Thursday, June 28, 2007

Back in Brooklyn

I am back in Brooklyn again, trying to withstand the extremely warm weather and still thinking a lot about the two break-ins that my van suffered in Montréal. It's very easy after something like that to replay the circumstances on endless repeat, wondering what you should have done differently, but is that helpful? I spend a lot of time thinking about the circumstances of the thief or thieves. Were they young kids? Were they clients of the soup kitchen on the next block? Are they the homeless people camping in the neighborhood? Were they jerks or are they nice folks in a desperate situation? The fact remains that I was careless, I should never have left any valuables in my van, period. The fact also remains that try as I may to understand, I simply never will and I will never see my beloved guitar again. In addition, there is the fact that I am a mostly white, middle class anglo and no matter what I know that I am in a very priveleged group by comparison to most people in the area where I was parked, I was also an easy target with foreign plates and all around windows on the van. I know that writing about this won't bring my guitar back and that's not the point, I guess I just need to process this because like it or not I am grieving this loss. Of course I compare it to all kinds of other losses and I know that compared to some, it's just not that big of a deal but when you live in a van you are in a position of vulnerability and when someone exploits that vulnerability it is really painful.

Last time I was in Brooklyn I stayed in a hotel in Manhattan but left my van parked here on a pretty deserted block and when I came to move it 24 hours later I found that I had left the window open. Nothing had happened to it. Interesting as well, was that when I left Brooklyn I realized that I had a little something on me that I would never risk trying to take across the border so I took some green duct tape and I taped a little package to the underside of a part of a building thinking that "If it's there when I come back, great, if not, oh well.." Here's what I found when I arrived back in Brooklyn yesterday:

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Friday, June 8, 2007

New York

Last night my flight arrived in Montréal from Vancouver at one-thirty AM and I took a taxi to my van, which was parked at Marc Amsden's garage, Marc woke me up in the morning and went over the work he had done on my vegetable oil system and then I left for New York. A few miles after the border a Hare Krishna dude approached me at a rest stop saying he had seen me at the border and wanted to offer me some literature "about farming". Wish I had a picture for you. I made it to the Tri-boro bridge in record time and only sat in traffic for an hour getting to Brooklyn. I went straight to Rufus and Lauren's place and we went to Alethia's opening two doors down, ran into Selma and SF pals Lara Allen and Christine Shields on the way. I passed out in the van in my clothes with the door open and woke up at 8 am. I heart NY.

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Friday, April 27, 2007


I'm so glad to be here but just now when I looked around I got a little depressed. I'm in a coffeeshop (Atlas at Grand and Havemeyer) and everyone is drinking their coffees from paper cups, some even have plastic lids on them! Didn't any of these people get the memo? The Glaciers are melting!! My friend Hermann just emailed me from Belgium and he said it is 30 degrees celsius, (86 fahrenheit) in APRIL! Wig said it's going to be 90 degrees fahrenheit (32 celsius) in San Francisco this weekend. In SAN FRANCISCO. It was chilly throughout most of the south the entire time I was there! Do you need Time magazine to tell you that Global climate change is real? Do people think that the need to conserve energy and resources applies to others and not to them? I just asked the man next to me, who has a Greenpeace sticker on his laptop, why he is drinking his coffee from a paper cup. He said "Because that's what she gave me." I informed him that like most coffee shops, they have very nice ceramic mugs here and he may choose to ask for one in the future.

Today I ate lunch in Manhattan at my favorite Korean buffet and I talked to an employee about the over-use of disposable packaging. I was asking if it's possible to order food on a plate instead of from a styrofoam container and unfortunately, it is not, so I said it was too bad because I would eat there all the time if I could order food on a real plate. Normally I bring my own take out containers but today I didn't have them so I used a styrofoam plate. Although unappetizing and wasteful, the food was delicious, next time I will remember to bring my containers.

Things have gotten to the point that I cannot keep myself from saying something anymore. I can't tell you how much I hold my tongue when I see people in grocery stores putting an individual piece of fruit in a plastic bag or putting plastic and paper in the trash. I could rant on this all day but for now i'm just going to ask you to read this portion of an article about plastic, scroll down to the part about the environment.

Here are some other links to check out, if the information you read gets you down call me, because it gets me down too.

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