Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Longest Day of the Year

I snapped this while riding my bike up Center Street on Sunday (this is not the same as texting on the T!), during that stunning early evening light that everyone must have noticed; the sky darkened by rainclouds but the sun shining through illuminating the darkness from below. It was the longest day of the year. The days start getting shorter now, but it'll happen slow, and the summer has just begun. Enjoy every sandwich.
Below, candid of teen on cell phone. PVTA Bus # 43, 4:15 Sunday afternoon, on the way back to Northampton after seeing "The Hangover" with Dave at the Hampshire Mall (his review), where we used to go to the movies as long ago as 1977. I remember being in Pip Von Hummel's brown Impala downing Miller High Life in the mall parking lot on a crisp October night and hearing WCCC announce that Lynyrd Skynyrd's plane had gone down. Elvis had died that summer. I wasn't particularly moved by either passing. But Keith Moon, John Bonham, and John Lennon hit home for me. No one noticed that Nick Drake died in 1974. We didn't know of him. Who did? And now who doesn't?
People are getting creative about transportation. A motorized bicycle and a cargo tricycle. You can convert your bike with a kit.There may be someone who can sell you this kit locally, or do it for you. I'm pretty sure you need a driver's license but not insurance. Like a moped or scooter.
Good and Fresh. Bueneo y Sano is healthy but a bit bland for my taste. Locally you have yo go to La Veracruzana for something closer to real Mexican food vs. Bueno's fusion. La V is also really pumped about Sonia Sotomayor's nomination and have a a newpaper photo in the window. They're also very nice about letting me put posters in the window sometimes, like The New York Doll's poster thats up now plugging this Thursday's gig at Pearl Street. They cater for us at IHEG a lot too.
"Okay honey. I'll get you an iPhone but you have to give me lessons."
A man may smile and bid you hail, Yet wish you to the devil; But when a good dog wags his tail,
You know he's on the level.

Letter from a street musician to the Gazette:

Street musician argues that the rules are too difficult

To the editor:

The city of Northampton is waging a war on the very people that give it its unique culture and mystique. These people, the street musicians like myself, have had to deal with increasingly strict regulations and an extraordinarily inconvenient method of obtaining a permit.

Most of these people are honest individuals who make their living providing Northampton with the bohemian atmosphere that it is known for, and are unjustly being discriminated against for no crimes of their own.

Today, myself and another musician attained a street musicians permit at the department of public works in Florence. After taking the long walk from downtown to get there, we were told that the $25 fee is not payable by cash, only by check or money order. Most street musicians are poor artists who do not possess checking accounts or vehicles. The fee is understandable, but couldn't they sell permits at city hall for cash?

Furthermore, Northampton business owners are pressuring the city to put unreasonable regulations on street musicians. We are no longer allowed to play after 9 p.m., no longer allowed to play in the same spot for more than two hours, and the regulations about where we can stand have become increasingly strict.

Business owners seem to assume that street musicians scare away potential customers, but I would argue that many people come to Northampton for the downtown bohemian culture that the businesses seek to destroy. Very few people dislike music, and if the customers of Northampton truly did not like our music, they would probably not be willing to pay for it. If anything, I think that the business owners of Northampton should be happy that we provide the streets with entertainment so that more people will come to their stores. --Nicholas Canby

Local Burger urges. Matt observes that the burgers taste saltier of late. I think he's right. What's up local burger? Ease up on the sodium. Pepper maybe. But remember, tigers hate cinnamon. It's worth getting the grass fed beef, and on the weekend they have a dry aged beef that tops them all. If you don't ask, they default to the Angus. How am I suddenly the beef buff? This place has gotten me recklessly carnivorous of late.
Advert from November 1955 Seventeen Magazine, retouched by me to simplify, beautify, and eliminate reference to product, a bra with "petal lift."
Really? In Northampton? Who would think it?
Unknown soul exchange.
How odd. The person walking by my window (at 2AM) is whistling in perfect time to the Fleet Foxes song "Tiger Mountain Peasant Song" that I'm playing quietly 3 floors up from the street.

At Joe's Pizza tonight, it was Beth, Paul, Wylie and special guest appearances by Jen Snyder and Lance Posner. We were seated at the big table in the far back that shares only one other table with that room which means whoever's at the small table is inescapably subjected to the party of as many as eigth's conversation. Ir 's sorta like the "kid's table" at a family gathering. Anyway, we were talking about how great Shelburne Falls is and Wylie made a....dismissive.. comment about Turner's Falls. When the two ladies at the table left, Jen caught a sideways glance and picked up on one of them saying, "well, let's go back home to TURNER'S FALLS now, shall we?" Hey, I've got nothing against T Falls. You''ll have to talk to Wylie.

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