Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How to know when you are in a bohemian neighborhood

When you see a sign like this on a door, it usually is a sign that you are in a Bohemian neighborhood. If you are inside a shop and you see a sign that says, "unattended children will be sold" it means you are in a Bohemian neighborhood. You can be in New Hope, Province town, the East Village, South Street Philadelphia, Venice California or Boulder Colorado and you will know that you can get weird birthday cards, paraphernalia, and vinyl albums in the area if you look hard enough. 

Monday, October 24, 2011


Recently I was talking to a lady who was complaining about spending sixteen dollars at a public laundromat. I can't figure it out. Before I was enconsed with my own washer dryer, I did use public or apartment building machines, but never spent more than four dollars on the project.

Ideally, one should have a wife or a mother to clean one's garments. During my college days I often avoided the college machines by trundling home my dirty clothes for dear Mama. Through the New Brunswick bus terminal, through the Port Authority, then onto Hackensack with a suitcase full of dirty clothes. Of course Mama was so happy to see me that she glady did my clothes and on Sunday night I was back in the dorm room with fresh laundry and a slice of butter cake.

When I ran away from home at twenty five I did have to learn to do my own laundry. I learned that I could save money on clothes dryers by draping clothes around the apartment. Trousers and shirts I hung up damp. I never to this day separate laundry. Everything goes in together except, perhaps, sweaters. I figure the undies can be grey as they won't  see them at work anyway. If the undies look really bad I soak them in the sink with bleach. I also put my shirts and trousers in the dryer to get rid of the wrinkles. Then I hang them up in the closet, still damp. No point in wasting electricity. The next day I am at work, quite dapper. At least I think so.

Editor's note: "she glady did my clothes" is a split infinitive.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Happy days

Yes, good news today, Quadaffi is frozen in a shopping mall, we are leaving Iraq, and the stock market is up. If they don't cancel Pan Am, I'll be a happy man. 

Friday, October 14, 2011

The human microphone

One of the things that 2011 will be remembered for is that it was the year the human microphone was invented. Since amplified sound is not permitted in Zucotti park, the speaker talks briefly then his words are repeated by the crowd. It reminds me a little of Catholic Mass when the priest says "et cum spirito too"  and the congregation repeats it.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Farmer's markets

The end of farmer's markets for this year is at hand. The end of browsing through the stands. Last week I bought white sweet potatoes or banana squash. The apples are usually good too. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dial a Demonstration

During my idealistic youth I remember calling "Dial a Demonstration", a telephone service where you could hear a recorded message describing the demonstrations going on in New York that day. If you wanted to protest the war, fight for women's rights or even march for the International Lady's Garment Workers Union, you could for the cost of  bus and subway fare.

Twenty years later I was sitting in a bar and a young man walked in with hair past his shoulders. The woman next to me smiled and said, "he could use a haircut". I laughed with the other middle aged people at the bar.

Now I was now part of the establishment. Instead of fighting "the man", I now was "the man". I've noticed the change. Now when I hear a car on the street that is playing loud music I get aggravated while as a youth I would have been thrilled to hear  loud rock music booming from a car at a red light.  The last time I demonstrated was for my pensions, a pale echo of the idealism of the young, hip, WBAI listener of a happier time.

Which brings us to the current Wall Street protests. Oh what is it that they want to do? Put another thorn in Obama's side? Oh what do they hope to accomplish? Will these demonstrations bring them jobs? Will they make us all happier and make us willing  to give up buying cheap shirts made in China? The aging baby boomer is full of dilemma. I wonder for a moment, what it is like at the demonstration. I suppose they communicate using social media instead of telephone loops.  I wonder if there are LJG's like the old days.