Posts Tagged ‘Brooklyn’

I love subways. Put two native New Yorkers in an enclosed space, virtually take away their cell phones, and interesting shit happens. That’s why i love the subway. Something about looking out at the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn bridge through grimy, scratched-up windows of a rickety subway car on a hot summers day has tempers and perhaps hormones flying.

Trust me on that last one.

A few weeks ago, while coming back from work, which is no longer in DUMBO, I walk onto a train car and sit down next to…a cute girl. No I wasn’t creeping; it was the only empty seat. Or one of the last 50 empty seats.

Whatever.

Some dude walks up to me, leans over and softly whispers in my ear “Can you help me out, perhaps spare 50 cents?” Now THAT’S creepy. I didn’t give him the money.

Needless to say, she overheard and thus began our conversation about NY, homeless people and jobs. Subject of nationality came up, I asked her if she was black, and she said no, she’s white, and Jewish. I should’ve known. Anyway we’re talking about whatever two people talk about on a subway, which is usually meaningless banter, except by now she knows my background; the average white guy doesn’t know names of girls seminaries in Israel unless he’s been there, done that.

Been there. Done that. Get it?

Nah I kid, the worst (best?) that I did in Israel was get drunk with friends. And without. And not much more. Long story, wrong forum.

Back to this girl. I’m talking to her, and I’m staring at her. Now I can’t figure out why, I mean I know she’s cute, but I’m looking at her because something about her is familiar. [insert creep horror movie soundtrack here]

She gets a text from Jonathan. Ya I saw her screen. How else would I know? It was at that moment that I looked at her, and almost in what seemed to me slow motion, I said you’re dating Jonathan So-and-so! [Inner wheels in my brain screech to a halt. That’s my dudes girl here. Whoa. Backtrack, reboot. Whoops?]

Silence.

“Your name is Leona, or Leora…Kaplan”

“Yes, my names Leora Kaplan!”

“Ya, your boyfriend, who’s a friend of mine, (whom I only met twice in my life…) has your face as his profile picture.”

Now I’m really not the Facebook stalker type. I don’t recognize people before I meet them. That’s some Inception shit right there.

(Although I just yesterday recognized someone I’d seen briefly, by putting her first name and the person who mentioned her first name together with memories of a certain Racheli who’d been dating an English friend of mine two years ago…maybe I have a knack for names. I should be a private investigator.)

But hey, it’s NYC. It’s the subway.

We spent the next 10 stops marveling over how in a city of 9 million people, I bump into the one person that I don’t know, and recognize.

Oh, and both of you, “Leora and Jonathan”, next time you come to my neighborhood I’ll get a few friends together and we’ll all reminisce about the old times. Whatever old times you want.

“Stand clear of the closing doors please. The next stop is 34th Street.”

Encounters 3, 4 and 5 will be combined into one post. Stay tuned later this week.

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There is a Hasidic family in Brooklyn. The father is a member of the Puppa sect. He sells Judaica items in a Synagogue in Boro Park, Bobov. They have many children, one of them with Down’s Syndrome. One daughter got married a while back, had a few children, and unfortunately fell into a coma during childbirth roughly two years ago and died a year later. After a short while, the younger daughter approached her father in regards to a marriage proposal. Her idea?

“My late sister has children. Will her widower husband get married to a random girl who will then be entrusted with the task of raising my sisters children? We know him [late sisters husband]. Let me marry him.”

Her father told her to ask him again in 6 months time. She asked, and the wedding was on.

Sadly, today was the funeral for a different daughter, only 22 years old who just passed away. Noone deserves to lose two children. Ever.

Thoughts on the marriage?

Let’s hope for more positive news in the coming weeks.

Subway Encounters Part 1

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Random
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I’m a friendly guy. I meet people where ever I go. Living in NYC I’ve had met some amazing people and figured I’d share.

Perhaps I’m just aware of what and who is around me and I like talking, or perhaps I’m just a creep. Either way, it certainly doesn’t hurt to know some great people. At the very least, it gives me interesting stories.

A few months ago, while working in DUMBO – which for those of you who aren’t aware, is where the real cool people hide out,  I used to take the same train every day. I always took the late train. You kow the one where everyone looks hungover and guilty they aren’t in their office and it’s 10am…

Anyway, I saw this cute short girl a bunch of times, but never said anything. I guess I wasn’t in a talkative mood during the winter. Well one day I did approach her and we chatted a bit. I asked her for coffee but she said she was busy that night, and we never did meet up.

Maybe she isn’t a drinker.

She did find me on Twitter however. Stalker girl. Or maybe it was the other way around.

Anyhow I stumbled across her blog and from there to this video of her doing standup comedy.

Probably from the top ten best standup videos I’ve ever seen, and I normally HATE  standup comedy.

Oh, and Marina, my offer for coffee still stands.

We’re raising $ for the show I’m on , Coversity. Any help would be appreciated. http://www.indiegogo.com/Coversity-the-Series

Art and Jews

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Life Musings
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Wait...What??

Anonymity and blogging: We all love it. It allow us to write more freely, to express ourselves more clearly. Many of my friends know who I am, and certainly if you saw my Facebook feeds, you’d know, and that’s just the way it is. Which is perfectly fine. I like to call it semi-anonymous. Meaning if you know, keep it to yourself. That being said…I’ve been busy lately, which is why  haven’t blogged in close to a month.

Never mind that though. Art: What is it? Why do we love it? Why do some of us scorn it?

Jews have a love hate relationship with it. Some look down on it, some are actively involved in making it.

I recently finished filming a very intensive 6 day shoot of a 25 minute short film, directed by a young but very talented director. We worked endless hours each day, giving it our all until wrapped. We were exhausted, yes. But also exhilarated. Here we all were, doing what we liked. We all appreciated the fact that art was being created, minute by minute. It wasn’t just the idea of perfecting the character. It was also acknowledging that the talented gaffer (lighting guy), the sound mixer, who came recommended as “the best sound guy he knows” by the sound mixer on Godfather, and all the crew’s work, both pre and post production comes together to form this amazing thing we call a film. Bit by bit, (more…)

For those of you who have trouble distinguishing between right and wrong, I offer you a visual representation... Any questions?

What defines something as wrong? Technically is there something wrong with banging a goat? It’s sick, disgusting and if I know anyone who did it I’d never talk to them again. But I think we define wrong as something that is out of our societal norms. let me give a few examples:

Oh, and please don’t leave comments telling me I’m making stereoypes etc. I’m not dumb. I’m well aware that most people in each segment probably don’t conform to those stereotypes, but that’s why they’re called stereotypes. Cuz that’s all it is. A stereoype, not reality.

Someone learning at R’ Avrohom Yehoshua: I know a bochur who’s mamesh messed up.  He learns more than a blatt every half year. He zicher doesn’t have right p’shat. He also has a second cousin that goes to YU.

Someone at R’ Tzvi: walking outside without hat and jacket, or coming to shiur after the door is locked…

Mir: Um…

BJJ girl: Marrying a boy from the other Brisk.

Hadar: Not listening to every word Mrs. Orenstein says.

All the Yeshivas with acronyms: AJ, TJ, OJ etc. : Listening to the Rabbis. A definite no-no.

YU: Disparaging The Rav, or referring to Rav Chaim when saying The Rav.

Upper West Side guy before 23: Having sex. So young to give up on finding a true mate.

Upper West Side guy after 23: Taking off your Yarmulka before walking into a bar. What’s there to be ashamed of. Leaving with a girl just shows your straight, that’s cool.

Chabad Dudes: You can do what you like, sleep with how ever many people you like, go to South America on a road trip and not keep Shabbos, but for God’s sake, don’t forget The Rebbe is big stuff, MaMesh.

Chabad Girls: Not liking hooka. A true chabad girl loves nothing more than to spend an evening with 8 mendys a 10 mushkys and 4 hookas.

Liberals, not necessarily Jewish: Not caring about the environment. Not caring about animals. Not being into art. Being homophobic. All terrible things.

Frat Boys: Being into art. So gay. Environment’s cool, anything resembling pop culture is bad.

Upper East Side Ladies: Most of them have plastic surgery once they hit 40 and are still ugly as sin, so being naturally beautiful is a crime. As is not having been married 3 times, robbing the guy of all his money each time. After all, they deserve SOME peace in their lives. Having a child that didn’t attend an ultra-elite prep school is taboo. Going out Saturday night with their lady friends and drinking martinis or vodka tonics is standard.

Hipsters: When they aren’t smoking up and can coherently think, it’s definitely wrong to not know what real music is. Real music is only something that just about all Americans never heard before. It also must have a vinyl edition somewhere out there. Deodorant is optional.

Hot Chanies: Not going to Miami for pesach is worse than the nail salon being closed when you get there. It’s wrong to be in NY over pesach. Very wrong.

This is the perspective of a modern orthodox friend of mine on the issue.
“The Frummy Who Finagled.”
I have firmly held the belief throughout my life that Judaism allows men and women to be able to be in contact with each other. The Torah, though it is male-dominated due to its writing in a time when the world was male-dominated, still has encounters in which unmarried, single man has spoken to and been attracted to unmarried woman, and, though at times it has had negative connotations, (like Dina- she may have flirted a little much with a prince. Bad idea Dina. You never flirt with an entitled teenager) the fact is that male and female conversation is quite common in the Bible, and in no instances does the Bible ban such encounter.
This disclaimer brings me to a CalmKallahs topic in which a Beis Yaakov girl, KEEP READING THERE’S MOAR!

So there’s this girl who wrote into the forum known as CalmKallahs.com completely freaking out. She posted there the following:

“k-i am your typical frum girl in shidduchim-learning guys… i am freaking out and dont know what to do with myself… to make a long story short- i met a guy who i cannot marry- for a lot of reasons-but we liked each other so much and ended up talking, eventually meeting and got physical and recently we had sex. i am flipping out. i never talked to a guy b4 except on dates and dont no what to do…. will i still be able to marry a frum learning boy? am i ruined forever? in my heart i am still a frum bais yaakov girleven tho i know i messed up big time and have not told anyone about this and cant imagine doing so- no one would ever believe it so dont tell me to tell my parents. please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i feel so lost and hopeless!!!”

Let me preface by saying I completely understand the world in which she comes from. I came from there too. So it’s not her I think is amazingly lost, but her world. (And my past?)

It’s sad that a community exists that has such issues. A girl kKEEP READING THERE’S MOAR!

Decadent…Bus Ads?

Posted: December 8, 2010 in Religion, Sex
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I’m surfing the web instead of being busy with the things I need to get done before Thursday. Confession. But I did come across this article by Rabbi Brad Hirschfield titled When Bikinis and Black Hats Collide and thought the way he spoke about certain points was powerful and clear –  almost irrefutable. Although opinions are not fact, he manages to make his seem damn close. I’ve made red the part that caught my eye.

Is this nation governed by its laws or by the whims of narrowly defined religious groups? As we fight for greater freedom in Afghanistan, can we still assure our own freedom of expression here at home? Those questions are up for grabs in New York City, and if it can happen there, it can happen anywhere.

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority removed advertising from all its buses which pass through heavily Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Well, not all the ads, just the ones for Georgi vodka, which feature bikini-clad (more…)

Just got home from a very long day went onto Facebook and a friend sent this to me and I’m not quite sure what to think…

So…were the religious people lying or not? Some people on YouTube seem to think they were pretending to be religious but I don’t agree – their heavy Flatbush accent gives them away.

The point where the Judge seems to be wrong is that a wig isn’t live hair so shampoo won’t fix that damage. The hair is dead, and I’m no expert on wigs but that wig seems to have been past the point of no return.

They do seem to be lying, though it could be she was wearing a long wig from another company and just got flustered. I certainly walked away with a bad taste in my mouth.

P.S. Just finished writing this and thought to check Frum Satire when I noticed Heshy Fried already did a piece on this one and in all likelihood my friend found it on his blog, but here it is anyway.