Sunday, December 27, 2009

'Tis the Season

You may have noticed that I haven't blogged much recently and the reason is simple: I've been really, really, really busy. Blogging has taken a back seat lately. The next few days promise to be busy ones too and then the wife and I will be headed off to a sunny place for New Year's.

So this will be the last blog post for 2009.

(I'll give you a moment to dab your eyes and clear your throats.)

This has been a good year at Mr NYC, both online and off. And it's so hard to believe that March 2010, only a few short months away, will mark the third anniversary of this blog. The time it is a'flyin'. And next year promises to be an interesting only. So I wish you all a happy new year and I will see you then.

Please keep an eye on NYC while I'm gone.

Jean Shepherd: A Christmas Story WOR Radio 1974 1/5

This is a little late but, since we're still celebrating the Christmas season, I think it's okay.

If you grew up like I did loving the great movie A Christmas Story then you might know that it originated as a series of stories by New York radio personality Jean Shepherd (who narrates the movie). The stories were published in a book "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" and, on Christmas Eve 1974, Shepherd read some of these stories live on WOR radio -- nearly a full decade before the movie. Here is the first of these stories, about the Red Rider bebe fun, and it's a hoot.

Merry (belated) Christmas!

Unhappy New Yorkers?

There recently was a survey in the journal Science that reports New York State as the most "unhappy" state in the union. It actually ranks 51st because this survey included the District of Columbia (which clocked in as the 37th most unhappy place in our country, right behind Washington State and right before Missouri). Stuck at the very bottom, only Michigan and Connecticut ranked close to New York's misery.

I HEART NY -- not, I guess.

However, this survey does not say anything about NYC. On the one hand I can totally understand why New York State might be the biggest sad sack state. After all, the upstate economy is miserable with high unemployment, it freezes most of the year up there, and the state government is more corrupt than Louisiana in the 1930s and only slight less comical than a Monty Python sketch.

But the State of New York is not the state of NYC. Our city has certainly been hit very hard by the economic crunch but we have a dynamic service economy where new jobs are always being created. Plus Wall Street is doing much better these days so the tax revenues should be a little bit better in 2010. Crime continues to go down, down, down. And even though the city remain expensive, home prices have stabilized a bit.

So I hope the city is a little happier than the rest of the state. And actually New York City is better off in the long run than supposedly "happy" states like Florida and Arizona. Those states exist purely on housing and government support. If people and money keep coming in, they do great. If not, they die. This year the New Yorker dubbed Florida America's Ponzi State.

Our only Ponzi scheme here is (was) Madoff. Not the entire economy.

Now no one should ever live in NYC for that thing called "quality of life." People live here for other reasons -- like the reason this whole blog exists. But I think this survey shows something that's perennial about New York: in tough times, New York gets hit REALLY hard but in good times we prosper more than anywhere else. Right now we're obviously going through very tough times. But one day soon ... New York will be the happiest place in the world -- again.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Jazz Loft Project

One of my biggest hopes is that someone someday invents a time machine so that I can go back to see first hand what New York City was like in the years, decades, centuries before I was born. High on my list of temporal destinations would be the 1950s, a time when New York City was a living dream, when Frank Sinatra was literally singing its praises, when its government was corrupt, its apartments were cheap, its nightclubs were swinging, its public schools amazing, when this town was the center of the world at a time America was taking its place as the great world superpower after World War II. Basically, when New York was at its most New Yorkish -- before the dark days of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

In this mix of 1950s New York City was the Jazz Loft. This was literally a loft, an apartment located on West 28th street in the Flower District, where jazz greats and wannabes came and jammed into the wee hours of the night. A man named W. Eugene Smith took a vast number of photographs and made numerous recordings of the jam sessions, enshrining the incredible music and personalities of this particular time and place.

WNYC and NPR got access to this amazing archive and have turned it into a radio series called The Jazz Loft Project. Broadcasting the original recordings and interviewing many of the participants, this series is a wonderfully nostalgic look at a slice of New York Americana, and of time that was both great and not so great but something that we are all the richer for remembering.

Blizzard Conditions in Times Square, New York City

New York City is always beautiful, rain or shine -- or snow.

We've had a number of blizzards in the last few years and this weekend we had a big one. The city woke up this morning to a beautiful white blanket covering their streets, truly making this a winter wonderland.

Feeling brave, my wife and I went out last night during the height of the blizzard and had fun kicking up the fresh white powder and making snow angels. This morning, I popped out and saw people operating shovels and snow blowers full blast.

The streets are gradually clearing and the city seems to have done a good job keeping things moving. Soon it will melt away, becoming but a memory, doubtless to be replaced by another snow storm sometime later this season. But this particular snow storm has been so beautiful that I think myself and others will remember the blizzard of December '09 has a happy memory.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy 110th Birthday Mr. Bogart

He was one of the greatest actors who ever lived and uttered some of the cinema's most classic lines: "Here's looking at you kid." "It's the stuff ... dreams ... are made of." And so many more.

Humphrey Bogart made great movie after great movie in the 1940s and 1950s: Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Key Largo, To Have and Not, The African Queen. And many more.

He was married four times, drank like a fish, smoked himself to death at age 57 -- and yet he burnished an enduring image in the America psyche. He epitomized cool before we even know what the concept meant.

Humphrey Bogart was also a native New Yorker and, on December 25, Christmas Day, it will be his 110th birthday. He also grew up only about ten blocks from where I did so (he and George Carlin both grew up in my neighborhood so I'm kinda like them. Right? Right?)

When it comes to Bogey greatest movie, there are too many classic lines to remember but one in particular is relevant to this blog: "I was born in New York City ... There are certain sections of New York, Major, that I would advise not even you to invade."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hard Times

Remember a few months ago the MTA averted doomsday when the state bailed it out? Well, it turns out it wasn't enough. Revenues have come in well below expectations and now doomsday is back. There will be nasty service cuts in 2010 and there's basically nothing that can be done now to avoid it.

But it's not just straphangers who are having it rough. As I accurately predicted right after his narrow re-election, things aren't going so smoothly for Mayor Bloomberg. His proposal to turn the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into a shopping mall was overwhelmingly defeated by the City Hall. He was threatening to sue the Manhattan DA over money in its accounts it says needs to go into the city's coffers -- and then had to retreat. And there have been other setbacks for the man who has it all.

So it looks like 2009 is going to end as one of the roughtest years for NYC in recent history -- rich and poor alike. Let's wish all of us a better 2010.

Review: "The Royal Family"

Although it's just closed, I thought I was would post a short review of the Manhattan Theater Club's delightful recent production of "The Royal Family." I saw it late last week anda it was a great deal of fun.

Set in the 1920s, it centers on a famous acting family called the Cavendishes who are not-too-loosely-based on the Barrymore clan (John, Ethel, Lionel, Diana -- and Drew) who were famous for their drinking, carousing, and brilliant acting. There really isn't one plot but several concentrating on the matriarch of the family (played by the amazing Rosemary Harris) whose daughter has become a great actress (the hilarious Jan Maxwell) and whose granddaughter is struggling between wanting to be an actress and having a normal life. Into the mix are their creepy friends (humanized by the funny John Glover and Ana Gasteyer) and their overly loyal lawyer played by the wonderful Tony Roberts. In addition, an insane (literally) son hides out with the family, having escaped Hollywood after having an affair with his director's girlfriend and then punching him out. Hilarity ensues but also does a certain pathos -- the things people sacrifice for art, how love and ambition collide, how one can never escape one's family no matter how hard one tries.

You might call "The Royal Family" classic American theater at its finest. The play was originally produced in 1928 and was written by the legendary George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. Kaufman wrote many plays and would go on, in 1936, to co-write (and win a Pulitzer Prize for) "You Can't Take It With You" with Moss Hart. Ferber is most famous for writing novels including Giant. In this production the performances were first-rate the set -- the living room of a duplex apartment in the East 50's -- was absolutely stunning. Although it has now closed, I greatly enjoyed "The Royal Family" and am glad I was able to see this rarely seen classic.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Shake Shack

For reasons beyond my control, I hadn't been able to get to Danny Meyer's Shake Shack. This hoity-toity version of fast food where you can get a burger, fries, hot dogs, shakes (obviously) -- along with a glass of perseco or 2003 Sonoma Valley Chardonnay if you'd like -- has become very popular since its first location opened in Madison Square Park in 2004. Since then it has expanded to the Upper West Side and the new Citi Field. I believe that more locations are planned.


Shake Shack isn't just a yuppie McDonald's or Burger King -- it's more like a pretentious New York version of In'n'Out Burger. Because of the weather and my location, I wasn't able to go to the original Shake Shack but I went to the one on the Upper West Side. Also, because it was so cold, I wasn't able to have an actual shake -- I will have to return sometime soon and have one and will report on it ASAP.

Danny Meyer doesn't have the greatest track record with me. I found the BBQ at Blue Smoke mediocre and the Alsatian cuisine at The Modern less than stunning. But I'll admit that Shake Shack is popular for a reason. The food is really good. The burger was tasty and filling, and the fries -- WOW! These are the best fries in town, fluffy and delicious, and you get the feeling that someone had just peeled, cut-up, and thrown them in the fryer right before serving them up.

Though the Shake Shack I went to was crowded, they did a great job of crowd control and getting people their food quickly. The lines are clearly roped off. They quickly ask the next "guest" to come up to the cash register. They ask for your name to put on the receipt. And they give you a little device to hold while you wait for your food and, when it lights up (or starts "shakin') then your food is ready (it invites you to come up to the "shack").

I do have a couple of complaints. First, if you want lettuce and tomato on your burger you must remember to order it. The burgers don't automatically come with them and they don't ask you if you want it -- you gotta remember to order it. Second, as you might have guessed, the prices. Okay, so if you want cheap fast food then go to Mickey D's but still ... it cost my $9 for a simple cheeseburger, fries, and a regular drink that was literally a cup of soda. Seemed a little over the top to me.

Still, if you're a burger fan like me, than I recommend checking out Shake Shack. It's very good and shows that this town knows how to make a great burger.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Powers That Be

Politics in New York City is tough -- and also tough to understand. It doesn't fall along neatly predictable liberal Democrat vs. conservative Republican lines. There are lots of conservative Democrats (see those scumbags who voted against marriage equality last week) and a few semi-liberal Republicans (some of the biggest opponents of over development are the few Republicans on the city council). So forget everything you hear about Red vs. Blue when it comes to city politics -- it's more a goulash of turf battles and personal jockeying where party and ideological labels are irrelevant.

But if you want to get a better idea of what drives politics in New York, forget about the Democratic and Republican parties and instead pay attention to the little known but very important third parties that influence politics here. The Working Families and Independence Parties are basically extra ballot lines for the major party candidates and most voters could care less about them. However, once you understand who funds these parties and what their respective agendas are, you know everything you'll need to know about the candidates that accept their ballot lines.

When it comes these parties, as it always does in this town, it's all about real estate.

The Working Families Party is a pro-labor/anti-landlord organization funded mostly by unions. They have an agenda of higher taxes on the rich, lower taxes on the poor, strong rent regulations, and a living wage.

The Independence Party is a pro-business/anti-tenant organization funded by landlords and big businesses that want lower taxes on the rich, higher taxes on the poor, no rent regulations, and a no minimum wage.

City Hall News and The New York Observer both have long (and I mean long) articles about these parties and how they are both rising in prominence and power in this city. They've been around for a while but this year they both scored some impressive victories. While a number of city council candidates and the Public Advocate and Comptroller candidates on the WFP ballot won, Mayor Bloomberg won (again) on the Independence ballot line and the city council added two Republicans, one of whom had the I's endorsement. When a third party ballot helps you win, obviously you're going to help those who put you in power. You dance with them that brung ya.

So you should read these articles to see just who is behind these parties, what they are up to, and what their agendas portend for NYC's future. Because whichever one gains the upper hand in the years to come could greatly affect how New Yorkers live in this town in the future. And that could be great for some but devastating for others.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Prick

Bloomberg Vetoes Grace Period for Parkers

Pacino in the Park



Great news! Hear ye! Hear ye!

Next summer the one and only Al Pacino, one of the greatest actors to have ever breathed air, will be performing FOR FREE in next summer's Shakespeare in Central Park in The Merchant of Venice.

Very exciting. Being a huge movie star and all, Pacino's stage performances are rare but the Bronx native started his career in New York theater so he's really a theater actor at heart. I believe he's done Shakespeare in the park before, like twenty years ago, so he's not unfamiliar with this terrain. And I'm sure all theater fans are happy he's returning.

It's hard to believe that it's been almost FORTY YEARS since The Godfather. Pacino's career has had its ups (The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Dog Day Afternoon, ...And Justice for All, Dick Tracy, Angels in America) and downs (Revolution, The Godfather Part III, The Recruit) but he always gives a great performance.

The Merchant of Venice runs from June 9 to August 1, 2010. Start planning to camp out for tickets now, the demand is going to be insatiable. This is an offer that can't be refused.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

District NYC

The physical, political, and societal composition of New York City is complex. Its geography encompasses over forty islands and part of mainland America. It contains five boroughs that are spread over five counties in New York State. And imposed upon this huge mass are over 300 neighborhoods, from Far Rockaway to Chelsea, from Bayside to Red Hook, from Riverdale to New Dorp, it's quite a jumble.

But wait -- there's more! If you've familiar with this city, specifically Manhattan, you've probably heard of various "districts", mostly areas centered around certain kinds of businesses. You probably have a rough idea of where they are but didn't want to admit you didn't know exactly what blocks they lay on. These districts were hotbeds of economic activity back in the days when NYC was more of a manufacturing town. Today, some of these districts endure while others exist mostly in name only. So here is my short little guide to these districts and where to find them.

The Diamond District: West 47th street, between 5th and 6th avenues. This is still as bustling and busy an area as it was fifty years ago.

The Silk-Stocking District: Better known as the Upper East Side, stretches from 59th to 110th streets, east of Central Park. While it used to be home to the richest zip codes in the world, neighborhoods like Tribeca and Soho have surpassed it in wealth -- although it still retains Old New York charm.

The Meatpacking District: Runs from West 14th street to Gansevoort Street. Today it's better known for being the place where lots of bars and nighclubs are in residence but there still are one or two meat packers still plying their trade.

The Flower District: West 28th street between 6th and 7th avenues. It used to be much bigger and has been basically reduced to one little block. But if you go there during the day, you will be struck by one of the most unlikely and beautiful sights in the city -- a greenhouse in the street.

The Financial District: Yes, it's still there. Goes from City Hall Park to Battery Park. You know what goes on there.

I'm sure there are some other districts that I'm forgetting but these are the most famous ones. If you know of any other districts within this city, please let me know!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

NYS Senator Diane Savino speaks on the Marriage Equality bill

This is an amazing speech. State Senator Diane Savino, who represents parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn, gave a funny, heartwarming speech about why she supports marriage equality. It's not angry, it's not defensive, it's not mean -- it's a simple laying out of why grown men and women who love each other should share the same civil rights as everyone else.

She also makes some great points here that I've also made in support of "gay marriage" (I hate the term "gay marriage" actually -- it's really civil rights). She says that people are absolutely right to be concerned about the state of marriage in this country but that it's not gay people who are a threat to it. It's we heterosexual people who have turned marriage into a laughingstock and are doing our best to destory it.

Our divorce rate is egregiously high. So are our levels of spousal abuse. We have a "wedding industrial complex" that hijacks the meaning of marriage, making it more about that "one special day" rather than the planning of a life together. On TV, there are these repulsive reality shows like The Bachelor and The Bachelorette where pathetic men and women who no one wants to marry make fools of themselves in order to "snag" a spouse. And these are the people who have the right to marry!

As Senator Savino says here, if we looked at the quality of the most couples applying for marriage licenses, 75% of them would be turned down.

How are gay people a threat to this? How does letting them marry "redefine" or "destroy" marriage? I just got married this year, and I don't think a couple of gay people getting married threatens my marriage or redefines or in any way imperils the sanctity of this institution I entered into.

Do you know who is a threat to the institution of marriage? David Letterman, Eliot Spitzer, John Edwards, John Ensign, Mark Sanford, and Tiger Woods. We even have websites that cater to men and women who want to cheat on their spouses!

But back to Diane. Her speech was truly a star turn. She has my vote for anything she may ever run for. I'd rather vote for her for president than, oh say, a certain former governor of Alaska. And there are lots of people encouraging her to run for higher office and I sure hope she does.

Go Diane!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What Meets the Eyes


New York is, amongst it's many wonders, a feast for the eyes. Whether it's our amazing skyline or our beautiful parks, whether it's our impressive bridges or interesting streets, NYC is never boring to gaze at (scary, sometimes, weird, often, but never boring).

But what about the things we're not supposed to see -- yet do anyway?

Like graffiti sprayed on the metal gates of stores: graffiti is illegal in this town, it's the defiling of property and community standards. When we see graffiti, we have, in essence, seen evidence of a crime.

And what about voyeurs? In this crowded city, with buildings stacked close to one another, people can look out their windows and see other people in their apartments, their inner sanctums, their designated zones of privacy and respite. When people look into other people's homes in this city, they're being nosy neighbors. And when people stare into other people's homes with binoculars hoping to see people naked, showering, having sex, naked and showering and having sex, or perhaps doing something else either sexual or nasty, then they become naughty neighbors -- otherwise known as voyeurs or Peeping Toms.

Considering what a crazy crowded city we live in, it's amazing the whole place isn't sprayed with graffiti and that anyone anywhere has any privacy.

Two articles today look at these dilemmas of that which we see in NYC but should not.

First, an article in the Times about new city council rule forbidding the use of metal gates on stores precisely because they are graffiti magnets. The city council has ruled that from now on stores must have open weave gates, gates with spaces in them that will hopefully deter graffiti artists and other such miscreants.

Second, a column by a young woman recently arrived in our fair city. She describes what it was like stepping out of the shower one day only to see her neighbor (someone Archie Bunker might call a "prevert") ogling her lithe young dripping person and about how she totally freaked.

Both stories got me thinking: we see so much stuff in this city everyday, our eyes are bombarded with so much visual data each millisecond, what-oh-what are we to make of those very few things we shouldn't see but do anyway? Granted there's a HUGE difference between looking at (even admiring creative) graffiti and intentionally staring at a naked neighbor. Still, they got me wondering: how much of what we see every day in NYC is meant for our eyes and how much of it is accidental or perhaps unintended? Who knows? It's just another one of the endlessly interesting things about living in NYC.

But then again, as a character in Woody Allen's Crimes and Misdemeanors said "The eyes of God are on us always." So don't try to hide!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Disgraceful Day in New York

Today the New York State Senate continued to show why it is the most disgraceful, loathsome legislative body in the world. Today 38 state senators, these so-called representatives of the people, voted to deny all men and women equal rights under the law. Today they voted against same-sex marriage, further creating a gay apartheid not only in this state but in the country.

It's an outrage. The most despicable legislative act since the city council extended term limits last year. These 38 horrible people voted to discriminate against men and women and continue their existence as second class citizens. Evil.

There are NO good arguments against gay marriage. The only arguments I've heard are ones based in bigotry, hatred, and religious intolerance. When I hear arguments like
“the world belongs to the Almighty, and they have to reckon with his rules and his law” from some nut-job Rabbi, I can't take these prick seriously. And these same people wail that they're not bigots, it's mean to call them bigots!

My answer: YES, you are bigots. Anyone who opposes gay marriage is a bigot and not a good person. End of story.

Just heard the columnist Bob Hebert say on TV that it's amazing that this same state senate that is so incompetent that it can get a budget passed had no problem at all when it came to voting against civil rights for all people. It reminds me of the Chris Rock joke that the dumbest people in the world become geniuses when it comes to getting high.

But this is not the end. You can't repress people forever. I remain optimistic that one day the tide will turn and men and women will be allowed to marry the ones they love. Until then I will keep the candle of hope burning.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The One that Gotti Away

Fourth Hung Jury in Gotti Case

John Gotti, Jr. eludes justice once again. Amazing.

Either the government has no case, or is totally incompetent when it comes to prosecuting this case, or the mob is successfully tampering with all these juries, or the jurors are just so freaked out about what might happen to them if they convict the son-of-a-bitch that they keep declaring mistrials, that I don't think he'll ever be found guilty. I can't imagine that the government will go after him again but maybe they will. Can't let Junior think he can evade the law forever. Still, this is becoming the longest-running freak show in NYC and trying him time and again is becoming something of a joke. Hopefully he'll face justice one way or another. Just don't know how long that will be.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Who's Tim Keller?

There's an interesting phenomenon in American life that's as old as the republic itself: the mega-preacher. The Man of God as celebrity. The superstar of faith. The be-attitude with attitude. The light mocking the darkness. The Voice ...

From John Brown, Father Coughlin, and Billy Graham to the likes of Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker to Rick Warren and Joel Osteen, our most famous preachers know how to move a crowd, whip up a religious fervor, and bring us closer to Him. There's always been a political element to these folks too, and lately most of these mega-preachers have become associated with what's called the Religious Right. But they're not just political. Most of these guys are self-help gurus, and people look to them for "answers." They try to help people navigate this harsh, mean world and make sense of the senseless.

And they build HUGE churches, stadiums really, where literally THOUSANDS of people flock each week like it's a football game. It's really mind-blowing.

Most New Yorkers assume this is a scene to be found in the South or the Sun Belt -- and that's mostly true. But what if you heard that such a scene exists right here in NYC? And perhaps most shockingly, it's to be found in the beating heart, the ground zero, the epicenter, the very headquarters of the liberal elite?

'Tis true.
Yes, you heard me right -- Sarah Palin has a friend on the Upper West Side.

Meet Tim Keller. For the last twenty years, he's been preaching his stern, conservative version of the Gospel at Redeemer Presbytarian Church. And he's got an enormous following of New Yorkers who come to hear him preach every week. He's so popular that he has to have multiple services every day to accommodate everybody. Forget Cardinal Dolan or Reverend Al or even Rabbi Shmuli or whatever his name is-- Tim Keller is the Voice of NYC.

You must read this fascinating article about him in this week's New York magazine. Who knew a guy like this existed or was so popular in this town?

What's amazing about Keller is that his "hook", the thing that gives him such a following is that he preaches less about social issues and more about what he sees as the sins of over-achievment -- mainly that people strive to be overachievers because they desperately want to fill up the emptiness of their souls. It's an interesting idea and, in these tough economic times, needless to say, many people are questioning the ethos of unbridled capitalism, of greed, or more more more ... stuff. It's an interesting article, and he's an interesting guy, so I suggest you read it and come to your own conclusions.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

$174

For the last month the chattering classes have been clacking their collective teeth, wondering just how much money Mayor Bloomberg spent on his re-election.

Now we know. The numbers are in: $102 million. For a total of roughly 550,000 votes, that comes out to $174 per vote. In 2001 he spent $99 per vote and in 2001 he spent $112 per vote. So from 2001-2005,he increased his spending by $13 per vote but from 2005-2009 it went up $62 per vote.

62/13=4.77. The difference was almost five times greater in 2009 than 2005. Wow. And since Bloomberg won by only 5 percentage points and spent more than $100 mill to get it, that means he spent $20 million per point. Wow wow.

If Bloomberg had just given each voter $174, imagine what they could have done with it? I know what I would have done with it! For $174 I would:
  • Pay our monthly cable/internet bill
  • Pay our electric bill for two months
  • Pay my cell phone bill for three months (a quarter of a year!)
  • Get oysters on the half-shell and a porterhouse for two at a modest-priced steakhouse (without wine)
  • Buy my wife a beautiful broach or pin or a scarf from the Met store
  • Get some cheap Broadway tickets from Theatermania
  • Save it and earn a few pennies from the bank!
Giving each of us voters $174 instead of spending it on stupid attack ads would not only have benefited the economy but also made the lives of us ordinary New York a little more pleasant in these bleak times. But ours is a "political" economy, haha, and so it goes (or should I say, the money goes).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Alice's Restaurant

As much a NYC Thanksgiving tradition as watching the Macy's parade on TV is listening to "Alice's Restaurant" on the radio. Every year at noon on Q104.3, you can hear the complete eighteen minutes of Arlo's Guthrie's classic song/story/anti-war treatise that seems as relevant today as ever. My favorite part of the song, which also coincidentally is what grounds it as a New York story, is the following part:

"They got a building down New York City, it's called Whitehall Street, where you walk in, you get injected, inspected, detected, infected, neglected and selected. I went down to get my physical examination one day, and I walked in, I sat down, got good and drunk the night before, so I looked and felt my best when I went in that morning. `Cause I wanted to look like the all-American kid from New York City, man I wanted, I wanted to feel like the all-, I wanted to be the all American kid from New York, and I walked in, sat down, I was hung down, brung down, hung up, and all kinds o' mean nasty ugly things. And I waked in and sat down and they gave me a piece of paper, said, "Kid, see the psychiatrist, room 604."

And I went up there, I said, "Shrink, I want to kill. I mean, I wanna, I wanna kill. Kill. I wanna, I wanna see, I wanna see blood and gore and guts and veins in my teeth. Eat dead burnt bodies. I mean kill, Kill, KILL, KILL." And I started jumpin' up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL," and he started jumpin' up and down with me and we was both jumping up and down yelling, "KILL, KILL." And the sargent came over, pinned a medal on me, sent me down the hall, said, "You're our boy."

Bloomberg III

Speculation is rampant about who may or may not populate Mayor Bloomberg's third and final administration. After eight years of a remarkably stable team, with few departures, it looks like the top echelons of city government are due for a big shake-up.

City Hall News has an ongoing feature about this called Gaming Out The Bloomberg III Cabinet. It has all the rumors and reports of rumors about who might be in, out, or left twisting in the wind.

My big question is this: assuming that most of the people in the administration who have served these last eight years want to stay, why would Bloomberg then get rid of any of them?

After all, wasn't the overturning of term limits and Bloomberg's expensively-acquired third term all about keeping him and the people around him in power -- because they've done such a great job? If he fires a lot of these people, are we really sure he can attract people of similar talent? They'll only have four years on the job, not really enough time to make the kind of big changes that those people in Bloomberg's first two terms had the chance to do. Why would anyone want to be second best? Term-limited from the time they take office? Stepping into such big shoes -- who wants to be in that situation?

Don't be surprised if Bloomberg's new administration is a profile in mediocrity.

We shall see. I hope to be wrong. But I wouldn't be surprised if Bloomberg III is a lot like Godfather III -- a miserable follow-up to two previous triumphs. I've said that overturning term limits was a bad idea precisely because it would lead to all sorts of unintended consequences -- and less than stellar cabinet might be one of them.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Howard Stern - 2009-10-05 - David Letterman Extortion Attempt (Part 1)

I know I'm way behind the ball in posting this but you MUST listen to Howard Stern talk about the David Letterman extortion situation. He makes some very smart remarks about it and I found it all together educational. There are four more clips of this segment so you should check them out on YouTube.

It's sad to see such a New York icon as David Letterman get himself into such a nasty situation where he's being shaken down by the ex-boyfriend of a woman Dave had an extra-marital affair with. You can't imagine Ed Sullivan getting into such a mess. But Howard makes the great point that it's just never a good idea to screw around on the job. Work and nooky don't mix! Still, men are men and when they see some hot young stuff, well ... figure it out. Money, sex, and power is a lethal combo.

Only in New York (and Hollywood ... and Washington, DC).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Art of the Samurai


If you've ever been intrigued by the ancient Japanese culture of samurai warriors (or even if you just enjoyed the Kill Bill movies or the old "Samurai Night Fever" sketches on SNL), you should check out Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156–1868 at the Met.

Very cool exhibit. They have dozen and dozens (and dozens) of old samurai swords that look menacing even enclosed in glass. There's a short film that shows the painstaking work that goes into the making of these swords. Even though they look very simply, the samurai sword is a coveted thing for a reason: they are made out of special metals that are smelted and formed to be very dense and super, super, super sharp. It is a complex, time-consuming process to create these swords but they are amazing instruments of war.

Additionally they show lots of samurai armor which is mostly a complex web of colored lacquer and metal. What's really interesting about this armor is it makes you realize how small most of the samurai warriors really were. I don't think anyone more than five feet could fit in this stuff!

This exhibit runs through early January so check it out now!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jeanne-Claude RIP

In February 2005 Central Park became the site of one of the most memorable public art exhibitions in New York City history: The Gates. Conceived of by the artists Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude, it consisted of hundreds (thousands?) of saffron-colored nylon panels (resembling "gates") lined up along the paths from 59th all the way up to 110th street. It was a complete, beautiful transformation of our most beloved park and, even though the exhibit only lasted two weeks, it has become a cherished event in our city's collective memory.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude were famous long before "The Gates" with other outlandish although effemeral environmental exhibits like the draping of Berlin's Reischstag and the flooding Biscayne Bay in Florida with pink fabric. Kooky -- but cool -- they dared to be creativily audacious and helped enrich the culture.

Sadly Jeanne-Claude passed away this week at the age of 74. And as someone who loved The Gates, I wish Christo and her family all the best. Thanks for helping to give us a unique New York memory.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New York City at Night

There's no more beautiful sight in the world.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Memo from NYC

Paterson Calls Obama Wrong on 9/11 Trial

Why has this thing become such a big deal? One of the masterminds of 9/11 is going to be tried in NYC. The main crime occurred in NYC. Therefore ... shouldn't he be tried here? Makes sense to me.

All these critics say he should be tried in a military tribunal. Why? Don't these critics believe in the American judicial system? I do. Isn't the American judicial system something we're fighting to protect? Don't we help protect the American system by practicing what we preach? In my opinion, putting this guy who wants to destroy America through the wringer of our legal system and showing him why we're better than him is exactly what we should be doing.

It's called the power of our example.

Call me naive, but it looks like a lot of people who say they believe in America don't really trust it. I've even heard some of these critics say that he should be tried quietly in a tribunal, that trying him here will flick the scabs off the wounds of 9/11.

Are we, the American people, really that weak and insecure that putting this nutjob on trial here will overwhelm us? I think we the people are better than that.

I would think that trying this "evildoer" and passing judgment on him would help bring some kind of closure to the trauma of that day. Sure, he'll get a platform to spout his nonsense -- and we'll get a platform to condemn him before the world.

To me, all of this carping is ginned up political nonsense generated by opponents of the Obama administration. These people (mostly Republicans but not all) are politicizing 9/11 (again) to create a wedge between the president and the American people. As usual, these people don't care about justice or America or the constitution -- they just care about hurting Obama so that they can get back into power. This is not about justice or the victims of 9/11 -- this is pure politics at the deepest, most cynical and disgusting level.

A Trip to the High Line

This weekend I finally -- FINALLY! -- made it to the High Line. Located in the West Village between 14th and 20th streets, it's an old abandoned train track turned into New York City's park in the sky.

Park isn't actually the right word for it: the High Line is more like a promenade. It is a long, unbroken stretch of pavement. You go up the stairs (or the elevator) and find yourself about two stories above Manhattan. The surrounding buildings loom over you and Hudson River is just off to your right. As you trek down the promenade, besides the people, there are patches of greenery and brush and various interesting flora. There are also lots and lots of benches -- some small, some large -- that were built so they look as if they're growing out of the cement floor. There are also large wooden chaise lounges where lots of people, in beautiful weather, like to sun themselves.

People like to walk, sit, and chill on this most unique of promenade parks.


Best of all are the little surprises I found on the High Line. There was actually choir from a local church performing on the day I went there. Also, at certain points, the promenade cleaves off into different levels so you can actually walk back and forth and have a totally different experience. At the northern end of the High Line, near 18th street, is perhaps its strangest but, if you think about it, the most logical feature: a gigantic window overlooking the street. In front if it are several levels of wooden benches where you can sit, read the book or the newspaper, and people/traffic watch to your hearts contents.


Strange. But uniquely New Yorkish.

So I liked the High Line. I can't wait to see the whole thing when they open more of it next year. What I'd really like to do at some point is go back at night, with the lights of the city in the background.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The New Colossus


If you go to the Statue of Liberty, you will find the following poem on a plaque at the pedestal of the mighty lady. Entitled "The New Colossus", it was written by Emma Lazarus in 1883 but the plaque containing the poem was not actually mounted onto the statue until 1903 -- twenty years after it was written and seventeen years after Emma Lazarus died in 1887. It's hard to imagine that this amazing poem that so perfectly captures the spirit of American and this great city was originally given such short shrift. However, reading it today, you realize that it's message has not only not faded but has only grown more powerful over the years:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

A few interesting things about this poem and its writer:

1. Upon reading it, I was surprised to realize that it's "breath free" and not "be free." I always thought it was the latter, and you can see why it's easy to think that, but just for the record: it's breath, not be.

2. The part "harbor that twin cities frame" refers to the fact that, in 1883 when this was written, New York harbor served two cities: New York and Brooklyn. Brooklyn did not become part of NYC until 1898.

3. Emma Lazarus, in you case you didn't realize it from her last name, was Jewish. Specifically, she was a Sephardic Jew, her family having come over from Spain during colonial times. Not only that, but she was related to Associate Justice Benjamin Cardozo and was also a strong Zionist.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Medical Leave

Apologies yet again for the lack of blogging lately. This past week I had to have a small operation and posting on here took a backseat to my medical issues. However, I'm recuperating nicely and hope to be blogging full time in the next couple of weeks.

Many thanks to the people at the Hospital for Special Surgery for fixing me up so well. Routinely ranked as one of the best hospitals in the country, this is an amazing, beautiful place located on 70th between York Avenue and the FDR Drive. Truly, I felt unworthy to be operated on in such elegant surroundings. Not only that, but the doctors, nurses, assistants, etc. were not only highly courteous and caring but they were also all really good looking! It was like Grey's Anatomy come to life.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Maybe Greed Isn't So Good

Bonuses Uncertain for Bloomberg Election Aides

I love this. Karma is a bitch. In the mayoral election just passed, a whole lot of Democratic political consultants betrayed their party to help Mike Bloomberg win re-election. Why'd they do it? Because Hizzoner the Billionaire promised to pay them vastly more money than they could earn working on Democratic campaigns. They were so friggin' greedy, so consumed with doing well rather than doing good, that they showed their true beliefs, their true colors, their true motivation, their true attitude towards the public good, by abandoning their party and helping a Republican win a third term. After all, who cares about the dying middle class in this city when Bloomberg can help these consultants rise above the middle class?

Uh-oh. Something happened on the way to the bank. Something nobody expected. Bloomberg won his third term -- by a humiliating 51%! He was supposed to win in a landslide but barely squeaked by a broke, unknown opponent. For the first time in his eight years in power, Bloomberg looked foolish.

Bloomberg is pissed. He didn't spend all of this money for that. Now these greedy consultants might not get their big bonuses. They might get the shaft! They pissed off their party because their greed got the better of them -- and now they might not get all that money after all!

Serves them right. Bastards. I hope they not only not get their bonuses (or get severely reduced bonuses) but that they become unemployable. I hope they never work again. Why would any Democrat hire these pricks ever again? Why would Republicans hire them either -- after all, they screwed up! So it looks like they might be joining that withering middle class after all. And if we're lucky, they'll fall out of that as well.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Interview: Arianne Cohen of The Tall Book and New York magazine Sex Diaries

Arianne Cohen must have one of the more interesting job descriptions around: when she's not writing and talking about life as a very tall woman, she's in charge of editing New York's favorite voyeuristic pastime: the New York magazine Sex Diaries. It takes a lot of imagination to come up with that as a career! Arianne was kind enough to talk to Mr NYC about "Tall World," editing the erotic adventures of others, and her thoughts on this crazy city.

So you stand 6 foot 3 inches and have written a whole book about your height and other tall people called The Tall Book. Briefly, what is Tall World?


Tall World is where life is lived up high! It's a unique perspective. For example, it's very dirty--people rarely clean above six foot, so the tops of things tend to be quite dirty. And more to the point, like any group that's somehow different, you gain a great vantage point on society.

Based on your research, as well as your own experience, are there big differences between being a tall woman and a tall man?

It's mostly the same--the biggest challenge is living a very public life, which is akin to always having a spotlight on you. And that's genderless. The biggest differences are romantic. Tall men are the most successful dating and mating group in the world, bar none: they're more successful than rich men or powerful men. Tall women, on the other hand, have low birth rates--they have half the birth rates of average women, and it's because they insist on dating men taller than they are, and thus don't find partners. Which leads me to my big recommendation: ladies, consider dating down. At least an inch or two. It'll triple the size of your dating pool.

And talking about mating (sorry for the bad pun), you are also the editor of New York magazine's Sex Diaries that chronicle a week in the sex life of various New Yorkers. Like most readers I wonder: are these people real and where do you find them?

They're quite real! Most come from online ads, though these days many are referrals from previous writers--they'll tell their friend, "oh you have to do this."

How do people get their sex diaries published? What makes a good "diary"? What goes on "behind the scenes" at the Sex Diaries?

A good diary tells not just what happened, but what the diarist was thinking. It's a journal of thoughts. Roughly 1 of every 3 commissions runs--many writers have a hard time with delving into their own personal lives honestly, so a lot are too shallow to run. And of course there are those who try to make them up. After reading 400 of them, it's pretty obvious what's what.

What is the best and what is the worst diary you've edited?

There have been many great ones--recently, I was a fan of the 68 year-old tantra student, a man who was getting over his wife's death by throwing himself into tantra and nudism. I just learned so much because he has so much perspective. The worst? It did not run, because among other issues, it involved body bags. I'm forever mentally scarred.

Finally, you live in both NYC and Portland, Oregon. What do you like/dislike about both places?

New York is where I work, and Portland is where I live. Portland is like Brooklyn, but 1/3rd the price, and everyone bikes everywhere. Same type of people. It's heavenly. In New York I fill my schedule morning to night seeing people and going to museums and lunching and dining out 14 times in a week and going to back-to-back theater, which I love to do a week every month. The cultures are quite different though. My New Yorker friend visited me in Portland, and was helping me put out the trash and recycling. Portland trashcans are quite small, half the size of recycling cans. And she goes, "So where do you put your garbage?"

Thanks Arianne!

Note

My previous post about the Yankees winning the World Series included a video of the blessed event that has since been removed courtesy of MLB. Sorry.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

THHEEEE YANKEES WIINNN! THHHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YANKEES WIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNN!

Congratulations to our very own New York Yankees for scoring their 27th World Series Championship title!

Great way to close out the first season in the new stadium.

On behalf of a grateful city, Mr NYC says thank you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Election Aftermath


It's really hard to know where to begin in analyzing yesterday's election. There was some good news but mostly it was bad. And trying to make sense of it all will be difficult. But I shall try.

First, the bad news: it was a bummer to see Mayor Bloomberg win a third term that, if the real will of the voters had been respected, he wouldn't have been able to run for. And it was also unsettling that a couple of Republicans out in Queens won City Council races using vile tactics.

Bloomberg proved that lots of money and negative ads work. He so distorted and corrupted the playing field that it was impossible to have an honest debate on the issues. Also, Republicans Dan
Halloran and Peter Koo won city council seats by a) in Halloran's case, whipping up anti-Asian sentiment and having his campaign thugs go around intimidating voters, and b) in Koo's case, spreading lies and rumors among Jewish voters that his Democratic opponent Yen Chou was an anti-Semite. These races were close but, still, the typical divisive, dishonest, nasty modus operandi of the Republican party was on full display this campaign season. It's depressing that it worked its evil magic once again. Nauseating. But ultimately the Democrats ran poor campaigns so they have only themselves to blame. Bullies and bad people will be get away with it if the good guys let them.

Second, the good news. John Liu was elected City Comptroller and is now the first Asian American citywide elected official. He won more votes than any other candidate, even Bloomberg. I supported him from the start so I'm glad to see that he won. But the REALLY good news is that Bloomberg margin of victory was an embarrassing five percent. FIVE PERCENT! He spent nearly $100 million on this race against a broke, unknown opponent and that's all he came up with! He spent almost $200 per vote. Wow.

Here's my analysis: a win is a win. Can't spin that. But usually incumbents are re-elected in landslides. In 2005, Bloomberg won with 59% of the vote -- so he suffered an eight percent swing against him this year. That does not bode well for his new term. It's not like he's going to be a new mayor who can win over the people who voted against him (which he did during his first term, after he had won with only 50% of the vote in 2001). The people of NYC today know what kind of Mayor Bloomberg is; that 49% is hardened against him, pissed that he won. Barring another 9/11-like event or something that calls upon him to use his superior skills, that 49% is gone. They won't forgive him for any mistakes he might make in his third, dubiously acquired term. And that 51% that voted for him is vulnerable to getting pissed off he does make any mistakes. They might end up regretting their vote. Then he he'll have no support left.

The result? Mike Bloomberg risks leaving office in four years a despised mayor -- like his third term brethren LaGuardia, Wagner, and Koch did. By the end of their third terms, New Yorkers were totally sick of them. They had outstayed their welcome. Then the city voted for mayors (O'Dwyer, Lindsay, Dinkens) who were totally different from them. And based on the results of last night, that's the direction Bloomberg is going in. His successor could be 180 degrees different from him, elected out of disgust and exhaustion with him -- and that will be a stain on his legacy, a legacy that up until now seemed unassailable.

Now I could be wrong, but I don't think so. And if I'm right, just tell folks that you heard it here first.

So for Mr NYC, election 2009 ends with a sigh, a shrug, and fingers crossed for a better future for his city.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bloomberg Press Pass

The votes are currently being counted and Bloomberg is on track to win a third term. And as we know, his money is the reason.

But the other reason is the press in this town -- or the lack thereof. It's not so much that the press is biased towards Bloomberg (although it is) but that there really isn't that much press in existence today to cover the mayor to expose his failures.

Back in the day, there were four major dailies and the Times had an extensive Metro section. Also the Post and the News had lots of city reporters.

No more. Newspapers are shrinking and there aren't that many reporters on the beat covering city politics. The result? Bloomberg and others can get away with a lot crap. This great article from the Village Voice explains it all.

And don't expect it to get any better over the next four years.

Election Day

The polls close tonight at 9 PM. Late tonight, certainly by tomorrow, we should know all the winners.

I'll have a full analysis of the depressing situation tomorrow.

World Series 2009 Game 5

Dammit.

Yanks lost. The only source of consolation is this: they played really well, racking up 6 points. Only problem: the Phillies played even better, scoring 8 points.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: this really is a battle of titans.

The series heads back to the Bronx tomorrow night. Now the Yankees have only two more shots at winning it all.

But here's one more small bit of consolation: this was a low-rated game, so fewer people saw this humiliation than might have otherwise.

Monday, November 2, 2009

USS New York Arrives in New York City

This morning the USS New York arrived in our harbor for a visit. It will be officially commissioned into the Navy fleet on Saturday.

This new battleship contains more than seven tons of steel rescued from the debris of the World Trade Centers so this ship has a literal connection to its namesake. Obviously today was a very emotional day for everyone who survived 9/11.

I can't think of a better name for a newest member of the naval fleet. Let's hope she serves America well.

Election Eve in NYC

As you may or may not know, tomorrow is election day here in NYC.

Voter turnout is expected to be low, which is exactly what the entrenched political establishment in this city wants. The fewer the voters, the greater the apathy the better for the powers that be -- this is exactly what keeps them in power.

So let your voice be heard. If you're registered, go out and VOTE tomorrow. Vote for whoever you want, just VOTE!

And if you need any help, go to the Board of Elections in the City of New York website for more info.

World Series 2009 Game 4

The Yankees now lead the series 3-1.

Message to the Bronx Bombers: let's win this thing in 5.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

World Series 2009 Game 3

We won again!

Yanks triumphed for the second time in a row, shutting down Philly 8-5.

This game was not without some controversy, however. Naturally it involved A-Rod. In the fourth inning, the Yanks were losing when A-Rod hit a two run homer -- the big landed on a TV camera. This required an instant replay and then the umps escorted him around the bases. The Yanks took the lead, the Philles had the wind knocked out of them, and the rest is now baseball history.

So now the Yankees have two victories under their belt. They only need two more. But that's not going to be easy. Hate to say it but the Phillies are an amazing team. They won the series last year, got in again this year, and they won the first game. They've been making the Yankees work really, really hard for every base hit, every run scored, every game won. This is really a battle of titans, professionals at the peak of their craft and careers.

That's why it's good to have A-Rod. He was at the top of his game last night. The guy really is one of the best baseball players of his generation. It's nights like last night that make him worth all the money and agita he generates. Let's hope he keeps it up, at least for two more games.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Big Weekend in NYC

This has to be one of the busiest weekends in NYC in recent memory.

Today is Halloween. Halloween in New York is always a big deal. Halloween on a Saturday night in NYC, with an extra hour included due to the end of daylights savings time, is an even bigger deal. The parade downtown kicks off at 7 PM and it will be a mob scene. The bars and clubs will be jumping. Parties are being held all over town. It's going to be crazy out there in the city tonight.

And tonight, even though it's happening in Philly, is the third game of the World Series. After tonight one of the two teams will take the lead in the series and be at the halfway point for being the World Champions. Go Yanks!

And tomorrow is the New York City Marathon. Roughly 36,000 people will be running across the five boroughs, shutting down traffic and sidewalks, but making the city proud. I can't wait to see it ... on television.

And this is also the final weekend before Tuesday's municipal elections. Candidates for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, the Borough Presidencies and the City Council will be making their final pushes to win voters over and get them to the polls. In 72 hours we'll know who'll be running the city for the next four years (like we really have any doubt at this point who the victors will be). I've opined on all of this many, many times so I won't belabor the point.

It is interesting, however, that just days before the election the press is finally starting to pay some attention to the massive scandal regarding the mafia-infiltration of the Department of Buildings. According to the Times this is a "continual" problem and has becoming something of a "blemish" on Mayor Bloomberg's record. But it's not really his fault. There's really nothing he can do about it. It's even bigger than him.

A ... blemish? People have died in fires and crane collapses, 19 out of 24 inspectors are arrested for corruption, and the mafia is running the department? How about a criminal disgrace! How about this doesn't make any mayor on whose watch this is happening on unworthy of being re-elected? Hmmm, no ... it's just a "blemish." I guess all that's needed is a little make-up, a little cosmetic touch-up ... and no one will notice it. That's what $100 million will buy you.

So have a fun weekend out there in NYC tonight. It'll be one for the history books.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hotel Bars NYC

Interesting article in the online version of Vanity Fair about the resurgence of hotel bars here in NYC.

They're not quite like regular bars (they're more upscale than that) but they're not as super-expensive or exclusive or stuffy as nightclubs and lounges (they're more chill than that). It used to be that hotel bars were the hot spots in town but in the last few decades the fell somewhat out of fashion. Now they're back.

Also, if a hotel has a great bar, it's a great way of getting free publicity for the hotel.

I've been to a few hotel bars, including the world famous Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel (before the big renovation) and bar at the W Hotel on Lexington Avenue.

The Oak Bar was, as you might imagine, very classy and very, very expensive. It cost something like $20 for a Jack and Ginger but it was, to be fair, a very good Jack and Ginger and the peanuts were free! (Of course they serve peanuts to make you thirsty ... so that you'll spend another $20 on another beverage ...).

The bar at the W Hotel was one of those places where the beautiful people hang so, needless to say, yours truly was very out of place. I can't remember what I drank (so that tells you how good the beverages are) but the couches were very comfortable. I remember it was really dark inside and people could barely see one another. I recall that upon leaving the hotel, even though we were walking out into the New York night, I started blinking like I was coming into the bright light of day. So if you ever go there, it might be a good idea to bring some night vision goggles along.

If you'd like a comprehensive list of the hotel bars here in NYC, the always trusty New York magazine provides a good one.

World Series 2009 Game 2

We won!

Yankees beat the Phillies 3-1 last night in da' Bronx! Now the series is tied 1-1.

Fingers crossed that the Yankees win it in five -- although the Phillies have proven to be one hell of a team and that won't be easy.

Today the Yanks roll into the City of Brotherly love and the series resumes tomorrow night.

When was the last time the World Series was played on Halloween night?

This has to be one of the longest baseball seasons in history.