Archive for May, 2009

An Apartment Full of Books and the Man Who Started It

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2009 by henrybchan

IMG_0568Michael Seidenberg is an anomaly. A rarity. An eccentricity. He loves books, and while book lovers are commonplace, Seidenberg’s love is unique.

Sitting in a corner of a tiny apartment on the Upper East Side, pipe in hand, Seidenberg doesn’t hold back when talking about books. He philosophizes about the world and talks of how the Justice League of America is the basis of his personal philosophy. He theorizes that schools kill reading and laments about the seemingly disappearing love of books. Take a quick look around him and it becomes clear that the apartment is his chef-d’oeuvre. The apartment – the latest reincarnation of Brazen Head Books – is to Seidenberg what the Sistine Chapel was to Michelangelo.

Visitors to Brazen Head will find a lot of Seidenberg embedded within the bookshelves lining the walls. From an action figure of Oscar Wilde, to an old postcard of Fidel Castro – cigar in mouth – holding an I Love New York T-shirt, to framed images of authors Henry Miller and John Cowper Powys (two of his favorite), one can glean many things about the Seidenberg’s character. As Snowden Wright, a frequent visitor to Brazen Head, puts it, “You go there and it’s not just a bookstore. It’s a bookstore and him.” Continue reading

Despite Criticisms, Mixed Martial Arts Continue to Grow Popular

Posted in Uncategorized on May 12, 2009 by henrybchan

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The stage is set. Two men, dressed in only shorts, circle each other in the octagonal cage, their fists close to their face, waiting for an opening to attack. The raucous crowd surrounds the stage, cheering their favorite fighter, hoping to see a good fight. A quick punch here, a wild kick there, and then, both men are on the ground, grappling for control. One man ends up on flat on his stomach, trying valiantly to protect his head from the calculated punches of his opponent. It is soon over. The referee rushes to stop the fight. The crowd goes wild. The victor raises his fists in triumph. He is their gladiator.

This is mixed martial arts, a full contact combat sport that was once relegated to the fringes, but in recent years is experiencing a surge in popularity, creeping steadily toward the mainstream. Considered by many to be the fastest growing sport in the country, mixed martial arts – or MMA, as it is often called – has already replaced boxing and wrestling as the favored combat sport among young men.  Continue reading