Monday, April 28, 2008

Bern Hill

I'm sort of embarrassed to admit that I still watch Antiques Roadshow, long after its ironic hipness has worn off. I watch it for real and get jealous of all these people with their nice things. And sometimes I see something that I think I really want. This weekend was one of those times.

This guy Bern Hill used to paint promotional posters for railroads and locomotive manufacturers in the 1950's. I love old transportation art anyway; I just love big machines, I'm like a little kid. And I love that old hand-painted graphic design. But this guy was something else. He was a real artist; he made real compositions. He had a great sense of perspective and light and drama. At the same time, they're still promotional posters; he worked within the system. To be able to take that established form and make something truly unique is something I think is really special. Here are a couple examples of his work, and they may not be the best or the best quality images, I just literally took photos of my TV:

If you have any of this guy's work, I would like to buy it for a reasonable price. I don't care if it's a poster or a print or original. I just want something framed and hanging in my house. You can't buy this stuff at - I checked. Email me.

Monday, April 07, 2008

My neighborhood is a war zone

I live in a nice, quiet neighborhood full of families with little kids and everything. Normally, nothing happens here.

I do happen to live one house from a "T" intersection. My next door neighbor's house is right at the end of a long, straight road. My wife and I always thought this might be a little dangerous, but there is (was) a big sign with arrows pointing both ways, and a really high curb.

Two nights ago I was sitting in my house consuming alcohol when out of nowhere I hear this massive BOOM! I ran outside thinking somebody had hit my Jeep sitting in the driveway. But no, some jackass in a black Cadillac Escalade EXT (what else?) had t-boned my neighbor's daughter's SUV at high speed as it sat in front of their house in the intersection. Her car was now sitting on the sidewalk, its wheels buckled sideways underneath, the driver's side door and front end completely collapsed. The sign warning everyone that they need to, you know, turn, was ripped out of the ground. Luckily, my neighbor was not in the car, though she was about to be before the Escalade hit - she was getting ready to move it.

As I watched, this dickwad whips his Escalade around and takes off, almost hitting a tree in the process (I was praying for him to, but he missed by about a foot). No, I didn't get the plate and neither did anyone else. I did call the cops immediately anyway. And thank goodness, because it only took them 20 minutes to get here - our property tax dollars at work!

My neighbor's car was totaled. I don't know if they caught the hit-and-run driver. The cops didn't seem to be in any big rush to get to it.

I didn't get any pictures of that (would've been weird to try, with all my neighbors standing around), but tonight as my wife comes in the house, she points to the other side of the street and asks me what the hell happened here:

It's dark, so at first I said something like "I dunno, it's a parked car." Obviously not. I don't know if this was here when I got here tonight - it must have been. I somehow drove right passed it to our driveway. It obviously had a pretty major fire. In addition to the obvious damage, both front tires are flat, meaning it must have basically engulfed the front of the car, and the driver's side window is smashed completely in. I wonder if that means they had to pull the driver out through the window. There is debris and water marks all up and down the street along the curb.

I don't recognize the car - it's not from this block - and it's missing a front plate, which means it's probably not from this state. (I'm too lazy to go out again and check the back.) It's just sitting there right now, no driver, no tow truck, no cops or fire department. It's a freakin' mystery. Once it hits 2AM, this car's gonna get a parking ticket.

Spring has sprung and it's like all hell is breaking loose around here. Oh, I almost forgot, there was a major fire last night on one of our cross streets too. So hopefully that's the three; you know, these things always come in threes. This is more action than we ever saw living in New York City.

About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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