Friday, December 15, 2006

The Day The Music (Really) Died

Friends, after three years of regular visits and almost famous, garden state memories, Black & White has closed its doors.

They swear they are reopening, but, as of now, my regular mid-week, post-jam, pre-yuppie, gentrified retro-dive bar is no longer. Maybe they finally got busted for letting people smoke inside, maybe the hipsters finally got hungry and ate that cowboy-like bar tender or maybe, just maybe, they finally realized Interpol wasn?t cool anymore and decided to throw in the towel.

Since first venturing to my favorite 10th Street bar (not counting HiFi and French Roast) in 2004 (I think), a lot has changed, yet this shadier than in seems slice of life has allowed me to make the same mistakes over and over again. Some hilights:

My first public fight with …the Christmas Jon managed to cock block me while simultaneously outing himself as a Sex in the City fanatic…Carlos from Interpol spinning in Sundays (I never made it, but can still name drop it), drinking with Evan and the Steel Train crew on Tuesdays (I almost always made it, but no one listened when I named dropped ), my second public fight with Emily...pre-Magic Numbers party planning, post-Modest Mouse party crashing…leaving the bar just as Bono and the Strokes arrived…arriving at the bar just as Christina who I have been trying to hook up with for three years left…my third public fight with Emily...Halloween post-Vegoose, goodbye drinks pre-Bonnaroo…those nights I wish I could remember, more of those nights I wish I didn’t remember my fourth public fight with Emily (come to think of it, maybe I should have brought her to a different bar)?

Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m not going to return from Israel or, really, that I need to update my blog. Either way, Goodbye black and white…Your credit car machine will surely miss my love of Seven and Sevens

Mikey Greenhaus

Monday, December 11, 2006 Year in Review Set

This week: Jon Fishman, Jon Gutwillig, Buddy Cage, Josh Baron, Broken Social Scene, Steve Adams, Steel Train, Andy Hurwitz, P-Groove, U-Melt, Alecia Cohen

Thursday, December 07, 2006


The concept of the plus one fascinates me mostly because it’s so undefined. Presumably the plus one is intended for a significant other, business associate, or prospective business associate/significant (or maybe both depending on how you define the term networking). Since I don’t currently have a prospective crazy girl/business associate in need of wooing, I’ve been divvying up any +1s among a few of my favorite concert going buddies who fit the bill of the plus 1, but, whom, also fall outside traditional crazy girl/business associate boundaries. And, yes, figuring out who is appropriate for what show has caused me to lose enough hair to look even more like George Castanza.

Take, for instance, Tuesday’s Ryan Adams show. In general I feel Ryan Adams shows are filled with dudes who pretend their girlfriends are ‘really into Ryan Adams’ so they themselves have an excuse to geek in the front row (if only girls liked Ryan, there is no way his cover of “Stella Blue” would earn a standing ovation). Since the show took place at a pretty stuffy venue (Town Hall) filled with seats really smusshed together (think coach class on an airplane) I had no choice but to take a girl to the show ( not that there is anything wrong with two male hipsters swaying side-to-side during “Sweet Illusions"). But, since the show also took place on a school night when I had homework (or at least an early morning deadline) I couldn’t bring someone who would, um, force me to become otherwise engaged post-show (what is this blog rated again? Has someone created a MPAA ranking system for blogs yet?). Anyways, I decided on my friend Jenny who

a) I have known since high-school

b) Have no interest in hooking with (since I have know her since high-school)

c) Wouldn’t want to hang out with me post-show (since I have no interest in hooking with her since I have know her since high-school

but who still fits the bill of the 5’3 neurotic Jewish girl with a slightly artsy edge I usually associate with (won’t want people to think I actually like Ryan Adams or have, err, listened to Cold Roses every day since January 23, 2005)

And, as expected, mid-show my cubicle neighbor Aaron sent me an o'-so-stealth ‘whose the girl text message.' Jenny loved Ryan, I loved Ryan’s Dead covers, and her plus 1 responsibilities expired shortly after show time. Now, if only the plus two wasn’t so taboo.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

And I Thought My Spam Problems Were Bad:

I hate spam, I really do. In many ways, it runs my life, forcing me to keep up with e-mail and to learn every variation of the letters v-1-a-g-a-r-i-a under the sun. As of now, I need to run my mail through three filters before I can read it (the one on Relix's server, through a mailguard system, and, finnally, through Eudora's filter). But my spam problems pale in comparison to the people affected by spam's ansestor, the junk mail:

From Yahoo:

NEW YORK - It's the kind of holiday mail that might have been tossed aside, discarded like any other piece of junk mail: a special offer for a facial at a local spa. Only the address on the letter no longer exists. And the woman the letter is addressed to died more than five years ago in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Hundreds of pieces of mail destined for the former trade center still arrive every day at a post office facing ground zero — the relics of the unfinished lives of Sept. 11 victims. Telephone bills, insurance statements, wine club announcements, college alumni newsletters, even government checks populate the bundles of mail. Each bears the ZIP code once reserved exclusively for the twin towers: 10048.

"I guess sooner or later they'll realize the towers aren't back up," said letter carrier Seprina Jones-Sims, who handles the trade center mail. "I don't know when." Some of the nation's most recognizable companies and organizations, from retailers to research hospitals, are among those sending the mail. Much of it seems to result from businesses not updating their bulk mailing lists, said U.S. Postal Service spokeswoman Pat McGovern.

The postal service declined to identify the senders and recipients of the letters according to policy. Several companies formerly housed in the towers also declined comment. The trade center mail meets varied fates once it arrives at the Church Street station. A handful of companies pay for a service that forces the post office to hold the mail until a messenger picks it up. The rest of the mail travels various routes. Some will be returned to the sender, some will be forwarded to the company's current address and some will be sent to a Brooklyn recycling firm to be destroyed. That the Postal Service is even forwarding mail from a nonexistent address five years later is rare. "Normally we'd only forward mail for a year, but we're making an exception here," McGovern said. The trade center's mail used to travel from the Church Street post office and up through the towers. It would start on the ground tucked in the letter carrier's bag and continue up higher and higher — to the 68th floor, the 89th floor, the 104th floor.

The morning's mail never made it through the flames and smoke on Sept. 11, 2001. It stayed put with the letter carriers, who silently observed the chaos that unfurled outside the post office.
Flying debris blew out most of its windows. After a three-year restoration, its doors officially reopened in August 2004. Rafael Feliciano delivered mail to floors 78 through 100 of the south tower for three years. He watched the tower collapse on television from a bar several blocks away with a co-worker.

"He turned to me and said, 'You just lost your route,'" Feliciano recalled. When the dust cleared, he spent weeks identifying office workers who came to pick up their mail, searching for familiar faces to see if they had survived.

Mail addressed to people who were killed was marked as deceased right away, he said. But it kept coming.

"It's been five years later. How many people don't know the towers are gone?" he said.

Jones, 39, took over the trade center mail after Feliciano — too shaken to enter tall buildings any longer — left his route to become a driver. She gets to work at 5 a.m. The mail is carefully divided among white plastic trays labeled by company name.

But the Church Street post office — built in 1935 and now on the National Register of Historic Places — is no longer the bustling hub it was when it stood just steps away from the city's tallest buildings.

Between 2001 and 2002, the total weekly volume dropped from 1.2 million pieces to just 485,000. It has risen slightly in the years since. The neighborhood is slowly awakening, attracting more and more residents and businesses after the exodus that occurred five years ago. The post office's marble floors are newly polished and the building is brimming with employees. When they gaze out the long bay windows overlooking ground zero, they see nothing but blue sky.

"You start flashing back to that day," Feliciano said. "That's why I got off the routes. It's like a movie that plays over and over in your head."