"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Monthly Archives: March 2016

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Up in the Air

flowers flying

Lousy news for Andrew Miller and the Yanks.

[Photo Credit: Claire Droppert via This Isn’t Happiness]

The Big Ouch

bags cab

Well, you didn’t think it was going to be all smooth sailing, did you?

Picture by Bags

Almost Here

pretty girl

This baseball thing starts for true next week (ok, Sunday night). Even my distracted ass is eager to see what’s what with his altogether m’eh Yankee squad.

Picture by Bags

A Way Out West

Portraits By Jean-Christian Bourcart

Man, another major death. Jim Harrison, a true classic.

If you’ve never read him, consider these two fine novellas—“Legends of the Fall” and “Revenge”—which you can read free for a limited time.

Dig in.

[Photo Credit: Getty Images]

Happiness Is…

easter eggs

Happy Easter you guys.

Happy spring, happy baseball, happy March Madness.

Hope everyone has a sweet day.

(Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

No Flipping

garry shandling zoom

Oh, man.

Read this. I’m starting a Larry Sanders marathon…now.

[Photo Via: Esquire]

Dear Phife

820The Hip Hop universe has awoken to some more tragic news this morning; Malik Taylor, aka Phife Dawg “The Five-Foot Assassin” and “The Funky Diabetic” , a founding member and literal cornerstone of the world renowned Golden Age of Hip Hop era group A Tribe Called Quest, apparently succumbed to the very disease he had made a favored appellation of and in recent years had struggled with. As of this writing, no official announcement has been made yet, but news sources had independently confirmed his passing, first noted on Twitter by legendary DJ Chuck Chillout.

I cannot for the life of me run down the details of his life at this point; having been a huge fan from the beginning and A Tribe Called Quest being on the itinerary of my musical young adulthood, it’s just mind-numbing to have lost someone critical too soon by anyone’s measure. Not to mention, we are losing so many dearly-held artists from so many areas in music these days that I can honestly say that I was shocked to hear about this, but that shock was quickly replaced by that very numbness that such an event would often inspire days later when you’ve had time to process the entirety of a person’s life, impact and death while you compare feelings and moments with friends and fellow fans.  If there is PTSD for music, I must be in the throes of it, and it’s not something I would wish on anyone.

Nevertheless, instead of a eulogy culled from multiple news items, I present a link to an article from Vulture.com that was published last November in which Phife runs down his five favorite songs of A Tribe Called Quest; one from each album they made together.  Perhaps at a later date I will revisit the idea of discussing the band’s impact on Hip Hop and music as well, as they are certainly worthy.  Meanhwile, Rise In Power, Malik Taylor.

More Interviews with Phife Dawg:


Noisy (Vice.com)

Rolling Stone

Interview Magazine

Q102.1 (Andrew Liu) – YouTube

Lastly, the title is borrowed from this track I came across while thinking of what to write.  Listening to it again, I finally broke away from the numbness I implied earlier and had a moment with my inner self.  We all can relate to that moment because we all have someone or something that touches that button one last time before they go on their journey, leaving something for us to think about; what was, what could have been.  I just don’t know.



bo bartlett

I’ve had tennis on the brain over at Esky Classic this week—here, here and here—but baseball is a-near, ain’t she? Some kind of day in Cuba, right?

Hey, how is Nathan Eovaldi looking this spring?

Picture by Bo Bartlett via This Isn’t Happiness.

Come Fly With Me


Rest in Peace to Frank Sinatra Jr. A few years ago, we reprinted Tom Junod’s fantastic profile of Frankie Jr. You should check it out.

Meanwhile, over at Esquire Classic, I interviewed novelist Colum McCann this week and collected a group of stories about the “Greed is Good” 1980s.

Baseball. Right. Baseball, I remember, I remember. Man, I’ve got no idea what’s going on. I glance at the headlines and I’ve seen a few moments of exhibition games on TV; otherwise, nada. And I don’t mind it, actually. I like the idea of going into the season not knowing anything about the Yanks.

But, since you guys are more aware of what’s what, do tell: what’s got you excited—or not excited—about this season?

Picture by Bags.

New York Minute


Couple few things you maybe didn’t know about the Upper West Side.

[Photo Credit: Scott Heins]

Beat of the Day


Oh, Mercy.

[Photo Credit: Cig Harvey]

Afternoon Art


Interior by Fairfield Porter (1951)

Happy Saturday


Yo Yo Yo. Hope all be swell, you all.

This week over at Esquire Classic, I interviewed a couple of fascinating women: Roxane Orgill, who just wrote a book based on the most famous photograph in Jazz history, and Elizabeth Kaye, who wrote beautiful, in-depth profiles for Esky in the late ’80s through the mid-’90s. Check ’em out.

It’s bee-yoo-tee-ful out there so The Wife is taking me for a walk. Gonna try to catch a little baseball. Heard Goose say some typical Goose shit this week—ah, spring training, where no guh-news is good guh-news.


Picture by Bags

Old Man Yells At Baseball

Peanuts What Me Worry

Wow, Goose Gossage got old in a hurry, didn’t he?  Or has he always been this way? Furthermore, does he have a point or is he fantasizing about glory days?

For what it’s worth, he provides a lot of context towards what he told Andrew Marchand.

The Man, Amen

Photo of George MARTIN

R.I.P George Martin.

[Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images]

Step Up (to get your Rep Up)


Over at the Players’ Tribune, C.C. Sabbathia talks about his alcoholism. Worth a look.

Photo Via: TMZ.

Whadda Ya Hear, Whadda Ya Say?


This might be the first season since I started the Banter where I’ll put up posts so I can learn more about the team from you guys.

I’m pleasantly out-of-the-loop. I’m just so busy with other things that baseball and the Yankees is not my priority. That said, I like not knowing what is going on, only half-paying attention. It’ll make the season more of a discovery because I’ll turn the game on one day, not recognize half the roster, and then settle in to get to know them.

So, what’s the deal? Who is worth watching? Who are we worried about? Fill me in.

Picture by Bags

Har Har Hardy Har Har


Another open Yankee thread for you on a snowy Friday in New York. I’ve been up to some fun stuff this week at Esquire curating a mess of interviews and profiles on comedians. (You can see the blog, here.)

Dig this little bit of goofiness.

Happy Friday!

Picture by Bags

Class Is In Session

imageAlright, Game Thread for first game of the Spring!….

(cricket, cricket…)

At any rate, sorry for the late start, but rage dump here as you desire. I’ll try to lend a hand here and there to provide a place for us to get together and cogitate. In the meantime, let’s watch The Severino build on his impressive debut from last season, with  a lineup like this backing him up against the Tigers, who throw an old familiar NY face in former Mets phenom Mike Pelfrey.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver