The majority of the questions we get here at Shallot central all focus on one issue: Why the name Glass Shallot? Why did you launch this blog? What does it all mean? As I've said to many people over the years, the decision was a personal one. But just as Esquire offers tiny glimpses of the hottest woman of the year limb by limb every month, I thought I'd start a new regular feature called "Why Glass Shallot?" that will get all of us closer to the truth, little by little.
And now, the first inaugural "Why Glass Shallot."
Why Glass Shallot? Because David Bowie circa Ziggy Stardust visited me in a dream and told me to make some ch-ch-changes.
Last night, as one of my friends partied at the Playboy mansion, and another got married in upstate New York, I found myself trapped in New York for personal reasons, where, among some very nice time spent with my cousin, who I salute on his birthday, I witnessed the greatest rat fight ever seen. You forget, after you've left New York, how large rats can get. The ones we saw looked like small dogs. And they weren't making gourmet food. Perhaps you'll wan more thoughts on the matter from Sean Wilsey, who lovingly discusses one of my favorite Joseph Mitchell works "Rats on the Waterfront" in an LRB piece from a couple years ago. And here, below, is a brief quote from Mitchell's masterpiece:
"The brown rat is an omnivorous scavenger, and it doesn't seem to
care at all whether its food is fresh or spoiled. It will eat soap, oil paints,
shoe leather, the bone of a bone-handled knife, the glue in a book binding,
and the rubber in the insulation of telephone and electric wires. It can
go for days without food, and it can obtain sufficient water by licking condensed
moisture off metallic surfaces. All rats are vandals, but the brown rat is
the most ruthless . . . Instead of completely eating a few potatoes, it takes
a bite or two out of dozens. It will methodically ruin all the apples and
pears in a grocery in a night. To get a small quantity of nesting material
it will cut great quantities of garments, rugs, upholstery, and books to
tatters. In warehouses, it sometimes goes berserk . . . One night, in the
poultry part of the old Gansevoort Market, alongside the Hudson, a burrow
of them bit the throats of over three hundred broilers and ate less than
a dozen. "
Note the lack of a picture above this post. I do not want the likeness of these beasts on my blog.
It's been a long time since I've posted anything of significance other than pre-published stories. But I just want readers to know that I've been consumed with a number of long, research-intensive stories. I've decided to start sharing a lot of the backup and cutting-room floor info I have from stories--interviews, for instance, have to be a certain wordcount, but there are always choice comments and discussions that never see the light of day. Recently, a British press agent offered to pay me for some of this content so that he might sell it to a gossip magazine. But I'm thinking that's a little to close to what I'd consider evil. Plus, I don't really ask anyone about gossip; don't have interest. But stuff to look forward to includes: comments from architect Frank Gehry, rarely shared information from America's leading oncologists on some vital health topics, some great comedians in some of this summer's funniest movies, the backstory on America's obsession with gourmet hot dogs, literary comments on new books, a one-man-band-type musician, prefab houses in Sweden, and lots of travel dispatches as well as some thoughts about technology and TV and how they're pretty much taking over the world. Stay tuned!