Friday, August 31, 2018

Take A Little Walk With Me

I’d grab the subway at Dekalb and take the long ride to Brighton Beach — one of my favorite trips in the city, with all its slow turns and views of scarred rooftops and weather-worn store-top signage. After I'd exit the train, I'd troop over to my grandparents' street for the barrage of you-got-so-big's and cheek-pinches via all the lovable yentas from the building parked out front. (I can still picture my grandma's tough smile when she'd see me, and perfectly recall the unique smell of the lobby of her building and the creaky ancient elevator up to the 6th floor.) The beach chairs were usually lined-up all the way down the block, each building with its own unique crew. One of my favorite characters was a very zaftig Russian woman whose name is lost with time. Her sons were supposedly gangsters and she sold blackmarket caviar from a cooler under her chair. She never smiled, and when she died she was buried in a piano box.

Words and photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Backyard Trance

“We’re so caught up in our everyday lives that events of the past are no longer in orbit around our minds. There are just too many things we have to think about everyday, too many new things we have to learn. But still, no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things we can never assign to oblivion, memories we can never rub away. They remain with us forever, like a touchstone.”

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018
Words by Haruki Murakami from Kafka On The Shore, 2002

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Jane's Lament

There's a new breed of city-dwelling squirrel monkey that is able to slip through cracks in walls and open windows. They end up in people's homes, where they mount the chins of their sleeping victims and slowly poke at their faces with X-Acto knives, all while making a strange laugh-like noise.

Friday, August 17, 2018

The Real Thing

Aretha Franklin's passing yesterday sent me into a music-obsessive frenzy, ending up focusing on her underrated Columbia sides. As I was listening to her take on the oft-covered "(It Will Have to Do) Until The Real Thing Comes Along," I realized it was one of the rare times I think she was bested on a song. That's not to say her version isn't stellar; it is, it's just that Judy Henske's take sends chills down my spine, and I prefer it to classic and stunning versions by the likes of Billie Holiday, the Ink Spots, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Aretha, etc. Henske's work-up is the perfect synthesis of Holiday and Fats Waller's adaptations, with an extra helping of sass, a hint of 1960s abandon, and total raw fucking power.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Learn The Tale Of Our Tribe

"New York is best seen with innocent eyes. It doesn't matter if you are younger or old. Reading our rich history makes the experience more layered, but it is not a substitute for walking the streets themselves. For old-timer or newcomer, it is essential to absorb the city as it is now in order to shape your own nostalgias."

Photograph by Lee Greenfeld © 2018
Words by Pete Hamill from Downtown, 2004

Saturday, August 4, 2018

You'd Never Be As Lonely As Me

There was an elderly guy sitting at the bar tonight talking to anyone and everyone who sat near him. He was buzzed but not overly drunk, and nice enough albeit slightly annoying. A couple sits down and humors him for a while, and then gently asks if they can get back to their own conversation. He says “okay,” sits quietly for about five minutes and then tells them that he is “the loneliest person in the world,” adding after a pause “and I live in Brooklyn.”

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

A Time Sensitive Poll

Should I ask the guy speaking/yelling at an insane VOLUME at the bar what his thoughts are on the current US trade deals, the recording industry, situationist art, or tight fitting pants, seeing as he apparently has an OPINION ON ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING ? Or, should I just knock him off his stool on my way out for being all THAT IS WRONG WITH THE NEW NEW YORK?