Category Archives: lists

The addictions I have had or sorta almost had

smoking sucks.

smoking sucks.

I have, at several points in my life, found myself on the precipice of addiction to various things, real or imagined. Here are the top 5:

5. Cigarettes

There were two times in my life where I actually craved a cigarette, at least craved one not just in that drunk-freshman-year-trying-to-impress-girls-who-wouldn’t date-anywhere-near-the-upper-echelons-of-my-family’s-income-bracket way. The first was during my brief but fruitful stint as a waiter at Darryl’s restaurant in Raleigh, a job I interviewed for mere days after 9/11, which is not a cultural benchmark to this story as much as it is just a relative note about how stressful and emotion-consuming time it was. That was amplified by (though no way on the same level as) the personal turmoil I was dealing with, having just quit school at GW after two years, because I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was all wrong, that the school did not feel even close to right for me, and was at risk of sucking me into a future of politics and polo shirts, incomparable student debt and friends who only liked you for the K Street connections you might have. Continue reading

The trip to my sister’s college graduation weekend, soundtracked by Bruce and The Replacements, via random iPod playlist shuffling

Kiss me on the (Q33) Bus

Waitress in the Sky (beverage service extra version)

Can’t Hardly Wait

I’ll Buy

Swinging Party

Growing Up

Waitress in the Sky (Alternate, windy LGA version)

Does this (M60) Bus Stop at 82nd Street?

New York City Serenade


Not bad there, iTunes.

Inverted Soapbox’s requisite 09 best albums of 09 list

In no particular order, except a numerical one:

9. Japandroids – “Post Nothing”

8. Girls – “Album”

7. Generationals – “Con Law”

6. Passion Pit – “Manners”

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Rough mornings in post-newspaper America

turns out the black houses were just early internet adopters

One other consideration about the death of the newspaper industry that occurred to me last night (nevermind at what time): If print editions and deliveries go away, how will we know when it’s too late to be coming home from a night out?

This used to be the benchmark: if you could stop on your way home from the bar or a party and get that day’s newspaper or see people hawking the amNY by the subway, you know your night was indeed a long one. If you made it back home before that first whack of the paper hit a doorstep on your block, your march had just fallen short of qualifying for the Walk of Shame (or Stride of Pride*, depending on your perspective).

So what then are the new media model-era signposts of a night that has probably carried on far too long?

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Web clip: The Brooklyn Flea

From Brokelyn’s running tally of all flea markets in the borough:

The Brooklyn Flea

Lafayette Ave. and Vanderbilt Ave.
C: Lafayette Ave., G: Clinton/Washington Ave., 2/3, 4/5, B/D/Q, M/N/R: Atlantic Ave. – Pacific St
Saturdays, 10  to 5flea 1

The daddy of all flea markets in the borough, Brooklyn Flea features a sprawling and impossible-to-categorize collection of detritus and treasures from well more than 100 vendors. It’s the place to go for basically everything: used furniture, old records, mint-condition typewriters, mid-80s Michael Jackson trading cards, used bicycles, original Playboy prints, Freddy Krueger action figures, army jackets and a wide selection of vintage clothing. You also can find loads of artisan goods, such as hand-decorated shoes, crafty T-shirts and jewelry made of old vinyl records. To help keep you going, the flea supplies some interesting food items such as handmade popsicles (People’s Pops) and Banh Mi-style hot dogs (Asia Dog). It’s as much a social flea2scene as a shopping experience: Celebs such as Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and Devandra Banhart are occasionally spotted there browsing the records.

(fotos by me)

Warping through a TJ’s work day

Working at TJ’s is far from difficult most days, save for the occasional jar-of-salsa-explosion or Total Refrigerator Melt Down Disaster (sorry cows, looks like your death was in vain). There’s also a lot of idle brain time, as it turns out putting cans on a shelf and carrying on light conversations about the weather doesn’t occupy much brain activity, leaving about a good 97 percent free to window shop down the streets of your inner psyche,  dropping change into the cup of homeless pursuits, or to traipse through the garden of imagination, willing new flowers to bloom at each turn.

The unshackled  imagination is what helps turn the ordinary, and often quite repetitive, nature of the work into something fanciful, or at least a cartoonishly fascinating version of itself.

I quickly realized the nature of the work at TJ’s has the qualities and cyclical challenges of an 8-bit video game. You know the kind I’m talking about, the ones before cartridge memory was really available so the games forced you to relive the same tasks over and over again to varying degrees of difficulty simply because there wasn’t that much depth or range to the games (e.g.: Spy

keep driving, it doesnt end

keep driving, this road doesn't end

Hunter, Donkey Kong, Elevator Action, Wrecking Crew, etc). The challenge becomes not in whether you can complete the tasks at hand — which are often ceaseless and without true terminus — but the efficiency in which you can complete them, the perfection of the process, and the stylized methods through which you can overcome the digital hurdles. There were no hidden bonuses, secret endings or completion percentages back then. It was up to you and your grade-school friends to continue to milk the enjoyment out of that cartridge of Dodgeball, because you knew your parents weren’t buying you another game until at least Christmas, and maybe not even then since you didn’t listen to them and refused to wear a raincoat over your mummy costume at Halloween because you were standing up for the realism of the outfit and they just wouldn’t listen to logic that no mummy, no matter how heavily it was raining in ancient Egypt, would have left the pyramid wearing a raincoat, especially not  a Members Only raincoat.

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Tips on Cheap NYC dates from David Byrne fans

So Brokelyn couldn’t run this piece since some of the recommended dates were in Manhattan and note the Broke-pun-inducing borough. This is something that for whatever reason didn’t cross my mind at the time, maybe because my focus was increasingly being diverted by thoughts of the several bottles of rum and one pouch of wine warming in the early summer sun back at the blanket where we were camped out before the free David Byrne show.

Here it is, so as the effort wasn’t all for naught, even if it still is naught for all. Oh blog, how you serve as such a neat basin for the swirling outflush of failures:


As far as cheap Brooklyn dates go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one than the scene in Prospect Park on Monday: a sunny summer day, picnicking under the trees and law enforcement who seemed to look the other way every time a new bottle of wine popped open. Oh, and there was that guy from the neighborhood, David Byrne, who put on a free concert with dancers, lights, three encores, and even some tutus.

So, that’s a pretty high bar to set for low-cost dating experiences. But when there’s not a Talking Head hanging out in the park with 27,000 of your neighbors, where else can you take a date without burning down the wallet? We asked people at the show for some recession-conscious suggestions:

Jane PincusJane Pincus

25, Long Island City, co-owner of Yestadt Millinery (hat company)

Recommendation: Alibi Bar in Fort Greene, 242 DeKalb Ave.

Best for: Getting to know someone without being drowned out by bar noise.

It’s a cheap neighborhood bar with $1 mugs of beer, if your date doesn’t mind a little blue-collar character.

“It’s a nice bar, they have a pool table and a back porch, so it’s cool in the summer. It’s good for a date. You can talk outside and it’s quiet.”

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