Friday, March 18, 2005 at 13:41:08 (EST)

I won't be back here though we may meet again

David Pajo is still somehow recognizable in this blur

The reunion tour of Slint was reason to break my 2-year boycott of the still-execrable Irving Plaza. But we timed it just right so we go to the place just before Slint went on, then skeddadled afterwards. Of course, because it was St Patrick's Day, all the bars were teaming, but anything is preferable to spending time at Irving Plaza. The band was perfect, although I wish the contrast in the more dynamic stuff was greater. I guess it's harder to do that live, but when they build to their crescendos it coulda been a lot louder for me. Then again, I'm pretty sure I've lost a lot of my hearing over the years from my intense yet inspiring rock'n'roll lifestyle. At least let me pretend it's been inspiring, I need to justify my damaged ears.

We were thinking of gong to the afterparty at Lit, but decided it would be too late a night if we went there, so we just hit up the Alibi as usual. Owen the bartender handed me a Greyhound on the house. Does he think I drink those all the time? Anyway the vitamin C probably did me some good. More photos over on Buzz's Flickr account!

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Thursday, March 17, 2005 at 10:24:21 (EST)

Please donít hate me because Iím beautiful baby
Sylvia discovered this graf in Chinatown the other day. It appears that Mr Bones' influence extends far further than we ever imagined:

Of course, when it's finished it will be even more impressive (mouseover to see final vision).

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 at 16:03:29 (EST)

Years go passing day by day

Once upon a time, a young woman journeyed from East Berlin to Brooklyn to live in a house with a couple of dudes, some cats, and ... well, another very fat cat. Despite these many hardships, she has persevered and today celebrates her birthday in these fine, most United of States. Has her American experience affected her for the worse?

You be the judge!

The ravages of age

This Friday we'll be having a birthday party for Sylvia, not to mention a Last-Day-at-His-Old-Job party for Buzz. Let's say 9ish, at 243 Greene Apt 1. You all know the drill, bring the booze or whatever, but do not bring more cats. I can't stress that enough.

I'm so glad I never took down the decorations from my birthday party in December! Actually, if I play my cards right I can just leave 'em up, as both Buzz and Abby share a birthday in April. Is this how Happy Birthday Hideout started?

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 at 15:35:04 (EST)

Mister we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again

Here's the block upon which Buzz will begin his new career next week (that incense doesn't sell itself you know), Greene Ave at Fulton St. But it doesn't look so much like this anymore. What's most alarming is that there used to be a bar where there is now a gourmet bodega. If Buzz had gotten his new job somewhere between 1931 and 1942 he would have been able to have 3-martini lunches every day. [via dailyheights]

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005 at 13:31:43 (EST)

It's all a set-up, deny everything!
I'm trying to determine if this thing I found on craigslist is a scam. I see this listing for a house in a very desirable part of Fort Greene. There isn't much information, so I call the attached number to ask what the address is. I get voicemail, but some guy calls me back hours later. He immediately begins asking me all these questions about my occupation, income, and other info that seemed really unnecessary. He explained that his realty company will only show its properties to people they have preapproved themselves. I told him all I wanted to know was the address of the house so I could take a look at it first before bothering to pursue anything. But he kept changing the subject back to this all-important preapproval thing. I didn't want to give him any more info over the phone so I thought I'd call his bluff and asked to make an appointment.

He said sure, and told me to come in tomorrow to their office ... in the Empire State Building. He then mentioned something to the effect of "Just wait in the reception area and I'll come out and get you." Hmmmm.

So we've got a realty company (with the rousing name "NY Universal Realty LLC"), who won't let me see any of the supposedly wonderful properties without submitting to a mortgage preapproval first. To do this, I'm supposed to go to the Empire State Building to be met in the lobby by some representative of the company. None of this sounds remotely suspicious, right?

While I can understand realtors not wanting to bother with people who can't afford their houses, I have never heard of a company that wants to go through all the trouble of a preapproval just to let people see their properties. If it was simply prequalification, I might believe them. But preapproval is a more complex process in which a person's specific income and other personal info are gleaned to to determine exactly how much they can borrow. It is usually done by mortgage brokers and lenders. Unless this realty company is also a lender, I don't see what good any of this would do, beyond giving them a bunch of my personal information. However, they didn't tell me to bring any W-2 forms or pay stubs, and I didn't remind them. I went to the Empire State Building's site and looked up their name in the business directory but found nothing even close to NY Universal Realty LLC in the list.

Something sketchy is going on here, but what? I'm so intrigued by the ineptitude of these guys that I'm actually thinking about going to the appointment, if only to see what they try to pull. Will they try to get my credit card number? Will they kidnap me and drive me around town, forcing me to empty my account at various ATMs? Or are accomplices waiting to break into my house the moment I leave for the ESB?

UPDATE: I didn't go to the appointment, but they also never called me back to confirm the appointment like they said they would. I contacted the ESB and they say they have no tenant by that name. They were definitely up to something, but what? I fear I may never get closure on this real estate anecdote.

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Week of March 13-19, 2005


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