Monday, September 13, 2010

The floodgates are'bout to open...

try to stay afloat

Monday, August 30, 2010

What is...?

“A Work of Art
... is not a living thing ...
that walks or runs.
But the making of a life.
That which gives you a reaction.
To some it is the wonder of Man's Fingers.
To some it is the wonder of the Mind.
To some it is the wonder of Technique.
And to some it is how Real it is.
To some, how Transcendent it is.

Like the 5th Symphony
it presents itself with a feeling
that you know it, if you have heard it once.
And you look for it,
and though you know it you must hear it again.
Though you know it you must see it again.
Truly a work of Art is one that tells us,
that Nature cannot make what man can make.”
-Louis Kahn

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ok, admit it! As soon as you discovered the Silly Bandz fad, you've known two things... 1) This is the greatest and most logical necessity since sliced bread, and 2) You will wait in suspense until some ingenues designer/importer will come up with......................................................... Jewish Silly Bandz!!!! Of course, of course! They are here! They are available in two themes and three colors, in quantities ranging from 24 to 9,600 pieces! Get them for your Judaica Store, Day Camp, Hebrew School, Chabad House, nephew, students, parents, Bubbies! or start your own business selling bandz in your area... they're really cheap and shipping's free!

What? No I'm not just plugging my brother's site.... I'm offering you some very important advice in my professional, unbiased opinion... Ok? Now go and shop your heart out


Tuesday, August 17, 2010


There are days when I pick the guitar and nothing clicks. It is so bad I wonder how I ever convinced myself I could play the darn thing... The strings feel \taught restrained against the neck, unresponsive to my aching fingertips’ attempt to press them to the fingerboard. When the other hand attempts to pluck the strings they feel frozen stiff, the pick feels stiff in my figures as it attacks the strings at a rough angle, the rhythm that ensues sounds clipped and erratic, forced upon the melody. The few chords I know are a lame, of-key sounding excuse for the melody, resulting in a frustrating jumble that exactly like any other half-heated song I’ve ever tried.

Then there are days...
There are days when the guitar fits snug against my body. The strings so responsive, I can actually hear each note of the chord individually, resonating on different register, filling the room. Both hands are moving in sync, guided by the flow, wrists free of restraint or apprehension. I can "hear" the music vibrating inside of the sound hole; instead of aggressively projecting the sound, it seeps towards me, like a steady warmth spreading from the guitar’s body into mine, thorough my thigh, upper arm, and chest upon which the guitar rests. When the music reaches my ears it is has already passed through my brain; it is already comprehensible. (Unlike on previous days when my brain is trying to make sense of the sounds being forced upon my ears from the outside.)

It is on such days when I can pray...

הכן לקראת אלוהיך ישראל....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Signs of the Times

F.S. I guess I was right. Jewelry is for ever men are not!Josh just broke up with me b/c of a feeling in his heart. If anyone wants to call him and tell him what a mistake he is making feel free. 333 345 6789. Other wise I don't want to talk about it right now.

aw, so sorry F. you sound really hurt and rightfully so. did you see any signs of commitmentphobia with him? tell me more about what he said...feeling in his heart? for other men? how could he break up with you? if you want to psychoanalyze him email me!

The above is a recent status update of one of my facebook "friends". Although we share a lot of friends and other thing in common (even our birthdays, actually) we've probably never spoken more than five sentences... and now I, along with hundreds of her "friends" are exposed to one of her most personal moments, and her ex's weaknesses are already on the psychoanalytic-operating table (why not?! if everyone's doing it on TV these days, it must be for the good of mankind.) Why does it feels so weird/wrong to re-post this, especially with his phone number, yet can more harm come with re-posting what is already known? There are a million ways for anyone to get anyone's number,, do we still hesitate to give it out?

While videoing the fireworks this past July 4th, I turned my camera to capture the crowd. A woman standing nearby put her hand up in defense, a look of contempt in her eyes. I think she was right, but how was what I was doing invading her privacy any more than the cameraman who was broadcasting our faces world-wide? Did she think I was a perv or that it was more personal because I was in sole possession of the footage? If that's the case then what about the fact that anyone can get anything they want on youtube? Is it just what we don't know don't hurt us?

How would you feel if a classmate walked in on the second day of class, stood three inches from your nose and began taking pictures of you listening to the lecture? What if a journalist did it? What if that classmate was a self-proclaimed journalist? Would it matter if she was going to put in the community paper, the New York Times, or on Facebook?

I think this will be a great debate that will help define the next century. How do we define privacy, and is there any point in fighting for it?

Monday, May 10, 2010

What Happens Now?!

Dream Deferred (Originally titled Harlem)

What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

-Langston Hughes

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

love this man

and everything he stands for

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Inter mission

Chinese, Italian, its all the same when you can't understand it...

Couple of months ago, our class went to see the Aida dress rehearsal at the Metropolitan Opera (that's when they rehearse in costume, not rehearse the costumes.. just sayin cause i had no idea myself prior...) I think I may have enjoyed it somewhat if not for the skyhigh expectations that preceded.
Anyway, looking around at intermission, I noticed that I was not the only one feeling out of place in 18th century Italia. One guy caught my ear when he said to his friend "...when I found myself asking what the hell am I doing here, I told myself, there are people all over the world that would want nothing more than to be right here in my seat.."

Now havent you heard that line at a farbregen before?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Crown Heights Picture Blog

In recent years, our community has been blessed with a tremendous influx of photographic talent from the Holy Land. In general, the amount of talent that comes from such a small country is astounding, but israeli photographers are really something. Chabad is no different. I don't know what it is, but when they come to Crown Heights they seem to see everything in a different light. Our nuances are always obvious to them, even when they can't speak a word of our language. It never ceases to amaze how so many young photographers can make a "living" out of shooting ordinary life stills in a community in which so many people unfortunately find the redundancy and predictable lifestyle so stifling (SO not true btw... join our writing group for more info, cough, cough). Yet, through their lens, every street corner has it's own story... every black hatter wears it differently, every snowfall is a milestone, every farbrengen is historic, every rabbi is an influence, every child is unique.

One such talented individual started the Crown Heights Picture Blog I particularly enjoy his "ventures" past the green line, AKA the "Jewish border", or the grid we relied on as kids as "the safe zone". Many local photographers have focused on these and other parts of crown heights, bringing to life the dynamic dichotomy that the Heights is famous for. (One such guy is Hanan Ohayon, he's absolutely brilliant, look him up on facebook). The picture blog focuses on a lot on the architecture in the area. One of Brooklyn's best kept secrets is North Crown Heights and towards Clinton Hill and what survived of BedStuy. Its a very interesting place to explore. although it can get real sketchy in places, there's some interesting gentrification going on, where you'll see projects neighboring new hipster havens. The old homes are beautiful and unique. One can only imagine what a magnificent place this used to be.
Here are two links to the pictures:

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

A Bachelor's Prayer

In my life, G-d
let me not
forget you
what I meant to you,
you to me,
together we completed
what the world was meant to be

In my final days
let me not
look back in remorse
what would have been
for joy was lost
in fantasies
of irreversibles
and people I envied

most of all
In my final days
Let me not
see the writings of my youth
My dreams and quests, my truths,
and laugh
at the innocence
of an idealistic life
of hopes
destined to fade
as my father
from my mind

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Registration Day

"Kingsborough: School by the sea"
the poster (sails billowing and all) declares.
Old and fading
A novelty for too long?

"Please enter your Social"
She commands with care
Another semester, another year
She's seen us come and gone.
Ghetto Prodigies, bashful drop-outs
a revolving door of hope and promise
never staying
never lingering
Community College 101:
Get in, get out, get smart
Just get going

Someone mentions the weather.
I think,
I can think of worse rooms to work in
The view is the endless blue of the bay
not the eternal brick wall
Her work is simple
albeit methodical
Yet isn't all work, so?

So how bad can it be
to smile at people and say
"Please enter your social young boy"
"Would you care to dream
in the school by the sea
about becoming a man
of the world
with knowledge to power
a journey
That is yours
all yours?"

I don't know how
we got to talking about how once back then
way back when
Oh perhaps it was the seventies
yet she talks as if 'twhere yesterday
One year the school had sailing
and oh how nice it was
to look out the window
for just that one year

What a shame they discontinued
She says
a bit mournfully,
and I realize
that in 30 years
nothing had changed in the room
nor the scenery
Could it have been
the last significant event since?

And I think
how sad must it be
to stand here every day
and smile at people
and say
"Enter your social young man
and pray you grow
to dream outside of this school
on the sea"

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snowetry Slam Night

This one’s dedicated to Cheerio (not in a MotOG-friendly kindof way of course) and to all who tolerate/love/can't live without winter

I don’t care.

My legs are soaking wet from running around in the snow
rolling around in it
chasing and tackling my friends
a bunch of twenty five year olds refusing to grow up
howling at the moon behind the clouds
pretending not to know where we are
for a few timeless moments

I don’t care
Because tonight is Winter
and i’m sitting in my room flanked by three windows which are half covered
with two-dimensional mounds of snow plastered against the bottom half of the panes
as if some great Winter God had miraculously thwacked it against my window
while in truth it had collected there one minuscule flake at a time
I don’t care because tonight is magic
and I am free to roll in it, laugh at it, eat it
to be free as a child, nostalgic as a spinster

My snow framed windows
put my desk in perspective
littered with unopened library books renewed 11 times stacked upon unread bought books
And overdue reminders that I can’t remember where to stick them so that I may remember them
Im writing this poem
on the back of a medical insurance form
i was supposed to send in a long time ago
Soon it will join many other forms and lost ambitions
In a dark stuffy drawer
But i don’t care

I don’t care
because tonight is Winter
and the world is coated in guilt free powder
pure as a child
like a protective coating
against the harsh reminders of reality
The burning sidewalks of New York
normally snapping with the sound of heels
pounding lost dreams and identities into the pavement
are eerily silent, muffled by a God-given tranquility
And the cars sweep by slowly
as if transfixed by the serenity that holds the air
So fresh and full you can eat it for dinner

Today I spent Shabbos (interesting grammar?)
with a family who lost two children in one year
And it seems as if every day younger people are getting cancer
And almost everyone knows someone
who died with some unexplainable turn of fate
But tonight I don’t care, tonight the slate is clean and we can dream
and mushy songs on the radio hit the spot

So let it effin snow
because tonight is winter
Because tonight I remembered that I can remember what it means to be alive