Thursday, July 30, 2015

Top (and a Couple of Dresses) Goes Pop!

It was a rare date night of dinner and a movie.  We thought First Avenue might have something cheap and unfamiliar so we headed out. 

Imagine the delight and surprise when we arbitrarily decided to walk down Ninth Street rather than St. Marks and saw this.

DL Cerney had come home to the East Village!  At least until August 30th.

For years, this rare dress - suit - shirt - vintage shoes store nestled between McSorley's and the Ukrainian gift shop.  And then - O.K. I know you're going to be shocked - the rent went up.  DL Cerney had an amazing sale to end all sales and then went upstate and online.

It is rare either one of us would choose clothes over food but, hopping up the steps of the Pop-Up-Stop, choose we did.

Linda St. John had filled the Umbrella Arts Gallery with awe-inspiring frocks...

...and some beautiful men's slacks and shirts... 

... as well as her memoir, Even Dogs Go Home to Die

As we looked around and talked to Linda, I remembered one of those rare and special moments that happens in a new relationship. 

Years ago, we had seen the 'Going-Out-of-Business' signs in the window of the 7th Street shop and stopped by to find out more.  

The dresses there all looked like they remembered the curves of a woman's body and, although buying one was out of my reach, I couldn't resist.  And when I slipped one on the Mariner's face melted.  When your beau's face melts like that, there is nothing to do but buy the dress.

This time was no different only it was him who slipped on a beautiful shirt that celebrated his beautiful eyes and it was me who melted.

Nothing to do but....

DL Cerney
at the Umbrella Arts Gallery
317 East 9th Street between First and Second Avenue
July 6 - August 30, 2015

Related Posts:


Even Dogs Go Home to Die

Memories of a Sunday Drive

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Unsinkable Jutta F.

Her friend, Eva insisted and pulled two of the best works from a pile.

Jutta's work deserved to be shown.

Almost housebound now, painting from the haze of whatever sight remains in the corner of her eye, Jutta steps into the abstract remnants of  landscape she once laughed through.

To keep moving towards where she is going she now slowly and determinedly walks from one side of the living room to the other every day 100 times before standing before her easel or sitting at her painting table.

The works, engaged with ferocious intelligence and thought, are guided by 89 years of a spirit that could not be quelled, stopped or drowned by the sadder and unfortunate events life offers, despite our best intentions to politely decline.

And now two pieces her friend Eva insisted on submitting are finally hanging on gallery walls.

With a Little Help from our Friends

July 21 - August 15, 2015
Ceres friends: Esther Aronson, Jacqueline Barnett, Alberte Bernier, Christine Bluhm, Chevalier Daniel C. Boyer, Silvia Soares Boyer, Patricia Cobb, Jutta Filippelli, Elizabeth Frishauf, Jessica Gondek, Betty Guernsey, George Jellinek, Angela M. LaMonte, Vicky Duk Lee, Julie Levine, Willie Marlow, Marilyn R. Rosenberg, Marcia Rubin, Eva Sochorova, Deborah Zerdenz

Ceres Gallery 547 West 27th Street Suite 201 New York, NY 10001 phone: 212-947-6100 fax: 212-202-5455


Related Posts:

Sunday Memories of Jutta's Kitchen: This Is What the Journey Looks Like

Sunday Memories of Jutta's Kitchen that Stops for Nothing and Other Solstice Miracles

Ceres Gallery

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Memories: The 1000 Mile Journey
Of the Purple Shoes

The box was left outside the door the way a broken heart might have left their precious child or an abandoned kitten to someone who they knew would do the right thing.

Inside the box was the decision anyone would dread to make and a plea for help to make it. 
  • "These shoes need to be thrown out.  I wore them for over 20 years... especially in my purple period..."

(And what New York woman didn't have a purple period?)
  • "Could you throw them in the garbage for me?  I can't bear to.  I really loved them..."
I understood.  It is why tucked away in boxes were oxfords so ugly they looked hip and antique heels that no longer fit, black boots not worn past the age of 45 and unwearable platform shoes that failed to bring back the '70s.

Those and the loved-to-tattered purple shoes were not just protection from broken glass-filled, urine-soaked sidewalks of a city we both grew up in.  Those shoes let us walk our history and our story as we went from young to middle-aged and from youthful confusion to wise clarity.  Each time we, like Cinderella, slipped our foot into them, we were reminded in tangible colors and specific style of important names, momentous occasions and a multitude of details lost to aging memory and an overworked brain wondering where we put the house keys.

We stood our ground in those footwear as we challenged governments we knew to be immoral and children we knew to be adolescent.  Our sturdy shoes, our boots, our sandals, our too-high stilettos, our comfy flats all demanded our strength and complex beauty be acknowledged.  What we put on our feet was never an after-thought but the bases for our stride into a larger world as we insisted to be seen fully and wholly as extraordinary women.

To say goodbye, to surrender the past, to let go of remembering every step of how we got to who we are now... only a friend could take that box and answer that plea.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories: Those Shoes Were Made For Talking

A Fearless and Moral Inventory

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Summer Reruns: In The Still Of The Night
The Sound Of Silence Is Revisited

During a visit to Sunnyside, Queens, we came back into my friend's building after errands. There behind the stairwell was an open door to an old fashion apartment, maybe the kind you would see if Scorsese made family movies.

"Super's apartment?" I asked.


And that made me wonder and yearn for those times when, on hot summer days, doors were left open.

Originally posted August 17, 2010

In those days, only the fancy apartments or rich people uptown had air conditioners.  So, during hot summer days and nights, Florence, along with all the neighbors, would prop open her front door and hope for a breeze to waft in from the stairwell's window facing Columbia Street.

From all those many opened doors, all the different lives would  drift up and down filling the stairs with television commercials, occasional conversations shouted from one room to the next and the smells of a billion things cooking for shabbos or Sunday dinner - all of it weaving in and out of the village of thirty-five apartments.

One late night at home, during a heat wave that had gone on for days and with only a tiny air conditioner in the bedroom, I propped open my front door in hopes of relief.  A breeze blew in from the airshaft.  And as it did, the cat ran out, unable to resist the cool of 100 year old marble floors.  I tried to catch him until, feeling better for the first time in days, I realized he had a good point.

Soon after, like Florence, I began opening my front door into a cool deep night.  The cat and I wandered the stairs, listening to our neighbors sleep and humming along with all the air conditioners in the airshaft.  And after our stroll, the two of us sat in the still and the silence.

I miss the normalcy of open doors during hot days and sleepless nights, and when my door is closed because the neighbors are awake, I miss my mother.
Related Posts:

Wherever You Go, There You Are.  Sometimes in Queens

In the Still of the Night, the Sound of Silence

Walkin' After Midnight

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Silver Lining

Like the Chrysler Building, that sign had been waiting for me to look up, just for a second, and remember:

That at any given second of any given day I can remind myself of all the gifts given, all the chances sought and all the work created and then start the day over, right then and there, knowing who I am.

Related Posts:

The God of My Understanding Cannot Be Photoshopped

It Would Have Been Enough

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Summer Reruns of Sunday Memories:
Where I Still Could Find Her

Her New York began as a way of standing witness to a mother (Florence) and a city (New York) that, despite the brutality of dementia, illness and ultra-wealthy development, insisted on still being who and what they really were.  

Since Florence's death in 2008, what New York was became, at times, elusive and other times heartbreaking reminders of loss.  

Yet the exploration has never ended.  Small and big celebrations are still found in a city that refuses to completely die and in the spirit of a woman that continues to guide me forward, always.

Originally posted November 29, 2009


O'Keefe asked me to explain all this.

I said I was trying to illuminate where New York and Florence still were themselves even as they faded from recognizable forms.

And now a year after Florence died and New York continued in its odd way and the home I grew up in now looks like a nice apartment for other people we never were, there are places still here and there, still persistently themselves ....

....that I go to and feel at home.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wherever You Go, There You Are.
Sometimes in Queens

It was just like what we had, growing up so long ago in our own corners of the city.  A decent pub.

That familiar daylight seeping in, the dark wood blanketing the walls, those high stools you slip onto as a feeling of greater kinder hands rises up to greet your tush and cradle you.

It was empty except for some guys scattered along the bar.  Two were doing construction in the neighborhood, finishing up their burgers.  Another, very tan and summery, contemplating going or not going or someone coming in, and in a quieter corner a man older than any bar I ever sat at, just sitting.

A talkative fellow came in, wanting to see the lunch menu.

"Lunch menu same as the dinner one," the waitress told him.

Mick ordered a really good looking chicken sandwich.

I had salmon on lots of salad.  I stared longingly at Mick's fries.  His beer looked really cute too.

When the bill came, it seemed a bit low.

"Half off for happy hour," the waitress told us.

That bar was just like my favorite bar, I told Mick afterwards.  Except it had food and didn't smell of cat pee. 

Next time... burgers.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories of Old Homes and Family

Mick Andreano: Portraits

Donovan's Pub

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

This is 97 year-old Hyman.

And this is 97 year-old Hyman after we got yelled at by the bus driver for Hyman taking too long to get off at his stop.  (He is zipping off to hang out in Union Square Park.)

"That's not the way you speak to a veteran," I said to the bus driver. 

The lady with the Whole Food bags chimed in.  "Disrespectful!"

The bus driver, a young guy, grumbled something under his breath about this not being a tea party or that our socializing was holding people up...

But Hyman lost years of his life in a P.O.W. camp during World War II.  So we can fucking give him an extra 60 seconds that allows someone who knows his name to ask him how he's doing.

Related Posts:


The Exhaustion of Diaspora: Part Four- Hyman Comes to Visit

Sunday Memories: Part Three - Home Where My Love Lies Sleeping

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday Memories:
The Home Inside Our Hearts

We all grew up here.

They on two different parts of the upper west side that could have been in different countries and me on the lower east side which often was a different country.

But when you know, in the midst of chaos and fear and loss, someone is a home for your heart, you don't quibble about addresses.

One we visited in a hotel room befitting for a 15 year-old runaway.

One lived with me when we were barely 17 or 18.

And I ... I always knew I would never be unmoored from the world as long as they still knew me.

Four decades of showing up for meals and memorials, reckonings and illness, celebrations and rare comfort.  We always knew - NO MATTER WHAT - we were always here, there and everywhere.  It was family and connection.  And sometimes, in dark corners of crushing moments, it was the only family and connection we had.

Modern life's interpretation of time and distance (whether to Seattle or Harlem) makes visits rare.   Still - NO MATTER WHAT -  how little or how often we send casual hellos, when home is needed to shelter a broken heart or share rare delight, we are here, there and everywhere.

One got married in a Halloween festival, dressed as a wench to her new husband's pirate.

And just today, the other in full colonial finery got married to the love of her life on the porch of a mansion once owned by a trouble-maker woman who defied all rules of her times.

And today, like any day  I see either of them - NO MATTER WHAT - my heart both weeps and dances with joy.    

Related Posts

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This is Her New York

Morris Jumel Mansion

Thursday, July 9, 2015


After years of toil, several continents, different cities and many burgers, Adrian Garcia Gomez and C.O. Moed are happy to announce their joint collaboration video, FUCKING HIM (1:46).

The piece asks the simplest of questions:
  • What is fucking?
  • What is love?
  • What's the difference?
  • When do you know?

Screenings will be posted at a later date.


Adrian Garcia Gomez is an interdisciplinary artist working in film/video, photography and illustration. His artwork, which is largely autobiographical, explores the complexities of race, immigration, gender, spirituality and sexuality. His short experimental films, photographs and drawings have exhibited around the world. He currently lives and works in Tel Aviv. (

C.O. Moed chronicles the heart and soul of a disappearing family and a city in the throws of extinction and evolution on IT WAS HER NEW YORK. A recipient of the Elizabeth George Grant for fiction and a Rockefeller Media Arts nominee, her short stories and dramatic works have been published in several anthologies and literary reviews. ( and

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The Eyes Have It

Night Boat

The street was once a place where working people lived and businesses made things and bars served anyone who needed a drink and had a couple of bucks.

Someone took an eraser and wiped it clean.  Put life into the nooks and crannies that looked like a Walt Disney movie only with a ton of cigarettes, cell phones and almost no smiling.

The clothing store kept the old neon liquor sign to display the grit it had purchased for clothes only a few could afford.   In a city where church ladies and baseball fans were the only ones who wore hats, millinery stores seemed to be flourishing.  And cafes with exclusive gardens that had gatekeepers were packed with sockless loafers and dresses so short ... I still don't understand how they sit down and they sure as hell can't stand in those heels for more than five minutes.

But turning corners and choosing avenues trying to impress no one, all I had to do was look up and remember what it was like to float on a greater idea towards a richer world.

And again, I missed my mom and all the night walks we took on our way home from neighborhoods where working people lived and bars had cheap drinks for just a couple of bucks.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories of Old Homes and Family

Sunday Memories: Where I Still Could Find Her

Night Cruise

Songs from the Second Floor

Sunday Memories: Higher Ground

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bells Are Ringing

Not a lot of guys know the old land-line wiring.  One guy didn't even have a clue where to start with the wall phone.

Mr. Verizon did.  He not only knew the wiring, he fixed the phone.

There in the middle of all his tools was a vase. 

"You need that to fix phone?"

"Nah.  I just pick up stuff from the dumpsters and the basement garbage.  I also just got that vise."

He even took home cats dumped in basements. 

Since almost everything in the apartment were hand-me-downs or found on the street - including the cats - we got to talking.

His family's been here since 1812 or 13 - a long, long time - and one branch owned Farrell's.  Not his branch though.  He wouldn't be working Verizon if it was.

Commiserating about the city going down the toilet, he shook his head.  "They're selling the city on an old reputation - tough, gritty, a real city... but it's not anymore."

Then he packed up his tools and vase and headed out to the next call.

Related Posts:

Sunday Memories: Playing Telephone

Sunday Memories: Even the Cat Was Found on the Street


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Memories of a Sunday Drive

It was like stepping into a time machine.

A real freight elevator with a real gate with a real handle that made it go up and down and fast and slow and stop and start.

The guy grabbed the handle and up we flew.

I used to drive one of these, I said to the Mariner.

Well not drive, drive.  In 1975, it wasn't like girls were freight elevator operators.  But, fresh out of high school, every chance I got, working in the back channels of an old, respected office supplies store, I begged the freight elevator guy, a big burly guy at least 100 years old or his pimply 15 year old second hand to let me zoom the freight up and down.  It was the closest I got to driving a race car.

How did you get it to stop right on the floor, the Mariner asked.

Oh it was just like parallel parking.  Only vertical.


Related Posts:

Look Back in Love at Home

Thursday, July 2, 2015

You Never Expect What Dana Says

Bits and pieces of Dana are slowly beginning to visit other places.   

Yet, she is like a lighthouse.   

When you least expect it, her brilliant light explodes into clarity and words that change the world.  David, her son takes as many down as he can and shares them with me.

Over the next while, old stories and new moments of Dana will be noted.  What Dana Says is worth pulling close and holding tight. 


The dentist called.

"Overdue?  It sounds like I'm giving birth to new teeth."

[to David]

"She's still laughing."

Related Posts:

Sunday Moments and Memories of What Dana Says

What Dana Says: Why I Visit Dana or How I Keep Writing