8 Jul

Yesterday it was I, and not Ellie, who channeled Margot Tenenbaum and spent upwards of three hours in the bathroom, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, tending to my toenails until I pulled a muscle in my upper thigh. Yes. I would like my readership to know that even gadabouts get the blues.

But, lo, around 8 PM I decided to stop acting like such a drip and asked myself something Robert Louis Stevenson asked himself millennia ago. Namely:

Home no more home to me, whither must I wander?
Hunger my driver, I go where I must.
Cold blows the winter wind over hill and heather;
Thick drives the rain, and my roof is in the dust.
Loved of wise men was the shade of my roof-tree.
The true word of welcome was spoken in the door–
Dear days of old, with the faces in the firelight,
Kind folks of old, you come again no more.

Home was home then, my dear, full of kindly faces,
Home was home then, my dear, happy for the child.
Fire and the windows bright glittered on the moorland;
Song, tuneful song, built a palace in the wild.
Now, when day dawns on the broow of the moorland,
Lone stands the house, and the chimney-stone is cold.
Lone let is stand, now the friends are all departed,
The kind hearts, the true hearts, that loved the place of old.

Spring shall come, come again, calling up the moor-fowl,
Spring shall bring the sun and rain, bring the bees and flowers;
Red shall the heather bloom over hill and valley,
Soft flow the stream through the even-flowing hours;
Fair the day shine as it shone on my childhood–
Fair shine the day on the house with open door;
Birds come and cry there and twitter in the chimney–
But I go for ever and come again no more.

(Please note that I intended to eventually return to my apartment later that same evening.)

Once green jeans were shimmied and snakeskin flats slipped on, I descended my flights five and set a course for Spike Hill in Williamsburg directly off the Bedford stop – which felt really eerie to disembark at since last time I was there someone was struck by the L train after a tussle on the platform.

In any event, Spike Hill seems like an all right joint. One side is a pub that, in typical urban fashion, smells like the day after flip cup fall-out of a frat house and rich mahogany – no leather-bound books unless you carry your own book strap heavily laden w/ various valued tomes. The other side boasts a performance space w/ pretty solid acoustics that can only be accessed by the outside (so if you have a drink, don’t plan to migrate). The scene last night, however, was decidedly unfortunate: there was a fire in the basement earlier in the day so the air-con had crapped out, as had most of the fuses, leaving the draft beers un-chilled and the credit card system down. The barkeep was nevertheless super spunky and friendly and unfazed. Takin’ care of business.

I met Josh and Danielle outside and, as it was significantly cooler, we decided to sit down for a drink on the pub side. Danielle and I split an Erdinger and we three discussed their imminent plans to travel cross-country in a rented Impala.


They’re all in love and cute and shit. Good for them.

After imbibing our tepid German suds, we walked over to watch Jeanne Marie Boes’s set. The girl looks like Natalie Merchant, her voice is like velvet butter and her navigation of the keyboard equally as smooth.

Then her drummer and bassist, taking inspiration from the a/c, crapped out. They wandered off stage, unintelligibly mumbling something about the heat. Bravo, guys. But the show must go on, so Jeanne continued solo on her next number. But, lo!, a fuse blew the fuck out and homegirl was rendered mic and keyboard-less. What are you going to do? Halt your number and fumble w/ wires like some Johnny-come-lately? I guess that’s what I was expecting. Nay. She elegantly clasped her hands and finished her song. Vocals only. Everyone was drawn from the bar to watch her. Chills ran through me, which says a lot considering it felt like the eighth ring of Dante’s Inferno. And when she finished, the room erupted in raucous revery. T.C.B., baby.

(As an aside, why does Maroon 5 exist?)

Despite bearing witness to something so authentic, gutsy and soulful, I still felt crummy. That’s when, in the bathroom, I decided to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge. What the hell. Why the fuck not? Yeah, it’s 11 PM, but it will most likely be heavily trafficked by other pedestrians. And there will be cars and cyclists. I looked myself dead in the eye in the mirror: I’m going to walk across the Williamsburg Bridge. (Christine Parker: I know you’re reading this and I know you just tightened your jaw, rolled your eyes and reached out for your phone to call and impress upon me the dangers of late night rambling.)

I’d the pedestrian entrance. Berry between S 5th and S 6th. Got it.

Before setting out I swung by Verb Cafe for an iced chai. Me likey. My Bloody Valentine was also playing on the stereo. Me also likey. I always assumed that MBV would sound overly emo and namby pamby like Further Seems Forever (shart) or Thursday (ralph) or Fallout Boy (queef), but they’re more like Sonic Youth (jizzle).


After my drink was prepared, one of the baristas asked me if I’d like some “broken cookie” and set down a bowl in front of me.


Would I???? Something you should know about me: I like to pretend my life is an RPG style video game, so I basically took two chunks and fantasized that they were LOTR Elvish lembas bread discovered to endow me w/ strength, speed and power for my upcoming adventure. Is that weird? Maybe yes, but not as weird as there actually existing a lembas bread recipe.

I found the pedestrian entrance to the bridge on Bedford, not Berry Ave, and it looked something like this.


I don’t know what that Cylon-looking thing is (I tried to find out via google – may have to 311 my query) w/ the red LED light, but I suspect it knows everything about my consumer habits.

Before entering, I felt like Atreyu passing through the Sphinx Gate.


Quick: tuck and roll!

Once I was deep into the bridge, I felt somewhat dismayed to discover there were few other pedestrians, and those I passed were hulking/lumbering and/or looked seasoned by nature’s harsh arithmetic. Also, the cars were about 15 feet below me. And the cyclists, of which there were many, were sweeping by on the other side of traffic. And then there was the night owl graffiti, which was disconcertingly bizarre. And I was walking in a long desolate cage. (NYC might be a playground now thanks to the efforts of Rudy and Ray and Bloomberg, but this was an entirely different beast.) Oh! The bridge was also much longer than I anticipated. So I started to panic, then I started to hyperventilate, then I started to run. Reality check: I’m going to die of asphyxiation before some skel has the chance to murder me.

That’s when I changed my tactic. I was once told about a Buddhist chant that wards off danger and calamity by imbuing one w/ white light to repel any evil forces. (It is called the Chant of Metta, or Loving Kindness. The first line, “May I be free from enmity and danger” is aham avero homi in Pali – the language of ancient Buddhist scriptures. If you’re ever in a pickle: aham avero homi, aham avero homi, aham avero homi, &c..)It would have been useful on the bridge, but I couldn’t remember it. Nevertheless, I lifted my chin, threw my shoulders back, breathed evenly, walked w/ a sure gate and bristled w/ white light. I also called on this guy.


Archangel Michael. Head of the angel secret service. (It’s ironic because I’m not at all religious.)

Once steeled against all demons, I was able to enjoy the industrial majesty and tragic splendor – after all, I’M ON A MOTHAFUCKIN’ BRIDGE.



And guess what? At the exit onto Delancey, that guy w/ the face tats and gauged ears, who passed by me on a razor scooter, and who I was convinced was hiding behind a garbage can waiting for his moment to bludgeon me on the head and engage me in forced copulation, turned out to just be some puckish guy named Wes.


The bridge is incredible and it was, oddly for me, a spiritual experience. I recommend that you go during daylight hours, though, and bring a friend.

I walked a bit down Delancey and made a right on Ludlow. What a scene! I eyeball fucked every attractive guy on my way down the block just for shits and giggles. The sky was starting to spit and I felt I deserved a stiff beverage. Max Fish? Nah, too trendy. Spitzer’s? Nah, too occupied by douchenozzles. Left on Houston… Holy, holy.


Damn, right I’m taking a picture of you, girl. Does your momma know you smoke?


Love the distressed mirrors, charcuterie, checkerboard floor, bottles lining the walls, lighting. And love my Maker’s Old Fashioned.


OH NO SHE DI’NT!! I assure you, I did. Twice. Amaze-balls. Instead of those nasty-ass red dye no 5 maraschino cherries, my tender used marasca cherries. Infinitely more delicious.

Sitting there alone w/ my cocktail, arranging my napkins, menu and placemat, I started to feel a little like Henry from The Dream Team.

But then the server put chicken liver mousse and a pile of garlic bread in front of me and I cracked a grin at my neighbor and got to work.



While inside Pulino’s the situation outside got torrential.

So I read my mag, practically licked clean my jar of chicken guts, polished off my second Old Fashioned and exchanged a few friendly words w/ some other patrons.

Check please.

The manager opened the door for me in robust fashion – I think they thought I was a nocturnal food critic, going so far as to swag me some complimentary eats – and when I stepped back outside, the rain had abated and the air was crisp and smelled of earth.

I hopped on the 1 train at Houston and discovered this gem while my iPod was on random shuffle.

I love The Books and it’s time I gave The Way Out a thorough listen.

Once home, blues lifted (sometimes you just gotta walk it out), Ellie covered my face in slobbery kisses and we fell asleep in one another’s arms.

And, now, your moment of Zen:




  1. Colleen July 9, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    “Show your fear for she may fade away.
    In your hands the birth of a new day.
    Lives that keep their secrets will unfold behind the clouds
    There upon the rainbow is the answer to a never ending story.”

    You fucking SKEL! I want to go to Puline’s and have a Maker’s old fashioned avec toi!

  2. K-Fid July 17, 2012 at 3:34 pm #

    The moment of zen had me on the floor, rolling. you are mad skilled, lova.

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