new york city dates

2

“Dear Friend I am feeling lone-some without you. You was the one to cheer me up and forget my troubles a want-to-be-sister Caroline”
“With love & kisses to you dear heart. C. M. A. E.“

Brooklyn, NY
Postmarked 1912

This craft brewer names her beers after hilariously awful bad dates

  • Kat Martinez lives in New York City, that urban metropolis where dating can be a rollercoaster of Tinder swiping, first dates, good dates, scary dates and unexpected ghosting
  • Martinez also happens to be an award-winning home brewer who recently opened Lineup Brewery in Brooklyn, New York.
  • When it came time to name her hoppy creations, her encounters with the men of the five boroughs of New York City provided plenty of inspiration. Read more. (3/31/17, 1:31PM)

I woke up Sunday morning and rolled over to look at Stacy, like I have been doing every morning for so many years and plan to keep doing every morning for the rest of my life. She was reading the news. She’s always reading the news when I wake up. I could tell by the huge red font on her laptop screen that something bad had happened, and when she noticed I was awake, she tilted her computer away from me.

“What happened?” I asked.

She kissed my forehead and said, “Your fever is back.”

“But what happened?” I asked again.

She didn’t answer right away. She rested her cool hand on my hot cheek. And then she told me 20 people had been killed in a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando. That’s all she knew, that’s all anyone knew. 20 dead gay and trans people who’d been out dancing, celebrating Pride.

Stacy was right that my fever was back. I’d been fighting a cold for a week and I’d clearly lost the battle. She kissed me again and got up and got dressed and went out for supplies. She knew what I needed without me having to ask. She’s nursed my terrible immune system through plenty of colds and flus and fevers. Lemon-lime Gatorade only. When I woke up again, 50 gay and trans people had been pronounced dead.

Stacy and I spent the majority of our first date at a gay bar in New York City, out until 4:00 a.m. talking about our hopes and dreams and fears and favorite TV. And sports. The Miami Dolphins. Skins, mostly. Naomi and Emily. This new thing called Pretty Little Liars. We’d been shooed away from a press event by the NYPD and we found ourselves in the back of a cab together, hardly knowing each other, feeling like maybe we should find out more, like maybe this was our one chance. So we went a gay bar to sit in a corner and talk quietly, while people decked out in rainbows and glitter danced around us, all night long. Neither of us are loud places people; neither of us like crowds. Something drew us to that bar that night, though. Something about the safety of being with our brothers and sisters, our people, while this fragile, hopeful, unspoken thing buzzed between us.

The Orlando narrative was always going to take the form of Islamophobia, as soon as it was clear Omar Mateen wasn’t white. It was always going to take the form of hundreds of politicians erasing “LGBT” from the conversation to exploit our pain. Donald Trump was always going to find a way to congratulate himself for it, to double down on his racism and xenophobia, to appeal to fear to fear to fear, always to fear. (The irony of convincing straight white people they’re the ones at risk when nearly all the victims of the hate crime were gay and trans Black and Latino people.) It was always going to be a chance for the NRA to claim they’re the ones under attack.

But we know the truth: The shooting at Pulse happened because religious conservatives all over the world, and especially here in the United States – where this murderer was born and raised – have been scapegoating gay and trans people for decades, twisting the words of their religious texts to claim authority from gods for persecution and oppression. They have denied us our rights to marriage, to fair employment and housing. They have called us pedophiles and deviants, have taken away our children and separated us from our families. They have called for our execution, and recently. You remember Ted Cruz’s pastor who said LGBT people are “pawns of Satan” and lobbied for our death. That was November, six months ago. They have fought to keep our stories off of TV and out of movies, to have our books banned from libraries, and to boycott the businesses that would dare to treat us with respect.

The shooting at Pulse happened because millions of people have been taught to fear this one thing:

A woman in New York City saw her partner wake up on Sunday morning with a fever, and her instinct in that moment was to shield her partner from horrific news. For three minutes, maybe. Or even just thirty seconds. Not to reach for her partner for comfort. Not to pierce the quiet morning with a howl of rage. A woman in New York City saw her partner wake up on Sunday morning and her impulse was love. Love for another woman. Love.

Stacy brought me my favorite popsicles in order of the way I like to eat them: cherry, then grape, then orange. “Try to at least eat three crackers,” she said.

And that’s why 50 people died.

nature.com
Prehistoric Native Americans farmed macaws in 'feather factories'
Birds were spiritual emblems in pueblos of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

To ancient peoples of the American Southwest, a macaw’s brilliant feathers weren’t just adornments. They were status symbols and spiritual emblems — so precious, in fact, that macaws were kept in captivity and deliberately plucked of their plumage, new evidence suggests.

Macaw skeletons from three prehistoric pueblos in New Mexico bear signs of feather harvesting, according to analysis presented on 31 March at a meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Vancouver, Canada. But the skeletons also hint that the macaws’ handlers went to great lengths to care for their demanding charges. “People were doing their utmost to keep them alive,” says Randee Fladeboe, an archaeologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville who analysed the macaw bones.

Archaeologists studying the ancient Native Americans called the Puebloans and nearby groups have found macaw bones and feathers dating from ad 300 to ad 1450 at sites ranging from Utah in the American Southwest to Chihuahua in Mexico. It is likely that many of these birds were imported; there is scanty evidence of macaw breeding, except at one Mexican site, and many macaws are tropical. The highly prized scarlet macaw (Ara macao), for example, lives at least 500 kilometres to the southeast.

Fladeboe examined the wing bones of 17 scarlet and military macaws (Ara militaris) from three pueblos. Fifteen of the birds had small bumps marring the upper surfaces of their wing bones.

A macaw’s flight feathers are rooted in the bone, so pulling them out can cause bleeding and infection, Fladeboe says. Multiple infections, or a combination of infection and malnutrition, lead to bumps like those on the skeletons. Macaws do sometimes yank out their own feathers, but the ancient bones show traces of multiple feather loss along their entire lengths and on both right and left wings. To Fladeboe, it seems unlikely that 15 of the 17 macaws she studied would strip themselves so methodically.

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2

“Dear Mary: Have just seen President Roosevelt officially declare the N. Y. World’s Fair open. Managed to get a seat at the ceremonies despite the mob and police lines. Everett”
c. 1939

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Missouri, May 1, 1908

About moving day, Wikipedia says:

Moving Day was a tradition in New York City dating back to colonial times and lasting until after World War II. On February 1, sometimes known as “Rent Day”, landlords would give notice to their tenants what the new rent would be after the end of the quarter, the tenants would spend good-weather days in the early spring searching for new houses and the best deals and on the first of May all leases in the city expired simultaneously at 9:00 am, causing thousands of people to change their residences, all at the same time.

Part 27 - Distractions

Down the Voltage Rabbit Hole is an ongoing story about our MC, who could easily be anyone in voltage fandom. She woke up in hospital bed only to discover that she’d somehow been transported Voltage universe.

This story is ongoing, so if you missed a part, or are new to the story, please use the master post since tumblr is being buggy and not linking in this post!

https://tinyurl.com/k4rrxna

Part 27 - Distractions

I followed Shun, Toshiaki, Toma, and the doctor (Yukihisa Maki) to a posh bar that was tucked away in the city’s center.

I fit right in with my stylish cocktail dress and heels, and Shun treated me exactly the way I’d imagine he’d treat a lady. He held the door open for me, and as I walked by, I felt his hand gently rest on my lower back as he guided me to their usual table, all the while whispering in my ear how pleased he was to have bumped into me.

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ALBUM REVIEW: Frank Ocean - Blond

As his visual album, Endless, dropped in dissonance to Channel Orange, fans scratched their heads, asking themselves, “Is this our Frank?” The angelic voice seemed to be directing his art away from the groovy, hip-hop timbre of the first album, toward a more cathartic R&B tonality. Three days later, what seemed to be a sonic transformation proved to be only an addition to Ocean’s skill set, when a second album broke through the surface. Blond was released on an independent label and is anything but a carbon copy of Endless. Stylistically, it’s more similar to Frank’s flair on Channel Orange, which brought him into the spotlight.

Blond’s first song, “Nikes,” begins with an organ-like synth and Ocean’s voice comes in a few octaves higher than normal. For me, the “little” voice appears as Ocean’s conscience and it wanders from heavier content, like police brutality and materialism, to more whimsical lines about little mermaids by the pool and b***** wanting Nike. The stream of consciousness is a more fluid approach that almost says, “These are my thoughts, but it’s just me.” Ocean does this to recognize himself as part of the movement, but reinforces his role as a storyteller who starts conversation. In times like today, being queer, Afro-American, and in the spotlight is difficult because people look to you to be the leader. Instead, Ocean chooses to provide his thoughts, but doesn’t lay them down as the law. The song tells the story of glittery fame, juxtaposing the realities behind that fame with an obvious distaste for materialism in our modern world. Three minutes into the song, the register drops and Ocean begins addressing the audience. The message remains similar, preaching to live in the moment (“living so that last night feels like a past life”) but tends toward personal experience as opposed to a comment on our world. Lyrics in the bridge lament having something special with someone that isn’t love, or what they have with someone else, but still is something meaningful, setting the tone for the next song and the content of the album as a whole.

“Ivy” chronicles “the start of nothing new” with an old lover and the problems that arise due to confusion of emotions and changes that happen with time spent away from that person. The manifestation of confusing emotions, as the feeling deep down is “still good,” but “it’s not the same,” is a motif carried throughout the album. There are a lot of songs out there about breakups and new love, but on this album, Frank does a marvelous job of telling the stories behind those imperfect, undefined relationships: the ones that aren’t right out of a fairytale. When I started this review, I asked many of my friends what their favorite songs on the album were, and I was confused when each person came at me with a different song. Usually, there is some sort of consensus, or a song that comes up a few times (probably the banger off of the album), but pretty much every song on the album got a shout out from my pals. This is most likely because each song talks about a very specific sort of relationship or situation, rather than finding a unique way to talk about the same cliché set of love stories. Channel Orange had a similar approach to discussing love, which is partially why I thought it was such innovative songwriting. This quality also contributes to the album’s ability to grow on you, because the complexity of the lyrics and the situations discussed takes a few listens to fully capture. There also may be a situation described that is too specific for someone to relate to currently, but they can come back to it in a year with greater sympathy. The reverb on the guitars is reminiscent of a slow-moving, California beach rock love song. By the end of the track, Ocean’s voice has been transformed via production to an aggressive, pseudo-robotic cry, as the anger and frustration in the lyrics grows. Then, cut music and just the echo of the last word, “dreaming,” resonates in the space left by the instruments. This is killer, as it generates the feeling of trying to grasp something that can really only be a dream, being left emptyhanded instead and the frustration that comes along with that.

“Pink + White” follows this song, setting the pace for the ebb and flow of the album. The triplet feel in the base line with the minimalistic piano counterpart creates a groove similar to that set by older songs like “Sweet Life,” which makes sense because both songs were produced by Pharrell. I am mentally taken to lazy walks that I like to take when the sun is setting in summertime because everything is brilliantly-colored and sits still for a moment before the craziness of the evening picks up. Frank paints a picture of the rosy haze surrounding experiencing a new kind of love, wherein instead of walking grounded, you waltz (¾ time) through the clouds. This is definitely one of those songs you should play for your s.o. when you’re lounging around in bed, with the shimmers of light coming through the shades of your window. The cloudscape is completed with the glittering voice of Beyoncé, the sunshine, who is also included on backing vocals.

Following, “Pink + White” is a female voice sample whose monologue sharply contrasts the lazy summer vibe of the previous track, warning whomever she is addressing to not use drugs and alcohol. Repetitively, the voice tells her audience to be themselves and continues preaching regarding typical temptations of a young adult. By the end of it, I was definitely thinking about my mom, and my feelings were validated when the voice signs off, “This is mom, Call me.” Ryan Ocean, Frank’s brother, later confirmed on Twitter that the sample was Auntie Rosie, who was also featured on the song “Not Just Money” from Channel Orange. A good family friend, the recording is an actual voicemail that one of Ocean’s friends received. The sample balances the copious drug references used in other songs and seamlessly introduces “Solo,” the next song. The primary instrument in “Solo” is an organ synth, thus the succession of tracks mimics a sermon followed by the church music, but of course, the lyrical content is far from the typical church experience. The track talks about being alone, getting high, and essentially coping with loneliness. Instead of the strong psalm of solitude one might expect from the title, Ocean’s melancholy melodies soar over the organ in a ballad, discussing the little things that are okay when you are alone; the heaven that exists within the hell that is separation.

“Skyline To” follows the night of ridin’ “Solo” with a story of summer love. Homoerotic musings brush the audience in Biblical references like, “Makin’ sweet love, takin’ time, ‘til god strikes us,” which I love. I love that he slips in his sexuality in such a normalized fashion, with pride, but just going on with his day-to-day life. This is how it should be. The song rolls through a druggy haze with a psychedelic synth accompaniment. Kendrick Lamar lends his vocals and none other than Tyler the Creator is the producer – guess it’s OFWGKTA for the win. The end result, tonally, is of a similar leaf to “Pink + White” with images of sun slipping through the window, turning into beams of moonlight. Finally, the mention of what no one wants to think about: the end of summer. Somehow, I don’t care that he made me think about starting school, though, because the melody and lyricism in this song slay me.

The whimsical voice of Frank’s conscience returns for the hook of “Self-Control” as he recalls a pool-side conversation, questioning whether he and the person he’s with and he can “make it shine.” The hook lets way to an acoustic guitar and Ocean croons, spilling his heart out over a past lover. This song digs into the stereotypical situation that starts over lust, but the flame within one of the people dies, causing disproportionate interest and eventually an end. Swedish rapper Yung Lean is featured on the chorus with Austin Feinstein of Slow Hollows, saying, “Keep a place for me, for me I’ll sleep between y'all, it’s nothing, It’s nothing, it’s nothing.” The repetition of “It’s nothing” mimics the repression of the other thoughts in one’s head; trying to play it cool. This lyric also pays a small amount of homage to Prince’s lyric “…I didn’t care…when he was there, sleeping in between the two of us” from “When U Were Mine,” which Frank covered on his last tour. The perspective is different because Prince talks about the person coming between he and his lover, whereas Frank wishes to be the one coming between his significant other and the person with whom they’re sleeping.

After pouring his heart out, Frank recounts a blind date he had in New York city, set up by one of his mutual friends, on the track “Good Guy.” This mini-track is cut from the same emotional cloth as “Self-Control;” Ocean ripples from emotionless hookup to emotionless hookup. It’s nice to know that even superstars have problems with finding someone who wants something real. Then, at the end of the song, there is a clip of two men in a car, talking about girls wrecking their hearts, but it cuts midline to my new cruisin’ anthem, “Nights.” It’s as if the Frank, whose feelings weren’t returned, hits that “snap out of it” wall, vibin’ onto a more up-tempo track.

Although “Nights” dissertates the hustle, it also references other parts of Ocean’s “everyday shit,” including the people he’s seeing on the side of his work. He reminisces on days where he had less money and worked night shifts. Manifested is the feeling of wanting to have someone there to come home to, but also being married to the grind and not being able to keep up something more serious. The cyclical thoughts build to waterfalls of notes echoing into a phone ringing, then silence. This felt like when I lie in bed at night and thoughts bounce around until finally I go to sleep, but in a tempo change that screams Frank Ocean. The change signals the entry into dreamland: deep bass kicks in and the mix feels like bubbles of rolling piano chords, slowly finding their way to the surface – perfect for a final verse about memories deeper in Ocean’s past. The hook returns over the same production, cessation echoing into a “Solo Reprise” by André 3000.

The halfway point in the album coincides with the tempo change so it makes sense that the reprise comes after, returning to themes from the beginning of the album. André’s rapid flow blew my mind the first time I heard the track, accompanied by just piano for most of the song. He bemoans police brutality and materialism, touching on his unhappiness with the music industry, asking at the end, “Was I working just way too hard?” Cut immediately to “Pretty Sweet,” which has an intro that’s anything but sweet. More of an auricular experiment, what starts as complete chaos and dissonance within the synth chords turns into less dissonant guitar, but there remains a lack of structure. Ocean’s flow is at times melodic, but the phrasing of the verse is syncopated and some lines remain unfinished. A chorus of children at the end turn the sonic trip into a shimmer of major chords, sunshine, and happiness: disharmony resolved.

The next voice on the album has much too thick of a French accent to be Frank Ocean, and that’s because it’s French DJ and producer SebastiAn. He actually “programmed” several of the tracks on Endless, including one of my favorites, “Rushes.” He spoke about Frank recording the story when they were just hanging out in an interview with Pitchfork, confirming the skit to be a true story. “Facebook Story” echoes previous mentions of technology bending what people consider to be reality, making them “crazy.” After all, the relationship ended when the DJ wouldn’t immediately accept an official request on Facebook when he was with the friend. A similar message rests in the lyrics of Wolfgang Tillman’s track, “Device Control,” that premiered at the beginning and end of the visual album: people are unable to live their reality without their technology intertwined.

Next is a cover of what originally was “(They Long To Be) Close to You” by The Carpenters. It truly sounds more similar to a live Talkbox cover of the Carpenters song done by Stevie Wonder due to the production of Ocean’s voice. A talkbox is one of the original tools used by musicians for vocal modification, so covering a cover, adding even more technology and production, is playing even further into the picture of virtual reality that Ocean continues to paint. It is a nice compliment to the last skit, as Ocean sings of longing to be close to an anonymous lover in this lyric collage cover.

Remember a year ago when A-Trak hinted that in a few weeks we would hear a song called “White Ferrari” that would be the best thing we would hear that year? Then how it really stunk when it didn’t come? Well, ladies and gents, here it is, THE “White Ferrari,” track 14 on the album. Lennon/McCartney are credited on this track for a similarity in lyrics to the song “Here, There, and Everywhere.” The tone is nostalgic, the content being an old relationship and the purity of the love he found. The melody stands strong in front of major synth chords that eventually change to guitar while still remaining predominantly low texture. The last lines of the outro are sung by James Blake until breaking through to the clarity of “Siegfried.”

“Seigfried” is obviously a break-up song, but it dives into the world of Ocean’s other life experiences and musings on the nature of his mind. He pays homage to Elliott Smith’s haunting song regarding substance abuse, “A Fond Farewell,” in saying a “fond farewell to a friend,” and through the lo-fi quality of the guitars. The repeated references to bravery make me think that the title refers to the warrior Siegfried (slightly different spelling) of Norse mythology who often symbolizes bravery, and his story ends in the perfect fairytale with a princess. Ocean believes that the suburban, settled life is not for him and that he’s not brave. Additionally, the warrior could be representative of Ocean’s ex-boyfriend, Willy Cartier, who looks similar to depictions of Siegfried with long, flowing locks and a “speckled face” that Ocean mentions in the first verse. There is also the possibility of the title instead referencing Siegfried Sassoon, a British poet and soldier, who is actually more similar to Ocean in his bisexual experiences. Sassoon also had a romance with Wilfred Owen, who fell madly in love with him, but the love was not returned. The conclusion of thought is that Frank Ocean would do anything for whomever he’s talking to, in a desperate final cry for the lost relationship.

“Godspeed” has a fitting ecclesiastic organ accompaniment and Kim Burrell, who many consider to be one of the greatest gospel singers of all time, sings the outro. The song matches titles with a story that Frank wrote in the Boys Don’t Cry magazine, and I think that the following quote he shared with fans speaks for itself:

It’s basically a reimagined part of my boyhood. Boys do cry, but I don’t think I shed a tear for a good chunk of my teenage years. It’s surprisingly my favorite part of life so far. Surprising, to me, because the current phase is what I was asking the cosmos for when I was a kid. Maybe that part had its rough stretches too, but in my rearview mirror it’s getting small enough to convince myself it was all good. And really though… It’s still all good.”

He shared this as a note, reminiscing about the making of the album in two Tumblr posts that you can read here. The note containing the quote is shared in the form of a collage with an image of a gold BMW. “Futuara Free,” the final song on the album, has a title reference to Stanely Kubrick’s favorite typeface and is divided into two parts by a silent interlude. If you thought there was a problem with the audio, you better go back and listen again. The beautiful melody recounts all of Ocean’s accomplishments and from where he came. The verse moves in a stream of consciousness, free-falling through pop culture references and lamenting the stress that comes with being famous. The second part, post silence, is a clip of an interview with Illegal Civilization, a skater gang that hangs with Odd Future in LA. The interview was conducted by Ryan Breaux, Ocean’s brother, years ago and includes silly interview questions, lots of background noise and interview clips with Mikey Alfred, Sage Elsesser and Na-kel Smith. The video ends the album, fading into a lighthearted rosy haze, in the hands of the youth. It also works well with the large amounts of sampling and collaboration that Ocean uses on the album, truly showcasing that an artist pulls influence from everywhere.

Overall, it was worth the wait. Each track stands as artwork and they are sewn together with the motion of the Ocean, into a masterpiece.

-Erin Jones