Under The Red, White & Blue

April 20th, 2007

In my younger and more vulnerable years, I often walked home along Ninth Avenue. I lived just east of Tenth then. The extra few steps mattered.

Though real estate agents will tell you otherwise, the neighborhood between 34th and 57th Streets west of Eight Avenue has long been referred to as Hell's Kitchen. This, it struck me when moving here in 1994, bode well for my bio. Iowa kid in Hell's Kitchen? There's a contrast.

Most trace the origin of the Hell's Kitchen moniker to the apocryphal story of Dutch Fred The Cop. The veteran

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Straight Up And Awkward

August 2nd, 2006

Well, that was awkward.

It's not that it was a hundred degrees outside. Or that I was over an hour late. It's not that the event was a who's who of NYC Bloggerati. Or that I had to get my name on a yellow Post-It and wait in line for her signature. It's not that I was last in line, and she simply signed her name (no inscription). It was...

I don't know what it was, but it was awkward. Like, heart-in-throat awkward.

It occurs to me now, three beers, a plate of warm sushi and a bowl of green tea ice cream later, that it was like

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Learning How To Die

June 29th, 2006

I'm half-way through three books right now, and have cracked the spine on two more.

I would tack it up to coincidence, or some sort of Borders/Barnes & Nobles/Amazon harmonic convergence. But you know me: I look for meaning in signs, symbols, and patterns. All of the books are about bands. So it dawned on me quickly; something is afoot.

"Fool The World: An Oral History Of The Pixies" is just as advertised. Key players from the band to management to roadies to sound engineers take us back to the mid-Eighties when Throwing Muses,

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Chasing Ghosts

May 3rd, 2006

"Don't feel guilty," he said. "Feel motivated."

It's January. I'm in Park City, Utah, covering the Sundance Film Festival for MTV News. I interview three Iraq War veterans on a snowy rooftop in the center of town. One, Paul Rieckhoff, is clearly more of a media-savvy sound bite generator than the others. This becomes especially apparent when he reels of the key quote of the interview, the day, and the festival -- heck, maybe of the year.

"This war is more important than these guys snowboarding, or Paris Hilton, or any of this other

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