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Saturday, January 13, 2024


The esteemed Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits on 5th Avenue in Brooklyn's sunset Park. My fast food chicken joint of choice for the past couple of years.

Today I had a craving for my first lunch at the Chinese-run Popeyes in Sunset Park, so I hauled my ass down there via the B63 MTA bus. As I enjoyed my meal, I looked around the eatery's interior, as I always do, and today I saw two times of interest. First was this sign on the wall.

 What incident prompted the need for this placard?

And then, as I readied to leave, I noticed this on the floor beneath the table where I had enjoyed my lunch. 


Please pardon my ignorance, but is that a crack pipe?

Saturday, January 06, 2024


To give you an idea of what I as being programmed with during my formative years, at age 5 my mother gave me not the Pufnstuf soundtrack, but a knockoff cover album by a Christian group. The content is no different from that on the original soundtrack, and some filler material is added to pad out the run time, but there's nothing in the original that would be considered offensive or blasphemous, so why re-record it? My guess is that they did it so they could tone down the more agressive/psychedelic sounds of the relatively far more heavy-sounding musicianship on the original. This album is an example of white people white-a-tizing their own music, and the result is as bland as skim milk diluted with tap water.

When I pointed out that this was not the real Pufnstuf album but rather a "fake," my mother dug her heels in and insisted "It's better for you." After enduring it one time too many, I managed to trade my copy for the real thing. The older sister of a neighborhood playmate collected bad albums and needed a copy, so she traded me for the real one. The real one has Mama Cass's "Different," which was an early anthem for me. Anyway, this album displays all the worst elements found in children's records, and it preserved, track-by-track, on YouTube. I had not heard it since early 1972, and it was just as weak as I remembered.

Friday, January 05, 2024


Upon arriving home from treatment — over two hours after I was released — the day's mail contained this unexpected show of love from my niece Indira, Indi for short, and it made my entire week. She lives in Australia, so I only get to see her face-to-face once every few years, and she is growing into a teenager who inherited her New Yorker mother's sweetness and beauty. She's terrific and I wish I could see her (and her brothers and mother) more often. That said, this letter was a tonic, and I will cherish it forever.