Category Archives: town

Winter Driving For Dummies (And You)

It has snowed maybe two times and I’ve already seen some of the most idiotic driving. Coming from New York City, I’m used to a fair amount of snow and stupid driving, but what I’ve been encountering has happened in maybe an inch of snow. So, this post is an open letter of do’s and don’ts during winter driving.

Now mind you, I’m not a great driver, so nothing in this post should be taken as that. In fact, I drive a Toyota Sienna, which puts me on the side of fairly conservative drivers. My history of car driving has consisted of a Camry, an Accord, a Jeep Cherokee, a converted Ford van (which I damaged), and a 1971 Mercedes Benz I lovingly called “Ugly”.  But I am a driver that is often scared by the stupidity of other drivers, so I take precautions that I’m pretty sure other folk don’t take.

So if you drive in the snow, read this as a refresher. Maybe you’re not one of the idiots I’m referring to, that’s okay. But you don’t have to admit it if you are:

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Profiling Isn’t Racist…is It?

I’m a New Yorker. Not an Upstate New Yorker: I was born and bred in Queens, spent most of my time in Brooklyn, and enjoyed hanging out in Manhattan. I remember 42nd Street when it was a whole mess seedier and you’d get off the train holding your camera close to your body and under your coat. I remember coming back from trips out of state and smiling whenever I saw the Twin Towers on the horizon. I actually enjoy Dirty Water Dogs…they’re a guilty pleasure. I’m totally proud of our Pizza, even after having had a slice in Chicago.

I’m also Hispanic. Not the white looking Ricky Martin type. I’m one of the dark ones that don’t look Hispanic at all. My expression, on a regular day, has the somber visage of a person who isn’t happy—even if I’m completely content. It’s not that I have a cloud over my head; it’s just that I’m one of those ugly people.

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New York Deli State of Mind

I’m a New York Deli guy. Know this about me. I love walking into a deli, ordering a hero by contents and allowing the Deli artisans shape my crude request into sheer lunch-hour artistry. I can only hope that I make the poetry that is a New York sub tangible to you.
Waiting on the line as they carefully, expertly slice up the Boar’s Head Virginia Ham, letting you sample a symmetric paper thin slice. Nodding as they knowingly apply only a smear of mayo and an equal dab of pure honey mustard on the opposite loaf. Eagerly anticipating the meal as they load up your sandwich with Provolone or Swiss, Genoa Salami, smoked cracked peppermill turkey and layers of lettuce and tomatoes. In awe, sheer delectable awe, as they pour olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a dash of pepper and a dash of salt over it all, before wrapping it and slicing it for your lunching convenience. In ecstasy as you bit into the cornucopia of flavor that is a New York Sub.

Have I made it tangible? Have I made it real? Because when I left New York, I yearn for her Deli’s.

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Repossessing the U.S.A.

To the citizens of the United States of America (A message from John Cleese):

“In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.”

“Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas ,which she does not fancy).”

“Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed.”

“To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

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Bad Friday

Anyone who knows New York’s J-Train immediately understands a few key proverbs: One, the J-Train is best ridden during the day; Two, the J-Train through Brooklyn is not a very safe ride; Three, the J-Train is best avoided. In my old high school another proverb might be added to the list but it sounded more like an ancient curse: damned are those who go to school in the shadow of the J-Train.

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…At the Diner On The Corner

“You’ve been here two years and you haven’t eaten there yet?”

How could I answer? I’m a stay-at-home art director who works off-site for ESPN. I can easily take an hour lunch at the restaurant up the block: I just haven’t felt motivated to.

While driving, one witnesses Minivan Caravans canvassing miles of rural-dential property wending their way to the small Family Diner. Roving carloads pull quickly into the seemingly small parking lot to deliver loads of smiling patrons before flipping back to the rear section. It’s almost as if some evil scientist figured out how to make a magnet built to attract kids, couples, Mennonites, and bikers alike.
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Writer of the Storm

Back in Queens, in the rear room of my old house, during a thunderstorm, I would lie on my bed and listen to the whooshing wind and the rain pelting against the porch’s aluminum awning. The somnambulistic sounds were perfect for snuggling with any book, many pillows and a well placed yawn. Even when hurricanes came through I thought it was just a grand time. I would hear the distant thunder cracks and count the seconds from flash to thunder roughly guessing at the distance. That was all true until I moved Here.
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