cab with a view

Gridlock @48th and Ninth Ave, NYC
Forward, things weren't looking too good—stopped traffic, the meter clicking towards $15 for a short jaunt. But look up and —oh! A sunroof as big as the boxy cab. Take your pleasures where you find them. This concludes the lesson for the new year.
   And speaking of the New Year, I was on my way to Esposito's, aka The Pork Shop, to pick up a 22 pound ham for Hammah's birthday on January 1st. Be there. Or rather, here. And yes, there will be vegetarian fare. Ed promises Ronald Reagan's mac and cheese. He'll tell you all about it.


the way home

I wasn't the only one traveling after Christmas. Every table in the cafe car (regional from Boston to Washington) was taken. And now we are all home.


i want what you got

And Christmas Chaos commences. . .

"I want the dinosaur! "I want the horse!" "Ok let's share." Pajamas no problem.
From the Bureau of Better Late than Never. And, yes, I am back in NYC.


christmas eve

Then we settled our brains for a long winters' nap.



The holidays always bring me the gift of visitors. They visit the store windows, check out museums, bring me delicious food and head out loaded with Zabar's bags. This contingent has just left for Block Island and home. Always assuming the ferry is running!


taylor camp, kauai

When I lived in Kauai in 1973, there were a lot of other hippies there "living off the land"—i.e. on food stamps, other people's papayas, stolen pineapples from the Dole fields, coconuts from the palms in the graveyard, panhandling. I lived on the beach way at the end of the road on Waimea side. But when the park ranger would run us out of there, our little group (blonde Krishna, ex-prostitute John-John, queen Marty and the two Vassar girls) headed for Taylor Camp, way at the end of the road on Hanalei Side. There a bunch of hippies had fabricated fantasy treehouses of tie-dye and wood and found objects, and we could set up our little tent in peace.
   However, I am the person who, famously, hated the Woodstock festival, and I was not all that fond of the camp reputedly owned by Elizabeth Taylor's nephew either. For one thing the other folks  were not all that welcoming. Then there was the camp facility. I don't recollect the privacy wall presided over by Frank Zappa on the krappa above. All I remember is a toilet mounted on a platform in the middle of an open field. And the hepatitis shots we all had to get at the clinic after drinking from the stream nearby.
   But the worst part was the weather: Hanalei is the rainy side of Kauai, and we were living under an Indian print bedspread. Damp. And chilly since we didn't wear any clothing except maybe a shell lei or, for formal occasions, a loincloth. Bummer! So after a couple days we would pour water into the radiator of the Midnight Rambler (bought for $25), light some incense in the ashtray and head back to Waimea Side, home and dry, where the rangers were waiting.
   You can see possibly more accurate reports—yes, we were all on drugs—in a new book about Taylor Camp. There is also a documentary. John-John, Krishna, Marty—where are you now? The other Vassar girl I can locate.


my sources say yes, I will yes

There's a whole alphabet between no and yes. And then there are the noes that mean yes, the yesses that mean no and the yesses and noes that mean exactly what they say. But the world seems to be in such a mess (rape, hackers, wars, murders, illness, age—well, you know, yes?) that I am going to yes, I mean, yes, say yes. No more talking about ailments. No more negativity. Just. . .yes. To everything good. Yesss!


christmastime roundup

Atop the letter box in the lobby. Nice reindeer!
And in other news
Lynn Johnson has a story about child development in National Geographic this month. Check out the video with GoPro kidcam!
Hannah offers up a spreadsheet for your personal expense budget for the new year.
And here's your sexy horoscope for the new year.
Debby sends a cool link for a company called Magic Leap that one of her banks just became the CFO of. Open the link twice to see the little girl and the elephant.
Elaine's good friend, New York City's premier political consultant David Garth just died at 84. She always said she shoulda married him and would be sitting pretty in Cafe Des Artistes. Terrible that she died first.
On a lighter note, this is a hilarious New Yorker piece by friend Jenny Allen about how we can't remember anything any more.
Artist friend Jessica Rath opens her latest show soon of a human-sized honeycomb. Very cool.
More festivity: A hip-hop Nutcracker.
And finally, Happy Hanukkah. Tonight is the first night.
Neighbors tote the tannenbaum.


claudia gets cultcha

Just call me angel of the bayou.
The fact that I —despite living in New York City and actually appreciating art—so seldom get off my ass to view it has long rankled many of my friends and relations. My cousin Glenn has come up with a solution.
    For the past four years, she and her friend Michelle have taken a picture of me along when they explore the art scene in and around New Orleans to mark all of our birthdays. This year they visited bricklayer Kenny Hill's sculpture garden in Chauvin, Louisiana. And so, luckily for me, did I! We all loved it, a miraculous trove of outsider art deep in bayou country. One of these days I'll get there in person.

Michelle and me—and maybe Jesus?


holiday giving

A friend of mine who is a photographer (which one? you ask) (ok it was Chien-Chi Chang) asked me to donate to the Magnum Foundation, which is a not-for profit that funds photographers—not Magnum photographers (CCC, a Magnum photographer, emphasizes)—doing worthy projects for which photographers are seldom funded these days. He is trying to round up his rich friends but came knocking at the wrong door in my case. Well, I did donate a few bucks. And if you will do the same through Magnum Foundation more photographers will be able to go to the places no one wants to go and find out the things no one wants to know about people we never heard of—who are some of the most important human beings on the planet right now. We need these stories.


thank you, ganesh

The Elephant Parking God was with me today. This pic doesn't do it justice, but it is a very tight spot—maybe six inches on either end. A guy saw me cruising, gestured that he was leaving. Another guy saw the interaction and blocked the empty spot til I could get around the block and back (going through two red lights)! And they say New Yorkers aren't nice. . .


Santy Claus is TK

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


news flash

Yes, Isaac can talk—at least to the extent of saying my name. Hannah says he believes I am always on the phone on Face Time.
In outrageous news, my friend Peter's family members survived a small plane crash in the Bahamas. He reports: "I just got word from my brother Tim in the Bahamas that brother James and his family survived a plane crash as they were flying in. Sounded pretty hairy. One person died.  Luckily, James (age 60!) is a serious mountain biker and in great shape and his son-in-law is a fireman; two guys you want on your team if your plane is going to crash in 6,500 feet of  water.... My brother's wife, daughter, and 18-month-old granddaughter were also on board.  Whew!"
   But the biggest news event that I have missed is the protest scene in my home town, New York, N.Y.  "So, Missourians want to know if you are going to take a picture of a New York license plate with a piece of tape across it and explain how ashamed you are to be a New Yorker," writes one Missouri friend, apparently piqued by a previous blog. Another, also somewhat miffed, writes"Guess NYC can join the club, "BREATHE IN NYC" and "SHOT ME STATE, MO". Got tape on your NY license plate?  It's mid 60's all over again." So sorry guys. Thought I made it clear in previous blog that all humans are guilty of being tribal.  Me and New Yorkers too. Let's work against it.


holiday pic

Their mother posed them. let's hope she got a better picture than I did. I just look at this and see me and my brother, also three years younger than the big sister. Boy that was a while ago.


off off season

But really, the season never ends for us homeowners. I have slotted returning tenants and am now writing up leases—changing the dates, prices and ages of the guests as another year passes. By next season, the footprints in the sand will have been smoothed away by the winds, and a virgin beach will await the summer lovers.


in hannah's room

Hannah's room was once again a scene of neighbors, kids and moms. For which we give thanks. Here is a link to what National Geographic photographers, including friends Maggie Steber and Lynn Johnson, give thanks for. An interesting selection.