Posts Tagged ‘new york street fairs’

BECAUSE I SAID SO!

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

Dear New York Mayor Shorty-Pants,

 

Well, cranky, obstinate I-know-what’s-better-for-you-than-you-do Michael Bloomberg – there’s only one word I can think of that expresses how I (and millions more) feel about the ban on your soda ban – na na na na na. I know how important control is for you short men.  And, for a while there, it looked like you were winning the battle.   I know you hate losing and that you’ll challenge the brilliant and fair-minded decision of the judge who overturned your arbitrary I-can-so-I-will brand of law.  But for now you are just going to have to just cry into your empty Big Gulp cup.

 

 

Well, cranky, obstinate I-know-what’s-better-for-you-than-you-do Michael Bloomberg – there’s only one word I can think of that expresses how I (and millions more) feel about the ban on your soda ban – na na na na na. I know how important control is for you short men.  And, for a while there, it looked like you were winning the battle.   I know you hate losing and that you’ll challenge the brilliant and fair-minded decision of the judge who overturned your arbitrary I-can-so-I-will brand of law.  But for now you are just going to have to just cry into your empty Big Gulp cup.

 

No, Mike – I don’t drink sweet soda or Yoo-Hoo or sweet tea or Mountain Dew or Fanta Grape.  Or Orange.  It’s just when someone tells me, a mature woman, what I may and may not do, I have a problem.  I already had a mommy and daddy, I didn’t like it when they told me what to do and I was in their will.  So why would I listen to you?   You weren’t a bad mayor the first two terms.  But then someone in your administration apparently slipped Quaaludes into the City Council coffee urn, and here we are.  There’s a reason it’s called a “Napoleonic Complex.”

 

Cherry-picking what people can and can’t do takes us down a slippery slope.  Maybe I don’t want to pay the healthcare bill of drunks with corroded livers.  Why don’t you outlaw booze?  Ooops – 1920 through 1933.  What lesson can we take from this?  Be it eating cans of Crisco

 

or drinking 4,000 bottles of Jim Beam – same answer you gave your parents when you were 12 and they asked, “Why don’t you get a haircut?” “It’s a free country!”

 

Come December this year, it’s over for you so, why not just chill for the next few months?  Or — you could double-down on being Alpha Daddy Mayor.  Dilemma – nine months and so many things to ban.  Allow me to help by consolidating a “To Do” list for you.  This way, you can continue to increase your carbon footprint by jetting down to Bermuda every weekend…

 

 

STREET FAIRS –  A health hazard that assaults each of my five senses from May through October every year.  From the YUPPIE parents who have no problem crashing their double-stroller into my ankle as they tell their captive-audience twin toddlers, “Look Abigail and Aiden! This is cobblestone.  Cobblestone is derived from the old English word ‘cob,’ and is a generic for any stone having dimensions between 2.5–10 inches…” (just wait till those kids learn how to say, “Shut the fuck up, Mom and Dad!”), to the sticky-smelling pina coladas, from people buying down-alternative pillows and tube socks in the middle of the gutter to those same Peruvian ponchos that seem to travel from fair to fair, like the clothing equivalent of funnel cakes.

What if a car careens into the crowd?  What if a funnel-cake fryer tips over and the hot oil spills on someone?  What if it rains and someone gets a cold?  I’m afraid I’ll have to pay for their healthcare. Nope.  Sorry. Street fairs – out.

 

JELLO MOLDS A Marlboro Light or that quivering lime goo with fruit somehow magically suspended in it?  Got a match?

 

PAYARD’S FRENCH BAKERY, MAISON KAYSER AND OTHER PATISSERIES YOU MIGHT LIKE TO INDULGE IN – Maybe some fat wealthy people should stop stuffing their faces with macarons and Napoleons.  And even if they’re not fat, doesn’t mean their cholesterol isn’t 315.  Their money could be in tax shelters and I might have to pay for their insulin.  Au revoir, expensive baked goods.  You’re no healthier than a Twinkie, just less uniform and tres more expensive.

 

 

FRUIT/VEGETABLE CARTS – Oh, an avocado is sooooo much more healthy than a muffin?   Really?  I’m thinking I’m healthier eating a gallon of hermetically sealed Kozy Shack Rice Pudding than grapes handled by some green market vendor, whose nails are so filthy it looks like he actually planted and picked the fruit himself.  He picked something.  That I’m sure of.

 

YOUR HORRENDOUS SPANISH ACCENT – It hurts my ears as well as the pride of all of my Latino friends. “Beeeewennosss Diazzzz, citizens de Nuweeeyva Yorkayyy!.  I’d rather not know that the subways and schools are closed because of a blizzard than hear your monotone “Toedoz loews aysquealas y el subwayo aystanies serahdoz hoy today.”    Por favor, Senor Mayorcallate!  Su acento español está prohibido y mis oídos interno está sangrando!

 

 

THE HAMPTONS – I know.  Technically, you’re not Mayor of the Hamptons, but in your head, you and not James Cameron, is really The King of the World and the world, as you know, includes Amagansett and Quogue.  Shops named “Blue and Cream,” and “Crazy Monkey” are indulgent and nauseating.  The Hampton Jitney makes a right-hand turn from the left lane on 40th and Lex, and emits enough carbon monoxide to suck the oxygen supply out of Yankee Stadium.  The fillers and “refreshers” used by every woman over the age of 23 can’t be good for the environment.  75-year-old men, no matter how rich they are, should not be playing tennis.

Why should I pay for an angiogram and triple bypass because an old guy forgot to breathe while volleying?   Hamptons.  Beach it.

 

 

METS FANSFor no other reason than they have that human baseball-with-arms-and-legs Mr. Met mascot, the New York Mets should follow their predecessors, The Brooklyn Dodgers, and move to Los Angeles.

 

EQUESTRIAN AS REAL JOB   This isn’t England in the 14th century.  There are no squires or millers or friars or knights.  There’s no Duchy of Bloomberg, unless the island of Bermuda counts.  When the unemployment rate in the country has hovered at about 8% the past five years, and your idea of “solution” is having architects crank out blueprints for apartments the size of the Polly Pocket Castle for none of your relatives to live in, your daughter Georgina is hereby banned from identifying herself as an equestrian at cocktail parties, in online dating services, on job applications.  Even Christopher Reeve didn’t have enough money to pay for his medical bills and he was SUPERMAN, for god’s sake.  When “equestrians” break bones and spinal columns, I’m afraid I’ll have to pay.  And I’d rather not.

 

 

EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL  – I know. A Mediterranean diet is supposed to be healthy.  But we’re talking about people who can’t control themselves, people who might not be satisfied with, let’s say, 16 ounces of extra virgin olive oil.  What if some New Yorker wants to walk into Food Emporium, buy 25 ounces of Colavita Olive Oil and half a gallon of whole milk and blend up an EVOO Milk Shake?   That’s 8,600 calories for the oil, 9,000 for the milk.  Likely?  Maybe not.  But if we can save even one life, we are heroes, are we not?

 

 

DUANE READE DRUG STORES There are more Duane Reade drugstores in New York than there are parking meters.  Ooops – you banned those too…  There are so many, it makes me dizzy.  Whatever goes out of business, it’s replaced by a Duane Reade drugstore.  They’re reproduced faster than kids in that Duggar family on TLC.  It’s like Mickey Mouse in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”  They sell prescription drugs. They also sell Cheez Balls.  They sell aspirin and Witch Hazel and Band Aids.  They also sell French Onion (artificially flavored) Sun Chips.  They sell gauze and rubbing alcohol.  They also sell Healthy Choice Salisbury Steak.   When the same store sells both that shampoo/conditioner that comes in one bottle and  “Good and Delish Penne Alla Vodka with Grilled Chicken,” both those with dirty hair and those who aren’t in the mood for salmonella any time soon should be wary.

You’ll have to close down just about everything in these stores except the pharmacy and the aisle that sells cotton balls.

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STREET FAIRS – AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL STREET FAIR FANS – PART III

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

AN OPEN LETTER TO STREET FAIR FANS

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 shoeboxes 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 pantyhose, roasted 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.

Or, you could go to the green market.
No.  Wait.  That’s a street fair with fruits and vegetables. Forget I said that.  A movie.  Take yourself to a movie.  But it’s dark in there, you say, and it just doesn’t satisfy the wanderlust in me.  Relax.  You can still buy things you
don’t need.  Nine-dollar boxes of Nestlé’s MunchaCrunch.  Gummie Sour Worms and KitKat bars the size of cutting boards.  Dip-N-Dots ice cream is almost as silly as the funnel cakes you scarf down at street fairs.  And there are throngs of people, just like you like, although they are sitting down as opposed to slamming into you willy-nilly.  Or, if you must browse, shop and roam in order to feel “whole,” why not, oh I don’t know – go to an actual store?  You know – with doors and walls and restrooms and a return policy?  While clothing displayed according to size and season might at first seem a bit disconcerting to you, or the fact that no one’s selling a faux pina colada next to the necktie case, there are decided advantages to making purchases at a place that actually exists.  I know this feels like an existential moment for you, but don’t flatter yourself.

PART 2 -AN OPEN LETTER TO STREET FAIR FANS — I WILL START THIS ONE EACH DAY WITH THE BEGINNING. IT’S CALLED FLUIDITY. ENJOY PART 2 AND PART 1. AGAIN.

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…