The World Turned Upside Down.

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It was bound to happen: a Starbucks on the L.E.S.


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A couple of weeks ago I went down to the Jennifer Convertibles store on the corner of Delancey and Allen Streets to look into a sofabed. It was closed, with planks, dust, and other construction detritus within. Yesterday, coming back from Duane Reade, I passed the place and found–though the store is still way incomplete–a green Starbucks awning over the door.
Now, I’m pretty pro-Starbucks (my allegedly anti-Starbucks song is actually about the impotence of rage against pop culture). On tour, I’m there every day getting my fix–I look up the closest locations on the website the moment I check into the hotel in the town I’m playing–and usually avoid local indie coffee, as variations in dosage might prove disastrous to my mood (I do prefer local coffee, though, if I can get a really good, reliable recommendation from a fellow addict).
But the Lower East Side? Scandalous. They sidestepped a chunk of the controversy by putting the place on Delancey Street, which is a swath of big-brand stores–McDonalds, Chase Bank, Subway, Taco Bell, KFC (the one from “Sunkeneyed,” naturally), Duane Reade, et al. Still. Now there’s a Starbucks within walking distance of Teany, Paul’s Boutique, the Pink Pony, the Cake Shop, Sugar Sweet Sunshine, Lotus–all the local groovy-people hangs.
Inevitable? Probably. I love Teany and the Pink Pony–the former is basically my living room, and the latter I’m in so often with friends that Dougie Bowne and I call it “the Office”–but doubtless on some hectic morning when I’m headed to the airport, I’ll get my iced triple grande soy latte at the Starbucks.
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Holmes.

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Dave Holmes, the former MTV veejay and a friend of mine, has a blog: In Media Res. He’s a canny fellow, wicked and funny–trust me, you’ll dig him.

Vin.

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Scrap and I went up to the Bronx and did Vin Scelsa’s show last night.


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The guy is such a legend. This is my–what, fifth?–time on his show, and it’s still quite humbling, like, wow, I’m actually doing Vin Scelsa’s show. I first listened to him in the 80s, when he was–believe it or not–on K Rock. His show seemed so chaotic and fun and slippery–there wasn’t a whole lot of that in the 80s.
We did “King of Carrot Flowers,” and this time I did the lyric right–“Each one a little more than she would dare to try,” rather than, “Each one more beautiful.” The latter still fits, but is uncomfortably morbid. I still switched the Mom/Dad thing, though. Rings truer to me.
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Christmas in Asmara.

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I’m going to Eritrea for xMas.


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I’m cashing in a boatload of United miles for biz class tix to Eritrea! (it’s the country just North of Ethiopia) You’ve got to do it this early in the year, otherwise all the seats get snapped up.
I’ll be there for three weeks. What I’ll do for three weeks, who knows? Probably just take pix, soak up the atmosphere in Asmara and Massawa.
Hilarious that I just got this gigantic tattoo in Amharic (the Ethiopian language). Eritrea and Ethiopia have been at war periodically–and bitterly–over the past thirty years. I spose I’ll be wearing long sleeves the entire time.
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PS. I flew back to NY from Detroit this morning–I was out there playing at some radio stations–and nobody in the airport checked my ID. How weird is that? I did self-service check in, and I think the guy at security just didn’t notice me.