Oct 8, 2014

Out of the frying pan..

..and into the fire. - goes the idiom. That's also the route our slider took the other night. 5 of us huddled around a burning fire in the cold, dark, damp night somewhere in the adirondacks. One was prodding the fire, one the food, one was warming his butt, one sipping beer and one just generally staring into the fire. Every step away made you feel colder. There's something really comforting about standing around a fire you make, when it's close to zero outside, with nothing else going on. It wasn't like we didn't have a trouble in the world, it was just that all those could wait. The fire had that effect on you.

My house will someday have a fireplace.

May 15, 2014

A New York minute

The M train

I fucking hate this train. It is slow as fuck, often delayed, crowded in the evenings because a few trains are skipped because they run behind schedule, and they don't run on the weekends. The M gets me from Hewes St to 5th av and 5 3rd St. It continues further on to Metropolitan Avenue. Everyday before ten, the train is crowded. Everyday after ten, it's  not. I fucking love it when it's  on time, for it goes over ground for a brief while, across the Williamsburg bridge over the east river before it plunges into the cavernous underbelly of NYC. It goes from Brooklyn to Manhattan to Queens. I haven't looked it up yet but my theories as to why it's called the M are that the route is M shaped or because of Metropolitan Avenue. I fucking love the M train because on a lazy evening it takes its own sweet time.

Starbucks bagels

One can not eat a bagel at Starbucks. One can only be subject to it. I had the misfortune of having one early morning at an airport. It was hard. It was tasteless. And it had something with the semblance of cheese on it. All the Starbucks bagels in the world cannot erase starvation in Africa for no one would eat them. Starbucks bagels are like... Starbucks bagels. They are non pareil. They were created with the sole purpose of displeasing anyone who tries to eat one. Try one at a Starbucks near you!

By birth

How we take it for granted that when we're born we get the right to believe that there are people who we can pay to give us the food they grow or make. That we don't want to think of how it will be to do what they do.

Across the Williamsburg bridge

Sometimes I wonder whether living in Bombay will have slight similarities to living in nyc - the bridges, the coastlines, the insane traffic and the sea. I take the M train from where I live in Brooklyn to work in Manhattan. For a short while it runs on the Williamsburg bridge across the east river and you can see what's going on on  the Riverside. It's all skyscrapers on the coast of Manhattan but the Brooklyn side looks very industrial with gigantic chimneys and old looking buildings. Giant floating barges have heaps and heaps of snow collected from during the time of polar vortex and look like a floating snow hill. Through the grimy window of a train, in between the cables of the bridge, it was quite a sight on a beautiful day.


If you thrive on mediocrity, if you're a champion of mediocrity. If you're so awesome at being mediocre that you're the best at it, then aren't you not mediocre anymore?


The door to his building flew open as he bolted out of it. He has three minutes to make his train. According to Google maps, that's all he needed but Google maps overestimated his average speed quite a bit. He ran and turned the corner almost slipping on ice, doing an intricate balancing act before turning the corner. He ran past the Jewish kids going to school, he ran past some workers on a break, having a smoke. He ran so fast that a signboard with today's specials on it got knocked over in his wake. Nah, it was windy as fuck.


I've been fortunate to meet a lot of people in the last few years and one of them is Desai. That's his last name and it took me a long time to find out his first name as we all call him Desai. Often the quietest person in the room, Desai is unlike any person I've meet before. Ann Arbor will not be the same once he leaves though he seems content with driving his crv around to panera bread and Syrian bakery and taking a walk by Argo every other weekend. If there's one thing I'm glad I did in my life,  it's going backpacking with these guys in Colorado. Desai is one of the chillest guys there is.

The last word

Not many places can boast about having a Whiskey bar. Opening a Whiskey bar is catering to a select few. You don't go to a Whiskey bar to get sloshed. You don't go there and get a mountain of nachos and pitchers of bud light. So a Whiskey bar opening in a college town really seems like a bad idea. Not too many people would like to spend a bunch of money on having a drink or two in a hole in the wall bar with candle lit dark tables and bookshelves and a piano just for the heck of it. Here's my hypothesis - "the number of people who take pride in having a Whiskey bar in their town outnumber the number of people who actually go there". If I had a quarter for every time someone who didn't go to The Last Word spoke about its greatness, I'd have enough to buy myself a drink there.

Half onion conundrum

I call this the vicious cycle of the half onion. The other day when I was making something to eat, I decided that half an onion was all I needed. Little did I know that I was setting in motion one of the most vicious cycles in culinary existence. To put it simply, if you leave a half onion to use for a later day, from then on the chances that you'll need half an onion reduce drastically. Since that fateful day I've used onions four times, each time a fresh half replacing the old half as I always needed a whole onion. Some say the half onion sitting in my fridge has been there since the beginning of time and only now have I become wise enough to notice it. Or something like that.

Apr 5, 2014

Air always does and forever will remind me of you. 

Jan 30, 2014

Brooklyn night

I lay in bed listening to the sound of steam hissing angrily, like a cat scorned, through the valves of the steam radiator in my room. The steam fogs up the window and the condensation freezes around the window because it is Fuck-cold degrees below 0 outside. I can see the night sky through my window because there are no gigantic Manhattan skyscrapers blocking my view in South Williamsburg. I pull hard to open the frozen window and let some air in, or more so to let some air out. I can't control the fucking radiator and it turns on when the Building Super turns it on and turns off when He decides to turn it off. I can control the amount of heat by turning the valve but that thing is broken. So I have a steam radiator which I regulate by opening and shutting a window. It's not as bad as I make it seem though.

My building is around 90 years old. It has no emergency sprinklers. No automatic emergency fire alarm to fire department. No smoke detectors. I saw all these on the building evaluation report stuck on the wall in the first floor foyer. And here's the kicker. Checked mark in black is 'Combustible'. I met a guy who lived on the 6th floor and had to climb 16 steps for every floor. Old buildings don't have elevators. He stopped to catch his breath near my floor and said "I've been in this building for thirty five years. Got used to this." I have to walk two blocks lugging my laundry along with a comic book to the laundromat and pay using quarters to do my laundry. Wait to switch it dry and read my book. Then lug it all the way back home in the cold of the night minutes before they shut.

I love the sounds in the streets that come in through the open window. Different boroughs of New York maintain their identity. Regions within boroughs, more so. But more on that later. The window has to shut. It's getting cold.

I'm here in Brooklyn, and I'm not anywhere else now.