Glory Hole

My life has been thrown off because of the MTA strike. I haven’t had very much time to write. I get into work and have to hit the ground running. I left at five yesterday to try and see a little daylight on the way home. The ride home was much more frustrating than the ride in. I’m not sure why this is, but the traffic – human and car – was terrible. It took me a half an hour to get to Toby in SoHo.

On Monday night, I walked to where my car had been parked Sunday night and it was gone. I called the police (who are also responsible for towing) and asked them if they had my car. After a series of forwarding and then a bunch of “Please Hold’s” I was told that my car had been moved for a movie shoot. No warning. No signs. No signs letting me know they had moved my car. They just moved it. They moved it three blocks away. I wrote a long post about this but never had the chance to post it because of the strike. Anyway, that happened. And I still want an apology.

Last night, after hauling ass 60 blocks south to find Toby Joe and then riding over the bridge into Brooklyn, I had my first glass blowing class. It’s a lot like throwing on a potter’s wheel. The difference is it’s a sideways throw and touching the material or leaning into the material could prove to be unbelievably painful but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to! Also, the oven used to reheat the glass after you begin to shape it is called a “GLORY HOLE.” I know I’ve never come off as someone who practices much decorum. I don’t think I’ll ever grow up, but glory hole? “Stick it and get it hot in the glory hole?” “Put the rod in the glory hole?” Come on, now. And then when the student next to you, who happens to be a beautiful older woman, starts to giggle, it’s really hard to hold one’s already dwindling composure.

So, there was that. I made a glass ball, which, at one point, spent time in the glory hole.

All jokes aside, glass blowing is hard. It’s really hard and we haven’t even gotten to the blowing part. But it’s exciting. I’m taking part in something unique.

The ride in this morning was tougher. I’m not sure if it’s the case but there seems to be more people out. Perhaps they’re starting to realize that we might have to live this way for a while? I have no idea. It’s my understanding that they’re “negotiating” once again. Well, let’s hope they come to some sort of agreement. I’m not sure how much longer people in New York will remain cheery. Ah well.

Oh, and speaking of glory holes, my derriere is kicking my ass. I need padded underpants.


  1. Is there actual blowing involved? I mean that with all seriousness.

    My shins are still sore from two days ago, when I walked to & from work in heavy snow boots, thinking it was better to keep my feet warm than to wear more comfortable sneakers.

    And by the way: I got to work about 15 minutes after we left this morning. Quickest commute ever! Of course, I’m a’ walkin’ home.


  2. There is actual blowing. Some of the rods are hollow. Did you ever use those little straws and toxic gooky stuff? you put the gook on the end of the straw and blew big bubbles? . I wish I could remember what that was called. My brother would know. It’s like that. Only with glass.

    I have no idea if that made any sense.


  3. I remember those toxic little sticks!!!!!

    And my feet hurt for you!

    And moving your car is just assinine! I’m sorry about that! I would be so pissed!


  4. Nessa! You’re the best! I can’t remember what they’re called!

    Pitty my ass! My feet are fine!

    I love you!


  5. Congrats on the glass blowing. I still can’t believe I’ve managed to never go in there but live next door. I’m glad someone I know is taking advantage of that place.

    There’s a surprising exhibition in Chelsea called ‘Glory Hole’.

    When you hear Chelsea and Glory Hole, you’d think its going to be pretty dirty. Instead it was all these crazy sculptures that look like giant piles of scrap metal ( some are about 4’x4’x15’ ). Light is projected at them, and they create silhouttes (or inverse silhouettes) of profiles and objects. Its really neat. You should see it.


  6. I think that’s my teacher’s exhibit. He has one in Chelsea right now but he said something about neon and light.


  7. They just moved your car without permission? What the crap?


  8. Yes. Totally. What the crap indeed. If I wasn’t so happy with the discovery that it hadn’t been stolen, I’d have been red with anger.

    My ass hurts.


  9. This should make you feel better…

    NYC Transit Union Moves to Return to Work
    AP – 1 minute ago

    NEW YORK – Striking transit workers agreed to take steps to go back to work while their union and the transit authority resume negotiations, a state mediator said Thursday morning.


  10. Holy crap! I found it.

    It’s called Magic Plastic. That shit was so toxic. And I freaking loved it.


  11. Man, I am so envious and happy for you!
    I’m sure there are all sorts of double entendres in glossblowing (just as there are in pottery), but my guess is that “glory hole” as it pertains to glassworks far predates current connotations. Or maybe not; which came first, the wine keg bung hole or the human counterpart? Please post photos! (of your glass blowing efforts that is!)


  12. melissa, I read that about the negotiations. If they are up and running tonight, that would rule. I’d like to make it to the Chopping Block Christmas party.

    mpap, we had this discussion last night. Toby and Gerry were all saying that they took Glory Hole from the dirty people. I disagreed entirely and still do. I think the dirty people took the term Glory hole from the glass blowers. And yes, it is very dirty indeed. I just can’t help myself.


  13. i used to love those plastic things. we would play games like ‘how long till it falls apart?!?’

    the exhibit i saw wasn’t your teachers. no neon lights.

    lookie the images on the left:

    compare the shadows on the wall to the sculpture in the foreground. crazy.


  14. Does your studio have a website?


  15. I don’t know. It’s called 160 Glass. I had trouble finding an actual real site. But there are several write ups. Let me do some more investigating.


  16. hey dude. i think your teacher was my old neighbour in red hook.
    thats so cool that youre picking up that skill. sorry bout your butt.


  17. My butt thanks you, sweetpea.

    How did you figure that out, Heather?



    first try searching ‘berry williamsburg glass’


  19. for whatever its worth, when i lived in the city that one summer (before you even knew the Beaner! in the Land Before Time…) i went to grab my car and go to the grocery store, and curiously, it was one spot down from where i had left. and there were greasy handprints on the hood and a dent and the front faschia was broken in half.

    and it was in front of a hydrant, so it had a few tickets on it.

    i went to the local precinct house and explained my situation, and they told me to wait around for the Lt. to get back and he’d take care of me. when he returned and i told him what had happened, he replied, “Ohhhhh, that was YOUR car….” as it turns out, the city had received a stolen vehicle report for a car that looked just like mine and had towed my car, only to discover, all too late, that it was the wrong one. when they went to return it, my spot, of course, had been taken, so they left it in the next closest spot (in front of a hydrant) so i’d be able to find it.

    the towing company (some charming ex-marines in Spanish Harlem) that they contracted fixed the dent and the broken faschia, but the City would not cancel the hydrant related tickets without this byzantine amount of paperwork being filed (which i never completed successfully. they broke me with red tape and i paid the tickets.)

    i feel you.

    also, on that sore bottom cyclist tip, and i’m sure TJ can corroborate, it seems to get better after a few rides. i could never bring myself to rock the padded bicycle shorts…

    good luck mihow!


  20. kosta, holy crap. You’ve rendered me speechless. So, there’s nothing we can do to get an apology? I want the be granted clemency from EVER receiving another parking ticket during the year of 2006!!

    What if I had been mugged? What if I had been mugged? What if I had medicine I needed to get to? WHAT IF I HAD BEEN MOLESTED!

    I hope my ass gets better in time. Thanks for the luck.


  21. Tell the movie shoot bungholes to move your car back where it was.

    Toby – go massage your wife’s butt. It may win you a “Husband of the Year” award.


Leave a ReplyCancel reply