Lame Adventure 377: Freedom from Oppression

Possibly the title of this Lame Adventure is a tad dramatic, but I am a fan of three day holiday weekends. This Memorial Day respite from The Grind was productive. I volunteer ushered two plays and purchased three rolls of paper towels. Obviously, I have living the high life in this jeweled metropolis down to a science. The weather on Memorial Day itself was gorgeous and exactly the way I like it — warm with a vibrant clear blue sky. A sunny tribute to the people that got screwed for freedom.

The Upper West Side's sky is so blue the soot is undetectable.

The Upper West Side’s sky so deep blue the soot is barely undetectable.

It was the comfortable kind of warmth I love replete with low humidity. Good air quality, or as good as air quality gets in the dense urban jungle, is something that is very welcome. It allows me to walk down the street and reach the curb without my back dripping so much sweat I give the impression of having trudged in the Bataan Death March or my personal equivalent, climbing the five flights of stairs up to my office at The Grind.

Bosco the dog keeping cool in his fur coat.

Bosco the aloof keeping cool in his fur coat.

In the not too distant future, once the calendar inches towards late June or by early July, the downside of summer will kick in with full force. That’s when the stifling heat and humidity return: puddles of garbage soup will fill subway train tracks while the platform transforms into the seventh circle of hell. My air condition-less garret will double for a sweat lodge, but minus the benefit of a purification ceremony. I will also suffer the indignity of not having another good hair day again until mid-September. On the upside, this year I’ll have a four day holiday weekend in July and another one on Labor Day that coincides with U.S. Open tennis.

Good time to invest in a new cap.

Time to invest in a new cap.

Bad hair under here.

Bad hair under here.

But, until I am once again reduced to wearing a storm cloud of frizz on my head and stewing in my own juices, this weekend that launched summer was indeed lovely.

Nice day to bring out the '64 Buick Lesabre.

Nice day to bring out the ’64 Buick Lesabre.

Too bad these user-friendly temperatures will not continue through August. Meanwhile, I rather enjoyed hearing a free jazz version of Misty while walking up Columbus Avenue feeling as free as a pigeon.

Photographing Museum of Natural History turret while hearing music.

Photographing pigeon-less perch, a Museum of Natural History turret.

In fact I appreciated it even more when I realized that I was not suffering a Johnny Mathis-themed aural hallucination while running that simple errand for paper towels.

Unexpected source of Misty-playing free jazz.

Surprise source of Misty-playing free jazz.

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84 responses to “Lame Adventure 377: Freedom from Oppression

  1. I’ve been overseas so long that I forgot that yesterday was Memorial Day.

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    • Glad that my site could be your link to what’s going on in the US. Independence Day is coming up on July 4th. Mark your calendar and thanks for visiting Nikki!

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      • I know that. 🙂 It’s why I had to wait until a day after my visa expired (it expires on July 4th) to book my flight back to the States.

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        • Welcome back come July 5th, Nikki. Are you heading East Coast, West Coast, Alaska, Hawaii, or some points in between?

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          • I think I re-enter the states in Chicago, which is kind of ridiculous because I’m heading for St. Louis. That means I have a 4-hour layover in Chicago and then a 45-minute flight to St. Louis when I could have just taken a train in that time. But when I was bidding for the flight, it was one of those deals that if I want a lower price for it, I had to agree not to see the connecting flights’ locations (and usually, I like the suspense in these sorts of things).

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  2. Snoring Dog Studio

    A lovely day in your city, for sure. We had soaking rains here. Hiked 6 miles on Saturday and paid for it the rest of the long weekend. I adore long weekends. Must have more.

    I think a city devoid of smells would be a boring place to live. It would be like some retirement village in Arizona. All you’d smell is Polident.

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  3. More on the paper towels if you please. For example where we’re they purchased? In a 3-Pak (like the cool advert spelling)? Or wee e they purchased individually? If so, at the same store and for the same price? Or was it a buy 2 get 1? Brand? # of plies? Were they quicker picker-uppers? I dare say Ameeica wants, nay, NEEDS to know.

    Who actually spends all that $$$ to come to NYC or DC or Boston and actually shells out money for those ridiculous hats that say CIA or FBI? God I would like to see the lame
    ass who “invented” that colossal fashion fart.

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    • IPhuckup alert: I do know the difference between the past teams of the verb to be (3rd person plural) and the contraction for we are. Unfortunately the asshats at Apple think that because I use “we’re” more frequently than “were” that it is perfectly acceptable to guess I meant the former when I typed in the latter.

      Also I do know that I live in America and not Ameeica.

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    • I’m a Bounty broad.

      Yes, one has to be quite a dipshit to wear a hat that says CIA or FBI. I’d prefer one that says WTF?

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    • haa fashion fart. Kinda like a Yankee hat

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      • Hey Audra, yeah a perfect name for the interlocking NY. I could go ranker in describing it but there are lines even I won’t cross! Go Sawx!!!

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        • Fun games this weekend eh?

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          • Happily surprised especially after the beating they took on Thursday night. Nice to get a laugher last night while the Yankee fans squirmed watching their beloved Pinstripers fall to the lowly Mets from that other borough.

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  4. Glad it was a pleasant day, yesterday, V. Maybe the pleasant temperatures will stay a few more weeks. We’re having the same here…

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  5. Glad you had a great weekend, Lame. I loved Bosco The Aloof. Whaddaguy. We are considering NY in July or August but perhaps not after your review?

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    • You, Phil and the tall-fry are heading here, Kate!!!!!!!!!!! Now I insist that you must! July’s generally nicer than August.

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      • We will bear that in mind, though school does not finish until July 23 or so.. .but the heat, Lame, the heat!
        What am I saying? It is 10 degrees C, that’s 50 F, here right now. We can use all the heat we can get.

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        • It might hit 90 here by tomorrow or Thursday, Kate. Isn’t there a famous song, August in New York? (ahem) If you do visit in August, every place but my apartment is air conned, so indoors, it will seem like a perfect fall day weather-wise. It’s always a lot cooler in Central Park. You’ll think you’re in your home forest. Maybe Felix can even capture a squirrel, let it die in his backpack and take it home to Macaulay. The smell of rotting squirrel would surely be bliss to your hound and a wonderful Lame Adventure memory for all the Shrewsdays. The Apple beckons Kate! Maybe that Lego sculpture will still be in Times Square … Don’t count on that; someone will likely steal it by then. Keep me posted on what you decide.

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  6. Sometimes it’s the little things that make a day so wonderful. Having the day off and adding it to the weekend could be one reason, but the fresh air, good hair, Misty music and pleasant temps can’t hurt when they collide for a one-day bonanza. Glad you got to top it off with new paper towels.

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  7. I hate the heat and humidity of summer as well. And I chopped off most of my hair to try to elude the frizzball look I usually sport.

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  8. Favorite line: That’s when the stifling heat and humidity return: puddles of garbage soup will fill subway train tracks while the platform transforms into the seventh circle of hell. Thanks for the vivid smell recollection. Awesome, as usual.

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  9. I think we’ve still got plenty of time to work up a good purification ceremony for you before summer kicks in full-force. Were they running a special on paper towels at Fairway, or is it just your way of celebrating the holiday?

    We had glorious weather in the Ozarks, an indication that sweltering heat is just around the bend. Unfortunately, most of us here have already had our annual bath. We ought to be pretty ripe by 4th of July.

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    • When your fellow Ozarkians start scratching behind the ear with a foot, Russell, is that a sign that it’s time again for the next bath in the season? As for my air condition-less abode, it will retain heat until mid-September, about the time when the purification process will commence, a time that coincides with the start of the New York Film Festival, also known as Better Than Xmas to Milton and me.

      I purchase my paper towels at a hole in the wall store called Essentials because they sell Bounty for 99 cents there. What I save I can invest in visits to preferred watering holes with members of my posse, a.k.a. therapy Lame Adventures-style.

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  10. Yes the weather was fine, now if we could get the mob to behave as finely as the weather…

    I was at the flea market in Lambertville and the mob was despotic.

    R.

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    • I will refrain from asking if you had a good time with the marketing fleas, R. On the way over to one of my ushering gigs, there was a street fare here on the Upper West Side. I kept my distance.

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  11. The “bad hair” caption was delightful.

    I loved the garbage soup paragraph for a different reason. It was unpleasant to be sure, but I love evocative writing.

    Your description of NY weather reminds me of of a line Shane Macgowan wrote about London (and this is from memory, and may very well lose something), “Your hell is in the summer, and you blossom in the spring. September is your purgatory, and Christmas is your heaven.”

    Myself, I subscribe to the “John Rocker Doctrine” with regard to the Big Apple. You might think it unfair to hold such a viewpoint, considering I’ve spent very little time in the City. But I’ve never been afraid to form an ironclad opinion on something despite the handicap of ignorance. Ask anybody–it’s a defining characteristic.

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    • Also, I totally hear you when you talk about escaping the oppression of work. For the past several days I’ve been forced to work a real job, with semi-“big boy” hours–10-3. Three more days. Pray for me.

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    • Right, you subscribe to the “John Rocker Doctrine” about NYC, Smak! You need to visit again. Possibly you’ve forgotten that the streets are paved with herbal essence and everywhere you look, there’s a babelicious woman.

      I like your paraphrase of Shane Macgowan’s observation about weather, but fall is my favorite season. I’m a sucker for the leaves changing color not to imply that I do much more than look at the trees on my block to figure this out.

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  12. I’ll tell you something, I miss the city a lot, but summer in NYC is something I don’t need, the humidity and all the smells on the subway are killers, specially in Union Sq and Grand Central. However, I do miss the movies at Bryant Park.

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    • There’s also Shakespeare in the Park in summer, too, Leo, and outdoor dining just off the Hudson at the 79th Street Boat Basin Cafe. Lincoln Center always has something going on outside. Plus, my all-time favorite sporting event, US Open Tennis, comes around at the end of August. If the city is not a total furnace all summer, it’s not all bad. But there are days when, yeah, it’s brutal out here and the subway feels like a deathtrap, that’s for sure.

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  13. V., I, too, dread the stifling heat and humidity. Even though I have window A/Cs, not yet installed, the house is still hot with them, and it’s hard to breathe. I can’t imagine you in your garret w/o A/C — I think I said this to you last year. 🙂

    I find this weather especially intrusive after having lived at the beach in So Cal for 30 years, where the weather was the same every day — sunny and 72 with a breeze. When I first moved there, I wondered why they had weathermen/women.

    Let’s hope for a short summer.

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  14. The worst subway station in the summer is West 4th. Or maybe 34th St on the F/B line. Thank goodness I don’t go above Houston St anymore! 🙂

    I love the US Open also…now if they only played in October…

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    • I briefly lived in the Village when I first moved here Jackie and I recall how horrible the West 4th Street station was. They can’t play in October — that’s New York Film Festival season!

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  15. If you’d like to beat the heat and hear jazz – head to brooklyn Tues evenings where husband and I present music. 🙂 You can get more than paper towels there, a beer, and maybe sit next to an “old timer” at the bar? http://www.konceptionsmusic.com

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  16. Bosco is so cool! What is your relation to the dog, please?

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    • Pixie, my relation to Bosco is simple: I saw him taking a walk with his owner on Columbus Avenue. I admired his coat and his owner, a really nice guy, permitted me to take is handsome pooch’s picture.

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  17. Hot in the City. Your post invokes that film image that I often identify with New York City – children rushing in and out of a stream of water gushing from an opened fire-hydrant. (For some reason the image also includes a cop dressed in vintage uniform garb pacing around in the side lines).

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    • Gill, I didn’t encounter any cops or kids and the weather when I write that post was actually more pleasant than hot, but I appreciate the association with Life magazine-style photography. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

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      • I think it was your description of the weather to come, i.e. bad hair days and sweat inducing humidity that took me there. I spent a brief spell of time in The City in my twenties and loved it so am really enjoying your blog. Patti Kuche (also wordpress )does a great photographic take on NYC and I am really enjoying that too. You guys live in an amazing place.

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  18. So glad you had a productive weekend. Paper towels and a new cap, dude you were on a roll. And all of that in that awesome weather glad to hear that you had all the goods that weekend.

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    • That weekend was lovely. This past one Manhattan felt like a steam bath, but come August Guat, how it felt last weekend will seem like a brisk fall day as I anticipate the heat waves that are heading my way.

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  19. Hello from Cali!

    First off, I think your blog is hilarious, so please don’take this the wrong way. 🙂 I loved the way you described NU in the summer, but I have to say it was a bit of a stab in the heart over the phrase “for those who got screwed for freedom”. I believe one of the rights of America that makes it beautiful is free speech. I just want to let you know that there are hundreds upon thousands of families and individuals who were badly wounded in this conflict, my husband one of them. This year marks 3 years since he was blown up by an IES, and just this last Nov was able to walk without aid from his cane. Of we had the mindset that we got screwed, we never ever would have made it through this time. I believe that our Wounded Warriors
    and our KIA deserve more than a sentance saying “those that werebscrewed for freedom”… They are doing it for your freedom, and would willingly do it again.

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    • IED, not IES.

      Sorry for any typos, my phone is possessed and makes up its own decision of where letters shall be. 🙂 Also, I just want to stress that this was.not said in a confrontational way. Hate the war, but please support the troops, especially those whose lives have been.chamged forever, yet they still smile. 🙂

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    • Hi Jes,

      Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. If I sounded snarky about people that serve in the armed forces, it was not intentional. I was just eluding to what Memorial Day is about and how I would feel if I served and was a casualty. Think of James Franco playing Aron Ralston and saying “Oops” when his arm was pinned by that boulder in the film 127 Hours. Upon reflection, I could have worded it better or simply not mentioned it at all. My site is not intentionally trying to court adversity. My readership is made up of all types on both sides of the political, social and religious divides. I welcome that. Here in Lame Adventures-land, where most posts are not about anything with much depth, I try to entertain and not take anything too seriously. We have enough seriousness in our daily lives, as I’m sure you have an industrial size amount in yours. I’m very sorry that your husband was wounded. I hope that should you return to this site from time to time you’ll just be amused by the shenanigans and find it a fun escape for a minute or two.

      Best,
      V

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