Tuesday, January 09, 2007

bananas, Bagels, books

have I made you all really sick with my incessant ravings about how bloody great it is here?

New yorkians are obsessed with raving about how much cooler things were in the olden days (the eighties or the nineties or somehting) - but even now things are pretty damn cool now.Actually there not very cool - kind of mild - like the weather. right now i'm got hissing central heating and my room is like a sauna. i'm trying to pretend that it's good for my cold.

i'm staying in williamsburg - whihc used to be a rough area 5 years ago - but is now officially 'hip'. Half the shops around where i'm styaing are boarded up, the others are kind of paint peelingly garish - and there's lots of Latinos - who wrinkle their nose at my dodgy attempts at spanish.

tho i had one success - trying to buy a recharge card for my phone - I didn't know the local word in either english or spanish - so asked in spanish - and things worked out fine. so far i've discovered in NYC that if you don't use the PRECISE terminology for a thing - then you get ignored - like in the back of a psycho cab the other day - yelling"Stop1 STOP!!!" - till finally the guy asked, "oh, you mean pullover?" (I thought that was a jumper).....

and the shops this end of town blare "Supa Queso" tacky music and sell really scarily cheap polyester clothes for $5US that make scragg's eyes water.....

A few blocks round the corner - things are a bit different. People's skin colour lightens, their hair colour and clothes darken. the streets look like a transplant of the nicer bits of Brunswick Street. Blocks and blocks of coolcafes, coolgalereis, cool shops all selling the international youfstreetcred wear that Scrag's house of Fashion and Refred's seel in newtown - and that i didn't really see much of in Paris. I've been feeling a bit outre in my beanie and full length parka so i lashed out on a red leather tranch coat and a trilby. i now look like a technicolour Kermit the frog in reporter mode. (told you this place is like sesame street)

the thing that amuses and delights me is how cheap - i mean reasonably priced the art is. there's are lots of nice prints, jewelry, drawings paitnings - all under $500 - wiht prints and objects under $50. AND IT'S NICE, interesting refreshing stuff - like the better fare at Gaffa......

(this is in marked contrast to Hawaii - where the local hilo poetry art gallery - had hideous bad screen prints for minimum of $75...... I mean I know hawaii is famous for kitsch - but surely it can be made into a selling point - like the cover of that great Martin Denny CD - rahter than blanded out to tourist pastel.)

I got some nice jewelry and prints as xmas prezzies for friends byt i'm saving my pennies for BABELAND. there's a hitachi wonderwand with my name on it waiting for me in soho.

Meanwhile - i think i've stumbled apon the Bagel store that Alan Cholodenko RAVED about. I wasn't a fan of bagels till i went to this place. OMIGOD. it's on the corner of Bdford and Metropolitan avenues in williamsburg - and the bagels are about 60c each and bloody amazing.

Away from the trendy ubercool zone of black clad beige - a little stroll towards East Williamsburg feels like a realy freaky timewarp back into unnamed Eruopean city circa 1930. the local Hassidic Jews have stopped time preholocaust - with shops and women clad Just like the olden days - in identical bobbed wigs, black shoes, beige stockings (and all with very well turned out ankles), black jackets, cloche hats and black prams. i'm used to seeing orhtodox hassidic men in ear tails, hats 7 cloaks in bondi - but the mathcing shops and womenfolk are really weird. Up the street towards bushwick or flushing - there are crack dealers on ever corner - and there's a funny part of the bus route where both tribes overlap.

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