Archive for July, 2008

Red Tape Surprise

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I needed to get a new social security card. That sadly meant that I needed to go to the Social Security Card Center. I discovered after several phone calls and trips to the official website that, while practically the rest of the country can just mail in their application or show up at their local office (mine is a mere 2 subway stops away), New Yorkers are required to go to a “Social Security Card Center”. There’s two of these in the city – one in Jamaica and one in Brooklyn.

Despite the fact that I live in Queens, the Brooklyn Card Center is considerably closer to me (and more accessible by subway). So I informed my employer that I might be late to work today (expecting the wait to be about 3 hours), filled out all paperwork ahead of time, brought a book, and headed down to Brooklyn. I imagined some sort of bureaucratic hell awaiting me with sour-faced employees, winding lines, and paper mounds like something out of the movie Brazil.


Lizardman to invade Coney Island this weekend

The LizardmanMy very green friend The Lizardman will be performing this weekend at Coney Island’s Sideshows by the Seashore. He’ll be performing his full one man show at 10 PM on Saturday night, August 2nd. If you’ve never seen a show with the Lizardman, I highly recommend going – he puts on a fabulous show. Besides, how many times in your life will you get to hang out with a dude who looks like a lizard?

If you can’t make it to the Saturday show, he will also be appearing with the regular sideshow cast during their normal hours doing selected short acts 8/1-8/3. Their weekend hours are Friday from 2-8 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 1-9 PM.

Admission to the Saturday night show is only $10 and the admission to Sideshows by the Seashore during their regular hours is $7.50. Directions and more information can be found at the Coney Island website.

Cheap Manhattan Brunch

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I met up with friends at a great brunch place yesterday – Central Park. We all brought something different and met up with a blanket at the Sheep Meadow. Inspired by breakfast buffets in Turkey, I brought a couple different cheeses, cucumbers, olives, and bread. One friend broke rules a bit and brought the ingredients for Bellinis. With quite a food spread, we sipped our Bellinis and caught up on with each other. I wondered why I didn’t do this more often, especially since it’s much cheaper than any other Manhattan alternative. We were just packing up when the sky darkened ominously and we made a dash for the subway. I suppose that there our some risks involved in brunching al fresco.

NYPD Assault of Critical Mass Cyclist


I just saw this YouTube video of an NYPD officer body checking a cyclist during the latest Critical Mass in Manhattan. You can not see if the cyclist rode through a red light. There is a steady stream of people riding by when, BAM! He takes out the cyclist with what looks like no reason or warning. It is acts of violence like these that make people not want to ride in a bicycle promoting ride like Critical Mass. What kind of violent police department do we have that will body check a moving cyclist? I find this kind of behavior appalling and absolutely unnecessary. If anyone has any more info on this specific incident please let me know. This is far from the first violent act I have seen by police during a Critical Mass ride. The worst being the RNC several years ago, and more recently unmarked scooters plowing into cyclists without warning. This kind of unnecessary violence has got to stop!

Introducing The Hub


If Metblogs is a city, hub.metblogs is the playground. We kept hearing from people that one of their favorite parts of Metblogs was meeting and interacting with readers and writers from other parts of the world, as well as getting requests for more ways that readers could be involved besides just posting comments. We thought about this for a while and decided that with a network like this, a giant community area where folks from all over the world could hang out, post photos and videos, talk with each other, form groups, play games, send messages, and do about a million other things was probably a pretty fun idea. The Hub is that.

If you have any tech ideas or suggestions join this group and speak up. See you on hub.metblogs!

Come Blog With Us

moar.gifWriting for Metblogs has the potential to be the most rewarding experience in your entire life. It’ll make you rich, famous, good looking, will help you lose weight, make your clothes fit better, and get you a super good deal on a new car. It will make you the most well known person on the entire planet. Yes, each and every one of you. Really.

OK maybe not. Actually those are all lies, but it’s fun at least. The truth is Metblogs is the largest network of locally focused blogs on the web, covering almost 60 cities around the world and we’re looking to add a few new bloggers/writters/authors to this fine site. If you wanna know more about us check out this wikipedia entry but it’s kinda boring so I won’t waste time repeating it all here again. If you wanna write for us, here’s the scoop:

  • All author positions are volunteer. That means you don’t get paid.
  • You must live in (or very near) the city you plan to write about.
  • Anything you post must relate to the city somehow. That means you shouldn’t post a movie review, but talking about going to see a movie at a local theater is fine.
  • There’s no requirement for how much you can or should write, but we ask that if we set you up as an author you make about 3 posts a week.
  • You can post about things you love, you can post about things you hate. It’s entirely up to you

Additionally, because of our global network, there’s plenty of options for things you write to be read by people all over the world. Interested? Want more details? Post a comment and we’ll be in touch!

Just Another Day In The Park (It’s Personal. Period.)

A couple of good friends and I went to brunch yesterday, as most city dwellers like to do on the weekends.

After brunch, we decided to go over to the park at Union Square and take up residence on a bench, so that we could continue our discussion on viral marketing, interweb traffic, and other people’s sex lives.

Grand, eh?


We’re just sitting there, gossiping about all kinds of goodly things, when some random young fella decides to come on over to try and give us his Magical Pamphlet. He started asking us if we believed in God, and since my two comrades suddenly got a case of the me-no-speakies, the following exchange took place:


Duck Feathers in your Dunkin’ Donuts Bagels

If you’re a NYC native, no day’s start is complete without a bagel and coffee. Most of the time, these bagels are freshly available at one of several street cars and they are absolutely delicious.

But this being NYC, capital of the retail fast food world, competition is stiff. And the once affordable street cart vendors have a lot of chain restaurants, in particular Dunkin’ Donuts to compete with.

Now the interesting thing about Dunkin’ Donuts is their nutrition facts. Several years ago none of their donuts claimed to have Eggs, but almost overnight – a few months back, nearly all the donuts now report eggs as ingredients. So for vegetarians (who don’t eat eggs) & vegans like me, this was a shock.

But I thought, well no donuts but at least I can have their bagels, right? WRONG!

Again, after doing some digging around on the Internet, I found that the Dunkin’ Donuts people had agreed that their bagels contain an ingredient derived from Duck Feathers.  The protein L-Cysteine is the ingredient that makes these bagels inedible. So be sure that if you’re vegan/vegetarian, you stay away from this protein unless it is specifically stated that its source is vegetarian.

Tragedy in the Republic

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I had a familiar craving for noodle soup today, but wasn’t much in the mood for the slightly heavy miso broth of Rickshaw Dumpling Bar or the anchovy-flavored broth of Wawa Canteen. Having to make a delivery anyway in the Union Square area, I decided to have lunch at an old favorite – Republic.

All the way there, I looked forward to the delicious Tofu Udon in light miso broth waiting for me. I arrived and was seated right away, but when I looked at the menu something wasn’t right…

“Where’s the Tofu Udon?” I asked a startled waiter. He replied that they didn’t serve it anymore; they’d changed their menu a couple months ago. When I pathetically asked why this dish was removed, he responded that it wasn’t that popular. Reminding myself that the waiter wasn’t personally responsible for this decision, I dejectedly settled for a Vietnamese noodle salad.

As I picked at the insubstantial noodles and bland tofu, my opinion of the establishment began to sink. I wish I had known when I ate that dish a mere 4 or 5 months ago that it would be the last time. I would have savored it more. But now it’s gone, and I didn’t even get to say goodbye.

Professional Help

Three weeks after the event, I still had my wedding manicure – peeling and rather terrible-looking. After spending ten minutes trying to scrub off the nail polish remnants on one nail (that nail polish must have been super strength or something), I decided it was worth seeking professional help.

I checked out Jay Nails, in the West Village. I’d passed the place frequently on my way to work and found the decor, with its calming earth tones, appealing. There was no wait – they went to work on my nails right away, while I happily watched the news on their flat screen TVs. I was rather surprised when the establishment’s very pink clock came alive on the hour, changing into a flower and playing a childish melody – an odd choice for a nail salon. But they were finished in not more than 10 minutes. And despite the quickness, my manicure looked great. Definitely worth the reasonable price of $9.

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