Friday Open Thread
September 30, 2011 7:56 AM - Open Thread - dibs

Thursday Open Thread
September 29, 2011 7:56 AM - Open Thread - InsertSnappyNameHere
A man lives by believing something: not by debating and arguing about many things.
Thomas Carlyle

I don't mind arguing with myself. It's when I lose that it bothers me.
Richard Powers

Wednesday Open Thread
September 28, 2011 6:50 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Tuesday Open Thread
September 27, 2011 6:38 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Monday Open Thread
September 26, 2011 6:28 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Weekend Open Thread
September 24, 2011 9:30 AM - Open Thread - cobblehiller

Friday Open Thread
September 23, 2011 6:34 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Your October *ROB*o*SCOPES
September 22, 2011 11:21 PM - Open Thread - gay smurf hoodlum
October *ROB*o'Scopes

CAPRICORN: My 4th favorite movie in life is Monster, starring Charlize theron and Christina ricci. Have you seen this Emmy (grammy?) award winning movie yet? it's AMAZING!!! If you haven't, it's basically a lesbian love story. One has money, the other doesn't. One has a mullet, the other doesn't. Sound familiar?

AQUARIUS: The dog days of summer are FINALLY over and that means one thing, and ONE thing only -- the oppressive force of poomist (metaphoric poomist, unless you're reading this on the bowl right now) is FINALLY lifting. While many other Aquarians were out moonfacing around the Williamsburg waterfront or out sniggling notches on their 26 inch waist belts and slathering sunscreen on their cankles out in the Rockaways, you were stifling; emotionally, physically, and psychically. This autumn is going to be a transition month for you. Get out more, even if it means dining and dashing in NYC's finest restaurants, dressing up like Bugs Bunny back in his drag days, and buying a fishing rod and going fishing off your roof to lift up peoples hats and scarves as they walk by! Non-ironic whimsey is at your fingertips (literally) this Fall.

Pisces: The old saying "A dog is a man's best friend" was written by... well, a dog. If someone picked up your poop, fed you twice a day, rubbed your tummy, and paid all your bills and let you live RENT-FREE your whole life, youd call them your best friend too! I am worried that someone in your life is dogging you. I'm afriad this may actually be a co-worker or a relative. Humans find that when a dog comes up and licks your face it's a sign of affection... is it always? Have the intuition and reflexes of a cat this month to avoid the dubious intentions of others.

Aries: So we're almost 3/4's of the way done with 2011. Has it been a good year for you? I think it has. Are you still questioning what might be missing? Are you even unaware that something IS missing? It is. It's YOUR puta moment. You haven't had one this year and you desperately deserve one. (or two, or three... no one counts, trust me).

Taurus: It's the start of the fall TV season and tons of reality shows are back on the air. So many recycled storylines, and fake people (actors, models, etc...) Some people apply to be on certain shows and some people are recruited. I want you to think of your best friend and then think of your worst enemy. If you dont have an enemy proper, think of a frenemy (a friend /slash/enemy). One was recruited and one outright applied in the story that is your life. Which one is which and which one would trust more? This month you will get closer to the people who you seem not to like and distance yourself from the people you adore the most. It's called growing up.

Gemini: Someone is SERIOUSLY cramping your style. Funny since youre the Gemini (the twins). How you deal with this situation is going to have serious impact and repercussions on the holidays at the end of this year. I am envisioning a cat fight on Christmas eve in front of a hideously decorating tree. It's best to keep your mouth shut. Im sorry i'm giving you a December horoscope instead of October. Honestly, i don't see anything for you this month or next. Maybe it's all in the build-up?

Leo: Get your ass, stat, if you can, to Milan. Specifically the Porta Sempione neighborhood. Your soul-mate is there. Third week of October. You're welcome.

Virgo: I want you to do something this month. I want you to make a list of everything you've EVER stolen in life. If you're a Klepto, ignore this, and just go out jogging or something. Point is, you need exercise, whether it's mental or physical, but im betting on mental. When you have your list (make sure it's completely accurate, dont worry you dont have to let anyone read it) look for the connections between the "baddest" thing you've ever stolen and the the thing you think is completely the least baddest thing you've ever stolen. You are then to imagine a room (any room) and in that room only those two things are in the room. How do you feel?

Scorpio: The word of the month for you is Phosphorescene. Definition in case you do not know is:
1. Light emitted by a substance without combustion or perceptible heat.
2. The emission of radiation in a similar manner to fluorescence but on a longer timescale, so that emission continues after excitation ceases.
What this means is that it is essentially SERIOUSLY time to update your wardrobe.

Sagitarrius: In 2003 I wrote a novel called Pronoun. (shut up, and no you can't read it). The opening of the book starts with a quote from my favorite perforance artist, Orlan.
"This is my body, this is my software."
The last sentence of the novel is, 'I Killed the Queen of Sanitation.'
You have been in character mode for quite some time now, it's time to step out of that shell and embrace your body, i.e. your hardware. It's what everyone sees. Your software is code; DNA, intra/extrapersonal relationships, media, etc that you've been running under for quite some time now. It's time for a software update, and perhaps an entirely new operating system.

Capricorn: People around you these days are having a mad difficult time understanding you. I am as well, so I decided to pull out a random textbook from my collection of textbooks (mostly taken from stoops). I pulled Microeconmics with Calculus (LOL i actually tried reading this once only to get serious brain ache)... I want you to learn the difference between Cardinal Utility and Ordinal Utility. (that was the random page i opened up this book to...) I'm reading it right now, and really, eh. Like i started the beginning of this 'scope saying, people are having a hard time understanding you. Maybe you are trying these days to act like Calculus but in reality youre more Algebra. I bet you'll get more honey and beans (?!?) with x & y than advanced functions.

Thursday Open Thread
September 22, 2011 6:39 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

My Only-In-New-York Wedding Experience
September 21, 2011 7:34 PM - Open Thread - denton
Two long-time friends of ours decided, after sixteen years of co-habitation, to get married. They were looking to keep this very low-profile, so they wished to have a civil ceremony at the City Clerk’s office. They asked me if I could be their witness, and, as long as I was at it, if I could bring my camera to record the event. They are quite an interesting couple. He’s an artist in his sixties, who supported himself as a plumber for many years. She’s Asian, much younger, working on a PhD. They live in a loft in Chelsea. He purchased it, as did so many others, in the 1970s when artists moved into these abandoned factory buildings and over the decades turned them into residences of great desire. I won’t tell you what he paid.

Since I’m an old school New Yorker, I didn’t need to find out where the City Clerk’s office is. I already knew where you get married; the Municipal Building. Because I am not a professional photographer, merely an advanced amateur, I wanted to ‘scope out’ the place in advance and look for photographic opportunities, so I wouldn’t be fumbling on the wedding day. Therefore one morning early last week, after walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, I got on line to enter the Municipal Building. After going through the metal detectors, I was asked where I was headed. I replied that I wanted to go to the place where people get married.

I was laughed out of there and sent to where the new City Clerk’s office is, 141 Worth Street. Such a know-it-all I am. (Ironically, my friend the groom did the same thing, except he went to City Hall. Don’t you get married in City Hall? Umm, no.).

Did I mention old school New Yorkers? Yes, upon entering 141 Worth Street, I got a serious sense of deja-vu, and not in a good way. This building was the Department of Motor Vehicles for many years. Long before DMV Express, or any of the newer offices where an attempt is made to serve you relatively politely and efficiently, we, (old school New Yorkers) knew this place as a place to be avoided as much as possible. Here, on Worth Street, you would stand on line for hours, to get a driver’s license, or to register a car, only to be told you were on the wrong line, or were missing information, or used the wrong color ink. Fix it and get back on another line. And wait a few more hours. All the old booths, writing tables, etc. are still there.

In spite of the anti-government sentiment today, my have things changed. The DMV is a much better institution, and the City Clerk’s office is happy and pleased that you have availed yourselves of their services.

As I wandered around the building early Tuesday, I was amazed. The City has really gone out of its way to make things positive and user-friendly. I was most impressed by the photo booth they have installed. There’s a large room with state of the art continuous lighting. There’s a mural of City Hall as a backdrop. It’s set up so anyone with any kind of camera can get beautiful, evenly lit photos without using flash.

There’s a sort of antechamber that opens into the pair of small chapels. There’s a circular sofa there, and the lighting is also designed to be very bright and conducive to photography.

Of course, on Tuesday morning when I was there, it was rather sedate. My friends decided to do their wedding Friday afternoon at 3PM. It was quite a different scene when I arrived around 2PM. It was rather chaotic. I guess everyone takes off early on Friday to get married, and then they go on a honeymoon of sorts, even if they have been living together for a decade. I sat back to observe the happy madness.

Not many twenty-somethings... I would imagine they would want to do the whole walk-down-the-aisle church wedding, with starry eyes. One exception though. I observed two very young women in full white wedding dress, veils, trains, and as pregnant as can be. I later told Mrs. D when she arrived that maybe the City should open a small maternity suite in case something happens at the wedding.

Mostly, older people, probably on their second or third marriage, happy and hopeful that this will be the one that really works. All races, ethnicities, economic status, some there quietly alone as couples (like my friends), some with large happy boisterous extended families.

I’m always antsy when shooting any kind of event like this as, unlike studio shots, you only get one chance to get it right. So, I get there early, and I walk around checking everything out to make sure I have everything covered. Even after this I’m too wired to sit down and wait, I have to stand, walk around, see what’s happening.

As I was standing off to the side, two thirty-something African American women approached me. One was gorgeous by any standard, in a long white low-cut dress and a veil on her head. The other was in a slightly stranger outfit, blue pants, blue vest, blue tie, and black shirt. Each was pulling a wheeled suitcase. The latter explained to me that they had just flown up from Atlanta to get married, they didn’t know anyone in New York, and they were wondering if I could be their witness?

Why me? Hah! I guess some people can see a liberal a mile away. Anyway, I figured it was time to show New York at its best, a mecca of tolerance and peace and love. So of course I agreed, after explaining that I had a prior engagement and we would have to work out the timing (my friends were still not here). We went to the first station, where I showed my drivers license, and they got on the list for the next step to blissful matrimony. Meanwhile I suggested they might want to let me photograph them since I already had my equipment with me.

Mrs. D showed up and I introduced my new friends. Then my old friends showed up and we went through the same process. I told my old friends about my new friends. Then it was all about the numbers. You do all your paperwork, you get a number. When your number is called, you move into the anteroom by the chapels, and when your turn comes the person performing the ceremony calls you and takes you into the chapel along with your witness, and whatever dozens of friends you have brought (or not).

In the anteroom I was watching (and photographing) my blue-tied friend solicitously adjust the dress and veil of her finance. You could see how close they were. We went into the wedding chapel and the Clerk presiding was just great. No sign of any disapproval or negativity. Of course I was mostly focusing in on getting photos but I couldn’t help but hear him say ‘I now pronounce you... MARRIED.’ He humbly bowed and shook both of their hands. Really a great time.

Shortly thereafter my old friends exchanged their vows... I think the clerk did a slight double-take after seeing me witness and photograph first, two Black women, and then, an older white guy with a younger Asian woman, but I imagine he’s about seen everything that you can see.

My new friends left, footsore but happy, to catch a cab to a dive hotel in Brooklyn. They had hoped to walk across the Bridge, but they were sore and tired. My old friends, after their ceremony, I took them outside to the plaza at 375 Pearl Street, for some natural light shots. Then, neither footsore or in need of a walk across the Bridge, they went to dinner, which we politely declined, and they are now hopefully happily married.

Only in New York!

Wednesday Open Thread
September 21, 2011 6:34 AM - Open Thread - BoerumHillScott

Recommendations for Mechanical Watch Repairs?
September 20, 2011 5:08 PM - About LifeinBklyn - Bob Marvin
I'm re-posting this here, at Arcady's request:

Not house related, but I'm hoping that some people I who like old houses also (like me) like old wrist watches. I have a late '40s Swiss chronograph that needs repairs. The last place I used for this watch was the Clock Repair People on 7th Avenue in PS, now long gone, Any recomendations, preferably, but not necessarily, in Brooklyn. The watch is fairly good quality but not a high end brand. Nevertheless, I realize that chronograph repairs can be costly.