Weekend Wanders

Something I left out from my 48 Hours in Austin:

Hearing ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ played by a middle-aged couple using only percussive instruments on a stage at Austin airport.

Yes, Austin is that much a music city they have a concert stage at the airport.

I remembered that couple while watching End Of The Century, the fascinating Ramones documentary DVD. As umpteen people – well, mainly Legs McNeil – kept pointing out on camera, for all their noise and apparent attitude, The Ramones wrote great pop songs.

They also knew how to play a set so tight you couldn’t slip a cigarette paper between songs. Quoth Joe Strummer who, like three founding members of The Ramones, is sadly no longer with us,

“I particularly learned that from the Ramones. That Slam! there’s that number, where’s the next one? ‘Cos there’s people watching you. People have things to do, it’s a busy world out there, you’ve got to give it to them.”


Give it to them one more time.

“Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston” is a life size statue by artist Daniel Edwards of Britney Spears in delivery,
“complete with lactiferous breasts and protruding naval, and a posterior view that depicts widened hips for birthing and reveals the crowning of baby Sean’s head.”
“Britney provides inspiration for those struggling with the ‘right choice’,” said artist Daniel Edwards, recipient of a 2005 Bartlebooth award from London’s The Art Newspaper. “She was number one with Google last year, with good reason — people are inspired by the beauty of a pregnant woman.”

Every time I think I overdid it in my sex, drugs and art scene novel Hedonism, along comes something like this to remind me I didn’t.

Give that man another award for Deadpan. Monument to Pro-Life will be unveiled at Capla Kesting Fine Art in Brooklyn on April 7. Brooklyn, how I miss thee.

I wasn’t sad to see the back of Brooklyn Industries though. The initially independent clothing store too quickly grew to a chain, its cheap ‘Made In Brooklyn’ hoodies (many of them actually made overseas) worn by so many middle-class would-be hipsters with no sense of fashion that it soon became an embarrassment to anyone who moved to Brooklyn to avoid the masses.

I wasn’t the only one who came to view Brooklyn Industries as the fashion equivalent of a bad fad. When my old ‘hood’s 5th Avenue store recently decorated its window with “tall bikes”, each essentially “a pair of ordinary cycles stacked into a single ride six feet high,” they hit a nerve with the city’s um, tall bikers. As this week’s Village Voice cover story reports, the two-wheeled community reacted with acid.

“Bike Culture Not for Sale,” read the runny white lettering found February 23 on the glass at the four Brooklyn Industries outlets in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Said assistant manager, McKenzie Rollins, “They could have left a note. They could have gotten in touch with us about their concerns.”

(Um, is that not exactly what they did??)

The Village Voice takes this story of biker rebellion and rides it a little too far, writing in detail about C.H.U.N.K. 666,

“dedicated to dedicated to fashioning “mutant” bikes from discarded scraps and spare parts—for love, not money,”

before eventually informing us that

“C.H.U.N.K. currently has 20 members.”

That should change the world then.

One of the tall bike designers featured in the Voice story, Michael Green, responds to all and sundry on his own bikeblog, and I like his style,

I still think it was a harsh lesson for Brooklyn Industries to learn that mutant bikes are a cherished cultural icon unlike the Bad Brains logo which can easily be transformed into selling the word Brooklyn, displayed on one of their many t-shirts.


Still in New York. Kosmo Vinyl, that is. The former Clash “manager” and Chelsea fan cropped up – again – on the Brian Lehrer show this week. (I mean, how many people called Kosmo with a London accent can there be in NYC?) He called in on a segment about NYC pollution to ask if we should therefore cut down on dry cleaning. Last time he called in, it was during a segment on the Danger Mouse Beatles-Jay Z samplemarathon, in which he sided with those artists whose music is used and recycled without consent. As you can tell, I’m still equally addicted to Brian’s show, despite leaving the city, and if I ever meet Kosmo, at least we’ll have someone in common.

Finally, Leaving New York (State), the wife (hi, mum!) is going on holiday in April. She’s looking for somewhere warm, with miles and miles of boardwalk, so she can start training properly for her marathon this year while still using the baby jogger. Anyone have anywhere to recommend? And do NOT say either the Jersey Shore or Florida. She hopes to make it somewhere a little more exotic.

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1 Comment(s)

  1. 26 March, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Posie here, didn’t mind Florida, keeping it simple and cheap, just hadn’t been able to find a place that seemed to fit the bill there. Tony posted the request for ideas too late, I booked the trip Saturday, since I found a place in Florida near my sister’s that rents out Baby Joggers (a very big stroller) so I don’t have to bring one! They say the beach is hard enough there to use the jogger on the beach. Saving the more exotic for when we all go together sometime. Still will appreciate any ideas for jogging many uninterrupted miles with a stroller for the future, places that aren’t so built up as Florida.


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