S.L.A.A. Greater New York Area Meeting List
Friday, February 29, 2008
Now some organization called the Environmental Defense Fund is hitting the NYC airwaves with this and other ads promoting the plan. Check 'em out if you want to know more about who's sponsoring this propaganda. They seem harmless but it's always good to know who's putting up the money.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
It's official. I mean it's officially official, not unofficially official like it was for the last year.
It's not that a short, Jewish, divorced, sixty-something billionaire New Yorker who loved smoking pot as a youth would have trouble appealing to voters in the heartland. It's that getting elected President as an independent in this country is, well, a bit tough. Also, while Mike is probably the most visionary and competent chief executive in America today, that makes little difference with most voters who value charisma and "character" above all else. Mike has many talents but the ability to charm is sadly not one of his more glistening ones. And his character? Well, unlike some of our other mayors, Mike really isn't one.
So maybe he'll become a great philanthropist like he promises to or maybe he'll become the Commissioner of Major League Baseball or a maybe university president. Whatever he does, I'm sure he'll be successful at it.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The father of modern conservatism, William F. Buckley, joined Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater in that shining city in the clouds today. The founder of National Review, host of PBS's "Firing Line", and godfather of right-wing American thought, he spent more than half a century convincing our nation that greed was good and government was bad. And although his ideology triumphed in, and become almost synonomous with, the American heartland, Bill Buckley was a New York City boy through and through (he even ran for Mayor in 1965 but lost to John Lindsay).
Buckley was not, however, one of those pompous gas bags of the American right. Oh no. He was, above all else, a gentlemen and a scholar, a man of great wit and sophistication, a masterful intellect.
Yes, he thought Joe McCarthy was a hero and Social Security was the devil's work but there's no doubt that Mr. Buckley was a thoughtful, gracious man who respected everyone and valued the power of ideas and the American dream above all else. He changed America. How many of us can claim to have done that?
Here is Buckley providing commentary in 1968 on the upcoming Presidential Election with his archnemesis Gore Vidal (the one that gave us Richard Nixon). Agree with them or not, but do you think we'd never see such articulate men providing political analysis on TV today?
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
It's impossible to gauge. But ping-pong diplomacy gave way to Nixon going to China and who knows but maybe the New York Philharmonic in North Korea will help thaw our glacial relations with this most strange, frightening of nations. If the people of North Korea, so isolated from the rest of the world and so brainwashed with anti-American propaganda, can finally instead see Americans creating beautiful music for their enjoyment, maybe, just maybe, they'll have second thoughts about us. And perhaps, in the years to come, things will change.
The New York Philharmonic Tries to Strike the Right Notes In North Korea
I remember seeing The Gates, this audacious and dazzling thing, in 2005. Walking around it, part of me found it absurd but another part of me was grateful to live in a city that thinks art should be shared by all. My brother, an excellent photographer, took a whole bunch of pictures of it and did a great job. I'm happy to share these exclusive photos with Mr NYC readers.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Although I consider myself to be the quintessential New Yorker, I did leave town for four years to go to college. College happened to be in the Gateway City, otherwise known as St. Louis, in that great swing state of Missouri. How interesting then that I should come across another New York City blogger who happens to be from ... St. Louis! Thus I introduce you to the genius behind the Midwesterner's Guide to Living in New York City and ask him to compare and contrast the two cities.
What made you leave St. Louis for New York City?
Pretty long and complicated answer but cutting to the chase I was bored. In fact I can sum up pretty much why I do anything with those three words. Any decision I make in life usually stems from the fact I was bored with whatever I was doing before.
Why did you start your blog? In an all honesty no bullshit answer I wanted to get a blog I had created on Gawker. I know it is probably not cool to admit that but that is the truth, I had no aspirations that someday I would get a book deal or become a famous internet personality. I used to read Dan Murphy (Daily Dump/[redacted]) and Rob the Bouncer's (Club Life) blogs and wanted to have my own little niche like they did. Dan Murphy is an excellent writer and Rob the Bouncer has interesting stories to tell and I did not feel I particularly had either of these qualities. Fortunately I drink a lot and urinate in places I should not, and can make a good Star Wars reference so it only took me three weeks to reach my lofty goal. I considered quitting right then, and probably should have.Are you right at home in NYC or a fish out of water? I think everyone that moves here is a fish out of water for the first 18 months. I think it takes a solid year and a half to finally feel like there is a sense of knowing what you are doing. Then one day things that were once intimidating are not anymore and things that were fascinating are no longer fascinating. It just becomes "The place I live" and it takes a trip somewhere else to realize again what a wonderfully horrible place this is.Let's compare the two cities: I found the pace of life in St. Louis to be a little slower than NYC but I didn't find them to be that radically different. How would you compare them? I think the differences are quite huge. In one city you have to be constantly on guard, trouble will find you if not careful. I mean you can be walking on Broadway and your getting stared down by everyone that passes because they peg you as an outsider and the next thing you know your wallet is gone. Thank God I left all that behind and moved to New York.You're a big sports fan, and both St. Louis and New York are big sports town. Tell us your thoughts about sports and sports fans in both cities. I disagree, I do not think either city is a big sports town. St. Louis loves baseball but too many people are caught up in the hype that we are the "Best Baseball city in America". I mean people are holding up signs at games that say "Baseball Heaven U.S.A.". Give me a fucking break. Have you seen the Cardinals projected lineup for this year? Baseball Heaven? More like Baseball Purgatory.
New York on the other hand is too fair-weather. Too many Jets fans that "also like the Giants." I do know some native New Yorkers that are very loyal to their team but the average guy that lives in New York is not from here originally. These people move here and declare themselves Yankees fans though they could not tell you the difference between Claudell Washington and Kevin Mass. I will give credit to the people that pick the Mets as their new team, at least they are not just jumping on a bandwagon. If it is a bandwagon it is a very sad and poorly crafted bandwagon that breaks down before it ever reaches Oregon
One thing I loved about St. Louis was Ted Drews frozen custard. Are you a fan and do you think it would be a hit in NYC?
Yeah it is OK. I think I was six years old or so the first time I ever had it, of course my Grandfathers hype machine was in overdrive telling me how wonderful this stuff was. By the time I actually tried it I was expecting the equivalent of eating "Le Coeur de la Mer", when in reality it was just ice cream. I am sure it would do fine here, probably better in the summer than in winter. That is my prediction.
Any plans to move back to the Midwest?
Any final thoughts?I want to thank you for asking me to do this. It is an absolute honor to be interviewed by a publication as respected as The Economist.
Well Mr NYc is not quite The Economist but a blogger can dream. Thanks!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
There are actually two Peter Luger's locations -- the Brooklyn one, located right under the Williamsburg Bridge, and another in Great Neck, literally a block or two outside the Queens' border. I've been to both and my verdict is that while the Brooklyn location has slightly (and I mean slightly) better food, the Great Neck location is less frenzied and friendlier (Luger's waiters are, to put it mildly, a tough lot). You'll spend at least $100 per person and they don't take cash ... they do, however, take debit cards.
Other streak places I've been to in the last couple of years:
Wolfgang's on 33rd and Park Avenue South: good food, not great, but horrendously bad service.
The Strip House on East 12th Street: good if not memorable food but good service and luxurious decor.
Morton's: I've only been to the one in Great Neck but it's great: excellent food and great service. You must have their oysters on the half-shell as an appetizer and the souffle!
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Here's one of the more offbeat NYC movies - Martin Scorsese's 1985 film "After Hours." Basically it's about a guy who gets lost in Soho late at night after a date gone awry. It's kinda dated now (in an error of Metrocards and cell phones he wouldn't have the kinds of transportation and communications problems he does) but it's still a fun, quirky flick nonetheless.
This is one of those movies that Scorsese made after "Raging Bull" and before "Goodfellas." He won an award for Best Director at Cannes for it - 21 years before his Oscar.
We Love This Dirty Town (On Film)
I could write for hours and hours about NYC in the movies but ultimately it would just be a dialogue with myself. I'm more interested in what other people think. So what is your favorite New York City movie?
Thursday, February 21, 2008
For those about to rock, 3 radio stations recruit you
One reason for the revival: these stations have great New York-centric DJs like Bob Buchman, Jim Kerr, and Maria Malito.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The Grand Cafe in Astoria: really good food and it never gets really crowded. The brunch is only $11 per person and that includes coffee and either OJ or a mimosa, Bloody Mary, or champaign. A great deal.
L'Express on 20th and Park Avenue South: not as good or as cheap as the Grand Cafe but it's huge so it's never too hard to get a table, plus its right near Union Square which, on Sundays, usually has a farmer's market.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Love Me, Love My Apartment.
Where you live in town can determine who you will or will not date based on where they live in town. New Yorkers get wedded to their neighborhoods usually before they get wedded to someone else so it can be as hard to "break up" with your 'hood as it is with a significant other.
Currently I live in Queens with my great love and her greatness is proved by the fact that I left Manhattan for her. (Interestingly enough my mom did the opposite - leaving Queens for Manhattan to be with my dad. What goes around, etc.) I've dated gals who've lived on the East Side, West Side, Hell's Kitchen, Park Slope and the Village but only one was worth "breaking up" with my neighborhood and crossing the river for - and I'm sure glad I did :)
New Yorker in the White House? Seems Like a Long Shot Now
This has to be seen to be believed.
It is, probably, the cheesiest and most shamelessly manipulative piece of propaganda since "Triumph of the Will".
You watch this thinking it's some kind of great pro-New York City promotional ad - hey, it's got Jerry Seinfeld and the Boy's Choir of Harlem in it after all - but it turns out just to be a plug for the local NBC station. Pitiful.
I remember first seeing this in 1992 during the Summer Olympics. I also remember seeing this next to a promo for "Mad About You". Now there was a show, even more than "Seinfeld", that understood NYC.
Monday, February 18, 2008
So does it live up to the hype? My verdict: it's worth seeing but overrated (In case you didn't know, water is the source of all life on earth). There are some very pretty displays, including a waterfall you walk through and a globe that talks and some other things that kids will have fun with (like playing with a block of ice), but this exhibit doesn't blow me away. It's more cutesy than amazing. I've seen more impressive shows like Jackson Pollack at MOMA or Turner/Whistler/Monet in Toronto or Salvador Dali in Venice. However, I did learn a few interesting facts:
- There is more water in the rocks under the earth than on its surface
- Only 3% of all water on earth is fresh
- Only one third of this fresh water (so 1% of all water on earth), is accessible for drinking. The rest is frozen in the North and South Poles and fjords (or whatever they're called).
You can also take an electronic quiz that teaches you how to be water efficient. One lesson: don't let your faucets drips!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
This article from today's New York Times shows how this novel is still relevant today. Specifically, it concentrates on the central image of the green light, shining from Daisy's dock across the water, beckoning to Gatsby. Like the Mississippi River in Huckleberry Finn, taking Jim and Huck to freedom and exposing the madness and sheer idiocy of racism and slavery, the green light in many ways encapsulates America.
Fitzgerald, through the narrator Nick, sums up how the green light represents all the contradictory yearnings of the American dream. In the novel's closing passages, he writes:
... I thought of Gatsby's wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy's dock. He had come a long way to this blue lawn, and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him, somewhere back in that vast obscurity beyond the city, where the dark fields of the republic rolled on under the night.
Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us.
It eluded us then, but that's no matter - tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further ... And one fine morning -
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Just in time for Valentine's Day, ladies and gentlemen and trannies, the all-new NYC Condom!
Unveiled last year to much excitement (ba dum bum), the City of New York began distributing free latex love gloves branded with subway line letters. (I guess it was some kind of pun: subway = taking a ride. Get it? Get it??). However, probably realizing that people didn't want their love making skills compared to the MTA, the city has given the condom wrapper a snazzier look (per the above graph, the left-hand image is the old style, the right one the new).
Why did they make the change? Apparently, to keep it "fresh." Fresh condoms, I'm sure, are always appreciated. Especially since they gave out 36 million of these things last year!
So come ... on people. If you really want to "express your love" for this city, I guess the best thing to do is get one of these things and shtup. After all, the city is actively encouraging you to do so. Your tax dollars hard - ha ha - at work!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
"August" has been hailed by many critics as a great American masterpiece, a sure bet for the Pulitzer Prize, many Tony Awards, and a spot in the pantheon next to "Death of a Salesman" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night." Other critics, those lovable contrarians, have dismissed it as an empty, overhyped, noisy mess. Well, add Mr NYC to those who think it's a masterpiece.
At three and a half hours, the action flies by as scene neatly segues into scene, the characters evolve and reveal themselves, and the bit by bit the layers of the story create a rich, deep, and powerful experience. At the heart of the story is the conflict between Violet and Barbara: Deana Dunagan shines as Violet, the mother from hell who is at turns nasty and wise; Amy Morton is the oldest daughter Barbara who is trying to keep her hopeless family and failing marriage together; the rest of the cast ably supports the main stars and while you're sad for all of them, you're also sad when they go away.
This play is a jewel, the reason people love theater. "August" runs through April and, if you can go, you must.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Catholic Vote Is Harbinger of Success for Clinton
NBC Makes News on Clintons, and Reports on It, Too
Now Mr NYC is not endorsing her or anyone else for President. This is a non-partisan blog. But ya gotta "give props" to this lady, whether you like her or not (especially if not).
While she manages to drive the media and corporate/political world crazy, while she's always being criticized for being "evil" or "polarizing" or "a bitch", while everyone's always screaming about how she "can't" win this or that, somehow, someway, she always ends up beating everyone who stands in her way. Think about it:
- During the whole Monica Lewinsky thing, when she was humiliated in front of the country, instead of being pitied, she managed to turn it around become admired.
- In 2000, with no real qualifications or experiences, she carpet-bagged her way into a Senate seat here in New York. That dork Rick Lazio, an experience, New York native congressman who should have beaten her soundly, made a total fool of himself in a debate and basically handed her the election. (Sadly I can't find this on YouTube but it was priceless.)
- Once in the Senate, she not only became insanely popular with her Democratic colleagues but managed to win over the Republicans. Senator Lindsey Graham, one of those Southern Neanderthals who led the impeachment of her husband, wrote her a glowing tribute in Time Magazine and said he'd be "comfortable" with her as President?!?!?!?
- In 2006: re-elected in a landslide.
- In 2008: currently leading in the delegate county for the nomination of her party to be President.
Now I ain't saying she'll win this one but ya gotta admit, they hit her hard and she keeps going .. and going .. and going ...
Friday, February 8, 2008
Thursday, February 7, 2008
We'd love to believe that organized crime is more entertainment than reality, which is why we enjoy shows like "The Sopranos" or movies like "Goodfellas" and "The Godfather" flicks.
And we'd love to believe that organized crime doesn't in anyway threaten or affect us, that it's just something ... over there ... something that only "those people" who we'll never meet are involved in. It will never, ever touch our lives.
Oh, how wrong we are. Organized crime still exists in NYC. It's what brought down Bernie Kerick and, today, led to a massive sweep by state and federal officials. It touches us in ways we can't imagine or rarely think about. But it's there. A constant, evil presence.
In Big Mob Sweep, Gambino Leaders Are Indicted
So let's never forget, however much we idealize this city here at Mr NYC, that organized crime and the other cancers that threaten our common good, are still out there. And we must always be vigilant.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Twas a Super Day in NYC. But isn't it always?
Monday, February 4, 2008
Eli Manning, in a brilliant maneuver, won Superbowl 42 for the New York Giants and defeated the Dark Force that is New England.
You could hear the shouts of joy ringing across town last night. A great game.
Sunday, February 3, 2008
They Might Be Giants was founded by John Flansburgh and John Linnell ("the two Johns") in 1982. Although both guys are from Massachusetts, they didn't form the band until they had both moved to Brooklyn -- thus making it a wholly bred product of NYC. And as one of the guys pointed out last night, they used their MetroCards to get to the show. Very economical.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
There's so much that's wonderful about the New York Public Library that a short description of it here would be insufficient. Thus I've included a few links where you can read (a lot) more about it.
New York Public Library Wikipedia
Actually NYC has THREE public library systems: the New York Public Library (Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island), the Queens Public Library, and the Brooklyn Public Library.
One thing, however, is worth mentioning here. If you've never gone, you must check out the main reading room on the third floor of the 42nd street branch. As you can see in the picture here, it's huge and it's gorgeous. There are rows and rows of long tables where you can plug in your laptop, read, do paper work, or just think. Best of all, it's never horribly crowded and there's free Internet stations as well.
All in all, a great public service to the people of this city. Take advantage of it!
Friday, February 1, 2008
Simple: the lighting schemes celebrate different holidays and events. Here at Mr NYC, we will perform a public service. Thanks to reference book New York City: City Secrets, here are the various lights that shine from the Empire State Building and what they symbolize:
Red, Yellow, Green: Portugal Day
Lavender and White: Stonewall Anniversary/Gay Pride
Purple, Teal, White: National Osteoporosis Society
Red, White: Pulaski Day, Red Cross
Red, White, Green: Columbus Day
Blue, White: Greek Independence Day, United Nations Day
Red, Yellow: Autumn
Black, Yellow, Red: German Reunification Day
Pink, White: "Race for the Cure"/Breast Cancer Awareness
Green, White, Orange: India Independence Day
Green, White: Pakistan Independence Day
Red, Green: Holiday Season
Dark/No Lights: "Day Without Art/Night Without Lights", AIDS Awareness
Magenta: Mr NYC Day (ok, I made that one up)