Saturday, August 29, 2009

Charlie Parker and Michael Jackson were born on the same day.

Coincidence? Probably. But they were both great American entertainers, innovators who were unsurpassed in their own, self-created genres, and both of them came to an early and unforunate end: Parker died at age 35, fifteen years younger than MJ.

Today there will be a celebration of MJ's life in Prospect Park just a few blocks away; WKCR's birthday broadcast (24 hours of Bird) is going out over the air today as well.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Blight

Woe is me, my friends, for we, all of us, are stuck in a predicament so dire that it is almost beyond description. What if, I ask you, the fruit of your labors, the carrot at the end of the stick, long chased-after and all the more desirable for it, were to fall to dust suddenly upon being grasped? What if, gentelmen, a long-desired woman, finally within your grasp after years of wooing and betrothal, was overcome by stroke and died, even as she finally lay on your marital bed? Truly I tell you that you would be no sadder than I am now.

For I am stricken with the blight: the Late Blight, the very disease which decimated those potato crops, sending hordes of German and Irish immigrants to these American shores. OK, I am not directly affected by the disease, I mean, I don't have blight-sores opening up on my own arms & legs, but it's still bad. In fact, it's worse: it's hurting the tomatoes.

First, a bit of backstory: in two of the last four years, I have cursed myself by planting tomatoes. Each time I planted tomatoes, fate intervened such that I had to move, unexpectedly, on August 1st, just as the tomatoes bore fruit. Somehow, my tomato misfortune deepened last year: I was traveling in August, and was unable to eat any top-quality heirloom tomatoes at all.

But this all pales in comparison to the destruction this year: my ill luck has sunk the entire east coast tomato crop, hitting the heirlooms varieties, with their limited defenses, hardest of all.

In truth I have already eaten more heirlooms this year than last, but the Blight has resulted in a much thinner and weaker crop than I would have hoped for. For me, knowing that the Blight is waiting around every corner has, in fact, become an incentive to enjoy the season as much as I can, and I implore each and every one of you to do the same.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Heights #2

Another image from the Brooklyn Heights rooftop. The heights has such a spectacular view of lower Manhattan...

Lower Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights

Last night from a rooftop in Brooklyn Heights -- nice clouds because of the impending storm. Not a terrible thing to see every night and every morning.