Quisquilia: Lib. nov.

Quid autem tanto fortunae strepitu desideratis?

Category: NYC

Sickbay for lamps

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Gramercy, Manhattan, NYC. Mar 2016.

Gramercy, Manhattan, NYC. Mar 2017.

The city is a busy place and at the centre of permanent change, the world of unremitting consequence and moving at a fast pace, and this is its engine, the energizer bunny of modern capitalism, the trailblazing wizards of finance and fashions reshaping business, at its core, the bellwethers of progress at its top, pushing social reform ahead hard and fast, or vice-versa, the innovators and custodians of wealth switching ever so often, urban architecture metastasizing and trade trailing the vanguard, feeling a crowd in motion breathing down their neck with a dream (the dream) in sight (and ever so little out of reach), there is no time for popping your toes while making headway, and only little patience for the idle and even less for the less fortunate and the ailing –

Or so it may seem, with even the rodents in Alphabet City in fierce competition for limited resources (endless supplies of food and borrowed opulence and scheduled obsolescence) and proving significant vectors of disease in a rat race of the n-th order, and we haven’t touched on the subject of people yet, and still, even among the busiest of the busy, in the midst of quarterly fluctuation of tenants, retail, business, and fads alike, there is a home for the sick and elderly at this stalwart of hardware and housing supplies, a dependable hub of community relations and neighbourly care among domestic and small appliances and plumbing fixtures, all of which set the background to everyday human interaction and drama.

For nigh on a century this store at the Eastern thoroughfare of Manhattan has offered a shelter and meticulous care for its patients, those with rusty contacts and broken charging cables, and others whose bulbs keep burning out easily with passion and a bang, the flashy ones and the period pieces, the chance findings from a garage sale, a clearance, or Brooklyn Flea, some wooden characters with a crack and a spine and table antiques with expressive lighting and mushroom-shaped shades, then the hapless ones with severed limbs and those who shed their switches or sequined dress a fortnight ago or forty more. Each one is restored with skill and craft, reassembled with polished care and exactitude, reanimated with enough heart to light a family’s home for the days to come and the solemn hours by the bedside, refurbished and repaired so that the gritty streets and their haste must not spill over into the rest at night.

– Here’s to Warshaw’s Hardware. Thanks for your visit!

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Transleatery

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Buddha Bodai, Chinatown, NYC. Apr 2017.

Buddha Bodai, Chinatown, NYC. Apr 2017.

On Monday he ate through 1 apple. But he was still hungry.
On Tuesday he ate through 2 pears, but he was still hungry.
On Wednesday he ate through 3 plums… And went to 77 Mulberry St. in Chinatown.

Kosher Cantonese cuisine with vegan options, as a reviewer put it, in and of itself opens a space of transpositions and permutations with unexpected, plentiful and miraculous – and thoroughly delicious – results, and the same holds true when, upon entering the premises’ facilities, you find in addition to the health-code mandated (and thus standardised) sign requiring employees to wash their hands a note which while carefully translated and designed with perk and playfulness in mind, boasts chock-full of all the challenges contemporary theories of translation are trying to tackle.

But here, this gentle reminder – by an anthropomorphic waste disposal of all things – to leave the sink in the (clean) state you wish to find it in, makes me just smile and think of caterpillars for a moment and then wonder about Ortega y Gasset’s adage traduttore, traditore. Is this a genuine example of translating in the sense Ortega y Gasset proposes or is it rather an act of writing in and of itself: Affable, but firm in principle? Dulce ma risoluto?

To write well is to employ a certain radical courage. Fine, but the translator is usually a shy character. […] What will he do with the rebellious text? Isn’t it too much to ask that he also be rebellious, particularly since the text is someone else’s? He will be ruled by cowardice […] he will betray him. Turn him into a beautiful butterfly.

To get back to the restaurant from which this all originated, I’d like to add: La traducción no es un doble del texto original. Which roughly translates to: While imitation is, no doubt, a form of flattery, in this instance the curious reader is well-advised to go for the audacious re-interpretation. It even has a new title /name.

– Quote from Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Thanks for your visit!

Off with their heads!

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NYC. Sep 2012.

Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NYC. Sep 2012.

What a hilarious instance of sepulchral humour.
Chiselling lettrism in the literal sense: Phonetics à la concrète.

Thanks for your visit!

Forever y(o)ung

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NYC. Sep 2012.

Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NYC. Sep 2012.

In floriography, Allium (‘Gladiator’) represents unity, humility, and patience. In Byron’s words: The flower in ripen’d bloom unmatch’d / Must fall the earliest prey.

Thanks for your visit!

4383 d, or: 12 yrs

“But when the towers fell. When the rolling smoke began moving downward, floor to floor. This was so vast and terrible that it was outside imagining even as it happened. We could not catch up with it. But it was real, punishingly so, an expression of the physics of structural limits and a void in one’s soul, and there was the huge antenna falling out of the sky, straight down, blunt end first, like an arrow moving backwards in time.

The event itself has no purchase on the mercies of analogy or simile.”

– Don DeLillo: In the Ruins of the Future

Twelve reasons why I am not NYPD material

1. I am not a U.S. American citizen and neither am I currently residing in NYC.
2. My command of the English language is not up to par compared with a native speaker.
3. I am not sufficiently physically fit or active. (I’m working on it, however.)
4. I sometimes find it difficult to engage someone in conversation. My patience runs thin. My social skills need some honing. Not exactly the qualifications you need for canvassing and assistance to fellow citizens.
5. I am far from the level of confidence, authority and inspiring demeanour which I’d like to see in a police officer.
6. Attrition and boredom as part of the daily grind wear me down easily. As does dull routine.
7. The required paperwork and administrative duties seem overwhelming; report writing for countless hours a daunting task.
8. I wouldn’t be able to stomach the perils and distress with which law enforcement is faced on a daily basis (pulling over a motor vehicle in a traffic stop, securing a crime scene, act as first responder in case of an accident).
9. I am not proficient with firearms except for limited experience with carnival gun shooting galleries – as a kid.
10. Despite some analytical skills, I lack the eye for detail, the knack for solving puzzles and the experience for educated guesses.
11. I am likely to defy command and hierarchy and hence fail to toe the mark. An overbearing (unwarranted) sense of independence.
12. I’m likely to choose decent food over any doughnut and coffee-on-the-go snack. (I wouldn’t know how to withstand NY’s healthy and diverse cuisine.)

Of course, this list is to be taken cum grano salis. It was inspired by an episode of binge watching of Law & Order‘s 19th & 20th season. Real information on police work and training is provided here & here.

Police officers manage all these responsibilities and more, day-in, day-out. They face ingratitude, indifference, outright hostility, and yet – they serve. There is much reason to be impressed and show respect.

If you still feel up to the task: The NYPD is recruiting.

Translucent panels

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

Columbus Circle, Manhattan, NYC. Jan 2013.

Columbus Circle, Manhattan, NYC. Jan 2013.

Thanks for your visit!

Fleeting moment

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

14th St – Union Sq, Manhattan, NYC. Sep 2010.

14th St – Union Sq, Manhattan, NYC. Sep 2010.

Thanks for your visit!

Follow me

Quisquilia: Lib. nov. is to be found here.

The Cloisters, Bronx, NYC. Sep 2012.

The Cloisters, Bronx, NYC. Sep 2012.

Thanks for your visit!