Posts Tagged ‘new york city’


Sunday, April 28th, 2013


Many folks

Down in New York

Liked soda a lot…

 But the Grinch

 Who was Mayor

 Did NOT!


The Grinch hated soda! All kinds of flavors

 Now please don’t ask why.  Looked at all with disfavor!

It could be his palate and tastes were urbane

It could be perhaps that he just drank champagne.

 But I think the most likely reason of all

Was because, as a man well, the Mayor was small.




Whatever the reason,

His height or his wealth

He was too-too concerned with everyone’s health.

Making speeches and statements, he tried best he could

 To convince New Yorkers this was for their own good.

No more soda or smoking or transfats or fun.  

An era of free choice and freedom was done.


“But they’re drinking their sodas,” he snarled with a sneer

They won’t have a chance to at this time next year!

If it’s seventeen ounces of Fanta or Pepsi

They’ll have to be happy with unsweetened Nestea.




Come next year, he knew…

He would have his own way

Not over cranberry juice or OJ

Nor coffee nor liquor nor hot NesCafe

But one day he would!  HAVE HIS WAY!  HAVE HIS WAY!



Why, look at the streets where the traffic once flourished,

There are bikes!  There are bikes!

There are bikes!





They would ride them in bike lanes painted brand-new!

They would ride them on sidewalks, slam into you!



They’d do something

He liked most of all

They’d ride them through all those pedestrian malls!


They’d ride them down Lexington, up Park Avenue

They’d ride where they wanted with no thought of you!


 They’d ride!  And they’d ride!


 Through red lights, on sidewalks, against STOP! Signs too! 

And the Grinch who was Mayor, he hadn’t a clue

“But they’ll be better off just as soon as I’m through”

Said the Grinch who was Mayor who knew…

                                                            …thought HE!



For he had an idea!


A brilliant idea!



 “I know just what to do!” he laughed to himself

Quite a huge idea from one tall as an elf!

“They whine and complain, it’s all so hard to take.

How will they respond when l ban chocolate cake?”


“I will ban all the chocolate

I know that I can!

Chocolate truffles and soufflés, cashews and pecans,

But I won’t stop at that,”

The short mayor said

“I’ll ban brownies and cookies and donuts and bread.”


Then he called Janette Sudik-Khan, Transportation head,

And said “Stop riding your bike, we’ve got work ahead!


He called his daughter

The equestrian one

And said, “Hold your horses!

There’s much to be done!”

“But, Daddy, dear Daddy,

“I don’t mean to whine,

 But my schedule is filled

With all things equine.”

Then I’ll have to rely on one person — that’s me!

And not leave in the hands of petit-bourgoursie

 I will ban all these sweets by Mayoral Decree!


There’ll be no chocolate squares or chocolate parfaits

No more Three Musketeers, nary one Milky Way!

Take all Hershey Kisses and kiss them adieu

So long, Snickers Bars, Almond Joys, Milk Duds too!

And premium chocolates, they haven’t a chance

Don’t care if they’re imported from  Belgium or France

And those dreadful strawberries dipped in chocolate

And those pretzels and raisins and rest of that rot!



And that white chocolate too, ‘cause you can’t fool the Mayor

Small like Paul Simon but still I’m a playa!

Chocolate Santas! Chanukah coins! Easter bunnies too!

Chocolate milk, chocolate pudding! Chocolate fondue!

No more Rocky Road ice cream or mint chocolate chip

I just love a benevolent dictatorship!

My powers are limitless in the Big Apple

And soon all you’ll be drinking is Diet Peach Snapple

I love making unilateral moves in this town

There’ll be no more chocolate,  I’ll ban all foods brown!

That’s right!  I will do it!  Don’t believe me?  Just you wait!

Remember Alexander? Well,  I’m Bloomberg the Great!

 No more hamburger, roast beef or baked potatoes!

No brown gravy, no mushrooms, no more Cheerios!

You’ll never eat brown rice or ribs or whole oats!

Say bye-bye to pumpernickel bread and groats!

 “But why, Mayor Bloomberg, do something so silly?”

 Asked Zooey and Chloe and Jacob and Billy,

 “Why?” asked their parents, “our kids are entitled

 “It’s their wants and desires that are key, that are vital!”

 We loved you Mike Bloomberg, our first three-term mayor

 We knew you’d protect us and the ozone layer

 You wear crewneck sweaters in Grade A cashmere

And agreed to be Mayor for one buck a year!

Why must you tell us what is good and what’s not?

Note:  that arrogant manner doesn’t help you a lot.

We sense that you come to us with no ill intent

Have your aides pointed out your bad Spanish accent?


What’s that noise? groused the Mayor I can’t help but hear

So he stopped.  And put his small hand to his small ear.

“I can see a crowd forming,” the Mayor remarked

“Hope it’s not filthy hipsters from Zucotti Park!”

 Every person in New York, the rich and the poor

Were there to say, “Enough, Mike!  Please! No more!

Some were eating spelt bread, some were drinking blue juice

Mayor Bloomberg’s “suggestions” were being refused!

 You can deal with the unions, the teachers and cops

Attend Broadway openings, the hits and the flops

Bring commerce to New York, more jobs and more tourists


And on your own time you can save the rain forest

The Mayor just grimaced, pressed his face to the pane.

Was perplexed, so confused: who are they to complain?

 I only wanted what was best for them all

Have you seen what I’ve done with pedestrian malls?

 And what happened then?

Well, the Mayor just grumbled, then smiled to himself,

These New Yorkers don’t know what is good for themselves

They need me, they know it, I don’t mean to annoy

I like being in charge, what’s not to enjoy?


Take back your brown food, have a chocolate bar

 Perhaps you are right and I’ve gone way too far

 No more control freak, do whatever you want,

 It’s time for Mike Bloomberg to be nonchalant

 I will live and let live and try not to judge

 I won’t be bitter, I won’t hold a grudge

 You can drink all your sweet drinks and eat chocolate fudge!

 And with that…


 The Grinch who was Mayor took off for D.C.

 With only four years, much to do, much to see

 “Time to change my demeanor, never meant to be mean”

 “I can compromise surely, find the “in between”

Bloomberg/Sudik-Khan in 2016!


I can ban DuPont Circle, maybe make it a square

 Close the Capital Steps, institute BloombergCare

 Turn the National Mall to a pedestrian space

 Give the Lincoln Memorial a handsomer face


Get those pandas from China to try and slim down

 Move the White House to more desirable Georgetown

 Add bike lanes to the Beltway, maybe have a marathon

 Build a Mike Bloomberg wing at the Smithsonian


I will have so many things to change and see to

 I just love politics – there’s soooooo much to do!



Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

Dear John Galliano, former fashion designer and current anti-Semite,

I’m writing because I saw the photo of you on the front page of the New York Post and couldn’t help but notice your most recent

fashion choice .


Instead of dressing, as you’d say in your former business, more “on-trend,” you – drunk genius that you are – decided to

go “off-trend,” into the historical and religious world of the Hasidic Jew.  Oh – I know – the Jewish community, sensitive souls that we are

– are up n arms, thinking that, once again, you are displaying just un peu of anti-Semitism by picking an outfit resembling that of a

Hasidic Jew.   Of course it wasn’t, for the second time in about a year that you were making  an “I Don’t Heart Jews” statement.   I’m sure

that you just rolled out of bed, grabbed whatever was clean – your Hasidic hat, underneath, I’m certain, was one of your many yarmulkes,

those trousers you love stuffing into your long socks, and, of course, one of your several Hasidic black frock coats.


And I know, John, that unless you blow dry that fabulous frayed, split-ended skanky hair of yours, it just naturally

forms long ringlets. You know – like peyos, only not, because you would never mock the Jewish people.    You could try to blame

it on the booze.  It seemed to work last time, particularly with Whoopi Goldberg, who’d said she’d have been upset with

your “I love Hitler!  Your mothers and fucking forefathers would have been fucking gassed!” rant in Paris last

year if you hadn’t been drinking.  Thanks, Whoopi.  Your time would be better spent growing eye-brows.  But I digress…


Another of your defenders, costume designer Patricia Field, is a woman whose sense of  humor seems to be about as

discombobulated as her sense of fashion.


That’s right – I said it.  The Emperor has Skanky Clothes.


Here’s how it happened, I imagine.  In screenplay format…




Sarah Jessica Parker sits in her dressing room.  She picks up snow globe of New York City, shakes it and giggles.

She then picks up and “I LOVE NEW YORK” t-shirt and hugs it.  She places that down, picks up a New York Yankees hat

and puts it on, takes it off and puts it on with the brim in the back.   She looks into mirror that’s bordered in “I LOVE NEW YORK”

and “BIG APPLE” bumper stickers and talks to her own reflection.


Yeah.  Now that’s New York.


She adjusts hat, then puts 14K apple on chain around her neck.


SARAH (cont’d)

I may really come from Ohio but viewers these days have

trouble distinguishing  between what’s real and what’s on

television.  When “The West Wing” was on, they thought Martin

Sheen was the real president.


KNOCK ON DOOR:  A red-haired Cousin It enters.  It is costume designer, PATRICIA FIELDS.  She carries many outfits on hangers and

a lit cigarette hangs out of her mouth, parting her hair.



Thank you, thank you, thank you Sarah Jessica Parker and your

Sex and The City” show for resurrecting my career.  Before you, I

had a little hole-in-the-wall shop on 8th Street off University

Place, catering mostly to “women” whose average shoe size

was a 13 ½. Triple E.



You’re so welcome.  What do you think is more “New York”?  Warm pretzel

with mustard or dirty water dog?  I have to give a speech and…


Field begins throwing clothes at Sarah Jessica.



Let’s  see – a polka dot cardigan over a Mickey Mouse t-shirt,

pleated cupcake holder-as-hat, Catholic school pleated plaid

skirt, argyle knee socks and toe shoes…



Can the toe-shoes have a really high heel?



I don’t see why not!  You are my muse!



Actually, I think your muse was my great-grandmother when she

got off the boat on Ellis Island.  Nana Pearl was wearing on her

person three seasons worth of clothing because her cardboard suitcase

broke.  So she wore necklaces over schmattas over a sable coat under her

housecoat, over 14 blouses and several sweater-vests.



Yes – she does sound like my muse…



…and all those rubber-bands around her wrist.

Like those yellow “LiveStrong” bands, only more

Eastern European “ghetto…”



Eastern European “ghetto.”  Yes, I like that.

Speaking of those Jews…



Um…I am one of those Jews…



Poor Galliano.  Just because he said, “I love

Hitler!”  and  “people like you would be dead

today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be

gassed and… dead…”



Ouch!  Not very nice…



Don’t you people get it?  It was theatre!

It was farce!



So that means we can make Armenian

slaughter jokes – you know, call it a “tour

 de force!”  or “improv at its best!” and you

won’t be offended?


Patricia Field picks up cushion full of pins and sticks them into Sarah Jessica’s chin, one at a time.


And then there’s Ms. Anna Wintour,

your other good friend who, when she isn’t growing her bangs long enough to cover

her Botox-injected forehead or forcing Andre Leon Talley to sit next to her so she’ll look

even more gaunt, is busy trying to get you back into the fashion design business.  Avec Oscar de la Renta.

Oy.  As Jerry Seinfeld once said, “Good luck with all that.”


Other designers, thus far, are not that interested.  Calvin Klein said,  “Don’t (cough) think (loser) so!” and Ralph Lauren,

nee Lipshitz, said, “I’m on the phone.  I’m on the phone in Westport, Ct.  My Labrador Retriever is by my side, as is my backgammon

set.  And badminton racquet.  What’s that?  The “n” in “badminton’ is silent?  My bad!”   Isaac Mizrachi purportedly squealed “Oy gevalt!”

and Diane von Furstenberg thinks you’re a little meshugah, though she won’t say it .


So who knows?  I’m sure someone owes Anna Wintour a favor or, at least would like to stay in the pages of “Vogue.”   But, on

the off-chance there is no work for you at a top fashion house, here are but a few alternatives:


*   John Galliano Kosher Pickles on Essex Street – uh, no – that’s not going to work out after all….


*   The Senate’s being a bitch about confirming Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense…  the uniform is kinda funky but I’m sure you can amp it

up with something offensive.


*    As they’ve done so much to make the Jewish people proud, perhaps the Emmanuel family – Rahm the Mayor and Ari the

Talent Agent and Ezikiel, the “bioethicist”– might like an adopted brother. You could be like the Marx Brothers.  Only not funny.

Oh wait – they’re Jewish.  Never mind…





*   Fiddler on the Roof is coming back to Broadway.  Tevye’s already been cast but I’m sure they can always us another Cossack.



*  You could dress up as other groups and make even more friends.  First, shout some racist slurs in Mecca and Medina, then

a stroll about the marketplace in a burqa and chador. Vladimir Putin seems to have an excellent sense of humor, so how about a

sable hat, Russian peasant shirt and KGB pin on those days you’re feeling  — I don’t know – a little ‘blah’ and need to be chased

through the streets of St. Petersburg by the Red Army?  There are kimonos and obis and Kabuki make-up, leiderhosen and dirndl

skirts.  Throw in some togas and tunics and you’ve got the World War II Axis nations covered.  And no one will be offended – promise!

*    Fewer and fewer men are choosing  “moile “as a profession.  As you’re almost Hasidic anyway, this could be perfect.  But if it’s been

a while (i.e, never) since you’ve practiced any Jewish rituals.  This one involves removing the foreskin of the penis.  So you might want

to practice a few times. On yourself


*  Mel Gibson doesn’t seem to have as many friends as he used to.  He tends to like men like himself — out-going, confident men who

also happen to hate Jews only when they’re drunk.   Johnny, I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship…







satire for the literate — JULY 4TH RULES

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Fourth of July

First, please understand that the title of this piece is “July 4th Rules,” as in rules you might want to follow on the upcoming holiday weekend, not
“July 4th Rulz!” as in “ wow – it’s such an awesome holiday!” That would be an opinion and an illiterate one at that. Maybe replacing an “es” with a “z” doesn’t feel “off” to you anymore because you’ve been desensitized — Hippie-Creative Spelling-Curriculum in grade school, texting, Hip Hop but — here’s a spelling rule of thumb — most English nouns and verbs don’t end with the letter “z.” Square businezz….

So, this is not about celebrating July 4th. Oh sure, it’s great we got away from England, particularly because they’re the reason for Scotch eggs, warm beer and Camilla Parker-Bowles.  And who doesn’t rejoice in the fact that on July 4th, and the summer in general, the Hamptons serves as an Electrolux-Vacuum-for-the-Rich and Acquiring, the Juvodermed and the Laxatived, the Overly-Tanned and Vajazzled-at-all, depositing them like so much debris and dust, onto the shores of Eastern Long Island?


July 4th is a day to reflect, to count one’s blessings for the freedoms this country has afforded you. So stop the hatin’ and ask yourself, is there anything I can do to say, “I love you, America and thanks!”? I think so…

Call it what it really is – a longer weekend where you can wear white to make your tan look tanner. You’re not patriotic. You’re not celebrating the birth of this nation. You’re celebrating the fact that there’s a sale at Blue and Cream,  or the fact that the Kardashians will be “Kardashing it out of your town soon, or that Shia LeBeouf has no plans of summering in the Hamptons.  And that his last name is something you can grill.


Despite the abysmal economy, refrain, at all costs, from buying the Old Navy five-dollar July 4th t-shirt. You may as well wear a shirt that says “I Heart Cheap Polyester. That Pills. Before I Even Wash It.”

Cheap Shirt

If you are in the city, please understand that just because a patch of grass has pushed its way through some concrete, this is not an invitation to set up a hibachi, pig-roasting spit or aluminum table big enough to seat all of the original colonists.

You don’t have to eat red white and blue foods in order to demonstrate your patriotism. Those gross greasy dessert shells filled with berries and Cool Whip don’t say, “Happy July 4th.” Ditto a sheet cake with red and white frosting stripes and blueberry stars. They just say “I’m white.” I’m so, so, so white…

Blueberry and Raspberry Cake

You can’t sing “Star Spangled Banner.” You don’t know the lyrics. Even if you do, you don’t have the vocal range. And even if you do, you don’t know which war this was written during, and unless someone yells, “Play ball!” immediately after, no one, but no one wants to hear you sing this. Or anything else, probably.


I’d rather someone wish me a canker sore than “Happy Independence Day!” Did I just win Mega Millions? Is every irritating person I have to deal with going to magically be surgically removed from my life? Why are you wishing anyone “A Happy 4th?” At best it’s a 4-day weekend, at worst, it’s a traffic jam on the Jersey side of the GW Bridge. Ft. Lee’s nice – when you’re driving it through it at 50 mph.


The Uncle Sam pants and hat. Don’t. Not on a dare, not because of a threat, not if promised a handsome financial reward. Just say no.

Uncle Sam Costume

Do you like your hands? Both of them? All ten fingers? Is your last name “Grucci Brothers”? Please ask yourself these questions over again before EMT wends its way to your house, and your friend has to tell the emergency worker, “It was just some cherry bombs and I think his thumb is somewhere over by the hydrangea bushes. Ka-ka-ka-BOOM!

Kid Holding a Firework

Fireworks Hand Burn


Tuesday, August 31st, 2010


It always takes someone like me – okay, it takes me – to cut through the swaths of illusion and delusion and point out what some of you may be thinking; what others of you know but are too polite to say. That’s okay. I’ll take the fall.

Bethenny Frankel, ye of too many words and too many products to endorse, here’s the skinny – (pun intended) – you are not a real New York housewife. You are as much a “real” housewife of New York City as I am a “real” astronaut of NASA. In fact, up until you got knocked up and married after-the-fact, you weren’t a “housewife” at all. Three seasons of “The Real Housewives of New York City,” and no one noticed this. Except me. Actually, when you look at the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition of “housewife” – a married woman in charge of a household – the only actual real housewife on that show was Countess Lu Ann de Lesseps’ Hispanic maid, Rosie. Props, Rosie. Remember when you went on vacation and “the Countess” was so proud that she actually mopped a floor, all by herself?

So Bethenny Frankel, I feel you owe us. Big time. And not with bullshit Skinny Girl Margaritas. For some of us, at least, tequila and lime juice are not the fifth food group. For some of us, there are evening activities other than cocktail parties, faux-book signings, and standing in front of “signage,” (my new favorite word), on a well-worn red carpet, having our photos taken by paparazzi Kathy Griffin wouldn’t pose for.

For some of us, the Upper East Side is not the “capital” of New York City. And then, lucky for the Upper East Side, as your popularity grew, you moved “downtown” and helped to further pollute lower Manhattan. Once an area that was home to artists and immigrants, now home to investment bankers, sons and daughters of investment bankers, some of who now define themselves as “artists,” but would sooner cut off an ear than not live within walking distance to Food Emporium. But, it’s not too late, Bethenny – you can still become a bona fide, authentic, real housewife of New York City. Here’s what you will need and/or need to do:

Buy a shopping cart. This is not unlike a McLaren stroller but for groceries and such, instead of babies whose mommies gained less weight during 9 months of pregnancy than a goldfish does on flake-food. The shopping cart is something one uses when one does one’s own food shopping, by walking up and down aisles in actual supermarkets in New York City. Unlike your index fingers, which work so well when it comes to punching in your Fresh Direct order online, or that clothy-hempy reusable, sustainable, bag that you proudly take out at Whole Foods and hold up like an obstetrician who’s just delivered a baby to let everyone know that you’re “green,” a shopping cart is the real housewife of New York City’s SUV.

Get a MetroCard – No, this is not an admission ticket to the Temple of Dendur Rhinoplasty Fundraiser at the Metropolitan Museum. It’s a plastic card but – wait! – don’t get too excited. You can’t really charge anything on it. You can’t run a tab at Avenue or Provocateur. You can’t get a facial at Bliss and they don’t take “the Metrocard” at Bendel’s. It’s a card that you use to ride the buses and subways of New York. You remember buses and subways, don’t you, Bethenny? They came right before taxi cabs and car services, and way before personal drivers and Escalade limos.

Become more self-reliant. Real houswives don’t have nannies and personal assistants and assistants to personal assistants. Real housewives don’t have doggie psychologists. Pet “psychologists, along with “personal shoppers” and “frogurt” are three compelling reasons for Third World countries to hate us.

Find friends with normal names. “Bethenny” is pushing the envelope, but real New York housewives do not have friends named “The Countess,” or D-list couple friends who make one name out of two. “Bennifer” was nauseating, as is “Brangelina.” “Silex” is just desperate. Real New York housewives have friends named “Debbie” and “Leslie” and “Fran.” Yes, they could have a friend named, “Jill.” But, all things considered, they’d probably rather not…

Get a reality check. Real New York housewives, particularly those over the age of 19 and certainly those within 5 years of peri-menopause, do not refer to their friends as “the girls.” “The girls” are the ones who go to grammar school, who shop for school supplies every September, who have playdates and sleep-overs.

Stop with the tantrums. Before you were a household name, when you were still doing anything to become famous, (yes, I remember you as the also-ran on Martha Stewart’s version of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice), you probably had a better tolerance level for some of the “little problems” we all must face in our everyday lives. Real housewives, even before they become real “housewives,” do not get as upset at the thought of possibly not being able to wed at the Four Seasons restaurant as a Hurricane Katrina victim might have watching his house float away. You are not a “celebrity” because you get married at The Four Seasons. Especially with those in-laws. You are not a “celebrity” because you are on a first-name basis with the manager of The Four Seasons. I am sure that the seafood and steaks and chops purveyors are also on a first-name basis with the manager of The Four Seasons. Stop acting like a spoiled baby when you have better things to do. Like raise a spoiled baby.

Accept. Real New York housewives accept the fact that, if they aren’t gifted actors or painters or musicians or writers or directors, then perhaps they just aren’t going to be celebrities. You are not a bestselling author. Charles Dickens wrote. Ernest Hemingway wrote. Emily Dickinson wrote. Eventually, after millions of people read and cherished their work, they became “bestselling” authors. Do not, even if “The Skinny Girl’s Guide to the Galaxy and Beyond,” stays on the New York Times bestseller list for a century, think for even one nano-second, of yourself as an author. You are a car wreck that everyone turned around to watch and now that they know your name, they will buy your luggage tags. This does not make you a writer. This makes you a novelty. And yes, the word “novelty” contains the word “novel,” which is a book, which is probably why you are confused and think of yourself as an “author.” Think of yourself as a novelty act. Think of other novelty acts – ventriloquists, fire-eaters, plate spinners. There’s a reason Saul Bellow was never on The Ed Sullivan Show.

Stop the “shtick.” Real New York City housewives don’t do “shtick.” They are too busy working and raising families and doing laundry and picking up their own dry-cleaning and having mammograms and paying minimum balances on their Visa cards to have more one-liners than a Comedy Central Roast. It’s only a matter of time before, “I just flew in from East Hampton and boy, are my tanned arms tired,” or “Take my husband. Please.” No thanks. I’d rather my last name be “Goebbels” than “Hoppy.”

Stop spinning off. Real housewives don’t spin off everything they do into another half-hour of garbage to show in between commercials. And, if you must, which is pretty apparent, at least come up with a better name for your next spin-off. Or at least a grammatically correct one. “Bettheny Getting Married?” Why was that a question? As the entire season centered on such self-indulgent crap as you meeting your in-laws, you shopping for a wedding gown, you shopping for wedding bands, you hiring a wedding planner, you whining about wedding guests and centerpieces and venues, clearly this was a declarative statement. “Bettheny Getting Married.” Maybe even, “Bettheny Getting Married and Spending More on Flower Arrangements Than the People of Appalachia Earn in a Decade.” Exclamation point. And look – yet another opportunity to expand your brand – Skinny Girl Moonshine. I’m sure someone will drink to that.


Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Yes, the weather is getting warmer.  You can think Hamptons.  You can think Europe.  I’m thinking New York City street fairs. And I’m not happy…
Dear Street Fair Fan,

I love a bargain as much as the next person.  But wait. Maybe I don’t.  Clearly I don’t love a bargain as much as you do.  I have often wondered about your particular penchant for shopping for things you don’t need and probably won’t ever use, or will use and be enraged when said things fall apart and you have no recourse because street vendors, like Bedouins, are hard to track down, only to repeat your truly nutty behavior the following Saturday or Sunday in a different neighborhood.  In fact, I’m wondering about it right now, as I sit on the M-15 bus, stuck on 2nd Avenue and 19th Street for what I am pretty sure is infinity because all traffic in the area has been diverted due to the “F***-Me!-Not-Another-F***ing-Street-Fair” street fair, where I’m sure you are,  at this very moment scavenging through cardboard boxes of irregular socks and underwear like a cat in a fish market.

I’ve racked my brain for years, trying to figure out what it is that draws you out of the comfort of your apartment and into the streets, to be among people and merchandise that have absolutely seen better days.  Is it the ability to roam freely through the gutters of midtown Manhattan where, on a normal day, cars and buses and trucks and taxis rule?  Perhaps it’s the fact that you can cross the street when the light is red and clearly states “DON’T WALK,” that gives you an inexplicable thrill.  Or, could it be that you feel a special sort of camaraderie
with your fellow New Yorkers, whom you typically try to avoid at work, on the subway, in elevators?  But now, as you meander through the racks of hippie skirts and ethnic blouses, revel over shoe boxes filled with triple “A” batteries, hair scrunchies and extension cords,
maneuver your way through double-wide baby strollers, people in shorts who shouldn’t be, three-pound yap-dogs on expandable leashes pulling their owners toward anything on a skewer, does the magic ever diminish?  Even just a little?  “Oh no,” you smugly counter.  “There’s nothing more ‘real’ than a New York street fair.”  Oh really?  Excuse me, but isn’t that you eating a mango carved into the shape of a tulip, checking out Mexican hirachi sandals made in China, next to a vendor selling Fendi and Kate Spade knock-offs?

Wait!  I know what draws you to every street fair from the Lower East Side to Washington Heights – it must be that Indiana Jones sense of adventure of yours – perhaps you’ll find the Covenant of the Lost Ark;  perhaps you’ll find down-alternative pillows and a warped Dave Clark Five album – the possibilities are truly boundless.

It’s been said that one definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior over and over again and expecting a different outcome.  Going to street fair after street fair thinking the next one will be truly unique is like paying for HBO for years because next month there’ll be a film you actually want to watch.  You simply can’t need that many pairs of chandelier earrings or footless tights,  roaste corn-on-the-cob is not an exotic food and caricature portraits of even objectively beautiful people are less than flattering.  No.  Of course
you’re not crazy.  You’re perfectly reasonable.  Everyone buys his mattress pad on the street and meat-on-a-stick from vendors who look like Ratso Rizzo. It’s perfectly rational to wander aimlessly like urban Children of the Corn, examining sterling silver jewelry and magnetic belly rings as though they were archaeological treasures.

So now maybe I’ve gotten through to you.
After all, as human beings, isn’t it our collective responsibility to reach out to one another when one of us has…um…perhaps exhibited questionable behavior?  It’s possible that you’re at least re-thinking your abhorrent ways and considering alternative activities for your weekend.  You can, for example, spend Saturday cleaning your apartment.  Yes, I understand – you think it’s clean, but I could write my name in the dust on your mini-blinds, and the inside of your kitchen trashcan hasn’t been washed out since the Bowery was a prairie.

….to be continued in a few days.  I know.  You can’t wait.  Maybe it will be a beautiful weekend.  Maybe you can go to a street fair.  Have fun…


Monday, January 25th, 2010

For some reason many people take out life’s frustrations while food-shoping.  With high prices, often bad service and a sad economy, I’m feeling you.  But I have my own problems so please — take a page or two from “my” book…


While I’d be the last to arue that it’s difficult if not impossible to determine whether a fruit or vegetable is ripe just by looking at it, you will offend more than a handful of other shoppers by committing bold and blatant acts against produce.  And though many women’s magazines list the supermarket as an ideal place to expand one’s social life, keep in mind that no man has ever picked up any woman whose nose was buried two inches into a Casaba melon.


Sure, it’s tough deciding between the Lean Cuisine Chicken Marsala and the Weight Watchers Four-Cheese Pizza, but the freezer door is made of glass, not lead.  Therefore, especially the “go-green” among you, should be sensitive to the fact that your dinner decision should not include thawing out a caseload of Brussels sprouts.  While it is still true that “nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee,” nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee a whole lot more when the cake frosting hasn’t melted into the cardboard lid.


The cashiers have enough problems without having to try to explain to you why the fifty-cent coupon for elbow macaroni isn’t valid for lasagna, tortellini , or Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch.


Okay.  So maybe you changed your mind about an item at the last minute.  Happens to all of us.  Nonetheless, tossing the frozen broccoli florets onto the tabloid rack is not only a rude and conspicuous way to reduce your shopping list.  If you have enough energy to be in the supermarket then surely you have enough strength to return the can of kidney beans to its proper shelf instead of rolling it down the condiments aisle.  Just saying…


If you’re going to go to the trouble of asking the cashier to do you a favor, think standing rib roast, not freezer bags.


You’re at the supermarket, not your nephew’s wedding reception, so “tasting a little of everything” is not only unacceptable.  It’s pathetic.  If the Bing cherries look so good to you, buy a pound instead of sneaking a fistful when the produce guy is hosing down the lettuce heads.


Understandable when someone is holding a knife to your throat, not when you want someone to watch your shopping cart.  Remember — if the woman in front of you with two months’ worth of groceries wanted to let you, with a six-pack of Diet Coke, get in front of her, she would have offered.