I live in the middle of Brooklyn. I don’t have much exposure to nature. In my part of Park Slope, the emphasis is more on the Slope aspect. Sometimes, it does a bit Park-y. After all, I did get a new pair of street trees –with first-person nametags –to replace the healthy one The Department of Environmental Protection cut down by mistake instead of pruning. Last week, the Business Improvement District fenced them in for all our safety lest they attract a bad crowd of fauna.
And I see beauty every time I look out the window:
I have what you would call a “romantic” view of nature. It’s nice and all. Y’know, trees! But I prefer it with a nice footpath and maybe a folly or a ruin somewhere in a vista. The rest of it can just stay in the carefully constructed wilderness of its choice. The frontier closed in 1890, and that was a good thing… nature amok wants me dead.
I blame the raccoons. Continue reading
After every Pride Fortnight, I spend a good chunk of the next week trying to figure out what it all meant.
Folsom Sunday, approx. 2pm
As it is with any event where the gays can drink outside, the Folsom East Street Festival was harness to jock with folks celebrating their hard-won individuality in this particular area of their lives. I am somewhat of an outsider here. I have never been one for wearing clothes during sex. I figure I so rarely get to touch another human being, it seems a shame to place a complicated system of buckles and pulleys, zippers and roleplay between me and whatever poor sap I’ve driven to ecstasy with my stammering. And don’t get me started on the notion of constraint; as soon as someone comes up with a fetish involving loose caftans, I’m there. Until then, I need room to twirl. Continue reading
“The Round Up Writer’s Zine is a fresh space devoted to trangressive pieces, dark humor and works laced in sarcasm. In fact we are partisan to works that are edgy and/or possibly offensive.” –from their submission rules.
I am lucky enough to live a ten minute walk from Green-Wood Cemetery. Designed and built in 1838 by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same guy who did Central Park and Prospect Park later in the century, Green-Wood was the template for those later parks. Death has never been so bucolic.
I go there whenever I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing in my life. I wander around nearly five hundred acres of the hilliest terrain in Brooklyn, Revolutionary War battle sites, glacial ponds, screeching parrots… and 560,000 dead folks who obviously were successful enough in life to have some amazing 19th century statuary carved in their honor.
And in all those visits, I have recognized exactly two names: Governor DeWitt Clinton and Leonard Bernstein. I know there’s several other famous bones around, but I don’t pick up the map at the entrance. I just ramble, looking at how acid rain, falling trees, and youth-gone-wild have changed the statues. The names only matter because people in the 19th century sure had some monikers that please the nine-year-old boy in me.
I find comfort in the notion that you can build a pyramid to yourself, and 150 years later all people know about you is that your name sort of rhymes with “areola.”
I almost got beaten up at the C-Town yesterday. I’m trying my best to convince myself that it was my fault.
The C-Town’s narrow aisles were thronged with folks stocking up for their Easter feasts. I needed a few things for some Twice-Cooked Pork I was testing out for the next meeting of my Cookbook Club. As I walked across 9th Street from my apartment, I girded myself for the obstacle course that lay ahead: people moving at all speeds and stopping for no reason in front of foods I find disgusting; precious, precious Slope Spawn given charge of the cart; and the C-Town’s insistence on stacking things in the aisles proper. I was in a good mood. I had just finished a nice walk around the neighborhood and had a great phone conversation with my sister despite her infuriating habit of not watching The Americans in a timely manner so we have something to talk about.
I find that when the C-Town is crowded like that, all I can do is smile. I glide thru the masses, knowing exactly where everything I need is.
“Hwooop!” [done with a kind of evasive twirl]
Repeat five or six times, and I’m in the final aisle, smiling because they finally have sliced Havarti. I make my way toward the 10-or-15-Items-or-Less lane –it all depends on which sign you follow. But before I can get there I have to make it past the final series of bottlenecks: a ginormous Pepsi end-cap, the ice cream freezer of indecision, an Aztec pyramid of that toilet paper those cartoon bears use, a drink cooler of brightly colored impulse buys, and finally a 90-degree left turn immediately into the express lane.