Couple’a Cats Sittin Around Talkin

I’m here with Patrick the Cat, listening to the news. We often have coffee together after finding him patrolling the hallway like a furry Pinkerton Guard.

This morning he was playing with a waterbug the size of a hockey puck who must have been so happy to see me since, after scooping him up in a napkin flushed him safely away. I never kill anything if I can help it, and figured, he probably swims, being a waterbug and all.

Patrick didn’t mind since he knew milk was in his future.

We’ve been discussing the virus, both thinking it’s starting to have a Spielberg feel to it like a remake of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a favorite movie of ours.

I asked him if he’s been washing his paws, something he found amusing. “I’m a cat, I always wash my paws, among other things.”

“Yes of course Patrick, I’m still a little sleepy so you’ll have to excuse me.”

“You’re the one I’m worried about. Are you washing yours?”

“Yes, I’ve been good about it, even though my hands are dryer than Hazel’s.”

“Who?”

“Never mind. I know it’s early, but how bout a sardine to go with that milk?”

“Now you’re talkin, but make you sure you wash your hands first. A cat’s gotta be careful.”

“I understand.”                    

SB

 

 

Posted in animals, humanity, humor, nature, New York City, words | Tagged , , , , | 76 Comments

Easy Writer

It’s no secret I love to read. Been actually busy compiling my next reading list.

I’ve come to recognize prose that’s easy on the eye, traveling swiftly from page to page.

Omit needless words, comes to mind, the advice given in the classic book, Elements of Style, highly recommended to all writers. The author who slims and trims is always the author for me, not just as an entertainer, but a mentor reminding me to prune my own prose.

Hemingway, the king of brevity, said, if there’s a word you feel your story just can’t live without, that’s when you know it’s gotta go.

That rings true for me, since it’s ego based, and since Ernest, who wasn’t exactly an alter boy also said, God is the one doing the writing, it reminds me of the acronym for ego…Easing God Out.

Unless you’re Dickens or Tolstoy, who never met a word they didn’t like, humbly editing yourself is the wiser way to go.

That said.

As a reader, I want to be engaged, not flogged by one’s academia. Some of the finest writers never went to school. Mark Twain, Maya Angelou and Mr. Dickens, to name three.

Let’s toss in Ray Bradbury, Truman Capote and William Faulkner.

Scrolls on the wall are boring, I don’t care how lavishly framed.

When I pick up a book, and yes, I still prefer the weight of one on my lap like a lover whispering in my ear, I expect its contents to take me on a journey, leaving all concerns on the dock waving as we pull out of port.

Good reading should feel like downhill skiing…soft, smooth, the turn of the pages, like the wind in your hair.   

SB

Posted in Books, creative writing, Culture, grace, History, humanity, inspiration, words, writing | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments

Woman of Steel

Unknown-2.jpeg My favorite New York City landmark is the Brooklyn Bridge, who I’m pretty sure is a lady.

You would too if you saw her at night all lit up in her evening clothes. She’s a mother figure as well, since as you climb the ramp, her 3,578 feet of steel wires seem outstretched to meet you as if you’re coming home.

You can almost see her wrapped in an apron, a pot of sauce simmering on the Brooklyn side.   images-5.jpeg

Cruising down the FDR drive at night as she presides over the harbor, in the esteemed company of the Statue of Liberty, never fails to lift my spirits.

It’s how I feel, every time I see her, like I’m coming home.

I love to listen to the wind through her strings
The song that she sings for the town
I love to look up at the clouds in her hair
She’s learned to wear like a crown

Lyrics…The Brooklyn Bridge, sung by Frank Sinatra…

from the film…It Happened in Brooklyn (1947).  Unknown-3.jpeg

Makes you wanna come visit, doesn’t it?

SB

Posted in Beauty, Culture, History, inspiration, New York City, travel, writing | Tagged , , , , | 56 Comments

Yoga Boy

The first time I saw him, I thought he was dead.

I was in full flight, at 6 a.m. before coming to a full stop.

When I approached him, we both jumped.

“Oh, you’re okay,” I say, grateful I didn’t have to call 911 to report a body since, dammit it all, talk about being late. Hey, I’m a New Yorker after all, we think in practical terms, plus what’s a body first thing in the morning (I’m joking).

“Buenos dias,” he says, as if he were expecting me.

“And to you too, and if you don’t mind me asking, what are doing in the dark lying on the ground. Are you sick?”

And he says, “No, I do you-ga.”

Turns out this small, squat built like a bullet Latino, all of 20, was merely in corpse pose. That’s when you lie flat on your back, arms at your side, but in his case, still breathing.

“Okay then,” I say, taking off.

He has now become a fixture on my morning run. Sometimes he’s in tree pose, sometimes on his head. It just goes to show, where there’s a will there’s a way.

Turns out he’s a porter at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and it’s the only time he has to do his…

YOU-GA, before his morning shift.     

I’ll tell ya.  🙂

 

Posted in animals, Culture, fitness, humanity, humor, inspiration, nature, New York City, words | Tagged , , , | 28 Comments

What Should We Worry About Now?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it. The news should be brought up on charges of slander, to itself. When did it go from truth to non-fiction, since facts seem to be flagging behind the rope line.

I’m speaking of the new virus that’s stalking us, and no, I’m not wearing a mask that are selling like hotcakes, even if Gucci makes one.

Yes, I’ll wash my hands which you should do anyway, and not touch my face before I do, but this blast of fear that’s flipping us all out, doesn’t seem to be helping anyone.

My 76 year-old neighbor, who rarely leaves his house as it is, has now announced he’s never leaving again even to go to the market. He’s enrolled in Fresh Direct and is having his morning paper delivered. He’s also wearing rubber gloves, like a proctologist.

He wrote me a note that said…I’d appreciate it very much if you didn’t leave me bagels anymore, since we don’t know anything about the baker.

EXCUSE ME?

He also cautioned me about Chinese food since, he saw…

ON THE NEWS…

it all started from Asians eating bat soup…no this isn’t poetic license, I’m a much better writer than that, I’d like to think, and also feel, we owe all bats an apology.

John Oliver, from the Daily Beast, explained it best.

He said, YOU CAN’T GET THE CORONAVIRUS FROM EATING CHINESE FOOD. IN FACT, IF YOU’RE EATING AT A PANDA EXPRESS, YOU CAN’T EVEN GET CHINESE FOOD FROM EATING CHINESE FOOD.

Go John!

How did I respond to my neighbor’s note?

I simply said….

GET THE FUCK OFF THE INTERNET, TAKE OFF THOSE GLOVES, AND GO WASH YOUR HANDS.

Love thy neighbor.          

P.S. All humor aside…more will be revealed, when those who really know the facts, tell us. In the meantime, we should take reasonable precautions.

SB

Posted in Culture, Health, humanity, humor, internet, media, Politics, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 36 Comments

Classic Fashion Always In Style

images-3.jpeg I’ve dressed the same way ever since seeing Audrey Hepburn in Love in the Afternoon. Her simple, sleek style becoming my own.   images-3.jpeg

images.jpeg

Pair that with a cousin who wore faded Levis with a man’s white button-down, adding a navy blazer beneath a Barbour jacket a boyfriend bought me.

Penny loafers sealing the deal.

The navy blazer that myth or fact states, was born in the mid 1800s to the British Royal Navy, before making its way to Cambridge as the uniform of all young Englishmen.images-3.jpeg

America got hers in 1930, by way of Brooks Brothers, still a feature every season since. images.jpeg A smart wardrobe staple whether you’re a business man, or just a girl who likes an androgynous touch. images-3.jpeg

Levi Strauss, a Bavarian who in 1850, sold work pants, or waist high coveralls, as they were called, to miners during the height of the Gold Rush…Unknown.jpeg voila…the blue jean is born.

I have two pair over 20 years old, patched, sewn, restored and resuscitated, making them the envy of all who now buy them that way.

Save your jeans, I say,  Unknown-1.jpeg and treat them like grandparents whom you love and respect.

I do have a newer pair when the distress ones aren’t quite as appropriate, but the look is the same, one a little ratty, but both, quite natty, a great word to pair with classic...(of a person or an article of clothing) smart and fashionable: a natty blue blazer and designer jeans.

The white button-down, the kind your dad wore, another Brooks Brothers exclusive, patterned after Polo Players selling in 1950 to all men of distinction, Unknown-1.jpeg then to all men and boys, who just needed a clean, white shirt.  Unknown-2.jpeg

Mustn’t forget those women of distinction. images-2.jpeg

The Barbour Jacket, created by a Scotsman named John Barbour, siring J. Barbour and Sons LTD of England in 1894, making them out of oil cloth to be worn in inclement weather. images-2.jpeg Hunters, soldiers and Susannahs, 121 years later, still would never be without a Bedale three quarter jacket in their closet.

Did I mention how great it looks, and can be worn right over that blazer without making you look awkwardly overdressed?

Less is more when you can leave for the day, layered, comfy and chic, which takes us to…

the penny loafer, images-2.jpeg or slip-on-shoe, in 1936 first called Bass Weejuns I wore in high school, still owning a pair with pennies properly installed.

Slip-on flats, my shoe of choice, along with kitten heels, a cross between a stiletto and pump, that can dress up or down any outfit. imagesAdd Converse Sneakers and you’re set to go…

ANYWHERE.

The Converse Company began in 1908 making boots, seguing into sneakers. When Charles ‘Chuck’ Taylor, a semi-professional basketball player joined the company in 1921 as a salesman, he urged them to make a better shoe…hence, The Chuck Taylor All-Stars are born.

High Tops, Low Tops, laces or without, nothing is more compatible with your jeans, button-down and blazer than…

a pair a’ Chucks.    images-2.jpeg

You don’t need tons of money to dress well and comfortably if you choose classic, investing a few bucks rather than falling for a fad ending up at the Goodwill.

Let’s leave it at that.

SB          getPart-3.jpg

 

Posted in Beauty, Culture, Fashion, History, inspiration, media, money, words, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 85 Comments

The Face Off

I’m a polite girl. I would never say the things to anyone, that others say to me. I’ve come to think mouths should come with a permit.

If you had two heads, the most I’d say is hello, twice, never commenting nor spewing advice you never asked for.

That said.

I’m in the check-out line at the all night deli buying milk. It’s late, a last minute errand before bed, so no, I didn’t powder my nose, that now is so out of joint I look like a boxer.

A woman I had not seen in quite a while runs in while her driver, viewed from the window, double parks.

She pounces like a puma.

“I’m in such a hurry, could you save my place in line?”

What place. She never got in line.

I watch her grab cookies, yogurt, a bar of overpriced dark chocolate like it was the Cuban Missile Crisis, before hopping in front of me.

Yes, the puma has balls the size of grapefruits.

Me and my fat free milk are too tired to spar with a Kardashian wannabe, especially caught off guard.

She looks at me like a jeweler examining a stone.

“I’m lookin’ at your face honey. You could use a little work. Why don’t you do somethin’ about it.”

You mean like smack you?

If this woman stabbed me, it would have hurt less.

I wouldn’t have said that to my mother who would have deserved it, or even Trump, who’s aging like bad cheese.

So I have a choice, to rise above it like a better aroma, or go for her Gucci jugular. Then I realize, she’s drunk.

When she starts to weave a little as if those Mallomars weigh 50 pounds, it hits me. So no, I didn’t say, better than looking like a dinner plate, but instead, as she’s headed out the door, holler…if I were you madam, I’d put that plug, back in the jug.

I know, not exactly a slam dunk, but it’s all I had.

Next time, me and my milk will be better prepared. 

SB

 

 

 

Posted in Culture, food, humanity, humor, New York City, women, words | Tagged , , , , | 47 Comments

A Banana For Your Thoughts

It’s an early misty morning as I go out for a walk, not feeling my best.

Before coming home, I stop at the all night fruit stand to buy a banana, to steady myself since I feel a little dizzy.

Having no cash, not unusual for me, I scrape together 18 cents from my array of pockets, 7 cents short. Yes a banana on the street only costs a quarter, besides the Staten Island ferry, the best deal in town.

I approach the fruit man, one I’ve never met since he’s on night duty, and brightly ask, if I may have a small banana for what I have in my hand.

He snarls like a cat. “No. It’s 25 cents.”

A little taken aback since, normally there would have been no issue, since I’ve charged fruit before, always coming back to pay, plus there were a good 50 bananas on display about to be sacked since they were pretty much, too ripe, unless you were baking an immediate pie.

“Really?” I say, then point to a very tiny one, “how bout that one?”

“NO…I SAID NO.”

Now I’m shocked and dizzy, but just then a young girl comes over and silently hands me two quarters, walking away before I can even thank her, realizing, this is exactly what I would have done witnessing this unfortunate exchange.

I hand him his quarter leaving with, “You’re not very nice.”

I’m suddenly so angry by the flash of pique over a fucking banana that I tell Farouk, my doorman, what happened.

He listens, shakes his head on my behalf then says, “You know, he worked all night (just like Farouk) and probably hasn’t eaten. He, I’m sure, has all kinds of people asking him for things, and you were just one more too many. As pretty as you are.”

Thawing at the pretty part, I then remember he did only have three teeth, so alas, her stone cold heart softens.

When I see the owner of the cart later on, I don’t complain to him, my initial plan, but instead, buy grapes before going on my humbled way.

I remember the sweet girl who rode in on her steed to help, reminding me that, despite circumstances, we truly reap what we sow.

SB

Posted in Culture, Faith, food, humanity, humor, New York City | Tagged , , , | 60 Comments

Dating Jesus

images 9.15.11 AM I’m no religious fanatic by any means, and believe me, if the Catholic Church could toss me in a cell for irreverence, it would, since I tend to make fun of its ongoing hypocrisy…however, Jesus, when I think about it, is my kinda guy.

Earthy, a carpenter (like Harrison Ford…sigh), which means he’s handy at repairs and installations. Extremely fit from all that walking. No paunch, even from all the wine he drinks.

We know he cooks since he made brunch for his friends the Apostles, a great name for a rock band by the way. He could be the front man, since he looks the part, long wavy hair, rail thin, like any hot rock and roller, and did love to sing, a cappela remember, belting out hymns when the mood struck and remember, it’s pretty much how he got the name, Jesus Christ Superstar.  Unknown-1.jpeg

J.C. is forgiving to a fault, even breaking bread with Judas that stoolie of all stoolies, yet, stands up for what he thinks is right, like YO, MONEY CHANGERS, WANNA STEP OUTSIDE? And he’s got heart, chumming around with an occasional Samaritan, having a snack with a prostitute who, like all of us, is just trying to make a buck, dishonest or otherwise.

It’s a pity he couldn’t run for president. Just imagine what he’d do for healthcare and gun control. It would be nothing short of miraculous.

He’d also add a Commandment: Though Shall Not Lie.

He is a bit of a mama’s boy, I’ll admit, but that’s okay, it’s where he gets his sensitive side from, and no, I don’t thing he has gender issues, since he never gets defensive when preferring caftans to jeans. And I happen to like a man with his own style.

Now, if he’d just lose those sandals, then we’d be talkin’.  

JESUS!!!    🙂

SB

Posted in Faith, Fashion, grace, humanity, humor, inspiration, music, religion, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 41 Comments

Guys and Dolls

It’s President’s Day as I’m about to run, so the Park still bathed in twilight is pretty deserted, except for me and a large raccoon about to cross the road.

We both stop at the same time waiting for the other, then at the same time, start again.

We do this like a do-si-do 3 times, me thinking, I’ve finally met a raccoon with manners, and God only knows what he’s thinking.

Doesn’t she have a husband?

I then decide, being the bigger one, I’ll just wait it out knowing, if we did collide, those manners could go right out the window.

He finally, in no hurry, fearlessly crosses. This is New York remember, where squirrels pop in your purse to see what you’ve got, and I was the intruder after all.

As he strolls towards a tree like Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls, he stops and looks as if to say, “See ya, Toots, hope we meet again.”

As I take the turn at 110th, I can’t help wondering, being such a gentleman and all, maybe, just maybe, he’s from Connecticut.          

SB

Posted in animals, creative writing, Culture, humor, nature, Uncategorized, words, writing | Tagged , , , | 43 Comments