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Tag Archives: New York City

"It's aliiiiiiive!"

At first mention of the “Frankenstorm”—or “Frankenstorm’s Monster,” as countless nerds have gleefully interjected—I scoffed, and remembered drunkenly snoring through Hurricane Irene last year after a bottle of wine and half a day spent scouring Midtown Manhattan for a flashlight.

Hangover Irene notwithstanding, with Hurricane Sandy on the way—loudly proclaimed to be even worse than Irene—I headed home to Connecticut to wait it out, whatever it might prove to be. How many times a year do these weather guys say anything relevant? I demanded cynically. Pshhh.

Now, in the wake of Frankenstorm’s Monster, I can’t get back. Eating my words and every h of my Pshhh, it seems I’m trapped outside the city.
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As of today, I am out of clean underwear. Two jobs and a partially-unpacked suitcase have left me with only questions, and no time to straighten them out—questions like, Did I wear these already?

If I’m being truly honest, my second question is typically, Did I wear these…twice? I know, I know, yuck. Cut me a little slack. (Incidentally slack is typically the two-wear giveaway.) Let him who is without laundry laziness cast the first stone. I’m out, plain and simple.

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Two weeks ago I lost the top button of my pants in a urinal in Grand Central Terminal.

When I say “my pants” I mean my favorite pants, black chinos. Have you ever had a pair of pants that seemed to you like no other pair ever factory-assembled? That you put on and thought, Damn, whose ass is that? These were those pants. My Pants. They were rare and wonderful, and all the right shapes. Never since have I been able to find anything even remotely as flattering—nor as ass-flattering. If I had I would have bought ten pair, invested my life’s savings into pantsing my future. But, alas, Urban Outfitters was sold out.

Truth be told, the button in question had been displaced for some time, having initially wriggled free over months of fastening and unfastening. I wore these pants almost every day for the two months after I bought them, and also I drink a lot of coffee. The button on these chinos was a little metal post, like a jeans button. Now it was gone, lost to a filthy, piss-drenched drain on 42nd Street.
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Every time I walk through Central Park I find something I had no idea was there. Two days ago it was Cleopatra’s Needle.

Rounding a corner just past Turtle Pond on the tail end of my jog, I noticed to my right an enormous stone obelisk. Hm, I thought. Obelisks have always seemed to me an odd sort of monument—more or less a tall, pointy rock—and I find them especially odd, if prevalent, in the West. Obelisks were initially monuments to the Egyptian sun god Ra. If art history taught me anything, it taught me that obelisks are Egyptian, until they’re something else.

Take, for example, the obelisk in Piazza San Pietro in the Vatican—moved out of Egypt to various cities by various Romans, the last of whom was Pope Sixtus V, in 1586. Nearly a century later, Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the Piazza in front of St. Peter’s Basilica with the obelisk as its centerpiece. Four bronze lions were added to the base, as well as a few requisite festoons, and a cross was placed on top, containing a fragment of the True Cross. Top to bottom, what began as a wholly pagan monument has been cloaked in Christianity. Voilà! Instant Relic.

Just add Jesus.


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