New York Meetup

Information on other get-togethers before the next big Event
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dick
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New York Meetup

Postby dick » Mon Aug 11, 2003 3:50 pm

Signed up for possible meeting thursday, aug 14 at Push cafe, 23rd and 3rd. Should be good chance to discuss publicity and brainstorm desired items for NY 2004, basque in the glow of the Willner tribute, and meet some new fans.

The computerized meetup has the advantage of keeping the reminders coming, and the basic signup is free. Even thought they obviously hope to get pay subscribers, there is no obligation. Do note that you can not find email addresses for the others. Initial communications have to be on the board there.

Hope to see some forum members!

Dick and Linda
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dick
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Postby dick » Sat Aug 16, 2003 12:04 am

Blackout August 14, 2003

Linda and I confirmed attendance for our first Leonard Cohen Meetup, scheduled for 6pm in Manhattan (Madison Square Park area). We went into City early to have a good lunch and do some sightseeing. Lunch was great - beef medallions with portabella mushrooms- appetizer and desert for $20 - at a steakhouse adjacent to Madison Square Garden (and Penn Station where our train came in). Big meal from 12:30 till 2 turned out to be quite helpful.

Took leisurely stroll after lunch – some costume jewelry shopping on Broadway, and we headed toward our meeting café with plans to stop in NY Life, Appellate Court and MetLife buildings along the way.

We passed the Museum of Sex and figured we owed it to the NY2004 Cohen crowd to check it out. Didn’t have time for full show (need at least an hour – preferably 2 or so), but gift shop was open and staff friendly and helpful. We browsed the items on display, sex toys, Kama Sutra in a box, Porn calendar from turn of the century, rose petals and silk chains, etc. As I pondered the offer near the vibrators that read, “If you have any questions feel free to ask the staff to demonstrate” … we heard a familiar line from the small music speakers --- “I heard there was a secret chord that David played ……” Yes, it was Buckley’s Hallelujah!, We were told the background music was on a cd mixed by the owner/manager. I took contact info for him and will inquire about group discounts. I’ll also suggest that the Museum should have some “Beautiful Losers” pages, if none are there now.

Next door to the Museum was a great hotel we hadn’t seen before. It was The Gershwin. Sort of Hotel-Chelsea like decorations (although much more modern) with lots of Warhohl and $99 rooms. They have some recurring combination offerings, including the Sex Special – Museum admission included in room rate.

We continued on to Madison Ave and into the magnificent New York Life building. We were enjoying the archives in the lobby at 4:10 when the lights started to flicker, and then went out. Figured we had been in the museum too long and they wanted us to leave – but no – all the lobby lights were out and people were gawking and trying to figure out what was wrong. We found out streetlights and other buildings in the area were out, not just the building, so we kept heading south looking for place to relax with water and use restrooms. Got the waters, and were watching the growing crowds on 23rd Street, and Linda said to me, “Maybe we ought to figure out how to get home.” We heard a radio report on the street explaining that the entire grid from Canada, throughout New York and New Jersey had gone out. I figured Linda definitely had the right idea.

We walked from 23rd and Madison up to Penn Station, 33rd and 7th, aided by self-appointed traffic control heroes who made pedestrian and vehicle traffic possible without streetlights. At Penn Station we saw total overload as people were only trying to get out of the building, and no one could get in. Not too surprising since the trains are electric, but we had hoped for some info, restrooms, and suggestions.

Figuring that buses had to be a better bet, we continued another 10 blocks to Port Authority at 41st and 8th. A block away the pedestrian traffic was going the opposite direction and we overheard exclamations that “the Port Authority is closed” – no traffic through the Lincoln tunnel. I saw a NY waterways bus stopped in traffic and tapped the driver window – he confirmed ferries were going to New Jersey and that was surely the most likely choice. So, we went another half mile or so to the ferry slip on 39th and 12th Ave. We were not alone. Thousands were grouped into a mass inching for the boarding area to take the three boats to different NJ destinations.

We stood in the crowd from around 5:30, making almost no progress. Not being able to breath in the close crowding and shuffling mass of people, we left the line a little after 6:30 and took a seat on a low traffic wall, thinking the crowd would eventually break as more boats were summoned. Southbound 12th was limited to police and emergency vehicles, and bikes and skaters, and others like us unwilling to push onto the boats. Friendly chats with those folks and the police. We saw dozens of calls for doctors and the police CPR units responding over and over. Finally we got back on line which was still long, but moving more orderly, around 9:40. Onto boat at 10:10, but it went to residential apartment complex in New Jersey rather than the train terminal. So we walked another mile, with no streetlights, to terminal where there were buses and limited train service, and finally, restrooms. We got on air-conditioned train at 11:30; it left at 12:40 and we got home a little before 2:00 am. From the clocks in our house, it appears our power was only out for a few minutes.

We were tired and my feet are still pained, but we have many bright things to consider – we weren’t on a high floor, in an elevator, or in a train when it began. It didn’t rain. Even though temperature was in the high eighties, low 90 nineties, and muggy, there were some breezes off the Hudson and the ferry terminal area was cooler than most of the city. Some people were climbing fences and squeezing by buses early in jockeying to get onto boats, but the crowd was generally polite, quiet and cooperative. Police didn’t take control and form orderly lines quickly enough, but there were plenty of them to aid the folks who were fainting and there was no sense of being unsafe. Last great thing – just imagine – Hallelujah as background music in the Museum of Sex!

Dick
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lightning
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Postby lightning » Sat Aug 16, 2003 5:03 am

re: Hallelujah in the gift shop. Great!! But does it sell vibrators?
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Postby Linda » Sat Aug 16, 2003 9:17 pm

Not much of an honor having your music played in a porn shop is it? :)
Linda
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dick
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Postby dick » Sat Aug 16, 2003 9:56 pm

Ah, but it is not at all a Porn Shop Linda. :)

It is a serious, non-erotic, large exhibit of cultural and historic displays on sexual topics. Wouldn't you agree that there is a great deal of mixing of the spiritual with the sexual thoughout Cohen's work?

from a Salon review at the museum's opening last October,
"Titillation is not the goal. Unlike the Sex Museum in Amsterdam, with its brothel-like red walls and lights, New York's lily-white Museum of Sex aims to inform -- and its first exhibit has several Ph.D. advisors to prove it."

Anyway, everyone hearing Hallelujh for the frist time stands a good chance of getting hooked on Cohen!

Dick
John the Shorts
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Postby John the Shorts » Sat Aug 16, 2003 10:03 pm

Just cos it's in the Porn Shop
That Don't Make It Junk
JTS (OK I know it's not that type of Pawn Shop)
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Kush
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Postby Kush » Sat Aug 16, 2003 10:52 pm

There's a hole in heaven
Where some sin slips through
Close your eyes and dream real steady
Maybe a little will spill on you. :)

TVZ (Townes Van Zandt)
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Sat Aug 16, 2003 11:21 pm

:lol: John ~ and, hey, what's the difference ~ a porn shop, a museum, the OED. It still don't make it junk :wink: and "Hallelujah," perfect song for the museum. I had taken "Museum" to be a euphemism for "porn shop" myself. Perhaps, the owner/manager will come to the Event now :D . Good call on checking it out, Dick.

I really appreciated your account of the Blackout, Dick! The first person I wondered about there was Lightning. It seems to me you did exceedingly well for getting on the boat when you did, and home at that hour, when so many were simply stranded there overnight.

~ Lizzytysh
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Paula
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Postby Paula » Sat Aug 16, 2003 11:40 pm

JTS Pawn/Porn - There are balls on both :lol:

I'm glad you all got thru the black out it looked horrendous. Did it affect any major things in your lives. Will the insurance pay out for the freezer defrosting?

I was really sorry for the poor sods stuck on the tubes. They would have had to carry me straight to the funny farm :roll:
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Sun Aug 17, 2003 12:08 am

Yes, the scenarios I chagrined to imagine were being in the total blackness of the encased and crowded subway; being in an elevator; and at the Cedar Point amusement park in Michigan, being on the roller coaster or other, similar rides in the upside-down turns. Oh my......claustrophobia and sheer terror could've waged a major battle inside this one :shock: .
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lightning
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Postby lightning » Mon Aug 18, 2003 10:06 pm

We are still hearing blackout stories on the radio of people evacuated from subway tunnels and elevators (all successfully ) but many people are remembering the blackout as a kind of party where whistling in the dark was raised to an ear-shattering level . An improvised Blackout Band played through the night at Union Square where people partied by candlelight. Some stores gave away ice cream knowing that it was going to go bad if they didn't. Some overcharged for water and batteries. Some held picnics and barbecues outside high rises, in a furious attempt to eat up all the food before it spoiled. Some had to climb 35 flights of stairs. Some did not have water but were wise enough to fill the bathtub with cold water as soon as the lights went out.
All are wondering what caused it, remebering the 1965 blackout with the classic picture of the alien spacecraft over darkened New York ( aliens are known for zapping electricity) and the 1977 blackout 6 days after the "Clashing of the 7s (7/7/77)" "This could be the first trumpet" sang
Bob Marley referring to the Book of Revelations.. Around that time the first cases of AIDS were reported, Elvis died, and the Son of Sam serial murder held the city in terror.
The 1977 blackout was attributed to lightning (i.e. Act of God, so insurance companies do not have to pay off ) but when the first reports came in saying this one was caused by lightning hitting a Niagra power plant, people called in to Canadian and Buffalo radio stations objecting that it was a perfectly clear day, no rain, thunder or lightning, that the power plant was in a gorge and lightning always strikes high places, and didn't Benjamin Franklin invent the lightning rod a long time ago? So this could not be. My mind raced to occult causes such as curses hurled from Mosques in Basra where US bombs created electrical blackouts in the intense heat which still endure. No free ice cream there. The alternate media is blaming deregulation which has loosened the government's grip on the power companies who are too cheap to upgrade the grid which is antiquated and unable to handle the current energy demand. "A disaster waiting to happen" they called it. If this is true it will probably happen again, especially if abetted by saucers and angry Moselms.
Still, this shouldn't stop anyone from coming to the New York for 2004 event . Everything will probably be all right, and if not we can recover quickly. See you all there.
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lizzytysh
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Postby lizzytysh » Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:11 am

Other theories:

Government testing of new weaponry.....something about a "Sudden Impulse" or something to that effect, a sudden surge so strong that it zaps everything. On the radio program, Coast to Coast, some report about some guy in his car and the radio therein stopping, as well. Another report of a call-in by an IRS employee stating that the government called them at 12 Noon, directing them to switch to their generator system, but not giving any reason why.

Another theory that the government engages those croney companies of interest in contracts. The government then creates the catastrophe. The government then officially employs those croney companies to correct it. While they're in there, for an "acceptable" and "understood" reason, they engage in their Big Brother electrical chicanery that puts us further into our loss of civil rights.

Just a few more theories :wink: .
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Postby Vesuvius » Wed Aug 20, 2003 4:56 am

Ciao Lizzytysh,

I, too, have heard a sinister theory! About a conspiracy of cats. At 4:11 p.m. EDT August 14, 2003 all the cats in New York coughed in unison and the synchronized up-chucking of hairballs caused the Sudden Surge of which you speak. Terrible.

Vesuvius
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Postby lizzytysh » Wed Aug 20, 2003 6:07 am

:lol: Where's the Coast-to-Coast phone number when you need the damn thing, Vesuvius? Laughing out loud at the infamous furball theory, I should think the government would be more than happy to employ all those homeless, street cats in such fashion. How they ever got all of them to cough on cue took more ingenuity than this government has ever managed, however. It's back to the spiritual realms for that one.

And, yes, 4:11 was the noted time on the car's clock, as well.
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Postby Linda » Sat Aug 23, 2003 7:37 pm

Not a porn shop, because it is called a museum and has a "gift shop." Very well. :)

I could suggest a lot of other places to see, if you are only going to be in NY a limited number of days, but this might be of interest to a lot of you, I don't know or actually don't care.
I am not being critical of Dick for suggesting it or any of you, it is everyones own preference. In the different articles I have read there is enough critisism of this museum for me to rule it out.

Certainly Leonards music is a mixture of sexual and spiritual. I am however not the die hard LC fan from sixties and have not read his earlier poetry and don't intend to. I don't even care for the earlier LC but love his newer poetry and music. Could be because he is less sexual and more spiritual, I really don't know.
To me it seems LC's music and poetry should have more recognition in the US, other than this museum.
Linda

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