Friday, June 20, 2008

Why Long Island rocks

Two bankrobbers evaded capture--for awhile--by strewing cash out of their getaway car. On the Hempstead Turnpike no less.

For-real money quote:

"Ceaser, 44, of Westbury, said he saw money flying out of the car, believed to be a Nissan Altima.

He and colleague Pete Hadjispyrou, 60, stopped working, ran into the middle of Hempstead Turnpike and started grabbing money while the car pulled into the hospital's emergency entrance.

"Fives, tens, twenties, fifties, hundreds," Ceaser said. "I had at least three grand in my hands. That was the most shocking thing I've seen in a while.""

Full Newsday story here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Odd courtesies

The other day a car coming in the opposite direction flashed its lights. It was daytime, my lights weren't on, there was some puzzlement. And then about 10 seconds later, there he was: The speed trap cop. Just waiting. On a lovely summer day in a relatively tony section of Newton.

In this increasingly hostile world--the other driver would probably flip me off as soon as look at me in slightly different circumstances--total strangers will still band together against The Man.

There's something oddly comforting in that.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Celts resurgent

That the Celtics are back in the finals (and are now up by six against the Lakers in game two) is nearly inconceivable to a lapsed fan.

The Bill Russell and Kevin Garnett one-on-one on ESPN. If this doesn't move you, not sure what will.

After moving to Boston in the early 80s, I became a Celtics fan. There was really no choice. This was the Bird-McHale-Parrish-DJ-Maxwell era.

Some personal snapshots from the memory bank.

*Playing Pacman, drinking at Satch's on Stanhope Street with Satch Sanders himself holding court. Sometimes KC Jones played piano. Well.

*Cedric Maxwell (resplendent in his Celtics green satin jacket) at Strawberry's in the Back Bay, rifling through the album racks. I seem to remember him wearing Walkman headphones but was that pre-Walkman?

*Larry Bird reacting to a fan's sign, agreeing that, in fact "Moses does eat shit."

*The whole office following the 1986 victory parade to City Hall, where a love-struck editorial assistant snuck into the no-access area and was touched by Bird on his way on stage. She said he took her by the shoulders and removed her out of his path. Nicely, but forcefully. She didn't shower for weeks.

*Boston fans demanding that the hated 76ers "Beat LA" when it became clear that Philadelphia would win the east. (The "Beat LA" chant seems to have displaced "Yankees Suck" mantra at Fenway at least lately. Give it time.)

It's now 96-75 Celtics. Lots of close-ups of Kobe who looks bemused. Leon Powe, formerly a homeless person (as ABC keeps reminding us) is having the night of his life for the Cs.

Other memories: Riding the Westin's up escalator on Election night in (what was it? 1984?) wearing a Mondale button. K.C. Jones is coming down the other side. He sees the button, shakes his head sadly and says: "Keep the faith."

*Another escalator encounter, this time at SFO several years later. Bill Russell is coming up as I go down. He assumes the 1000-mile-stare. He doesn't want to be acknowledged. So be it.

*Fast forward to a few years ago: Bill Russell returns to the Garden to see his number retired and be properly feted at long last. There was some bad blood but all was forgiven. Bird was there. Dr. J. Wilt Chamberlain! Walton. Less impressively, Bryant Gumbel and Bill Cosby. But still. Breathtaking. A friend--a Boston lifer--took me and it was clear that he, like the bulk of those there were awestruck.

It's a great time to be a Boston fan. There's an embarassment of riches and the yahoos are already unbearably obnoxious. One of the great things is that the various athletes from different sports support each other. It's a richer version of high school. Tonight, Curt Schilling, Big Papi, Richard Seymour, are all at the new Garden in appropriate attire.

Whoa, it's now a four point game. How did that happen? Lesson: never underestimate Kobewankenobe.

The Celts manage to hold on. Huge relief.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Watertown blogger MIA

Where is H20town?

One of the first local blogs was dedicated to Watertown. (Watertown, Mass. as opposed to Watertown, New York or one of the dozens of other Watertowns nationwide.) It was created by Lisa Williams, a former Yankee Group analyst, and became a public water cooler for politicians and just plain ol' citizens to sound off, ask questions, convene.

If Mt. Auburn Street was blocked off last night and you didn't have time to check out why, you'd ask on H20town and nine times out of ten, you'd get an informed response. There was stuff up there that was never in the local Watertown Tab and completely out of bounds for the Globe. It didn't hurt that the Watertown political scene has more than its share of kooks and Ms. Williams sat in on most of the town council meetings. At least she watched the cable access version, which very few others had the intestinal fortitude to do.

Luckily the Tab started picking up tips and stories from H20town.

Sadly, Williams has been gone for awhile and she is missed. She's doing Placeblogger now. But the H20town faithful wanna know "What about US???"Here's an interview with Ms. Williams from last year.

Money quote:
"The thing about local life is that, at least here in the US, most places are basically comic operas with real estate taxes."