Friday, June 23, 2017

Gabe Pressman, RIP

The legendary NYC reporter Gabe Pressman died today at the age of 93. Pressman was an institution in this city, covering every mayor from William O'Dwyer in the early 1950s to Bill De Blasio today. If you wanted to know what was going on this town, Pressman knew. A TV reporter, he was as comfortable reporting form the streets as he was interviewing the powerful from a studio. He knew every inch of this city, understood its complexities, and helped New Yorkers learn more about their hometown than anyone else. He'll be missed.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Mr NYC in Denver

It's been a while since yours truly hit the road -- working full time and raising two kids will cramp your wanderlust -- but last month some friends and I did just that and headed west. We ventured to the capital of the Rocky Mountain region, the Mile High City, better known as Denver, Colorado.



Despite traveling a lot in my younger days, including living in the Midwest for college and going to the West Coast several times in my teens and twenties, I'd never been to the Central Time Zone region of these United States. We settled on Denver because most of us had either never been there or hadn't gone for a long time. Denver reminded me of two other cities I've blogged about on here: the hipster-ish Portland, OR and the industrial Kansas City, MO. Like those cities, Denver is a repository for a certain kind of person, someone with ambition but someone who also values beauty and fun. People from all over the country settle in Denver. At one point, someone overhead me speaking and asked if I was from the East Coast. When I confirmed that I was, he said he was a transplant from Boston -- so there you go.



On our first night, we went to the Fillmore Auditorium and saw a great, rocking Irish band called Flogging Molly. This was one of the most crazy, out of control shows I've ever seen. Just as impressive was the Fillmore itself. It's a massive concert venue like the Bowery Ballroom or Irving Plaza but even bigger.  The only word to describe it is cavernous. There are maybe half a dozen bars (or more) inside the hall and there are big chandeliers that hang from the ceiling. If you ever get to Denver, I strongly suggest seeing a show there -- it's quite a scene.



Next day, after beating jet lag, we saw a baseball game at Coors Field in downtown Denver. There's nothing particularly special or distinct about this stadium but, when you're used to seeing baseball games either in the Bronx or Flushing, there's something very cool about seeing the Rocky Mountains right beyond the bleachers. After the game, we strolled along the main street (I believe it was called Market) and went to Union Station. Unlike train stations in other cities (the Union Station in DC comes to mind) this one is very small. However, if you sneak upstairs, there's an almost secret bar area where you can get some amazingly good cocktails. If you're ever in Denver, and want to find a nice quiet spot to hang, this one is perfect. More strolling followed, where went walked around Confluence Park. It's a not a particularly beautiful park but there are two small rivers that merge here -- hence the "confluence." This area is where, if the signs are to be believed, the city of Denver was founded.



The next day consisted mostly of strolling. Denver is the capital of the state of Colorado so we walked around the impressive capitol building. The seat of Colorado government borders the main downtown area and another neighborhood that can only be called "funky" -- lots of bars, restaurants, bookstores, and people walking around with long hair, ripped jeans, and tattoos. The capitol is right across the street from city hall, the two buildings almost in a face off, as these two photos taken from each vantage point will attest. Nearby are some contemporary art museums and the massive public library. On the streets are some quite interesting public art displays. 



A few blocks away is the American Museum of Western Art. From the outside, it looks quite small, basically a converted townhouse. But inside it's a multiple story museum with an incredible array of paintings by Western artists both past and present. Western art is true genre unto itself and, not surprisingly, it's highly influenced by the Renaissance and Hudson River styles. There are paintings of cowboys, Native Americans, settlers, land wars, even people making movies in the desert. Again, this is a place I highly recommend if you ever get to Denver.



We spent most of our final full day out of town in Rocky Mountain National Park. I'm not much of an outdoors/hiking/nature type but, I must say, venturing around this gorgeous preserve was a religious experience pour moi. The mountains and valleys, the glaciers, the lakes and forests combine to create an milieu and experience where you see and feel the true beauty of this world, God's handiwork (if you believe in God), the veil between heaven and earth worn thin. I've never felt more at peace, more mellow, than seeing this place. I hope these photos due it some justice. One day I hope to go back.



 




Finally, on our way to the airport, we checked out the Molly Brown Museum. If you ever saw Titanic or The Unsinkable Molly Brown, you know the story of this woman who married money and made something of it. Unlike the vulgarian in the aforementioned movie or the singing/dancing lady in the latter, Molly Brown was a woman ahead of her time: a feminist, a humanitarian, a passionate believer in education and civil rights; she was a pioneer woman with a pioneer spirit. Her house, located in a residential downtown neighborhood, is a tasteful and elegantly preserved home. It was one of the first historic houses that I've seen that had "modern" features i.e. a telephone, electricity, refrigeration.  Like its namesake, the Molly Brown house is a link from the past that stretches into our present and future.



One more thing about Denver that some of you might be curious about: I can confirm that, as one of our cab drivers said, people in this town "Love dat weed!" Colorado is one of a small handful of states in the union where recreational marijuana is legal and, as you might imagine, it's quite popular. There are dispensaries all over and the smell of "dat weed" is all over the city. Go to Denver and, if you wish, go get yourself some legal pot -- and realize why it's so dumb that it's still illegal in most of the rest of the country, including here in NY.


I enjoyed Denver and hope to return one day. We ate in lots of great restaurants and did lots of walking. If you're a New Yorker, that makes it an especially great town to visit.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

"Leaving New York" - Extra Excerpt!

Excerpt from Leaving New York by Tony Dunlap:

 “G-Spot uncorked the bottle and held it up. “Care to sniff the product?” They did so. Smells like paint thinner, thought Tommy. G-Spot got out three shot glasses and poured a small amount of Scotch into each. He asked Tommy, “What do you think of our establishment?”

“Very cool. I didn’t think the place would be so huge.”

“Not only that, but the acoustics are great. Good feature for a karaoke bar.”

“And I love the Asian theme. I guess that’s typical of most karaoke bars but you guys really pulled it off here. It’s elegant instead of tacky.”

“Eric deserves the credit for that.” G-Spot handed a full shot glass each to Tommy and Eric. “My skills are mostly related to the dispensing of alcohol and the occasional oversight of personnel. Mr. Steinberg is the one who put this place together.”

“I love everything Asian,” said Eric. “And everyone Asian!"

“May I propose a toast then,” said G-Spot. The three men held their shot glasses aloft. “To profit! And to Tommy’s arrival. May your time with us be joyful.”

“Cheers!” shouted Eric.

Tommy agreed. “Cheers!”

They all clinked and took a shot. The fire-smoked wood liquor burned Tommy’s throat and stomach yet had a wonderfully strong aftertaste. Eric grabbed the bottle, re-filled the glasses, and proposed another toast. “To the Japanese ...”

“Clink. G-Spot added, “They make such bloody good cameras.”

Get it today at  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727QQ7FX for only $3.99!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Updates to Mr NYC

If you look to your right, you might notice a couple of things:

1. There is now a permanent link to my recently published novel Leaving New York -- download your copy today!

2. A Mr NYC Facebook page is currently under construction but you can link to it right now just to see what it is (or will be) all about. 

3. I'm currently working on creating a Mr NYC podcast -- more on that soon!

MTA: 2017 Summer of Hell


Thursday, June 8, 2017

"Leaving New York" - Even More Excerpts!

Excerpt from Leaving New York by Tony Dunlap:

“As they moved north to begin Jacob’s ghastly “witness” tour, numbness took hold of Tommy. Time ceased its feeling. The neat division of days, the predictable emotional chart of the week—the excitement of Fridays and Saturdays, the melancholy of Sundays and Mondays, the neutral arc of Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays—collapsed into sameness. The night no longer felt separate from the daytime, just a continuation of a blank temporal plane, much like the Texas landscape they drove through, an expanse of flatlands and desert, civilization hiding, nothing to see except the occasional batch of oil rigs and desolate towns. The car became less a mode of transport and more a lifeline to the familiar, to sanity. They drove constantly yet seemed to get nowhere, on and on, and on and on. And so they drifted . . .

. . . and drifted . . .

. . . drifting along Highway 90, bypassing Houston completely, as Tommy and Eric alternated driving duties, talking little, Jacob losing himself in his iPod, his white ear buds occasionally falling out, stopping for gas and food at rests stops . . .

. . . drifting onto Highway 45, passing through places called The Woodlands, Conroe, Willis . . . cutting through a patch of Sam Houston National Forest—finally some greenery!—then plunging back again into the barrenness, unceasing, relentless, the sun boiling the car in daytime, the air conditioner blasted “high, the nighttime dropping into sudden cold . . . hours and hours of silence, fiddling with the radio, trying to find a decent radio station, avoiding the country music and religious programming that predominated, listening to Eric’s iPod on occasion, giving him a needed dose of rap music, jiving to the Wu-Tang Clan, followed by the endless, endless, endless strains of “November Rain” by Gun’s’Roses . . .

. . . drifting by several more towns, including several “-villes”: Huntsville, Madisonville, Centerville—stopping, as always, for more food and gas, Eric calling his karaoke bar back in Portland, getting updates on how business was faring in his absence, agreeing with his manager to make this or that purchase, allowing such and such a person to be hired, one to be fired, yelling when he heard that his accountant hadn’t completed his taxes on time and he would have to pay for an extension, the delivery of an important piece of equipment that had been delayed . . .

. . . drifting further, everyone sleeping heavily at night in a bland motel, waking up early, awkwardly lingering around the “cramped room, watching TV while one or the other of them showered (the only real privacy any of them got was in the bathroom), all conversation between them exhausted, their laundry bulging in their bags, their supply of clean clothes dwindling, their hair getting longer, no barber shops in sight, their nerves jangling, close to fraying . . .

. . . drifting, inching more like it, towards Dallas . . .”

Get it today at  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727QQ7FX for only $3.99!

What's the Best Broadway Song of the Last 40 Years?

I'm not a big fan of "best" lists -- you know, those intentionally provocative lists that attempt to compile, in some determinate order, what is the best of this and that when any such "best" conclusions are purely subjective. So I read this "30 Best Broadway Songs of the Past 40 Years" with a bit of skepticism -- and it justifies my skepticism. Some of the songs on the list are spot on - "Memory" from Cats, "Don't Cry for Me "Argentina" from Evita, "Sunday" and "Our Time" from Sondheim musicals. But "Beauty and the Beast?" Which is originally from a movie? "One Day More" from Les Miz but not "I Dreamed a Dreamed?" Come on! And no "Tomorrow" from Annie? As my five-year old daughter would say, "Are you kidding me?"
My favorite musical from the last few years, The Book of Mormon, shows up on this list with "I Believe" but that's not really the best song from that musical -- there several, like "You and Me (But Mostly Me)", "All-American Prophet" and several others that are quite better. My favorite is "Hassa Diga Eibowai" which is the funniest song I've ever heard. As this list and my observations prove, there's no "best" of anything -- just the continuing effort to make great work. That's what we should be celebrating.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"The Deuce" - Upcoming HBO Show Set in 1970s NYC!


"Leaving New York" - Yet Another Excerpt

Excerpt from Leaving New York by Tony Dunlap:

“A truck zoomed past, the driver wearing a giant black cowboy hat, a bumper sticker on the back of the truck reading: SOMEWHERE IN KENYA, A VILLAGE IS MISSING AN IDIOT.
 
Tommy said, “I’ve never felt more like a Jew than at this very moment.”
 
“We gotta be careful,” said Eric. “We’re a bunch of New York Jews in a nasty Republican state. Everyone in Texas has a gun. I mean everyone. If you’re a Democrat here, it’s legal for them to shoot you. Don’t piss anyone off by saying the word ‘Obama.’ Watch ... out.” 

Get it today at  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727QQ7FX for only $3.99!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

"Leaving New York" - Another Excerpt

Excerpt from Leaving New York by Tony Dunlap:

“Brandy looked flummoxed. “You guys are ... weird,” she said after a pregnant pause. She pointed at Arjun. “I thought he was cute, but—Jen, let’s go.” She rose up with Jenna following.

She looked back at Tommy. “Maybe I’ll see you in New “York.” 

Slightly inebriated, Tommy felt bold. He told Jenna, dead on, “Let me give you some advice, totally unsolicited. Don’t move to New York. New York isn’t what you think it is. Not anymore. It’s a parody of itself, and not even a very good parody. Stay here, or find another city to fall in love with. Go to Dubuque or someplace and make that cool. New York hasn’t been cool since 1978.”

Get it today at  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727QQ7FX for only $3.99!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"Leaving New York" - Now only $3.99!

To paraphrase Wally Brando from the new "Twin Peaks" series: "My dharma is the road. Your dharma ... is Leaving New York!"

Okay, just kidding. Still, if you like a good road story, or if you're into your dharma, read it today!

Got to https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0727QQ7FX to get your newly reduced priced copy! Now only $3.99!

You can also visit and Like the Leaving New York Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/leavingny/

Excerpt from Leaving New York by Tony Dunlap:

“You’re really high.” Eric grabbed Tommy’s shoulder again.

“What’re you doing?”


“Just come with me a sec.” They crossed the street and came to the edge of Riverside Park. Eric pointed towards the Hudson River and the twinkling lights of the mainland, quietly noble in the night air. “What do you see there?”


Exhausted, Tommy groaned, “Eric, what is this about?”


“Just tell me what you see, dude!”


“New Jersey!”


“No, dude. See, that’s your limited thinking right there. You imprison your own imagination, your view of the world. You’re just seeing what’s in front of you, not what’s beyond it. You don’t get what it means. You know what’s over there, T?”


“What?”


“Everything!”


“Oh dear God . . .”


“The future, dude. Manifest destiny! The whole . . . country. All of it's right there, just across the river. It’s like . . . we’re on the doorstep of America, right? And that river is the threshold. All you have to do is cross it and the rest of your life begins. Get off this tiny cramped island, get out of this cluster-fuck of a city, and go out into the great beyond. Just like our ancestors did. Re-blaze the trail, dude. Liberate yourself! Excelsior!”

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The History and the Power of 1977

Almost fifty years ago, the journalist Gay Talese published an explosive book about The New York Times called The Kingdom and the Power: The Story of The Men Who Influence The Institution That Influences the World. It was an expose about the people behind the mighty newspaper, the power behind the power, the rulers of this informational kingdom. Who were these people? Where did they come from? What did they do? How did it affect us?

In the mid-aughts, another journalist named Jonathan Mahler published a book about New York City in the pivotal year of 1977 called Ladies and Gentleman, the Bronx is Burning. It summed up how, in that one year, Rupert Murdoch took over the New York Post, Ed Koch got elected mayor, the cultural powerhouse Studio 54 opened, the Son of Sam killer was caught, the quintessential New York movies Annie Hall and Saturday Night Fever were released, and the Yankees capped the year by winning the World Series. It was an amazing year, the first full years of my life, and it profoundly affected how NYC was governed and perceived in the decades ahead. I blogged about it extensively here in 2007. 

But that year, and that time, was even more extraordinary than we realized even as late as 2007. Because back then the seeds that would come to rule not only NYC but our entire country were being planted.

As previously mentioned, the movie Annie Hall was released. The impact of that movie on our culture, the entire genre of late 20th and early 21st century romantic comedy -- ironic, revisionist, and sometimes even non-romantic -- was born. Who could have guessed, back then, the impact that movie would have on American culture? Who could have guessed that Woody Allen would still be making movies and winning Oscars 40 years later? And yet here we are.

This was also the year that a young radio DJ named Howard Stern began his broadcasting career. He wasn't in NYC yet, he was stuck at a little radio station in Westchester, but 40 years later he is the absolute King of All Media and one of the most powerful people in American culture.

But there was a dark side to accompany this cultural excitement. In 1977, NYC was still reeling from the 1975 fiscal crises when the city nearly went bankrupt. Never shy to seize an opportunity, this was the time when the rich took back control of NYC. No longer did the unions, the working people, and the political clubs run this town, at least not absolutely; instead, the financiers and the real estate developers asserted their clout, and austerity policies were forced upon the city's populace along with more lenient rules for the aforementioned financiers and real estate developers -- one of who was named Donald Trump. He was a product of that time, a time when the rich brushed away the impediments to their greed while the common people were trampled underneath it. Today, NYC and America are more economically unequal than ever -- and Donald Trump is, horrifyingly, president of the country.

The power of today started here in NYC in 1977. In many ways, that year, that time, has never ended. History is forever present. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Now Available: "Leaving New York" on Amazon KDP

As previously announced, the big day has arrived! Yes, after four years of intermittent toil, yours truly, Mr NYC, has published his first novel. 

It's called "Leaving New York" and it's a road trip story about two friends set in the spring of 2011. So, if you're in the mood for an entertaining story and a little early nostalgia for the Obama era, this novel's for you!

Here's the little advertising spiel that better describes the book:

Calculating route . . .

Newly thirty, newly single, stuck in a boring job, and living with his father, Tommy Sayles is in the fast lane to nowhere.

But when his pal Eric Steinberg blows into town, unexpected events lead them to toss aside their lives and go on a wild road trip. Along the way, the friends encounter old acquaintances, new lovers, strange characters, big challenges, and unexpected joys. And yet, as they travel into an exciting future, the past isn’t far behind.

Journeying from the streets of New York City to the rolling terrain of the Midwest, barreling through the haunted underbelly of the South and the alluring danger of the West, going all the way to the sexy outrageousness of the Coast, Leaving New York is an unforgettable ride into the soul of America.

Friends can take you anywhere. 

You can buy it now on Amazon KDP at Leaving New York. Thanks! Hope you enjoy!
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

The End of "Girls"


I haven't written a lot about the HBO series "Girls" on here, the Brooklyn-based dramedy about four twenty-something women living in NYC. I was a fan, if not a big fan, of this show but it was always well-done, very funny, and quite insightful about the crazy minefield that is one's twenties.

Seeing it in my thirties gave me a grim satisfaction at having survived this miserable time. The thing about one's twenties, if you make it out, isn't so much that you've survived it but that you've been defined by it -- and will be, for the rest of your life.


Now it's over (the final episode debuted last night) and something occurs to me: the ending of "Girls" really marks, to me at least, the end of the Obama era more than the actual end of the presidency did. There was something about this show -- namely, its youthful energy, its cosmopolitan attitude, its celebration of tolerance -- that was reflective of that optimistic presidency.

The fact that "Girls" overlapped the very end of Obama's first term and the entirety of its second makes it a show firmly rooted in that time; that its final melancholic season occurs in the first days of the Trump nightmare shows that "Girls", like the Obama presidency, was a special thing that can only last so long. Eventually, darkness falls. Your youth ends. And then you go on. 

Jackie Robinson Breaks the Color Barrier - Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NY, April 15 1947


Friday, April 7, 2017

Announcement

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging much lately and the reasons are simple: I have two kids, a full-time job, a marriage, and a life. But there's another reason -- I've also been writing a book.

That's right, after ten-plus years of blogging, and four years of on-and-off effort, I've finally finished composing a novel that I've very proud of and can't wait to inflict on the world. 

The book will be released via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing within the next few weeks (I'm aiming for the end of this month). Needless to say, once it's published, I will post all about it here (quite often) and include a link so ya'll can purchase a copy and hopefully even read it. 

So get excited (or not) and check back here at the end of April. Thanks!  

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ten Years of Mr NYC

Well, it had to happen sometime: ten years ago today, yes, a full and complete decade, Mr NYC debuted here on the interwebs. 

Can you believe it? Neither can I.

If you'd like to read the first, inauspicious blog post, you can go here to get all nostalgic. 

I could get all boring about this so I won't. I could go on and on about what ten years of Mr NYC "means" but I don't kid myself -- it probably doesn't mean all that much. I will, however, note the following ten things about this blog in its ten years of existence:

1. Most blogs don't last very long but this one has lasted a decade -- not a bad achievement.

2. This blog has been viewed over 300,000, more than a quarter of a million, times. That's roughly the population of Iceland. Pretty cool, huh? (Pun intended.) The blog is regularly read by over 1,100 a month. That's a good "traffic" jam."

3. There have been more than 1600 posts all written, for better or worse, by yours truly.

4. This blog has been read all over the world -- the United States, Germany, France, Ukraine, China, Russia, the UK, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Poland, Turkey, Canada, and others.

5. This blog has survived three presidents, three governors, and two mayors.    

6. We have done interviews with all sorts of NYC characters like Kenny Kramer, Kurt Anderson, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Richard Bey, and others. 

7. Since this blog started, I got married, had two kids, and bought a house  

8. The most popular blog posts around about Alison Steele, Film Forum, and Rao's. I've never been able to figure out what makes a popular post.

9. Readership for this blog seems to spike in the middle of the month for some reason. Still don't know why.

10. I've made some money from this blog but still need a day job.

So I hope you've enjoyed the ten years of Mr NYC. I hope they'll be ten more.

To be continued! 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jimmy Breslin RIP

Jimmy Breslin, the famous newspaper columnist and quintessential New Yorker, died this past weekend. His regular Daily News column reigned like a lion in the second half of 20th century NYC. 

Breslin wrote about everything and everyone, and he did what all great journalists should do: he afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted. He tortured corrupt politicians and businessmen with withering words and he reported on the humanity of the common man, the regular Joe. He was a gumshoe reporter, a deadline hack, a chaser of headlines, a man of the newsprint that dirtied your hands while opening your mind and touching your heart. Sure, he won a Pulitzer Prize, hosted Saturday Night Live, and published books as well but that never changed him or the focus of his writing. He was a New Yorker and a writer through-and-through and that was probably enough for him.

Needless to say, for a reporter and a New Yorker who was so influential and popular, the tributes are pouring in. You can read some of them here and here and here. And in this age of social media and screaming heads on cable news, this city may never see the likes of reporters like Jimmy Breslin again.  



Thursday, March 9, 2017

A Day Without Women NYC


Et in Bohemia Ergo

NYC is the epicenter of wealth, glamour, culture, and power but it has also long been something else -- the capital of Bohemian American.
This city has always attracted the freaks and the funky, the artists and the thinkers, the dreamers and the strivers, and the weirdos who just want to "hang." Long before any place -- New Orleans, San Francisco, Austin or Portland, Oregon -- challenged us for the place where la vie Boheme thrived, this city, more than any other, was where Bohemians flocked.

Not all Bohemians are created equal, of course. Roughly categorized, Bohemians broke down into the following:
  • Nouveau: bohemians with money who attempt to join traditional bohemianism with contemporary culture
  • Gypsy: the expatriate types, they create their own Gypsy ideal of nirvana wherever they go
  • Beat: also drifters, but non-materialist and art-focused
  • Zen: "post-beat," focus on spirituality rather than art
  • Dandy: no money, but try to appear as if they have it by buying and displaying expensive or rare items – such as brands of alcohol
Today, NYC is less friendly to traditional Bohemians (except for the Nouveau). But these two articles, one about the late Andy Warhol, another about the Chelsea Hotel, seek to put the Bohemian experience in NYC into some context and how this city might, just might, be able to retain its spirit in the era of the gentrification onslaught.



Keep NYC weird!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Smithereens

If you love NYC, you love movies about NYC, especially those that depict a real-life, on the streets, brutally honest version of it.

I can't think of a better example than director Susan Seidelman's 1982 independent movie Smithereens. Set in the East Village during the dying days of punk rock, Smithereens is about a young woman, a New Jersey-transplant named Wren, who has no money, no real friends, no particular talent (musical, artistic, or otherwise) who is trying to become part of a scene that doesn't want her. She gets kicked out of her apartment, tries to hook up with a failed rock star who mostly ignores her, and toys with the affections of a young man from Montana who lives in a van. This is a story about a nobody from nowhere destined to become nothing. It's both sad and poignant, a reminder that not all stories have happy endings.  

This movie was made for almost no money and doesn't star anyone famous, but it's a fascinating look at downtown NYC at a time when the city was dirty, dangerous, and fun. It's about people living on the fringes of the city, barely surviving in a Manhattan where you still could, some way or another, afford to starve in. It's the NYC that exists today only in memory, the city some still yearn for, that others are glad is good and buried. It's also one of the earliest independent movies, made outside the studio system, launching Susan Seidelman's career (her next film was Desperately Seeking Susan that featured a young singer named Madonna), culminating in the 1990s movie renaissance with directors like Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh, and Quentin Tarantino. 

If you liked the Coen Brothers Inside Llewin Davis, another great movie about a homeless aspiring musician (it came out in 2013 but is set in 1961 Greenwich Village), you should check out Smithereens. It'll remind you of what this city was -- and what it's still about today. 
Seidelman herself reflect on her movie in these two great interviews:

Blogging Mojo

You may have noticed that I haven't been blogging lately, and there's a reason why -- it's name is Donald Trump.

I'll admit it -- ever since the orange orangutan vaulted from tabloid joke to leader of the free world, my blogging mojo has been hammered. It's been tough to work up the enthusiasm necessary to write about the very same city that produced the man currently menacing the White House. It's like seeing something you love betray you. It's like finding out that your childhood friend became a serial killer. How NYC, the most progressive and tolerant city in America, could produce this country's first truly fascist president, is beyond me. It's a nightmare, particularly for someone who takes such pride in his hometown.

I always wanted someone from New York City to become president - just not this someone!

The good news is that, in the weeks since he became president, the Resistance has come out in full force. It's amazing to watch ordinary citizens march and protest and fight back. I never thought it would happen this quickly or this loudly. I'm doing my best, as a busy professional with two small kids, to get involved. This blog is my small part of the Resistance but I recognize it's not enough. So that part of the story is TBD.

That said, my blogging mojo has returned -- somewhat. It's coming back, slowly but surely. Stay tuned. It gonna get REAL!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Outer Boroughs Strike Back!

The mind of Donald Trump is a terrifying place -- that much is obvious considering that, ten days in, his presidency is shaping up to be one of the most horrible, destructive, dangerous, neo-fascist reigns we've ever suffered through. What makes this horrible man so horrible?

Well, here's one theory: he's a resentful B&Ter, a child of the outer boroughs who resents the "elites" and the high-falutin snobs of Manhattan, and is using the powers of the nation's highest office as a mode of payback. He's driven to hurt "those people" who look down on him, as well as "those people" who are, let's face it, not white.

I don't entirely subscribe to this theory - I'm the child of outer boroughers, I live in an outer borough, I know lots and lots and lots of outer boroughers, and none of them are anything like this gaseous horror befouling the White House. That said, there's some interesting points in this article that defends the "outer borough resentment" that fuels this man so it's worth a read.

Thankfully, here in the outer borough at JFK airport, people are protesting this man-- and being heard. Long may they continue. Short may he reign


Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Women's March in NYC


January 20, 2017: The Presidency of Donald J. Trump begins.

January 21, 2017: The end of the Presidency of Donald J. Trump begins.

Watching hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, and millions more around the country and globe, protest the noxious new president and his awful agenda, renewed my hope for humanity. It was overwhelming and exciting to see. I don't think Trump or the GOP knows what's going to hit them but this gave me a very good idea.

The dark time over. The resistance has begun. This is the morning.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The 2nd Avenue Subway Finally Opens

Midnight on January 1, 2017 was uniquely interesting moment in NYC history. At Times Square, Mariah Carey made a complete botch of her New Year's Eve performance but, just a little further uptown, the long-delayed, long-needed 2nd Avenue Subway finally opened after more than a century of talk and planning. This is a truly historic moment and reminder to the incoming administration that government - GASP - can do good things.