Purple Hearts* were the first band to bring the British r&b sound to Australian audiences, through their sizzling live performances and their ground-breaking 45s. In the publication The History of Australian Pop, author Ian McFarlaine quotes: "Pioneering Brisbane band the Purple Hearts issued a series of tough, incomparable rhythm and blues singles that remain classics of their type. The band's uncompromising approach to music making was unrivalled in its day."

Although the band were part of the Sunshine Records stable (which included Australia's top male teen idol Normie Rowe), The Purple Hearts were truly 1960s punks. Even their name — taken from the well-known slang term for a variety of amphetamine pills much favored by mods — was a brash and outrageous gesture.

(Contains the band's first two monster 45s)

(via the Wild About You site)

* Not to be confused with the late '70s UK mod
band of the same name, also A.I.T.A. favorites.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Quote Of The Week

"I saw that all beings are fated to happiness: action is not life, but a way of wasting some force, an enervation. Morality is the weakness of the brain."

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Yesterday Don't Matter If It's Gone

Ruby's Bar & Grill
Rest In Peace

"I'm devastated. [The developer, Zamperla] wants everything new, but that's not what Coney Island's about — it's about nostalgia. People in the summer love to come in for a drink in their bikinis and bathing suits. It won't be the same when they're told to dress up because it's a 'high-class place.'" -Melody Sarrel, owner of Ruby's. [from NY Post]

"In 1975, Rubin Jacobs purchased the 1934 Hebrew National Deli and Bar on a prime spot of boardwalk near Stillwell Avenue. He decorated the space sparsely: a long bar, some tables and chairs, a grill, some old-time photos on the walls. Ruby had spent his whole life in Coney Island." ... Story continues here: Mourning Coney Island Institution, Ruby's Bar, 1934-2010 (Gothamist)

Photographs by Lee Greenfeld © 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

Election Year

A jet of mere phantom
Is a brook, as the land around
Turns rocky and hollow.
Those airplane sounds
Are the drowning of bicyclists.
Leaping, a bridesmaid leaps.
You asked for my autobiography.
Imagine the greeny clicking sound
Of hummingbirds in a dry wood,
And there you’d have it. Other birds
Pour over the walls now.
I'd never suspected: every day,
Although the nation is done for,
I find new flowers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Quote Of The Week

"There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others. The first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless."