Monday, January 20, 2020

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Widow Basquiat by Jennifer Clement --- love this book



Just finished this memoir.
It's the girlfriend's story and the magnet within the relationship and all the sticky bits.
It was a page-turner and an eye-opener.
New York is veeeeeeery different now.
It sparked a lot of memories of 1987/1988 when I worked downtown a few streets away from Basquiat's loft on Crosby Street.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights I had the crazy walk through Williamsburg, past the burned out cars and the boys going, "Pssst, hey mama," delis playing Cuban music, Puerto Ricans playing dominoes sitting on milk crates etc etc ... before it was gentrified. 

I would take the J or M train with it's Coney Island-like ramp over the river on the rattly bridge to the darkness that was the newly named Tribeca (repeating triangle below canal to remember the acronym), the new real estate name late 80s. graffiti on the trains, smoking on the platform, in the carriage.
Was it against the law?
I didn't know it but the bartender at the Odeon was a coke dealer and one time he took me after work to Save The Robots. Apparently he'd put the coke in my handbag when I wasn't looking I found out later.
I only found out he was a dealer when he didn't turn up for work one night and it was explained the police were on to him and he'd done a runner back to Baltimore.
Basquiat's dad used to chat to me when he came in, waiting for his English girlfriend, in his posh suit and tie. Her name was Nye. "Hi Nye." "Hello Darling," kiss, kiss. Cos I was also English.
Sometimes Jean-Michel might be in at the same time, at his favourite table by the stairs, ordering a salad but they never spoke.
He never ate the salad, disappearing downstairs. I might bump into him on my way down cos that's where the cloakroom was where i locked up the furs and camel coats. Winter.
Or I'd come back and see his salad and tell the bus boy, "No, don't take that. He'll be back."
Doodles on the napkin that stopped the music playing if you know what I mean. You'd look. Everything would go quiet and then I'd walk back to my station.
Of course I didn't work in the summer so when I got a call from the Odeon August 13 1988 that was a surprise.
They asked me what his dad's name was.
They were going to call and tell him that Jean-Michel had come back from Haw
aii but overdosed.
Death was all around.
Jennifer Clement has really done a great job with this book.
Girls with boyfriends on drugs.
What WAS it like?

Monday, January 13, 2020

Bonds - the Clash Invasion (no booze)

Tim Van Metter