Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Bourbon Street Blues

"Bourbon Street Hustler Blues"

Not to jinx the deal, but I've been contacted to do illustrations for an upcoming book about working in the service industries here in New Orleans. Very funny stuff written by the the people who live and work in the French Quarter. They proudly call themselves "Quarter Rats." I hope to be one some day soon. Here is one of the first graphics. Sorry, but I can't give you any of the stories, for that you will have to wait until the beginning of the year and buy the book. 

"Two Queens and a Joker"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Position Sought

Please do not call or fax, email us at the above address and tell us why we should hire you. 

This was the last sentence in a Craigslist ad for a position for a graphic artist not to far from here. So here is my cover letter to the marketing and advertising company on why they should hire me as a graphic artist.

1) I need the work. I have been unemployed since March '10. I have been surviving on a few temporary positions and luck. I will take any and all hours offered, overtime will be welcomed.

2) Experiance with print, web and signage graphics. I have been trained on Mac based Adobe programs Photoshop and Illustrator and Quark. I have worked with Indesign.  I am confidant that I can learn any needed skills in a short period of time.

3) Creativity is one of the few things I can boast about. Given an idea of what is needed and I will excel to give you a quality product .

4) I have worked in management, I consider myself to be a good employee. I do not waste time at the water cooler bitching about the boss or company that I work for. As long as my paycheck clears at the end of the week, I have no complaints.

5) Examples of my work can be found on this blog and my web site artbystyles.com.



A graphics design position that allows me to utilize and improve my skills with challenging projects and is open to my creative solutions with minimal direction.


Cartoonist / writer – 2005 to Present
Creator of the comic "BiNGE", storyline and characters of the web based comic as well as all promotional and merchandise. Currently involved with the marketing of the comic as a television animation project.

Freelance Artist – painting / sculpture 2000 to Present
Artistic works previously displayed at: A Mano Gallery, New Hope, PA and Lambertville, NJ, Lavender Moon, Belmar, NJ, Divine Madness Gallery Asbury Park, NJ, 500 Main Street Gallery, Belmar NJ, Artistic works currently on display at:Greetingz from Asbury Park NJ.

Internet Graphics Artist
Designed and constructed artbystyles.com and Bedsoar.com. Logo design work completed for: Player-care.com, LearningChoices.com, WPDQ Radio; Howell, NJ, Automated Concepts Vending Services. Freelance graphic work for numerous internet web sites.

Newspaper Freelance
Weekly: The Reporter and The Observer 300+ works for Rockfleet Media


Background Actor New Orleans La
March 2010 to Present
Background extra work in numerous film and television productions

Street Performer New Orleans La
Juggler March 2010 to Present
Juggling and humor, French Quarter

Belmar Car Service Belmar NJ
Cab Driver August 2005 to 2010
Nightshift cab driver, twelve hour shifts, 5 to 6 nights a week.

Offshore International Point Pleasant NJ
Graphic Artist April 2005
Responsible for the design advertisements, and graphics for a sport fishing catalog.

Cat Fanciers Association Manasquan NJ
Graphic Artist August 2004 to February 2005
Responsible for the layout and design of over 300 advertisements and show cat yearbook pages. With creative license and minimal supervision completed assignment on time and on budget.

Garden State Sign Co. Howell, NJ
Sign Service Technician April 2001 to August 2004
Project managed the manufacture and installation of new signs. Factory trained for service of installed computer based signs such as time and temp and L.E.D. gas price signs. Assisted with the completion of computer designed corporate signs. Medium used: Neon, Vinyl lettering, gold leaf, router carved wood, and hand painted signs. Factory trained and certified technician for Milwaukee signs and Ever-Brite signs systems.

A&M Signs Farmingdale, NJ
Sign Service Technician October 2000 to March 2001
Assisted with the manufacture, installation, and service of signs.

TCT Transit Services Neptune NJ
Shift Supervisor June 1996 to October 2000
Started as shift bus driver, within eight months promoted to shift supervisor. Responsible for training, supplying, and scheduling 30 drivers.

The Leader Point Pleasant, NJ
Editorial Cartoonist 1990 to 1995
Weekly pen and ink editorial cartoon. Responsible for humorous word and picture interpretation of editor supplied topic. Also work done for The Observer, The Reporter, Toms River NJ


DDP Training Center Freehold, NJ
Software Training
Macintosh OS 9.2, OS 10
Quark Xpress 5.1
Adobe Illustrator 10
Photoshop 7.0
Image Ready 7.0
Macromedia Fireworks 4
Dreamweaver 4
Microsoft PowerPoint

References are available upon request.

Negative Vibes

I don't know if it's just my corner of the world or if everyone is experiencing a real negative atmosphere lately. I am memorized by the constant feed of news that seems to out do it's self in a 24 hour cycle. Gruesome and cruel murders making the national news, a police state of molestation at the airport, rogue nations bitch slapping neighbors, national credit ratings far worse than my own and our President getting an elbow to the mouth while he's playing B-ball. 

I never gave much credence to the whole 2012 end of the world theory, at my age I have lived through a half a dozen end of the worlds. After a while you realize it's just writers selling books to gullible drama queens who want to build shelters in their backyards. I am beginning to wonder now a days. I half expect to wake up some morning to find huge space crafts hovering over every major city and announcing that the experiment is over. They must purge humanity from the petre dish we call Earth before it spreads and infects the rest of the universe like a oozing STD. 

I am almost looking forward to the end of the world, perhaps then those damn phone calls from the collection agencies will end. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

16 Parkside Lane

Twenty plus years ago I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it. Many years later I found myself driving cab at night. Despite dealing with people all night long, it's an extremely lonely job.

NOTE: In this song the writer sings about "taking tips and getting stoned" The smoking of the cannabis while on duty would not only be a criminal act but reckless and irresponsible and is not endorsed by this blog. Thank you.  ;)

Thanksgiving Day BiNGE

Last night a friend and I were discussing the holiday. For me it's not that much of a holiday. I don't get into binge eating. Food is one of the few addictions I don't have. Way back when I was an evangelical christian I always thought it odd that "Godly" people love to worship their deity through the sin of gluttony. Any excuse to over indulge the one pleasure of the flesh that they allow themselves in the name of "thanks."

After my divorce from marriage and the christian church I decided that year to celebrate the holiday in my own way. I wasn't into football and turned down a number of pity invites to dinner. I went to a local strip club for their annual GOBBLE GOBBLE RAMA. Little did I know that that night would be the start of a wild ride of a life changing time. That night would become episode one of my web comic strip BiNGE.

If you get bored this holiday and want to get away from the bullshit drama of in-laws or room mates, sneak off with your lap top and read this mostly true story of a Thanksgiving I had. I won't say it's anywhere nearly as good as Arlo Guthrie's, but it's pretty damn close.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat...

For some people Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without binge eating on turkey, parades, football games or family dramas.  Well, the only tradition some of us hold dear is Arlo. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thank you, come again....

Today I sat in Coop's bar on Decatur talking business with a veteran of the Quarter.  I listened to the war stories like a grunt transfered to Afghanistan from Iraq.  This guy was a hardcore dysfunction junky like myself, having tended bar, bounced doors and hustled at some of the most twisted drinking establishments in New Orleans. He's seen so much of what would cause a middle America to need therapy over after witnessing, it's just wallpaper to him.  I'm not totally green. For five years I drove cab on the Jersey shore.

I got so I could tell what the drunk college girl had to drink that night by the smell of her vomit on my backseat. I've had Belmar PD bounce the head of a drunken Guido off of the hood of my cab while cuffing him, leaving a greasy face print of a grimace on the hood.  I've heard a good friend and coworker scream on the dispatch radio that he had been cut during a robbery. I've driven up on lawns at 3 in the morning to avoid a head on collision with some drunk swerving into my lane because "he could make it home ok." 

Abusive and belligerent drunks picking fights, threatening and pissing me off to the point where I spun the Crown Vic around and gunned the engine aiming for them after I kicked them out onto the street. When my dispatcher said they called him saying I tried to run them over I responded calmly "Who are you going to believe? Some drunk asshole that I had to kick out of my cab or your loyal driver who comes in every night and makes you money?"

 "I have a seat belt and airbag, it's not my car and I hate this job, go ahead, start shit."

Some of my favorite moments were the times I literally threw tip money into the face of customers and telling them to go fuck themselves. I once dragged a drunk from my backseat onto a side walk and rummaged through his pockets taking out my fare plus a very generous tip. I rolled him over face down so he wouldn't choke to death on his own vomit. That was the responsible thing to do. Yea, ok I kicked him in the ass once as I returned to my cab. Once you work in the service industry catering to the likes of the French Quarter or the Jersey Shore, every other profession seems boring.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I can't get enough of this guy

Wouldn't you love to see this guy as President addressing the Federal Reserve, United Nations or China? America might show some balls again.

Tunkhannock Pa

Although I was born in New Jersey, when I was about eight years old my parents moved us out to northeastern Pennsylvania. The next ten years or so spent there were not very pleasant. An abusive alcoholic father and always feeling like the "new kid from Jersey" my adolescence was to say the least turbulent.  I spent much of my life blaming the town or my parents for my trouble and it took decades to for me to take responsibility for my own happiness. I'm not saying I am happy, I just don't blame anyone else anymore if I'm not.

Today was spent browsing through Facebook for a name or two that I remembered and discovered a few familiar ones. Amazing technology that we have at our disposal, faces that I haven't seen in thirty plus years and never would've without a search engine.  A few friend requests were returned, same buddy from the long school bus ride everyday just thirty years later.

The advantages to having grown up out in NEPA? Well, folks back in Jersey were always surprised at how easily I could read and pronounce Native American and Polish names, what knowledge I had of ice fishing and that I know what a Copperhead snake looks like. Wyoming County is beautiful with the Susquehanna River winding through wooded hills. Autumn is like living in a post card.

Anger and bitterness is  a real cancer for one's soul, I guess this post is nothing more than me coming to terms with my past. Kind of like a spiritual Chemotherapy.


Originally this blog "From The Jersey Shore to the Big Easy" wasn't going to be about politics. I wanted to just keep it light and fun about moving from one environment to another. To tell folks back in Jersey that they can escape their parkway exit onto greener pastures. Write about all of the wonders New Orleans has to offer and what makes it so unique.

However as an editorial cartoonist from one of the most corrupt and politically manipulative states in the union, I can't keep politics out of it. We as a nation are in one of the most polarized times in decades. As a former Liberal who has watched the hypocrisy and failed policies of the Democratic Party drive down the standard of living in this nation, I have come to terms with being a Neocon.

My only regret about leaving New Jersey is that I can't watch more of this guy in action.  Christie is the politician that most Americans hope for. No bullshit, no favorites, no prisoners. Presidential material? Maybe. I would love to see him on the international stage. Let the world think that America is now being run by Tony Soprano from NJ.

Friday, November 19, 2010

For all of the players out there

Here is some graphic work that I just finished. My very good friend John Tuttle back in New Jersey sent me a simple graphic of a player piano and asked if I could animate it for him. John is the man when it comes to player pianos. It's been a passion of his for decades. PLAYER-CARE.com is the leading on line source for anything dealing with these delicate old instruments. Player Care is the on line epicenter for components, information, scrolls and materials. 

original graphic

Decades ago he was scoffed at by some when he decided that he would make repairing player pianos his  profession. John is one of the brightest men I have ever met, and if I learn nothing else from him it's to believe in myself and follow my heart. He has time and time again been there for me and is always in my corner. Countless accounts from his life that will make a great novel someday. It was a pleasure to do this animated GIF (below) for his web site.

Even if you don't own a player piano, check out his web site PLAYER-CARE.com to learn more about the rare and classic form of entertainment.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

T S A (titty-squeeze-ass)


Think about this: It's easier for an illegal alien to cross our nations border than it is for an American to board a domestic flight. All of this manpower, technology and resources are being deployed at airports, however the Federal Government is cutting back on border security.  Keep in mind, the passenger boarding a flight for America from Yemen, is NOT getting the same level of security as the American boarding a domestic flight in Dallas Texas.

You're Uncle Sam's Bitch....

Over my 48 years of life, I've been patted down by cops a few times. When I was younger with longer hair driving 40 mph in a 25 zone, I'd find myself leaning on the hood of my car. Standing there at one in the morning with red, white and blue lights blinding me as some bored hard ass cop searched me. The official law enforcement rational would be: searching me for weapons for the safety of the police officer, searching me for contraband.  Some little dicked jerk water cop hoping to find something to get a bust out of. (BTW in Wall Township NJ in '89 a cop totally missed a quarter once of weed stashed in my right work boot, ha ha)

There is another purpose behind these type of searches that probably most cops don't even recognize. Forget the weapons or drug finds, it has to do with keeping us in our place. It's the cop, TSA or just authority in general reminding us who is in charge. Nothing dehumanizes an individual more than to force them to submit to a search. Hands on the hood, spread your legs, you're my bitch. I will touch you anywhere I choose, I will rummage through your pockets and I can take anything off of your person that I choose. I am the Alpha, you are my bitch.

These airport searches by the TSA are rationalized by terrorism.  That's the surface story. Every mom, dad and child groped and prodded for the protection of all. I won't even go into the whole hypocrisy of political correctness in how everyone must be searched in order to prevent "racial profiling." If you're of middle eastern descent don't get pissed at the airport screeners for pulling you out of line for a thorough search. Get pissed at your 19 fellow countrymen for giving them a reason. When a 90 year old white woman hijacks and crashes an airliner, then we search everyone.

This is what is angering Americans so much about the latest airport screening procedures. Not just some rent a fed grabbing our junk, or seeing our out of shape bodies on a TV screen, it's us as supposedly free law abiding citizens being dehumanized. Being forced to submit to Big Brother, publicly reminded who is in charge. A demonstration of who has the power, who is in control and who is Uncle Sam's bitch.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

In brightest day, in blackest night,

The official Green Lantern Trailer came out yesterday.  A few folks I know were excited about it. About 700 background actors down here in New Orleans list it on our resumes now. It was fun and challenging to be a part of such a major production. A lot of friendships were made, and a few ankles broken during the shoot. My friend Bobby sent me a still from the trailer, the blur in the white circle is me. 

Here is a photo of Bobby in his wardrobe. He got to play a cop. He looked the part and did a lot of stand in work for a principle playing a cop. I still bust his chops about how little "work" he did during the filming.

I had to do take after take of running away from a monster while he sat in an air conditioned police car smirking at me every time I limped back to position one.  I'm not bitter. Nope. We were standing and running out in the sun with a 110 degree heat index, while he sat in the air conditioning with Lance Nichols chatting about acting.

We did have a lot of fun that we will probably be talking about for years. If anybody else has any photos from the set, send them to me and I'll post it up here.

"In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight. Let those who worship evil's might, beware my power, Green Lantern's light!"

For my fellow Greenies

To my fellow Greenies, the hundreds of background actors who worked on the Green Lantern last summer here is the official trailer. Now we can look back on the days of running in the scorching hot sun, standing in lines for hours and numerous injuries with a sense of accomplishment. 

Next summer we get to do it all over again for Batman. You know these comic book heroes only look good when they have to save a population in peril.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Jackson Pollock 1951


For the past day or so, I've been not feeling too hot, stomach virus or something. Spending most of my time in bed, it's been raining all day and depression has been moving in on me.  A couple of my roommates have brought me some food, that eases not just my stomach but my spirits too. Thanks guys.

I was in a melancholy mood with the rain, I thought I would post this.


The most noticeable difference between New Jersey and New Orleans is how they eat their sandwiches. I grew up in Point Pleasant NJ just a mile from the original Jersey Mike's Submarine sandwich shop. Across the country variations of this classic can be found under different names, heroes, hoagies, grinders and down here "Po-Boy." Not to be confused with a "Poor Boy" which is the name for the sandwich farther north on the Mississippi. 

A traditional Jersey sub can have many variations of the contents, Italian meats, turkey, roast beef and cheeses. The constant is the dressing, oil, vinegar and oregano along with lettuce, tomato and onion.  A good sub will drip off of your elbows and cause your eyes to burn if you touch them while eating. A hot sub is usually meatball or some traditional Italian hack slop without the greens or dressing.

In New Orleans, a Po-Boy is "dressed" with lettuce tomato, pickles and mayonnaise.  Or as a Yat would pronounce it, MYNEZ.  A popular hot po-boy is loaded with fried shrimp or oysters (erstas) breaded and fried piled onto the same roll with the toppings. It takes some getting used to for a Jersey boy. I tried to explain to locals the reaction in Jersey one would get if they were to order a submarine sandwich with that dressing.

"Can I get an Italian sub with mayonnaise?"
"With what?"
"Are you sick? No way, we don't do that here."
"I prefer my sandwich with mayo."
"Fuck you, I'm making it the right way."
"Really, I insist on it having mayonnaise."
"Well, ok, but I'm going to have to spit on it, just out of principle."

I was recently introduced to a New Orleans creation known as a muffuletta. The muffuletta sandwich was invented by Signor Lupo Salvadore, who opened the now-famous Italian market called Central Market on Decatur Street in the French Quarter in 1906.  It's traditional italian meats on a round bread dressed with an olive salad.  The Creole-Italian sandwich is often just called a "Muff." So on your next visit to the Big Easy, I recommend that you dive in and eat a Muff.

"To a New Yorker like you, a hero is type of a weird sandwich, not some nut who takes on three Tiger tanks..."   Oddball

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Graphic Action

Since I have been an artist supplementing my income through working in the Louisiana film industry it seems only natural that I should try to combine the two talents. Storyboard art is really just a comic to set up the shots for the director and camera crew. Every angle, pan, zoom and movement is drawn out extensively before shooting begins. A film needs hundreds of these drawings done by someone, it might as well be me.

To all of my NOLA film contacts, please forward this graphic to anyone in the industry you know who might be interested in my services.  Thanks.

Where Yat?

Driving cab in New Jersey for a number of years I was exposed to and had to understand dozens of accents and dialects. It was good practice for moving down here with Cajuns and Yats. The "Yat" almost sounds like someone from New York City, except spoken lazier. There is an entire vocabulary that needs to be learned in order to communicate with the indigenous population.

My friend Bobby from NJ and I often point out differences in speaking. In Jersey, if you're telling someone something they might not want to here, you preface it with "Not for nuthin, but yo motha is fat." Down here it would be phrased "I'm not sayin yur mamas fat, I'm just sayin..."

AWRITE - The appropriate response to the greeting "Where y'at?" Also, a greeting in and of itself: "Awrite, Ed!"
BERL - To cook by surrounding something in hot, bubbling 212°F liquid
BOBO - A small injury or wound.
BOO - A term of endearment, frequently used by parents and grandparents for small children, even small children who happen to be 40 years old ... Believed to be Cajun in origin.
BRA - A form of address for men, usually one with whom you are not acquainted. Usually used in this manner: "Say, bra ..." Ostensibly an abbreviation for "brother."
CATLICK - The predominant religion in New Orleans.
CHARMER - The quintessential female Yat. Pronounced .
DA - The.
DAT - That.
DEM - Them.
DERE - There
DESE, DOSE - These, those.
DIS - This.
EARL, ERL - oil
ERNGE, URNGE - An orange-colored citrus fruit.
GAWD - A supernatural deity, worshipped by most New Orleanians.
GRIPPE - The flu.
HAWT - A term of endearment used primarily by local females.
I'LL TAKE ME A ... - May I have a ...
LOOKA - The imperative case of the verb "to look".
MAKE GROCERIES, MAKIN' GROCERIES - To do grocery shopping.
MAW-MAW - Ya grandma.
MYNEZ - Mayonnaise.
OR WHAT - Pronounced , and placed at the end of a question: "You gonna finish eatin' dat, 'r what?"
PO-BOY - The quintessential New Orleans lunch, a sandwich on good, crispy New Orleans French bread.

Here is a link if you feel a need to read up more on it yatspeak

I'm just sayin.....

Six Flags at half mast

Six Flags over New Orleans closed for hurricane Katrina and never reopened. Here is a rather creepy and depressing video of how it looks today. It's scheduled to be demolished next year. Until I moved down here and could view the area in person I never realized how extensive the damage was, and is. I know coming from another part of the country the Gulf Coast destruction is "out of sight, out of mind." 

There are so many areas and structures that still hold the scars of damage and water marks. The people too still carry the memories and trauma of the event. It looks like the Gulf Coast has managed to get through this last hurricane season without as much as a threat. Some of the locals admit, every hurricane season brings with it anxiety, and a little rush of excitement. 

Here in New Orleans locals are already planning and anticipating Mardi Gras. These folks live for it. A Yat can tell you exactly what they wore, who they were with, and what they drank for every Mardi Gras going back four decades. The rest of the country is preparing for the Christmas season, down here that holiday takes the back seat to Carnival season.  Christmas? Leave that for the rest of the world, it's kind of lame.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bust open an eagle

Government contracts are like pinatas to the private sector. Everyone wants to under one with open arms. Contractors swinging a broom handle wildly at a dangling goody filled paper mache eagle. Years ago I worked for a sign company that won a bid to repair some message signs at Naval Weapons Station Earl. The signs to be repaired were overkill when they were installed 20 years earlier, outdated the unneeded "refurbishing" was in the tens of thousands. I think my employer ejaculated when he learned he had been awarded the contract. Evidently the other sign companies must have been even greedier than the business man that I worked for.

My coworker who was the foreman on the job laughed as we inspected the antiquated equipment and wrote up a long list of "must be replaced." The work order was dropped on the desk of the company's owner as he squealed in delight at the thought of getting a check with that many zeroes. Both commented that we would be back in a year or two to completely replace the useless equipment that was to be repaired. This is typical of most if not all private contractors dealing with the government.

The stimulus money was viewed by such degenerates as the ultimate Power Ball Lottery. Every well connected contractor who had insiders steering their bids to the top of the pile drooled with erections waiting to be stimulated by Federal money.  I remember during one of Obama's less than inspiring campaign speeches, he droned on and on about a "Green Economy." A plan where replacing lightbulbs would return America back onto the path of prosperity.

Well, it did for a few.  A Federally funded $119 million weatherization program in the ever corrupt state of New Jersey made a few contractors very giddy.  I'm sure that abuse would've taken place in any of the other 49 states, but not with such blatant overcharges. $27 dollar lightbulbs and $75 carbon-monoxide detectors padded tens of thousands of theft.  Surprised? Not me, business as usual in New Jersey or Chicago or DC....

Yep, some Tony Soprano just got a new SUV.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

On this Veteran's Day the Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Services is out of the country visiting other nations. Obama is busy trying to convince the world that the United States is very sorry if we may have offended them, and what ever it is that makes us so evil he will change.

On Veteran's Day we remember those who served.  If you get a chance today and want to to read one story about a man who served, check out a site I created to remember my father. A sailor who served in Vietnam. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Garbage State

Despite all of my beefs with the "Garbage State" of New Jersey, I like this Christi so far. He's got a lot of work ahead of himself if he wants to clean it up. In this clip he's serving up the most sacred of cows, the eduction system. Long history of overpaid scholastic bureaucrats sucking the taxpayer's tits dry.

Monday, November 8, 2010

How to debate like a Democrat

The conservatives have a terrible habit of making arguments with facts, statistics and history. Don't allow yourself to get dragged into that trap of "reasonable debate." Don't justify the conservative's position with an equally well constructed counter point. Just use name calling and insults to win over those not as enlightened as yourself.

Example, if a conservative argues that tax cuts will help in the recovery of nation's economy, just write him off as a puppet of big business. The conservative will counter with recorded history of this policy working in the past, just call him a doody head. Someone criticizes President Obama? They are a racist, end of debate. Don't waste your time listening to the countless examples of Obama's poor performance when you can just drop the "R bomb" win the debate so you go home to watch the Comedy Channel to be enlightened more on the evils of Conservatism.

Blame Bush, this strategy has worked for the past two years and will still work long past 2012. Is the conservative a female? She's a dumb bimbo. Is the conservative an African-American? He's an Uncle Tom who is being used by Republican Party.  Is the conservative over weight like Governor Christi? Perfect, he's a fat slob and there fore must be stupid as well. Be careful, if you start to use the obesity argument then Michael Moore's I.Q. falls into question. Remember the phrase "Tea Bag" never gets old and prevents wasting time on thoughtful arguments.

Keywords: stupid, dumb, racist, islamaphobe, bitch, dumb bitch, dumb bitch from Alaska, Bush, slavery, fat, doody head, tea bagger, homophobe, haters, war mongers, capitalist, rich, wealthy, white, very white, Glen Beck, moron, Fox News, 911 was an inside job, because Whoopi said so

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cool Jersey Thing

Personally I think Smith is over rated and is getting full of himself. He is however respected by many film makers down here. (BTW, I've been to this store in person and the coffee sucks) 


I still don't like his politics.

Sprung from cages out on highway 9

I've been spending the better part of my creative energies praising New Orleans and bashing my former home of New Jersey.  I have noticed that the vast majority of Americans do use NJ as a punch line. I still have a few good friends left in the Garden State and I don't want to alienate them by deriding their homeland without cause. So, I thought I might offer up some interesting trivia about one of the original 13 colonies.

New Jersey has the highest population density in the country, it averages 1,030 people per square mile. 90% of New Jersians live in urban areas, which is 13 times the national average.  All of it's 21 counties are classified as metropolitan areas. In a 25 mile radius around Paramus, there are 7 major shopping malls, the highest concentration in the world. NJ can also boast the densest concentration of diners, highways, railroads and toxic waste dumps in the nation, as well as the largest petroleum containment area outside of the Middle East, so one perk of living there is cheaper gasoline.  

The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last chance power drive
Everybodys out on the run tonight but there's no place left to hide

New Jersey is a leading industrial state and is the largest chemical producing state in the nation, and hosts the largest seaport in the U.S. located in Elizabeth. The second leading industry is tourism. Confusing contrasts like the highest car thefts, and lowest suicide rate in the nation. Jersey has the most diverse mix of national origins of any state in the union, with more Cubans living in Union City than Havana Cuba. 

Firsts that New Jersey can boast of: first light bulb, first phonograph, first motion picture projector, first motion picture ever made, first intercollegiate football game, first baseball game, first basketball game, first indian reservation, first submarine, first seaplane, first steam locomotive, first Colt revolver, first asphalt street, first radio and television transmissions, first balloon flight, first airport, first transistor and probably hundred of other trivial firsts like the first drive in theater.

  • "Uncle Floyd" Vivino
  • Aaron Burr
  • Admiral Wm.Halsey Jr.
  • Alan Alda
  • Alan Ginsberg
  • Althea Gibson
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • Annie Oakley
  • Ben Franklin
  • Bill Haley
  • Bob Reyers
  • Brooke Shields
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Bruce Willis
  • Budd Abbott & Lou Costello
  • Buzz Aldrin
  • Caesar Romero
  • Cecille b. DeMille
  • Charles Addams
  • Charles Lindberg
  • Christopher Reeve
  • Clara Barton
  • Connie Frances
  • Count Basie
  • Danny DeVito
  • Dave Thomas (Wendy's)
  • Debbie Boone
  • Dick Buttons
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Doris Duke
  • Ed Koch
  • Eddie Murphy
  • Eileen Donnelly
  • Elisabeth Shue
  • Ernie Kovacs
  • Eugene O'Neill
  • Eva Marie Saint
  • Flip Wilson
  • Francis Albert Sinatra
  • Frankie Valli
  • George Segal
  • Glenn Miller
  • Gorden McCrae
  • Grover Cleveland
  • Ice-T
  • Jack Nicholson
  • James Fennimore Cooper
  • James Gandolfino
  • Jason Alexander
  • Jerome Kern
  • Jerry Herman
  • Jerry Lewis
  • Jimmy Roselli
  • Joan Robertson
  • Joe Pesci
  • Joe Piscopo
  • John Forsythe
  • John Travolta
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Joseph Macchia
  • Joyce Kilmer
  • Judy Blume
  • Kelly Ripa
  • Ken Kross
  • Kevin Smith
  • Kevin Spacey
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Liberace
  • Linda McElroy
  • Loretta Swit
  • Marilynn McCoo
  • Marvin Creamer
  • Mary Higgins Clark
  • Melba Moore
  • Meryl Streep
  • Mike Tyson
  • Milton Friedman
  • Nathan Lane
  • Nick Adams
  • Norman Lloyd
  • Norman Mailer
  • Norman Schwarzkopf
  • Paul Robeson
  • Paul Simon
  • Phyllis Newman
  • Queen Latifah
  • Ray Liotta
  • Richard Conti
  • Richard Nixon
  • Ricky Nelson
  • Robert Blake
  • Robert Wuhl
  • Sal Martorano
  • Sandra Dee
  • Sarah Vaughn
  • Shaq
  • Stephen Crane
  • Susan Sarandon
  • Tom Cruise
  • Tommy Dorsey
  • Vince Lombardi
  • Walt Whitman
  • Whitney Houston
  • William Carlos Williams
  • William Cooper
  • Woodrow Wilson
  • Yogi Berra
  • Zebulon Pike Lloyd
  • Zack Braff

Baby this town rips the bones from your back
Its a death trap, it's a suicide rap
We gotta get out while were young

Friday, November 5, 2010


By and by....

Growing up next to the Atlantic Ocean, I'm not easily impressed by bodies of water. I was never one to go to the beach in the summer. I felt the beach was a hostile environment. Hot sand, medical waste, no shade, and chilly water filled with various creatures looking for a reason to do humans harm. On top of it all, New Jersey is one of the only states to charge admission to gain access to the ocean. It was bad enough that mobsters controlled the grossly over priced concession stands and ridiculously expensive parking. Once there, having to share your experience of nature with thousands of obnoxious sun screened idiots while stepping on tampon applicators. 

Upon my arrival in New Orleans I became mesmerized by the river that cradles the Crescent City. Fast moving turbulent muddy water that always seems to be in a hurry to reach the Gulf of Mexico.  I've seen huge cargo ships on the horizon of the Atlantic Ocean. I never realized how huge the mass of steel was until I was in the shadow of one silently cruising up the river. It's like a skyscraper floating on it's side. Such mass takes miles to come to a stop once it's moving. 

I've been trying to read a couple of chapters of Mark Twain's 'Life on the Mississippi' every night. I never would've appreciated the work nearly as much if I hadn't gotten to spend time atop the levy on the walk home. Every bit as magnificent as walking the boardwalk in Belmar, NJ.  I look at St. Louis Cathedral across the river and think how Samuel Clemens gazed upon the same spires with appreciation for the beauty.

Once when taking the ferry from the West Bank to the Canal Street Terminal, a very large freighter was traveling up river. The river runs narrow through New Orleans, and deep. The northern sections are wider but shallower.  Ship traffic some days remind me of the NJ turnpike on Friday afternoon. About the time this huge vessel was coming past, our ferry was departing the terminal. The ferry rumbled loud as we started to pull away. I was standing out side on the bow having a smoke on the trip.

Having driven commuter bus in Manhattan I knew pulling out into traffic one should always double check the mirror. I watched in awe as the ferry appeared to aiming for the side of a moving mountain.  I glanced up to the pilot house to make sure someone wasn't slumped over a wheel.  If so, I'll be on the green side of the boat.  By the time I glanced back to the direction of the looming doom, we were passing smoothly behind the stern of the freighter.  I had to crane my neck to take in all of the massive craft.

The "Thomas Jefferson" moored on the other side without so much as a bump from the east bank.  I looked up to the pilot house with appreciation. From a former bus and taxi driver from New Jersey, good job.

Canal Street Ferry

I've written in this blog several times about how much I love to take the Algiers ferry from the West Bank to the French Quarter.  A simple craft that could hold a couple of dozen vehicles and perhaps a couple hundred passengers makes the short trip across the river dozens of time a day.  The ferry has been in operation since 1827,  and was featured in the 2006 film "Deja Vu."

All pedestrians ride free, cars only $1, runs every half hour 6 am to 12 am.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How'd Halloween weekend go?

It was a madhouse. Locals said it was as insane as Mardi Gras. Between the holiday and the Steelers getting their asses kicked the adrenaline was making the streets slippery. As much as I praise this city, make no mistake, it's hardcore gangster land.  The touristy French Quarter draws in predators like a beach filled with Sea Lions attracts sharks.

Shortly before 7 p.m., two men, both visitors from Arizona, were slashed on St. Peter Street near the Mississippi River in the French Quarter. The pair became embroiled in an argument with a group consisting of two men and two women. One suspect cut one victim on the arm with an unknown object. The second victim was hit in the eye with a brick, according to police.

Two men were wounded by gunfire in Mid-City on Saturday night. The shooting occurred shortly before 9 in the 3000 block of Bienville Street. The men, both 24, were sitting in front of a house when gunshots rang out. One man was shot in the foot; the other received a graze wound to the left arm. They were later listed in stable condition.

23-year-old Marine who lived in Metairie was fatally stabbed following an argument with a man who defamed the Marine's wife. The suspect yelled derogatory comments at Ryan Lekosky's wife as the couple walked about 3:30 a.m. near the intersection of Dauphine and Iberville streets in the French Quarter, police said. Lekosky tried to intervene in the altercation between his wife and the suspect. The suspect turned on Lekosky, stabbing him several times. The suspect then returned to his vehicle and drove away on Dauphine Street, toward Canal Street. Lekosky died from his wounds.

Shortly after 1 a.m. Monday, a 20-year-old man was shot in the 100 block of Bourbon Street. New Orleans police Monday night identified a teenager who they believe was involved in the shooting. A warrant for attempted second-degree murder has been issued for 19-year-old Latrell Coleman. Eighth District officers were in the 100 block of Bourbon Street breaking up a fight when they heard shots fired within the block. Officers then located the victim lying in the street with a gunshot wound to the head.

Brendan McCarthy, The Times-Picayune 

Saints beat the Steelers 20 - 10.