Thursday, April 30, 2009

For Gome and My Beloved Readers

Hi Gome!

I apologize! I do plan on finishing my story about Butchie entitled "Merry Christmas Rockaway Park".

Butch is a great guy and I miss him. It's been at least 4 years since I saw him last. I finally found his beat up home across the street from the old deteriorating bungalow houses out in the Rock. I had written the directions to the whereabouts to his home on a napkin in a local pub near 116th and not until this winter did I find his place, but no one home.

Gome, I got side tracked for a bit...maybe too Long. The next couple of installments--and I hope to make it in with more frequency-- will several events that are meaningful to me. Also, talk of a book. But, ssh, that is all I can say for now.

In the meantime, watch another mulittasker at his best. This one was sent by the fabulous Dustin Ross over at Contact Press Images. Thanks, Dustin! Check out his fabulous Blog, The Feral Eye

Bruce Lee at His Best!

Once that is done, I promise to you Gome that I will get back to my Christmas story. As most of us, photo folks out there we are manning many boats at once, not to mention trying to relax on the given day and maybe even socialize with our loved ones. No, kvetch, here, but thems the facts.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Night out With Jackie and Charlie

"Mr. Jackie Mason", NYC, NY. April 2008.

Early morning after the club left out, we walked down the avenue and stopped into a diner in the midst of no open restaurants...only bars full of late night drinkers and stink of spilled beer.

A blessing was bound to happen. Yes, it was a real slice of New York life...something that reminds me that some things are still around even if not forever. Things that remind of the old New York before every restaurant put up french doors and cheap posters of Montmartre and Pigalle on their walls. A reminder that a decent, just decent meal should cost more than 12 bucks at most.

There he was...Jackie Mason. As much the same as he is on television. We talked or rather he gorged me with a kind litany of interest and questions about my family and work. Across from him sat the gentile, Charlie. Scribbles and notes covered a paper in front of the writer who jotted down the charm and old Jewish wisdom and comedy of yesteryear's.

"Charlie" late night Diner. NYC, NY. April 2009.

I was happy to meet them after a night of plastic bodies and the "Gossip Girl" masses lost realities shadowing over the lost and fashion bent youth. Plastic vs. chutzpah. Chutzbah wins!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Christmas at the O'Leary's and a Visit to the Joe Mure's Winter Wonderland- Organizations That Help the Folks in the Rockaways!

"Joe Mure, Jr." in front of his Christmas Miracle of Lights on his front lawn in Neponset
in the Rockaways, Christmas, 2008.

I took the night off for some fun and laughs.

I went to the digital scanner at Print Space and scanned 4 hours worth of images from my a couple of summer days spent with stripper acquaintances in a rented trash house of kids in Belmar, New Jersey.

This past Christmas I met newfound friends, the O'Leary Family and Joe Mure, Jr. live in Neposet in the Rockaways. I spent a wonderful zitti filling Christmas Eve in a spectacular home of the O'Leary's and a tourist visit to the well-known Christmas Toyland of lights on the front lawn of Joe Mure's home.

Every year, Joe Mure set's up the Little North Pole. He told me today, "It's a holiday event that has two purposes. One, to put a smile on ever child's face and leave them a memory that we hope to last a lifetime and two, to help a special group of children who need our help those that suffer from juvenile diabetes . Juvenile diabetes is a disease that affects millions of children. Our goal is to find a cure and stop the complications associated with this disease.

The O'Leary Family equally works hard for the underprivledged for the non for profit organization "Rockaway Jetty" in the Rockaways.

The description on their Facebook reads:



If you are interested in joining their fight, please, go to the Facebook page and learn more.

"Friends of the O'Leary Family" (names to come) in Neponset
in the Rockaways, Christmas, 2008.

I wanted to get these up so, soon I will come back with more and something to write about this.

Peace on Earth at any time of the year!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hard Heels Meet Hard Times

"It's really hard for me right now."

"Yes, it's hard for everyone right now," she said. I nodded slowly like a sprouting kvetch.

"Dancer in Manager's Office at Runway 69", NYC, 1993. Juliana Beasley.
Notice money safe in background.

Last night, Amy and I met a the Singe Vert , one of my favorite French restaurants. I rarely eat there, with my tight wallet, I just can't spring for pommes frites like I once could, but I always manage to lubricate or drown--depending on the mood--my taste buds with a dry white wine or two. That's less costly than a meal in than any place in NYC with nice faux French caffe posters and no more than 5-6 points on the Weight Watcher's rector scale.

I can always depend on banter and a cackle with the stunning and down to earth, Maia, a bartender with lovely Caribbean curls surrounding her delicate face. For that moment, that first sip, I am in heaven, and the lure of a drink seems healthier than daydreaming about future negative predictions of me rolled in a sleeping bag on the streets of NYC next winter. I hope, at least, I will take the Greyhound out to the Cali coast before I tank, jump on a plane to Honolulu and go couch surf at my friend, Debbie's apartment.

I am queasy. I've been stuffing my face with bread all first excuse to go to the restaurant and gobble down two baskets of French bread. I arrive at Singe Vert, sit on the bar stool near the open door, and take off my jacket.

"I can't drink," I say as if I am walking around with a gaping bleeding wound.

Maia offers a wonderful potion of seltzer, fresh ground ginger and the bitter stuff in the small bottle. With ice. I sip away and gorge myself away to the other place--Land of Carb Denial. Anything to fill that wound. By the time, Amy (yes, the Miss Amy Stein) has arrived, I have started to rock back and forth on my stool to build up some heat in my body. I'm chilled. It's the first signs of spring and people are sitting outside and the door is wide open. I think it must be 57 degrees out there.

"Jessica and Her Boyfriend", Jersey Shore, 1995?, Juliana Beasley

"We gotta' get out of here. I'm freezing."

She suggests the perfect anecdote, sake in a Japanese restaurant nearby and happiness, it's empty. Empty enough for my nauseous stomach. And better yet, happy hour--sake at half price.

After a couple of petite ceramic bottles of sake and the gush of my latest drama, my stomach feels a lot more basic than caustic. I tell Amy, that just last night, I went to the bathroom half asleep, then fell asleep on the toilet and awoke bruised on the tile floor. I'm really proud of this...that I fell asleep on the toilet; despite the probable indecencies, most nights, I can't find a reason to sleep.

John, her super duper husband (no, it's just not fair and accept it) arrives, we have gone through so many little bottles that we forget how many. One thing is certain, we feel a little giddy--that's normal in each others company--but, not in the least bit stoned. Yep, for $2.50, no matter how many thimbles, we drink, we still sit straight up in cushioned hideaway lounge in the back corner. I, however, now have a headache, rumble through my bag of notebooks, prints and pharmaceuticals and grab for those fast acting liquid Motrin.

John is hungry. Outside, we say good-bye.

"I miss you guys", I say. They walk away and I walk towards the Path.

As I walk away, I remember, I didn't bother to tell her, I chipped an important and private tooth that day while eating a bagel with tofu vegetable spread. I had already sent out the alarms to Tia. She suggests the cheapest place in town to go to have it repaired. NO INSURANCE.

I'm home. I turn on my non digital t.v. with the bent rabbit ears, go into the bathroom and fill it with a think layer of hot water to soak the feet. I have learned how to give myself a pedicure at home. One evening, the kundalini teacher named Gurmukh Khalsa at Golden Bridge Yoga inspired the class to massage and give love to your feet at the end of the day. She and her husband do it together, so, I begin to think I should start doing it to myself. I doubt it's the same as incense burning and lovingly looking into a partners eyes and chanting "Sat Nam", but this is all I might get for a while.

Days past of trolloping off to the East Village nail salon for a mani/pedi. Dancer days done, of scooping hands into a sock drawer reaching for crumpled twenties and dollar bills. Dancer days done, of never having to visit the ATM. Done.

"Dancer Sitting on Customer's Lap", Runway 69, NYC, 1993, Juliana Beasley.

I sit up on the coach. A towel lays beneath my tender freshly soaked feet. I grab for that callous razor, I bought the other day at Duane Reade. I teased and flirted with the cute boy with acne who led me to the foot section.

Yes, I had arrived. I am in the old foot person's section. My pedestrial future ahead of me. Callouses, corns, genetic features of bunions from mother, falling arches, in grown nails. The day will come when I will be a Sleestack.

"If I can't put this razor together, I'm going to come back and you can teach me," I said.

He smiled, said he would be there to help and actually, I thought he looked as if I had brightened his boring evening of stocking adult diapers and tampons, side by side.

April 3rd, 2009. The latest news. Senseless maniacal murders in Binghamton. How many of these murders happen a year in this country, I wonder.

I've done it again. I've applied too much pressure on the handle and the razor shaves off too much. In any case, I'm enjoying this, watching the slivers of flesh fall onto the towel in little perfect Parmesan shavings.

I wake up this morning, a dream fresh in my mind...I will go to esthetician school. I need a job. And in hard times, everyone needs their feet to be groped and coddled.

**I took the above B&W photographs in a NYC club called "Runway 69" back in 1993. I knew one of the dancers from the Paradise Club on 33rd St., also in NYC. I was still shooting in black and white before I moved over to color. I actually photographed very little over the beginning years of making "Lapdancer". I feel inspired to scan some of these negatives from the past.

I want to mention that I put these 5X7's up and 11X14's up for sale at Melanie Flood Projects for meager prices. No one bought anything.

Alas, the other night at the wonderful opening of Shen Wei's opening of the "Almost Naked" show (more to come on that....), dear Rubin Natal-San Miguel of the fab Artmostfierce bought two of the 5X7's that I toted along with me that evening to Randall Scott's Gallery, newly opened in Dumbo. And he has preordered another.

"Three Dancers in Dressing Room at Runway 69", NYC, 1993, Juliana Beasley.