Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Memories are Motionless

June 2, 2016

“Memories are motionless, and the more securely they are fixed in space, the sounder they are.” – Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

tribeca $1900 300sqft

Earlier today, taking a break from painting, I googled studio prices in NYC to check out the going rate. The above studio is on the market in Tribeca. For 300 sq. ft. you will pay $1875.00/month!

Once upon a time, I rented a painting studio of my own. The space was larger than the the space above. For 400 sq. ft. I paid $400.00/month. Situated above a clock store in Williston Park on Long Island, a decidedly unhip but affordable and convenient location at the time,  northern light flooded my studio all day long. I was in heaven.

Excited to have a dedicated workspace I could get as dirty as I wanted, I laid down a roll of cheap linoleum, moved in my work table and supplies and got to work.

One morning as I arrived, the proprietor of the store below me was standing amidst a forest of chiming grandfather clocks, front door open. He introduced himself right away and asked me what I was up to, mentioning he always heard music playing. He then said he enjoyed (rather than objected to) the music and seemed a bit tickled to find out that someone was making art in the space above him instead of preparing tax returns or teaching traffic school.

I fondly recalled my studio days as I stepped back from the easel this afternoon to assess the progress of a new painting. My studio is the second bedroom of the two bedroom apartment we rent in Queens. I never did put down linoleum, but I guess I should have.

It’s fun to fantasize about the days when I painted full time as I spend my days off from a dreadful office job. I’m not complaining, per se, but occasionally on days like these I enjoy torturing myself by thumbing through an artist book I own called Studios by the Sea. 

To refer back to Bachelard in Poetics of Space, he writes: “…even when we no longer have a garret, when the attic room is lost and gone, there remains the fact that we once loved a garret, once lived in an attic. We return to them in our night dreams.”

This is so true. At heart, I’m a romantic. A big part of me loves to dream and yearn. Loves the yearning part more than the actual getting. The aroma of coffee beans in the grinder more delicious than drinking the brew. As I flipped through Studios by the Sea I wished and imagined. Sometimes walking around NYC, I will find myself gazing longingly at a 19th century townhouse on the Upper East Side — yearning to live there. And enjoying every minute of yearning.

During my recovery from a broken ankle last summer, I would pass a particular townhouse on East 63rd St. on the way to physical therapy. A painting hanging on the wall by artist Caio Fonseca was visible through the expansive front window. It held my eye each time I passed by. His work is a favorite of mine. As I stopped to gaze, I conjured an entire fantasy scenario based upon seeing his work hanging in that space. On the landing beneath the painting an elegant ebony grand piano, keyboard exposed, was poised to be played. Above hung a glittering crystal chandelier. Aware Fonseca played the piano, I was convinced it was a Steinway and that Fonseca lived in the townhouse.

But he didn’t live in the townhouse as I would come to find out. The scene – his painting, the piano, the splendor of the decor  – had been staged by a real estate agent, likely another “romantic” like myself. That agent, through his or her design, had gifted me many evenings of yearning and pleasurable wanderings.

Fantasy is better than the reality. I suppose people who invest in their “dream house” spend the rest of their lives “making it even better than they imagined” with continual remodeling because intrinsically they know that dreams are never realized. Otherwise, they would no longer be dreams.

…the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” – Bachelard


How To Break Your Ankle

April 13, 2015

FrozenPathCPGo for an early morning walk in Central Park on the first warmish morning of almost-Spring weather (low 40’s on February 21st).

Gingerly walking along a dirty frozen path (with just a hint of melt) will imbue you with the false sense of invincibility.

Life is beautiful (or soon will be).

GeesePoliceWave to the Geese Police in his van. He will wave back and hide his face (with shame). Not a good omen, crossing his path,  especially with respect to the warning on the back fender: Get the Flock Out.


Rejoice on March 21st over what will be the final snowfall of winter in Jackson Heights. Extoll the wondrous snow covered trees, their enchanting beauty. Believe with cautious optimism you will not likely witness this snow globe for at least another 6 or 7 months (and that the use of a shovel in order to move your car will be banished for same).

Celebrate by taking a drive to the east end of Long Island with your S.O. Specifically, to Watermill.

View the work of east end artists at the Parish Museum, as in the work of the wonderful Fairfield Porter, an artist with a deep understanding of color.

Ooh and aah. Love life.




Prolong the feeling of unfettered bliss that viewing art invokes. Enjoy the escape into nature so far from the city. Traverse the snow-covered grounds of the museum (where sirens;  honking horns and thumping car stereos are long out of earshot).

Regard a tree standing upright before  a deep blue sky of puffy clouds. Take a photo.


Notice the quartet of misshapen trees.

CrookedTrees(Take note of the red arrow on the left, above)

Heed the scrawny Charlie Brown tree beckoning to you (“culprit”).  Scale a low guard rail with your right foot to photograph sad little tree. Lose your footing. Skid down backwards into a ditch at a 45-degree angle. Try to brake the fall with your heel. Wrench your foot severely. Sharply descend toward the inverted point of a triangular trough, deceptively masked by snow cover.

Twist your ankle unnaturally. Succumb to immobilizing pain.

Break your ankle in not 1, but 2, places. Proceed to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead (ominously, where S.O. and I were transported by ambulance after a car accident in September 2012).

Welcome with gratitude the splint administered to foot and leg by caring staff; accept a gift of crutches and excellent pain killers. Elevate bad foot on the dashboard of car on the ride home.

Stop at Starbucks for chai latte and much needed sugar fix. Request to your S.O. for no sudden stops is duly noted.

Visit orthopedist in Manhattan on March 23. No plaster cast for you! Instead, foot is installed in heavy black foam and plastic boot (lint magnet), misnomered as “walking cast.” (Due to sharp pain when boot touches ground; legs now at unequal lengths due to heavy, thick unstable rocker sole rendering boot impossible to “walk” in).

Secure boot to leg with 5 strips of velcro threaded through their respective rectangular hardware.

You must sleep in this boot. It weighs a ton. You must elevate your leg all day. You must remove boot for intermittent icing of the ankle and foot. You must continue this regimen at daily intervals until next doctor visit.

You must continue navigating the apartment on crutches.

Das Boot


Revisit orthopedist on April 6. Continue with daily regimen. Plan on 6-8 weeks to heal.

To stave off cabin fever:

You will read cover-to-cover January, February and March back issues of The New Yorker  (N.B., in March 9th issue – powerful story by Toni Morrison).

You will read Skeletons of the Zahara a tome by Dean King (unputdownable, true story of survival that ends well for the main character).

You will continue with obsessively readable essay collection called Loitering by Charles D’Ambrosio.

You will begin reading We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas (set in your current environs of Woodside and Jackson Heights).

You will finish reading back issues of Poets & Writers magazine.

You will watch art films lasting over 3 hours (mostly Russian, Turkish and Scandinavian). You will watch Trip to Italy twice.

You will re-watch Swan Lake ballet DVD for the umpteenth time.

You will plan a to visit orthopedist on April 27 for a new x-ray.

Fingers crossed.

Who Moved My Jeeves?

November 22, 2013

9:00 AM, 57th Street



5:00 PM, 57th Street



The Medium is the Message



July 27, 2013

EgretReflectionsEarly Friday Morning in Central Park

Lunchtime Walks in the City: The Lower Parts of Park

May 2, 2013

How LOW could I go on Park Avenue? Not that low in a single hour. But LOW enough in contrast to yesterday’s stroll in the upper region.

This morning, a coworker mentioned a cake sale to be staged at Grand Central Terminal. Which gave me a destination, of sorts. Not for the cake, though.

Same coworker started rattling off names of chefs she imagined would be there. Batali (the guy who wears Crocs and is proud of it).  Ever read his “What I’m Drinking” fifty words  in the NYT magazine on Sunday, about his alcohol habit? The guy must start drinking at breakfast.

Next, she invoked Emeril (they guy killing Americans one by one with recipes for Couchon du Lait). Namedropping this primetime pair of chefs, thankfully, exhausted her entire chef-ly repertoire and, finally, she put a lid on it.

Moving right along…get me to lower Park Avenue…

At the strike of noon, I exited my building onto Fifth Avenue and made a left on 57th. I walked directly to Park Avenue and turned right. As I approached 50th Street, the tenor of the avenue began to shift.

Workmen were eating their lunch on the curb! And stately St. Bartholomew’s Church drifted into my radar.


A wagon parked on the corner was selling Chili Dogs…and curb sitters were indulging…

ChiliDogs2Over the years, I’ve worked at several different jobs in this part of town. I always like being here because it’s a hub of activity and hive of working people.

Here’s a frontal view of St. Bart’s. It’s stunning to look at and recalls times gone by when artists and crafts people were a healthy part of the work force.


Wait a minute. Are those frescos?


I just googled St. Bart’s and discovered, yes, indeed. They are frescos. Not only that…there’s a restaurant inside the church. Seriously?

The Reviews Are In — the PRO’s and CON’s:

Horrible management and service” 1 of 5 starsReviewed April 21, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes

I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant to my worst enemy. I booked a reservation far in advance on Savored for a joint birthday party for my father’s 85th and my niece’s 16th. My parents drove in from Connecticut and my sister took a bus in from Pennsylvania. When we arrived, we were told they didn’t have a record of the reservation (I had a confirmation from Savored) and that they wouldn’t accommodate it anyway as they had a private party of 16 (!!! – the restaurant fits way more than 16 people). This ruined our entire evening. We went to a friendly RELIABLE restaurant in my neighborhood (Rossini’s), waited for a table (because we didn’t have a reservation) and then my sister and niece had to leave before dessert to catch the last bus back home. I have eaten here in the past, the food is fine (nothing special), but the decor is unique and the only reason I booked there in the first place. Unless you’re eager to eat in a church, don’t waste your time.
“Where smart locals go for lunch” Reviewed April 8, 2013

Was this review helpful? Yes

Inside Park is a great place for lunch. It’s convenient(Park& 51st), the food is good and, most importantly, it’s very quiet. You can actually have a conversation with your guest without having to shout. The service is very efficient and the menu selections are varied. The staples are French Onion soup and Chicken Pot Pie but I usually get the “Half n Half”, a bowl of soup with half a sandwich. Today the soup was vegetable with barley and the sandwich was a delicious roast turkey. If you’re taking someone special, ask for a booth when you make your reservation; they are really comfortable! 

Moving right along…

A few posts ago I wrote about how much I love walk-thru and drive-thru buildings in NYC.


Well, here on Park I hit the jackpot. An old favorite, the former PanAM (but currently) MetLife building of that previous post — is actually the called Helmsley building. MetLife merely serves as a backdrop. See the tunnel? That’s the drive-thru. But the closer I got, I noticed something I’d never noticed before. Next to the drive-thru is a building walk-thru!


I crossed over. When I walked through the this pedestrian tunnel and came out on the other side, I encountered another one of my favorite NYC antiquities:


My own personal Bridge of Sighs. A steel artery that connects buildings. Instead of walking through a tunnel carved into a building at ground level to arrive at an adjacent street, in this case, you get to exit from an upper floor inside a building onto a steel bridge appended in between to get to the inside of an adjacent building’s upper floor.

I’ve heard our mayor wants to create a pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt Avenue at Grand Central Terminal.

I believe this is the section of Vanderbilt where it might happen:


What a great idea. I love walking around Vanderbilt in this area near 45th Street. The surrounding buildings are towering and protective. In this section of the avenue, its asphalt platform is centrally nested. I’m thrilled about this.

I’d spent enough time moseying around, shooting pictures and sightseeing like a tourist. But it was time to head back to work.

I decided my return route would be up Madison Avenue.



Only ten minutes left to get back to the office. I don’t know why I obsess over being punctual, but I do. And speaking

 of  punctual, I’d bet this man (below) is never late for anything. He plans ahead. He gives himself enough time. I can just tell. I’m like him.


Lunchtime Walks in the City: All in a 4-Block Radius

April 23, 2013

Today, Tuesday, was unseasonably chilly. In the high 40’s, windy, overcast…not a great walking day. I ate my sandwich at my desk as usual and thought about not going out. Even if QPA (aka “Big Mommy”) did call out sick, which reduced the tension level of our cubic confine to a noticeably low level.

Still, I had to get out and breathe some real air. But instead of a long walk, I thought: why not bring the outdoors indoors and knew just where to go. I crossed 57th  St.and headed towards the “520 Madison Urban Plaza” to hang out.

It’s between Fifth and Madison. Just look at it (below). Glass-enclosed, with not just trees (some of them, bamboo), but also birds. It’s true. Sparrows hopping from branch to branch, flying and tweeting. It’s the next best thing to the Park. There’s even a little restaurant in the corner serving artisan soups and other small plates.


And I got to thinking about an earlier post, when I mentioned how one can walk through buildings in Manhattan, thereby avoiding rushing to corners and encircling blocks, in order to move north and south in midtown.

After spending some quality time in this lovely little space, I cut through the space over to 56th St., crossed over, and entered the Sony building, aka the Sony Public Space at 590 Madison. Inside, you can entertain yourself by touring the Sony Wonder exhibit and listen and watch Sony brag on itself. Or you can sit down and enjoy a delicious cappuccino and biscotti from the small cafe.


Or, newly added since the winter, you can have a slice of pizza:


This is really bringing the outside “in,” without having to endure the stale malaise and polyester odor (and potpourri fumes…) of a mall. Because doors to the outside are always opening and closing. The air is constantly being replenished and freshened.

Or, when you have had enough mingle time with the general public, you can walk through the Sony building to the opposite side and exit onto 55th St. I wandered around a bit, turned the corner, walked mid-block — and ran into a chunk of the Berlin Wall!


The details:


Okay, how is this not the greatest city in the world?



Over on 53rd St., for a little South American feel, I stopped to gaze at this waterfall…



Eureka! Another walk-through building on 53rd st.



Yet another walk-through building on another section of 53rd St.  At 666 Fifth Avenue.

In the 90’s, I frequented a dimly-lit, clubby piano bar called “Top of the Sixes” located on the top floor of 666 Fifth, which had a stunning, wraparound view of Manhattan. It was so captivating at night! My cousin and I (we worked together at the time) spent many a Thursday or Friday evening eating dinner at the polished mahogany bar while sipping perfectly poured Margaritas and staring at the view. Such good times…


Taking advantage of the inclement weather today, I stayed close to work, took my time and didn’t have to scramble for a bus or subway to make it back to the office in time. In a mere 4 blocks between 57th and 53rd Streets, I saw so much.

On my way back to work, I ran into this gentlemen in front of the Presbyterian church on 5th Avenue. I asked him if I could take his picture. He said, “Of course,” and posed for me.


Even better than a Bergdorf’s window!

Lunchtime Walks in the City: Hoofing it to the Westside Highway

April 20, 2013


A new addition on 6th Ave.

Friday was another overcast day sliced by teasing intervals of pale sun. Which meant I was Westward bound again. As I’d mentioned on Thursday, I love walking the Westside under a gray sky.

Thinking I would head even farther west than Thursday, but not actually making it a goal, I headed to 53rd St. from 57th, just to start my journey on a different street. I’m glad I did. Look what I came across:


I’d heard about the legend of 6 1/2 Avenue but this was the first time I’d seen the street sign in person.  A bit of sun was breaking through the clouds, but not much, and I admonished myself for not carrying my umbrella, which I’d left back at the office.

When I reached 8th Ave., I discovered a vestige of the westside sleaze era. A remaining remnant (barely…or should I say “scantily clad” — the building is for sale) from the days when porno reigned on the more westerly part of Manhattan: 8thAVEHoldout A holdout from days of yore (the 70s + 80s). Look through the second floor window! You have to love the For Sale sign: “Delivered Vacant.” Don’t ask what they’ll have to remove from the inside.

If I wasn’t on my lunch hour, I would have stopped in this establishment for an ” Attitude Adjustment.”


Birthday coming up? Hey, here’s a gift idea:


All of a sudden, as it happens in the city, the weather turned a tad inclement. Or as a newly transplanted Aussie neighbor of mine commented in the elevator the other day: “The weather here can’t make up its mind, Mate.”

I scurried over to 56th St., where scaffolding reigned (lots of building renovation) because it started to drizzle — and discovered  this amazing tunnel:


In midtown, many passageways cut through buildings, if you know where to find them. They are certainly handy on bad weather days. I just love walking through a building (or driving through one, as in the old Pan Am Building on Park Ave. — now the Met Life building — but everyone who remembers when still calls it the “Pan Am”).

In a certain part of midtown (from somewhere in the 40’s to the mid-to-upper 50’s), it you know about these secret passageways, you can traverse this part of the city  for about 10 blocks without ever having to rush to a corner. You just tunnel through many tall buildings in a single bound to escape rain or freezing temperatures.


How cool is this

These past few days, I’ve been sort of ambling along — no rules — no plans. But on Friday, a goal took form in my mind, about 1/4 of the way through my walk (that would be 12:15 P.M.)

I wanted to try and walk WEST as far as I could. Possibly to the Westside Highway, which borders the Hudson River. So I picked up the pace. It started drizzling again.

I ignored it. Heading over to 55th St., there was much construction in progress. I sought protection beneath more rows of scaffolding. I didn’t mind the drizzle on my head as much as the drops sprinkling my glasses. Anyone who wears glasses feels this way.

But look what I discovered!


The Soup Nazi (from Seinfeld) is still around!


This is from the Soup Man’s website. The sign is in his store. Seriously…NO SOUP FOR YOU!

As I wended my way to 9th Avenue, I spotted the Alvin Ailey Dance School on the corner of 54th St. and trotted over to take a peek through the window:


Fascinating to watch, until the ballet master saw me and my iPhone and shooed me away!

The rain stopped. Yay. I cut over to 58th St. This section of the street, beyond 10th Avenue, is quite nice. Not as ramshackle as, say, 53rd on the westside. This palazzo looking building was undergoing renovation and a facelift:


And I just loved this “444”:


Finally, on the not too distant horizon, I could see the water. I really picked up the pace because time was of the essence. As you near the water, there are lots of taxi cab depots and sanitation department garages, a FedEx warehouse and luxury car dealerships…not to mention a plethora of parking spaces.

Finally, I saw it. The Westside Highway and its environs — the Hudson River is flowing on the other side of this concrete wall.

On the frieze of the light blue peaked arch in the center  of the photo, perched on two columns and jutting above the concrete, graffitied wall like an ancient Roman ruin — are the words: “Department of Sanitation.”


But I couldn’t cross over. Too much traffic. Too treacherous. Still, I made it!

I had about 15 minutes to hightail it back to work on 5th Ave.


By the time I got to Petrossian on 58th and 7th Ave., I had 3 minutes to make it back to the office.

I arrived at 58th and 5th and 1:01 P.M. — only one minute late!

Now that the weekend is here, it’s time to soak my feet..

Look, Ma. No Fig Leafs!

April 10, 2012

Adam and Eve at a pharmacy on 57th St.

This was an eye-opener at 8:40 this morning! Better than coffee.

Meme Girl

March 30, 2012
This describes me, at the office…
*   *   *
(Thanks to Sunday Stealing for the meme and The New Yorker for the ‘toon)
*   *   *
  • Which TV character do you think you are most like?
Peggy Olsen of Mad Men
  •  What time do you go to bed?
When I’m tired – that’s usually around 10:00 p.m., like clockwork.
  •  What was the last meal you made from scratch?
Spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, parsley and red pepper flakes. A relatively quick and delicious meal, especially with lots of locatelli romano cheese, and easy to prepare after work.
  •  What is your favorite type of music?
Savoy Family Band
I like ALL types of music. I especially love cajun (Savoy Family Band) and zydeco (Beausoleil), classical (Beethoven), swing (Benny Goodman), Doo Wop, Led Zeppelin and  the Blues (Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, old Stones, John Lee Hooker).
  •  In what position do you sleep?
Lying down.
  •  What is your first memory?
My two-year old birthday party in Brooklyn when I fell in the toilet bowl (I was a very skinny kid) and had to scream for my grandmother to get me out.
  •  What is your least favorite smell?
Bad breath. Makes me gag. I once worked with this woman named Gert who had denture breath. It was beyond horrible. Like dead body smell.
  • It’s your round at the pub and your friends asked you to surprise them. What drink would you buy and why?
Adult Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 oz peppermint schnapps
6 oz hot chocolate
1/2 – 1 oz whipped cream
Warm your mug first. Put the schnapps into your mug, and fill it with hot chocolate. Top with whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.
(I’m not a big drinker; I’m satisfied with one drink of whatever – wine, beer or a cocktail. Besides, I love hot chocolate or coffee — with a kick).
  •  What was the last thing you read/watched that made you cry?
Sad-eyed, timid, listless doggies that were bred in a puppy mill and up for adoption on CBS news this morning.
  •  They say that you learn something new every day. What was the last thing you have learned?
This morning, I began reading “New York Diaries (1609 to 2009),” a birthday gift from a good friend. It’s a compilation of random diary excerpts from famous and not so famous individuals, ranging from 9/11/1609 to 9/11/2009, and it’s just fascinating. This morning, I read this particular entry:
*   *   *
January 17, 1934: Went to that Gypsy Tea Room for lunch at Fifth Ave. and 38th…They sit with their teacups already overturned waiting for a gypsy to sit down at their table…A cat roams about and a kettle hangs on three sticks.
*  *  *
I was intrigued to learn that this Gypsy Tea Room, which I remember exactly as described above and which I frequented in the 1980s to have my tarot cards read, had been around as far back as 1934! (Not there anymore but I found a listing for a Gypsy Tea Room on 20th Street in Chelsea!)
  •  Which Literary love interests would you snog, marry and avoid.
Snog: Heathcliff
Marry: Atticus Finch
Avoid: Howard Roark
  •  What is your oldest memory?
Back in Brooklyn again. In the bedroom I shared with my sister. One night, my mother draped a piece of red cloth over our lamp to dim the glow and create a sort of nightlight. It caught fire. Somehow, I awoke in time to see the flames and called out for my mother, who came to the rescue.
  •  Paperback, Hardback or Kindle? Which of these is your favorite reading format and why?
Mostly paperback (trade fiction size), easier to hold on the subway. But I have been thinking of the Kindle lately. A foreign associate we use at work (from England) just published an e-book through Amazon – a political thriller with dry British humor (called The Schmetterling Effect). One of the characters (like the author) is a patent attorney. I read a few short chapters this morning, free of charge. It’s pretty darn good! I’d like to read the entire book. It’s for sale for 99 cents on Amazon–but only if you own  a Kindle.
  • If you could bring back any canceled TV series for another run what would you pick and why?
I’m afraid one of my favorites, Southland,
a great police drama, strong characters, excellent writing — which we download on iTunes — might be canceled! It’s highly rated by the critics, but it doesn’t make enough millions of dollars, apparently, for TNT’s very hungry coffers.
Hey, TNT: Life is short; Art is long.
*  *  *
What T.V. character are you like? I’d love to know…

Our Mayor is a Billionaire and We Have to Pay the Price

March 8, 2012

And the city is a madhouse.

And rush hour is an insanity.

5:00 p.m. Commuters descend the staircase en masse at 60th St. and 5th Ave. The moment our feet touch the station floor, the multitudes disperse. Individual lines begin feeding through turnstiles. Me, included.

Metrocard in hand, ready to swipe, a body suddenly muscles against me. Next, I feel a deliberate thump on my shoulder.

I turn to the middle-aged, scowling business woman at my right. Incredulous, I say, “You hit me…?”

“I was bringing my hand down!” she screeches. “It’s too crowded in here. Christ!” And she takes off.

Animal!  — This, I say to myself.

Before I know it, the day is over, I’m exhausted, I sleep fitfully, and then the alarm goes off. A new day begins.

Running late, I catch a bus on the corner. When we reach 75th St., the driver doesn’t make his usual lefthand turn toward the subway station.

Why? A garbage truck is parked in the middle of the street next to a mountain of trash. Our bus driver decides to go rogue.

He bypasses 75th St. and drives to 73rd Street. On 73rd, a double-parked truck is delivering produce. He bypasses 73rd St. and keeps going — and going.

An elderly man next to me looks worried. “What is he doing?” he asks. He probably thinks he’s in the Sandra Bullock move, “Speed.”

I explain to him about the garbage truck. He seems momentarily relieved and says, “This is a smart driver.”

But as we reach 69th St. (the subway station is at 74th St.), the man’s facial expression changes to annoyance.

I’m familiar with this bus driver. He’s a grumbler. He makes asides. Actually, they’re more like stage whispers.

Once, on a very crowded bus, I was standing near the front door. Each time he pulled into a bus stop and more people got on, he would mutter something like,” Can’t they walk a lousy few blocks? It’s nice out.”

I was pretty hilarious. Except, now I fear he’s having a breakdown.

At last — thankfully  — we arrive at the 74th St. station, via the circuitous route, in record time (because he was turning corners on two wheels).

On the R train, luckily, I get a seat. I open my brand new book, “An Available Man,” by Hilma Wollitzer, a birthday gift from J.C., which I am eager to begin reading.

But, as luck would have it, a big-mouth 20-something Asian guy boards the R train holding an electronic device the size of a iPhone in front of his face and starts reading Bible stuff from it (I don’t know what Bible it came from — no Bible I’ve ever read).

One of his “quoted passages” goes something like this: Television is a sin, according John (verse something or other). Never watch television. Television’s evil lasts 30 minutes, he continues — straight reading — no improvisation- without an scintilla of dramatization. Like a robot). I want to strangle him.

I try reading the first paragraph of my new book four times before giving up and closing the book.

The train pulls into the next stop. This idiot says, loudly, before departing, “Thank you for listening.”

“Like we have a choice,” I mutter to the guy sitting next to me.

And this guy next to me says,”They have mass on television”  (as in, how could that guy not know that?)

Which brings to mind Max von Sydow’s character’s classic rant from the Woody Allen film:


Tomorrow is another day!