Monday, November 19, 2018

Researching Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground at the Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center

Schatzberg, J. (2006). Thin wild mercury: Touching Dylan's edge: Dylan. Guildford, Surrey, England: Genesis Publications

Jerry Schatzberg who is now 91 years old published this book comprised mostly of pictures of Dylan in 1966 at the time of the recording of Blonde on Blonde.  He stated "As a photographic subject, Dylan was the best.  You just point the camera at him and things happen."  In most of the photos, Dylan is holding a cigarette. In the film "Don't Look Back" he smoked in most of the scenes.  Thank goodness he never contracted lung cancer.
Dylan without a cigarette

Dylan with a cigarette

DeRogatis, J., & Bentley, B. (2010). The Velvet Underground: An illustrated history of a walk on the wild side. Hamburg: Gingko Press.

The members of the group were:
  • Lou Reed
  • John Cale
  • Sterling Morrison
  • Maureen Tucker
  • Nico
Andy Warhol produced an album for them, but the group eventually broke away from him and signed with Steve Sesniak.

I also sampled a CD of the Velvet Underground while I was there.

Watching TV News Is Often Depressing

I always like to be informed by regularly watching local and national TV News.  However, it is usually very depressing as most of the stories are about:

  • Crime
  • Natural Disasters
  • Man-Made Disasters
  • Accidents
  • Politics
Very often, I feel that the media very often creates the news rather reports it.  Very often alleged criminals become media stars.  The Harvey Weinstein situation is an example of that.  When police officers act inappropriately, the story is often blown out of proportion.  Stories that tell of a policeman, fireman, or civilian who save someone are usually marginalized.

I hate when there is a story about the anniversary of a significant news story.  This morning, the Today Show stated they would cover the 20th anniversary of the Clinton impeachment.  Why do we have to experience that again?  

Have a nice day and don't watch TV news.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Shalimar Diner in Rego Park is Closing

My photo of the Shalimar Diner in 2009

In Spring 1972 there was a fire on 63rd Drive and Austin Street that destroyed the local library and several businesses.  A short time after that the Shalimar Diner was constructed and became a neighborhood icon.  I remember eating there several times with my parents in the 70s and 80s.  We lived a few blocks away on Saunders Street.  In May 2000 I eat breakfast there with Steven Gaber as we took a nostalgic tour of the old neighborhood.  In July 2006 Roy took us there after his mother's funeral.

I guess that the property was sold and the new owner will construct an apartment building.  It is a shame that so many local diners have closed over the years.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

That Thin Wild Mercury Sound, The Kindle Fire, and Amazon Alexa

Blonde on Blonde released in Spring 1966 is my favorite Bob Dylan album.  I remember when it was first released I had a problem scraping up my allowance money to buy it.  On a hot summer day, I finally had the money and went to Alexander's record department in Rego Park and got it.

The track list:

1. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
2. Pledging My Time
3. Visions Of Johanna
4. One Of Us Must Know (Sooner Or Later)
5. I Want You
6. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again
7. Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
8. Just Like A Woman
9. Most Likely You Go Your Way And I’ll Go Mine
10. Temporary Like Achilles
11. Absolutely Sweet Marie
12. Fourth Time Around
13. Obviously Five Believers
14. Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands

The author of That Thin Mercury Sound describes in detail all of the recording sessions for each of the tracks listed above.  He lists all of the backing musicians and states what instruments they played.  The album was recorded in New York and Nashville in late 1965 and early 1966,  Dylan actually toured between the various sessions.

I have the book in electronic format on my Amazon Kindle Fire.  After I read a chapter describing a song, I would close the book and say "Alexa, play Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again."  After I heard the song, I would read the next chapter discussing another song.

Bob Johnston was the producer of this wonderful album.  The author referred to an open-access biography of him at When I get time, I'll have to read it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society at Finnerty's

In January 2017 I went to a meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society, a group of fans of the baseball team that moved from the Polo Grounds to San Francisco in 1958.  I found out about this group from Gary Mintz, the son of NYPL legend Lou Mintz whom I knew when I worked there in the 1980s. Last night the group held a meeting at Finnerty's, a tavern described as a home away from home for San Francisco Giants Fans.

The featured speaker was Lincoln A. Mitchell, a political analyst, pundit, and writer affiliated with Columbia University who spoke about his new book:

Mitchell, L. A. (2018). Baseball goes west: The Dodgers, the Giants, and the shaping of the major leagues

He spoke about the book for about 1 hour and then fielded questions from the audience which was much larger than I anticipated.  There were about 40 SF/NY Giant fans and his colleagues and acquaintances from Columbia University.  He spoke on how the move of baseball to the west coast affected the culture of baseball in the decades that followed.  I bought the book and read about 10 pages on the subway ride home.  Now, I have to find time to read it as I have several magazines and a Bob Dylan book on my reading list,  I have always been a Met fan but am quite interested in the history of baseball.
Lincoln Mitchell signing copies of his book

This sign from Candlestick Park and was
acquired by the owners of Finnerty's

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Tuesday Morning

Every day I read about problems on New Jersey Transit and am grateful that I no longer have to ride that railroad.  Some of the issues are caused by mismanagement while others are the result of a crumbling infrastructure.  There was a major delay this morning on the Montclair-Boonton line caused by a trespasser fatality.  I can't blame the agency for this, but I wonder if this and similar incidents are suicides.

I still get emails from the MTA about problems on the #7 subway line.  Every day there are signal problems.  Maybe in my lifetime, the antiquated signaling system will be updated.  In the past year, I only encountered one major delay as the train was delayed for about 15 minutes getting out of the Flushing station.  I still ride the subway, but not nearly as often as I did while I was working.

I just completed a project for SABR's Baseball Index where I indexed about 1000 articles from the Games Project.  I will take a break for a few days and then index about 200 more article that was done over the last 3 months.

Tonight I am going to a meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society at Finnerty's in Manhattan.  I'll report on this tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Today's Trip to the Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn

Lee in front of a #7 Red Bird
at the Transit Museum

The announcement about a new exhibit titled Navigating New York enticed us to visit the Transit Museum for the first time since June 2017.  This exhibit features maps highlight the story of New York’s growth through the increasingly connected transportation system.  There were historical maps of the 3 systems that were eventually consolidated to become today's subway system:

  • IRT - Interborough Rapid Transit (the numbered subway lines)
  • IND - Independent Line
  • BMT - Brooklyn Manhattan Transit
There was another exhibit titled Underground Heroes: New York Transit In Comics.

We also went downstairs to see the vintage cars.  Lee always liked the Red Birds that were used on the #7 train for many years.

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