Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rice 'n' ribs from Augusta, GA in Brooklyn Heights

I saw this van parked on Columbia Heights at Cranberry Street this morning. I took the photo with plans to publish it on Brooklyn Heights Blog, but Homer beat me to the punch with a photo by Mrs. Fink. Nevertheless, I think mine is better, if for no other reason than having the advantage of better lighting.

I love Homer's explanation of the levels of meaning in this scene.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Charlie Gracie

When I was in sixth grade at Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida, we had "social dancing" in the combination dining room and auditorium every Wednesday afternoon. Tables and chairs would be folded and stacked against the walls, and the teacher would spin 45s on a portable record player. The music was a good cross section of top 40 hits of the time (1957-58): Elvis, of course; Fats Domino; the Everlys; Little Richard; Gale Storm singing "Dark Moon." One of the hits frequently played was a bouncy rocker called "Butterfly," sung by Andy Williams. Years later, I learned that Williams' version wasn't the original recording of this song. It was first done on the Cameo label, out of Philadelphia, by a fellow named Charlie Gracie. (Update: for more on Charlie Gracie, including a video of him singing "Butterfly", see here.)

In the summer of 2007, I caught a performance by Charlie, then 71, at the Roots of American Music Festival, held annually outdoors at Lincoln Center. He did an eclectic set that stressed his rockabilly roots, but included a jazzy instrumental version of "Tea for Two" as well as Havah Nagilah and, as a nod to his Italian ancestry, O Sole Mio. In the clip above, he does "I'm All Right", a song written by a friend of his as a tribute to the late Eddie Cochran.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

T-Bird, early '60s vintage.

I saw this on my morning walk. Of course, it brought to mind this Beach Boys song:

Capt. Phillips rescued.

The good news has just broken that the U.S. Navy succeeded in rescuing Capt. Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama from his pirate captors.

Perhaps President Obama is enjoying the luck of his Irish ancestors, unlike President Jimmy Carter, whose attempt at freeing the hostages in Iran came a cropper.

4.13 update: See Gingrich, Beck, et al being foolish on ABC and Fox during the run-up to the rescue here (thanks to Rob Lenihan for the link).

Drat! Mets cursed.

Mets picked by Sports Illustrated to win the World Series.

Could any omen be worse?

Right now, they're one above .500, if anyone can make sense of reading those early season tea leaves.

Addendum: Elsewhere in S.I., one of my favorite baseball writers, Tim Marchman, has this scary analysis that gives substance to what, for me, have been inchoate thoughts about the team's direction under Wilpon ownership.

4.12 update: The Mets are down to .500 as Santana is tagged with a loss despite thirteen strikeouts because Murphy's error leads to two unearned runs, and the Marlins' Josh Johnson thwarts the offense.