Archive | November, 2006


29 Nov

The Center for Immigrant Families is hosting “Our Stories: Our Lives As Immigrant Women,” a photography and storytelling exhibition at Carlito’s Cafe, running November 19, 2006-January 19, 2007. The opening reception is this Saturday, December 2, 6-9 pm, promising music and food and it is free! I hope to get a peek at the exhibit once the stress of final papers ebbs.

In other news, the Dr. Chapbook launch was intimate and engaging. Dr. Rita Charon spoke of the power of narrative and how a literary approach to medicine can help doctors see from their patients’ perspectives, and thus make them more empathetic and better doctors. After her talk, contributors to the zine read poetry and non-fiction, and then the odd duck read her short story “Very Big Furniture“.

Google Me

19 Nov

Last night I went to the closing event for the New York Literary Translation Festival. A whole slew of poets read one to two poems each, which kept the evening nice and varied. Probably the best reading of the night was given by Saviana Stanescu, who read her poem “Google Me!” from her book of poetry of the same name. A hilarious poem, and given her background in the theater, one of the most boisterously and vibrantly performed. Another highlight was José Eugenio Sanchez Garza, one of the six writers representing the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He read his poem “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” in the original Spanish. Despite my deficiency in Spanish, his animated performance transmitted the gist and I don’t think I was the only Spanish-deficient audience member that enjoyed his reading.

Speaking of readings, I plan on reading a short story of mine at the launch of Dr. Chapbook, a new lit/arts zine at Columbia’s postbac premed program. That’ll be tomorrow at 7:30, if you find yourself in the vicinity.

Literary Events

11 Nov

The New York Literary Translation Festival is next week, November 16-18. It will feature readings by Romanian and American writers, translation workshops, panel discussions on translation and publishing, and a closing night party with Romanian gypsy music at the Cornelia Street Cafe. I hope to get out to one or two events.

In other news, I went to the launch party for Collectanea’s third issue, which has NYC theme. Highlights of the reading included ruminations on Norman Mailer’s obituary, insane uncles, and Lou Gehrig. The issue should be online sometime soon, and will feature a documentary film short that I believe has some psychogeographic NY-theme. I’m looking forward to it.


9 Nov

A little vignette, a sort-of-review.

We went to Floradita, a Cuban diner on 125th St. The waiter had a pompadour, the counter top was a large shiny U. We sat in platformed section, looking down. An old man, fierce-eyed and dressed as a sea captain, stood by the door with his hands clasped behind him, a self-elected security guard. We ordered corditas, faintly scented of rum. I ordered the soup of the day, caldo gallego, white bean soup. I wasn’t very hungry and expected something small, and the waiter’s pursed lips and approving nod indicated otherwise. A hefty dish of white beans, potatoes, and maybe three types of fatty pork. Pork fat, I had always been told, makes everything good. Together we finished the soup and the waiter smiled at the empty plate. Go if you get a chance.


2 Nov

I saw The Tiger Lillies last night, at St. Ann’s Warehouse. Overall, it was a very fun show, chockfull of the macabre and grimace-laced chuckles. The slow songs (done in a low, gravelly voice) were disappointing, but the more upbeat pieces sung in falsetto got the crowd stamping their feet. After, the S.O. and I danced on DUMBO’s cobblestones all the way back to the F train.

In other news, there’s a fresh batch of stories up on 55 Words, and if you missed October’s goodies, you can always check the archive. Fun!

Snippet from a longer thing

1 Nov

The weekend passed slowly, with the Saturday morning walk in the woods (with singing, of course), afternoon game of snooker, and dinner with the Grumleys in the nearby chalet. The Grumleys had two boys and a girl, a yapping terrier named Frances and a rasping parrot named General Attawalpa. Frances, when nervous and especially yappy, usually aggravated General Attawalpa, whose previous owners had taught him to say “Sucks to yer assmar.”

Mr. Grumley, a specialist in Peruvian archaeology at the local university, and Mrs. Grumley, a retired ballerina, took their family on weekend trips about as often as the Pieters. The parents usually had post-dinner ruminations while the children ran off to play, usually right about when Mr. Grumley extracted the pipe tobacco from his left pocket. Mother and Father Pieters generally took Mr. Grumley’s occasional dinner table lectures with good humor, as they were usually truncated by Mrs.Grumley’s inquiries about the development of the Pieters children in comparison to the Grumley children, and often, what that loud ruckus in the rumpus room was.

“Oh yes,” crooned Mother Pieters with earnest eyes, “Our Booboo is the head of his class. He will be a great biologist one day.”

“How nice,” said Mrs. Grumley. “Our Daniel wants to be a cardiologist and our George is an impressive athlete.”

“Now, now, dear,” said Mr. Grumley, puffing on his pipe, “Let’s not brag so much, or the greatness of our children might turn them to stone.” Mrs. Grumley giggled.

“He’s referring to Inka myth, you see,” said Mrs. Grumley.

“We know,” droned the Pieters.

From the rumpus room came a great crash, followed by silence. The four parents rushed in, saw Zanzibar standing on a toppled bookcase, hands on hips, pigtails awry. The three other children stood in one corner of the room, stunned.

“Oh ho ho ho,” laughed Mr. Grumley. “Trying to scale the Andes?”

Zanzibar blew here hair out of her face. “No,” she said, furrowing her brow. “I knocked over the bookcase, Bucko.”

“Now, Zanzi, why can’t you be a good girl for once? Go into the parlor, and wait for us there,” said Mother Pieters. Zanzibar fumed and stomped out of the room. The men re-erected the bookcase, and everyone helped re-shelve.

The littlest Grumley, with large green eyes and cinnamon curls, took her thumb out of her mouth. “Zanzibaw is scehwee,” she whispered to her mother. Mrs. Grumley nodded to her child, clucked her tongue in admiration at her three-year-old’s remarkable astuteness.

Crime Prevention Tips

1 Nov

“If you choose to wear your iPod, cell phone, or PDA clipped to your belt for all the world to see as some kind of 21st century status symbol, remember that may not be the best safety practice…” (from the 26th Precinct Community Affairs Unit, emphasis in the original)

…In other words, don’t be an idiot.

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