Monday, December 30, 2013

Large Lofty Mid-Town West Rent Stabilized Apt. No Fee. Under Market Rent ASSUME now for a FEB 1 Move In

Hello Friends,

We are breaking our lease here in midtown because we bought a place up near the Cloisters. But we LOVE this midtown Apartment and the management company is kind enough to let us either drop the lease or pass it onto someone else. So we figured---why shouldn't someone take advantage of this good deal in a great building? The details are below. Please pass this along to friends who are looking for a Feb 1 move-in.
The apartment is about $300 cheaper than market value.


888 8th Avenue. Apartment 5M (on the sixth Floor) between 52nd and 53rd
Elevator building
24 hour doorman
Brand new kitchen with full sized appliances. Marble black floor.
New bathroom in white marble.
Everything works perfectly.

The apartment is an L-Shaped alcove studio with the bathroom and kitchen making up the part that turns this large lofty box into this very L shape.  So it is really a large rectangle with a kitchen and bath bite out of it.
It is 30 feet from the front door to the windows. It is 19 feet wide at its widest. When you walk in, it feels large. You never feel cramped. We had the choice to rent a one bedroom originally, but this place was simply larger.
It has a row of five windows. When you lie in bed, you look up at the sky. We call it, "Pudding in a cloud."
There are a ton of closets. A coat closet and a bank of closets (three doors worth) at the front. And then a bank of closets in the dressing area near the bathroom (another three doors worth).

Faces West. Full sun from noon until sundown. Great sunsets.

View of buildings and lots of sky across the street.

Blinds come with the apartment.

You control your heat and A/C like in a hotel with a knob.

24 Hour Laundry Room with two long banks of washers and dryers.

Completely renovated hotel-style lobby.

The staff never turns over and everyone is super nice. The management company is superb, reasonable and really care about the building in a great way.

No dogs allowed unless you beg the management. There are dogs in the building. I've never heard one bark.

The construction of the building is a BUNKER from 1967. Girders and Poured Concrete. You never hear a thing from another neighbor. You do hear sirens as they go by. If there is jack hammering in the neighborhood, you hear it...but we haven't heard any in two years.

There are no bugs. No exterminators in the building because there is nothing to exterminate.

There is a great exhaust vent in the kitchen so all your kitchen steam/smoke goes up there.

The building is friendly but also large enough that you can ignore everyone if you like.

Super close to Columbus Circle, so the park becomes a part of things.
24 hour Gristedes, Duane Reade, right across the street. And about 900 restaurants, as you know, because this is the edge of Hell's Kitchen. Plus, you can leave the apt. at 7:50 for an 8PM Curtain.
The convenience is great. This is a busy neighborhood with lots going on.

Trains: A,C,E, 1, N, R, Q, B, D

Again---super convenient.

No Fee
$2470 per month plus one month security.
Current lease expires end of December, 2014.
You assume the rest of our lease, beginning February 1, 2014 and then you can renew at the end of 2014. This is Confirmed.
Salary requirement: Using the 40XRent rule, you or you and your partner/spouse/roomie need to have a combined income of about 99K.  And your credit should be good. You will have to get through these hoops with management to assume this lease.

The assumption of the lease, as mentioned, begins February 1, 2014.
However, whoever wants this apartment has to decide by about January 3, because of how this all works with management.
So jump if you want it.
Contact Don at  to see it.

Pics below are how it looks now.
It will be completely empty and will look more like the STOCK PHOTOS below of the building.
It is in good shape, but it will not be repainted, only touched up, if you assume the lease.

STOCK PHOTOS (These are NOT pics of the apartment...but how the apartment looks/feels as if it were empty. And some lobby pics.)


Monday, December 23, 2013


Merry Christmas.

Be surrounded by the wise.

Be newborn.

Smell like fresh animals.

Enjoy the night.

Grab your virgin mother in bewilderment.

Make big plans.

Save the world.

Maybe this time it will work.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Aggression and Bags of Things

If you dare to the streets, the Saturday before Christmas in New York City is a day of survival.

After dehydration and populace attack, we were on the elevator in our building, returning to our refuge. And like everywhere else, it was packed.

Sometimes, you are emboldened in an elevator, when you are fresh out of audience in your regular life and you have the sense of a sympathetic crowd.

The elevator was filled with only men, straight it seemed, in their thirties and forties. I had to test their agreement to a joke to my husband, medium-loud for all to hear, in a measured tone that was admitting, “I’m trying this out.” And here I went:

“If there is any doubt that women are as aggressive as men, try to walk on the sidewalks of New York with them and their shopping bags. They put Kublai Kahn to shame.”

Full titters. No one thought I was the crazy guy with the mouth. Complete agreement all around the elevator. We exited on the fifth floor. A risk. And a success.

Ladies: Send me all the you-misogynist-fuck comments that you want. But when you XX’s are on an adrenalin infused shopping jaunt, you are simply a bunch of violent monsters. And all the guys think so.

And they are tired of it.

But they are also sort of sweet about it and laugh in agreement and not with hatred  because, “Hey, these are the things we want to fuck.”

The truth is in elevators. Some stuff never changes. Sorry.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I Just Want to Be Kind: Philomena

I know it's hard to make a movie. And I think it is mean to be mean. So let's be kind.

First of all...Steve Coogan--groovy! You showed us you can act, seriously. You are handsome and expressive and you can play someone hard boiled and real. Fab.

Dame Dench, who the hell doesn't want to look at you? Always a pleasure.

But I have to say...this was a thin script. And if there was a point, I didn't get it. Now look---I like when things have all sorts of points or a loose point, or maybe even no-real-point-but-it's-a-good-ride. But I didn't see any evidence of any of that.

Philomena goes looking for her lost-to-adoption son. I can't reveal anything else because it would spoil the plot, entirely.

Evil nuns, of course, are the problem.

So far, for my time this year, I'm sticking with Gravity. Imax. 3D.

But if you are a Dench or Coogan fan, go for it. It got lots of audience awards at festivals.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Proud to Be Irish? Or at Least 3/8? Taking Cultural Stock this Christmas Season

Good article here from 2007 about The Departed and how the Irish like to deflect serious emotions off themselves.

Being 3/8 Irish, I get it. When things get slightly rough, I am happy to blow. When things get medium rough, I am more measured. When things get really rough, I want to do anything on earth to deflect the pain and misery of it all.

Of course, the other 5/8 of me plays into it, too...and can get the job done of expressing--

But the Irish thing is pretty strong. It is ultimately a romantic/lyrical culture and insists upon transcendence. I know I insist upon it. In fact, I am furious that the earth isn't a more musical, wordy, funny place. I crave these things like seals crave mackerel.

The 1/8 German side of me is sort of swallowed up.
The 1/2 Italian (with some French thrown in, way back) is so strangely pragmatic, it controls my list-driven life. Also, some of my Italian ancestors were Huguenots, refugees from France. So they have that sane, Protestant thing going on, making their earthbound practicality as non-other-worldly as possible.

This combination makes---a certain fatalism. And that fatalism is not joyous and optimistic. It is sort of sad and very aware of mortality. But thank goodness, the strong Irish blood says, "Stop it now. No more need to be maudlin. Forget all that. Go on up to the ring of cottages near the peat bog where they are having a good dance and a good laugh and sing yourself a song."

I think when you are built a certain way, that's what you have to do.

12 Years a Slave

You know, you can go on and on about it, but I did not love this movie.

It is ham fisted in its shooting and the acting is inconsistent among the slaves.

There is no question that slavery is bad. But then there's this problem:

There was a great differentiation made between a free man enslaved and a slave enslaved. And certainly, it would be awful to have lived a life of freedom and then have to be a slave. But wasn't it equally awful for all the all-life slaves? Or even worse, because they didn't even have a minute's freedom?

Also, as far as telling a story goes...there was no guess work here. Twelve years a slave. So, like, I guess it was twelve years, right? And then you sort of figure on year 13, it's over?

I don't want to feel guilty for not thinking this was such a great movie. My feeling is, I am terrified, horrified and made wretched at the thought of slavery. I am, like most everyone, in the anti-slavery camp. But this story was just about this poor enslaved non-slave just waiting for his chance to find someone who would help him get back to the non-slave that he was, while being surrounded by all these slaves. And he did. And that is great. And it's a true story. But shit, what else?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Out of the Furnace

Let it be known, I grew up right next to those mountains that were loaded up with the descendants of Lenape Indians/Dutch settlers/Escaped slaves. It was called Stag Hill. Right on the NJ/NY border. We did call the people up in the mountains Jackson Whites. Sorry to offend. We didn't know there was even another name for them. We also did go to school with these lovelies, though I do think most of them went to Mahwah High. Lucky for me, I was a short order cook at the base of the mountain on Route 17, and the guys would come in all the time to talk, buy cigarettes, all that. They were not on a college track. They were unencumbered. Similar to all sorts of working, earthy people in the area.

It was pretty amazing, and still is pretty amazing, that they have this whole life going on up in those mountains right on the edge of a very dense suburban area just 28 miles from New York City.

My favorite image, and I tell it often: we used to hike up in the Ramapo Mounatins all the time, just north of Stag Hill, and you could get high enough that in the distance you would see the tip of the Empire State Building and then one day, I turned to my left, and there was a man in a mush-mouse hat, with a rifle, hunting for grub.

It's good to grow up on the edge. It's where certain things can happen that can't really happen anywhere else.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Let Me Eat Butter: Thursday at 8

Hello Friends.  I am reading this Thursday evening, December 12 at 8, in Brooklyn, my original essay about moving to France for the butter, called LET ME EAT BUTTER!

All details below. If you are free, come on over. If you are in the  mood to read something---come even earlier (7:45) to sign up.

Brooklyn Reading Works Presents:
FEAST: share a poem or story about food, eat some soup, and raise $ for a local food pantry, all in one fell swoop
at The Old Stone House

December 12, 2013
Your $10 donation will help support a local food pantry and includes soup, snacks and wine.

Here's your chance to share a favorite poem, or to read something you've written about food and feasting. Bring a story, memoir, or a poem with food or feasting as subject matter, as metaphor, as inspiration. There will be an 8-minute time limit per reader, strictly enforced!!! Shorter is better!!! All it takes is one small poem shared!!!

Soup will be served, plus wine, and in the spirit of the holidays-- Please bring COOKIES to share!

Ken Carlton, author of The Hunger: A Story of Food, Desire and Ambition with the Chef of the Waverly Inn, will open the event with an excerpt from his novel Food for Marriage.

Molly Gallentine whose work has been published in The Rumpus, CutBank, The New Delta Review, etc. will treat us to an excerpt of her meditation on Jello.

Ame Gilbert, who runs PoetrySoup Salon, is organizing, cooking and hosting this event and will make it as smart, cozy and delicious as her monthly salons.

DATE: December 12 at 8PM

IF YOU PLAN TO READ: Please come at 7:45 so we can put you on the list.

LOCATION: The Old Stone House, 336 Third Street, between 4th and 5th Avenues, F train to Fourth Avenue, R train to Union Street

View Larger Map

Monday, December 09, 2013

Henry Miller in The Paris Review, 1961

During my senior year of college there was a slot available for anyone who wanted to present a workshop production of an original play. No one, not one other person, had any interest in taking the slot.

The second semester of my junior year, I studied in Paris, or more truthfully, had a great time taking Art History, Theater, German, Music Composition and Speech/Acting, a needed break from the other seven semesters of hard sciences with the occasional modern dance class thrown in. While in Paris, I made extra money busking in front of the Pomipdou and bravely played songs that I had written on the guitar. I sort of figured out I was a writer of some kind so when this slot opened up, I felt confident that I could write a play and I grabbed it.  One of those seize-the-opportunity if it feels right kind of things.

I thought it wouldn't be a bad idea to take out a book on how to write a play. I had read most of the full length plays by Tennessee Williams, a ton of other plays, and had acted in a whole mess of them by that age, too. I looked in the card catalog for a book about writing. I looked up Arthur Miller and I went to the stacks and got the book by Miller, On Writing.

Lo' and behold, after reading about twenty pages, I thought, This doesn't seem like Arthur Miller. It's too out there or something. It's actually better than Arthur Miller. I felt more aligned with what I was reading than I ever had while boring down into Death of a Salesman.

Turns out, the book On Writing, was by Henry Miller. I mistook my Millers. I stole the book from Tufts and I still have it here on my book shelf. (I also stole some Williams and Pinter Collections---but long ago mailed them back.) I just couldn't give up my stolen Henry Miller and I feel like Henry would have liked that.

In the meantime, many years later, I am following The Paris Review on Twitter and here I run into the 1961 interview with Henry Miller. I find him very inspiring. Tropic of Cancer was one of the best things I've ever read.

I did write my first play for that slot. It was called Be Daring Now Miss Prism. It starred Corin Nelson, who became a television producer. And Beth Seriff, who became a television writer. Charlie Freeman made the papier mache oversized vegetables. He now does international work with China. The play was an absurd story about a disintegrating family. It was funny. The second act decayed into a dreamscape of circus types tormenting the remaining characters who did not die in a car crash in the first act. It was messy. But it was worth it.

I think the ballsy nature of Henry Miller was helpful, if not for structure, for verve.

Sometimes you make a mistake and it's a good one.


Thursday, December 05, 2013

Midnight of My Soul

We're all adults here who stay up past midnight, right?

Today's quote:

In the 3AM of my soul, I am very joyous. It's the 11AM that needs some work...

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

So Up in Arms

Why people are so freaked by change is beyond me.

Drones delivering my packages? Sure! Why not?

Or a 3D Printer making a sex surrogate for a distant relation who has severe garlic breath and a body of boils?  Print it!

Self Driving Cars:  Sign me up pronto.

High Speed Rail:  Yesterday, please.

Nanobots that fix up my Kidneys? Where do I sign?

THC type drugs without the nasty dissolution of personality? Come on, The Netherlands!

Traveling around the world in less than an hour?  I can't wait.

All this talk about going back in time for romantic reasons is just nuts. When? Before penicillin? Or when all women were basically slaves? Or how about during the Black Plague or the eve of The First Great War?

Stop it, please.

Give me the future. Let it be as technical as it wants. And if the kids all stop being able to recognize facial expressions, well...maybe what's really going on is--we no longer need those facial expressions to be recognized.

There is such a fear. Even when someone invents a new word, you hear a rumbling and a cawing of aggressive indignation.

I say--let math and science win. The rest of the time---spend on ethics. Whatever is left, make the most beautiful art, please.


Tuesday, December 03, 2013

I Do Believe It's Getting Better

Every day, more people sign up for insurance...and it's getting cheaper. They say.

You can shove your numbers at me or shove the numbers wherever you need to.

The thing is, this thing is happening. Instead of going ape with lawsuits, why not try something else, oh Indiana and Oklahoma? Why not let your people get their pap smears and appendixes out and basal cell carcinomas removed and hearts restarted and go fight for something else?

Like babies. You all love babies. Why not go invent an imitation uterus so you can raise unwanted fetuses in the privacy of your living rooms? Like sea horses in an aquarium? When they're ready, you can take them out and give them away.

Or really get Jesus into your schools by making sure every poor person is cared for.

Or create jobs by hiring anyone at all to do anything.

Or spend some time with an excel sheet and let the government know how they can spend less money on defense.

Go do something. Anything. Instead of throwing sand in the gears. In the end, do you really want to be known as the sandman?

Monday, December 02, 2013

Unsubscribe in 2014

I just spent an hour deleting crap-strewn emails in my inbox...because I hadn't been at my email, cleaning away, for the past six days...Thanksgiving and all.

We should not have to do that.

I hate to miss things. And all the garbage I get, I did at some point sign up for it. But now...slowly, I unsubscribe.

I think of all those years I lived before there were these interwebs coming at me. And I got so much more read. So much more written. So much more thought about. So much more time in my body and on the ground. Music. Etc.

Madness: Be gone.

I have to stand up to myself and be okay with missing stuff. Unsubscribing is the only way. My closets are next.