Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Belvedere Castle

Plunked in the middle of Central Park, rising sphinx-like out of the boulders, sits Belvedere Castle.

Growing up, I always wondered, in my most Seinfeldian, "What's the deal with Belvedere Castle? Why's it there? Why's it called that? Is it even really a castle?"

Well, no, it's not a castle, not really -- it's a place where you can walk up to its big terrace and get great views of the city and park.

In fact, that's why it's called "Belvedere", which is Italian for "beautiful view."

It was built in 1869, back when the city did cool things like big huge parks and structures just to make life more pleasant for its citizens. You know, the public good.

Anyway, the public good is being served somewhat now as Belvedere Castle is being closed until 2019 for structural repairs.  So, until then, enjoy the "bella" view from here:

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Re-Purposing of NYC

It's a cliche to say that NYC is always re-inventing itself. 

Just walk around any neighborhood and you'll see old buildings being torn down and new ones being built, you'll see old businesses vanishing and new ones opening, you'll see old people and young people walking around -- the past receding, the future proceding.

But the city also recycles itself. It takes the old and, instead of replacing it, re-purposes it to make it new while also preserving it perennial qualities. The past remains and the future remakes it.

Take, for example, the turrets of old buildings and houses -- once decorative rooms for the wealthy, now they're apartments.

Or the old coffee houses of Greenwich Village -- they remain but either they've become more upscale and restaurant-like or they've become living shrines to the past.

Even the media gets re-purposed -- the hyper-local newspapers Gothamist and DNA Info closed a few months ago due to a union-busting owner but, thanks to the benevolence of WNYC Radio, they've re-emerged as non-profit news sites.

So while it's easy to mourn the lost, vanishing NYC, it's also important to remember that the city isn't always erasing its past -- it's simply re-working it.     

Monday, February 26, 2018

World Trade Center - February 26, 1993

Lower Manhattan has always been terrorist target.

9/11/2001 was only the most horrific example of attacks that have taken place in that area for nearly a century. Wall Street was bombed in 1920 and Frances Tavern was hit in 1975. And 9/11 wasn't the first time the World Trade Center was attacked -- it happened in 1993, twenty-five years ago today (below is a new clips from that day, showing what a relatively small story it was at the time). 

Densely populated, the economic center of the world, and a historical nerve center, Lower Manhattan shows both the greatness of NYC and America -- and these terrorist attacks also show the dangers that come with it.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Meet the FLONYC

The current First Lady of the United States (or FLOTUS) is a European-born former model named Melania who is little more than a trophy wife/mail-order bride for a rich, unattractive, incredibly insecure horrible man who cheats on her with, and sexually assaults, other women. As a FLOTUS, she is useless. Most First Ladies have had causes they've worked on -- Michelle Obama promoted healthy eating, Laura and Barbara Bush promoted literacy, Hilary Clinton promoted children's issues, Rosalind Carter promoted awareness of mental health issues, and Nancy Reagan taught us all to "Just Say No" to drugs. Melania says she wants to raise "awareness" of cyber-bullying but, since she's married to the world's most famous cyber-bully, her cri de coeur is an obvious jokes and she's done nothing about it. In fact, she does nothing at all as far as anyone can tell.   

But the current First Lady of New York City (FLONYC), Chirlane McCray, is a marvelously accomplished and impressive woman. While married to the current mayor, she used to work as a speechwriter for past mayors, has published essays, and now works with her husband, the mayor, on a number of issues effecting the most vulnerable New Yorkers. She works tirelessly on issues regarding services for LGBTQ people and even established the city's first  24/7 mental health hotline. She's also working to make life -- and therefore rehabilitation -- easier for women in city jails as well as helping women flee the horrors of domestic abuse. Considering how many projects she's working on, Chirlane sounds busier than her husband! 

NYC is lucky to have a FLONYC like her. If only she could be our FLOTUS!     

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Billy Graham, RIP

The legendary preacher died today at the age of 99. Here is his famous 1957 Yankee Stadium "crusade" service. And, of course, his early 1970s chat with Woody, as bizarre an encounter you could ever hope to see. 

Weird Weather

Let history record that in NYC on:

Sunday, February 18, 2018, it was cold and it snowed.

Wednesday, February 21, it's 74 degrees.

This weather yo-yo is, well, odd. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A Taste of Old NYC

Once upon a time there was a restaurant called Sloppy Louie's. It was right off Fulton Street, way in the depths of Lower Manhattan, and was the kind of joint where guys in short-sleeve white button downs and ties would gather at lunch time, eat, smoke, and talk. It's the kind of place that doesn't exist much in NYC anymore but Sloppy Louie's had a great run, lasting 68 years, from 1930 to 1998.

Best of all, it was located mere blocks from the Fulton Fish Market and was able to serve some of the freshest fish in the city.

And while Sloppy' Louie's is, sadly, long gone, one of its best recipes survives: a bouillabaisse called Ciuppin di Pesce. It's very, very fish and seafood heavy and it looks amazing. So, while one can't time travel back to Sloppy Louie's and the NYC is thrived in, one can taste it. 

Ciuppin di Pesce
INGREDIENTS:1 medium Carrot sliced, 2 medium Onions sliced, 1 clove Garlic, 4 Tbsp Olive oil, 3
lbs Fish in season, cooked and boned, 
1 cup Tomatoes, 1 Bay leaf, 2 cups Fish stock or water, 1 dozen Oysters, clams or scallops, 1 cup Shrimp or crab, 3 tsp Salt, .5 tsp Pepper, 2 Tbsp Lemon juice, .25 cup Sherry
DIRECTIONS: Brown the carrot, onions, and garlic in hot olive oil in a large pot. Remove the garlic clove. Add the fish, tomatoes, bay leaf and stock. Allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and add all the remaining ingredients, except for the sherry. Add the sherry right before serving.

The Making of the Mayor 2021

Mayor De Blasio is less than two months into his second four-year term and already his would-be successors are circling the throne. The mayor is term-limited so, barring a catastrophe, De Blasio will be leaving office at the end of the 2021 and a new mayor will be elected to take his place.

Who will it be?

On the one hand, it's far too early to speculate -- after all, we're still almost three years away from the 2020 presidential election, who's thinking about the 2021 mayoral race? -- but, if you want to be mayor, it's never too early. In fact, as previous mayors and candidates indicate, it takes years to pull together a credible campaign, raise the necessary money, and position oneself to have a legitimate shot. The next mayor is out there, somewhere, planning his or her run.

Here are some of the rumored contenders thus far: 

City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D)
Public Advocate Tish James (D)
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz (D)
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams (D)
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz (D)
City Councilman Eric Adams (R)

Of course, some of them might not run -- or run for other offices (I wouldn't be surprised if one or two of the borough presidents go for Public Advocate or Comptroller instead, like Stringer did). Some of them might get lucky and win a congressional seat or get a high-level appointment. Some of them (naturally) might be felled by scandal. And, of course, all of them might get swept away by another Bloomberg-like candidate, a super-rich outsider who essentially outspends and outsells himself/herself to the public (and does the whole "I'm a rich outsider who's beholden to no-one and can fix it" blah blah blah -- it worked out with Mayor Bloomberg but not so much with the current POTUS).

Four years is many eternities in politics so don't be shocked if some (or all) of the above comes true. But I'll be interested, in 2021, after we elect a new mayor, to see which one of these aspirants become part of history -- and who else is destined to be forgotten.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Debbie Does Dallas@40

Or: Debbie didn't do Dallas -- Bambi bonked Brooklyn. 

The movie Boogie Nights, made in 1997, is a nostalgic look at the late 1970s "Golden Age" of adult film. The basic premise of the movie is that porn was on the cusp of becoming respectable -- that these could be movies and not just prurient recordings of sex.  At one point in Boogie Nights an established porn director, played brilliantly by Burt Reynolds, talks about how he wants to make movies that people will remember, that people will want to see as much for the story and characters as for the "boinking", that porn will take its place in the firmament of cinematic art. "I'm a filmmaker!" he exclaims defiantly at one point. 

Then, as the movie shows, the 1980s and videotape (plus Ronald Reagan and AIDS) came along and ruined it all. 

Of course, this was never really the case. Porn movies were never really going to become mainstream cinema, people weren't really going to watch them for the story/characters, there were never any such movies (even classics like Deepthroat or Behind the Green Door) that could even remotely be called "good movies" (as opposed to "good porn movies"). All videotape did was put them in their proper place -- to be watched comfortably at home instead of embarrassingly in theaters. 

That said, some adult movies are certainly better and more memorable than others. Some craft a legacy. And probably the last Golden Age movie was 1978's Debbie Does Dallas, a movie that's now forty years old. For some reason, this one's remembered. Perhaps it's the alliterative title. Perhaps it's the plot (a bunch of cheerleaders try to raise money to send Debbie to try out for the "Texas Cowgirls" cheerleading squad). Perhaps it's because the star, Bambi Woods, made very few movies and then vanished. Whatever the reason, it's one of the few, very few adult movies that people have heard of even if they've never seen it.

And here's where it gets interesting: Debbie Does Dallas wasn't made in Dallas at all but in NYC -- specifically, in Brooklyn. 

It was filmed (mostly and covertly) around the campus of Brooklyn College. It's a New York production from start to finish, and its secret filming caused great controversy when revealed. It also stars NYC natives like Robin Byrd, giving it a distinct New York flavor. It has nothing to do with Dallas at all.

For whatever reason, this movie has become perhaps one of the most "respectable" porn movies ever made. When I was in college (actually, just before I arrived on campus) it was shown by the student film society. It was a big hit in 1978 and generated sequels. People have even gone back to find the original places in Brooklyn where it was filmed. It has, for whatever reason, endured beyond its merits as a film.

I'm not going to link to this movie for obvious reasons but you can find it on the interwebs. It fell out of copyright (it was lost for some reason) so it's free to all. 

What I find most interesting about Debbie Does Dallas and the Golden Age movies like them, and what makes them historic (if not "great") movies, is that we will probably never see their likes again. They tried, and in some cases succeeded, in being cinematic if not necessary "good" movies. Thanks to the short-attention span immediacy of the Internet, porn today is no longer cinematic in any regard -- even 1980s and 1990s videotaped movies look like Bergmanesque masterpieces compared to what's being produced today -- so Debbie Does Dallas, its Golden Age brethren, and the filmmaking community that produced it is yet another NYC scene that has vanished forever. 

So, when you watch Debbie Does Dallas, you're watching yet fascinating kind of cultural and NYC history -- and that's worth remembering. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

New Labels

Look to your right and you will notice a new feature on Mr NYC: all of this blog's interviews, reviews, "memos", "classics" and travel posts (tagged "Mr NYC in ...") are now neatly labeled and easily accessible. These Labels appear just above the Previous Entries section and cover the entire lifespan of this blog.

Many eons ago someone recommended that I label all of the blog posts but they are so random and various in subject matter that doing so would be an exercise in madness.

However, having done a wonderful number of interviews, reviews and travel posts, as well as the classic posts, over the years, I thought it would be a good idea put these specific posts together and make them easily accessible.


The New York Post is Right! (For Once)

The recent school shooting in Florida is yet another horrible mass killing in this land where it's become so common that we've become numb to it. 

Remember Las Vegas? 

That was less than five months ago and now it's practically forgotten -- never mind that fifty-nine people were killed! Fifty-nine people who never went back to their families and friends, ripped from the world, gone forever. And now this tragedy in Florida where it involves kids -- children, young innocents! Remember Sandy Hook? In the aftermath of that unthinkable tragedy the Republican Congress voted down a simple gun background check law. 

The message was and is clear: we love guns more than kids. Specifically, Republicans like our President and Congress love guns more than kids -- Family Values indeed.  

The year 2018 is less than two months old and Donald Trump's America is more of a shooting gallery than ever.

But maybe ... just maybe ... possibly ... one holds out a glimmer of hope that it's possible ... that it might change. Maybe we will have sensible gun law.

To whit: this morning's New York Post -- one of the most virulent right-wing newspapers in the country -- is urging Trump to embrace gun control in a "Nixon goes to China", "you have lots of gun cred so only you can pass this" attitude. It's a shock -- a pleasant one, a broken-watch-is-right-twice-a-day one -- that even one of the most conservative media outlets is shouting "ENOUGH!" Even that old reptile Murdoch is sick of this! If enough such media and political figures  start to support better gun laws perhaps, when my own kids are older, they and their peers will be just a little bit safer.      

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A 2000 Valentine's Day Warning

Eighteen years ago on this very Valentine's Day, in the year two triple-naught, in these United States of America, including here in NYC, people were feeling relieved: we had all survived the dreaded Y2K threat, the hysterical fear that at midnight on December 31, 1999, civilization would melt down -- the electrical grid and communication systems and everything that made our world function would crash (because they wouldn't recognize yearly numbers that didn't begin with "19") and there would be riots, murder, mayhem, bedlam, all sorts of "mean nasty" stuff to paraphrase Woody Guthrie. Scary! 

But nothing happened. Everything was fine. Craziness did not ensue. And all us on January 1, 2000 entered the new millennium feeling that the world would be "foin." Optimism reigned.

Six weeks into this new year of 2000, on February 14, Valentine's Day, Howard Stern was doing his radio show. Robin Quivers reported the news. She talked about the goings on in the Republican Presidential primary (would it be Bush or McCain?) and she mentioned an odd story about how Donald Trump was no longer interested in running for president on the Reform Party line. Howard scoffed at the idea that Trump would ever run for president let alone get elected: Trump, Howard and Robin guffawed, loved "banging models" more than politics, and would rather be the president of "poontang."

Oh, if only we'd been so lucky.

Here we are, two decades later, and that threat Howard and all of us didn't take seriously at the time has come true. If fact, worst of all, we didn't even realize it was a threat! But now we all know the ugly history: Bush became president and messed up the country and now Trump is president and messing it up even more. We laughed then -- and now we cry. 

Today we live inside of a bad joke gone very, very wrong. 

So just remember on this day of love, there are things (or people) that we don't take seriously that can, much later, cause us much pain. Warning signs abound. And the things we freak out about can (like Y2K) become nothing while the things we don't think about (like Al Queda or Trump) can come along and ruin everything.

Consider yourself warned.

Happy Valentine's Day!  

Listen to this episode here and fast-forward to 2:51:55. 

2018 State of the City

Monday, February 12, 2018


Larry King (Brooklyn native btw) used to have a feature on his Twitter handle called "It'sMy2Cents" -- a place where the legendary broadcaster would post nonsensical statements, rhetorical questions, and various other pointless observations. Some examples:

"I know about the dangers of sugar but I still love jellybeans"

"The net in baseball parks should run right to the end of the dugouts"

"Why do turtles live well over a hundred years?"

For whatever reason, ol' Larry has slacked on providing "ItsMy2Cents" wisdom lately so, in the spirit of social media nonsense, here's Mr NYC's contributions to the genre:

"Why is it called "limon"cello?"

"What's the "cello" in limoncello?"

"Can openers are tricky"

"Suspenders are funny"

"I've never found a scarf that doesn't itch"

"No one really likes figs"

"It takes a long time to realize that life is short"

"Are pots ever used to fill potholes?"

"Do you ever feel lucky at a potluck?"

"That Eddie Van Halen sure plays a mean guitar"

"Where's the scotch in hopscotch?"

"That breadmaker is a helluva invention"

"Why is it called Wyoming?"

If this post gets enough clicks, they'll be more!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Manhattan Plaza: Kramer's Crash Pad

There's a non-distinct high-rise on West 42nd Street, basically a very large public housing project, that turns out to have been a place where an unusually large number of creative people lived in their early days (including singer Alicia Keys who was literally born there) -- a rather drab sister to the Chelsea Hotel.  

It's called Manhattan Plaza, and it remains one of the few affordable places to live in midtown Manhattan.

One resident was the notorious Kenny Kramer and he was living there when he got to know his neighbor, a struggling comedian and comedy writer named Larry David. The rest, needless to say, is television history.

Kenny Kramer actually did an interview for this blog back in 2007 which you can read here. There's also a new document about this building coming out soon called Miracle on 42nd Street. I can't wait to see it!

Frank Pellegrino, Sr. RIP

One of my most popular blog posts, from more than ten years ago, is about my first visit to famed East Harlem Italian restaurant Rao's (yes, I've gone more than once!).

It's the hardest table in town and I've gone there twice (including a visit after this original post).

The food at Rao's is amazing, the vibe friendly, and the atmosphere "old school" and funky. The restaurant is over 100 years ago and, for years, was run by a man named Frank Pellegrino, Sr. who died on Tuesday. This heartwarming tribute to the man and his restaurant is a must read. It tells you everything you need to know about this NYC institution and the man who kept it going for so long.

I was honored to twice have my order taken by Mr. Pellegrino, who couldn't have been nicer. The restaurant has no menus, he tells you what they're serving and you make your selections. This is the kind of place that makes NYC great, and Frank was reason for it. 

Rest in peace, Frank. I'm sure your table in heaven is ready for you.    

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Odd Couple@50

Fifty-years ago the movie The Odd Couple was released. It's probably the quintessential NYC roommate story about a slob and a neat-freak, Oscar and Felix, middle-aged men who've been kicked out by their wives and are looking to re-start their lives. Of course, unlike most NYC roommates, they live in a huge apartment on Riverside Drive (best line: "Do me a favor? Smoke towards New Jersey") and seemingly no money worries. 

Originally written as a play by Neil Simon, The Odd Couple movie, starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, was a huge hit. It inspired the successful 1970-1975 TV show with Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, a 1998 sequel with Lemmon and Matthau, another recent TV show from 2015-2017, and even an early 1980s TV show where Oscar and Felix were black (The New Odd Couple). Oscar and Felix seem to be perennial.


As a play and a movie, the story is okay but nothing terribly exciting. It's not even the best of Simon's plays (Lost in Yonkers or the Brighton Beach plays probably take those honors) and yet it's his most popular creation. Audiences seem unable to get enough of these wacky New York roommates and their antics. 

Again, why?

It's probably because it's a story about friendship, the original "bromance", and how men can help each other at difficult times in their lives. It's also an excuse for a couple of guys to be silly, "boys will be boys", and a chance for two actors to show their comedic chops. And it's about how there can be a bond between men that's separate and special from a romantic relationship that's not necessarily homoerotic or gay (more in the lines of "bros befo' hoes").

It's a story about a couple of New Yorkers that's also universal. Odd -- and understandable. 

What's also interesting about the original 1968 movie is that it was largely filmed on the streets of the city so it's a great way to look at what NYC was like fifty-years ago -- a city once very familiar and strange. Much like Oscar and Felix. 

Other favorite line from the movie, after Matthau throws a plate of linguini at a wall: "Now it's gah-bage!" 

Favorite line from The New Odd Couple, after one of the characters has given money to a hooker named Charity: "I gave it to charity."

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Michelangelo@The Met

Little late in blogging about this but that's only because I just saw the monumental exhibit "Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman & Designer" at the Metropolitan Museum a few days ago. It's a mind-blowing, overwhelming experience.

This is not a typical exhibit. Besides its scale, its ambition is greater than simply displaying Michelangelo's work. Its explores his education, development, growth and influence as an artist. We not only see the work Michelangelo created but also the work of his teachers and the artists he mentored and worked with. Specifically, it examines Michelangelo's disegno, or drawing, that is the basis for all arts (painting, sculpture, fashion etc.). The exhibit displays over 100 of his drawings, including the sketches he created in preparation for his great masterpiece, the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome (there is an entire exhibit room dedicated to the Sistine Chapel, including a 1/4 reproduction of it on the ceiling).

Perhaps my favorite drawing is one that Michelangelo created with this students: a collection of eye drawings, of various sizes, that dot the page, along with everyone's signatures. It's a reminder that, in his time, Michelangelo was a working artist and teacher, a draftsman. That's the genius of the man and this exhibit: it shows Michelangelo as a worker, a plodder, someone in the act of discovery, who created works that have lasted over 500 years. Genius, ultimately, is about simply working and working and working -- and re-working. Genius is not in the head, its in the doing.

This exhibit closes on February 12th so run and see it now -- and prepare to be amazed.   

P.S. There's an entire movie devoted to Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel, and his complex relationship with his patron, Pope Julius II, called The Agony and the Ecstasy. It came out in 1965 and, while not a great movie, it's a trip to see Charlton Heston (as Michelangelo) painting the Sistine Chapel and being berated by a crotchety Rex Harrison as the pope. 


Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Divine Ms. P

The first movie I ever saw in a theater was Annie, back in 1982. I didn't remember much about it except that I really liked the woman who played the bad guy's girlfriend. Sure, she was pretty, but there was something else about her, something more, a mysterious allure, that captivated me. You got the feeling in her performance that there was a depth to her character that we were only seeing the surface of, that there was more, a lot more, than met the eye. Oh, and she could sing. Boy could she sing!

I found out later that this actress was Bernadette Peters and I'm a lifelong fan.

Ironically, the first time I saw her was in a movie but she hasn't done a lot of movies in her career (although before Annie she was in the Steve Martin break out The Jerk) -- she's mostly done Broadway and is one of the last, truly great musical theater stars (check out my review of her performance in A Little Night Music from 2010). She's originated roles in Sondheim's A Sunday in the Park with George and Into the Woods, she's played Annie Oakley and Mama Rose, and very soon she'll be taking over from Bette Middler (the Divine Ms. M) in Hello Dolly. Ms. Peters is one of the great entertainers of our time, up there with Ethel Merman and Chita Rivera, and she'll be remembered long after she retires.

So, if you're a big fan like me, you should read this big interview with The Divine Ms. P from New York magazine. What's surprising about it is how modest, how normal she sounds -- considering that she's a Broadway and NYC legend, she sounds downright humble. Amazing.

If want to see The Divine Ms. P in something, you should watch her in two very different roles, from two very different eras, from her long career: the 1989 movie Slaves of New York and the current Amazon show Mozart in the Jungle. She's great in both, playing very different characters, but her talents, as always, shines through.

The fact that her career has lasted so long, in so many forms, speaks to her huge talent. 

P.S. A couple of years ago I saw Bernadette Peters being interviewed by some airhead on a red carpet and this interviewer was talking to the Divine Ms. P like she was a Kardashian or some such cultural bottom feeder (lots of "girlfriend!" etc.). I was offended that a massive talent like her was being talked to like a dummy by a dummy but classy way she acted the just made her all the more divine.    

Friday, February 2, 2018

Interview: Abby Feldman of the "Moist" Podcast

NYC is the real "comedy central" and there are more comedians and comedians with podcasts here than can be accurately counted; needless to say, for most of them, it's a challenge to be seen or heard above this din of hilarity. 

But the podcast "Moist" by the multi-talented funny person Abby Feldman does the job nicely: a Monday night live-stream features Feldman and another comedian of note talking in her bathtub. It's a unique show that explores, not only what's funny, but also what's uncomfortable in life -- and why that's funny. Abby was kind enough to give Mr NYC a quick interview about her career and her show, and why we should all tune in. (I should note that this interview wasn't uncomfortable at all which probably explains my failed interviewing skills.)

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career up until now.

Hey, I'm Abby. I create content that is funny & purposeful. I'm a co-star and writer on the Netflix comedy 'Gringolandia' and am currently writing and starring in the series spin-off 'Ovulady,' based on my character, Mary, doing whatever it takes to get pregnant. You can watch me every Monday night at 11pm live-streaming my new late night talk show 'Moist' live from my bathtub, and hosting ‘Moist Live!’ at The Creek & The Cave. I also created Comedy At Rockwood Music Hall which is part of the New York Comedy Festival! I'm bilingual in English & Spanish and have performed stand up in Spanish on TV in Chile and Argentina. You can see me perform stand up nightly around NYC. You can watch my contributions to the radical comedy news show 'Redacted Tonight' on RT America where I have written and performed over 70 sketches & segments and was interviewed by Larry King! My comedy news web series 'Bad News Goodnight' was just picked for 'Official Selection' at Dublin Web Fest. My improvised advice series "Love, Abby" won 'Best Original Series,' 'Best Actress' and 'Best Comedy' at LA WebFest. I trained in all levels of improv & sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade and learned method acting at The Lee Strasberg Institute. I am a Fulbright Scholar and made a documentary about the relativity of craziness at an Argentine mental hospital. I also love to dance and sing. I try to do both every morning. 

Your show is about things that make people uncomfortable which is certainly a cool if risky idea. What made you want to start it? 

When we’re uncomfortable is when we grow and learn the most about ourselves. A lot of what I do is taking the dark, difficult aspects of being human and reveal the hidden silver linings. Moist was born from my love of baths, helping uplift people and talking about taboo topics.

What's the funniest/strangest part about interviewing people in the bathtub?

You really bond with a person after you’ve shared a bath with them. Also, sometimes they fart. That’s funny.

What are some of the funniest or oddest things that have happened on the show?

I had Christine Meehan-Berg as a guest when she was 9+ months pregnant, then 4 months later her baby daughter Piper joined me in the tub. 

You interview mostly comedians. What other kinds of people would you like to interview?

More comedians

What are your hopes for the future of Moist? 

I’d like for Moist to evolve into a late night TV show with sketches, a political/social monologue, guests, a live audience, etc. 

What's your favorite thing about NYC?

The best part about NYC is you can feel like you’re in any part of the world while you’re in one tiny city. Food, people, shops, experiences. Also NYC has the best comedy scene in the world. 

Is there anything else you'd like to tell us?

70 percent of people say they don’t like the word “moist” but 100 percent of people are 70 percent moist. 

Thanks so much for doing this! 

My pleasure!

NYC Transit Chief Andy Byford

One of my chief interests in life -- besides, you know, everything else -- is transportation. 

Getting from here to there, specifically how we get from here to there, is something we don't think about much but transportation literally effects every aspect, as well as the trajectory, of our lives -- where we live, where we work, what friends we have (or not), who we even date (and love). How we literally move from place to place, how we zig and zag, determines our fate.

The fact that the transportation in NYC, for decades, had problems is not a surprise to any New Yorker (blame Robert Moses). It took decades to open only three subway stations on the far East Side of Manhattan. Being charge of any aspect of NYC transit is thankless task. That's why it's interesting that man named Andy Byford -- a Brit who was in charge of transportation in London and most recently Toronto -- has come to NYC to be the head of NYC Transit. Here he talks about his vision for transit in NYC and what he hopes to accomplish. Don't ignore this guy -- his vision may very well become our collective fate.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Hook Up City

When you have a city of 8.5 million folks, needless to say, there's a lot of chances to "hook up", "get busy", "get lucky", "do the nasty", you know, that kind of stuff. Lots of people = lots of opportunities for liaisons d'amour

These days people in NYC (and elsewhere) mostly use dating apps to hook up. But, occasionally, people actually like to meet in person first without using an electronic weeding system. Apparently the Union Pool hall in Brooklyn is the best hook up joint in NYC but I'm sure there are other places where a young (or not so young) person could get some action.

How about you? Where do you like to go to hook up in NYC? Help our readers out!