Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Classes Start Tomorrow

Classes start tomorrow and I just thought it'd be nice to say something about these past couple of months. It really is hard to believe that summer is over and to think of whether my prediction of "This summer will be the best one ever", proved to be true.

I learned A LOT the past couple of months, which while these lessons were not always easy, in retrospect they were worth any crap they came along with. Here are some:

That sometimes the best and easiest way to make sure you get what you need at the hardware store is to literally take a picture. When we moved into our flat, one of the locks they left for us was, lets say less than adequate. So off Claire and I went to the hardware store. Looking for locks, screws to attach said lock, saws to cut the screws to attach said lock and at one point contemplated taping the lock to the damn door. It was an adventure to say the least. We only were able to get the lock attached and workable after 3 hardware store workers, a guy across the street who cut the original screws (and damaged them) and finally my cousin who it turns out actually knew what the hell he was talking about. So maybe besides learning to take pictures, I also learned to better be able to distinguish between people who don't know what the hell they're talking about and those who do.

Door lock fail

Learning to sift through the bullshit and truth is likely one of my most valued lessons of this summer, to be more guarded, to be less trustful, to be uncompromising and to be particular when it comes to those you let close to you. In that same genere and theme falls Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World, which is likely one of my favorites in MOMA's collection, it really evokes a feeling of loss, of being left without your defenses, to be disarmed, to long for more or different. This summer had a lot of that and I'm grateful for how I learned these lessons, because like Wyeth's painting, I can leave the painting, the risks and injury someplace and walk away, thankfully unscathed.


That ultimately 25 is just a number, which I think I always knew, and really it's silly to be sad or to dread birthdays. Have fun, go get a few (or many) drinks, especially at 2 in the afternoon, eat yourself fat with sushi. Oh and start the day
off with birthday shots at midnight. Melon Liquor=yum.

Turning 25

And also, go see as many films in the park as you possibly can, seriously. Loads of Fun, especially if you can wrangle up a southern redhead who's always got a vitamin water full of rum stocked away somewhere.


That's all I can really say about these past couple of months. Lots of Learning, Lots of Living, Lots of Loving, Lots of Loss. I would not change a thing.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Someone Shat in the Elevator.

I like to think of myself as a pretty nice guy. There's a really good chance that if you needed me to do something for you, and you asked me nicely and I could, I would. It's just my nature. I'm sure you can trace it back to my view on things and humanity, the whole I am my brother's keeper. It's nice when you can do things for other people and when they can appreciate it and maybe one day when I need it, the favor will be returned.

So today, with that in mind I gladly agreed to use my zipcar membership, driving abilities and what little brawn I could offer and help my friend Luke move from Harlem, down to Brooklyn. In fact, into an apartment in my building. I consider it just me doing part in gentrifying the neighborhood.

So we set off at 11, grabbed the car, the handtruck (thank god the hardware store rents them out for $10 a day) and headed up to Harlem where we would, along with his boyfriend and one of the current tenants of hsi old place, move his bed, and boxes. It was a fairly easy trip, aside from some fun double parking and trying to fit a mattress too big to fit in the bed of the pick up truck, in the bed of the pick up truck. Let's just say that we use A LOT of rope and I tried my best to not let the power of the pick-up truck go to my bed and start telling other drivers I would run them off the road if they braked or didn't use blinkers (might've happened on the way up to Harlem...).

When we got back to Harlem, after safely schlepping the mattress and box spring to Brooklyn we went to tackle the literal mountain of books that some might threaten to call the A&E show "Buried Alive: Hoarders" on Luke for (might've happened on the way back to Brooklyn with an actual truck load full of books...). The worst part about this second run was the fact that no joke, someone shat in the elevator of his old building, possibly multiple times. The smell was awful and also meant we had to carry said mountain down a flight of stairs, I guess the whole if you can't bring the mountain to Muhammad, line is now no longer relevant, considering I drove it from Harlem to Brooklyn today.

So that's that. I'm so exhausted and now I'm off to see a movie with Amy (a fellow Brooklynite!) at Brooklyn Bridge park, expect an update on it).

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A collection of Things.

I have horrible writer's block. Absolutely horrible. Lucky for me Blogger saves every blog I've attempted to write and stores them as drafts. What follows is a weird collection of thoughts, sometimes about Brooklyn, sometimes not. Yeah, it'd be nice to have a photo montage of Brooklyn, but sometimes this blog is as much about Brian as it is about Brooklyn. Hopefully the little bits of my brain I can commit to words will be entertaining.

Titled: What we owe to the people we love, or don't love, or even barely know.

This has been a busy month for me.

I had a short trip on my birthday weekend which was spent celebrating the nuptials of my cousin in Vermont. It was a fantastic time. The first time we had the majority of all the cousins together for something joyous. Vermont is also absolutely gorgeous. If not for the repeated failure to deliver on the promise of Moose crossing the road and the absolute crap cell phone reception, I would consider living there.

Because of the wedding and because my birthday fell on a Monday this year I pushed the celebratin' forward to the Saturday after. It was likely the most ridiculous birthday I've ever had. a bunch of my friends and my sister met up at the Brooklyn Brewery to do the tour (which literally last 10 minutes) and to imbide in the endless supply of cheap, delicious and potent beer. We're talking $3 8.5% beer here folks. I could barely stand by 3 pm. Mission accomplished.

The one awful bit of the day was the ridiculous heat. Besides having to ride the shuttle bus and getting the seat that I'm fairly certain were actually part of the engine manifold, that literally gave me burns on my back and butt, the day was burning hot. After the brewery we all stumbled onto the L and made our way to a lovely and cheap sushi place ($55 fed 6 people). Getting there, it literally felt like someone was flaying the skin off of us with a hot butter knife. SO HOT. Even so it was so much fun and is likely one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time. Hurrah(?) to 25!

Titled: Summer in the City is full of Cleavage, Cleavage, Cleavage.

I was wandering across the internets and happened upon a discussion abotu winter boots in Montreal. Don't ask. Wikipedia probably led me to it, and lets face it, when you enter the wormhole that is Wikipedia, you're lucky you end up still on the internet and not trying to hunt some rare pygmy bird on Mt Kilimanjaro. Anyway, the general consensus was that in the winter time it is so cold, Montrealers wouldn't care if you had oven mitts wrapped in tinfoil on your feet, because it's winter and anything goes. Well, New York is basically the same way when it comes to heat and clothing (or lack thereof). For the love of christ, I can't even begin to formulate a number that would adequately give you even an estimate of how many bellies, boobs and muffin tops I saw running loose in the streets of Brooklyn and New York these past couple of weeks; there were that many. It really sometimes made the beaches of Jacob Riis look like a national Burqa convention. Now that's not to say I've suddenly adopted tube tops and daisy dukes to fend off the brutal heat (spans of days over 95 degrees), I'm still clinging furiously to the cliff of good fashion sense, albeit often soaked with sweat. Ah, New York.

Titled: The Finer Points of Gentrification.

When I first moved in and until recent days, I had concerns about whether you could consider my square inch of the Clinton Hill Neighborhood an up and coming place. Now, absolutely it was not "real-estate" Clinton Hill like my old place, (which p.s. I'm now too afraid to go there at night), but I still have my concerns. You may ask yourself, Why? Well, it could have been the crazy lady who no joke, lives on the roof, or the "Candy Store" across the street that is never opened and definitely doesn't sell candy, these are both glaring reminders that Brian, you don't live in an effective gated community anymore. In recent days though it has become more and more obvious that my neck of the woods is becoming a lovely piece of heaven! First a pretty awesome hipster yuppie bar has opened literally across the street from me. It easily has 10-15 quality beers on tap for cheap and it's a diamond in a stretch of closed commercial store fronts. What is even more exciting is that the future home of the Greene Hill Food Co-op is nearby too! Modeled on the thriving Park Slope Food Co-op, this will bring some much needed produce to a neighborhood sorely in need of some good eats. I'm real excited.

That's about all I can muster. Apologies, I spend most of my free time now reading the pile of books that the New York Public Library has waiting for me, hoping to prolong summer and push back the beginning of the Fall Semester.