Stranger in a Strange Land

by Mark Forman on September 25, 2018

Was semi-binging Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown episodes over the Moon Festival Holiday weekend here. The one with Marcus Samuelsson and his wife returning to Ethiopia with Bourdain and crew along was particularly poignant. Marcus admitted how he has several homes and maybe no home. I can identify with that kind of at home where you are/at home no where dichotomy. My original home: Brooklyn was only home until I was 18-so even though that seemed like a lifetime when it was happening, only just a few minutes on my timeline. Now when I see movies or tv shows that were shot there it is both familiar and foreign at the same time.

The second long stop on the journey was the anti-NY, the Sonora Desert in Arizona in fact. When the plane I was on was triangulating for it's landing into Tucson the view I had was uncanny. It reminded me of one of those grade "B" horror movies like Godzilla or worse where you could see the strings attached to the beast creature victimizing the locality it was purported to be in. Tucson from the air in the late 70's seemed bot visually attractive and odd: it was so void of pedestrian life down below. So unlike the NY I had just flown from. During those pre-internet/pre-smart phone days jet planes seemed really fast, but obviously not so. It brought me from one world to another in about 5-1/2 hours.

Taiwan has been my home for so long it almost seems like I was born here. My coming and arriving in Taiwan are vague almost to the point of being dreamlike. I can pinpoint my first experience with local culture on the ground though. That was in the airport where I needed to change US$ to NT$. I was 2nd in line and totally bewildered after that 12/13 hour flight and dealing with a time of day that didn't reconcile at all with when I left and when I thought I should arrive. Some older man decided to walk to the front of the line ahead of me. I ws totally unprepared to use my seriously limited and rusty Mandarin Chinese on him so I gave him some universal language: and angry excited face and my thumb making jerky moves towards my rear. Low and behold his ability to read my excited sign language was excellent and he feigned innocence as he got behind me.

Several months later I must have briefly dozed off on a city busy and recall my rude awakening when I noticed everyone on the bus was Chinese and I wondered what they were all doing there?


Village Voice Where Art Thou?

by Mark Forman on September 1, 2018

Wow-how the mighty have fallen! The Voice was a big tree to the internet's small axe... When i was a kid in Brooklyn one of the high points of each week was Wed. morning when the new Village Voice came out, NYC's best entertainment/culture/lifestyle publication-all for the great price of $FREE. It was my window into the much bigger world of NYC, which included my smaller portion of it in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn. Record reviews, commentary, food reviews, club listings, so many vital interesting packets of information in the pre-internet, pre-cell phone world of my youth.

Today on Twitter I saw that the Village Voice is finally giving up the ghost-this the digital one since the print version had already ceased publication a couple of years back. Thanks for the memories.


Hey Daddyo

by Mark Forman on July 29, 2018

While watching Castle Rock I scanneed on the Ramones poster during a flashback scene with Andre Holland in the neighbor girl's room. This of course led to me thinking about my initial connection to the band. I was reluctant to listen to what was labeled "pun" since I felt it wasn't worth my time. A good friend who was as clean cut as they came-a pole vaulter, body/health freak of a young guy told me how he got a Ramones record and how great they were. I'm thinking if Thor (that's what he looked like) is into them, can they really be that good and conversely, can they really be that subversive if he likes them? Well they really were that good and I don't know about subversive-not them anyway. It was like listening to Mad Magazine if it were a musical format. The lyrics were straight zany and the frantic buzzsaw guitars and nasal Joey vocals were all a perfect fit. The Ramones were my gateway drug into the Sex Pistols, Talking Heads, the Buzzcocks, Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and many others. RIP-Rockaway in Peace Ramones!


Crowd Sourcing

06.23.2018 by Mark Forman

I recently decided to pivot on a new product I was developing. Originally I was planning to do a peel and stick grip skin for smart phones. So all the IPhone models and leading phones would have their own skin to fit the given model. I decided to move in a more general direction-casting my […]


Homie Sad to See You Go Like That…

06.09.2018 by Mark Forman

What can I say? #1 I am not that surprised Bourdain chose suicide to end his life. Doing it in His ancestral France added a poetic flourish fitting for his intellectual writer pretensions and tastes. Knowing about Anthony Bourdain's background and the demons he wrestled with, many of his struggles similar to ones I've had, […]