There are days when the page is a three-hundred pounder with a wrecking ball jab and no checks in the L column.
But I’ve got a mean corner and my cut-man drinks.
One of the most frustrating things about photographing New York City is that very little happens here that isn’t supposed to happen. And everything that does happen only does so with a permission slip.
Now, I’m not one of those guys that pines for the Manhattan of old; I don’t seem to recall anyone back then hollering “This is great! I just got mugged at knife-point last night right outside a triple-X movie house!” No, I value my hide and enjoy maintaining it.
But there are things I miss, chief among them, the old men. You’d see them on the corners, smoking their stogies, checking out the news or a racing form. They didn’t wear their horn-rimmed glasses out of irony, they wore them because their wives picked them out and they fit so well in that leatherette pouch they’d tuck into a sweat-stained shirt pocket. And sometimes they’d wear wife-beaters adorned lovingly with dinner grease. Last but not least was the hair – if any was present, it’d be chopped into a brush-neat crewcut or plastered back with Brylcream.
There was a simple dignity to it. If these old-timers came back tomorrow as zombies, I would follow them to the edges of the planet without fear or complaint.
Dining outside Le Basket Cafe, I notice a sticker that says ART IS DEAD, RIOT INSTEAD.
And I figure to myself that one outta two ain’t bad, but if you’re fixing to do any rioting, do it in the mirror.
As I hurtle towards forty, I come to realize that the average full-time artist is a dictator-in-waiting. Their rage stems from the fact that their creations pack no empirical punch. They move nothing. I hate to break it to you fellas, but those poems you wrote are moldering, those paintings of yours are interred in attics so dusty, you’d have to hack the air with a goddamn war-hammer to see the sunlight.