Archive for February, 2007

Pool-Aid Tries to Save McCarren Park Pool

The McCarren Park Pool in Greenpoint was built in 1936 and was large enough to hold nearly 7000 swimmers. It fell into disrepair and was closed in 1984. Last year it was renovated by Clear Channel Entertainment and used to hold several large concerts as well as a number of free events.

An organization called Pool-Aid was formed with the purpose of trying to use the money from any upcoming concerts to fund the complete restoration of the pool back to it’s original purpose- swimming! They want the pool to be used by everyone in the community “not just hipsters”, which is awesomely ironic coming from a bunch of hipsters.

Pool-Aid has been using the Kool Aid Man as part of it’s marketing but yesterday Pool-Aid took it to the next level of ridiculousness with the release of the “We Are The Pool” video. I think the video speaks for itself:

A nice place in Little Italy – Amici’s 2

I was in Little Italy the other night, dining at my favourite place and then it occured to me (duh!) that I should in fact share this information with other fellow bloggers and readers.


Amici’s 2 is a great place for dinner, with the most authentic italian food. The chicken carnavela (i dont even know if this is the word, since the waiter sings out everything to you that you dont find on the menu :-) and i just try to concentrate on his sweet smile) is just awesome and so are their lobsters.

The best part and here is the big secret of all – The olive oil and bread is the best i have ever tasted. Why? Their Olive oil is specially prepared for this purpose with toasted garlic, pepper and a mix of other tasty nuts.

The atmosphere is so friendly and the food is just so homely and yummy, that I am not able to drag myself to other restaurants while in Little Italy.

Two signatures?

rest_bill.jpgI’m not sure exactly when this started, but I’ve been seeing it with a lot more frequency these days. “It” is when you go to a nice restaurant (you know, the kind that has cloth napkins and different waiters for different things) and get your bill in one of those big leather wallet looking things, and when you put a credit card in it, the waiter/waitress takes the wallet and, get this…asks you to sign the bill at that point before processing your card! He/She then processes your credit card, and presents you with the receipt that you normally sign, the one that’s been processed by the credit card company and has a place for you to write in the tip.

When did this practice start, and more importantly, why do they ask you to sign the original check before they go and process your credit card, only to return and have you sign the processed one? I’ve never really worked in retail, so I can’t even make an educated guess. Anyone know why they do this and how come I’ve seen it more often in the last year?

Since we’re on the subject, maybe you guys could answer another question of mine in relation to credit cards and restaurants…when they process your credit card, I assume they get approval for the amount of the check. When they present the approved bill for you to sign, it is customary for the patron to write in a tip amount, total it up, and then sign for the new amount. How does that work in relation to the credit approval process? When they get the approval, do they just add 20% to make sure you can cover the tip? Does the credit card company allow that extra bit even if it might make you go over your limit?

It’s a fun crime!


Though I’m not sure which side of the line I ultimately fall on, I’m definitely a fan of the great NY “Street Art/Graffiti” debate. (Is it artistic expression, is it wanton destruction? Is it artistic expression, is it wanton destruction? Is it artistic expression, is it wanton destruction? I JUST DON’T KNOW!!!!!!!!!)

But I think the above pic sums it up pretty perfectly.

From here, via BoingBoing.

It’s All Greek to Me: Mezzo Mezzo


This is my second post in a series on Greek restaurants in Astoria. In the 1960’s, an influx of Greeks immigrated to this neighborhood, setting up some of the tastiest restaurants in New York (read more).

Mezzo Mezzo is a slightly upscale Mediterranean restaurant located on Ditmars Blvd. The decor is all wood and rustic, oddly more like a lodge than a Greek restaurant. A two-level restaurant, Mezzo Mezzo has outdoor seating available in warm weather. The large menu includes a range of seafood, pasta, and delicious Greek appetizers. I, of course, go for the haloumi (Cypriot grilled goat cheese), which may possibly be the best at this establishment.

Going Green in NYC – Green Power Solutions


I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the last few years thinking about reducing my impact to the environment and trying in small ways here and there to make a difference whenever possible. During our home renovations we spent a lot of time researching the right time of insulation, windows and building materials to keep heat/AC in and the elements out. We suspect this will help with our energy bills tremendously and anything that helps my wallet and the environment at the same time is good in my book.

We also got a lot of our building supplies from the Queens based Build It Green! NYC, a huge warehouse full of donated and used building supplies available at a fraction of their new cost. BIG! helps the environment by reducing trash and recycling materials. They are also a great bunch of people to work with–very helpful!

But it’s easy to help the environment when it’s also saving you money, right? We also looked into wind power two years ago but found that our electric bills would almost twice what they are now. And that we just couldn’t swing. Until now.

Booby Trap or What

I know people do fucked up things in this city, but I sure hope that this mornings incident was an oversight and not some prank.

After spending the night taking care of a sick friend in the neighborhood (you see, I CAN be nice) I headed back home to get ready for work. I guess it’s garbage day since everyone brought the bags out from the locked cages out onto the street. For some reason, I didn’t see this string or whatever was tied or stuck from the garbage cage to the end of the sidewalk. I guess my radar is just looking for dog shit and vomit.

Buffy Mania


I cannot tell a lie: I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I resisted the show when it first began, assuming it was similar in tone to the film, which was, let’s face it, not so good. Campy fun, maybe. Definitely a good time if you have some coins for a Boone’s Farm but not much else.
So I ridiculed and laughed and tried not to be too mean when people told me they liked the show. Then I saw an episode of the tv series.
Now I own the entire show on DVD (I have its spin-off, “Angel,” as well). I have a dog named after a character on the show. I practically wet myself each time I think about the upcoming comic book, which is written by creator/writer Joss Whedon and will be considered the 8th season of the show.
And then there’s this.
The Buffy Sing-along at IFC (once the famous Waverly Theater) has been quietly and popularly running off and on for months now…and I’ve somehow still missed it.
Set up in the ever-popular “Rocky Horror” style, the show was created by a Brooklyn fan, Clinton McClung, and is based on the season 6 musical episode, “Once More With Feeling.” The show is gaining in popularity and McClung is rolling out editions of the show in more and more cities this year.

I am dying that I haven’t seen it yet. But I warn you all now: when they finally do a real-live stage version of Buffy, I will beat you into the ground if you try to steal Xander from me.

Delicious Float just had the most delicious ice cream float with my friend (in picture) at this hard-to-find burger place in the village. Hard to find because we had passed it before and didn’t even realize it was open!

I have had a long history of chugging and gulping ice cream floats and so I know what a good ice cream float should taste like. And this my friends was the ultimate ice cream float ever.

Each float at this Village burger joint had a unique name; Red Cow, Purple Cow, Pink Cow and the one I had which was Brown Cow. This was a fine mixture of delicious vanilla ice cream and root beer. The ice cream was soft, creamy, beautiful even. The root beer was strong, smooth, and the perfect accompaniment to the ice cream.

Traveling With Your Pet

In a city like New York that is so dependent on public transportation, how does one travel with their pet? If you have a small dog or a cat, MTA rules allow you to take your pet on the subway or train if it’s in a carrier and doesn’t “annoy other passengers”. For dog owners whose pooch is too large to fit into a bag (or will annoy other passengers), taxicabs or car service are options. However, it is entirely up to the driver to decide if he wants to transport your pet and you may be refused service. There is another option, guaranteed to take you and your dog, no matter how large it is- pet taxis.

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