Stephanie, Houses Don’t Feel…

24 02 2010

Somedays it seems like my anthropomorphism* towards places is overwhelming.
For instance, six years later, I still think about the house I grew up in… hoping it’s being treated well and that it’s happy.
I know that homes are inanimate, but my belief system leads me to understand that everything has a purpose/feelings.
Yeah, yeah, I know.

ANYWAY, Buffalo (proper) is pretty much a dying city. Empty homes, desolate lawns, substandard living conditions; you heard about Extreme Home Make Over, right?
I subscribe to a number of  why-does-this-happen?!?! newsletters/websites where various people highlight the blight and ask why.
And in making myself all boo-hoo and sad, I read these posts and look at the homes/business that once were and also wonder why.
So, over at Broadway-Fillmore Alive! this video was posted:

It just breaks my heart.
No, really.
I see these homes and I think about the history involved… kids learning how to walk on their wood floors, board games played in living rooms, angry teenagers stomping up stairs, the excitement of a first home, birthday parties, baths in clawfoot tubs, pianos in the den with singalongs, love letters written in bedrooms… if the walls could talk!
Now, I know houses don’t feel, but I still can’t help but think of an older home smiling, wanting to help, feeling proud that it’s doing it’s job: keeping the family safe, dry, warm… akin to “The Giving Tree”.
And I just imagine them feeling sad, left behind, lonely, hurt when the family moves or is evicted. Or when his window eyes are broken. And his door boarded up. And getting The Red Mark of Death**

Photo by David Torke (www.fixbuffalo.blogspot.com)

www.fixbuffalo.blogspot.com

Yes,  I understand we can’t save all the abandoned homes/buildings… it doesn’t help me to feel any less sad for the houses… who can’t feel….

* I’ll save you the trouble: the act of giving human qualities to objects/places/things that aren’t human. e.g. Houses don’t “feel”; polar bears don’t “talk”
** Housing speak for condemned





I’m Back, Baby!

17 02 2010

Due to unforeseen technical glitchyness* I am unable to post photos of the chaos that was my 3 +/- days in NYC.
If I can keep my eyes open tonight, I should have 3 Wordless Wednesdays for ya’ll.

* which would be passing out from sheer exhaustion and figuring that my work PC would talk to my camera





Love Notes: Downtown Edition

27 10 2009

Dear Driver,
I know and you know that when I’m walking, I have the right-of-way.

Dear Driver,
When I wave you though the intersection, the least you can do is wave back.
I will remember your face, namely your scowl and next time, I will enter the intersection.

Dear Driver,
Believe you me… I want to get hit as much as you want to hit me.

Dear Driver,
Put down the cell phone  and realize that white outlined stop signs aren’t optional.

Dear Guy in the Library Who Tried to Pick Me Up,
‘Twas cute.
Your whole, “I seen you around and well, was wondering if you was single.”
However, girls who are dressed business-like and in a library are often sticklers for proper grammar.
Even if I wasn’t taken.
P.S.
Please stop stalking me from behind the spinner of New Young Adult Fiction.


Dear Driver,
Looking to your right while turning your wheel left, into a crosswalk and not using a blinker while a cop is across the street is not a good idea.
Bonus points because I was a couple feet from your car.
But I’m sure you’re really important and have good insurance.

Dear Driver,
Maybe I like walking.
It’s not like it’s -4 out. Yet.
Save your pity stares for the bum in front of Rite Aid.

Dear Mummerer,
Were you calling me “gorgeous” or was your Turrets acting up?
It’s hard to tell with you downtown folk.

Love,
Stephanie





A Most Curious Curiosity

10 09 2009

Well, it was a while ago while I was walking into work, I noticed a hook hanging out of the corner of The Ghetto Fashion Palace.

IMG_0860

IMG_0858

And then it was like I blacked out or something and I remembered this store was a Woolworths 5&10 before it was filled with cheap polyester-blend clothing (though, kudos to someone for actually REUSING an empty storefront).
Shortly thereafter, I also recalled the big hook thing that employees would hook into the hook, turn and open the awning.

Could the Woolworths awning still be tucked up inside?

IMG_0861

It certainly looked like a candy-striped awning…
IMG_0862

Above the entrance of the store, barely peeking out, there it was.
It’s almost as if I can still smell the fabric cooking in the summer sun.
For the record, I still have my purchase from Woolworths; 8 iced tea spoons which I procured for a whole 50 cents.

As a bonus, here’s something else pretty from Downtown Buffalo.
IMG_0875

—————-
Now playing: Tool – Sober
via FoxyTunes





How to Recognize: Someone Giving you the Brush-off

21 08 2009

I’m walking back from picking up lunch (which was actually breakfast, but that’s a story for another time) when I hear this women hollering, “Hey! HEY! HEY! You, go get her attention!”
And of course, I am Stephanie’s latent paranoia.
I hear footsteps.
***
At this point, I would like it to be known that I AM NOT racist. Just tellin’ it how it is.
***

“Hey.”
I keep walking, thinking how thankful I am that I didn’t pack my purse.
“Hey.”
walking walking walking
“scuze me miss?”
Meanwhile, I’m thinking “fuckin’ hobos…”
“Miss, scuze me.”
I turn around with The [soon to be] Patented Look of Death. “Yes?!”
“Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “fuckin’ Scientologists!”, but nicely mention, “Sorry, on my way back to the office!”, and smile and increase the pace.
“Well, I can walk and talk to you.”
“I’m in a rush… gotta get back…”
“What’s your name?”
“Britney.” (ah, the infamous go to name)
“I’m Remy. You got a man?”
Great, now I’m thinking, “Heaven help me if he asks my rate…”, but answer, “Yes. Yes I do.”
“Oh.” he says, pouting. “I see. Jus’ wanted to tell you that you’re looking fine.”
***
At this point, I’d like to point out that I have not one, but two monstrous blemishes on my chin, I’m in a heather/purple polo and a pair of jeans that are just a bit too loose. I am wearing my glasses today and my hair isn’t keeping a part. My eyeshadow has loosened over my lower eyes, pronouncing my bags. Let’s stop there and say that I know I do not look fine today.
***

“Why thank you! That’s very flattering!”
“Flattering?! Shit, I ain’t heard that expression in a long time!”
“Ah. ha.ha.ha.”
“You must be married.”
“That I am.”
“Yeah, only married chicks use words like ‘flattering’.”
“Ah. ha.ha.ha.”
“So can I call you sometime?”
“No. Thanks though.”
“Can I give you my number?”
“Aw. Gee. You know what, I don’t have anything to write on…” I’m still walking, BTW.
“How ’bout I give you my digits and you can hit me up and we can go out sometime, you know, as friends, out of respect to your man.”
“Yeah, see, I have nothing to write on and I can’t really take personal numbers on my work phone.”
“Well, here, I got a pen, I’ll write it on the bottom part of my bonus check here…”
“Aw. well, gee. Um…”

As I commented on Facebook, “I didn’t realize my ass looked THAT big in these jeans.”





Scene around town

20 08 2009

I made a company sponsored run to the Post Office (sorry, Tony, no Margarets). The Post Office isn’t very far from the office; we’re talking about a mile round-trip.
And oh, what a trip it was..

Scene 1)
Guy and girl walking together. He’s wearing one of those baby-backpack things.

Good for catching crumbs

Good for catching crumbs

She’s got an ID bracelet on.
He says, ever so causally, “I told them I wasn’t on coke anymore.”

Scene 2)
I’m behind someone who isn’t walking very fast, so I pass her.
She’s on my right, a tree is on the left.
A squirrel runs down the side of the tree.
“OH JEEEESSSSUUUSSS!”, she hollers. “WHAT WAS THAT?! DID YOU SEE THAT?!”
I cross the street.
“OH MY GOODNESS! WHAT WAS THAT THING!?”
I am about 100 yards away.

Scene 3)
There’s one person in front of me at the post office.
She hands off her letter and the employee takes it in the back.
I figure he was hand delivering it, because 3-4 minutes later, he returned.

Scene 4)
Random noises from the holding center.

Scene 5)
While trying to cross a traffic circle, I am cut off by a woman in a sports car who must have heard that stop signs with while borders are optional.
She then stops in the intersection because traffic in front of her has stopped.
And then she looks annoyed at me for walking around her car.





Wanted: Ark

10 08 2009

For those of you not in the area, we were hit with a deluge of rain yesterday.
It stormed pretty much all night and it’s supposed to storm pretty bad today too.
Meanwhile, yesterday’s inundation allowed for use of my new telephoto lens and I stayed inside, dry and electrocution free.
These photos are from the afternoon barrage.

As seen from my living room sofa

As seen from my living room sofa

as seen from my dining room

as seen from my dining room

Without the beer, natch, this is what the general area look(ed)(s) like

Without the beer, natch, this is what the general area look(ed)(s) like

although its blurry, heres a view of the swampland from out bedroom room (through window and screen)

although it's blurry, here's a view of the swampland from our bedroom room (through window and screen)

From our front window, that would be our lawn and the street

From our front window, that would be our lawn and the street

I know they’re blurry, but with the splash-back on the windows and screens, not to mention that I’d melt if I got wet, these were the best I could do.

Most of the water seeped into the ground within a few hours, I think it was a matter of quantity vs. time.
So, who has an ark they’re willing to rent out?





Sharing

7 08 2009

Typically on Friday, I’ll scour the Buffalo News, Craigslist and my local pennysaver for yard/estate/rummage/garage/boot sales, entering the data into a running spreadsheet so I can more effectively shop.
Yes, this is real.
No, I didn’t doctor it for humor.

;;;;;;;; REALLY BBBIG YARD SALE ;;;;;;;;

EVERY THING HAS TO GO WE NAVE EEVERY THING FROM WE HAVE A LOT OF CHRISTMAS STUFF& HOUSE HOLD TO VIDEO GAMES TO SYSTEMS TO CAR STERO SYSTEMS TO DJ EQUIP TO BAND EQUIP TO ALLOT OF HOME STERO EQUIP TOOLS AN ALL KINDS OF MOTORIZED TOYS FROM 2 WHEELS TO 3 WHEELE TO 4 WHEELS FROM BATT. OPERATED TO GAS AN A WWWHLOE LOT MORE 11580 BROADWAY THATS 11580 BROADWAY DO NOT FORGET 11580 BROADWAY FRI 9 TO5 SAT 9 TO 5 SUN 9 TO ?????? DO NOT FORGET KOOL- AID BY MY GRAN BABY A L E X NO REASONABLE OFFERS REFUSED

http://buffalo.craigslist.org/gms/1309982708.html





I’m Not Even Asking for Consistancy Here…

17 07 2009

Living in Buffalo-ish-esque for most of my life, I understand that the lake makes for unpredictable weather.
HOWEVER, in my listening to three [radio] stations this morning I heard three different versions of the weather.

Weather Dude 1)
Rain showers this morning, increasing this afternoon with thunderstorms overnight, diminishing by morning and a chance of showers tomorrow. High tomorrow is 68 degrees.

Weather Dude 2)
A chance of rain today, possibility of scattered showers and thunderstorms tonight and it’s looking like there’s a chance of scattered showers again tomorrow, but it shouldn’t be a complete wash-out. Tomorrow’s high, around 70.

Weather Dude 3)
Showers and thunderstorms today, especially this evening and overnight and scattered showers tomorrow. Tomorrow’s highs will be between 65 and 70 degrees.

Then again, these are the same outlets that can’t agree on if/when/where there is traffic.
Also, it could be downpouring and The Weather Channel will say there’s a 50%  chance of rain within the next hour.

So, here’s Stephanie’s Weekend Forecast)
There is a chance of it raining, but there’s also a chance it will not rain. It could be chilly, depending on what you consider seasonable and chilly. The chance of snow is 0%. It may be sunny to partly cloudy, with a few breaks of sun and/or clouds.

Do tell, is your local weather this unpredictable?

(P.S. When I was 13, I wanted to be a meteorologist.)
—————-
Now playing: Morrissey – Suedehead
via FoxyTunes





Field Trip! (to the Library)

6 05 2009

A perfect storm of events lead me to the central library.
As I was walking through, there were many things that caught my eye. Maybe it was that I was attune to it or things have changed in the past seven years or maybe it was  a bit of my inner jerk coming out.

Okay, I’m not going to beat around the bush here. Direct Downtown Buffalo is a hole. The blight, the people, the ghost town it becomes after 6pm…
In winter, the homeless hang out there [the library] because it’s a public place, with heat and water, and as long as you’re not bothering the patrons or peeing on the periodicals, you’re welcome to stay from open to close.
I was looking for a photo of the exterior of the central library, but all the photos I found were favorable… guess people don’t take photos of hobos anymore. Within close proximity to the library are no less than two half-way recovery houses; so you can guess who else spends a fair amount of time browsing the new fiction.

Anyway, the entrance I use is the “nice” one… being it was newly remodeled. There’s the circulation desks and a cafe. The lighting is bright, the floors are shiny, it’s a good deal. The further away you get though (past the non-fiction and seasonal Buffalo History display) it’s dark and echoy.

I decided to take out some books on decorating and re-using items (as it is garage sale season) and it was quite literally night and day between the departments.
The mouse on the electronic database was sticky.
My shoes echoed on the linoleum.
I had to walk past (hold your breath CWG) CARD CATALOGS before passing a younger vagrant to get to the design area.

I can’t really find the right words to describe the shift, not just in demographic, but in ambiance…
Walking back towards the entrance, the patrons changed from surly and “Uh-nuh, no you didn’t!” to business suits and three dollar sodas.

Buffalo is a weird place.