Monday, June 30, 2008

Nekkid People

I'm sure most of you are wondering where you can find a nude -- sorry, clothing optional -- beach in the NYC area. Well, you can, in good ol' Joisy. This article from today's Times gives you the low-down (or is that the down-low?) on Gunnison Beach, located in Monmouth County.

Ferrying From Manhattan to Bare It All on the Beach

You can get there a twice a day by ferry from Manhattan and go sun yourself au naturale -- or, if you're like most guys, just stare at the unrobed. You are expressly not allowed to take pictures or bring glass containers. And while people may be showing their naughty bits, no naughty "bidness" is allowed.

Yours truly has never been there but those who go seem to love it (no shock there). If you want to learn more, check out Friends of Gunnison Beach.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Pulp Fiction Trailer (1994)

I remember seeing this trailer in 1994 and it gave me shpilkus (literally translated: "hairpins in the tuchas").

1994: A Cultural Nostalgia Trip

Re: my post below. Some of you might recall that 1994 was actually a very, very important year in American culture. In fact, it remains one of the most important cultural years ever. Think about it:

It was the year Pulp Fiction came out, revolutionizing independent cinema, unleashing the whole Tarantino phenomenon, and making John Travolta cool again.

It was the year Friends and ER premiered, giving us George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston and a whole lot more big names.

It was the year of the great but tragically short-lived show, the aforementioned My So-Called Life (that gave us Claire Danes).

It was the year REM released Monster, with their big hit "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" Madonna also had a big hit called "I'll Remember" (the video of which you see here), that appeared in a now forgotten movie called "With Honors." The only thing that was interesting about this movie was that it was the last even semi-successful thing Patrick Dempsey did before Grey's Anatomy.

It was the year Kurt Cobain committed suicide and effectively ended the whole grunge movement.

It was the year Richard Nixon died, the first president to do so in more than 20 years.

It was the year Republicans took over the House and Senate, redrawing the political map. George W. Bush was also elected Governor of Texas that year and, well ... we all know what that led to.

And as I also indicated below, it was the year OJ Simpson was accused of murder, starting the whole 24/7 cable news soap-opera format.

I'm not saying everything that happened in American culture 1994 was great but it sure was memorable and it certainly had a lasting impact.

New York, Summer 1994

There's a movie opening soon called "The Wackness" (odd title) about New York City teenagers in the summer of 1994. Obviously I find this somewhat intriguing because -- you guessed it -- I was a teenager in New York City in the summer of 1994! Good grief. A time of my life when I was in high school is now viewed as an historical era. Gosh I feel old.

From what I've read about this movie in The New York Times, it's basically all getting high and hooking up. I guess that's what lots of New York City teenagers did in 1994 -- and still do today. I can't really say I can relate because 1) I've never been a stoner (not because I am or was morally opposed to smoking pot but because I didn't have any money and was never cool enough to hang out with drug dealers), and 2) I didn't hook up much (okay, okay at all) because I was and forever shall be a giant honkin' nerd (and not in the way "nerds" are cool today, I'm talking repellent, Napoleon Dynamite/Brian from My So-Called Life level nerdiness here). I can relate to what the director of this movie, on whose life it is based, means when he says, “Girls weren’t into me ... I wasn’t cool, and I was so nervous that I then fulfilled the prophecy and became even more uncool.” Hear hear, ad infinitum.

So what was I doing in NYC in the summer of 1994? I was working at a radio station called WPLJ who's tag line of the day was "No Rap. No Hard Stuff. No Sleepy Elevator Music. Just the Best Songs on the Radio." That basically meant Top 40 and the hit songs of the day were "Mr Jones" by Counting Crows and "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen -- and thanks to working at the radio station I heard those songs all the friggin' time.

It was a very hot summer, I remember. Giuliani had just taken office. The Rangers won the Stanley Cup. Baseball went on strike. Forrest Gump and The Lion King were the big hit movies. Everyone, everywhere was talking about the OJ case (remember that?). When I wasn't working during that summer, I spent a lot of time visiting colleges. All in all it was a good summer, but I don't think I would make a movie about it. If I did, however, instead of the "The Wackness" I'd call it the "The Dorkness."

Friday, June 27, 2008

Money and Beauty Makes NYC Go 'Round

Oh, this is too precious. This is why NYC is so great -- it's totally, utterly shameless.

Fashion Meets Finance

These are events where single people who work in these respective industries can mingle and swap cell numbers and, presumably later on, precious bodily fluids. Put another way:

Fashion = Hot chicks who are underpaid and desperate for someone to buy them dinner

Finance = Nerdy guys who are overpaid and desperate to get girls who ignored them in high school

Fashion Meets Finance = Goldigger and Dork Nirvana.

Mazal tov!

PS. Many thanks to my friend who sent me this link who appropriately called it "Str8 I-Bankers Meet Carrie Bradshaw"

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Waterfalls Hit NYC

They're here! Long in the making, and sure to top the 2005 Gates exhibit in Central Park, the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson's waterfall installation has been unveiled in our fair town.

What are these waterfalls exactly? Well, basically, they are four giant scaffolds in the East River and New York harbor that suck up and spin around water, then dump it back into "the drink" (as my dad would have called it). Two are located on the Brooklyn water front, one on Governors Island, the other off Pier 35 in Manhattan. In order to see them you have to go to one of the viewing areas or take the ferry boat tour. This link will take you to the New York Times review of this project and it has links to lots of viewing info as well.

I think this is so cool. Some cynics might argue that giant public exhibits like this and the Gates are a waste of time and money and contribute nothing to society. I strongly disagree. This is why, besides some of my problems with him, I fundamentally like Mayor Bloomberg: he understands that events like this create excitement, generate tourism (and tourist dollars), and help to give NYC it's special edge -- that of a daring, never conventional city.

Besides, they're just fun. Can't things ever just be fun for fun's sake? And better than that, they're free!

Long live the Waterfalls! Actually they only go until October 13 so don't dawdle, time flies.

Gotta Love New Yorkers

So last night yours truly and my beloved were on the subway heading home when we saw something you happily don't see every day: a man having an epileptic seizure.

It was around 9 PM. It was a lovely summer night. The train was merrily chugging along, the usual smorgasbord of diverse New Yorkers on board chatting with one another. Suddenly a quiet young man on one of the seats began to shake and convulse very violently. This was very clearly a seizure.

Without a moment's thought, without a shred of hesitation, the riders rushed to help him. They picked him up and, as the train pulled into the station, carried him out collectively and put him on the station floor. Cellphones were flashed out and people began calling out for the conductor. Someone offered a bottle of water (not that it would really have helped) and eventually one of the conductors assured us that everything was under control. We got back on the train and it headed off, everyone confident that this young man was being taken care of.

Popular culture likes to imagine New Yorkers as a bunch of rude, super-selfish money hogs but last night proved what a shallow stereotype that is. I saw the best of my fellow citizens and saw how we New Yorkers solve problems in a fast and efficient manner. I was never more proud to live here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

George Carlin RIP

One of the greatest and most fearless comedians ever, George Carlin managed to outrage people for more than forty years -- while also making them think. He blew apart American mores and social conventions with wild abandon, and he didn't care who he offended or delighted in the process.

Carlin will also go down in history as one of the most important comedians ever. He was the very first host of "Saturday Night Live" on October 11, 1975. His "Seven Dirty Word" routine, broadcast on NYC station WBAI in 1972, led to a US Supreme Court case establishing "family friendly" and "safe harbor" hours on TV. And while most comedians rise and fade with the times, he managed to stay relevant to the culture for decades. He will be sorely missed.

Best of all, George Carlin was a native New Yorker. He grew up in the Morningside Heights section of Manhattan -- like yours truly -- walking the same streets and drinking the same water some 40 years before moi. If I was only one-fiftieth as talented as him, I would be a very happy man.

Here's a classic routine George Carlin did about religion. Needless to say, it's brilliant.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Double Whammy for the GOP

Man, these New York Republicans can't seem to get a break these days (Elliot Spitzer excepted).

Today came word that Francis Powers, the candidate Staten Island Republicans nominated to succeed the disgraced Congressman Vito Fossella, died in his sleep last night. He was 67. Obviously this must be a shock to his family so one wishes his family the best. Now the Staten Island GOP has to scramble for another candidate.

And this evening Joe Bruno, the State Senate Majority Leader and guru of the State Republican Party, suddenly dropped out of his re-election race. His wife died recently, his business activities are under Federal investigation, and he's closing in on 80 years old, so Bruno clearly has reasons to go. But obviously the State GOP has to find another candidate for his seat -- and another leader for the State Party.

At this rate New York State will probably be top to bottom Democratic next year.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd

Before Seinfeld, before Friends, before Sex and the City, before all those shows in the 1990s and today about single people in NYC, there was this, The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd, the best of them all.

It was about a chronically underemployed woman in late 1980's New York who has a crazy family, flaky friends, and, eventually, a baby out of wedlock.

The great, GREAT Blair Brown played Molly Dodd, an absolutely believable, recognizable, and dimensional character. Throughout the course of the show you meet her crazy ex-husband, her impossible mother, her two very different boyfriends (a shlubby bookstore owner and a black police officer) and her unlikely best friend, the friendly old elevator operator in her building.

At first you might think this was a "chick" show but it really wasn't. It was a show about a woman and her problems yet, ironically enough, most of the other characters on the show were men and the problems she faced felt universal and understandable, even to a then teenage boy.

Molly Dodd was brilliantly written and beautifully acted. It first aired on NBC in 1987, then moved over to Lifetime until 1991. As a single camera dramedy about a single urban woman, it was way, way ahead of its time. Darren Starr, one of the producers of Sex and the City, said he owed a big debt to Molly Dodd's influence.

Here's the intro. It perfectly capture the feeling of last 1980s New York.

Socrates Sculpture Park Outdoor Cinema

You might remember that I recently blogged about the Bryant Park Film Festival, the Monday night outdoor film series sponsored by HBO. Well across the river, on Wednesday nights in July and August, the Museum of the Moving Image sponsors Outdoor Cinema, another outdoor film series held in the Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City.

These are (mostly) foreign films, some from the last couple of years, some of them classics (like 8 1/2 and The Red Balloon). The films start at sundown, and before the shows you can get food and listen to live musical performances that celebrate the culture of that night's film's native country.

This is a fun and wonderful celebration of the various cultures that make up this city and is free to all.

Friday, June 20, 2008

L'Essence de NYC

Today's New York Times has several stories that sum up why it's both wonderful and exasperating to live in this town.

The city's Rent Guidelines Board voted to hike rents on rent stabilized apartments last night: Board Backs Rise in Rent Up to 8.5%. The board has 9 members and the vote broke down 5-4.

I heard Mayor Bloomberg on his WOR show this morning claim that this decision was some kind of "compromise." This is an utter lie. The board is appointed by the Mayor and they all vote the way he wants. This vote was engineered to look like they cushioned a much nastier blow but they really didn't, the decision was predetermined.

Oh, and it looks like the Bush economy is coming home to roost in New York: Layoffs Show on New York Unemployment Rolls.

And can you believe that some members of the MTA board are actually kvetching that the public is mad that they get free EZPasses? Backing Off Free Passes at M.T.A. Paterson and Cuomo are trying to end this outrageous practice and they're getting bushback from people who can easily afford their own damn EZPasses! Dizgrazia!

So the middle class gets screwed while the rich get helped. What else is new, right?

Well in NYC, that's never the whole story. For example, in Bed-Stuy Brooklyn, one of the poorest parts of the city, a beautiful new library opened that will certainly brighten up the neighborhood: After a $2 Million Rehab, a Brooklyn Library Reopens.

And here's a lovely story about a beautiful tree being spared the chainsaw in Cobble Hill: A Sapling Grows Into a Giant; The Streets Around It Change, Too. A tree grows -- and continues to grow -- in Brooklyn.

And talking about Brooklyn, tonight in the gorgeous Prospect Park you can go to a live performance of the Metropolitan Opera tonight for free: Arias in the Park, Met Stars Included.

So while life is New York is tough (and gets tougher) it's always good to remember that there's always things in this city to appreciate and enjoy no matter what. That's the spirit of this town, l'essence de NYC.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

REM @ Jones Beach: The Aftermath

That REM show at Jones Beach I went to on Saturday is getting lots of coverage in the Long Island Newsday. Apparently some people are complaining about how we were all kicked out of the theater when the drenching rain came down.

Jones Beach Theater storm policy leaves patrons all wet

Babies. Most of the audience dealt with it just fine. I saw this news story and noticed some inaccuracies. To whit:

"The theater at Jones Beach was evacuated for nearly two hours Saturday night during the R.E.M., Modest Mouse and The National concert."


It was actually less than an hour. Believe me, we wouldn't have waited around for two hours and neither would have most of the audience.

"Modest Mouse stopped playing and concertgoers were told to evacuate around 8:35 p.m., said George Gorman, a spokesman for the state parks agency."


It was at 9 PM!

This is why people hate the media -- they just get it WRONG so often. That said, this reviewer liked the show, so it wasn't an entire washout (pun very much intended).

Dave and Busters! Dave and Busters!

I recently went to Dave and Busters on a work outing and was expecting to find it boring and lame. How wrong I was. I loved it and want to go back.

It's a big arcade with lots of different kinds of games, ranging from your average shoot-em up and race car video games, to a fun trivia game you can play with lots of other people, to "gambling" games where instead of winning money you win coupons that you can trade in for chachkies (I got some needed cups and a cool cigar ashtray). Dave and Busters also has a restaurant and two bars and the food is actually pretty good.

What I liked about Dave and Busters is that it's basically an amusement park geared towards adults. There were some kids there but really, this is a place more appropriate for grown-ups. If you're ever with a group of friends in Times Square and just want to act like a kid again (surrounded by similar adults who want to act like kids), it's worth checking out.

Check out the Dave and Busters website and the New York CitySearch review.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Swedish Furniture Invades New York!!!!

The biggest news story in town today is that Ikea has opened up a big new store in Brooklyn, specifically on the waterfront of the alterna-neighborhood Red Hook. People have literally been camping outside of it for days awaiting the glorious moment that they could buy really really cheep home furnishings.

I guess I don't see what the big deal is but then I've never been to an Ikea so perhaps it has a magic that I'm unaware of. While I question whether or not some of our valuable waterfront should go to a big store like this, if people want to shop there and it'll create jobs and generate visitors and economic activity in one of the more sparsely populated sections of the city, who am I to say it's wrong?

If you want to learn more about the store, obviously you should check out its website.

Here's one very cool thing about this new Ikea: not only does it serve food -- it'll become the place to get Swedish meatballs in this town, I kid you not -- Ikea is providing a ferry service, totally free of charge, that'll take shoppers, potential shoppers, or people who just want to check out Red Hook across the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn. (Considering what a bitch transportation in this town is, this is truly a miracle from the Heavens.) The ferry (actually a Water Taxi) leaves from Pier 11 just south of Wall Street every 40 minutes between 10 AM and 10 PM. This'll certainly open up this part of Brooklyn that gets no subway service (thank you Robert Moses). Learn more about this great new service here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

R.E.M. at Jones Beach ... in the rain ...

Yours truly and friends had the privilege of seeing REM this past Saturday at Jones Beach. This is one concert I will never forget.

It had been raining REALLY REALLY hard during our drive out to Jones Beach that afternoon but it had stopped by 7 PM which is when we got there. That's about when the show started. The opening acts were The National and Modest Mouse and they were awesome. I must admit to being unfamiliar with their music but I dug it.

About two hours into the show, just as the opening acts were finishing up, there began to be a series of lightening flashes. Then -- as they might have said on the old "Batman" show -- KAPOWWWWWWWW! -- a bolt of lightening hit the theater in a blinding flash. The rain, which had been drizzling for a bit, transmogrified into a monsoon, dumping an ocean on us. Our umbrellas were useless in the onslaught.

Over the PA system they urged us to evacuate and head to our cars!?!?! Off we went, streaming into the crowd, my beloved and I getting separated from our friends. Cells phones and serendipity re-united us downstairs and, with the rest of the crowd, we waited for about an hour until they let us go back up to our seats.

It was still raining, but a little less intensely, when REM took the stage about a quarter after ten. Michael Stipe said "Welcome to REM Survivor 2008!" The band immediately launched into "Have you ever seen the Rain?" -- hahaha -- and then played several songs off their new album "Accelerate." In between then new songs and Michael Stipe making a variety of rain related jokes -- "You guys look like garbage bags from here!" -- they played some of the classics like "What's the Frequency Kenneth", "Losing My Religion", and the "It's the End of the World As We Know It" (see above). Regardless of the weather, it was an excellent show. Jones Beach is a great venue, with a beautiful view of the beach and water, the lights glittering in the night sky. While the rain was a burden at time, it also managed to give everything a romantic aura and vibe.

We left around midnight, soaked and happy.

Spoke to Soon ...

Looks like the Guv and Hizzoner managed to save OTB.

Late Deal Pulls OTB From Brink of Shutdown

1,500 jobs have been saved and gamblers all across the city are relieved.

Let the games ... go on!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Whither OTB?

Off Track Betting was created in 1971 so that New Yorkers who had trouble getting out to the racetracks could watch the horse races and place bets in their own neighborhoods. It was created by the city as a way of generating revenue, for more than 30 years, it actually made the city money.

Now it's losing money and Mayor Bloomberg has declared that the city will not subsidize a bookie operation. Governor Patterson offered a resolution whereby the state would take over OTB but, last night, Bloomberg made certain revenue demands that made it fall apart.

So it looks like another NYC institution is vanishing. I've never gone to OTB in my life and have only been to the track one time, last week. But it's sad to see something that served middle class New York go away. At the same time, I actually agree with Bloomberg in this case: it doesn't help the middle class when their hard earned tax dollars go to subsidize gambling.

That said, I would fully support creating off shore or casino gambling operations in this town, so long as they made the city money.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert RIP

Sunday mornings just won't be the same anymore. My best to his family and friends.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Le Mort Boheme?

Allow me to draw your attention to two very bizarre magazine articles from this week.

First, you must read this interview with Lou Reed from this week's New York magazine. You know what a big fan I am of his music -- he's a living legend, one of the most influential musicians in rock n' roll history, and a New York icon -- but ... wow! He's got some thin skin! In this interview, he's promoting a new show called "New York Shuffle" that he's hosting on Sirius Satellite radio. When the interviewer asks a question that Lou Reed doesn't like, he goes off on the interviewer in a very Lou Reedish way.

Second, the always opinionated Christopher Hitchens posted this article on the Vanity Fair website, "Last Call, Bohemia." Mr Hitchens bemoans the gentrification of the West Village and how "Bohemia" in this town is dying. It's a very nostalgic article and he makes a good point about how when major cities loose their artsy, edgy, hipster neighborhoods -- or Bohemias -- the city as a whole suffers. I agree. A city is not great just because it has lots of people and big buildings and the opportunities to strike it rich, but because the human spirit is unleashed to imagine, create, discover, reform, revise, recognize etc. etc. etc. Sadly, if the Bohemians cannot afford to live here, than an important part of our city's spirit dies. Unfortunately I think Mr Hitchens is a little late to what I'll call the "gentrification wariness" party. The West Village hasn't really been Bohemia since, oh, about 1989. For that, you need to leave Manhattan and go to neighborhoods like Williamsburg and Sunnyside, even go to the Bronx and Staten Island. Bohemia is not dead in NYC, it's just ... relocated.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bryant Park Film Festival

On Monday, June 16 the Bryant Park Film Festival starts up again. If you don't know about it already, every Monday night from the middle of June until the middle of August, HBO screens a classic movie for the general public in Bryant Park, totally free of charge. I first went several years ago and saw A Streetcar Named Desire and a couple of years ago I went to see MASH.

This has become a very popular New York summer tradition. It's something of a Yuppie scene. The movies begin at sundown so they usually don't start until sometime between 8:30 and 9 PM. The park opens to the public at 5 PM. Most people bring a blanket and some water and food, grab a patch of land on the big lawn, and hang out, usually sunning themselves or reading until the movie starts. It gets really crowded by the time the movie begins, and if you get there late you'll probably be forced to stand up on the concrete steps, near the New York Public Library. Still, if you haven't gone, it's worth it: it's a nice, relaxing urban and cultural experience.

This year's schedule includes Dr No (the first film in the film festival and coincidentally the first James Bond movie), Billy Wilder's great comedy The Apartment (a wonderful New York film and the 1960 Academy Award Winner for Best Picture), and the first Superman movie. Also included is one of Alfred Hitchcock's lesser known films, Lifeboat, a thriller set completely on, you guessed it,a lifeboat. It may be lesser known but it's a really good movie. Interestingly enough, I remember that this was the very first movie I saw after graduating high school - actually, the day after I graduated. Funny the things you recall.

P.S. Most Alfred Hitchcock movies include the director making some kind of cameo appearance. So how does he do that when all of the characters in Lifeboat are stuck in a boat? Here's a clue: if you ever see this movie, keep your eyes out for a newspaper ...

Hot Town

I'm here. Been busy. Life events and the brutal heat of the last few days has made blogging somewhat difficult (air conditioners problems have been part of it). I'm just not made for extreme weather, hot or cold. Give me 55 degree days and I'm a happy man.

Hot town, summer in the city ...

I should have mentioned earlier that last Thursday I attended my second New York blogger event, this time at the Mixx Lounge in Greenwich Village. The always friendly Zen Denizen of Debonair Debacles set it up and I met some new bloggers and had a great time. I hope to go to more of these events and meet more of my ilk (I hope that's how you spell it). I'm always amazed at the different kinds of blogs and bloggers out there.

In the summer, in the city ...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Big Brown Loses Triple Crown

Monmouth Park

Yesterday, as you probably know, was the Belmont Stakes, the third race in the so called Triple Crown of horse racing -- the Preakness and Kentucky Derby being the others. The horse Big Brown had won both of those races and was heavily favored to win at Belmont but, sadly, he came in last. Sadly, that is, for those who bought tickets for Big Brown -- unlike yours truly.

Some friends and I went, instead, to the Monmouth Raceway, over yonder in that place called New Jersey. Much less crowded than Belmont. We watched several races and made bets between $2 to $10. I'm not a gambling man by nature but I did pretty good: I lost a few races but won almost $40 on the others (minus about the $20 or so I put in). We were also able to bet on the Big Brown race and I put $2 down on Denis of Cork to "show" (meaning he'd come in either first, second, or third). He came in second and that won me $4.40 (netting me a wild profit of $2.40). Gotta love the luck of the Irish!

I can't say I plan to go often to the track but it was fun. It's so much less crowded than a ballgame and you can make some money as well. The races start around 12:30 and go until 6. There's a race every quarter after and quarter to the hour. They even have picnic areas so you can bring your kids. So long as you don't gamble away your life savings (most people make $2 or $4 bets), it's a good time for all.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Playgrounds of New York

Wonderful article today about the playgrounds of New York City. I remember being a kid and climbing the jungle gyms, going down the slides, climbing the wooden "castles", and trying to swing as highly as possible on the swings.

New York’s Big Backyard

This really is a great town to be a kid in.

Just a Follow Up

This is not a political blog so this will be my last political entry for a while (unless some bombshell comes along). But I was just wanted to point out a couple of things:

First, an admission: I realize that my previous post about the "awful president" being "awfully unpopular" was lovingly adapted (okay, stolen) from an episode of The Simpsons: it turns out that Springfield elementary is sitting on top of oil and there's a newspaper headline that reads "Awful School is Awfully Rich." I had forgotten where I had first seen this although I remembered something awful being awfully something. Today, however, my memory was jogged and thus I feel it was, and is, appropriate to give credit where it's due.

Second: Can you believe that one of John McCain's advisers is Carly Fiorina, the fired CEO of Hewlett Packard? There's a big article on her today in the Times. This lady screwed up that company so royally that the Board rebelled and axed her. Why in God's name would McCain want advice from this woman? She couldn't run a company and now she's advising McCain on how to run his campaign -- and the country? The hell is he thinking? If this is the kind of judgment he'll bring to the White House, he needs to be kept as far away from it as possible. (I love this part of the article: HP was losing money for almost a year before she was fired, then starting flourishing after she left. And she takes credit for the it's subsequent success because she laid the "foundation." Oh please!!). We've had eight years of bad judgment -- we don't need anymore.

Third, and finally, congrats to Barack Obama. You ran a great campaign and you earned this. If you get elected and run the country as well as your campaign, we'll be in great shape. Some advice Senator: BE RUTHLESS. You know how dirty the Republicans play -- after all, they're the party of McCarthyism, Watergate, Iran Contra, impeachment politics, and Swift Boating. These are not good people. They are mean, nasty, and vile. Liars extrordinaire. Don't fall for this "Oh, they're good people, we just disagree" crap. Uh huh. They are bad, bad folks. Take the battle to McCain, hang George Bush and the Iraq War and McCain's creepy wife and 95% voting with Bush voting record around the Arizona Senator's neck, and plunge the knife in. This is no time for "fair play" because no such thing exists. Play to win!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Awful President is Awfully Unpopular

President Bush -- remember him? I know you've tried not to -- is at 25% in the polls. Lower than Jimmy Carter and Nixon. I didn't think that was possible.
Congrats on making history yet again Mr President. We'll miss you so much.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Howard Stern Channel Nine Show

For those of you old enough to remember, you'll recall that Howard Stern had a local show on Channel 9 late on Saturday nights. It was on for less than two years but it was raw, edgy, and funny as hell -- everything you'd expect Howard to be. It was far ahead of its time.

This is actually the first episode that was broadcast in 1990. Howard makes reference to the Zodiac killer who terrorized this city in the summer of that year. It's also really nice to see the late, great Allison Steele on this show -- even if Stuttering John is being a jackass to her.

It's fun to watch this since it was before Howard was REALLY big and famous. He had to start somewhere.

And then there were none ...

Rudy, Mike, Hillary.

At the beginning of this year New York had three potential Presidents.

Now we have none.

Clinton to Endorse Obama on Friday

Oh well. Time to go, Hillary. Time to get out of the way of history. You fought the good fight but now it's over. Leave with class. Let it go. Obama has five months to take down McCain and there's not a moment to lose.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Breakfast in NYC

Check out the feature from this week's New York magazine What Good is Breakfast?

My favorite breakfasts: a bowl of organic cereal during the week and Eggs Benedict on the weekend. I also love a good cinnamon roll and that great New York staple, a bagel with lox and cream cheese.

Johnny Utah's

Any restaurant/bar that names itself after a Keanu Reeves character has some 'splaining to do. And after going there this past weekend, it has even more.

Johnny Utah's opened last year on 51st street between 5th and 6th Avenue's and promises the "urban cowboy" experience. It has the only mechanical bull in New York City and lots of young drunk people climb on, buckle up and down, and then get thrown off of it. If you're a lady wearing an even semi low-cut shirt be warned -- the guys operating the thing will shake you back and forth so that everyone can see your bosoms jiggle. Yes, if you're looking for the "urban cowboy experience", you'll have a blast (although don't expect to see John Travolta or Debra Winger anywhere).

So what did I think? This is a joint with an identity crises. It looks and feels like a bar but it's also a restaurant. The food is mostly Mexican but it's supposed to be a Texas-style honky-tonk. The place looks and feels like your typical upscale NYC Yuppie joint ($12 Mohitos fer Chrissakes!) but also tries to be "down-home." The activity, as mentioned, is riding the mechanical bull but the music they blast is anything you might hear on Z100 (not, you know, country-western music like you might expect).

And what this has to do with the Johnny Utah character from Point Break I have no friggin' clue.

Believe it or not, this place is very popular. It was jammed. We got there early, around 8 PM, and when we left close to midnight, there was a line down the block. It's not my kind of scene (I was there meeting a friend) but if you like to watch drunk Yuppies embrace their inner redneck, check it out.

Johnny Utah's

Monday, June 2, 2008

For Once, the Middle Class Wins

If you read this blog regularly, you know how I lament about how the middle class is vanishing in this town. As a child of middle class NYC, this is a matter near and dear to my heart. Too often the big developers get their way, building one useless luxury high rise after the other. But sometimes, there is justice in the world.

In New Sale, Starrett City Would Stay Affordable

Kudos go to Senator Schumer and Governor Patterson and the other officials who brokered this deal. It's easy to be cynical about politicians and their motives but, at times like this, they can actually do some good. For the middle class New York, this is a great victory.

New York Women Get More Action

So says the Daily News.

In 'Sex and the City,' number of sex partners true to New York life

The Sex and the City movie is a huge hit and New York women are once again holding it up as a mirror to their lives. According to this article, the average woman in NYC has twice as many lovers as women in the rest of the country.

Hmmmmm???? Doesn't that mean that there have to be men in NYC who need to be those lovers?

I'm not a religious man but ... GOD BLESS NEW YORK WOMEN!