Yelp Reviewing

imagesAs some of my friends and family members know, I’m an “Elite Yelper.”

Apparently that is something that happens when you spend enough time over the course of several months writing reviews about any place you can think to write about. It can be a great outlet to gush about places you love and rage about places you hate. Like all writing, it’s a form of therapy — or at the very least, a release.  Continue reading

Syllabus

So what I’m gonna say out loud is about how in English we only have one word for it, love, but somehow this is a mistranslation, or a simplification. A simplification of what? Should I say, “of the idea it tries to express,” or should I say, “of the linguistic sign it seeks to encompass-” no, that’s way pretentious, maybe I could just smile knowingly and simply, and say, “of love,” and then shyly look away-

Lane slides the scrap of paper towards me. I can’t believe it. What is this?

She’s still looking at the instructor, who is looking at a guy on the right side of the room that appears to be Hipster John Turturro in gingham and a mustache now stealing my idea before it was even my turn, talking smugly about how Greeks had agape and eros and other words for different kinds of love, but I don’t care anymore.

I glance again at her in a slightly sudden movement, as if I am randomly just looking in that direction, but she studiedly does not notice. Or actually does not notice. She has this alluring overbite, which kind of gives off the impression that she’s thinking hard about what everyone just said, on this really cute face below too-long dark hair. I came in late and took the closest chair to the door that was open, and it was next to hers. She’d glanced at me – the instructor was already talking – and gave me a tiny kind of wave hello. It’s the first day and when we went around the room introducing, her name was Lane and I about nodded, of course it is. Continue reading

We ARE Special, You Guys: In Defense of Generation Y

01 Truth Bomb

Alright, so I let this article on “Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy” sit out there for a week, but now it’s time to tear it apart piece by piece, and put it down. Ready?

1. Who says we are unhappy? This is one of those tricks, where if someone hides their premise at the beginning of a question, everyone will just take it as true and move on instead of stopping to say, wait a minute, is that premise even true? In fact, this particular trick has a name: the “complex question fallacy,” or “loaded question.” A famous example is the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?” Any way you answer that is admitting that at some point you beat your wife, even if it was never true. So any premise I put at the beginning of a question is tricking you into accepting it as true:

02 - Gycenomastia

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The West Village Is …

  • live jazz in a basement

    Image

    Me pretending to play ping pong in Fat Cat, a fine West Village establishment.

  • a tour group looking at the outside of a restaurant
  • a tall, muscular black woman who happens to have a penis
  • a comedy club barker approaching you on the sidewalk
  • a chess hustler who goes by the name of Cornbread
  • smoking a cigarette on brownstone steps
  • a homeless leprechaun handyman
  • a middle aged man scoring weed on a park bench
  • a college girl learning to walk in stilettos on cobblestone streets
  • an artisanal pickle stand
  • a paperback you buy from a street salesman that falls apart on your ride home
  • a place to buy a $1 pizza slice or a $500 shirt
  • a German tourist who interrupts whatever you’re doing and asks you to take her picture with her camera which you accidentally drop
  • a law student lining up tequila shots
  • a basketball court where as much time is spent trash talking as ball playing
  • a fall breeze drifting down a tree lined street
  • a historic building turned into a CVS
  • a centimeter thick paint chip
  • a trumpeter wearing white New Balance shoes, black pants, and a pageboy cap
  • a neighborhood catering to artists and writers with rents no artist or writer can afford

The Deal Love Has Shown Me

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September 20, 1997

The clouds that covered the sky were thin and soupy in bruise purples and wolf’s fur gray, moving so it looked like there were dark, serious mountains slowly parading across the moon. Now and then they obstructed it completely, then let it peak out between their valleys, then stretched out in tendrils so it shone bright and round, revealing the cover as smoke.

“Blow your smoke away from me,” Vanessa was saying to Ken.

Charlotte turned away from up to look at her sister and her – what? boyfriend? – on the curb, alongside the long, burgundy old convertible, its driver-side open. Ken was leaning up on the top of the open door, its window down, pulling on a dark black cigarette while Vanessa, arms crossed, looked annoyed, like she wished she had something in her hand to look at and distract her.

Ken closed his eyes to swallow the smoke, then exhaled slowly. Calmly, he explained, “I can’t control which way the wind blows.”

“You know it’s bad, that’s why you don’t do it in your car.”

“That isn’t logically sound,” said Ken, still fluidly serene. He smoked a little again, then said, “Nobody is allowed to eat in my car either, and I don’t, because I don’t want the upholstery to be stained. That doesn’t mean I don’t believe in eating, or secretly believe that feeding myself is a sin.”

Vanessa frowned with the left side of her mouth. “Whatever.”

“I don’t let anyone who wants to willy-nilly fuck inside my car. Do you think that belies my secret shameful hate for the procreative act of our species?” Continue reading

New York Cares volunteering Pt. 2

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Picture unrelated.

Things have developed pretty quickly since I posted about my New York Cares volunteering orientation and first project on September 6. It was actually just two weeks ago that I had the orientation, and already I’ve participated in six projects and put in an application to become a volunteer Team Leader (interviewing at NY Cares headquarters on Tuesday after work) so that I can head projects. I’ve decided I’m interested in projects pertaining to seniors. I do like volunteering with kids, but I seem to have a stronger connection to and more skill with seniors.

I’ll summarize the five projects I participated in since the one described on my last post so that people can get an idea of the range of things you can do.

Maintain Gantry Plaza State Park

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