Gangs of New York (2002)


Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York (2002) brings immediacy to the chaotic, violent history of mid-nineteenth century New York City, a time and place in which the intersections of race, gender, religion, and politics more often provoke murderous clashes than thoughtful discourse. Politicians are corrupt, voters oppressed, an unpopular war fought, nativist sentiment at historic levels, and on and on and on —

Watching the film today begs the question: How far have, or haven’t, we come in the one-hundred-fifty years since?






Note: While I do recommend a viewing of this terrific film, I will say that it was distributed by Miramax; the former studio of the disgraced, disgusting Harvey Weinstein. If that is grounds for a hard pass on this film, cool: you know your limits. If you decided to watch the film, it’s available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and very likely at your local library (check there first!). 




bicycle monogamy



I am getting old, and at my age I feel it’s necessary to impart wisdom. Therefore, I hope you enjoy the convoluted quasi-essay that’s about bikes but actually about life, below:

My bicycle looks like this:


i am so talented

It’s a heavy, metallic blue mountain bike that I ride EVERYWHERE because it is my only bike, and has been for the past eight years. Ergo very familiar, and very useful for city-riding (potholes!) (decidedly not-quick-release tires!). Also, it’s kinda heavy, so I get another workout carrying it up and down a few flights of stairs from my dorm room (I’m in college; I am so old).


This is a friend’s bike, which was so graciously lent to me for a road ride two weeks ago:


i am so talented, part two

YAH. It’s significantly smaller, lighter (I was benchpressing it in one hand within minutes), and it’s so shiny and RED!! The drop-handles threw me for a moment, as did the gear-shifting mechanism, so we had a lot of false starts at the beginning of our ride (shout-out to dudes with patience!). When we actually began our ride, I was amazed by the differences between bikes. The little red bike was so light!! And I was sorely tempted to dart into and out of traffic because it was so nimble.  It climbed like a bird, and we were flying down Chuck St. (hi, that was us).

It wasn’t a perfect bike: apart from its lack of suspension (I! felt! every! thing!) and those derpy handles, it was unable to scale pebbles, much less onto sidewalks. My lovely mountain bike can hop curbs and cross very large potholes (in cities) and fallen logs and jutting boulders (on mountains) without incident. With this little red road bike I was desperately praying not to launch after every divot in the asphalt. Like, pedaling over a used lotto ticket felt dangerous. (Joke. Kind of.)

Even with those new challenges, it was a great ride and I had a great time exploring the city on that speedy little bike. The takeaway from all this, I’d argue, is that trying new things is awesome! Even if it’s terrifying in the moment a.k.a. for a few hours.

Point being: Bicycle monogamy is overrated!

Second point being we should all ride our bikes more and drive cars less because bikes are significantly cooler, and better for the environment, and make your calves look great.

Just saying.





p.s. I miss The Toast.




Summer Music

music, summer

It’s the solstice! The wind is warm and we are stealing hydrangeas for summer mischief.

We are all wild and pagan today,

and these are our sonorous songs.


I. ‘Devil’s Dance Floor’ / Flogging Molly (Swagger, 2000)


II. ‘Because the Night’ / Patti Smith Group (Easter, 1978)


III. ‘When Doves Cry’ / Prince (Purple Rain, 1984)


IV. ‘tous les mêmes’ / Stromae (Racine Carrée, 2013)


V. ‘All I Wanted’ (Live at Asylum Chapel) / Daughter (Before the Storm, 2017)


oo. Carey


p.s. past mixes: Spring! & Winter!

Bloomsday // Baltimore Pride

festivities, summer


Hello, internet friends!

So, here’s the kicker: I’m really not so great about writing yearly posts for various holidays YET this will be the third June I’ve managed to honor(???) Bloomsday with a blip on the blogosphere and I still haven’t finished the book – actually, I haven’t revisited it since 2016… Yes, well, em, I haven’t heard the banshee so I’d like to think I’ll have time to finish it by next year’s Bloomsday.

While I can’t yet gush about finishing Ulysses, or visiting Dublin, or any other Joycean joys I CAN & WILL congratulate another Irish writer, Deirdre Sullivan, on writing the 28th Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year: a feminist fairytale anthology, Tangleweed & Brine (and another huge congratulations to Welshwoman Karen Vaughan for the collection’s exquisite illustrations)!

I both loved and feared each tale in the collection, and absolutely, wholly, utterly recommend you find yourself a copy to read (support your local library!).

Speaking of libraries, the Enoch Pratt Free Library just nixed its late fees for overdue books! Just another reason for you to come around and visit Baltimore. And please do come by; this is really a wonderful city—it’s not just the doom and gloom you see on the news.

A particular gem of the City in the summer (apart from all the movie festivals) is Baltimore’s Pride celebration, the pinnacle of which, the parade, happened to be today…So we should all just be partying all weekend, honestly. (ALSO, let’s wish a happy first birthday to Lorde’s Melodrama today!)

I’d like to say the local LGBT+ community has a terrific presence in the city even after the rainbow beads and iridescence of the parade have been swept from Chuck St. Or, that’s my impression from attending book readings and talks and dance parties and ever-popular “Gay Movie Nights” with queer friends (HAVE YOU SEEN MOONLIGHT?!).

But I’d like to clarify that at these events I’m here to celebrate my friends: When I go to Pride celebrations and meet the SOs of some of my best friends, I’m at events that are not meant for me (a straight cisgender woman). It’s an honor and a privilege to have LGBT+ friends who feel they can confide in me, and I actively seek ways to help them feel safe and loved. This is devolving into a “wow, isn’t Carey great?” sort of thing, but what I’m so poorly trying to explain is that these wonderful people are so brave; to feel comfortable expressing yourself as you are, regardless of your sexuality, gender identity, or any other facet of your true self that doesn’t conform to the heteronormative narrative we’ve all been told is the only way to be—to have been told that you’re wrong by so many and oftentimes so violently, and to still celebrate yourself as you are is just — amazing.


Lots of love this Bloomsday!

oo Carey



(the day on which the events in Ulysses were set) SOURCE UNKNOWN 😦 


Spring Music


Ed. 4 p.m. Tuesday – When I wrote this post over the weekend, the Nor’Easter that’s currently blanketing us in snow hadn’t made itself known yet. So this ‘spring’ thing is more wishful thinking than fact at the moment. Alas!

Finally, it’s Spring! (Maybe? Can it be warm soon??)


Here are some vernal songs while we wait for the sunlight & flowers & seasonal allergies to come back.


  1. ‘Bird Song Intro’ / Florence & the Machine (Lungs Deluxe Ed., 2009)


2. ‘Rabbit Heart’ / Florence & the Machine (Lungs, 2009)


3. ‘Funeral Bell’ / Phildel (The Disappearance of the Girl, 2013)


4. ‘Every Breaking Wave (acoustic)’ / U2 (Songs of Innocence, 2014)


5. ‘Rainbow’ / Oh Land (Oh Land, 2011)


Any songs from your Spring mix you wanna share?

x. Carey

p.s. – Here’s my Winter mix.

St. Patrick’s Day




Irish Immigrants (1909) / Wikimedia Commons

Dia duit!

While many of us like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. with green apparel and booze, it’s also super important to acknowledge the origins of the celebration: immigrants! With the future of over 800,000 Dreamers in jeopardy under the current administration’s policies, it’s only right to draw attention to the holiday an article from TIME calls

[…] the closest thing in America to National Immigrant Day, a tribute not only to the Irish, but to the idea that Americans are all part “other.”


SO, if you weren’t aware, the general consensus of nativist Americans in the 19th century was that the Irish (the first ‘modern’ immigrants in the U.S., as expanded upon in this NY Times article from 2012) behaved like this:

Anti-Irish Political Cartoon by Thomas Nast

“The Usual Irish Way of Doing Things” (1871) / Wikimedia Commons

The political cartoon above is by Thomas Nast, y’know, the dude who created the modern-day depiction of a fat, red-suit-wearing Santa Claus? Yeah, same guy.

Here’s a continuation on that thought from my FB, (edited slightly for clarity):

  • The celebration was brought to the United States by Irish immigrants in the 19th century.
  • These immigrants (and others from ‘undesirable’ areas of Europe, such as Scotland, Germany, and Italy) were largely unwelcome in ‘white collar’ work forces, such as medicine, politics, law, et al.
  • Many of these immigrants didn’t speak English, and would learn only after arriving in the U.S.A., including the Irish. (The English language was forced upon them for 800 years but was by no means universal in Ireland then, nor is it today.)
  • Not all of these immigrants came legally; even today, a low estimate of illegal U.S. residency by white Europeans and Canadians is 550,000 according to the most recent figures from the Pew Research Center.

This brings us to the present, when people with Irish (and German, and Italian, and Scottish, and … ) surnames are trying to prevent immigrants (today, largely from South America, Central America, Africa, and the Middle East) from enjoying all the benefits and opportunities their ancestors received once anti-immigrant sentiments shifted southerly. Such is the (stupid) pattern of history. But not all is lost (it never is).



If we as a society can willingly get behind this look for a day

Some dude in questionable attire / Chicago Tribune


surely, we can get behind these amazing people!

here to stay

Dreamers / The Intercept


Slán abhaile!

x. Carey