17 JULY 1997
outside

CRIMINALS

On the way to pick up my morning coffee and pack of cigarettes I passed three policemen leading a man out of the apartment building next to the limo/laundry place on the corner. The man was young and not particularly dangerous looking so it seemed odd to see his hands were cuffed behind his back. He wore an untucked short-sleeved shirt and a pair of paint-spattered and baggy dark blue shorts. Sign of the artist, at least the kind that still uses methods that would ruin your clothes.

What had he done to deserve his fate? Beat his significant other? Threatened an art critic? Received stolen goods? Dealt drugs? Not paid his rent?

The cops put him in one of two squad cars parked around the corner. Why weren't they parked in front of the building? Had they chased him there or did they want to surprise him?

This is the neighborhood that the TV show NYPD Blue is filmed. At least they use the police station on 5th Street though they change the precinct number. The exterior shots make the area look dangerous, everyone a potential criminal. They seem to always catch the crooks on the corner of 14th Street and 1st Avenue.

There is an alleyway in the middle of those short streets west of Bowery where TV shows always liked to shoot because it's one of the only alleyways in Manhattan. The show with Telly Savalas (don't remember the name of it) shot there. Someone has since put a gate up blocking it off. Those streets are more upscale now.

Walking up Broadway in front of The Wiz I'm approached by the Schlemiel Brothers, pseudo-Hassidic rabis with fake beards interviewing people on the street. They ask me what I think of the murder of Gianni Versace. I think it's terrible but only because murder is terrible. I don't have any particular preference for Versace's clothes. They then procede to ask me silly questions about my sexual preferences and I go along with it. The cameraman thinks I'm funny. They ask me if I've ever fantasized about chopping off my lover's head and having sex with the neck. I say yes to the first part, no to the second. They thank me and I walk on. I have a feeling I know one of the brothers.

The Versace murder investigation comes as a perfect summer entertainment. Not the murder itself, of course, but the drama that is unfolding as the media parcels out clues about the killer and the motif that is developing about how we are all in danger all of the time no matter who we are, especially from killer queers who blend in like Communists used to. I'm sure I'll find the whole thing offensive eventually but for now the cast of characters is much more interesting and attractive than the one's for OJ or the Oklahoma Bomber.

Walking down 1st Avenue Galinsky from Pseudo goes by on rollerblades. We wave, both a little surprised to see each other out of the context of the Pseudo studios (Galinsky is a producer where we do the Art Dirt webcasts). I'm a little bit more surprised to see him on rollerblades. I don't know why. Just out of place for some reason. Like when a famous person is murdered or you see someone who could be you being led away in handcuffs by the police.