Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Echo in Madison Square Park

If you're down in the Flatiron District, be sure to swing by Madison Square Park. After you get your burger at Shake Shack, have a seat and stare at the enormous sculpture they've just erected in the center of the park.

No, the picture is not stretched at all.
She's called Echo, designed by a Spanish artist named Jaume Plensa, from Barcelona. The idea, according to Madison Square Park's art page, was to build an elongated sculpture that represented the skyscrapers surrounding the park, but make the sculpture tranquil and serene to represent the peacefulness of the park.

I thought it was crazy when I first saw it, but I ate my pizza on a bench staring straight at her (apparently, it's the face of a 9 year-old daughter of one of the artist's friends) and it really added to the tranquility of the park. It's like a yoga-osmosis relaxation thing. I left the park feeling more relaxed than usual.

Just try it. You'll see. The sculpture is there through August 14.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Meet Rihanna Friday at Macy's

According to, Rihanna will be taking pictures with fans* this Friday at 3pm at Macy's Herald Square.

*You are only considered a fan if you buy her perfume for $138.

Where: Macy's Herald Square at 34th Street (8th floor)
When: 3pm, Friday April 29 (although the line will probably be forming around noon)
How much: Nothing to see her from afar, $138 and a ridiculously long line if you want a picture with her.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Yankees Help Red Sox Family

That last story made me nauseous after writing about it, so I had to look up a more heart-warming story. And I found one.

And this is yet another reason why I LOVE THE YANKEES.

You can read the full story on the Wall Street Journal's page, and I highly recommend you do that, because it almost made me cry, but here's a summary:

Kevin Long, the hitting coach for the Yankees, is good friends with Ron Johnson, the 1st base coach for the Red Sox. Johnson was Long's manager in the 90's, and he also helped him get his first coaching job after his playing career ended. Last year, Johnson's daughter lost her leg in an accident, and the family couldn't keep up with the medical expenses, especially after her body rejected the reattached leg and it had to be removed permanently. Long, anxious to help his long-time Red Sox friend, gathered the Yankees together before spring training last year, and told them what had happened.

None of the Yankees knew Johnson. None had met his 11-year-old daughter, Bridgette. All they knew was that the family of a friend needed help, and it didn't matter if they were part of Red Sox Nation. One by one, many of the Yankees reached for their checkbooks and donated undisclosed amounts, but it was enough to bring Johnson's wife to tears when they opened the unexpected package from the Yankees.

Over this past year, the Yankees remembered Bridgette enough to ask Long how she's doing with her new prosthetic leg, and how her recovery is coming along.

So you may hate the Yankees. You may hate the Empire. You may hate the franchise. But the players are stand-up guys with good hearts. Rivalry or not, they're good people who know that baseball is just a game, and family and friends come first.

Props to the Yankees for being the shining examples we expect them to be.

Woman May Die for Saving a Parking Space

Stories like this make me sick to my stomach.

So this 25-year-old girl was saving a vacant spot for her boyfriend, when some guy (Oscar Fuller of Jamaica, Queens, if you want to find him and let him know how you feel about his actions) drives up and he wants the space. When she wouldn't move, he got out of his car and punched her in the face. This punch knocked her out, gave her permanent brain damage, put her in a coma, and may end up killing her. And now the schmuck's lawyer says he should get off with a misdemeanor assault. According to this random website, it's only a misdemeanor if he only intended to frighten her. Punching her in the face sounds like he wanted to injure her, which is aggravated assault. A felony.

And seriously, dude. Really? You got out of your car to punch a woman? In the face? Over a parking spot? There is no possible situation where ANY of that is ok. Ever. I just can't even wrap my head around that happening. This is New York. We're civilized here.

To me, getting out of your car would have been extreme. Yeah, yell at her from the driver's side window if you really want the spot, throw some expletives in there if you're crass and ignorant, but then drive off and find another spot. But you got out of your car? That's crazy. And I don't care what she may have said to you, you NEVER punch a woman.

This guy belongs in jail. Where he can be some other dude's woman. And they can take him to their favorite parking spot.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TSA Missed THREE Box Cutters at JFK?!!

If there's one reason I hate terrorists the most, it's because of the negative impact they've had on air travel (you know, besides the whole "killing of innocent people" thing). Remember the days when you could walk up to the jetway and hug your loved ones good-bye? The kids could sit by the window and wave to the plane as it took off? Not worrying if your toothpaste was more than 3 ounces? And you could keep your shoes on as you walked through the metal detector? Not to mention the fees we now have to pay, per leg of each trip, to support the TSA - the undertrained, latex glove-wearing collection of faux-security guards responsible for enforcing these ever tedious and ridiculous restrictions.

But I never complain (out-loud, at least) about the TSA, because I've flown well over a hundred times, both internationally and domestically, and I've yet to be on a hijacked plane. So all those restrictions must be deterring the would-be terrorists. So TSA became a necessary, albeit frustrating, part of air travel, and we accept their 3-1-1 guidelines (no matter how seemingly ludicrous) because we trust that they'll keep us safe.

But what happens if they fail? It's all over the news today that three TSA officers at JFK here in New York, including one supervisor (who let's hope, has received a little more training), failed to see THREE box cutters (you know, the weapon of choice for the 9/11 terrorists - the reason the TSA even exists today). I can't bring a water bottle on the plane, but this guy can bring three blades? I'm with the PAPD saying they were asleep on the job. Not literally, but completely zoned out.

And this isn't an isolated event. A friend of mine didn't realize a 9" hunting knife was in his bag on one of our trips. He got it through LAX and didn't realize it was in his bag until he was home and unpacking. I may or may not have had a Leatherman in my bag one time (I'm not indicting myself here). That's got a 3" blade on it.

And then there's the Honolulu debacle where 27 TSA agents are under investigation. Or the Buffalo drug trafficking fiasco. And do we really need to mention allegations of sexual assault?

Seriously TSA, get your act together. We know we can't fire you. You're necessary. Just do your job and do it well, or your incompetence will be the first thing terrorists plan on when plotting their next attack.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Columbus Day Parade

Pasta, Maseratis, and Pinocchio... I love Italy - Monday is Columbus Day, in case you weren't sure why you don't have to go to work, and here in New York, Columbus Day is more than just remembering the day old Christopher came to America the Bahamas. No, it's a day for Italian-Americans to celebrate how awesome we are. It starts with a parade, full of Italian dancing, Italian songs, and pretty much every Italian thing you can think of. This year, they've brought over Maseratis from the 1930's (and new ones too). And performances by actors in Pinocchio the Italian Musical (performing here in New York for one week only, next week at the Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College). But after the parade, the Italians take over Grand Central Terminal. For the past few years, Mario Andretti and five of his race-winning cars were there (they may show up again). And then my favorite part: we eat. Antipasto, pasta, chicken parmigiana, sausage and peppers, pastries, and lots of it. And then cap it off with a little Sinatra and Dino. Now THAT is a Columbus Day. Go Italy!

Parade: 5th Ave from 47th up to 72nd St, 11:30am to 3pm.
Grand Central: 42nd St and Park Ave, in the main Vanderbilt Hall.
Food: My Nana's house in the Bronx, but you can't come.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Meet Dylan from Dylan's Candy Bar

Dylan is not only real, but she's a girl - If you eat candy, you know about Dylan's Candy Bar. And if you don't, shame on you. It's 100 times better than FAO Schweetz (inside FAO Schwartz) and I think, maybe even possibly just a tad bit better than IT'SUGAR in Atlantic City. But this isn't an ad for Dylan's (although I fully expect you to go there), it's to tell you that Dylan (who I always assumed was a boy because, well, no real reason, it just made more sense in my head) is actually a girl. And she's awesome. Her name is Dylan Lauren, daughter of Ralph Lauren. And she just wrote a book. About candy and how to use it in decorations and how candy could (and should) be a central part of every home. And if you buy it at Macy's today or at her store tomorrow, she'll sign it for free. Yay!

Book Signings:

Today: Macy's Herald Square, 2-4pm in the Cellar (it's just like it sounds, go down to the basement)
Tomorrow: Dylan's Candy Bar, 1011 3rd Ave at 60th St, 1-3pm.

Then she starts a two month national book tour. She'll be in Hawaii next week if you want to go. She'll return to New York for a few other appearances, so if you can't make it today or tomorrow, hit up one of these:

Saturday, October 30: Neiman Marcus in Westchester, 5000 Northbrook Court, 1-3pm.
Monday, November 15: Lord & Taylor, 424 5th Ave at 38th St, 6-8pm.
Tuesday, November 16: BookSmart Chaplin Book Fair, 100 East End Avenue at 84th St, 6-8pm.
Tuesday, November 30: Lester's, 1534 2nd Ave at 80th St, 4-6pm.
Saturday, December 11: Dylan's Candy Bar, 1011 3rd Ave at 60th St, 1-3pm.
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