Dino BBQ and My Teeth

Thursday, March 14

I was supposed to tune into and participate in Doug K’s online gavoreet last night (Wednesday the 13th) but I didn’t. Because I’d gone to Brooklyn (Smith & Ninth, where Jimmy Conway tries to get Karen to check out the Dior dresses) to drop off an unbranded orange vest for n*cr*ns. Distances in Brooklyn, at least in THIS part of Bklyn, are five times longer than they are anywhere else. I remember coming out here with my late Moki in 2014…to Lowe’s…a few steps away from the subway steps…and it took forever to get there. In this case the address was 168 Ninth Street. A good quarter-mile, half-mile, from the Smith & Ninth train AFTER I’d descended the endless elevated subway stairs. An UNMARKED DOOR except for the number 168. I turned the knob, it was open, no one about in this garage or warehouse. Little office off to the left. No one about. I knocked on the window. A squat Chinoise I thought I recognized. Gave her my vest. And my name, which I do not doubt she did not get straight. Chinoise says the main operations for the org are at Industry City. Where is that? I ask. She says 35th St., meaning Brooklyn. Later I check this on the map and it turns out to be way down by Sunset Park toward Brooklyn Army Terminal. Another new name for me is something called Zerospace Gowanus. This is where they are going to have an expo before the Brooklyn Half-Marathon at the end of April. So much of this Brooklyn geography I don’t know at all, yet it has become vital lore.

Friday, March 15

(Continued.) I walked back to the subway. Thought, Why not make a detour to Dinosaur BBQ? This meant doubling back a quarter-mile then heading north to the outskirts of Park Slope. About five years ago I lured Moki out here again, and he was miserable with all the walking and the distances. That was my fault. I had forgotten he didn’t like to walk more than two blocks for any reason, and as always I mis-estimated distances.

Once you find Dino BBQ, on Union Street, you are at the very bottom of valley that will not look anything like Park Slope until you’ve detected the beginnings of a hill, then see Fifth Avenue in the distance (technically the western border of PS) and proceed to walk for a half-mile or so up an incline that ranges from 12º to 25º. At long last you reach Seventh Avenue, the main commercial thoroughfare, and that’s where you catch the subway. There are several to choose from. However, I was thinking of catching the F train back home, and that is some distance down Seventh, perhaps a mile. Union Street is near the north end of PS when it meets Seventh. I walked and walked and spied nary a familiar landmark on this sunny day, on these narrow, crowded sidewalks. Somewhere there was Methodist Hospital (now part of New York Presbyterian, I see) and a Barnes & Noble, and way beyond that a JackRabbit or whatever they’re calling themselves now, if they still exist. Finally there it was, the hospital, and the B&N. Where was the subway entrance? I gave in at last and looked at the iPhone. Just a half-block down the street.

Not too long a wait for the F, but when it came it was maddeningly slow. I just have no patience for these things these days, and the number of stops in Bklyn and Manhattan was more of a surprise than it should have been. I had a book with me (Dwight Macdonald) and should have been reading it, but wasn’t, and therein lay the problem. And then finally we get to Rock Ctr, which is now the nearest stop to me, since F is not stopping at 57th St these days. It’s been 30, 35 minutes. I eagerly, gaspingly, trot down the platform, up the stairs, choose the east side of Sixth, at 48th St rather than the west side near 50th because I’m not in the mood to cross big avenues just now. I trudge home, thinking of the muggy day when I’m walking home from work in 2011 or 2012 and the UN is meeting, and there in the middle of the street with a window rolled down is a limousine and in the back seat is François Hollande. I am walking about as fast as M. Hollande is riding.

I take to bed for what is meant to be a two-hour nap, but as the 7:30 call approaches I wake up, decide I have no intention to present my bleary-eyed self to these other people who haven’t seen my in years. Back to sleep. Sleep until midnight or so.

What did I have at Dino BBQ? Not a terrible lot. Salmon tacos, which were okay but overpriced. Mashed potatoes with gravy were the side. They were very good. A good counterpoint too, because the tacos were lacking something. The tortillas were crisp and had a lot of red cabbage. I feared they were fried on a grill that spent a lot of time with eggs. I also had a little margarita on the rocks. I would have needed three of those to get intoxicated. I was spending $35 as it was and intended to spend no more. I had a nice waitress, young woman in her 20s. Great big place, Dino, almost entirely empty. One big company lunch, it looked like, at a long trestle table, and a couple of old guys on the street side of the room opposite me.

So much for Wednesday. Thursday the 14th I had Coliseum Dental. This was not a happy event. The Chinese consultant, Dr Choe, thinks my back teeth on top are all gone, need to be pulled. I can have implants or maybe dentures. Bottom teeth not so bad. I said I needed a second opinion. I need to call the NYU clinic. I’m quite certain most of my teeth are solid for now, all except the 6yr molar on the top right.

It’s the business model of Coliseum Dental that I most object to. Heavily staffed, largely with noggy support staff to do paperwork, lots of hygienists (mainly colored too, mestizos or whatnot) and dentists of mostly nonwhite breeds coming in and out. Big overhead, necessarily a profit-making place where they upsell you as a matter of form. The only reason I got connected with Coliseum Dental was that I wanted a dentist named Scott P. He was the sort of person I wanted in a dentist. He was a white man, an American, presentable, well educated. And he was supposedly on staff here. But then after I re-upped with Delta and got ready to make an appointment with Coliseum (Jan 3rd was the first) I was told Dr P is usually in California (Walnut Creek, I believe). Now this to me is a clear case of fraud. I was led to Coliseum because I wanted a dentist who does not in fact work there. How could I have made such a mistake? Well I made a mistake because they wanted it that way. Perhaps I can find a better set of specialists through NYU. Why didn’t I go there to begin with. Oh, because I wanted Scott P. Or the guy with the Irish name who works out of Barry Musikant’s office across the street. (Quick detour to see if I can find the name. I can’t. But it would be at 119 West 57th, if he’s still there. Barry was there a couple of years ago but has moved a few blocks away to the East Side.) There is a Dr. LoPinto on CPS who belongs to the AC. That’s a possibility too. What I really want is another Silhan. A single practitioner, small office, low overhead.

After Coliseum the plan was to go to TMPL. Lord knows I need TMPL. I’d walked/jogged/strided a little in the Park in the morning, actually made it all the way up to the Reservoir this time (sounds like a joke, but that’s an achievement for me, even mostly walking there; when you’re not dashing around there all the time, you see how vast and tiresome it all seems; Ralph McElhinney didn’t like it when I insisted, on our 2014-2015 walks with Moki, on taking us all the way up to the Oval and even the Rez).

But I didn’t go to TMPL. I went to Chapas, again, and had calamari, the cheapest lunch option ($11, jeez) instead of the lovely and filling roast pork pho I had last week. Then home and so to bed. I’d been up since midnight, having missed the Doug memorial for Rob the evening before.


Strange happenings on TwiXer this week. I looked to see if one of my locked or suspended accounts could be resurrected finally, and by george it was, as though it had never been locked. The problem is that they wouldn’t send me their code through email. I used a landline when opening the account and of course you can’t send a text code that way. So I revived one account, and then tried another. Same deal with that. Two accounts returned from the dead, and soon a third. Because finally, hours later (this would be Monday, maybe) I went to my old “main” account, dead to the world, permanently suspended supposedly, and appealed that one’s demise. A few hours later I found an email, saying they were in error. I went to my old account and there she was again. One proviso, which the email said nothing about. I had to delete one tweet. It was a tweet that used the word “holohoax.” That may be a no-no now, but I don’t think it was two or three years ago. So the human being lifts my suspension, but meanwhile a bot scours my tweets for bad words and catches me just as I bring the account back to life. All is well now, and I screenshot the offending tweet and posted it elsewhere for safekeeping.

Stuff I Forget: a new entry. Nicki Slater. AKA Nicola Slater. I first knew of her when she was mentioned online around 2000 for the Eurostar posters she did. (I have three from the original run, because I asked Eurostar for them, and they very nicely sent them to me in a tube, back in 2000 or 2001. Very much on my mind because I was imitating her Adobe Illustrator vector style for a while, most notably in the drawing for the abortive Breeder Bullies project.) But I could not remember her name past the Nicki. I knew she was now calling herself Nicole, and that she illustrated some Princess Diaries books. After many searches I found her, as Nicola, not Nicole as I misremembered. Probably this was on the website for her agent. I shot that agency a note: IS this the same as the Nicki Slater who did the Eurostar posters I collected? And I get a nice note back this morning, indeed it is. Only of course the answerer couldn’t discuss it in depth, is just responding on the strength of something on Nicola’s CV.

Nicola’s style has been quite protean over the years, going from the boldly stylized vector art that made me think of airbrushes and frisket-cutting, to a heavily outlined storybook style that was basically line art filled in with color; and then finally to her most recent period, which is somewhat primitivist, drawing pictures for kiddy books in a style that the kiddies might conceivably imagine were thought up by another child.

This may well be one of the later Nicki Slater posters for Eurostar, where she was using cartoon outlines more. The “frisket” technique of her earlier vector-art posters is seen in the background figures.

I’ve been poisoning myself lately. I bought a pint of Smirnoff last night, and had finished it off by morning. Then I got another Starbucks coffee and coffeecake through the app. Finally I went across to the street to Duane-Reade for a bag of the Himalayan salt popcorn. Ate the whole thing in a few fell swoops. Meant to go running or do laundry, or both today, but have done neither, and evening is upon us. I’m ready for a nap.

Some money came in from working that race a couple of weekends back (that terrible frostbitten weekend on West Drive in the Park), a bit under $200, and another hundred should be hitting some account shortly from some spikes I sold on eBay. I netted a paltry $35 for the yellow Zoom Kennedys, finest spike ever made, a week or two ago. Now this guy out on the Island has bid for four or five of my lovelies and the pittances so far take us over another $100. He’s a reseller, sells t-shirts and golf caps and whatever out of Hicksville. I don’t see any spikes in his collection. How did he know to take the Kennedy XCs and the first-edition white Ventulus? And the limited-edition-colorway Mayflys that I bought in 2010 and never wore? And now he’s got the standing bid for the red Complete Harambees that I bought at the Sheehan race in Red Bank, way back in 2010? 2012? I’ve posted a few more pairs on eBay now, have perhaps a dozen or so up there, ranging from the high-end Jasari+, a modification of the original ceramic-pin version, to the probably unsellable AdiStar ST steeplechase spikes in two sizes. Somebody is selling used Mayflys, original yellow edition, for well over a hundred dollars. No takers. I’m selling my slightly used yellow Mayflys for a fraction of that, also no takers so far.

As for the race people, those Brooklyn-centric mystery folks: I am at present scheduled to work another 21 events this year. This includes four, three races and a half-mara expo, in April.

John M was supposed to be coming into town last weekend, didn’t, I don’t know if he will make this one. I told him it was not a good weekend. We have St. Patrick’s parade tomorrow. Then Sunday is the real St. Patrick’s Day, and I believe that’s the day of the NYRR’s half-marathon. Why not a weekday afternoon?