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The Future

I woke up this morning to a faucet the cat had turned on and left running. I heard it from my bedroom and for a moment thought my roommate was taking a shower but instead walked into the eerie sound of quickly flowing water in a dark kitchen. I hit the switch praying it wasn’t a leak and instead found a sink that had been running hot for so long that the entire fixture was warm to the touch.

I fed the cat and sat down with my coffee to read about the rents that were recently disclosed for new affordable housing being constructed in Brooklyn. A 2 bedroom is approximately what I and my roommate (over)pay for my apartment now.

Searching Kickstarter for the word ‘smart’ returns 14000 Google hits. In the first 10 pages we had doorlocks, TVs, “home interfaces,” irrigation controllers, suitcases, office desks, water bottles, screen protectors, bike locks, homes, plates, lamps, outlets, bags, badminton rackets, phone batteries, belt organizers, baby seat alarms, skipping rope, paddleboards, energy sensors, shoe insoles, herb gardens, pens, a trashcan/vacuum combo, thermal imagers, nannies, earplugs, kegel excercise aids, thermometers, bedding, toys, laptop stands, and wallets.

Meanwhile no one can afford to live anywhere and my “dumb” faucet was defeated by a cat.

We’re living in the future, people. Hope you’re having fun.


I am a laundromat connoisseur

I have no idea how I became a connoisseur of laundromats. Somewhere between reading the inflated expectations of Yelp reviewers and reflections on my own misery while waiting for my load to dry, I realized I had a gift.

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Sincerest condolences to the family of Aaron Cohen who passed away after being the victim of a hit and run accident while bicycling on the Rickenbacker Causeway this week. A memorial ride is planned for tomorrow morning.

I’d like to take this opportunity to remind y’all that lest you think people in New York are all “progressive” or anything when it comes to cycling and transportation, the NYPD is having to own up to the fact that they basically let drivers get away with murder.

by , posted Feb 17, 03:00 PM

A Walking Tour of Occupy Wall Street

OWS 008

I eat pizza across the street from the Occupy Wall Street protests maybe three times a week. With the exception of staring at some people drumming once or twice, I’ve never paid it much attention. Now that it’s grown significantly I figured I should stop and take a look around.

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The Feast features a video on Etsy's headquarters and I want to work there

I found this video on Etsy’s headquarters on The Feast fascinating. Who wouldn’t want to eat their locally grown, organic lobster rolls and use their loaner bikes. You guys hiring?

View more videos at:


It Took One Man 3 Websites To See Why Online Dating Is Terrible
Dispatches from New York - Valentines Day Ed.

image courtesy xkcd

So Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and down here at THL Headquarters we’re just as fat, lonely and horny as the rest of you in Cyberspace.

So in the interests of increasing the love in the world, I am venturing foolishly out into the world of online dating once again in the first of several posts for v-day, a holiday I have no idea why anyone outside the greeting card industry cares about.

The first of my recent forays began last weekend when I joined HowAboutWe, a website that basically crowdsources first date ideas.

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A Letter I Wrote To My Best Friend While Stuck Under A River Yesterday
Dispatches from New York

Another entry in the series in which a lifelong Miamian tries to deal with a place where there are no palm trees. Read more here. Or don’t, it’s cool.

Dear Pants:

I trudged down the street this morning (as the sidewalks were NOT navigable) with not enough coffee in me and sweating like a pig only to realize at subway station that it’s hard to tell whether my wallet’s on me or not when I’m wearing thermals. Spoiler: it was not. I WAS on time to work but also seemingly the only person going to work the entire length of the 3/4 a mile walk all 3 times I took it. Everyone else was digging themselves out or else buying supplies. I think I saw an old man buying himself booze and going home although I think it was probably just milk or something. I’d like to think it was Jack and he’s just going to drink himself back to bed like I wish I were doing.

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Dispatches From New York - On Returning (again)

Another entry in the series in which a lifelong Miamian tries to deal with a place where there are no palm trees. Read more here. Or don’t, it’s cool.

The Saddest Mojito Stand

Very little of Miami International Airport is familiar despite the innumerable times I have been here. I’m walking through a terminal (don’t ask me which) while trying to pump blood through my legs while I still can.

All around me are kids with their faces buried in screens. Laptops, iPod Touches, Nintendos. I walk through waves of smooth jazz and turn off my iPhone’s antenna to save battery, the digital equivalent of girding my loins for the trial ahead of me. I find and make my choice for my final meal in Miami for a while:

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Yesterday, I read that Max Fish is closing. The LES bar was known as a “hipster” haven, a place that by no means was a regular watering hole for this old boozer, but it was a nice dive where you could relax with a beer and win pool games. It was the birthplace of the term “Team Tracy” a corny joke which Dat Roro Kid yelled out when Jimmy and I continually kicked pool ass with the cues. I can’t imagine the personality-lacking shithole that will take its place. One half of Team Tracy bids you adieu. Anyway, here’s the NYT’s eulogy for a NY staple now closing.

by , posted Dec 16, 06:07 PM

Dispatches from New York: The Streets of the Town

Another entry in the series in which a lifelong Miamian tries to deal with a place where there are no palm trees. Read more here (Or don’t, it’s cool). The remainder of this entry is after the jump.

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Dispatches from New York - Post Halloween Blues
... or at least blue fingers

last week, in more humid times

There’s bits of candy corn smooshed flat all around me. I notice the first between the raised buttons designed to keep the blind from falling onto the tracks but now I can’t stop seeing them everywhere.

Is it wool weather yet? Time to give in to the seasons, to itch and admit it’s freezing? Many seem to think not and I see a lot of breathing into hands on the street. I have no way to judge myself; it’s not a subtle thing (like a fruit ripening in reverse) and at best it’s jilted and sudden. Today the padded jacket liner that made sweat is my savior, the scarves I scoffed at my security. The mercury breaks below 40 and I’m walking down the street smiling and whistling through newly chapped lips.

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized that the sound I fell asleep to was the heat stretching bits of ductmetal. Fall is here. In Miami I used to call the months of October through January Flinter as it’s an abbreviation that sounds like a the smallest, sharpest speck of dust you can have land in your eye. Here it’s hard to avoid.

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A Tuesday - Dispatches from NYC

transit from my old apartment to my new

Only two things of note in the train as it leaves Greenpoint: the lights being brighter than normal and the smell of the half-eaten banana in the hand of the lady next to me.

All are ghosts. Up the steps, the station is filled with the smell of ammonia – they clean in here? When? Why? Tuesday at 11 am is not something I’m experienced with in NYC mass transit. The trumpet player on the L platform likewise seems confused.

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A Neighborly Written Exchange In Greenpoint
Dispatches from New York

So a while back I spent a Saturday unsuccessfully searching for a night stand or an endtable or really ANYTHING to put a lamp on top of.

I returned home, empty-handed and exhausted, to a perfectly sized, perfectly colored night stand sitting on the steps of my apartment building. I left a note (which you can see below, and really is the whole point of this story) under a can on top of it. Later that night the stand was gone but the note and the can remained with a return message appended to it:

… and on the reverse side:

I have to be 100% honest: I like the drawing of the dinosaur much more than I did the night stand.


The Word Made Flesh - Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide

So my friend Eva Talmadge is both a) awesome and b) more punk rock than you. She and her friend Justin Taylor just came out with a book titled “The Word Made Flesh – Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide”

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The Streets Are Cold and Paved With Gold
Dispatches from New York


The streets are cold and slowly being paved with gold. Fall is politely asking the trees to shed their clothes. The hailstorm last night was its way of insistence.

“Cold” is of course relative – I’m not allowed to call this cold by anyone I encounter. Regardless the weather (like everything else) is treated as special just because it occurs in New York. Said storm was tweeted and facebooked many times more than needed.

I forwent a jacket and am going to my first day of normal work in 2 weeks thanks to the Festival I was helping with being over. Yesterday was my first day off in over a week and I spent it moving very little and buying groceries with a friend and her 2 year old son. After the stress of four consecutive 14 hour days going to the grocery with a kid riding on my shoulders was an odd sort of relief.

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So how was your day?
Dispatches from New York

Wake from benadryl induced slumber that was filled with fever dreams of going to a gym in the back of a Walgreens with a moustached 80s star. I’m pretty sure it was Tom Selleck’s head on Hulk Hogan’s body.

Take hottest shower known to man. Drain every fluid save blood and lymph. Throats fine today but my nose won’t stop running – inverse of yesterday. Can’t get the neti pot to work and wind up coughing out chunks of nutrigrain bar from the back of my throat.

Not enough time but have leftover iced coffee anyway to cut the fugue. It kind of works. I used Benadryl in an attempt to sleep 16 of the past 20 hours of my life. It sorta worked.

Walk half mile into wind to station. G platform. Then train. Then herd to L platform. Then squish. I thought the lady rolling a cello in a case around was crazy for being here at rush hour until saw the guy with the tuba.

Ebb and flow of transit. The L gets worse the later I leave my apartment but the 4 gets better. I get lucky with both and don’t have to cough in anyone’s face.

The trip on the 4 is always longer than it should be. An impossibly thin Asian woman with impossibly high stilettos takes the steps singly and slowly as I exit to Wall Street, the breeze making me again long for a hoodie. When I moved here in June I forwent packing any cold weather clothes in favor of art supplies. In retrospect this seems foolish and at least partially to blame for this sickness.

It’s a beautiful day out but everything is covered in the fine layer of fuzz illness brings. I will probably leave work early but being a temp means serous budget adjustments should I do so. So – they get typhoid Mary in their midst and I get to make rent. We all win!

After 3 surprisingly productive hours I seek a new quest: soup. Godspeed, stuffy warrior.


Rainy Wednesday
Dispatches from New York

67 and rainy and nearly impossible to leave the apartment in. Jeff Mangum whines in my ears as I walk out the door and lower my umbrella into the wind like a damp Quixote. I am wearing a shirt with unrolled sleeves for the first time since arriving and on my face is the manic smile on that every transplant to a large city has while succeeding in convincing themselves that this was a great idea.

The definition of a commute is when the adage “life is a journey not a destination” is demonstrably false.

The cubicle was empty when I arrived about a month ago – some promotional materials and a little rotating carrel filled with paperclips, pens that had run dry, a highlighter, and an arcaic letter opener welcomed me. The drawers were empty. The top shelf was filled with the things my predescessor couldn’t find a use for, mostly papers and the like. I added to it a half empty Poland Spring water bottle that now has its own ecosystem.

There wasn’t enough espresso in the world earlier and there continues not to be enough now. There is a fire alarm test going on and a strobe light is flashing 20 feet away and 20 degrees above eye level. It’s presently the only thing keeping me awake.

During lunch the working pedestrians in the Financial District fight for sidewalk space with the edges of their umbrellas, gingerly clashing above while shoulder rub below. Not unlike fencing it’s a subtle dance – unlike fencing it’s massively awkward. The rain doesn’t stop the tourists from marveling at the bull’s balls or from getting in everyone’s way.


I go back to work but wish I was going back to bed.


... and then she told me about an awful Tommy Lee song about the kid he had with Pamela Anderson
Dispatches from New York

“So I was walking down Keap, not far from the Lorimer L stop, when I came across a half-black guy and a peroxide blonde girl making out hard in the middle of the sidewalk. The best part was his car door was still open with the engine running with some blues song BLASTING out. I had to stop and ask myself ‘did I just walk into a fucking Levis commercial?’” – Gispert

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