In the past New York City has only made of herself a painted whore when it suited her, and always with a tinge of elegance, whether she cloaked herself in moonlight and diamonds, or wore a gown of newspapers salvaged from the gutter.

It’s always been on her terms. She has only ever sold herself.

Today I heard the city’s shot-callers speak in full volume.

“Your city is a product, it is a commodity packaged and ready for sale.”

Each generation hears the death knell of the world they knew during their lifetime.

This subway car was mine.

I remember when they were covered in graffiti, I remember when they were truly scary places to be.

In truth I don’t miss the fear, even though an edge isn’t a bad thing.

But I miss New York, and I haven’t even left.

Say it ain’t so, darlin. Please come back to me.

I Sailed to You

Remember when they thought the moon would swallow the sea and the winds would wear flat the earth? We met that summer over boardwalk hotdogs and soda from the fountain, the counter boy’s hat like a small, white boat.

They told us it was all going to change.

We didn’t believe anything could change the salt air and hot mustard.

I told you late one night, as we lay entwined on the porch during a rare summer drizzle, that if the seas went away and the land was worn flat that I would sail to you anyway.

You looked at me as if I was crazy. You should have remembered the only crazy I’ve ever been is for you.

Bicycle wheels and tattered sailcloth filched from my uncle’s garage, fruit crate slats and old boards from the deck, clothesline for rigging.

I raised the sails, caught the wind and I’ll never forget your smile when I sailed up the street to your house. You got in behind me and we went up and down the street in lazy curves. I tried to tack into the wind like I’d read about and we convinced ourselves that it worked. We knew that the moon could never swallow the sea and the wind could never wear flat the earth. Everything would be just as it was, forever.

I wanted to kiss you then, but I was afraid. It was daylight after all.


Photo credit:
Sail Wagon, Brooklyn. between ca. 1910 and ca. 1915, via The Library of Congress.

woelbeast:

For my first post, I present to you…
Year of the Snake, an original relief print by yours truly. 
https://www.etsy.com/listing/185138050/year-of-the-snake-a-limited-edition?ref=shop_home_active_17

This lady’s prints are certainly worth a look and a purchase.

“There is only one place to do squats, that is why it is called “The Squat Rack”. If the squat rack was meant for doing curls, it would be called “The Rest of the Gym”.”

Well…

That night could have gone better.

This picture was from about eight years, three surgeries, four broken noses and half a dozen tattoos ago, last time I was in the ring. The gentleman next to me is Phil Dunlap of Advanced Fighting Systems, who was my coach during my brief career as an amateur fighter. A finer man or coach I have never met. The way he looks after his guys while forging them into better fighters and better men is unmatched. I going through a pretty rough patch in life and getting my ass beat in his gym was just what the doctor ordered for removing my head from my ass.

One cool thing was getting to fight in the legendary Gleason’s Gym on Front Street in Brooklyn.

A less cool thing was how I got my ass handed to me that night in a Thai rules match during a Battle of Brooklyn event, a mixed show for San Da, grappling matches and Muay Thai.

But it was an experience. One I’d trade for nothing. The lessons I learned in the ring and the cage have served me better than any I learned in school.

The guy who defeated me, Ben Case, turned pro shortly after. He bought me a shot after the fight, asked me what I was doing competing in kickboxing when my strength was mixed martial arts. A little sheepish, I had to tell him fighting standing up was my strength.

As my coach Phil used to tell me, some days you’re the hammer, some days you’re the nail.

Photo courtesy of Marc Negron, who also made those shorts I’m wearing.