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Williamsburg Bridge

September 20th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

I live a couple blocks away from the Brooklyn base of the Williamsburg Bridge. Walking over it never gets old. Whenever I have friends visiting from out of town, I always take them on a walk over into the Lower East Side. It’s completely free and the views are so classic, so stimulating. I love how the graffiti on the bridge grows like barnacles, flourishing, dying and getting painted right over. The light’s always perfect from one angle or another, and I always see something that just blows my mind into a million crinkly pieces.

Danielle and Ezra are two of my favorite friends, and when they were here this weekend the bridge delivered. I got this shot on my iPhone — something about the blurriness of the low-budget image sensor really adds to the beauty for me.

Williamsburg Bridge 9/19/09

Filed under Brooklyn, Jeff Simmermon, New York City having Comments Off

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Recession in T-Shirt Form: Out of Money Experience

August 25th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

I took this photo on the uptown A train this morning — there’s really not a lot else that can be said:

Ou Of Money Experience

Her t-shirt reads (for Google purposes): “I am having an out of money experience.”

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Rock ‘N Roll Will Never Die

August 7th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

I snapped this on my iPhone last night on Christopher Street while I was waiting for a friend. It’s sweet, sad, and totally bad-ass all at once.

Rock 'N Roll Will Never Die

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Funky Bald Lady Brings It On the L Train In Front of Bouncy Rides

July 20th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

The five minutes I spent seeing the band below play on the L train platform at Union Square were way better than the hour and a half I spent in the theater watching “Bruno” immediately afterwards.

But this isn’t a film review here – this is exactly why I live in New York. I just spent a little time in Missoula, and while there were plenty of dirty dreadlocks and bongos out in the street out there, there wasn’t NOTHIN’ like this. This was like The Flaming Lips meets Soul Jazz with just a touch of the bear-and-a-BJ clip from the Shining.

I accidentally covered the mike on my phone with my thumb there for about 30 seconds or so. The sound’ll come back, don’t worry:


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Excuse Me, Waiter…? There’s a Large Bird of Prey in My Soup.

June 18th, 2009 by D.Billy

Hey, how was your lunch today? Yeah? Good.

Oh, mine was fine.

Well… there was this one part where A F***ING HAWK FLEW INTO THE RESTAURANT WHERE I WAS EATING, AND LANDED ON MY FOOD.

Hawk.  On my lunch.

Yeah. really.

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Who Watches Obama: Watchmen/Obama Subway Poster Mash

March 9th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

Whether or not you cared for the Watchmen film, you’ve got to respect this: for the most part, people aren’t defacing Watchmen posters on the subway. It’s amazing. Every other poster, there’s teeth blacked out, toilet-stool poetry scrawled in Sharpie, or, most notably, 3-D genitalia sculpted out of chewing gum. But for some reason, the Watchmen posters get left alone.

Except for this one — which has been dramatically improved by replacing Billy-Crudup-as-Dr.-Manhattan’s CG head with Barack Obama’s wise and otherworldy dome-piece. Complete with hydrogen atom symbol on the forehead, too! You can see this for yourself at the A/C/E/B/D/F/V stop at West 4th street, NYC.

Here’s the total poster:

Who Watches Obama?

Here’s a closeup:

Dr. Obama

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Performing With the BTK Band at Stonewall Inn on Wednesday March 4th

February 28th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

I’ll be telling a story onstage at the legendary Stonewall Inn next Wednesday night, if any of you are so inclined. This is perfect, actually — I have a big show coming up in late March, and this should be a perfect short-term deadline to write the story, test it out, and generally get my shit together.

The show is with Peter Aguero’s BTK band. I know Peter from The Moth and other live story shows in New York — here’s a bit of copy about him and the band:
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Time Travel Via Shiny Plastic Marketing: The New York ComicCon

February 8th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

I spent most of the NYC ComicCon lurching in circles with my mouth half-open, hunting for a copy of Detective Comics # 587 and spending way too much money on plastic bullshit that reminds me of my childhood. The experience was spectacular.

I haven’t been to a comic book convention since 1991, in Virginia Beach — the whole enterprise was dusty, pasty and pungent. Not now, baby. Now that comics, computers and sci-fi are billion dollar businesses, nerds are out of the basement and blinking in the klieg lights. Pop culture’s always been a byproduct of marketing campaigns, but we are now in a golden age of hype and shiny bullshit.

girls_hunting

Today’s thirtysomethings were the target audience back in the ’70s and ’80s when Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and other pop mythologies did the first Triple Lindy into the collective consciousness. Now we’re just old enough to have kids who get just as pumped about Star Wars as we did, and fetishizing fictional universes is a family affair.

Whenever alien archaeologists unearth whatever temples we leave behind, they’re gonna think that Spiderman was our God and stormtroopers were some kind of high priests. Frankly, I’m thrilled. Digging through comic boxes and buckets of chipped action figures gets me all stoked and unstuck in time and I get the same sense of wow, cool wonder that I got when my dad took me to see Star Wars for the first time.

But this thing was for everybody. Really, it was just like the Mermaid Parade except indoors and marginally less sexualized. The people-watching and the costumes were spectacular and totally worth the admission price.

This is my favorite photo from this weekend’s NYC ComicCon, but there’s a lot more after the jump:

kid_at_comiccon
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Plane Crash On The Hudson, Everyone’s Fine

January 15th, 2009 by Jeff Simmermon

plane in the hudson river

You may have heard by now that an airplane made a stunning, safe crash landing into the Hudson River this afternoon. Here’s the plane’s flight path from La Guardia, created by Flickr user Imjustsayin:

flight path

I saw this from my office window, sort of. Aircraft go up and down the Hudson River all the time, and I remember looking out the window and thinking “Man, that plane is kinda low. I wonder what’s on Twitter?” and then going back to my computer. A fw minutes later I saw a post about the crash and thought “is this for real?”

Then a bunch of my co-workers came right up into my office and started pointing out the window. A building blocked the view of the plane itself, but we could see the ferry and police boats moving around. I work for a cable company, so you know every screen was on CNN moments after that.

Whenever anything bad and big happens in New York, everyone thinks the same thing: “Oh God. Is it another terrorist attack?” The feeling is sudden and irrational, but very powerful and VERY real. And the more people around, the more it’s magnified.

Our CEO’s security guy used to be in NYPD counterterrorism. That guy ALWAYS knows who to call. He made a quick call and told us it was a bird, then said “I know this sounds messed up, but really, this is the best body of water in the world for a plane to crash into. They got the NYPD port right down there, and those ferries comin’ back and forth to Jersey all day long. They’ll be on it fast.”

And they were, too. It’s so amazing, how everyone was saved to quickly and with so few injuries. I stood there, looking out my window like the thousands of New Yorkers who had a view, and all I could do was fantasize about helping. I had this vision of yanking off my tie and diving into the drink.

Instead I stood there and fidgeted with my pen, then went to a meeting. Nobody could really pay attention either. Someone from our office was on the flight. She was fine, like everyone else, just taken to the hospital and treated for a 3rd-degree case of cold and wet and terrified.

It’s a beautiful impulse, really, the human impulse to get involved. It means we care about people that aren’t in our immediate circle. It means that even in a town teeming with dirt, money and murder, at some level we’re all on the same team.

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Royal Quiet Deluxe, Chicken Band: Now the Story is Told on Video

November 3rd, 2008 by Jeff Simmermon

Today is national fix-the-country day, and it’s gonna be a long one. No matter what side you’re on, you’re probably sick of the campaigning by now. As a little distraction from all the election-related news you’re sure to be drowning in, I thought I’d post a video of me telling the story of Royal Quiet Deluxe, (chicken band) at The Moth.

By way of comparison, you can read a written version of the story here.

The story links to one of our recordings, made with a primitive drum machine, delay/loop pedal, and my tireless prattling.

The following track, though, is a different sort of sound collage. We recorded it on the front porch of Tim’s parent’s place out in Botetourt County, VA, one hot summer evening. You can hear crickets and locusts in the background, something I think is pretty cool. I am playing the typewriter as percussion here, Tim is playing guitar, and the chickens are pecking and vocalizing. Tim mixed in a recording about Exotic Newcastle Disease in Southern California that was recorded over the telephone many years later, and presto — you have:

Exotic Newcastle Disease, by Royal Quiet Deluxe

There’s one more story in this saga. I’ve told it onstage at a Moth event recently, and I’m waiting to get ahold of the video so I can crunch it and post it here — and I’m working on the text version for those of you that want the full-on boxed-set experience. Suffice it to say that while the Internet has helped me find a whole new audience for this band that I never thought existed, I am 100 percent positive that the Reverend Al Sharpton still thinks the whole concept of Royal Quiet Deluxe is the stupidest thing he’s ever heard.

You can see a story by The Moth’s Jim O’Grady here:

Jim O’Grady on “Respect”

And a story by The Moth’s Juliet here:

Juliet Tells the Tale of ‘Mannequin Dan’

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