Yesterday I spotted, quite by chance, a headline in a hyper-local Queens newspaper. It mentioned Calvary Cemetery, my old stomping ground of 20+ years and counting. It seems Calvary finally has a “NOTABLE” burial of a celebrity from the highest ranks. I guess. I mean I don’t know. Was he really that famous? Was he Elvis famous?
I hate the word “notable” as it is used in cemetery speak. All lives are notable. Spotlighting attention to the rich and famous at the expense of failing to explor the fascinating worlds of the forgotten is, to me, a tasteless and tacky pastime.
But to me, at least, this burial was a little different. This was an Astoria original who, as a New York Times headline declared, never left Astoria behind. His name is emblazened on the building of the Frank Sinatra School for the Arts on 35th Avenue, a school I watched be built through the windows of the Sunswick Bar across the street. And, for what it’s worth as a seemingly useless bit of trivia, the building in which I live once housed a direct relative of Frank Sinatra. I forget if it was an actual son or a nephew or what but his name was Sinatra and he wanted absolutely nothing to do with the Sinatra name or any of the nonsense that would come with being related to the pop culture icon. I always wanted to ask him how he felt about the seemingly out-of-nowhere decision to build that Frank Sinatra school right around the corner from where he lived. He could nor have seen that coming, having lived there for many years before even the discussion about buiding the school there had begun.
But I digress. I went to check on Calvary’s newest notable. Tony Bennett is buried at his family plot in 4th Calvary, Section 67. It is a marker common in style to the cemetery, with indications on the stone that his name was freshly added. Nothing celebrity about it, which I appreciate.
I was not a fan of his music but he made a comment that stuck with me, He expressed true regret for not intervening, for not simply asking Amy Winehouse to just walk away from the booze. He was in a unique position to make an impact on her with this suggestion because he did it himself, and it changed everything. She frequently describe Bennett as her “icon”, and for this Bennett felt he was in a unique position to have made a difference in getting her to quit killing herself.
He did not do it. On one hand I suggest this is an admirable admission, a respectable admission of failure. But then again, should I not disrespect him for his failure to even try with Amy? It’s not my cross to bear but the regret that he felt is, I believe, common across those who alcoholics and addicts leave behind. The unasnwerable question: What could I have done to save that person?
Other than that 4th Calvary is the same big fat bore as ever. It is like a noisy parking lot, surrounded by streets and interstate and loud trucks and planes coming down for a landing, sometimes close enough where you can see the passengers through the little windows. The wall under the LIE seems to amplify the noise. 2nd and 3rd Calvaries are better in that respect, but I did not go over there yesterday. In fact I made pretty skillful use of the Q67, albeit at the expense of the round trip being one of the roughest, bumpiest trips ever. I was being thrown about like a rag doll. And as luck would have it, the bus I gor going back to Long Island City was the exact same bus with the same driver. So both rides were stomch-turning. There was even a pregnant woman on the return trip. I hope she was OK.
At home I processed some more 24-hour webcam videos but failed to upload any to archive.org due to network error. I have 3 or 4 days worth to upload but it’s never simple with archive, at least not when very large files are in play. I also caught up on YouTube videos. I was gratified to receive contact from someone who left me a cash tip in appreciation for the content I put up there. That made me happy.
It turns out even though I passed 1000 subscribers and have sufficient hours of viewing I will likely never monotize YT through AdSense or whatever they use. They reviewed my content and deemed it poor quality. They expect professionalism and nothing less.
Yesterday’s haircut felt like it would never end. I think I was, once again, given The New Guy. He was Russian, spoke not one word of English, and the one dude there who was able to interpret to him from English to Russian what I said I wanted done spoke to him entirely in English. The dude was very very slow. He combed my hair for over 10 minutes, and all told barely gave a trim. I wanted much shorter all around, nothing fancy, as usual. Bah, it’s not worth documenting. But it is hard to find a good haircut, is it not…