Paper Streets (Sarsaparilla Sessions 2021)

“A paper street or paper road is a street or road that appears on maps but has not been built.”

“Beware! Paper Streets” cautions a sign hung by the Kirkwood Bowl Foundation towards the base of Laurel Canyon, LA, where I lived for most of 2018.

Paper streets are used in real estate cons of all sizes. Most often, as the scams go up in the Hollywood Hills, unsuspecting non-American buyers will purchase land on a paper street sight-unseen, in hopes of building a home. These marks will then arrive at their land with an invalid deed and dashed dreams.

There are still a few paper streets in Laurel Canyon, enough to warrant a warning sign. The one I encountered most was up at the summit of my old running route, off Jewett Drive, called West Elusive Street. Is there a more perfect name for a paper street? I spent a lot of time up there.

Curiously, hung as to face uphill, the sign warns those leaving the Canyon, whereas perhaps its alarm is most useful to those arriving. Still, as a means to convey how cruel we can be to each other, and how most things too good to be true prey on the trust we need in the world to enjoy life, the sign provides a universal admonition about putting blind faith in strangers.

Neither real nor estate, paper streets never burn. But they always burn.

Beware, indeed.


Paper Streets

You came a long long way
just to find nothing
on the other end of a promise
from the other side of the sun

the road was mapped but never real
still the dream of a long gone man
now foxtails push up through cracked cement
and long abandoned plans

Paper streets never burn but
paper streets always burn.…


Goes The Day [20220428b]

Written 20200418.1020


these days i wake in the same dream
where living is the flip side of life
Am. Adim7 Am7 D
where the future’s a memory of plans ahead
F G Am
where sometimes dying doesn’t mean you’re dead

gone gone gone goes the day
back back back all the way
Am Adim7 Am7 D
to a far far far off place
goes the day

empty streets, distant echoes
footsteps, indifferent neon signs
sirens, silence, lonely traffic lights
sounds of a world waving goodbye

Em F C
today aches for yesterday
Em F C
tomorrow’s just a someday place
Am G F
where the only answer, somehow,
Am G F G
is we all take the same exit out

Salvatore: Pizzaiolo of Soho Square

Pizzaiolo “Soho Sal” opened Soho Square Pizza last year as a pop up inside Michael & Ping’s Chinese restaurant on 3rd Av in Gowanus/Park Slope.

Every pie is stellar, and Sal’s vodka sauce is the nectar of a Roman God of antiquity. One of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten.

Salvatore is a master craftsman (right down to making his own mozzarella), reminds us that pizza is culinary (not convenience), and serves as living proof New York City remains a city of dreams.

He won’t be at this location for much longer, so get it while you can.

437 3rd Ave, BK 11215

Counting [20220428a]

written in Laurel Canyon 2018


What if we could ride all the waves
What if the world was safe
for everyone we are?
What if we could exchange
Every turn we’ll ever take
For one North Star?

Counting on lightning
Counting on dreaming
Counting on sleeping
sometime soon
Counting on one plan
Counting on another hand
(and I’m still) Counting on you

What if we could live on a cloud
above the rain
where stars are the only lights
Where the wind is stable ground
and blind faith carries us through the sky?

Sometimes the faster you hold on to your life in a loop
The faster you lose control of the truth