Steamed Crap

February 13, 2013 New York City Comments (0) 361

Neon Sign: Steamed Crap

Mmmmm. Delicious steamed crap.

Apparently Strongbad runs the fish shop down the block.

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February 10, 2013 New York City, Pop Culture Comments (0) 426

BinglesSeen at the local Pathmark, shelved beside Hostess facsimiles with familiar names like “Cupcakes” and “Snowballs.”

My uncle tells me Blue Bird has acquired legal rights to the Hostess name and various trademarks, and will soon be putting Hostess back on the shelves. I guess they don’t yet own the rights to the name “Twinkies.”

But really, “Bingles” is a pretty good try, don’t you think?


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One month in the Big Apple

February 8, 2013 New York City, Personal, Writing Comments (0) 410

Gulls on the East River from AstoriaIt’s been pretty quiet around here for a while. Sorry about that. Since relocating to NYC I’ve been pretty busy–but now, with the Snowstorm of the Century rolling in and canceling my weekend plans, I should have time to catch up a bit.

As of today Liz and I have been in town for exactly a month. One month ago today, I was recovering after spending 10 hours puking my guts out, and missing my scheduled first day of work. Today, we’re pretty well settled in–though there are still a few boxes–and I’ve had the chance to explore the city a bit.

I’m still working on getting published–in fact, being in New York seems to have lit a fire under me. I don’t know if it’s living among the ghosts of the HarlemĀ Renaissance, or reporting to work each day just a few short blocks from the literary agents I’ve spent years querying. Part of me is hoping there’s good mojo in proximity. At least it’ll be easy to take a lunch meeting, right?

I’ve been stepping up my energy polishing and submitting short stories to various markets, as well. Hopefully I’ll have some good news to share soon.

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Apartment Searching: Philly vs New York

December 11, 2012 New York City, Personal, Philly / Pennsylvania Comments (0) 472

A quick study in contrasts.

Here’s how apartment searching works in Philly:

You find ten apartments on Craigslist that suit your needs. Five of them are fake, and someone asks you to send money via Western Union. You ignore these. The other five you go visit. You pick your favorite, put down a deposit, and you have an apartment. Huzzah!

Here’s how apartment searching works in NYC:

  1. You spend hours perusing listings on the web, finding apartments that meet your needs. On each of these listings is contact information for a broker who reps that property.
  2. You contact the broker about that apartment, at which point the broker says “oh, that apartment was just rented.” This means “that apartment is fake. I use it to get you in the door.” Because you’re already in touch, you walk the broker through everything you are looking for: price range, size, location, amenities, etc.
  3. The broker ignores everything you have just said, looks through his or her records, and sends you to see a few properties that in no way resemble the description you supplied. Likely these are the same apartments they have been trying to move for several weeks by sending every single person to see them. Several of them are broom closets, one is a rooftop with a vinyl tarp and an army cot, and one is literally an old-timey wooden outhouse in an alley behind the United Nations.
  4. For this “service,” should you happen to trip over an apartment that IS right for you (or if the broker manages to get one right, almost certainly by accident alone), you get to pay the broker 15% of a full year’s rent, though most suggest this is negotiable down to 8.4%.


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