during my recent quest for free tires, and before manifesting the tires in a completely bizarre and unexpected way (which you may read here), i began my search on craigslist. sure that i would find someone in nyc looking to unload 3 tires – i did not. what i did find, was a salon in soho looking for a haircut model and i was in need of a free haircut!
it’s been years since i was in the industry, but back in a previous life, i was the manager for a high end hair care line. i spent 4+ years travelling around the country visiting the top salons, selling hair products and getting to know stylists in the best of the best salons in the united states. occasionally, some of the country’s top talent would offer me a complimentary cut or color. a pretty awesome perk, i know. . . .
back to craigslist. the salon was sam brocato, located at 42 wooster street, in the heart of soho. in the last stretch of her two year apprenticeship, a beautiful young woman named christina was in need of hair model for a short cut, and along with 3 tires, i also wanted a new short haircut.
i felt like i won the lottery when christina responded to my e-mail letting me know i had been chosen for the free haircut. not powerball or anything, but at the very least a good scratch-off ticket.
by the time she was done, it was apparent that her talent was as large as her heart. if it’s what she aspires to, one day i’m sure i’ll see her name in the style magazines along with the likes of frederick fekkai, oribe & christophe – at least i hope so. i can do my small part by introducing christina to you today. you can do your part by booking an appointment with her – you wont be disappointed – and . . . you’ll have an amazing new style!
to christina, i thank you – for your time, for your talent & for picking me! may success follow you always.
years ago my friend ellice and i were wandering around soho and saw a ‘tire table‘ on display in an art gallery for a ridiculous sum of money – at least we thought so at the time. the table consisted of a round piece of glass set upon two stacked tires. freshly sprung from college, i suspect any amount of money for a piece of furniture may have seemed ridiculous back then, but we both really loved that table. right away, ellice and i set out on a mission to acquire free tires and made our own tire tables for the cost of a piece of glass.
recently, i was in need of a table with a large working space. as luck would have it, someone left a giant round glass table top downstairs in the basement. i put the word out for a table base and my mother suggested another tire table, which i thought was a perfect idea. i immediately put an order out to the universe for 3 tires so that i could make a new, larger version of my old beloved tire table. i was so excited, that i forgot to include any details with the request . . . .
shortly after i placed the order, on my way home from nj, my car fell into an enormous black hole in the middle of route 78 and blew out the right front tire. after 2 1/2 hours of waiting for roadside assistance, my brother thomas, a state trooper and a flatbed tow truck showed up all at about the same time. my brother and the tow truck driver both told me that my spare tire was leaking and it was not going to make it back to the city – i would have to follow my brother to his house, spend the night there and deal with the tire in the morning – which i did – sort of . . . .
my brother woke me in the morning, asked for my keys and told me he was taking my car to the tire store, where he was meeting my dad who was going to pay for my new tire (thank you, dad!). i asked thomas if he wouldn’t mind asking the guys at the tire store if he could have 3 old tires so that i could make my tire table. he was not looking overly pleased with my request as he walked out the door around 9:00 am on a freezing cold sunday morning, but i knew he would come through. 3 hours later, thomas arrived back home with my sparkling clean car (he had taken to the car wash), sporting 4 brand new tires and my other 3 good tires all wrapped up in plastic bags in the trunk.
my next shout out to the universe is to send me a husband who is a perfect mix of my dad and my brother, thomas – no additional details required.
“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” ~ Dalai Lama
my aunt fran, who we always called sis, spent every day making life better for people. she was an accomplished professor who left the world of higher education to assist people who may not have been able to receive a higher education without her help, generosity and kindness. she taught children in the public school system in downtown newark, nj and made lives better for all ‘her’ children. because of her efforts helping kids understand that they mattered, assisting them to learn and sharing her light, there are adults today that have risen out of poverty, gone on to college, and made a better life for themselves – a legacy we should all want leave behind.
sis left this world way too early yet was able to do what may take others many lifetimes to accomplish. she spent her spare time doing things like volunteering for habitats for humanity and helping the poor and underprivileged throughout the world in many ways. it’s hard to believe it’s been seven years without her yet good to know her legacy will live forever.
thanks for all you’ve done here, sis – and a big shout out of gratitude to all the people who helped her along the way.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
i can’t be the only one who has personally witnessed some slight exaggerations from weather peeps when there may be some impending weather-activity; am i right?
here we go again . . . . the weather according to cnn:
“This could be a storm the likes of which we’ve never seen before,” said New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Whatever terrible storms New Yorkers have experienced in the past, “prepare for something worse,” he said.
Earlier Sunday, the National Weather Services upgraded its blizzard watch to a blizzard warning for the area from northern New Jersey through southern Connecticut, including New York City. Twenty to 30 inches of snow is possible with winds gusting 55 to 65 mph.
“Weather forecast for tonight: dark.” ~ George Carlin
(i’m with george on this one until i see otherwise)
“You’ve heard this old saying before: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. You may even be nodding your head in agreement right now. Sorry— this saying is all wrong.
When a person is starving, that’s not the time to fill their head with knowledge. The right thing to do is to first give the person a fish – banishing their hunger – and only then teach them to fish.
Far too often, people ignore this common sense first step. They see someone who is struggling, and they rush to offer wisdom. “Let me tell you what I’d do in your position,” a well-meaning individual might offer.
But few of us understand the anxiety, confusion, and uncertainty that comes with overwhelming need. People in the midst of personal disasters are reeling. They can’t think straight. Their nerves may be shot. Their confidence may be non-existent.
We all know affluent, outwardly successful professionals who lack confidence and – at least temporarily – the ability to think straight. Can you imagine how people must feel in the midst of outright failure?
Rushing to offer a struggling person long-term advice is a waste of time.
Instead, it makes far more sense to help them regain their equilibrium. Once this happens… once their ears, heart and mind open, then you have an opportunity to teach a new skill.
What does it take to decide whether a person needs a fish before a fishing lesson? Two things:
1.) The ability to pay attention: Is the other person open and receptive, or looking at the world through narrowed eyes that tip off just how terrified they feel inside? You can’t just take their words at face value, because claiming to be alright is a basic survival skill. You have to look at how the person acts and what they don’t say.
2.) Empathy: The more successful you are, the harder it is to imagine what it must be like to be the opposite.”
“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” ~ Buddha
i received this new year’s message from a family of beautiful souls. I loved it so much, i want to share it with you.
Swift like a bullet train, a brand New Year is leaving the station. If you cannot be the engineer, be the most joyful passenger. Look for a place at the window. Enjoy every single landscape time can offer you, with the same enjoyment as if it was your first or your last trip. Do not be scared of the cliffs or the curves and the stones that can prevent you from seeing the road ahead. Try to take pleasure in the trip of life, noticing each bush, creek, edge of the road, and every nuance in the scenery. Unfold the map and plan your journey. Pay attention to all stops and be aware of the whistle announcing departure…and when you decide to get off the station where hope, friendship or love had beckoned, do not hesitate… disembark there, with all your dreams.
I WISH YOUR TRIP THROUGH 2015 IS A FIRST CLASS ONE
it’s tourist season and midtown is over flowing with shoppers, sight-seers, celebrity seekers and tree gazers!
it’s a good thing for the city – not so much for the residents. from december through january things become all discombobulated for the locals because tourists disrupt the flow. it’s nothing that can’t be fixed and it’s not even their fault. they are simply unaware of a few simple things. when travelling into the city, i’ve noticed that at the bridge & tunnel tolls, it’s always the cars with out of state plates in the ‘cash only’ lanes – the regulars have ez-pass. i’m thinking that a small list of “instructions” printed on the back of the bridge & tunnel receipts would be a great invention because it could list the rules and then they would know. since that’s not the case, i will post them here.
don’t think – just cross the street.
crossing the street in midtown is similar to participating in a game of football. there are two sides, face to face, waiting for the ‘go ahead.’ the difference is that in midtown, each team has anywhere from 25 – 50 people on each side where in football, there are only 11 on each side. during the months of february through november, when the light says walk, the ‘teams’ advance towards each other and effortlessly manage to get to the other side of the street without knocking into anyone. they’re used to it; they don’t get nervous and foot traffic just flows. on the other hand, in december and january, i believe that during the 2-3 minute wait between light changes, tourists get super focused on the opposing team which makes them nervous. their brain begins to wonder how they will manage to cross the street through all those people about to charge towards them, and they begin to map out a strategy. as soon as the light changes, they follow their mind map. because they could never predict the mind maps of the opposing team, it turns into a giant cluster of frustrated people bumping into each other, scared they will never reach the other side safely. weird but true.
when you see a pretty store window, something shiny that catches your eye or a homeless person, do not just stop in the middle of the sidewalk. this causes mid-sidewalk collisions and then you leave the city thinking ny’ers are rude.
wear your comfy flat walking shoes or you will regret it. and know that the people in the flat comfy walking shoes are the ones who must walk on the grates. women in heels have the right of way on the sidewalk whenever a grate presents itself. there is no need to worry about falling through the grates and landing in the pathway of an oncoming subway, seriously.
It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways. ~ Buddha
it was 15 years ago today that ivan and i made the trip down 2nd avenue from the humane society to e. 55th street, where we lived for his first two years. it didn’t take long for me to realize he was my family. we were inseparable and i loved him with all my heart. almost every memory i have of the last 15 years includes ivan. we moved to california together, drove across the entire usa together, lived in westfield, nj, on the 5th floor of a walk-up on 83rd street, shared the tiniest apartment ever on east 73rd street, moved to bedminster, nj and back to the city again.
on march 20th of this year, at 11:36 am, ivan went to heaven and my heart broke in half.
who goes inside a bank anymore? well, yesterday i did and as you would probably suspect, i was the only customer inside. when entering my bank from the street, you pass through the atm room where 99% of the people bank, and then open a door and round a corner to get to the real inside of the bank where the tellers are located. as i opened the door between the atm room and the actual bank, i heard someone singing the magilla gorilla song! i did not want her to become startled by the sight of a customer and stop singing, so i stopped before rounding the corner so that she would finish the song. as it turned out, i remembered every single word. when i came around the corner, i saw 3 bank tellers sitting behind the glass partition with absolutely nothing to do other than sing the magilla gorilla song and i had to make a split second guess as to which was the singer because i definitely wanted to go to her window. as luck would have it, i picked the right one and we ended up singing the magilla gorilla song together. after that we sang the mr. ed song. who would have expected this kind of happiness in the middle of a tuesday?
if you have no idea what this post is about, we could probably never be really good friends.
Everyone is entitled to his own nostalgia. ~ James Wolcott