Saturday, July 4, 2015


Friday, July 3, 2015

in case you get Hungary

Let’s hear it for the red, white and green!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

frequent cryer

New Yorkers might agree the most ineffective mayor since 1976 has been David Dinkins.

His protegĂ©, the present mayor, 
is turning out a bit like his teacher.


Previous Mayors like Koch, Giuliani and Bloomberg set to the task of vetting and appointing their department heads in the month before taking office.

Bill de Blasio took a vacation. 

After taking office he encountered 8 weekly snowstorms that drew his attention and left us rudderless for months.


He alienated the NYPD until they turned their backs on him.

Stop and frisk is down so guns and murders are up.


And now he’s called out the Governor. Publicly.

New York City can’t accomplish much 
without Albany’s support.

So now Public Advocate Letitia James and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito are distancing themselves from the mayor.


CBS reports the mayor’s rant is being dismissed as a “paranoid temper tantrum.” 


Governor Cuomo, Senate Republicans and even some Assembly Democrats are now viewing de Blasio as

 “officially beneath us.”


And where’s Bill in all this?

More vacation.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

probably underbid Mott

John Blake was a junkman, an Irish immigrant age 56 in the 1880 census. He listed his occupation as an “iron dealer.”

Francis Duffy was younger, 22 when he applied for an American passport in 1882, just 4 years before the ClockTower.

John probably died about 1887 but his son Thomas, a lawyer, joined the iron business and made a partnership with Francis.

They were listed in an 1890 NYC Builders’ Directory.

Together they were “Blake & Duffy Ironworks” 
at 517 West 25th Street, 
from about 1884 until 1892.

Our ClockTower was an inspiration to the neighborhood and Verde’s building sprang up around that time, too.

Blake and Duffy made the ironwork in Manhattan, lugged it up here and installed it right across Lincoln Avenue.

It says so on the front of Verde Flowers!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

never give up


By now we’ve all seen that Donald Featherstone, 
aka “the dude who designed the lawn flamingo” 
passed away last week at 79.

Many of us grew up with these fascinating bits of pink history, but there is more to his story than meets the eye.

He was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as saying: 

“We sold people tropical elegance in a box for less than $10. 
Before that, only the wealthy could afford to have bad taste."

Indie visionary (and weirdo) film director John Waters used them for a film title in 1972.

Featherstone and his wife Nancy affected a way of dressing alike in matching outfits she handmade at home. 

They appeared in public as bookends for 37 years before he died.


But the interesting thing about this man--for me at least-- is that he is credited with working on over 650 plastic designs but only one, his flamingo, took off.

649 failures. One brilliant success. 
And now everyone knows who he is. 


Monday, June 29, 2015

rebel without a pause


June 1981--I was not yet 30--and my pals and I drove south in my pickup to go camping and fishing and to climb the Seneca Rocks.


In rural West Virginia, I had a truck window replaced.

The auto shop installed a flag license plate on my truck.

I didn’t ask for it but I thought it looked cool, 
and I didn’t stop to think what it meant.


Even with my education it did not register back then 
the racist oppression this symbol represents.

So I have a suggestion for a flag to honor the Charleston Nine.



Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rama does

Long a hot bed of secret hypocrisy, religion has enjoyed centuries of privacy until the internet “connected” us all.

Now Google knows what we are doing and who we are doing it with.

Even when we are doing it alone.

And then they publish it all, as in “Google Analytics.”

(That spike is from my Mom hitting the site over and over this past week, while I was convalescing and not posting.)

Anyway, this week IslamicAnswers asks an interesting question!

And it turns out, perhaps it is!

While Islamic interest in online sex has skyrocketed in the past ten years...

...a corresponding plunge occurs through each Ramadan, 
as indicated by the chart.

Muslim masturbation is okay as long as:

1) nobody finds out and 
2) not over the holidays.