Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Okay, I get it. Performance art is meant to be experimental. There are no rules or guidelines. It is art because the artist says it's art.
Now meet Otis Houston, Jr., aka "Black Cherokee"...and yes, he really is part Cherokee.
Otis has been doing this shtick in one form or another for over a decade in NYC, but just recently relocated to midtown after becoming a long-time fixture along the FDR Drive--a couple of blocks from his Harlem home--where he entertained passing motorists during the morning rush hour.
Black Cherokee came to NYC from South Carolina in 1969, immersed himself in the drug scene of the 70's and 80's and eventually landed in prison, which is where an art class inspired him to eventually become a "performance artist."
Gotta give some props to anyone who spends the day with an orange jammed in his mouth, but if it's a fruit and art combo that I desire, give me a painting by Monet any day...
Eating On The Job
Monday, February 25, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
There oughta be a law.
Pedestrians munching heaping salads while negotiating NYC's teeming sidewalks?
This precarious practice is hazardous to everyone else's health...an accident just waiting to happen. One misstep and whammo! We're plucking lettuce bits out of our eyeballs and slipping on dollops of creamy ranch.
No, thank-you. The street should remain the domain of the venerable pretzel and hot dog, foods you can eat with one hand, no balancing act required.
Not to mention a heckuva lot more fun...
Sunday, February 10, 2013
Xin Nian Kuai Le!
For those who are Mandarin-challenged, this means Happy New Year, a timely phrase because today marks the start of the most important Chinese holiday of the year.
2013 is the Year of the Snake and in NYC's Chinatown, firecrackers exploded to scare off evil spirits, dumplings were devoured (it is said that the more of them you eat, the more money you'll make in the coming year) and traditional costumed dancers paraded through the streets to the beat of drummers to kick off the 15 day celebration.
These characters are a crowd favorite, particularly the colorful heads of dragons or (as in this case) lions. But it takes two to tango and it occurred to me that while someone gets the glory and attention up front, there is an unsung hero bringing up the rear that nobody seems to notice.
So what's the procedure for selecting who gets to drive and who gets stuck in the back seat? Draw chopsticks? Best-of-three at Chinese checkers? And would anyone actually volunteer for this back breaking gig? I mean, the perks of the job are seemingly few and let's face it, the employment description is not exactly a resume booster: February, 2013: Lion's Butt
Yet, the show must go on and a second body is required to give the creature a full set of four legs so...here's a salute to all those who toil in obscurity in the rump regions, grinding it out in unglamourous posterior positions, willing and able to make asses out of themselves.
“Behind every able man, there are always other able men.” (Chinese proverb)
Tale Of The Tail
Saturday, February 9, 2013
So much for the latest "Storm of the Century".
Less than a foot fell in midtown Manhattan, making it more of a non-event than the fearmongering forecasters had predicted.
Oh sure, there were minor annoyances, like dealing with dicey tire traction on side streets and every pedestrian's perennial favorite--slush.
But certainly nothing to lose one's head over.
Pants, on the other hand...
Friday, February 8, 2013
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Whatever happened to the art of the subtle, discreet glance?
Apparently it's lost on this gent who must have learned his technique from the Troglodyte Player's Handbook:
Stare hard at woman.
Snub by woman.
End of story.
End of story.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
42nd Street and 8th Avenue.
Home to the Port Authority Bus Terminal and its newest tenant, the Cake Boss Cafe, the second Manhattan outpost for 4th generation bakery maestro Buddy Valastro, aka "Cake Boss", who shot to fame in The Learning Channel show of the same name.
Back in the day (think 1970's - 80's) though, when 42nd Street was a notorious strip dubbed "The Deuce", you wouldn't find cannolis, crumb cakes and tiramisu on this particular corner. No, it was populated by a much different breed of businessman then, peddling wares of the sort frowned upon by polite society and men with badges.
Those infamous wild west days, however, are long gone. But the flamboyance of the era seems to have made a comeback, proving over-the-top, colorful characters like Buddy and Fly Guy here can co-exist peacefully and share the same turf.
And why apparently it's okay to wear white before Memorial Day.
Who's The Boss?
Friday, February 1, 2013
It is often said that New York is the fashion capital of the world.
Although fashionistas in places like Milan, Paris and London might respectfully disagree.
But there is no doubt that when it comes to sartorial style, New Yorkers are always at or near the top of anyone's list.
Bold. Daring. Always pushing the envelope, breaking new ground, a step ahead of the rest of the world.
Then there is this Manhattanite.
I mean, what was he thinking? NIKE sneakers when a pair of snazzy pumps would have complemented his minimalist mid-winter outfit perfectly?
Alas, there really is no accounting for taste...
Lacks Curb Appeal