Category: Rebs’ Journal

Saturday Night Sober (a true short story)

It’s 3am. I just got home. On the way in through the kitchen, out of habit I loped toward the cabinet above the sink to take my nightly cup of water to my room when I remembered I was completely sober and I could stand up straight and calmly reach for the cup of my choice.

My evening started at 6pm at a gallery in the West Village where I watched an artist demonstrate unusual ways to conduct electricity in order to light a lamp. He successfully turned a hot dog into a battery. I wasn’t that impressed because as a child I had had a potato clock from the Klutz catalog. But he was humble in his presentation and earnest in his dedication. He said he had researched many different brands of hot dog and found Nathan’s to be the best. Continue reading

Pen Pall: Alienated by a famous pen company’s anti-Semitic namesake

Visiting Barcelona, I walk into Vinçon, a cutting edge design shop. I peruse glass cases of gadgets, gifts and housewares. “Well, this is awkward,” I think to myself as I come upon a display of art supplies featuring a box of Caran D’Ache color pencils. “Here I am, a Jewish customer, and they want to sell me a product whose brand is named in honor of- whose logo is, in fact, an adaptation of the actual signature of one of the most vilely anti-Semitic illustrators in recent history.

It’s a lot of drama for a nice set of pencils and no one else in the store seems aware.

I first learned that the name Caran D’Ache was related to something other than art supplies in 2006 when I visited the Museum of Jewish Art and History in Paris. They were showing “Alfred Dreyfus: The Fight for Justice,” an exhibition telling the story of the “The Dreyfus Affair,” 19th Century France’s biggest scandal, through artifacts, correspondence and the press. Continue reading

My New Obsession with Novelty Costume Jewelry

I’ve recently gone down an ebay rabbit hole, fascinated by three costume jewelry brands: Jonette Jewelry, American Jewelry & Chain and Danecraft. I started collecting a few JJ (Jonette Jewelry) pieces and am impressed with the quality of these mass produced castings. I am also baffled by the variety of whimsical and literal subject matter. An outsider studying 20th century American culture through costume jewelry would be convinced that we were obsessed with cats chasing mice and fish. I guess current internet culture does demonstrate our obsession with cats. I now work as a designer and model maker for a big jewelry company in California and I also wonder at the number of models and molds each of these companies created just dedicated to one particular theme.

The following pins depicting a cat and  fishbowl were ALL MADE BY ONE COMPANY, Jonette Jewelry. I imagine every few years they felt they had to revamp this popular theme or give the consumer options within this theme.  Each of these pins was available in different finishes and you can see the last one even has added color, definitely elevating the production cost. (I’m not even going to get started on the variety of cat and mouse jewelry because it’s too vast!)

JONETTE JEWELRY CAT AND FISHBOWL PINS

Next we have designs from two companies, Danecraft and Jonette Jewelry. I like to imagine a JJ design meeting: “Those jerks at Danecraft have a cool cat couple in a car?? We’ll show them!”

It’s not just cats. Cows are thoroughly represented, as are nurses, real estate brokers, wizards, pretty much every aspect of human, animal and fantasy life. There are Continue reading

Ballet, Eamonn’s, Aphra Behn Trunk Show

Thursday, October 4, 2012
I’m moving to LA in January so I’m going to try to actually journal these last few months as a New Yorker and Upper East Sider.

Lost on the subway.
Went to Lefferts Gardens to have jewelry photographed by Alex Crowe. Got on 5 train going home, ran across platform at Atlantic Ave to get 4 train thinking it would be faster, got absorbed in the free Metro paper (yesterday’s weirdly having been guest edited by Richard Branson), arrived at last stop in wrong direction, Crown Heights. Had to take 4 all the way back to 86th Street, got very far in Metro paper because I was afraid to play boggle on my iphone because of all of the recent iphone muggings, especially because of the hypodermic needle mugger even though they caught him.
Still finding great architectural details. 
6pm: Walked from 88th to 75th on Park Ave, excited to notice new architectural details. It happens often because so many buildings have scaffolding up for weeks or months at a time for repairs, when the scaffolding comes down there’s a discovery. Continue reading

The Franklin


I recently stayed a few nights at The Franklin Hotel on 87th Street between Lexington Ave and Third Ave.  Been walking by it for years, used to see the bellhop in a top hat.  Haven’t seen that in a long time there was no top hatted bellhop during my stay.  I have a feeling The Franklin has a gritty, story-filled New York City history.  The building was constructed around 1929 and the neon sign looks old and classic.  When I told people I would be staying there, most asked in a disgusted tone, why would I want to stay there?  I guess it doesn’t appear from the outside to be a really “nice” hotel but I was looking for something with a certain old New York vibe.  I almost didn’t stay there because when I sought out more information The Franklin Hotel website painted a picture of a chic contemporary boutique hotel, no mention of any past.  There were mixed reviews on Yelp and I think anyone looking for a contemporary boutique hotel could be disappointed.  The hallways and parts of rooms like the nook for the sink in my bathroom were datedly small.  But for anyone looking for that old New York feeling like myself, The Franklin was everything I wanted it to be.  Perhaps the coolest part is the elevator with an art deco motif in the cab.  The doorsknobs to the elevator on each floor have inlaid mother-of-pearl or abalone bits.  Mosaic room numbers.  I wish the Franklin would market its historical aspects more.  I want to know who stayed there, who died there, and if I knew its stories I swear I would stay there more often.  Anyone know any Franklin stories?  Please add in the comments.  Here are some photos.



The elevation plan is on display in the entrance.

A blurry photo I took several years ago of the bellhop.

Scariest Thing Ever

As you may know, I have a well-documented fear of dolls.
So, the other night when I was walking home up Madison Avenue I was a little spooked when I passed the window display for “Chuckies” shoe store on Madison Avenue and 85th Street. I remember when the store first opened the name made me uncomfortable for obvious reasons but I got over it.  When I saw this window the other night I figured it was for Friday the 13th BUT…

…when I walked by the next night, the doll on the right was MISSING! Where the F did it go?????

Birthday Brunch at Sarabeth’s

Jules treated me to a very U.E.S. and very special birthday brunch at Sarabeth’s today:

This kid came up to our table and asked if we wanted to see a magic trick.  He was good.  His name is Cooper, he’s in 4th grade somewhere in Connecticut, and I will be surprised if he does not headline a show in Las Vegas within 30 years.

Bird’s-eye view:

On the toilet in the big bathroom:

Now, C Here, Jamba Juice! U have 2 wear ur Orange Letter!

The last time I vomited was also the last time I ate at Jamba Juice on Lexington Ave and 87th Street, two years ago.  It was the oatmeal with some sort of “berry” topping.  Granted, I was hungover, but I have never on any other occasion in my life vomited in association with alcohol consumption.

Anyhoo, I felt vindicated when I saw this Jamba Juice had received a “C” on their restaurant report card from the city health inspector.  I took this picture on March 8, 2011.

BUT! Only a few days later the orange “C” was gone and nothing has replaced it still, as of April 2.  WTF?

I had to add my own C.

NYC restaurant report card website

More information on food safety inspection here.