396 Mainlining village dreamtracks for infamy into an Oblivion Atlas of forgetting
Epic walk yesterday .. 12th to 2nd street. After the grind of midtown, now reaping the harvest of our Maphattan Project. In our Oz flashback 2 posts ago (in meatspace 24 years ago), we 1st learned of the concept of songlines/dreamtracks, in the context of Aboriginal walkabouts ... as we hitchhiked ourselves cross Australia. More recently we connected the idea of these dreamtracks to our Maphattan Project ... seems NYSonglines.com also captured this idea Gothamly ... (tho the design + site navigation needs help) ... + ours becomes more of a personal odyssey ... weed us out landmarks relevant to our sensibilities + also to recapitulate the meaning these streets have imparted on us living here sum 14 years ...
... sum 23 miles ... + sum of the more tricky route-finding so far—as we walked, K'Naan's T.I.A. went thru our head ... «the streets is tricky in these parts here». No, K'Naan ... we don't know how hard it is there (in Somalia) ... even w/ a year living in Nairobi under our belt dont have us a clue what an African feels in the same streets—the trickiness we refer to has more to do w/ navigation, (why the Aborigines came up w/ songlines in 1st place—to help them find their way thru the landscape) ... optimizing our route ... + to not miss relevant landmarks. In meatspace our field map not nearly so clean ... here's the fielded version we went off, updating as we went along...
Started west to the river, past 105 Bank where John Cage lived + also Lennon/Ono ... looping back on Bethune, where Philip Seymour Hoffman died in the Pickwick House (our last walk went past his other residence on Jane street where he lived w/ his family). When we lived at 8th ave + 13th st (in 2009), we saw him 1x round there. Then past where Thomas Pynchon lived off + on in the 70s, at 113 W 11th:
... further down 11th past 117-A studios where Bad Brains recorded + sposedly lived (after banishment from D.C.) ... + also Beastie Boys (when Polliwog Stew) + other punk bands from the early 80s.
... looping back on East 10th where Leadbelly hung his hat (#414) + also Ginsberg (#408).
Diane Arbus lived at 120 E 10th for a few years, right before she died.
... wandering past where Charlie Parker lived on 151 Ave B ... + Iggy Pop at 143 B ... across the street from the Tompkins Square "gym" (a playground) where we used to «work out» when we lived in the east village. Sposedly Lou Reed + John Cale lived on 10th + 3rd ... tho not sure what address exactly.
Searching now it seems Parker Posey left these 10th street digs cuz she wanted a doorman ... + Chloë Sevigny + James Iha also live/lived on this block ... we saw Iha 1x further east in the E.V. + Sevigny we 1x saw in Central Park.
Passed St. Mark's Church, past where St. Mark's bookshop used to sit (later in this walk we'd pass the new sterile location). Also past Three Lives + Company bookstore further west ... past the Village Vanguard, Stonewall, The White Horse + Arthur's Tavern ... too many haunts to mention. Stopped for a cappuccino + croissant forget where, more on the east side.
Moving on ... past 4 West 10th where sposedly Samuel Clemens lived + also at 21 Fifth Ave ... not that we associate Mark Twain w/ NYC.
Jackson Pollock surfed around the West villaj a bit, residing at 47 Horatio, 46 Carmine, 76 W Houston + 46 E 8th St.
As we were walking by Shnabel's gaudy mansion, his son Vito came out ... not that we keep tabs of this shit or recognize faces—we rely on our better ½ to tell us who's who. We probly walk past «famous» people all the time w/o knowing. Like on this walk we happened upon some paparazzi gathering as a black car pulled up ... (near Astor place) + only after we snapped this photo (below) did our better ½ tell us she = Jesse's girlfriend in Breaking Bad, the 1 that ODs + dies (w/ Heisenberg's help).
Have us more interest in works of art, rather than the artist.
+ happy we ≠ famous ... that'd suck. Enjoy our anonymity.
Past Frank O'Hara's crib (441 E 9th) then Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios on 52 W 8th.
Stopped to eat The Little Owl ... appropriately precious + quaint for the west villaj, tho the food quite ordinary ... certainly not worthy of a 27 in Zagat.
Stopped in for a vodka-soda at Vazaak's bar on 7th + B ... used to go here a lot when we lived on 7th but never we knew the name (just called it the rocker bar w/ the good jukebox). Also didn't realize at the time that Frank Pentangeli almost got whacked by the Rosato Brothers here in Godfather II ... before a cop inadvertently interrupted them ... the stairwell where Pentangeli slumped over ½-dead now a sort of xmas shrine w/ fake fluffy snow, pink flamingos, xmas lights + a cash machine. Guess Crocodile Dundee also had a drink or 2 at Vazaak's on his NYC walkabout. Mostly we think of Vazaak's bar as where we saw Nadal beat Federer in Wimbledon '09 ... right before we got a tattoo before leaving NYC for Nairobi.
... little did we know then, but William Burroughs 1x lived 2 doors down at 206 E 7th ... where he started to write Naked Lunch:
... past where Nico lived on Ave A, between 6th + 7th (not that we don't think VU better off w/o her).
Zig-zagging E-W-W-E ... past another place where Ginsberg lived + died (704 E 5th ) + yet another on 170 E 2nd ... past where we 1x saw Philip Glass come out of a brownstone on 2nd street. Past the Anthology Film Archives.
Back west ... past another of Dylan's houses (on 94 MacDougal).
Had dinner at Blue Ribbon ... fried chicken, while they played tacky rasta-Xmas tunes.
Reading material we digested long the way (still digging our way thru our To Read pile ...)
> The Oblivion Atlas—short stories my Michael Zell, sum of which we've already read in various places or as submissions to Sleepingfish (1 of which was published in issue 12) ... + photos/design by Louviere + Vanessa—to create quite a stunning confluence of text-image. Good book to inspire flâneuring, tho Zell's adopted turf = New Orleans (where we met him on a visit there a year or 2 ago).
> Theories of Forgetting by Lance Olsen—read a draft version of this a year or 2 ago when he sent it to us for consideration ... not that it ≠ worthy of Calamari, but mutually we decided it best for the book to publish under FC2, mostly cuz of our ineptness at marketing + promotion. Theories of Forgetting has a lot in common w/ our recent 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' project in that it weaves 2-3 different perspectives together like textual tapestry, tho we put our sibling perspectives side by side + Olsen puts his running against each other in the opposite direction (so u flip the book over + read in the other direction when u get to an end). It also uses a lot of text/image constructs, diagrams, different fonts to designate speaker, etc. ... + ever a reflexive awareness of the book as a document under an editorial eye (Lance Olsen refers to himself as «editor» of the book).
> Standing in Line for The Beast by Jason Bredle—every once in a while we force ourselves to read poetry ... + this 1 caught our attention a year or 2 back, but i dunno ... think we dyslexic when it comes to reading lined poetry. Sumthin bout the xpectation it sets for itself before even getting off the ground. This beast almost reads like prose tho ... + for poetry seems better than most.
> NOÖ no 15—Mike Young gave this to us at his reading a few days ago at Mellow Pages ... good as always, the last issue w/ Young as editor (he's handing the reins over to Tyler Gobble, Austin Hayden, Gene Kwak, Carrie Lorig + Nick Sturm).
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