Archive | July, 2011

Amy Winehouse, RIP

24 Jul

Amy Winehouse died this weekend. Not a huge surprise to lots of folks, given the awfully self destructive spiral she was on. Just a few years ago her mom made a heartfelt appeal to her daughter, asking her to reach out, and a little after her in-laws asked fans to stop buying her records or going to her gigs, because they were funding her drug addiction.

She was one of my favorite artists ever: the voice of a generation and an incredible talent the likes of which I’ve never known. I adored her. The beautiful simplicity of her voice makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and she touched me in a way that no other artist has. She just moves me.  I still can’t listen to ‘Back to Black’, ‘Love is a Losing Game’ or ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ without welling up a little. And the poetic beauty of ‘Valerie’ or ‘Stronger than me’? Oh my….

Of course, she was an addict, and the easy option is to say that as an addict she had it coming and she deserved it. I would ask that you looked beyond that though. Was she a fuckup? Sure. Did she have opportunities that others didn’t? Of course she did. But was she was a weak, vulnerable and addicted individual? No question she was. But was she also an incredible, one of kind talent ? Absolutely, and I’m  truly, truly gutted that she’s gone.

Her weakness as an addict doesn’t make her death any easier to deal with. The people around her took advantage and exploited her for every last dollar, and now she’s dead. Well done, I hope those people are proud. They have blood on your hands, the fuckers. But at least they made some money, I guess.

So RIP Amy. Your extraordinary talent extinguished at just 27. I’m devastated, but I’m also thankful you were able to put out two of the best records that have ever seen the light of day. I’m glad that your hauntingly beautiful voice will always be a part of my life.

Thanks for those two incredible records. I’m just sad that there won’t be any more.

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A Rollerskating Jam Named Saturdays

4 Jul

I fell in love with New York City all over again today.

This afternoon, after a hard bike ride and short run, I decided to head into Central Park to skate for an hour or so. About 20 minutes in, I stumbled upon this:

100 or so skaters and rollerbladers, skating around a massive sound system in the middle of Central Park. Totally unexpected, and absolutely awesome. Full on throwback action, complete with old school hip-hop and legit b-boys, it really was one of my most unexpected and surprising discoveries since I moved here. Young, old, male, female… every color and creed you could imagine all just getting down on skates. It felt like a scene out of a movie.

Rollergirl was there:

So was buff skating dude in big pants:

And don’t forget skater chick in jean shorts and cowboy hat, she was there too:

Anyhow, it turns out it’s a regular thing put on by these guys:

And they’ve been doing it for years.  It was such an unexpected and lovely outpouring of happiness…. really nice to see it in NYC, where it’s so easy to get totally caught up in your own little world.

So, the point of this post is, it’s possible to stumble on cool fun stuff.  Even if this skating thing isn’t your scene, you can bet your bottom dollar that somewhere there’s something you’d love going on, that you don’t even know exists.  So get to it… head out and find something cool 🙂