Facebook Without Facebook (Part Two)

I’ve been down in New York City since Sunday, with no computer in tow, so sorry for lack of regular Indie Albany administrative support and announcement services that I normally provide. While I was away, I found myself mentally noting certain things that might have found themselves on Facebook, were I still there. Here are some of those stray neuron firings to fill the time until a more fully-formed post bubbles up into my fore-brain:

  • I find Neti Pots to be absolutely terrifying. Why would you pour water into your nose?!? WHY?!?!?
  • I listened to an incredible 1973 live recording of “Dancing With the Moonlit Knight” by Genesis this morning, which made the thought of Peter Gabriel traveling around with an orchestra playing Radiohead and Coldplay covers all the more depressing.
  • Three days in New York City in 90 degree heat = at least 30 days trying to get the smell out of my sinuses. And don’t you dare suggest a Neti Pot . . .
  • I think the main reason that crime has dropped so dramatically in the Times Square area over the past two decades is the fact that even the criminals find the churning mass of tourists slugging it out to the get into the M&M Store to be more than they can bear.
  • I had a lovely meal at Momofuku Ssam Bar with my friend Allie, who I hadn’t seen in decades. It was delightful on all fronts.
  • I have indoor cats, so I am used to processing cat crap, using a foot-long plastic scoop to remove it from a box filled with clay pellets, then carrying it to the trash can. Gross, but manageable. On the flip side: I gagged a little every time I watched a dog-owning New York City denizen put a baggie on their hand to pick up their canine’s droppings, turning it inside out and stowing it in a pocket or sack. That’s far more of a direct tactile experience than I ever want to have with my pet’s waste. Blech!
  • I also had a nice meal at Saigon 48. Nothing earth-shaking, but nice ambiance, a great sugar-cane shrimp appetizer and an interesting yellow chicken curry noodle bowl as an entree. Not particularly authentic in the latter case, but still very tasty.
  • The hotel I stayed in was in a convenient location at a good price, but I think I stayed in about the only room in the hotel that was located high enough, and at the right angle, to have the gigantic illuminated marquee below the Times Square ball-drop location flashing right smack in the middle of my window all night long. This would not have been a problem, except for the fact that if I closed the curtains, the window air conditioner unit did not adequately cool the room (see comment on 90 degree heat in NYC above). You’d be amazed at the wattage they pump out there at 4:00 in the morning . . .
  • When I am in New York City, I spend much of my free/down time walking, checking stuff out. When I am on the street, I try to make eye contact with as many people as I possibly can, just because it seems to freak them out so mightily. The more they freak, the more I smile . . .

6 thoughts on “Facebook Without Facebook (Part Two)

  1. My thought process, re: poop bags, “Eh, it’s not so bad once you get used — OOH, OHHHH, EW. NO. NO NO NO. GROSS.”

    There are garbage cans practically on every corner in NYC. No reason to do that!



    • Not to get too gross and graphic, but having to palm it into a bag when it’s FRESH OUT OF THE OVEN is the worst part to me . . . . namsain??? [Insert shuddering expressions and involuntarily body motions of revulsion here]. And, yeah, I did watch a women slide it into a pocket . . . I guess because she didn’t want people on a crowded street to see her with a bag of dog crap in a see-through bag walking toward them????


  2. Hi Eric,

    Love your updates on your trip. (So glad you had a good time seeing Allie, wish I could have been there!) Times Square ain’t what it used to be, that’s for sure. It wasn’t great back then when I went to get my fake I.D. (1982) and it’s not great now in a very different way. As a woman I avoid all eye contact, and plow through the crowd at an amazing speedwalking pace. On the whole, though, I still love to visit NYC – nothing like it!



    • My “I Love New York” sense usually lasts through one really good afternoon and evening in the City, if I have a great dinner, with great company, and the weather is pleasant. The heat feels hotter there in the summer, and the cold feels chillier there in the winter . . . . and I’m a “Juuuuuuust Riiiiiiight” kind of guy when it comes to the environment around me. It would have been great to have you join Allie and I, so hopefully next time you or I are headed that way, we can make it happen!


  3. Re FB updates . . . yeah, feeling like there was some unstated need to be posting and interacting on FB was definitely something I’d grown weary of . . . at least here, they’re sort of out there in the public domain as part of the ongoing record of Indie Albany, but there, they’d just scroll down the screen and disappear, never to be Googled, read or discussed again . . . kind of a poor model, really, from a writer’s perspective . . . I’d rather channel the energy into Indie Albany and jericsmith.com . . .

    Re Neti Pots: Marcia is using one lately too, and agrees to its efficacy . . . it was me walking into our kitchen when she was using one, though, that generated my “ACK!!!!” reaction . . .

    Re Dogs and Cats: I like dogs a lot . . . I just don’t like the walking/cleaning commitment required to own them. We keep our litter box in our basement, so if we’re smelling it upstairs, it means I’ve been neglectful for way too long . . .

    Re Times Square/NYC: If there’s a hell, then the circle with my name on it will have me walking in an endless loop around a packed Times Square, in 95+ degree heat, while having to wear work clothes and carrying a heavy briefcase . . . ugh . . . .


  4. That’s a lot of fb updates, maybe you wanted to shed it due to fb fatigue?

    About Neti Pots: I became a convert last month. I’ve never had sinus problems but suddenly got a wicked infection. I don’t like taking antibiotics (unless I have no choice, ie, for serious illnesses such as Lyme Disease). So I tried two home remedies: Neti Pot and (this may really freak you out) Apple Cider Vinegar. Worked like a charm. Grew to love doing it. Best invention ever! I later asked my nephew if he’d ever tried it – he has been plagued with sinus problems for his entire life, had to have two sinus surgeries when he was a teenager. He said yes – they are a wonder.

    About Dog Poop: At least there isn’t an ever-present stinky box inside the house! (I have a (mostly) indoor cat too and I’m crazy about him but I have to speak up for my lifelong joy, dogs.) You feel pleased with yourself for keeping the streets clean. It becomes as second nature as the catbox routine. Except in the yard in the spring…then it requires an almost out-of-body experience to get through it. I’m a pro. If I ever lose my job, I could open up one of those lawn waste clean up businesses – I even have a name picked out, “Poop Patrol.”

    About NYC & Times Square: I’ve noticed it too, Times Square’s disneyfication has led to sidewalks packed with tourists, it is almost impossible to go anywhere in that vicinity. I’m not complaining about the clean up, btw. I lived at 54th street/9th/10th Aves in NYC in ’83/’84 and saw lots of scary stuff. I think making eye contact may be the province of males only? I learned to freeze my face with a mean look and keep my eyes averted, but alert and didn’t run into any problems. However I finally did run! Clear off Manhattan Island. In April – thinking, no way can I brave the grime and odor of another summer.


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