They say that smells invoke the strongest memories. My Mimi (because I was a tard and couldn't say grandmother) will forever be associated with moth balls. Freshly cut grass takes me back to my freshmen football days. Sulfur and rotten eggs transports me immediately to Iraq. My arsenal of scents can take me from an ''in the moment" mentality to waxing old posterity. Having lived in New York City (off and on) for the last two years I realized this town goes big and doesn't go home. So many different sites and sounds, its a feast for the senses. Least of all.... some awesome sniffs.
1. The Bedford and Lorimer Stops on the L Train - AKA: The Hipster Quadrant - Seriously, Fuck this place. Hipsters wreak of sweat, hemp, bong resin, and organic products. Their non-conformist mentality to bathing, leaves these two stops as a painful reminder that they protest wars by protesting soap. I don't get the link either. If these grovelling revolutionaries have taught us anything, its that their evolution from Emo to 'hippy-light' is a high cost for those of us who value Old Spice over Ode de Testicle Sweat.
2. Hot Dog Carts - Whether at CitiField or roaming the roads of Tribeca, hot dogs are still the penultimate 'street meat'. Those boiling beauties smothered in ketchup and mustard leave an aroma for America. New York just has the knack of letting these vendors or culinary warriors keep it real on the street corner. The victorious vendors of hot dogs have long contributed to the overall epic fabric of this city.
3. South Street Sea Port - Oh the sea myst, the fresh harbor wind, and the scent of fish on the grill. What? Yeah, it's kind of fun. It's a charming little area to bring a girl, grab a beer and enjoy the Atlantic vibe. Be sure to wear a yellow slicker to exude your inner Gordon's fisherman. Ahhh, makes me want to live in an Alaskan fishing community.
4. Rockefellar Center at Christmas - Probably the greatest time of year to spend in NYC. The holidays have a certain bliss in the air unequalled by any other place on earth. The enchantment of the tree pine smell, the crisp chill of the winter evening, hot chocolate toasting up your mittens, and the smell of cookies lingering in the air. Not too mention some out of town fatass crop dusting because he cant find a bathroom. Seriously, all the bathrooms in the city close down after 7pm. I still don't get it.
5. Piss - Ahhh summertime. To caveat the last entry I have to say that a muggy day enhances this putrid aroma unlike anything a nostril could fathom. Homeless people love to make their mark with giant yellow puddles near their cardboard estates. For that matter so do dogs, college co-eds, and pretty much anyone who needs to release the flood gates.
6. Flushing - I'm not discussing toilet actions (tho one could confuse the two), I'm talking about the Asian/Irish neighborhood in Queens. Korean and Chinese malls dominate the streets but the Mics keep a presence with their pubs and potatoes. Its a smell unlike any other with Chinese food, Guinness and wont-tons keeping your head on a swivel.
7. Carbon Monoxide - They say "NYC traffic isn't a nightmare... nightmares are shorter." It's true.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Who has the best hair? It really sunk in at the last debate when I'm like, "wow... why isn't anyone balding?" Last election was a bit of a fluke. In fact, when you look back at who wins the nomination, it's usually a candidate with a scalper's wet dream. John McCain... lost. Bob Dole... lost... H.W. Bush.... lost on the basis of a wispy dew. Ford... his hair was thinning. The only real argument one could use is Eisenhower. We'll call that one a fluke. Or maybe he just had too many u-turns under the bed sheets?
Nixon, Reagan and G. Dubs all had "good to great" hair. And when you look at their competition, you can begin to develop a primitive algorithm for presidential winners. Pert Plus, good genetics or does being a supply-side thinker mean you'll live a sexier life? With former President Clinton calling Gov. Rick Perry a "handsome rascal", one can only bet what his moneys on. Despite Mitt's "Baby, I was Born to Run" look, personality may be the tipping point. But what about Mrs. Bachmann? My political crush and those Minnesota dimples....mmmmm.
Bachmann gives this sausage fest a shot of sex appeal, that Hillary Clinton left in her 20's. Intelligence, beauty, and a folksy demeanor leaving her holding her own. But with a political career of strictly legislating rather than executive experience, can we afford the possibility of another charismatic President without the ability to lead? You know... like Obama.
Legislators are career politicians. Not leaders. This includes my incredulity regarding Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and others. How do you lead? The failure of Obama has not been his hair. Actually, he has rather nice hair. Look.... a compliment. His failure has been his lack of experience in leading. Can anyone ever recall him getting his hands dirty? I mean real work, not metaphorical anecdotes of corruption. He has never owned a business, he has never been in a position of leadership in the military, or in government, until he was elected President. In hind site it's like electing Pauly Shore. Charissssssssmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.....
I digress... So looking at the Governors and executives like Huntsman, Johnson, Cain and possibly Palin and even Christie, we look to flesh out those with true credentials. Cain is funny, and intelligent, but has no hair. Could he be the black Eisenhower? I doubt it. Huntsman looks to be the alternative Mormon in the race. For him to truly do that he needs to wear skinny jeans, a Ramones t-shirt, and use eye liner. Johnson is in the race for his bucket list. Palin and Christie are remote possibilities at this point. The former on her electability, even though she's America's hottest politician and Christie has no interest thus far.
Who will it be? My prediction is Perry. The ticket will probably have Bachmann at the bottom or even Santorum. Romney still stands a chance, but the eastern vs. western Republican primary has always been a schism in the party since the New Deal. Terms like Country Club Republican and Eastern Establishment made its way into the lexicon after a tough battle between Dewey and Robert Taft in 1948. Time will only tell, but as the great thespian Samuel L. Jackson once said, "Hold on to your butts."
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Recently, I just finished a book called "The Revolutionary Paul Revere" (no it wasn't a coloring book). The author Joel J. Miller paints the landscape of the American revolution with the pace of a great novel and the intrigue of a recently released celebrity sex-tape. Like many who seek out biographies I found myself enthralled to absorb the events our most famous messenger went through. He in fact reminded me of an early American Forrest Gump if you will. I'm not saying he walked through life aimlessly, but he had a knack for showing up at significant times. So here I write, giving you some honest nuggets of information about a man, who tends to be famous for only one thing, yet has accomplishments that run the gambit of time and influence.
1. The Boston Massacre is best represented in Mr. Revere's engraved print, The Bloody Massacre. Paul specifically added the Butcher's hall sign over the Red Coats firing to add a potency and lethality to their aura.
2. Paul had sixteen children. The dude loved sex. Who doesn't? Anyway... He also had two wives. No he wasn't a Romney, his first wife Sarah died right before the war in 1773, and he quickly remarried that year to Rachel Walker. Only one child from the marriage to Sarah outlived Paul, who died in 1818.
3. Paul who was a silversmith made numerous chalices and goblets. He even made a silver chain for a friend's pet squirrel. I know... who the hell has a pet squirrel? Crazy bastards. But the alloy-loving man became the first American to sheathe copper to the bottom of American war ships as commissioned by President Jefferson. He also used it to create the Massachusetts State House dome.
4. Paul loved to socialize, especially with is fellow Masons. He hung out with the highs and lows in society. His favorite places were Salutation Tavern and The Green Dragon. The latter being a lodge and a den for Patriot causes. One time, Mr. Revere even got into a brawl with a distant family member. Times aren't so different are they? Thats right, he was drunk and threw punches. My man! He was released on bail and found guilty of disturbing the peace.
5. Paul took his eldest son, Paul Jr. with him to the Boston Tea Party. My dad took me to a monster truck rally. Anyway, Paul Jr. also ran the day to day operations during the war when Paul Sr. was comissioned into the Massachusetts militia as a Major and then Lieutenant Colonel. Paul Sr.'s military career was short, only having seen action once in the Maine territory at Panobscot. Paul was stationed on Castle Island for most of the war, where he no doubt probably drank and ate lobstaaaaaaa.
6. Speaking of military service, Paul also served as a young Lieutenant in the French and Indian war. His riding skills and good fortune had him as a messenger who narrowly escaped Fort William Henry before it was sacked and it's inhabitants eventually massacred. See "The Last of the Mohicans" if you're wondering what the fuck I'm talking about.
7. Paul's father Apollos Rivoire was a French immigrant who came to America because he was a protestant in predominately Catholic France. The persecution the family felt left Apollos' father to board him up and send him to the new land. "Getch yer shit on, yer leavin!", he said. While here, he changed his name and raised the family up as best he could. Paul took jobs as a bell ringer in an Anglican church (think state ordered church) and snuck off to watch the controversial Rev Jonathon Mayhew preach. Apollos was no happy camper. Paul eventually returned to his family's church shortly after his father's passing.
8. The night Paul Revere rode, he was not alone. Had William Dawes made it to warn the folks in Lexington first, we'd sing his praises, but coincidentally Revere was the faster rider. E for effort Bill. Anyway. When they both make it to warn them that the Brits are on the seas to Cambridge to land and march on the powder supply, Paul and Billiam sat down for a beer at Buckman Tavern. Drinking on the job, the American way.
9. The ride back was trickier. Revere was captured, beaten and then released. Dawes, bluffed his ass out of being captured by insinuating that there were more Patriots and that they killed two redcoats. Revere, fresh off a pistol-whipping went off to see John Adams and Hancock and warn them that their wanted for treason and that shit just got real!
10. He was a stand up dude and a romantic. Paul wrote poetry and riddles about his love for Rachel. It gets mushy and complex in parts, but the man had the makings of a true sap.