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Monody to the Sound of Zithers by Kay Boyle

I have wanted other things more than lovers …
I have desired peace, intimately to know
The secret curves of deep-bosomed contentment,
To learn by heart things beautiful and slow.
 
Cities at night, and cloudful skies, I’ve wanted; 
And open cottage doors, old colors and smells a part;
All dim things, layers of river-mist on river—
To capture Beauty’s hands and lay them on my heart.
 
I have wanted clean rain to kiss my eyelids,
Sea-spray and silver foam to kiss my mouth. 
I have wanted strong winds to flay me with passion;
And, to soothe me, tired winds from the south.
 
These things have I wanted more than lovers…
Jewels in my hands, and dew on morning grass—
Familiar things, while lovers have been strangers. 
Friended thus, I have let nothing pass.

St. Patrick’s Day 2014: Why Isn’t Beacon Celebrating St. Patty’s?

image

source Flickr via hilary.ryland

It’s not really like me to rant. I hate pointing fingers, and I usually like to keep all my negative lunacies to myself and out the public spotlight where they belong, but this time I don’t think I’ll be able to hold back.

This time, my own town of Beacon, NY, with the exception of one or two locations has completely let me down.

With the exception of four bars, Max’s, Stinsons, Joe’s, (which is an Irish pub), thank god, and the Barking Frog, there will be no other bars open on St. Patty’s Day!

What the in hell Beacon? Shame! Shame! Shame!

When compared with the businesses listed down below on the second part of this article I think that the owners of these following bars deserve a parade in their honor, and they didn’t even do that much!

If this is what happens in Beacon during St. Patty’s Day then from now on I’ll take my money and find a party elsewhere. Perhaps I’ll spend it in the city where I can stumble drunkenly through pools of my own vomit in ecstatic bliss knowing that my ginger, fire-crotched Irish brethren and I can celebrate our traditional holidays properly: piss drunk, singing, and spending time with my friends and family! 

The following is a list of bars who deserve all the praise in the world, and then some bars that need to get their shit together. 

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Scathing Federal Review of Metro-North

Matt Flegenheimer of the NY Times reviewed a US government review of the safety and management policies of the MTA’s Metro-North Railroad and various statements made, and the findings are not good:

The Metro-North Railroad has fallen prey to a “deficient safety culture” that prizes on-time performance at the expense of protecting riders and workers, according to a blistering federal review that was ordered after a spate of rail disasters.

The review, from the Federal Railroad Administration, found that the commuter railroad’s operations control center pressured workers “to rush when responding to signal failures,” and that workers struggled to secure the track time needed to perform essential repairs.

Even policies as pedestrian as the use of cellphones have created dangers: Amid confusion about the rules, cellphone use is “commonplace and accepted” among track workers on the job.

The inquiry, known as Operation Deep Dive, was prompted by the fatal derailment on Dec. 1 of a Hudson line train in the Bronx; it killed four passengers and injured more than 70 others. But the scope of the analysis was far-reaching — no passenger railroad has ever been the subject of such an investigation of its safety culture — and its conclusions were withering for a system that was, less than a year ago, considered one of the nation’s most dependable.

The engineer, William Rockefeller, was traveling 82 miles per hour approaching a curve.CreditEric Thayer/Reuters

“The findings of Operation Deep Dive demonstrate that Metro-North has emphasized on-time performance to the detriment of safe operations and adequate maintenance of its infrastructure,” said the report, which is to be released on Friday.

“This is a severe assessment,” it continued, “and it is intended as an urgent call to action to Metro-North’s leadership.”

In recent months, Metro-North’s president has stepped down (see Howard Permut, Metro-North President, Is Stepping Down), and Joseph Giulietti has replaced him. But there are on-going problems at Metro-North,  as well as the disruptions caused by instilling a more safety-first discipline at the railroad.

Just a few weeks ago there was a totally unnecessary disruption of service when it was decided to perform routine maintenance during rush hour, which led to computers that control train movement at Grand Central Station being shut down (see Metro-North’s Thursday Night Delays Caused By Stupidity). 

We should expect things to remain unstable at Metro-North for a good long while. 

American Gypsy Vintage: American Redux

Along with the world our town is constantly evolving.

Rather than being sheltered and destitute, huddling up against our small peak at the end of Highlands we stand as a precipice and indeed veritable, (excuse the pun), beacon. We are a beacon to those who are seeking the solace of a quickly growing dynamic community, one that thrives on inclusivity and diversity.

When you consider the things we were missing in Beacon before these two showed up I think that a Curated Vintage Clothing Boutique, (say that ten times fast), was definitely on the list. Enter two starry eyed youngsters from Brooklyn, add a dash of fervent reverence for late 20th Century Americana and voila’, you have American Gypsy Vintage. 

As a member of the Millennial generation, I, like most of my counterparts are drawn to nostalgic relics of yesteryear. Grinning and drooling like an idiot, enchanted by the inherent cultural significance and innate charm that seems to pour out of these iconographic monoliths; when confronted with their beauty it is all I can do to not swoon.

Clothes, like other artifacts one might obtain, are patch-worn curios that express opinions from days, and years long past. They say, I was here. This was my identity and fuck you if you can’t understand me. I think that our newest boutique’s owners possess the same sentimental nature for their clothing, and wear those colors proudly and defiantly on their sleeves.  

Their interview was a pleasant discourse over their discovery of Beacon, the difference between curated boutiques and consignment, and the influences that led to their part in the fashion community of New York today. 

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Jenny Züko: Maven of Madness Cast in Plastic

There are a few stores in our fair ‘burg that seem to shall we say, share an affinity for one another and for the services that they provide to the community.

Dream in Plastic is unique in that it does not. One could argue that similar stores hawk what is referred to by some as Kitsch, such as our very own Galaxie-13, or any of the boutique Antique Stores, or even the very new and recently opened American Gypsy Vintage Boutique. However, when it comes to pop-culture there is but one haven of all things plastique and cutesy, pop-culturesque and tongue-in-cheek, the delightfully photogenic and weird: Dream in Plastic. 

Some businesses are born from bouts of introspective reflective thought, others come from inheritance, and yet others still are passed on through sheer nepotism. I would argue that although there is nothing wrong with these business models, I would say that the the best kinds of businesses are founded through obsession and necessity. Dream in Plastic was one such business created out of the need, and some would say unreasonably strong desire for designer vinyl toys. In particular the “Dunny” series created by Kid Robot.

The store is the trailblazing vision of the young and vivacious Jenny Züko, (who if cut open I believe would bleed polychrome punk-rock kitsch juice rather than your normal, totally run of the mill blood). She is a lover of toys, adult and otherwise, and wants you to share in her taste for the obscure and the extraordinary.

The following interview took me into the mind and origins of Jenny Züko, her idiosyncratic desires, and what Dream in Plastic and her plans for the future mean to this town today. 

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Queens of Cupcakery: Get Frosted! 

So you know what they say about assumption? We’ll for the sake of our younger readers, let’s just say it’s the mother of all screw-ups. I WAS WRONG, alright? Probably like many others in the community who might have shared my skeptical and jaded views on the nuanced substrata of baking businesses known as cupcakeries. I was horribly, horribly wrong; and I apologize. When I heard about a new cupcakery opening up I thought, quite idiotically in fact, another place selling baked goods? Cupcakes? Who cares?  

Let me be clear. I have never been one to gush over sweet things. For the most part I like my after dinner treats and particular my sugar dispensed into my body in an alcoholic format. Any sweet liqueur would satiate my palate more than any baked good ever good, unless it was soaked in rum of course. But I digress. Let me be blunt. The cupcakes at Get Frosted are awesome.

Take whatever sorry-ass made in a factory cupcake you just bought at Walmart and throw those things out the window. Have you read the news lately? They’re probably crawling with polish horse meat and artificial sweetener. Do yourself a favor and buy local and home-made. The cupcakes at Get Frosted are the Real-Deal-Neil, and as far as I’m concerned they have Carte Blanche on the cupcake scene here in Beacon Indefinitely. 

But on a capricious and heartfelt note, the owners at Get Frosted have founded a new family friendly haven that is warm, inviting, and is a positive example of how small acts of pleasure and kindness can better one’s day, and lifestyle. I was touched by their sincerity and dedication towards opening a business that is founded on a simple mission: providing high quality baked goods for low prices that everyone: especially parents and their young children, can both enjoy. 

Last week hoping to get the skinny on the fat lover’s paradise I decided to head over to Get Frosted and meet the sister’s that have seemed to become the talk of Main Street these days. 

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