vrijdag, september 05, 2003


Well, ladies and gentlemen, the long-threatened relocation to Merry Old England is finally in motion.

Desultory Turgescence will be packing up and shipping off within hours (or perhaps days, but shipping off and out, nonetheless).

As a result, Desultory Turgescence will be out of commission for at least a week or two, possibly for the remainder of September while new housing is located, pubs are researched and internet connection is reestablished.

For those who have asked, no, this relocation has nothing to do with sudden realizations stirred when Deep Johnny Depp finally came right out and called the United States a Dumb Puppy, turning 21 Jump Street fans everywhere into rabid, Anti-American sycophants. Until we hear such bitter vitriol from Holly Robinson Peete and America's hero, Peter DeLuise, the verdict is still out. It's a nice analogy but frankly, at this stage in the game, America is more like a Killer Squirrel or some other sort of rabid animal. But certainly not a dumb puppy. Puppies are supposed to be warm and cute. So maybe America is not like any animal at all. Maybe America is more like a big, fat zit waiting to be popped.

And for the others who asked, no, this relocation has nothing to do with NYC being major terrorist target. I have all the duct tape and shrink wrap and plastic sheeting I could ever possibly need to protect me. Besides, it isn't like this is St. Louis, the Most Dangerous City In America.

I have to admit, the fact that NYC is a smoke-free city whose residents have to sneak their $50 per pack cigarette smokes out on street corners like juvenile deliquents because the city and the state prefers to legislate its morality, isn't a big attraction. But hey, thanks to Mayor Buffoonberg, I've quit smoking tobacco altogether. Marajuana is cheaper and I can smoke that on the street just as easily as tobacco. Thanks, NYC and Mayor Buffoonberg for turning me into a pot head. I'm sure all the bartenders and waiters who won't die from cancer now will be very happy.

Unlike so many others, I do not Hate NYC.

In fact, I've decided to compile a brief list, in no particular order of importance, of 10 Things I Kinda Liked About NYC:

1. Even though I only made one round trip, The Staten Island Ferry: It's certainly no booze cruise, but after reading Frank McCourt's evocation of drinking beer on the ferry in his disappointing follow-up to Angela's Ashes, 'Tis, I felt compelled to have a beer and sit in the warm sun while riding to Staten Island. Believe me, had I known before that Staten Island had been home to so many famous people like Christina Aguilera, Ichabod Crane, Emilio Estevez David Johansen, Alyssa Milano, Rick Schroder, Steven Seagal and Randy "Macho Man" Savage, I might have visited sooner and might even have lived there in the hopes that such greatness might rub off.
2. The Cloisters: Although there are plenty of museums in NYC, this is the only one that impressed me enough to go more than twice. I've always left there feeling as though I'd been transported through time.
3. Shea Stadium: It may well be the most hideous Major League Baseball stadium still standing but what the hell, for better or worse, it is still the home of my favorite team. Besides, where else in the world can you get the feeling you are watching a baseball game on an airport runway?
4. McSorleys Old Ale House: Whenever I got nostalgic for Holland, this was the place to go. It's sawdust floors reminded me of the sand-sprinkled floors of Cafe Hoppe on Spuistraat in Amsterdam, minus the professors with the looks of cosmogeny in their eyes and the good beer, of course. It never hurt that McSorleys is only 418 steps from my apartment. Of course, like most places, it is well to avoid it on Friday and Saturday nights when it becomes filled with an execrable amount of frat boys puking on themselves and in the street. Other than the beer, it has the most notable urinals of any place I've been to except for the vinyl forehead rests above the urinals at U Vystreleneho oka in Zizkov.
5. The bleu cheeseburger at Paul's. These are the best burgers I ever had in NYC. If burgers were cows instead of cow by-products, I'd have my own 4,000 acre cattle ranch in Patagonia by now.
6. Roosevelt Island: I always wanted to live here but never found a suitable apartment and never could find the motivation to look hard enough. The best way to get there is riding the tram during a thunder and lightening storm. I understand the trams are not supposed to be in operation during such times, but really, the swaying back and forth, dangling in the wind over the East River is one of the most delicious senses of helplessness you can safely feel and certainly better than any ride at the quickly gentrifying Coney Island.
7. Peter Luger's Steakhouse: Telling that two places on my top ten deal with the sale of flesh. They cost alot, but they are the best damned steaks I've eaten in New York.
8. Lower East Side Tenement Museum: A great place to marvel in the transformation of the sweat and dreams of immigrants into...trendy new neighborhoods?
9. Bodegas: How many times have we been out as dawn is creeping up and the thirst for beer still lingers? How many times have we damned the existence of the bodega and its never-ending supply of beer? We've forged many a sick day by stumbling into bodegas at 4:30 in the morning, foraging through the coolers for that last six pack of Grolsch. Fortunately, we gave up beer for the duration of the summer and the bodegas have come to mean a convenient place to sate those 3:00 A.M. Chocolate Fudge Brownie Low Fat Frozen Yogurt cravings. This is what living in NYC has done to me. Marajuana has replaced tobacco and low fat frozen yogurt has replaced beer. But that isn't the fault of the bodegas. In a nuclear war, only the cockroaches will survive and the bodegas will still be open.
10. Detour: Free Jazz. Can't beat it. This is the place I take visitors when they want to go out at night. No pretension, no huge cover like most local jazz clubs. When I first started coming here, not only was the music great, but they had Leffe Blonde on tap, possibly the only place in NYC that could boast of such a feat. No longer the case, but still the best place in the hood to listen to jazz.

Anyway, that's the list, brief and painless. Ethical question of the day is: If one moves from NYC to England, should one relocate one's blog from the NYC Bloggers subway blogger map? Hmmm. Unfortunately, I don't think there are any subways in the West Midlands.

If anyone would like an email update when Desultory Turgescence is up and running at full speed once again, you can advise the gurus at this address and you will be updated before the ink is even dry.

In the meantime, Kindamuzik radio is a good listen while you're waiting.

"The United States is a nation of laws: badly written and randomly enforced."
Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)

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