Dance Me to the End of Love

Tonight, Barclays Center sports arena is packed almost to limit of its seating capacity. 19,000 people came to hear Leonard Cohen. It is strange to see all these people quietly waiting for a performance to start. Barclays feels more like Lincoln Center than a sports arena.

cohen 1

The overhead lights dim and only cell phone screens glimmer in the darkness below me. The scene lights up in bordello red and blue and the band arrives. Seventy-eight-year old Leonard Cohen sprightly scampers across the scene, like a winner of the octogenarian Olympic Games. He starts the performance with ‘Dance me to the End of Love’. As his voice fills the stage, I am left to ponder on why I like him so much.

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Meet the Subway People

This is a stream of accidental images and encounters describing the people I see in the New York City subway. I will keep updating it.

Comments are welcome. Stories are even more welcome. Add them as comments and I’ll append them to the main file.

A 300 pound guy and a 100 pound girl are holding each other hands.
And gazing at each other tenderly. Good luck guys.

A plastic butterfly rides the black girl’s sunglasses.
Like Benigni in Night on Earth, driving a cab at night.
Nice boobs though.

Fashionable holes on fashionable jeans.
Mosquitoes’ favorite.

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Anthropomorphic Mouse Taxidermy Birthday


What does a woman want for her birthday? Flowers? Jewelry? Shoes? Dinner in a nice restaurant? An intellectual girl may like an interesting book. A musically inclined one would prefer a ticket to Metropolitan Opera. In spring, a romantically inclined girlfriend would want a trip to Paris.

But, what does a woman do if she has already tried all of this boring stuff and she is searching for something new and exotic, unique and different?

If the woman in question is Yvonne, she will ask her boyfriend (i.e. your humble servant) to accompany her to a four hour workshop on…


Honestly, I had no desire whatsoever to go there. My interest in mice = my interest in taxidermy = 0. My interest in mice wearing human-like costumes approaches absolute zero.

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The Security of Bread


I am looking at a picture my girlfriend just took. I didn’t even know that I could look so serene and happy at the same time. Something in my facial expression is reminiscent of a mother looking at her sleeping baby. Cannibalistically.

It’s 10pm on a Wednesday night. It’s dark outside the window, a cold November drizzle smears the lights coming from the Castle Village buildings. I am sitting at a wooden table in my tiny Manhattan kitchen come dining room. My left hand is soaking in a blender – cold water is unsuccessfully trying to soothe the pain radiating from a large burn across my palm. I don’t care. I am happy. I achieved a dream that I hadn’t even have the guts to dream about. The dream is sitting right here, on the wooden table, on a black wire tray a foot and a half away from me. The dream looks like a misshapen slightly burnt brownish lump still covered in a thin coat of whitish powder. It’s about the same size and shape as a human brain but it’s slightly less symmetrical. I gingerly caress it with my fingertips; I run them along the rough folds, grooves and ridges of the surface. Something crackles faintly underneath. I bring my head close to it and almost touch the surface with my ear. Heat irradiates towards my head and I can feel faint noises coming from under thick crust. It’s talking to me. It says, “Hi.”

The Incomplete Great Bakery Bike Ride

On Friday, as Yvonne and I discussed our weekend plans, my lovely girlfriend stumbled upon an idea that was as tasty as it was healthy.

“Why don’t we choose the ten best bakeries around the town and bike from one to another picking one pastry at every place? I will take some pictures and you will write it up,” Yvonne suggested.

“What are you waiting for? Choose the bakeries!” I enthusiastically blurted.

Yvonne burrowed inside her Apple delight for half an hour, browsed the internet and came up with a list of 12 French (oui), American, Turkish, German and otherwise-excellent-but-lacking-an-identifiable-ethnic-character bakeries all around town, from 58th street and Fifth avenue to Dumbo, Brooklyn.

ride 1

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Goya in New York

goya, etching 55

Goya’s etching 55, titled Until Death

In 1799, the Spanish painter Francisco Goya published a series of 80 etchings called the Caprichos. He used the etchings to systematically illustrate the vices, foibles, and evils of his world. In no way, are the Caprichos easy or pleasant to watch; each etching radiates anger, fear, sorrow, hopelessness and suffering. The etchings are not particularly subtle; Goya drove his point home with a hammer made out of crude satire.

Etching #55, Until Death, shows a Platonic ideal of an ugly old woman beautifying herself in front of a mirror. When I first saw it, I just thought, “Oh, whatever, it’s such a no-brainer to mock a vain dumb old hag.” To me, the etching was one of the least interesting in the series and it faded from my memory quickly.

It took me twenty years to understand that this etching was just as much born of Goya’s genius as any other.

Yesterday morning, I was walking down 6th Ave in Manhattan. As it intersected 30th street, a light breeze playfully blew the rancid smell of a homeless person up my nostrils. As I started breathing with my mouth, I looked around and I saw an old woman standing next to a cart full of recycling and refuse.

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