Monthly Archives: February 2004

Gonna Be Some Changes Around Here

As it is for most who work in midtown, lunchtime means a trek to one of several uninspiring food sellers. If it’s Thursday, it must be Cosi. Our local outpost of this bread-purveyor is notable for the inspired somnolence of the staff; it’s possible that these people know how to form words, but we’ve never independently confirmed it. Hence our surprise when, waiting in line to pay, we overhear a large, boistrous man behind the counter. “Where are the napkins? Why don’t we put the napkins out?” he inquires to a fellow staffer. “It’s crazy, isn’t it? You’d think napkins were really valuable around here the way we guard them! We gotta put some napkins out!!” As we hand over card for a stamp, he’s still on a roll. “Your card is full! Free sandwich for you tomorrow!” And then: “Here you go! Napkins!”

“You Know the Octopus, Right?”

Conversations in this city follow unexpected paths. One last night led us to intel on the octopus graffiti blanketing downtown Manhattan. More at S/FJ, from whom we jacked the above image.
· The New Cephalopod in Town [S/FJ]
· Breaking Octopus Graffiti News [S/FJ]

UPDATE: Trevor checks in with some octopii analysis: “His earlier stuff was a little on the weak side but I’ve started to see some more original stuff. He had one huge piece on the Citibank (Chase?) wall on Broadway and Prince that lasted for about a day before it was painted over. It’s quite a long wall so picture a big red heart painted in the middle with about 20 octopus guys to the left and right of it, all eyes looking toward the heart. I went back the next day with a camera but it was painted over already.”

He did, however, snap this gripping image:

Go ahead, give in. The octopii shall not be denied.
· Random Manhattan [NYCArtCollective]

UPDATE II: For sheer breadth of octopii news, it’s hard to beat The Octopus News Magazine Online, “Your Octopus, Squid and Cephalopod Information Center.” With robust discussion forums to put even Gothamist to shame.
· The Octopus News Magazine Online []

UPDATE III: Jed emails: “i always thought they were the ghosts from ms. pacman.”

Barring An Apocalypse

Everyone’s favorite anti-bar party girl, Anna Sarwyn, is back in the papers today. “It’s a step in the right direction. The SLA should take this resolution seriously,” she says of the resolution passed last night by Manhattan Community Board 3 to ban any new bars on certain over-saturated East Village and Lower East Side streets. This dark “SLA” Sarwyn mentions? The State Liquor Authority, which has the power to ignore the Community Board’s resolution—and, apparently, enjoys doing just that. God bless the capitalists, every one.
· Village Board: Bar Any New Bar [NYPost]
· Drink Up Fast in the East Village [Gawker]
· Downtown Bar Blackout []

Put a Fork In It

Our humble promise: this shall be our final mention of FreshDirect—well, this week. For those new to the wonderful world of home delivery, Amy Langfield has rounded up her favorite FD chow (“three-potato salad – perfect for hangovers, and hangover prevention”) and that best avoided (“frozen chocolate-chip cookie dough, fish cakes and some crab legs”). Weee-hula!
· Best and Worst of FreshDirect [Amy's NY Notebook]

Lower East Side Linkage

Catching up with the ol’ neighborhood
· Felix Salmon on more FreshDirect LES delivery absurdity (“In other words, in order to deliver to 206 Rivington and 210 Rivington, the only way that the FreshDirect trucks are going to be able to get there is by driving north up Pitt Street from Delancey. Yet none of the buildings on Pitt between Delancey and Rivington (like 65 Pitt and 67 Pitt) get delivery either. Meanwhile, all the buildings on Ridge Street get delivery.”) []
· Meanwhile: The FreshRegret Conspiracy rages on [The Other Page]
· Corn chip fans rejoice: The Hat (El Sombrero) re-opens []

The Buttle/Tuttle Problem

Last week, two months after depositing the princely sum of $8,600 in my Citibank account, the money appeared as part of my balance. Why the delay? As it turned out, the deposit was credited to account *****55, instead of my account, *****33. As I fought an increasingly heated—and seemingly futile—war with the folks at the other end of the Citifone™ 24-Hour Banking line, it was impossible not to recall Gilliam’s Brazil, when stormtroopers raid the apartment of Harry Buttle (shoe repairman) and arrest him instead of their intended target, Harry Tuttle (illegal freelance Heating Engineer). The culprit? A fly falling into a typewriter causes a misprint. As in real life, the problem proves impossible to rectify, even by those working inside of the system.

The upshot of my experience? Mom gets to crow that she’s been right all these years “not to trust ATMs”; I feel empathy for all who have been through identity theft, which much be a hell of a lot worse than this; and, at long, long, last, I can balance my checkbook again.
· Brazil Quotes (“This is your receipt for your husband … and this is my receipt for your receipt.”) []
· The Tuttle/Buttle Mistake [Melbourne Indymedia]
· More Buttle/Tuttle Errors []

Tarsian & Blinkley Update

Back in December, we wrote about Tarsian & Blinkley, the Kabul-based fashion outfit that our friend Sarah Takesh had just gotten off the ground. Yesterday, they scored a nice profile in Fashions of the Times, including a report on what’s hot in Afghanistan fashion this spring: “A year ago they were silent and tense, and clung to the all-enveloping burka out of fear and insecurity. ‘This year is very different,’ she says. ‘They look better.’”
· Silk and Human Kindness [NYTimes]
· Tarsian & Blinkley []
· About Tarsian & Blinkley []

FreshDirect Delivery Update: Cower, Mortals!

When we reported yesterday that FreshDirect had ended its Rivington Street delivery ban, we were speaking from the heart—our heart. For, though these good moving grocers have indeed put Headquarters “on the map,” it’s evident that FreshDirect is not yet done toying with the minds of our LES brethren. Please reference Figure 1 (below):


To create the new map, we fed addresses into the FD delivery engine. Results are approximate, natch, but first-hand reports back up our findings. In the southern LES, over into Chinatown, correspondents report no organic grocery love. GS: “Just an update—no service to 23 Rutgers Street. Bastards.” MM: “No Fresh Direct at 41 Division Street. Please, let us all know what it is like.” Moving up towards Delancey, if you’re not in the Co-Ops, you’re still out of luck. JA: “Alas, 96 Orchard is still starving.” BI: “49 Ludlow (b/n grand and hester) is unfortunately still in the freshdirect dark zone. Apparently I have to move to 99 Ludlow or above to get service!”

As fucked as this is, it’s north of Delancey that things really get trippy. Residents of Forsyth and Eldridge (the kind of streets Shecky’s refers to as “inconvenient”) live in a corridor of deprivance, with FD trucks cruising past on both sides. In the Headquarters zone—hereafter “God’s Country”—everyone is good to go. AK: “The only address that matters, 125 Stanton, has been
green-lighted!” DZ: “oh sweet lord, our prayers have been answered. my new 2-week-old abode on Clinton has the GREEN LIGHT.” Heading east from there, however, chaos reigns. Consider the report from BB:

I live at 202 Rivington and am excluded from the bastards’ delivery area. However, my neighbors to the east, such as 212 Rivington including those on Pitt St., can receive deliveries. Even parts of Columbia St. are included in their irrational, diabolically drawn zone.

To recap, moving west to east on Stanton Street: 50 Stanton (@Eldridge), NO. 100 Stanton (@Ludlow), yes. 150 Stanton (@Norfolk), yes. 200 Stanton (@Ridge), yes. 225 Stanton (@Pitt), NO.

And somewhere, Jason Ackerman is laughing.
· Fresh Direct [FreshDirect]
· Psychological Counseling Services in NYC [Citidex]