Burning Flags Press The website of Glen E. Friedman. Renowned for both his work with musicians like Fugazi, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, the Beastie Boys, Slayer (and many, many more) as well as his groundbreaking documentation of the burgeoning skateboard phenomenon in the late `70's, Glen has been privvy to (and has summarily captured on film) some of the coolest stuff ever. He's also an incredibly insightful and nice guy to boot.
SoHo Blues - Photography by Allan Tannenbaum Allan Tannenbaum is a local photographer who has been everywhere and shot everything, from members of Blondie hanging out at the Mudd Club through the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center on September 11th. You could spend hours on this site, and I have.
Robert Otter Photographs Amazing vintage photographs of New York City, specifically my own neighborhood, Greenwich Village.
oboylephoto Just some intensely cool photographs of abandoned places.
The Weblog of Spumco's John K. The weblog of cartoonist John Kricfalusi, crazed mind and frantic pencil behind the original "Ren & Stimpy," as well as "The Goddamn George Liquor Show." Surreal, unapologetic, uncompromising genius.
Sorry for yet another pause in the action. I have some good stuff in the works, but I'm busy chasing after my kids out here on Long Island and continuing to apply to job opportunities and such. The struggle continues. I'll be back with some meatier fare shortly.
In the interim, here's an anthemic bit of vintage Summertime Punk Rock from ye olde Stranglers.
I started this blog as a complete lark in 2005. At the time, I was married with an infant daughter and a long-held job at TIME Magazine.
Since then, I’ve had a second child. At times, given its demands, Flaming Pablum has felt like my third child.
I've since changed jobs no less than three times (and am still currently on the hunt for the next opportunity). And while I started this blog partly as a means to help occupy the long, quiet hours of downtime during weekly overnight shifts at the TIME Magazine news desk, it’s turned into something that’s frequently garnered more attention than my professional résumé.
When I first launched Flaming Pablum, the following concerns were all still operational: CBGB, The Cedar Tavern, Rocks in Your Head, Shakespeare & Co., Bleecker Bob’s, the Roseland Ballroom, Milady’s, Gotham Book Mart, Tower Records, Mondo Kim’s, Chumley’s, the original Max Fish, The Hat, Motor City, the Hog Pit, NYCD, Rockit Scientist, Subterranean Records, the Knitting Factory, Footlight Records, the Virgin Megastore, the Lit Lounge, Etherea Records, the All-State Cafe, Pizza Box, Future Legend Records ... and those are just the ones off the top of my head. The disappearance of most of what I’ve held dear about New York City has accelerated to such a point that I find it almost too dispiriting to try to keep up.
In the ten years that I’ve been writing about this stuff, I’ve been remarkably fortunate enough to meet a disarming amount of similarly inclined individuals. I’ve made friends and have become part of a veritable community. I’ve had people from all corners of the globe reach out to me to share their thoughts on stuff I’ve hastily typed here.
As time has gone on, it seems the novelty of blogging has rather sharply dissipated (witness the amount of links to broken or dormant blogs at left), but I’ve somehow managed to keep mine going. Barring a couple of self-imposed hiatuses and the pervading fear that each and every post may be my final gasp, I’ve endeavored to find something to say here on a more or less regular schedule for a full decade.
I’d sincerely like to thank everyone who’s managed to find the blog (especially with my cryptic and not-at-all intuitive URL), read it and — good lord — come back for more. I hope it’s been as informative and engaging for you as it’s been therapeutic for me.
I can’t promise you ten more years, but as long as you keep coming back, I’ll keep trying to serve it up.
The amazing image above was shot by noted photographer Fred Conrad in the summer of 1977 on the silky sands of what is now Battery Park. Today, Battery Park is, obviously, no longer the tantalizing strip of sun-bleached beachfront pictured above, nor are a couple of those building in the background still there anymore, but we all know that.
Despite the fact that the pertinent elements of this photo are now forever gone, it still wonderfully captures the notion of “Summer in the City” to me, finding two resourceful urbanites making the most of their surroundings. The resulting incongruity seems like a hybrid of “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “Planet of the Apes.”
I’m actually back in the city again with my family for the next few days. As cryptically alluded to in the last post, we’ve been somewhat beset by a string of unfortunate events, ranging from the very serious through to the frankly ridiculous. But the confluence of said events made us feel like it was time to close ranks and get off Long Island for a breather. So, that’s what we’re doing.
I hope to have some more interesting stuff up here in the next few days, so please stay tuned.
In the interim, please continue to enjoy your summer, and be good to each other.
Apologies for yet another slowdown, but Summer 2015 is proving to be a formidable wave of comeuppances. I can't go into much detail now, but suffice to say, we are doing our best to meet and combat each and every problem.
Something good will happen at some point .... one hopes.
Never mind Rihanna and her vile ilk, this summer's theme song is this...
Once again, apologies for the slow-down in posting here, but I’m diligently doing my dadly duties out here on Long Island these days, while simultaneously still endeavoring to re-infiltrate the work force. Suffice to say, it is a lengthy, emotionally-rigorous process rife with hopes and disappointments. But, I will get through it.
In any case, my comrade EV Grieve pointed out this morning that Blondie’s Deborah Harry turns 70 today. Let’s pause for a moment and let that sink in, shall we? It seems like only yesterday my older sister walked in our front door with a copy of Parallel Lines .... but that was 1978. Oy.
Anyway, in honor of the great lady’s birthday, I thought I’d re-surface this full show of Blondie at CBGB from 1977.
And just like that, the kids are out of school. Goodbye to 3rd and 5th grades, hello summer vacation!
Regardless of my regrettably ongoing struggle to get re-situated into the workforce of responsible, sentient and financially solvent adults, the amount of time I’ll be afforded to bloviate boorishly about any number of topics here on Flaming Pablum might be slightly curtailed in the days to come, given the responsibilities of wrangling my little twosome full-time (although it very well may result in more photographs of C & O posing unwittingly in front of landmarks of very dubious significance around New York City).
Between looking after my kids and continuing the job search, all I ask is that you bear with me.
It’s a park we happen to walk by every day on the way to and back from school.
Early on, I had to explain to my kids that, well, we just aren’t welcome inside the well-appointed black gates of Gramercy Park because, we don’t live in the immediate vicinity.
I’m not sure of the exact protocol, but — as I’ve always understood it, anyway — to be eligible to enter this highly coveted patch of well-coiffured urban verdancy, one must be a bona fide resident of the surrounding community (or a guest of the Gramercy Park Hotel) to be given a key to enter. Unless you can claim to live off the comely square itself, …. tough tits, toots ... you ain’t gettin’ in.
As such, I always feel a twinge of envy and, frankly, resentment when I spy someone lounging inside Gramercy Park. I can’t be the only petty person that feels that way. Can I?
About a month or so back, I was walking back from school with my kids and rounding the corner of East 21st Street onto Gramercy Square. As we crossed over onto the park-side of the street, we watched a large man in some strikingly ill-fitting track pants leisurely exit the gate on the eastern side of the park. The door did not fully close as he ambled south. It stopped just short of its latch.
Wordlessly, I locked eyes with my kids. My little Charlotte even deftly moved into position towards the entrance, silently ready to slip inside. At the last possible moment, however, Johnny Trackpants paused, corrected himself and jogged back to firmly close the gate behind him, entirely oblivious to the reality that the elite sanctity of the private park to which he was privy had come perilously close to being breached by keyless infidels such as we.
This all begs a serious question, though: Is there an actual penalty for being caught in Gramercy Park without a key? Is it essentially trespassing?
When we heard that gate firmly click shut and lock, my kids and I discreetly exhaled in frustration.
I’ve clearly been doing this sort of thing too long if I’m suddenly now doing it subconsciously.
Yesterday afternoon, I took the kids out for some ice cream (one does this a lot on hot days when the kids get out of school at 11:45). Afterwards, we found ourselves aimlessly wandering around the Village. On our slow meander home, we took a stroll down iconic Gay Street. Upon passing a pair of distinctive doors, I asked my kids to go sit on the steps.
I just thought it made for an interesting picture, but my old comrade Be Bop from the New York Review of Record days spotted it on Facebook and matched it with this sleeve from 1972 by American folk duo, Aztec Two-Step (who I cannot say I am even remotely familiar with).