Breaking with my unofficial, one-person tradition, this photo is not of the wine I drank but of the place where I drank it. After seeking out several old-ish, open bottles of red (which I’d generally consume with abandon, but I was trying to make an impression, here), I found some sort of white to act as evaluation fuel.
Into the tumbler it went, and I joined the crowd at Quirky HQ for a live—and live-streamed, soon to be available on the Internet, I believe!—Product Eval. Due to my distraction and lax photo planning, the above photo is just a screenshot of last week’s session, but you get the idea. This is a lovely, glassy space filled with lovely, though not glassy, people—and they do fully encourage “randoms off the street” to join, so I recommend stopping by some Thursday, if you can.
I do not remember what the wine itself was like, beside “better than I myself would purchase,” but in any case, it was overshadowed by the experience. There were heated debates about, say, the viability of using your trash can as a stool (consensus: not so viable, though this was a very cool trash can). One product concept was working-entitled the “ScrewHole,” totally in earnest, a name which really should go all the way to market. (This was, in fact, an excellent idea, the one best-received by both audience and community, which obviously signifies good taste.)
That name does actually sound more like a terrible cocktail. Red wine and orange juice, maybe? Or it could retroactively serve as a name for the worst thing I’ve ever accidentally created: vodka and soy sauce.
Don’t try it.
The decision to stay in New York and pursue this degree slowly and remotely has led to a glut of guilt re: efforts at translating and finishing thesis. That second one is towering and frightening and far away, but here is a bit of the first, full of unpleasant gerunds that seem impossible to avoid:
Since when had he been waiting? Waiting is always the wait for the wait, taking back the commencement in it, suspending the end and, in that interval, opening the interval of another wait. The night in which he waited for nothing represents the movement of the wait.
The impossibility of waiting belongs essentially to the wait.
He realized that he had only written to respond to the impossibility of waiting. That which was said was then related to the wait. This light crossed him, but only crossed him.
(Again, L’Attente l’oubli, Maurice Blanchot, p. 38. Heavy-handed, eh?)
Just outside of this gallery of sorts, the Austrian (?) artists had set up some boxed wine. This was an honor system, a self-service arrangement, though that particular side street in South Slope was not especially well trafficked. We’d been lured to this opening by a landing page featuring a photo of a glittering kiddie pool filled with octopi and pineapple, no text.
Surprising, then, to arrive and find a closet-sized space and, yes, this kiddie pool, but also a kind of installation composed mainly of snack foods. There was a sea creature with Twizzlers for tentacles. A banana painted white. We drank the wine and were (rightfully) ignored by the small group of onlookers.
Then, a longish trek to the Brooklyn Museum for art of far greater volume and renown. Lots of nice period rooms, some filled with terrifying portraits or bright product logos. That wine did cost money, though the drunken ambling about in darkened halls was very free.
It was July 4th and we spent the day talking. There was sitting, and walking, and staring at trees in the park but we really didn’t do anything. I jumped into a fountain and was photographed for a commercial in the park. That’s what normal people want so bad. To be so normal that you can be in a commercial, for everyone to see. But I didn’t do anything.
It’s probably my favorite thing. I can watch anime and feel the same when I spend a perfectly white, anglo-saxon evening in the park. Today, at the park, I thought about Monet’s and Renoir’s paintings from the impressionist era, with white dresses and parasols and general appreciation of how “green” and “natural things are. I saw them in brief brushstrokes, just colors and I thought it was beautiful, even though they were just colors to me. I guess they thought the same about me, and that’s fucking beautiful. I’m just a brushstroke in a painting? For someone to consider me despite any logic? I’m just a lanky kid in a fountain. I always thought I was the only person who could find beauty in ugly places, but maybe other people can do the same.
But that’s just my alcohol and marijuana-induced opinion. Take whatever you want from it. If you disagree, please, let it be known. I’m just a kid in a fountain.
(This has been a guest post from Agustín Lopez.)
“Wellness and wine resort,” this proudly symmetrical sign reads. I am and was skeptical: before the party happened, because wellness and wine were clearly the same thing; and afterward, because my god, no, there was no wellness at this palace, only gluttony.
I would expect to be served vodka (wodka, rather) in Poland and was (a bottle arrived at each table as the salad course did. Shot glasses had already been set in place with our proliferation of little forks and whatnots). This was a birthday, though, and champagne had to precede every drinking “event,” loosely defined. There was a truly unlimited amount of wine available to me.
The wine itself (fine, probably?) was far less interesting than what I observed as I drank it: a sort of bar mitzvah scene for elderly Poles and Slovaks. Large white tent, gift pile, food upon food, mid-eighties hits. And then the incongruities: the juggler of flaming liquor bottles, the fireworks display to rival any I’ll see tomorrow. There was a suckling pig at midnight. I’m told I ate a lot of it.
In fact, though, I am reconsidering my skepticism: I felt virtually no hangover. Wellness, indeed—however undeserved.
How I interact with the world ninety percent of the time:
“I wanted to wave to you when you came in but I had this coffee in my hands and I was afraid I’d spill it and then I was afraid that by failing to wave I appeared unpleasant and then I felt myself scowling at appearing unpleasant and then I realized I must really seem unpleasant and so had already made a disastrous impression.”
One might think that a night beginning in the courtyard of an NYU dorm filled with nineteen-year-old Goldman Sachs interns could only gain respectability as the hours went by, especially considering that we are drinking wine out of styrofoam cups here. One would be wrong.
There was a steady progression of people showing up with child-sized bottles of whiskey and regular-sized bottles of wine, which we brought into normal establishments and proceeded to pour into available cups. This is a money-saving technique that nobody recommends, except for thirteen-year-olds drinking Slurpees at the movie theater, and it is made no better by the fact that most of these cups were plastic and emblazoned with the Bud Light logo.
Whose idea was this? Certainly it was mostly mine. It flouted a general and important principle—if you can’t afford to go out, jeez, just do not go out (cf. the rule for poor tippers, whose lowly ranks I seem to have joined).
There has been honorably purchased wine in genuine wineglasses in the interim, I promise. I plan to drink some tonight, and to pay for it, with money.
This is yesterday’s retrograde wine. The copy’s pretty good, which is why we have chosen to revive it for review. All capitals, of course; a sample: “DON’T JUST SIT AND WAIT, MOVE, QUICK AND WAKE UP WITH THE PLANET’S MOST LIVELY AND AWESOME SYRAH! IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO SIT STILL WHEN THIS SPECTACULAR SYRAH PASSES IN FRONT OF YOUR NOSE!!” All punctuation is [sic], of course.
Tonight’s wines came at a >75% discount from Warehouse Wines & Liquors. One had a Twitter account, which I feel is lazy social media strategy.
Says guest commentator, “I really don’t have anything to add. The label is orange, and that is kind of relevant to the Pantone color of the year. I am 100% sure it is not at all related to that. So. Ok. That is fine. The wine is large and un-trendy, and also has a lot of sediment in it. Which is not so fine. But it is all ok, because I am sure it was relatively inexpensive. So. Yes.”
It was, in fact, inexpensive. Empirical analysis!
This is a goblet of wine from Radio City. Due to confusion, I was given some kind of special wine rather than house (per my policy, “always cheapest always”), and it came in this absurd chalice-type thing.
It’s a poor-quality photo because I was somewhat embarrassed to be trying to capture both my wine and the beginnings of Pulp (scrolling text banners: “Do you want to see a dolphin?” » dolphins). Seeing this made my self of ten or so years ago (and of every year since, really) feel wholly gratified, and less nostalgic than might have been expected. Haven’t seen “Gatz,” but am assuming this rendition of The Great Gatsby’s last paragraph was better executed, if only for looking at America as somewhat other.