doggie dear

 Everybody loves Oscar. Peter, his grandson Benjamin, and Jamie. And me, of course, though no, I don't want a dear little doggie.


merry non-christmas

 There is Christmas in the land! Elsewhere. Camilla and Isaac are celebrating in Providence. Douglas and Lynn and Simon are in Block Island, as are Pam and John (and thanks to Pam for the wreath on Claudia's Surf City!). Here in New York, we are going out for Chinese. As Jamie says, "The closer to Christmas it gets, the more Jewish I become."


merry merry!

Ok, I have not been out in a week, but before I became housebound I did take a few snaps of HolidayTown.
East Side

West Side

All around the town—specifically Fifth Avenue snowflake next to Trump tower.


i may live

This has been my life for an eternity—or at least a week. But today I am out of bed. Well, at least since one o'clock this afternoon. Progress! So you can look forward to some more engaging and informative posts very soon. Unless I suffer another setback, But I don't at all expect it.
  And today is my beloved sister's birthday! And almost 30th anniversary!
  Happy birthday E!



 Sorry, dudes. This (above) has been my view since Monday, when I hauled myself out of bed to go get a shot of gel in my knee. That seems to help, though I haven't given it a proper test drive due to being housebound with a cold. Hoping to be somewhat more presentable by Friday, when Peter and Jamie are supposed to take me to the opera. But not looking that promising at this present.


once again

The left one is the one without cartilage.
Today I visit my third knee specialist, the second at Hospital for Special Surgery. This one is a sports medicine specialist, and I am hoping for magic that doesn't involve a partial knee replacement, which is what the last guy at HSS recommended. Anon.


birthday report

 Spent a nice afternoon with Donna and her crew going through her book (again). Only made it through half, though. Then headed out for dosas with Katie and Mike. Weight be damned!


selfie report

Sign in Tout Va Bien bathroom
I am 68 years old.
I weigh 176 pounds, which is five pounds less than I did on Sunday and about 169 pounds more than I did at birth.
My blood pressure is still too high. The low numbers are 130 over 72. I will not release the high numbers, because it sounds like I should be dead. Yes, I will see my doctor. Eventually.
I can't think of any other relevant figures.
My spirits are excellent.


race against time

Will I be done by a week from tomorrow, when Jamie and Peter get here, and Peter wants to set up his office on the table? The countdown is on!
   Tomorrow looks like a wash—busy all the live-long day.
   And speaking of puzzles. Sam sent me this excellent art (well, amusing anyway) made from mixing puzzles that have the same die-cut pattern. I'm thinking of looking for one the same as this one. . .


horse and carriage

 Horse and carriage, horse and carriage, go together like love and marriage. No, that's not how it goes. Any way, despite years of opposition from animal rights activists, and despite Mayor DeBlasio's election promise to end the practice, horses still pull carriages on the streets of New York for holiday trippers. In August, a compromise position was supposedly agreed on that would put the horses within Central Park rather than on the street by this Christmas, but they were still lined up on Central Park South yesterday. I must say the horses seem happy enough, and their drivers seem attentive to their welfare, but what do I know.
   And what was I doing there? Why, shopping on Fifth Avenue, of course!


skateboard santas

 The Santas were a little scary, with their helmets and gloves. But I guess if you are riding motorized skateboards on a crowded sidewalk, it's probably a good idea to have some protection.
 They boogalooed down Broadway, planning to go as far as they could before someone stopped them. If they got as far as 74th St., they could have passed the gingerbread town in the window of Citarella's fish store. I'm a little disappointed that Citarella's did heir window design in sweets rather than fish, as they usually do. I could have loved a little alpine town in fish.
And if they really got far enough, they could have headed down past the windows at Bergdorf's (and some Santa competition), but I daresay they would have been stopped before Trump Tower.


lo ladies

 It's been a week of Lo Ladies. First Keri Pickett showed up in town touting "First Daughter and the Black Snake," about Winona LaDuke's battle against an oil pipeline through native lands. And then Dorothy Reilly and I got together with Miriam Poser for her  eighty-eighth birthday. She is 20 years older than I am. When we met about this time of year in 1992, trekking to Lo Monthang, Miriam was younger than I am now. We, of course, thought she was old. Now she really is—and so am I!


the old stand

How many lunches bleeding into dinners have we had at Tout Va Bien? It was just far enough away from work that we likely wouldn't run into anybody from the magazines there—unless we were having a Christmas party in the back room. We only get back once a year or so now. Thank goodness, or Ed couldn't afford it. This occasion was Barbara's and my birthday. The father and son who own and run the restaurant are still there. All the waiters have changed. We, of course, have not changed.
Me, Ed and Peter this week. photograph by Barbara
Me, Ed and Peter two years ago this week. (Not at TVB)

Barbara, animated!


hannukah roundup

And now, a break from historical New Orleans for some more current material. It is Hannukah. My old friend (and first New York roommate) Ivy is coming over to make zucchini latkes tonight. OK, Toby, I know this is not kosher. She says they are delicious, and if she's making them, I sure they will be.
In other festive news, Block Island's Christmas tree
In less festive news, Ed Barnes solves the mystery of Jimmy Hoffa's death.
  Yes, it's on Fox.
Something to celebrate: Barrett's fabulous sense of humor in a long-dead blog.
And if you still want to laugh, check out funny tweets. Some of them are really funny! If you post your faves by number, I'll post mine.
And OMG West Plains, Mo. (where I buy my groceries) and Birch Tree, Mo. (where I get my mail) are in the NYT Mag


halloween: the last sequel!

As it grew darker, things got weirder.

I have always had the opposite of a thing for clowns. And that goes for Pierrots, too.
On our way out of the quarter, we paused to listen to Grandpa Elliot. You can listen here

Back home in the Bywater, we popper into the neighborhood cozy. Mooo. The one time I was in NOLA for Mardis Gras, cousin Glenn loaned me a cow outfit.

The bartender swore his name was Huggington Behr. "My parents were hippies," he explained.
Witching hour approaches.

Bunnies were everywhere.


halloween 2

No, it's not over yet!
It's like one of those movies with sequels that will never, ever go away!

A street performer chalks out the boundaries of his stage in the middle of Bourbon Street.

I asked this waitress to pose before she began her shift. The workers were pretty much obliged to be in costume, though many simply added bunny ears to street clothes—as you will see as the night wears on (and on).

The real cops were good sports about this pseudo cop, consenting to pose with her and her friends (one, like cousin Richard, from Alabama). It's starting to get dark, but there's a lot of Halloween left.

The whole point of the costumes is having your picture made in them. Apparently the glow of appreciation in another's eyes or a view in the mirror is not permanent enough.

Plenty of older cartoons got in on the act.
The irony of the Hustler Club having stained glass windows was not lost on me.

We had to pause for some sustenance. It was kind of a relief to see people not in costume. And, boy, those Gulf oysters were good. Yes, Richard is having another  martini. To be continued. . .


halloween, nola

There is a lot of territory to cover in the back 40, and I am going to overdo with photos because,  New Orleans, and a stylin' wedding. And I can't seem to figure out how to share that many photos, so here goes. It begins on Halloween eve. Yes, I know that Halloween itself means eve (of All Hallows Day), but don't give me grief. I mean the night before Halloween.
   It was genteel.
These are my cousins, Richard and his son Merrell, from Talladega, Alabama. They arrived to fete Richard's sister Glenn's son (if you can follow all this, maybe you can move to the south), who was getting married.

My cousin Glenn (Richard's sister) and her husband Michael entertained us at a restaurant called The Country Club in the Bywater. It has a pool and used to have nude swimming before it went all hetero.

We have made it to the morning of Halloween. Richard and Merrell and I went to Elizabeth's, a great breakfast joint with a notoriously long line. We waited half an hour for a table. Better to get there early.

Yes, I had the praline bacon and OMG grits, which I never make for myself but do love. Richard and I had mimosas, also. Merrell, although 22, does not drink. And when they had no change, they gave it to us in more mimosas. Which, in retrospect, may have been a mistake.

It may have been the mimosas, or the subsequent martinis, but we made friends everywhere we went that day. Especially in the Quarter, where everyone was happy to pose in their Halloween costumes.

Yes, this is Bourbon Street, the honkiest tonkiest place I've ever been. Sample T-shirt: I got Bourbon-faced on Shit Street. And that's about the size of it. Naturally, on Halloween it was really special.

If she looks like she's above the crowd, it's because shes on really high stilts, adding to the sideshow effect of the whole street and the whole day. Had I gotten any closer I would have had to put a dollar in her garter.

This mother and daughter were visiting from Milwaukee, where they know from brewski. I finally realized that people wanted the pics and started texting them to their phones. This required interaction.