Good Reads: ‘Say Nothing’

It has been a while since I was so captivated by a story that I couldn’t tear myself away from it. I read this book in a weekend.  “Say Nothing” by Patrick Radden Keefe, tells the true story of a widowed mother of 10 taken from her family in 1970s Belfast by the IRA and “disappeared.” I was both fascinated and disgusted by the factual basis of what I was reading. My mind was blown learning accounts of neighbors killing neighbors, and tenement houses turned war zones. Further, it all takes place in recent history/current day, in a supposedly developed western nation. In addition to telling an otherworldly story, the book helped me make sense of many U2 and Sinead O’Connor lyrics that I learned growing up. Everything from Bloody Sunday to Margaret Thatcher’s stance on the North Ireland conflict are covered in this text. The book was randomly recommended to me by none other than my barber. I was sitting in the chair getting my hairs did when he asked me “do you read?”. Apparently his reaction to this book was similar to mine. He strongly suggested that I check it out. Having now read it myself, I also highly recommend it.

July 2019 Playlist

Swampy weather and late sunsets for the next sixty days. Some new stuff and some old stuff. Some rock, some hip hop and some ambient. This playlist is appropriate for listening poolside, at the beach, or just sweating through your clothes on the subway platform. Here we go–

Q2 2019 Running Update

Left: waiving at Britt after a rare evening race. Right: looking behind me before an early morning race.

This post is just an accountability update from my report at the end of March, where I announced to the innanetz my running goal to hit 1000 miles this year. Unfortunately, I got sick of running midway through April and gave up on that goal. I’m totally kidding about the ‘giving up’ stuff. To date, I have not fallen short of my 25m/week goal, nor have I had a month wherein I did not exceed the 100m/month goal. I have all of these mini goals to thank for keeping me on track for the 1000 mile goal.

For this quarter, I decided to do some races. I have kept them all short and sweet. The shortest has been 5k, and the longest, 10k. Running these distances in a competitive setting a couple weekends per month has proven to be incredibly fun. Since I don’t really have expectations, or (for the most part) anyone waiting at the finish line, the pressure to do well has been incredibly low. I have always loved the energy of road racing. To be honest, the NY and Chicago marathons are tied for the time I experiences the most euphoric ‘runner’s high.’ The beauty of running these shorties (esp the Central Park ones), is that I’m generally done, showered and, home ready for the rest of the day by 10 AM. And I mean, since I’m doing a few races, may as well do the 9+1 next year’s NY Marathon, right? I thought so, too. Two races to go.

What I have learned about myself and running in the past 90 days:

  • Cold weather running, while harder to get motivated about and requires more gear, is much easier on the bod. Running in the heat hurts a lot more and takes longer to recover from. In the past, I had always quit running once it started to get cold, and would pick up again once it got warm. This year is the first time that I have ever experienced the sharp contrast between the two seasons.
  • Consistency is key. I have done a million different training programs for a million different races. Not until I had this 25/m per week goal, has running ever truly been a part of my routine and felt easy.
  • Ambiance is nice. One of the things that turned me onto running in the first place, is enjoying all of the scenery and things happening around me. I found it much less boring than the gym. For a long time I was not able to run with music, because I would sweat-to- death every device (early MP3 players, iPod nanos, you name it) that I brought running with me. I also hated the headphone cable being constantly glued to me with my own sweat. Since the advent of waterproof bluetooth headphones, life has been different.  While I now run with music a lot (esp if I have a new playlist or need some extra motivation), I still enjoy switching it up and going no-jams a few times per week.
  • Stretching, rolling and strength training is necessary for old guys. I never did this conditioning/flexibility crap when I was younger. I eventually had knee problems in my 30s when my IT bands started to calcify. A few months of recovery PT taught me some habits that I still employ. Even though I don’t stretch after every run, I do at least every other time. I also foam roll my ITs, glutes and lower back once per week. I mix in strength training whenever it is too rainy outside to run.
  • Sleep is important. It doesn’t seem like is was as much of a factor when I was younger, but I definitely notice a huge difference these days when I don’t get a solid sleep before a run.

If I was perfectly on track with my goal right now, I would be at 500 miles for the year. As it stands, I broke the 700 mile mark last weekend. I’m feeling okay about the whole situation and enjoying running as much as I ever have. Crossing my fingers and toes that I’m not somehow jinxing myself by publishing any of this nonsense. Knock on wood that I can stay healthy and injury free for the rest of the year (and the rest of my life, haha). Hey, shoot for the moon, land in the starts, right?

Left: the most brutal foam roller I have ever used. Right: pre-run selfie in summer gear, 17 lbs lighter than Jan 1.

Beyond the Streets NYC

Hadn’t shot anything for Snob in a while. When I saw that “Beyond the Streets” was coming to my neighborhood, I raised my hand. I was able to get in the Thursday before it opened to the public, and it was mostly empty. There is a lot of good stuff from some of my favorite contemporary artists, many of them local. I would highly recommend checking it out, if you are into this sort of thing (or even if you are just dying to see what it looks like inside of that gorgeous new building at 25 Kent). Here are a few of the snaps.

Faile

The shark is by RISK. It is nicely juxtaposed with a tribute to the late great NEKST.

RISK

CR Styek III

Parla

Futura 2000

Bill Barminski

KATSU

Craig Costello

Bill Barminski

Takashi Murakami

Futura 2000

Summer Wristwatch (2.0)

My left hand (and part of my left arm at 5 to 7 PM) with a time piece that I endorse.

I stated the case for a summer wristwatch a few years ago. I’ll admit that these little guys don’t usually last that long. But, that is part of the point, right? It is the watch that you put on when you are doing some sort of activity where there is a (high-ish) possibility that it gets smacked against something, or massively scratched while doing some manual work on something. No? Just me? Anyway, I was reading a certain website the other day and saw a deal that I could not refuse. This Japanese built, solar powered gem is the summer watch of my dreams. It comes with a chronograph and a sub-4 hundo pricetag. To be clear, this is not sponcon in any respect. In further honesty, I used to have an aversion to non-swiss watches with chrono. But, dude, I have had this thing for a few days now in gross NYC summer weather, and I fully endorse this piece. That’s all.

Good Reads: ‘The Greater Journey’

‘The Greater Journey’ by David McCullough, contains two of my favorite elements; history and Paris. Admittedly, I have read just about every book this guy has written. I like the way that he is able to take such a massive amount of historical information and present it in a way that reads like a novel rather than a text book. Acknowledging that this type of book is not for everyone, here is my take, in case it sounds interesting–

In the decades preceding the civil war, and up until WWI, scores of prominent Americans traveled to, and lived in Paris during a time that became an era of cultural cross pollination between French and American culture. This book details the experiences of several such Americans during their time in Paris. One (un)surprising takeaway from the book is that descriptions of Paris written by the Americans of yore, heavily overlap with my present day sentiments about the city. Bread and butter fa’ life!

25 Years of Ill Communication

This album changed my life. I can’t believe that is has been 25 years. Amazon Music made a short video where Mike D, Ad Rock, and Mario Caldato Jr. describe the journey from Paul’s Boutique to Ill Communication. If you are a Beastie Boys fan, it is definitely worth the watch.