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Posts Tagged ‘Ghostbusters’

Ghost Stories

October 20, 2016 | by

Seeking out spirits in one of New York’s spookiest bars.

Photo: Alex Strada.

Photo: Alex Strada.

You’d think it’d be relatively easy to pin down a ghost in this town, with all of its historic buildings and unsettled scores. Most of the haunts frequented by the city’s cognoscenti are said to have an apparition or two knocking around, if you believe in that sort of thing. There’s the shadowy figure that paces the shore of Rockaway Beach. A young girl’s screams are sometimes heard coming from within McCarren Pool. And from the stories told about the Brooklyn Bridge, you’d think its walkway would be incandescent with floating orbs and strange lights.

After hearing that a glamorous specter often manifests and smokes sullenly in a corner of the women’s restroom at the Astor Room in Queens, I drank far too much wine and drifted in and out of the bathroom stalls a few weekends ago, but to no avail. And returning home in the early hours that morning, I thought of the original owner of my apartment building, who hanged himself from the front-door frame in 1890. He, too, has yet to materialize.

So I stopped by the perennially spooky KGB Bar in the East Village after work one night last week to see if Dan Christian, the longtime bar manager, might act as my spirit guide. I’d always heard that the bar was very haunted. Read More »


January 6, 2016 | by


Two things only the people actually desire: bread and circuses. –Juvenal 

When I fall prey to the black dog, it’s easy to tell. My depression manifests in baking: jars filled with rapidly aging cookies, racks of untouched cupcakes, freezers glutted with brownies. Typically I find baking soothing, but there’s nothing soothing about this frenzy of activity. It’s a Hail Mary attempt to wrest a little accomplishment from life, the last of my energy reserves wasted on food whose presence, whether it’s a success or failure, becomes another reproach. Baking is about the triumph of precision over creativity, but in these moments my approach is slapdash and the results uneven. If cooking can be a means of nourishing and communing, this is the opposite, a sort of gingerbread fortress of solitude. Read More »

Snuffing Out Anachronisms, and Other News

February 26, 2014 | by


Not so fast, Abe. Image via

  • The Cotton Club was also shooting in New York. The night we were shooting the Marshmallow Man, some guy said to me, ‘This is insane, what’s this movie?’ I said, ‘The Cotton Club, man. That guy Francis, you can’t stop him.’” In honor of Harold Ramis, an oral history of Ghostbusters.
  • What do you do when your students’ literary touchstone is Law and Order: SVU?
  • Online, Steven Soderbergh has released Psychos, “a feature-length mashup of Hitchcock’s original 1960 movie and Gus Van Sant’s controversial shot-for-shot 1998 remake.”
  • At last, screenwriters can stop anachronisms in their tracks with the Anachronism Machine. “It maps the script’s words and phrases against a Google database consisting of the full texts of six million books and spits out a graphical rendering of the likely anachronisms the script is guilty of.”
  • The first entry in an A to Z of forgotten books: “When it appeared in 1923, André Maurois’s Ariel was one of a new breed of what reviewers of the time took to calling ‘romance biographies.’”