Thursday, September 29, 2011

St. Mark's Bookstore

St. Mark's Bookstore (link above) is in trouble. Cooper Union is trying to raise their rent, and they need our help.
Michael Moore is coming tonight at 7 to sign copies of his autobiography, Here Comes Trouble. If you can't make that, please click on the link below and sign the petition (I did). And go to St. Mark's and buy more books! By the way, the sales table is pretty great these days.
Images via Google.

Safety First Update

Via the South Slope listserve and Safe Slope's Facebook page:
Via Safe Slope on Facebook:

From Safe Slope
We are piloting our volunteer-run Safe Walk program! Tonight, Friday night, and Saturday night from 8:00pm to 3:00am. There are a few ways to arrange a walk:
(1) You can call ahead of time (347-709-8852) to let us know when/where to pick you up (for example, meeting you at a subway station when you return from another neighborhood);
(2) You can call us (347-709-8852) if you are already in the area and you want a walk ASAP. For example, we can come meet you at a friend's house/restaurant/bar/etc. or you can call from a subway station and we will direct you to a safe meeting place;
(3) When possible, our volunteers will be providing direct outreach at subway stations. If you see us tonight, we can walk you home.

For more information, please see:

Please remember that Safe Walk is available for women- and LGBTQ-identified people only and, at this time, we can only travel between 9th St and 30th St/3rd Ave and 8th Ave. We will try to accommodate as many people as possible.

Safety First

There have been 11 (!) sexual assaults (attempted or executed) on women in my South Brooklyn neighborhood since last March. The first one was a block away from my apartment. Many of the assaults have been in the vicinity of my subway stop at Prospect Avenue. The police's handling of these assaults has been absolutely shameful. They have arrested one possible suspect who was released because he had an airtight alibi.
There was a rally and march a few weeks ago, organized by Safe Slope, and the intermittent presence of the Guardian Angels.
Today's Brooklyn Based describes the initial Safe Slope initiative: Safe Walk. Safe Walk will escort women and/or LGTB people home in the neighborhood (9th to 30th Streets, between 2nd and 8th Aves.). If you need a walk, call 347-709-8852.

Brooklyn Bike Patrol is a second new safety service that has sprung up in the wake of the attacks. Its founder, Jay Ruiz, with the help volunteers, fields calls and emails from women who want a buddy to walk them home. The bike patrol operates every day of the week. Anyone who needs an accompanied walk home can call or email Sunday through Thursday 7:30pm to 11pm and Friday and Saturday from 8pm to 1am to arrange a meet-up. Contact BBP by phone, 718-744-7592, or email,

Link to Brooklyn Based article (from which I've lifted much) above.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Le Petit Auberge Est Fini

As reported by Lost City (link above), Le Petit Auberge is closing its doors on October 8th. The owners want to retire.
When I first moved to New York, I reconnected with my oldest friend, Annie Hunter. We'd been friends as children in Cleveland. She moved here to work in magazine publishing, and I came for the theatre. One night her mother was in town, and Mrs. Hunter took us out for dinner to Le Petit Auberge, where she had gone when she was right of of college and working in publishing. Mrs. Hunter died a few weeks ago, so I've been thinking about her and that dinner a lot lately.
When I was older, I went to Le Petit Auberge for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, a few Christmas Eves. I've been going there my entire adult life. And I've never been able to replicate their Sauce Bernaise.

The Search for Eileen Sullivan

Back in May, I won Second Prize in the Irish Diaspora One-Act Playwriting Contest. The prize came with a check for $250, which immediately went into the budget for "My Tiger, My Love," and was much appreciated. The rest of the prize is a reading of "The Search for Eileen Sullivan" which happens on Friday. Tim Hine will be reading George P. Bancroft and Laura Mitchell will be reading Eileen Sullivan, aka Maura Rafferty. The reading is on Fridaty, September 23 at 7:00 in the auditorium at the historic Atwater Library, 1200 Atwater Avenue, Westmount, Montreal, Quebec. There will be light refreshments, and a q. and a. with the author (that would be me). This entire thing- the prize, the evening, etc.- is produced by Byron Toben. So should you find yourself in Montreal, please come.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Prisoner

A few months ago my boyfriend Tom was raving about what a great TV series Secret Agent Man was, and before I knew it, he had ordered DVDs of Secret Agent Man (including its initial episodes, known as Danger Man) and its sequel (well, kind of), The Prisoner. I vaguely remember watching The Prisoner when WNET used to run it late on Sunday nights in the '90s. That probably had more to do with the fact that it was late and I was tired.
Many hours later, we have watched the entire thing- all three series. And Secret Agent Man is fascinating in some ways. It's the beginning (ca. mid-1960s) of the spy genre, and you can watch the writers try things out, discard some and keep others. It also is a look into where England saw itself in its largely post-colonial days. They may have been technically out of Africa, but there are many episodes set somewhere that look a lot like Kenya and/or Nigeria, sending in John Drake (Patrick McGoohan), master spy, to help the former colonists.
There are things about The Prisoner that are confusing, silly, seemingly arbitrary. It takes place on this island (off the coast of Lithuania or Spain, depending upon the episode) where England has sent its untrustworthy former MI6 agents. One of these is Number Six, played by Patrick McGoohan. He is relentless in his efforts to escape, but at the end of each episode, he's still there. McGoohan developed the series himself, starred in each episode, and wrote and directed many of them.
Wednesday night we saw the penultimate episode, #16: Once Upon a Time. It is Patrick McGoohan, Leo McKern (playing Number Two) and Angelo Muscat playing the butler. McGoohan directed and wrote the episode. I loved it so much, I watched it a second time that night.
The unseen Number One tells McKern he has a week to break Number 6, in a procedure they call "degree absolute." McGoohan's script puts both of them in a bunker, most of which is set up to look like an abandoned nursery room: swing, seesaw blackboard, rocking horse. There are allusions in the score to nursery rhymes (Humpty Dumpty, Pop! Goes the Weasel, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). Jacques' "The seven ages of man" is quoted. And then comes the best hour of television acting and writing I have ever seen. It's truly amazing. I will bore all of my friends to death talking about it. McKern tries to get McGoohan to say why he resigned from MI6. That's the whole premise. At one point he tells him: "The lone wolf belongs to the wilderness. It is my duty to see that you a not a lone wolf. You must conform."
I must not be the only playwright who feels like the McGoohan character. I would write Mr. McGoohan a fan letter if he hadn't died a few years ago. It's certainly too bad that he didn't write more.