Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The End of an Era

When I was fifteen or sixteen I discovered a coffee shop in the East Village called Cinema Classics and fell in love. You could stay as long as you liked, smoke inside, watch movies in the back and they made a mean chai latte. What was not to love? I went to Cinema Classics just about every day, hung out with friends, hung out alone, read books. (They had these great big cushioned window seats that you could curl up on for hours.) I took boyfriends there and knew the was home. Slowly but surely, when I was seventeen, they started stocking booze and I found out that very shortly Cinema Classics the coffee shop would be no more, that the owner wasn't making enough money and decided to turn it into a bar. I didn't know when, but I knew it would be soon. It happened during my senior year of high school. I walked up after school with a friend of mine and tried the door. It was locked. The manager of the place, a guy named Ben, opened the door, said, "We're a bar now, we open at seven." and shut the door in my face.

The bar it became was Rififi and it only took about a year before I was back in there. My friend Lauren Flax (DJ Extraordinaire) and I were hanging out one night and she goes, "You have to come to Rififi and meet this bartender I have a crush on." (Underage drinking used to be a lot easier back then.) So I did, and it turned out that the bartender Lauren had a crush on was a girl I knew through a friend from high school and hadn't seen in years. Then, a few weeks later, I realized that someone else I knew (Karin) also worked at the bar. So I started hanging out there. When I was living in Boston I would come back to New York on the weekends and head straight to Rififi. There were four regular bartenders at the time and a whole slew of regulars and we all became good friends. Someone made a Friendster profile for the bar (that's how long ago this was) and it received comments like, "It's my "'Cheers'" to which someone responded, "Mine too. "'Where everybody knows your name.' Along with your dating history, music tastes, and financial situation." Because it was true. If you had nothing to do on any night of the week you could just head to Rififi and know that you'd know someone. I would head to Rififi after Christmas dinner with the family to hang out with the one Jewish bartender. We would play truth or dare and drink eggnog. People would come and go, but there was always a pretty solid group of regulars that you could count on.

There were nights when it was slow and whoever was working would shut down the bar so we could hang out until dawn watching movies in the back. (They still showed movies for a while.) After a while that all calmed down and they started doing comedy shows in the theater which attracted big names (Michael Showalter, David Cross, etc), on Sundays and Thursdays there were burlesque shows. It was a lot of fun. I even ended up working at the damn place for a while a couple of years ago.

In the past year or so I haven't hung out there nearly as much as I used to. Most of the people I knew who worked there quit or were fired, and I wasn't quite in the mood to make new friends. (There was also the added bonus of being unceremoniously fired myself.) So I went less and less, but it was still my go to bar when there was nothing else to do. Because, well, I grew up there. It felt comfortable.

For almost a year now rumors have been circulating that the bar would be closing, but it never happened. Then Tuesday night I got a text message from Karin saying, "Rififi closes tomorrow." And it was true. Wednesday night was the last night the bar was open. It was somehow fitting that bartender was completely random and I had to pay for drinks. It made it easier to say goodbye. My boss (who, oddly enough, I met at Rififi) likened the bar to "an old friend who you thought would always be there." Which I think is appropriate.

Friday night and nothing to do? To Rififi. When I saw my ex boyfriend for the first time in four years and it was terrible? I went straight to Rififi. When my friend got into a fist fight on First Avenue at 4:30 in the morning that resulted in my broken glasses and his broken nose? Rififi. Because I knew someone there would be able to provide napkins, ice, and whiskey.

So Rififi, I would like to thank you for the following things:

-My steady employment for the last four and a half years (Every job I've had in that time has been for someone I met at Rififi or at the bar itself)
-That guy I dated for over six months
- Embarrassing moments:
-Good Friends
-And a shit ton of free drinks. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oh For the Love of....

My mother is an asshole:

I went over to Astor Place today and got some order put into my hair. I was only going to have it trimmed and shaped, but it was so damn hot going over there that I changed my mind and said the hell with it. So now it's really cool. I got a fade with my initials in it and had the whole thing done magenta, which looks GREAT with my skin. You'll love it!

Love, Mom

That is all.
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Sunday, July 27, 2008

So Effing Angry

Well, not now. Now I feel just fine, but on Friday night I almost killed a man. I mentioned a couple of posts back that my mother's neighbor was mugged in front of our house last week, which was scary and shitty and horrible. There's a building complex that runs through Greenwich Village that has security guards who patrol the area. Which is lovely and makes things feel a little safer around here; or it did until Friday night.

I was walking out of a cab when I saw one of the security guards and decided to ask him if anything else had happened, etc. So I said, "Excuse me!" No response. I walked a little closer and said, "Excuse me!" again. No response. So I finally tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around and TOOK OUT HIS HEADPHONES. At which point I screamed at him for about five minutes. I asked if he knew there had been a pretty terrible mugging down the block last week and he said, "Not my jurisdiction." To which I responded, "WELL IF YOU HAD BEEN ABLE TO HEAR WHAT WAS GOING ON YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CALL THE POLICE OR SOMETHING YOU ASSHAT!"

I simply couldn't believe it! This guy is paid to keep an eye out in the neighborhood and he can't be bothered to turn off his music and be alert during work? Fuck that.

I'm going to report him when I see his supervisor again.

So. Pissed. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A New Bruise

I have spent most of the last week at my mother's house because while I have air conditioning in my apartment, we're at the tail end of yet another heat wave and I don't have to pay for the AC at my mom's because she would have it on if I was there or not. So fuck it, right? Right.

I returned home last night to find old roommate and current roommate playing video games in the living room with our lovely new coffee table and a large amount of baked ziti. Lovely! (And also - free lunch!) It was when I decided to head to my bedroom that things started going downhill. I almost broke my neck because my roommate, for reasons best known to himself, had left my folding chair lying flat on the floor in front of my bedroom door. After navigating around the chair and picking it up, I get into my room and find that the television that used to be in our living room is, again for reasons best known to my roommate, balanced precariously on top of my small dresser. The hell? Since only two of us live in the apartment at the moment and we still haven't figured out what to do with the third room, which is empty, you would think that putting the television in there would make sense, right? Apparently not. So I moved the damn thing myself, dropped it on my left foot, and now have a lovely bruise that I feel with every step I take. Hooray!

When I finally made it into bed I looked up to see the shopping cart (you know, one of these:)

folded up on top of my closet. Where I can't reach it. I have explained to my roommate many times that the shopping cart lives in the living room, near the door, so that we can USE it. And I use the damn thing at least once a week.

I'm just a little aggravated about the whole thing. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gossip! Gossip! Gossip!

I am completely and utterly fascinated by celebrity gossip. I read Perez Hilton, I read The Superficial, I buy weekly tabloids for reading on the subway. And I don't even know why. I know they are stupid, I know half the "stories" they report are not true. I know that the celebrities themselves think the whole thing is creepy and horrible. I think the paparazzi are parasites and know first hand that they can be absolutely terrifying at times.

But I still can't help it.

There is some weird thing embedded in our culture today that makes it somewhat of a sin to not know that so and so is pregnant, or gay, or cheating on their lover. We want to know when a celebrity gets engaged the second they do it, yet we shun the celebrities who put their whole lives out there for us to see. (See, Speidi, Denise Richards, et al.) We want them to be secretive, but not so secretive that we don't know every detail. Because then we would be out of the loop, and God forbid we should be out of the loop.

Oddly enough, though I do read all this junk (and have been yelled at about, being told "Sarah. What have I told you in the past about that reading that trash. It's called trash for a reason. Remember? We talked about this.") I am rarely star struck. I grew up in Greenwich Village which is home to many a famous face, so seeing one while out and about became a normal occurrence. Actually, once, as a child, I was horrible star struck when we realized that a character from Mister Rogers lived in the neighborhood and was a friend of a friend and I got to meet her. I kind of flipped out, but I was four at the time. I think it's allowed. But other than that? Rarely am I totally freaked out by the prospect of seeing or meeting someone famous, because if you get down to it they are just people. They have no super powers, just good genes and more talent than the average bear.

Perhaps one day this whole reality culture and obsession about the lives of famous people will die down and we'll start asking for the autographs of people like Jonas Salk (invented a polio vaccine), the people who work for Merck & Co (invented the cervical cancer vaccine), or the yet unknown faces who will one day cure AIDS and Cancer. That seems like a much better group of people to look up to, rather than half the people kids are looking up to these days. Do you know there are actually kids out there who want to be just like the cast of The Hills? I mean, sure having money and doing nothing must be nice, but doesn't it get a little...I don't know...Boring?

I think I just want people to be smart and interesting again. Is that too much to ask? ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Things that are really not cool that have happened in the past week

-Amelia passing away. Not even passing away. Being killed. She was killed while riding her bike and it was shitty and scary and holy hell it could happen to any of us.

-Seeing a dead body for the first time. I have never, before last night, been at an open coffin anything. Amelia had one. And I was under the impression (because that's how it's shown in movies) that the bodies were fully IN the coffin and not propped up a bit so you can see them from anywhere in the room. I wrote about Amelia in this post. She was killed while riding her bicycle a week ago and it made me think about a lot of things. Those things include but are not limited to:
a) losing touch with friends and how shitty it is. This horrible tragedy brought a shit-ton of us together and I really wish it was under better circumstances.
b) how I never ever ever want to go to an open coffin anything ever again (girl was 24. Girl looked about 80 propped up for all of us to see. It didn't even look like her, besides the hair and was awful)
c) How much people change.
d) How some people don't change at all.

- There was a mugging on my mother's block tonight. And the muggie happened to be a neighbor of mine whom I happened to have known for about ten years. Dude was mugged in front of our house and my mother had to call 9-1-1. I just ran into him and his parents coming home from the hospital. It is almost 5am. This is the neighborhood I grew up in and shit like this does not happen here. WTF?

-The X-Tina moved to Paris today. Which is actually very awesome, for her, but on top of everything else this week is kind of like, "really? Seriously? Just kick me in the shins!"


Mostly it has been a very strange/sad/insane week and I am tired, and sad, and freaked out.

And I guess that's it. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The one where I talk about nothing

So, three quick things:

1) After watching Batman Begins again last night, I have determined the following things:
a) I am a huge HUGE nerd. (Actually, the huge nerd thing was solidified when I started trying to participate and then actually participated in the huge viral marketing campaign going on for Dark Knight. I am seriously going to pee myself I am so excited for this movie, and SO BUMMED OUT that I wasn't able to get tickets for tonight's midnight showing!)

b) I desperately, desperately want an Alfred. One who is Michael Caine (Who was born Maurice Micklewhite(!!). Knowledge is power!) might be the best thing ever.

c) I also want Lucius Fox to be my uncle. Alfred to be my Alfred, and Fox as my uncle. That would be AWESOME.

2) After looking at this, and with my new black hair and already pale skin....I can be Dita Von Teese? I mean, not so much with the nudity part, but with the fashion and the hair and the etc? Yeah? Awesome.


Holy Helen Mirren in a bikini, people! I mean, seriously! Woman is in her SIXTIES. Maybe I'll be Dita Von Teese now and Helen Mirren later? That sounds like a pretty good idea. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Monday, July 14, 2008

Oh Hai Guys

Remember how I dyed my hair black?

I really did!

Also - on Friday night I rode on the front of the Cyclone because I am BETTER THAN YOU.

Wooooooooooo! ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

On Being Afraid Of My Bicycle

When Eric Ng was killed while riding his bike two years ago, the story hit home because I spent a lot of time on that bike path and always felt perfectly safe there. It very suddenly took away the security I had felt because I was not riding my bike in the street. Then, shortly afterwards, Seth spent six months working on a series of paintings about Ng's death and his memorial bike, known as a Ghost Bike. I learned a lot about what had happened on December 1st 2006, and became angry about it. The fact that some drunken idiot drove his car for almost two miles on the bike path without anyone noticing, the fact that someone was killed, the fact that it was a teacher. On the rare occasions I ride my bike these days, I am often on that bike path and I pass Ng's memorial, and I kind of wave at it. Because I'm not quite sure what else to do.

In 2007 when Craig Murphey was killed while riding his bike in Brooklyn, I was surprised to find out how many mutual friends and acquaintances we had, though I had never met him myself. I kept thinking, "This guy is one degree away from me..." which began to kill the "It'll never happen to me" mentality that so many of us hold on to. I know numerous people who have gotten tattoos to remember Murphey, and a few people who were very close to him, but not knowing him myself makes it difficult to know what to say when he comes up in conversation. It's kind of like, "Oh...I heard about that..." But then what?

Last night I was at a going away party for a favorite teacher of mine when I got a text message from a number I did not know saying, "Sarah?" And I wrote back saying, "Yes? Who is this?" "Amelia Geocos" and I wrote back, "Hah! How random! What's up?" I hadn't seen her in a while, but she was someone who kept popping into my life at random moments because we knew a whole lot of the same people, we both dated the same guy, and once briefly worked together. "It's Liz (a girl I had gone to high school with, who I didn't even know knew Amelia.)...Hey I saw you were friends with Amelia on facebook...I don't know if you know but she was killed the other day."

Woah. What?

As it turns out she was hit by a car while riding her bike on Friday and died instantly. That's the only detail I've been able to get, and that she will be getting a Ghost Bike and a memorial ride. I know a couple of people who were very close to her, so I made some phone calls and wrote some e-mails last night, just wanting to be here in case anyone needs anything. Because I know what it's like to lose someone close to you, and it sucks. And it's scary. And it's hard. Especially when it is someone so young.

So yeah...You were a good kid, Amelia...I hope I can be of some help to your friends during this time. You will certainly be missed.

Update: There is more information here and here. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Collection of Open Letters

Dear Men,
If you have decided that the event you are going to warrants wearing a button down shirt, it most likely warrants wearing shoes as well. Please stop pairing nicely pressed shirts and flip-flops. It makes you look slightly homeless.


Dear Women,
I don't care if they were sold together. I don't care if they match. I don't care how you think you look. A suit consists of either a skirt and a jacket, or pants and a jacket; never shorts and a jacket. Formal shorts are a myth. Please stop wearing them to meetings.


Dear Men Who Wear Cologne,
Cologne and aftershave have their places, but if I can smell you from down the block you are wearing too much. Stop bathing in the stuff, it is much more repellent than attractive.


Dear Homeless People,
If I am ignoring you now I will continue to ignore you. Puppy-dog eyes will not help. Shaking your cup faster will not help. I am reading a book AND listening to my iPod. Take the hint. Also - I see no reason to give you money for doing nothing. I am much more likely to give you money if you draw a picture, or read a poem, or do a dance. I have to work for my money, why shouldn't you?

Dear Everyone,
I got home before 10pm. Hooray for me! Also, in case you missed it (which a lot of you did), I dyed my hair black. Pictures will be up shortly.

Sarah ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Monday, July 07, 2008

Giant Roaches and Fat Kids

Today, while sitting at my desk at work, I felt something on my foot. I looked down to investigate and saw a WATER BUG scuttling away towards the kitchen. Rather than screaming, which I really would have liked to do, I said, "OH MY GOD!" very loudly, got up, and walked across the room. The rest of the office looked at me like I was insane. "There was a giant roach under my desk and it CRAWLED ON MY FOOT!" I announced. Two of the guys went to investigate, saw nothing, and deemed me delusional. "Uh huh...sure there was a giant roach..." I sat cross legged on my office chair looking very silly and occasionally sneaking glances under my desk to make sure the thing was really gone. About ten minutes later a scream comes from the next room. "AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!! THERE IS A GIANT BUG IN HERE OH MAI GAAAAAAHHHHHHDDD!" I looked at my office mates and said very loudly, "See? NOT CRAZY!" Someone attempted to kill it as it headed back for the kitchen but sadly it moved too quickly. As of press time the beast is still at large.


Would it be impolite of me to walk up to a perfect stranger and say, "Excuse me, ma'am? I couldn't help but notice that your eight year old son has breasts. Do you think maybe you shouldn't be stopping at the Mr. Softee truck again when I can still see the stains from your last visit? Just curious. Have a nice day!"?

Because, my GOD, I fight the urge about twenty times a day.

Actually, I never plan on being that polite. I mostly just want to run up to the kid and say something like, "PLAY TAG, FATTY!" or "HEY, TUBBY! VIDEO GAMES TO NOT COUNT AS EXERCISE!" And sometimes, "My LORD you are a rotund little thing!"

Maybe I'm just a bad person? ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pictures from my cellphone

I really wish I could have gotten a better picture of this guy, and also of the entire crew he was with. Dude is wearing super wide leg pants that for some unknown reason had pockets on the back of his calves. Really big pockets that I can't even imagine the thought process behind unless it was something along the lines of, "Well we have all this extra denim lying about, let's just stick some right," That was enough to make me twitchy, but then I noticed that - crap and a half - he is also wearing bright fucking orange Crocs. And holding a badminton racket. Then, I look to the right and notice that, you guessed it, his buddy is also wearing Crocs. And THEN I realize that there are three girls with these guys and two of THEM are wearing Crocs. It seriously almost ruined my brunch. And brunch is my favorite meal of the week!

A couple of weeks ago, in the supermarket, I noticed this while searching for a can of tuna. The second I saw it I thought to myself, "There is no way in hell this is what I think it is. No one could get away with it!" So I picked it up, and I turned it around slowly and, lo and behold, the only ingredient listed was "monosodium glutamate." So it was what I thought it was and apparently, yes, they can get away with it. Whoever "They" are.

On Thursday night, because Friday was a holiday, I ended up ending the night on the roof of my old apartment building. We decided we were going to stay up until 6am to get breakfast from this place called Bill's down the block, which has the weirdest fucking hours in the world. They are open from 6am until about 2pm...when they feel like it. Which is horribly disappointing because they make one of the best bacon egg and cheese sandwiches in the city. So 6am rolls around and three of us (including me wearing those socks you see in the picture and a pair of my friend Shai's slip on Vans because the shoes I had been wearing since 10am decided that my feet were a delicious snack and destroyed them completely) trek down to Bill's. Which is closed because of the fourth of July. Maybe. It could just be that they didn't feel like it. You never know with Bill's. So we decided to find another place in the neighborhood where we can get our snack on. A strangely large amount of exceptionally friendly people were awake in Bushwick at 6am on a Friday morning, so they tried to point us in the direction of snacks. Nothing was open. So, because Shai and his friend Michael both work in Kitchens, we decided to get a dozen eggs, a pound of bacon, some cheese and a baguette. Shai and Michael made the group a giant bacon egg and cheese sandwich and it was awesome.

By the time this picture was taken I had decided that I was sleeping on the roof, in the hammock, and it was going to be super awesome. Which is probably would have been, but about 30 minutes into my sleep it decided to rain, so Shai made me go back downstairs. I fought it, but in the end it was probably the best decision. I can't even imagine the sunburn I would have woken up with.Oh wait. Yes I can. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Thursday, July 03, 2008

On Being Clumsy and Hating Boston

So today my boss asked me into his office. (No, I didn't forget to wear pants again).
Him: What's up?
Me: Nothing.
Him: What's with the bruise on your arm?
Me: Oh! Coney Island. This ride knocked me around a lot.
Him: Oh. I thought you were in an abusive relationship or something. I haven't been in a fight in a while.

Ahahaha, awesome. Yeah, I bruise really easily. And also fall down a lot. I constantly look like a small child who spends far too much time in the playground.

So, you all remember what I looked like when I moved to Boston. No? Here. Read about it. There. All caught up? Great.

So, I hate hate hated living in Boston. Nobody wanted to talk to me because I didn't dress or look like the other people up there. I got ignored at parties, my self esteem took a pretty rough hit. I was looking at an old journal today when I found this:

I walked around a library today with my head held high and people looked at me like I was important. I felt important. Why can't I be important here? Why am I only important when surrounded by dust and decay? A boy who was reading stopped when I walked by and looked right at me. I got flustered and walked into a chair.

I am far, far too clumsy for my own good. The Tigerlily and I were talking about this the other night, and I always think about an Amalah post that says, "No, you cannot has nice things." Because it's true. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Tidbits in place of an actual post

1) Watch this. If you don't find any of it funny we probably should not be friends:

2) I found my roommates! Both of them actually. They did kind things like help me take taxis and cook pasta. Awwww.

3) If my cheese steak does not get here soon I'm going to start gnawing on the walls.

4) It is ridiculously quiet at work today. Because everyone else has already left for vacation. Bastards.

5) think I just like making lists.

6) To kill time.

7) While I wait for this G.D. sandwich.

8) Seriously...where the fuck is it?

9) Haven't eaten all day.

10) Require NOM NOM NOM

11) Oh, also - I'm really excited that 4th of July is on a Friday this year. I was really sick of going to some insane rooftop extravaganza in the middle of the week, only to be forced to go to work the next day. Eff that.

12) My birthday is on a Monday this year. Laaaaaaame.

13) Hey! The office phone just rang! I picked it up and all I heard was a man screaming "WHITE HERO! WHITE HERO!" The hell?

14) Got distracted for a minute in sandwich? Still missing.

15) Fuck...LARPers are weird. Poke around for a bit.

16) Maybe I'll go pee. If I pee my sandwich will show up, right?

17) I didn't pee.



20) People tend to look at you funny if you shout, "YOU ARE NOT MY SANDWICH!" As they walk by

21) SANDWICH! ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I have a coworker who, though his English is close to perfect, makes it very obvious that English is not his first language. In fact, dude speaks in what we've come to refer to as his own language.

This is my favorite example:

He never calls a pig a pig. They are always "porks." The first time we heard him say this was a couple of weeks ago when he said, "I'll be right back, I have to go heat up my porks." Which caused us all to fall into giggles. Then today, when trying to say that someone looked like a pig, what came out was "he looked just like a little porks!" So now all of us have taken to referring to our ham type food in the plural.

Actually, the Tigerlily has an amaaaaaaaazing recipe for involves a lot of onion and sage and NOM NOM NOM. ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

I'm such a crybaby

Thanks, cuteoverload, for reminding me of the existence of this video:

Which makes me cry every single time I see it.

I can has lion cub?

UPDATE: Read the whole story here!DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Missing Roommates

My roommates have always been pretty good about getting me their rent on time, but for some reason, this month they have not. Which probably has something to do with the fact that I haven't seen either of my roommates in about a month. Hmmmm....I should probably call them.

Speaking of roommates, as of about two weeks from now I will only have one, which should be a nice change. I think that once roommate number three moves out, Michael and I are going to do a huge cleaning of the apartment, rearrange our furniture and maybe have a ::GASP:: housewarming party. Or maybe just have the option to finally invite people over. Because we never ever ever have company. (Actually, the whole thing will probably have to wait until the fall because OMG IT IS ONE MILLION DEGREES IN THIS APARTMENT GAAAHHHH)

But, even though it is warm, it looks like we will soon have a place for people to crash (probably a futon) because we will have an extra room. Hooray!

Yeah, yeah, a lame update...leave me alone! ♦DiggIt!Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves