Saturday, August 22, 2009

buenas noches

This is what I see when I walk from the newsroom to the subway, my primary view of the city these days.

I'm hoping that you'll read about the story I've been busy with somewhere other than this blog, so I'm keeping it bottled up for now. (That's a hint, you clever reader.)

In the meantime, I'm dusting off my passport for a spin in Spain. As glorious as Times Square is, I gotta get out of here. So, for now, hasta luego, y buenas noches.

Friday, August 14, 2009

new york city giveth, and taketh away

New York years, a wise young chef recently observed in conversation, are like dog years, in the way they rapidly pass. This is an outstanding city to love and live in, but is in a perpetual state of metamorphosis, without mercy for our memories.

image from James and Karla Murray (click.)

That sweet aching nostalgia was already coloring my week when I wrote this piece (click) for Dossier. By far, the best part of the rooftop exhibition, aside from the view of downtown, was Jim and Karla Murray's collection of photographs of New York City storefronts. (Take a minute to breath in the smell of flour and espresso in its dark corridor of the bygone Vesuvio Bakery.)

image from Ivory Serra/The New York Times

Then, earlier this week, I received the really sad news from Moose that we--and by "we" I mean this city, lost the perpetually young Andy Kessler, who suffered an allergic reaction to a wasp sting in Montauk. Andy appeared in my midst a few years ago, at a moment when I was questioning my commitment to New York. He could have stayed a stranger, but instead became one of those people I relished running into. Aside from being damn cute, he just grinned in a way that seemed like he knew what you were going through; and in spite of serious status in the skateboarding world, I got the feeling his capacity for compassion dwarfed his sizeable street cred. Maybe that was just what I needed then, but for whatever reason, Andy Kessler, then hopping around crutches, became somewhat of a New York City angel to me, appearing at opportune moments.

Knowing that someone like him called this crazy place home made it a more rewarding place to live. Now, learning more about his life I realize that might be because he bled and sweated for this city, and like that young chef, was reckless and relentless in his commitment to his craft, which made him an integral part of this creature called New York.

Bret Anthony Johnston said it beautifully on The New York Times' website today.

He’ll be remembered as a man who understood the abiding and cathartic power of resilience. You don’t give in. You take every run — on the ramp, with recovery, at City Hall. It has everything and nothing to do with skateboarding which, at its essence, is the act of focusing so intensely on the body that you feel liberated from your physical form. Think not of swimming in a pool, but of becoming the ocean itself. Think not of flying, but of floating in a place where the ground or gravity has never existed — a place where, at long last, there is no irony, no pain or struggle, where there’s no such thing as falling.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

sweet dreams, parte dois


If you missed part 1, you can (click), and download the whole thing, or if you really want bedtime reading, you could even buy the magazine...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

andy kessler.

Sad news this morning from Agent Moose (click.)

Though I don't know if Andy even knew my name, there was a little happy while when our paths crossed multiple times. It began when he was on crutches, which makes sense--otherwise he probably wouldn't have sat still at a movie theater, or on the curb outside KCDC long enough for me to wave at him. I didn't know who he was, just that I always spotted his olive skin and mischievous grin, and what I liked to think was a spark of recognition in his eyes.

When this article came out in New York Magazine (click), I think Jordan sent it to me, saying, look, isn't that that guy you like? And there he was, Andy Kessler. I devoured that story and tacked that yellow picture over my desk.

From what little I knew, he was a true New York spirit--rowdily carving his own path, usually on a skateboard, but with this little wake of compassion, that just made it feel good to know he was around.

I'll miss you, Andy Kessler.

sweet dreams

What if this was the bed you were sleeping in tonight?

I'm not either. But this time last year I was--just me and Jorge, watching the waves. You can read about it in this month's Foam Magazine, or on the Escapes section of the website (click). In classic Brazilian novella style, it's running as a series online so you'll have to check back tomorrow for part 2! Bedtime reading...boa noite!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

they say...

They say necessity is the mother of invention. They also say a friend in need is the best policy.

Michael Lanzano, inventor, aesthete, and neighbor extraordinaire saw both, and created this elasticized, waterproof, and fetching bike-seat cover for me. I don't want to know how many pleather python-gators he had to skin for it, but I'm sure it wasn't pretty.

Grazie, Michael.