Second Stanza of New York Thoughts

The needs of our bodies, to be stretched, fed with simple things, touched, to be plunged into fresh air, clear water, and new ground, to be conjoined and caressed, treated gently, left tousled for hours in soft beds, these are what are first sacrificed on the altar of the city’s shaky promises — and what will be regretted most, ignoring a persistent soul tug, burying  in alcohol, caffeine, juice shots, and the blinding reassurance of an overflowing calendar.

Here I am with an almost life-size cutout of 1980s Bob Dylan at a show debuting new album of covers of his songs from that era: http://80sdylan.com/

Here I am with an almost life-size cutout of 1980s Bob Dylan at a show debuting new album of covers of his songs from that era: http://80sdylan.com/

Download

CLICK ON “DOWNLOAD” AND YOU WILL BE BROUGHT TO THE PLAYER FOR THIS INTERVIEW.

Listen to Jian Ghomeshi interview me on the terrific syndicated radio show Q regarding… Monocles: The Tyranny of Trend Pieces… I will say I’m in hilarious form! Should I say that? Well, it’s done. I mean, I could just backspace and erase it, but I’m … not…going…TO! Ok. Listen now.

In Alan Feuer’s lovely NY Times article about Steampunks at Sea, he mentions monocle-wearing, and the top-notch video shows two varieties of monocle, a lady in a traditional eyepiece and a man with a very special sort, perhaps one that with proper adjusting, allows him to see into the future. 

Video is here http://nyti.ms/1ilvudj

More on Monocles

For reasons of space and tone, a few paragraphs were trimmed from my little mini-trend piece on monocles in the New York Times. These involve the wearability of one-lens eyepieces, my experience testing one out, and a little history of New York Times trend pieces on monocles. Here are the “extras:”

There have been at least three previous trend stories about monocles in the New York Times since 1900. In 1902 it was “Rise and Fall of the Monocle.” The year 1941 brought “More Monocles are Worn,” noting that since the war American sales were up 50 percent although the total number sold was “not large,”  Filed from the United Kingdom in 1970, “By Jove, The Monocle Has Returned,” featured an optician opining “If your face doesn’t fit, you can look a fool. If your face fits, you can look elegant.” 

I wore one for a week, hoping to achieve elegant. Much admired at a house concert in Williamsburg and a bar in the East Village, it was not easy to keep in place, which is why most monocles come with a neck lanyard. Typically, there are two semi-circles of metal, called “galleries,” protruding from the back of the frame, to help the face grip the monocle. I can report that keeping one’s expression deadpan and cheekbone raised is key. Thus the sideways smirk and humorless look in old photos of monocle-wearers such as the British statesman Joseph Chamberlain, the sculptor Lady Troubridge and the movie maker Fritz Lang. (What perennial New Yorker cover dandy Eustace Tilley is holding between eye and butterfly is  not a monocle but a “quizzing glass,” distinct because of its handle and its being held away from the face.

Trend forecaster Martin Raymond admitted that this one is so weird it may be a sign that the larger global trend of the New Gent is waning. Waxed mustaches and perfectly tucked shirts are one thing. Monocles and brass telescopes are another.

“It means,” he said, “it’s fragmenting and becoming too arch for most people to buy into.”

Pressing the flesh at a “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network” book event in Fort Myers, Florida. Gave a little talk, signed some books, ate dessert. Nice! —- photo by Mike Shapiro

Pressing the flesh at a “From Scratch: Inside the Food Network” book event in Fort Myers, Florida. Gave a little talk, signed some books, ate dessert. Nice! —- photo by Mike Shapiro

How your hand job skills can help you in real life. My friend who made this explains: “Finally figured out how to get soap dispenser at work to give me some soap. Two words: hand job.”

What the fuck is up with this safe? Did it fall from a plane onto the corner of Forsyth and Houston on the Lower East Side? Drill marks around the lock say no. A heist? Dumped here from a van last night? Anyone missing a safe?