Today is primary day in NYC, and in a happy turn of fate, my polling place happens to be the amazing Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center on 13th Street. As soon as I exited after voting, I spotted one of those big package drop boxes plastered with a graffiti tag and a big blue sticker with white block lettering:
While it lasted…
Sometimes I can’t even believe my life. While everyone else was very busy fighting Nazis (?!#%*&@?!), I was busy vacationing luxuriously in the Caribbean, blessedly unaware of the stateside shitshow. And by “in the Caribbean” I mean literally in the Caribbean, alternately swimming, snorkeling and floating effortlessly in impossibly warm and clear waters for hours on end. We are enthusiastic snorkelers, my lover and I, and we had finally fulfilled a long-ago promise and purchased our own fins and masks for the trip. (Did you know you can get swim goggles with corrective lenses? TRUE FACT.)
A natural coral jetty divided the resort’s two sandy coves, and there were spectacular reefs very close to shore. It felt like a dream, really, and everything was going so wonderfully…
Until that little fucker Luther showed up.
My partner and I have not had a real break in a loooong time, so we’re headed where the WIFI may be spotty (I may or may not post anything for a week or so), but the rum cocktails will be abundant. It will be glorious! Unless the fucking squirrels show up and RUIN EVERYTHING, of course. So if you kind people could just keep them distracted for a minute while I make my getaway, I would really appreciate it.
Once upon a time, I ran kicking and screaming from the Philly ‘burbs to New York City. Once I got here, I felt like a kid in a candy store. A really fucking great candy store. One that has fantastic toys too. (Also: shoes.) There were, and still are, too many charms and treats to enumerate in a blog post, but a New York summer street fair is definitely near the top of that list.
Some street fairs have specific themes (like food, or art) but my favorites are the more eclectic affairs that feature local artisans and collectors. Sometimes the artisans run the booths, tents and kiosks themselves, and engage potential customers in interesting conversations about their work. It’s like shopping at the ultimate Anti-Mall: there is little on offer here that one can find in a retail chain store. (I often start my winter holiday shopping in July at city street fairs.)
I unexpectedly stumbled into a street fair in my neighborhood on Saturday afternoon. I had very little time, so unfortunately I could only walk about half the length of it. But I wanted to try and capture the experience in photos. For you.
between 11th and Bank Streets
July 15, 2017
[NOTE: any unobscured face visible in this post is published with the express permission of said face’s owner. All rights reserved.]
It’s a beautiful day in NYC. Sunny skies all day, with a predicted high of 85F. If you’re celebrating Pride here today, I hope you find joy, connection and solidarity among friends, old and new.
Stay safe out there. Take care of each other. There are too many haters among us.
Spring in the city = riotous color. Even those of us with the most monochromatic black winter wardrobes – for all intents and purposes a required uniform for living here – yield, however slightly, to bursts of brightness.
And why not? The streets and parks are enchantingly abloom. Apparently miniature daffodils, which I had never seen (or noticed?) before, were all the rage in the Village this April. They are fucking adorable and make me smile. (Okay, or at least make me want to.) Alas, their little yellow petals have just started to crinkle and droop, and now I haz a sad. :(
But all is not lost! Because the tulips have begun crashing their party and stealing their show. Shopkeepers are suddenly engaging in some kind of botany arms race, taking full advantage of urns and planters outside their businesses. Come see for yourself. Continue reading
It is once again the time to mark the joyous occasion of The Great Tentacled One’s completion of another orbit around our sun. Longtime readers of mine may recall that in February of 2011, PZ Myers published my little screed In Defense of Mockery on Pharyngula. At the time I was a fledgling blogger, and hardly knew whether I might be any good at this writing stuff. That boost of confidence—and the readers I gained that day—meant the world to me then, and now. By 2013 when PZ posted Casualties of War, I had come a long way in a short time, thanks in no small part to his generosity and encouragement. But this past year? He brought some serious next-level shit, man: he invited me to write for Freethought Blogs (!!!). For all of this and more, PZ has my undying affection and appreciation.
Today I will be celebrating the good professor by imbibing squid ink cocktails and copious amounts of calamari.
Happy birthday, my friend.
Long may we mock.
Barchetta’s Spezia cocktail.
vodka, caper brine and squid ink, whole caperberry garnish
Now normally on these sacred occasions, I’d post some of PZ’s more trenchant blurbs, culled from his writings over the previous year. Just a sentence or two that strike me, like this one (perhaps my all time favorite):
[I]magine the culture we would live in now if, instead of a dead corpse on an instrument of torture, our signifier was a child staring in wonder at the stars. –PZ Myers
But in the past year the world has changed. For example, US government policy is now orchestrated by a madman via 140 character tweets in the middle of the night (Eastern Standard Time). So in keeping with the zeitgeist, please enjoy these pithy bon mots from the master:
Fuck you, Grandma. –PZ Myers
I could be quite happy with an octopus arm transplant. –PZ Myers
Stop me before I #ChristianMingle. –PZ Myers
So fuck the police. –PZ Myers
I’ll smack hope a few more times with a ball peen hammer and see if I can’t get it under control. –PZ Myers
OK, motherfucker, then do it. –PZ Myers
Stoned fish are so much more cooperative. –PZ Myers
Hate is a strong word, but not strong enough for my feelings.-PZ Myers
Go fuck yourself. –PZ Myers
Hello, beloved readers. You may have discerned my absence from this space for a little while now, which is not typical for me. Seems that perhaps some sort of explanation is in order.
I’ve been going through some difficult personal shit. Without getting into specifics, processing trauma and abuse—even many years later—is not exactly easy or fun, but it becomes absolutely critical when the unfortunate manifestations blindside you (again), seemingly out of nowhere. Suffice it to say that I have an amazingly supportive partner, a tight circle of friends (i.e. “chosen family”), and a skilled therapist* to guide me. In the meantime however, I am finding it very difficult to focus, concentrate and opine for your infotainment upon the vital and timely topics of fascist doucheweasels, patriarchal shitheads, racist conservatives, treasonous theocrats, native-born white d00ds in local bars suggesting an upside to the day’s news out of DC, terrorist squirrels and other assorted menaces.
Then again, I only have one rule—and one rule only—for posting: whatever I want, whenever I want.** So here, have some of that. Continue reading
Okay vegans, look away for this one. I promise I’ll make it up to you with a Moroccan recipe for beets that will knock your socks off.
Bisteeya (alternatively pastilla, besṭila, bastilla, b’stilla or b’steeya) is a traditional Moroccan savory pie, usually served on special occasions as a first course. When I first started exploring Moroccan cooking, bisteeya was my Holy Grail. I fell in love with it in Morocco many moons ago; here in New York, the late, great Cafe Noir used to serve it up (and well).
This is the most delicious chicken dish I have ever tasted, bar none.
While waiting for some prescription refills today, I wandered through a couple shops in my neighborhood. I made it a point, as I always do, to browse my favorite thrift shop. Oooh, some sweet sofas! But nah, I’m good. Nice art too, but nothing that would work for me. And hey, I’m always looking for new specimens to add to my eclectic flatware collection…shit outta luck. *sigh*
And then, there he was.