I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.
Edgar Allen Poe
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- H. L. Mencken
Many people would sooner die than think; In fact, they do so
What I have been telling you, from alpha to omega, what is the one great thing the sigil taught me — that everything in life is miraculous. For the sigil taught me that it rests within the power of each of us to awaken at will from a dragging nightmare of life made up of unimportant tasks and tedious useless little habits, to see life as it really is, and to rejoice in its exquisite wonderfulness. If the sigil were proved to be the top of a tomato-can, it would not alter that big fact, nor my fixed faith. No Harrowby, the common names we call things by do not matter — except to show how very dull we are ...
-James Branch Cabell
May 28, 2017 - 7:37 p.m.
I'm going out tomorrow morning so I am writing this on Saturday night and will post it before I leave. Will I remember to do so? You'll find out when this is posted. As usual I've procrastinated and waited too long to start writing. This will probably be another short edition of Wise Madness.
Today I went to the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts. I just found out about it this morning when the Kennedys put up the poster on Facebook. They played and were the reason I went.
It's Memorial Day weekend and I was afraid it would be difficult getting on and off City Island; there's only one access road and the traffic can back up for miles. Leaving was fine except that the draw bridge was up. There was more traffic getting on to the Island. That makes sense as it was one o'clock.
Guess who neighborhood the Lower East Side Festival of the Arts is held in? If you said, The Lower East Side, you are wrong; it's the East Village, a half mile north of the LES. I'm sure there's an explanation. I don't know it. The poster said it was at the Theater for the New City on 1st Ave. It wasn't. It was 10th Street between 1st and 2nd avenues. There were some events at the theater but the music and food was on the street.
I walked down the block looking for the Stage and the Kennedys. I found the stage but not Pete and Maura so continued to the end of the block. I still didn't find them but I found an Ecuadorian food stand with grilled corn; I couldn't resist. I went back to the stage and saw Peteless Maura sitting in the audience with a seat next to her and I joined her. She saw someone she knew and went over to talk to her. It was her college roommate Debby Schwartz, her band Psych O-Positive was playing right before the Kennedys. I think that was total coincidence. I stood with Pete and Maura during their set. It would have fit in at CBGB's in its hay day, they rocked hard. I have to catch them do a full set someplace.
I might have thought that the Kennedys designed their set to follow that but I was with Pete as he wrote it out before POP when on. They too rocked hard, the only exceptions were 9th Street Billy and Stand. Billy's store as you might guess is just a block away.
The coincidences continued as Syd Straw was walking her dog on 10th street and stumbled on the Kennedys playing. She lives in the Neighborhood as do Pete and Maura. I'm sure they walked to the gig as I doubt they could find closer parking.
I got up to leave after their set. I saw someone that looked familiar but couldn't place him for a second. Then the next band was announced, it was Feral Foster. I know Feral well, he works at Jalopy. I knew he was a musician and I've been meaning to see him for years but could never work it out. That's my loss, he was great, very traditional sounding folk even though he wrote two of the three songs he played. All you need is a voice, a guitar, and something to say; something that's not, "I'm sensitive and nobody ever felt like I do."
After his set, I said goodbye to Pete and Maura and went to one of my two favorite ice cream stores in the City, Davey's at 1st Ave between 8th and 9th street. I was so close I couldn't resist. It's one of the only places that I'll order a flavor of ice cream with no chocolate in it; I can't resist their strong coffee. That's the flavor, not a cup of coffee. Not that I forewent chocolate, I had a double cone and the second scoop was chocolate chocolate. Adding chocolate to chocolate is always an excellent idea. Not only is the ice cream the best, I love the staff. You know me, I gush, I tell them how much I love the ice cream. The lovely English woman at the register didn't just say, "thank you," she got in a conversation with me. They have another store now in Chinatown with Asian accented flavors like green tea. We also discussed how my hair is a hygrometer and said that despite how it looked outside it wasn't going to rain. My hair was right.
I was thinking of shopping but there was nothing I needed right away and the temperature was dropping. I was dressed for a hot day and it was dipping below 70°. When I got home I checked something important, Lickity Split Ice Cream is open! That's the one two blocks from me. I'll be heading their tomorrow or the next day. It depends on what time I get home tomorrow. Bernie, Jane, and I are heading up to the Warwick Valley Winery for their annual Bob Dylan festival. The Kennedys are playing! When I had a car, I went every year to both days that Pete and Maura played and sold their merch. One year I sold merch for everybody. This will be my first time back since my car was wrecked six years ago. That's where I'm going tomorrow so I won't have time to write. I hard boiled some eggs to bring with me and I'll also make a peanut butter sandwich. I don't want to have to buy food. I have to remember my stadium seat and festival blanket. I should be good and get them ready to go. I'll do it as soon as this is posted.
The Missionary Position and We'll Always Have Paris - June 02, 2017
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