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The marvel is that they are on the steps of a West 10th Street brownstone & haven't been stolen or vandalized.

My day started with karate at 7:30 then included coffee with a friend from out of town & more coffee with a different friend from out of town. While they don't know each other, they live near one another in northern California. There were lots of walks & stops throughout the day but I'm beat & am going to withhold information. By tomorrow I'll have forgotten all of it, except for this photo.  Read More 
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Monday Quote

The conventional view saves us from the painful job of thinking.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith

It sure was less work when I merely went along with my friends on issues: "Everyone agrees on XX so I do too." It has taken an enormous amount of educating myself to develop my own thoughts & opinions on things. Sometimes—often—I end up  Read More 
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Sleep E-Z

We bought a new mattress—here's the old one on its way out. The new one is foam, which is a little disconcerting because there's so much give—until you settle in & then you feel totally supported. Yay for home improvements.
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I found this in an envelope but have no idea how I (Johnny?) acquired it. He thinks it may have been a premium from the Poetry Project but I don't think so. I do kind of feel like it did have something to do with the Project but I don't know what. Most people who have seen it have thought it's by the British sculptor Anthony Caro. It does look like his work but I have never seen anything on paper like this from him. It's an original, which you maybe can't tell from the photo, a collage of bits of colored paper, and signed.  Read More 
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Bill Kushner

22 poets, 65 minutes of Bill Kushner's poems & good-humored presence last night at the Poetry Project. Kudos to Peter Bushyeager, Ed Foster, and Lewis Warsh for a lovely selected, Wake Me When It's Over.

An underrated poet: why? Because of his friendliness & modesty? Who has written anything better than "My Father's Death"?

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What we as a country need is something totally outside politics that we can all agree on or at least get behind: a scrappy racehorse, the World Series, a baby in a well. Those have done it in the past but there doesn't seem to be even a possibility of it these days.
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Around the corner

Abetta has been here longer than I have—for a month or a hundred years, I don't know.

But it was easy to find out: Established 1929. Date in Location 1949.

I don't think I know one single person who works there by sight. When I was young, you didn't walk on First Street, & if you did, they were the guys who would hoot & holler. So I got in the habit of never glancing their way, & even though I'm invisible now, I still don't. They were possibly the only business on the block, aside from the Catholic Worker & a lot of people selling heroin. I used to think everyone on my block worked at night because there were guys hanging out all day, playing bocce (that area is now a semi-fancy park). I used to think all those teenage girls were obliging babysitters.  Read More 
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Monday Quote

It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.
~ Upton Sinclair

No commentary needed.
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Can you guess where I live?

The nexus of the universe! My home block for 40+ years can ya believe it.
Look closely... look closely at the signs....

The picture might be too small so here are hints:
First & First Finest Deli (red)
One plus One (nail salon) (green)
one and one (bar) (green)
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A bar on the Bowery.
How can I talk about this without having a stroke? How can I say those words I don't want to utter?

Maybe I'll quote Robert Browning (1812-89):

My first thought was, he lied in every word,
That hoary cripple, with malicious eye
Askance to watch the working of his lie
On mine, and mouth scarce able to afford
Suppression of the glee that pursed and scored
Its edge at one more victim gained thereby.

The long view (Dred Scot! Plessy v Ferguson!)... the art view (see above)... the enraged activist view... the reminder that it's not just us it's John Paul Stevens & hundreds of law professors ... the cute cat view—naw, just can't do that one today.  Read More 
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