Archive for January, 2009

Some fun with Numbers

103 in 1990

3 in 2008

for 34th

Give up?

That’s the number of murders for the 34th precinct of the NYPD in the year 1990 versus 2008.

That’s a -97.1% difference in the overall murder rate in that particular section of WAY THE F UPTOWN Manhattan.

Caroline Kennedy Out of Running for US Senate

Caroline Kennedy       Martyna Borkowski/Wikimedia Commons

Caroline Kennedy Martyna Borkowski/Wikimedia Commons

As of now it’s a mystery why Caroline Kennedy has suddenly and shockingly dropped her bid for the US Senate seat from New York, given up by Hillary Clinton upon her appointment as US Secretary of State.

The frontrunner, once again, is Andrew Cuomo, presently NY State Attorney General, and member of another political dynasty. But there are other candidates for the job, including Manhattan Representative Carolyn Maloney, and Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi. One thing is for sure: Governor Paterson has some strong candidates, and promises to announce his decision by the weekend. And I sure hope he does because without Kennedy in the equation, we can stop all the speculation — “Is she qualified/not qualified?”, and all the talk of Camelot, and the continuity of a Kennedy in the Senate, yadda yadda. New York can finally get down to business, fill the seat, and work with our new administration to BEGIN the process of fixing things

The Unemployment Picture for NYC

New York City is going to have the highest rate of unemployment in 2009. That is primarily due to the banking industry taking a hit, but a lot of other industries that are suffering include those involved with the jewelry trade.

If I may get personal for a bit, I’m the only working member of my 3-person household right now. The harsh realities that seemed to be at a far distant are now here to stay. It’s time to move, shift and let go of the property we own so we have some cash to live with.

It’s either that or taking on a 2nd or 3rd job for me and continuing to make the efforts on holding on to what we have. I know that in the end whatever happens will have been a long time coming and exactly as the way it should be. But being presented with reality is not always so easy to deal with.

In my case, some of my clients are such that they cannot afford to pay me since they’re entrepreneurs themselves. I’m all about selfless service and continuing to support those with a strong ethical basis for whatever work they’re doing, but at this point in time, it seems as though I will have to let go of that service picture and continue being a capitalistic hound.

On the sunny side, if you live in Ithaca, NY, Fairbanks, Alaska or a number of other places, the employment rate is scheduled to stay flat or increase by a wee bit. Huzzah!

What is your experience of the current economic climate? Any better? Also, I’m open to suggestions on what additional jobs I can take on that would not conflict with my 9-5 and freelance marketing work.

USAirways Hero Pilot– Let’s Hear it for Sully’s Maturity and Experience

Yesterday's "Hero of the Hudson"The first thing that struck me when I saw the photo of Chesley Sullenberger of US Airways, the hero of yesterday’s “miracle on the Hudson”? I thought: this is a seasoned professional! In a society that values youth and tries to put older [higher-paid] employees into retirement, we should be happy that experience and maturity is obviously a valued asset at US Airways, at least for pilots. Sullenberger has been flying for 40 years, and got his training in the US Air Force. You might say he is a pilot of the “pld school”.

Ever since the deregulation of the aviation industry in 1978, airlines have been notorious cost-cutters, busting unions, and forcing employees – even pilots — to take pay cuts or early retirement. Let’s all be thankful that “Sully” was not a casualty of a cost-cutting guillotine. His cool demeanor [some passengers say he was the only one not panicking], and smooth landing were the products of his maturity and experience.

In short, let’s hear it for seasoned professionals! There are some jobs in which youth is not such an asset!null

Hard to find in NYC

Some places in NYC are hard to find.

In fact, I can say with full confidence that half of the places I frequent today, it had taken me a while before finding exactly where they were located. Addresses in NYC are easy for many to follow, but I always, even as a native, seem to have trouble navigating.

For example, it took me 3 years before I found the famous Dosa Cart guy of Washington Square Park. I just saw, for the first time today, after 2 years of searching, Una Pizza Napoletana.

My current favorite ice cream shop, Lula’s Sweet Apothecary is easy to find but their winter schedule is like Wednesday-Saturday. They’re having new hours starting the 21st of January.

Abraco was also tricky. I had actually been to the location before it became the best espresso shop in New York City. But, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember what street it was on. So I clearly remember walking up and down 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 9th streets between 1st and 2nd avenue…until finally going up 7th and finding the spot. It was at least 3 trips until I found it.

The trouble is that even with Google maps some places like 9th street Espresso (which you’d think, duh, easy) will escape you because they are located inside the block where you don’t expect them to be. And the trouble with the way addresses are written for NYC, it’s like you have to guess all the time.

I wish I had a trick to tell you how to get around this – the best bet would be just to ask someone. But the other point is that many of these places are actually open, but they don’t show up when you think they would. Una Pizza Napoletana is the perfect example. Their elusive and bare bones Web site says that they’re open from Thursday – Sunday from 5 pm until the dough runs out.

The Dosa cart guy may have been there during the day when I went and visited and may just have left because he ran out of his Dosa batter.

Lula’s was closed earlier this year after it received unexpected demand and they couldn’t churn out enough ice cream to feed the hungry vegans. Abraco is tiny and so sometimes people may pass by it and miss it. 9th street espresso needed better signage which I think they got, unless they’ve had it all along and I just found it this year.

I would commend places like Veniero’s bakery for being inventive and creating huge signs with neon arrows pointing lost folks like me in the right direction. Sure, I don’t eat/buy anything from them but at least I know that they exist.

Miracle on the Hudson

A passenger took this photo of the U.S. Airways plane crash

A passenger took this photo of the U.S. Airways plane crash

Though I was nowhere near the crash, it’s good to see that all 150 passengers made it off safely on the U.S. Airways flight.

My concern, when I first heard the news was that today is the coldest day of the year so far. But when watching the news, it became clear that though some people have suffered serious injuries there were also those who did not even touch the water.

Most of it is thanks due to the excellent thinking under pressure on part of the pilots. Kudos to them. I want them to be flying my every next flight.

On the Subway, watch out and help out!

Two days back, my mom got on the subway as per usual and started listening to her iPod. Some lady apparently leaned in towards her constantly and she wasn’t asleep. Finally, she began feeling the lady poking her from the side as in to get her attention.

She was a complete stranger poking another one. She asked, “Is your company hiring? I’m looking for a job.”

My mom made her aware of the fact that her company had fired 22 people the week prior to and there were no jobs available. And the woman began telling her story of misery. Her husband had lost his job and there was not enough money to pay the bills and so forth.

This continued back and forth until the train ride ended.

Yesterday, 8:15 am, E train Union Tpke

I got on the train and was listening to the iPod. This was one of the newer E trains – the ones that look like the 6 and L trains – and it was jam packed. There was no room to move about and being only 5’5 I still had to opt to hang on to the handles right above me instead of to my sides.

There was a young couple chatting flirtatiously (even though it was professional) and though there was room I could not hang on in between them as my hand would distract their conversation.

Behind me, I was not aware of what was going on, but apparently my body may have touched another man’s body. This man was about 6’1 and ugly looking. All of a sudden through the melodious sound in my iPod I hear a cankerous growl

“So what! I don’t exist huh? I don’t exist huh?” he began wailing. “You could just push me right? I don’t exist huh?” And I signaled to him that I had my iPod on and also, I don’t speak during the mornings…I take a vow of noble silence. So, with a smile I pointed to my iPod and the crowd to signal that there were a lot of people on the train and it would be next to impossible for me to avoid any sort of touching.

Well, this got him angrier, “Take them off so you can hear me!!!!!!!” and then he did what I did not expect at all, he actually physically elbowed me.

Me being in noble silence – which is a semi-meditative state – I just smiled accepted and turned around. From Union Tpke to Lexington Ave. 53rd street, not a single person got off that E train, including that man and me.

Become a Tourist again – before it’s too late!

I was always worried that half the places that were attractive to me as a young person weren’t going to last. Initially I thought it would be due to warfare and terrorism and now I see that it may be as a result of that and the dwindling economy.

So, my suggestion to all of you New Yorkers is revisit the greatest city in the world before it is too late. . . as in before it becomes a disheveled mess and you have nothing worth seeing left.

I went to the Statue of Liberty the other day but not from Staten Island, instead I entered through Liberty Park which comes right before the Holland Tunnel while traveling through New Jersey. This park is beautiful and also holds less lines than its NYC counterpart. Several hours will be spent on just waiting on the line if you are not careful.

Rockefeller Center’s Observation deck offers a spectacular view of the city but at nearly half the wait time of Empire State Building. But King Kong only climbed one of them, so you pick.

I think some of these monumental landmarks are worth visiting now and seeing them from a new perspective. There was a street hustler who was selling the Wall Street bronze bull statue. He said “Everyone is buying these right now man, everyone. People from Italy, England, China and all over the United States too.” Apparently we’re still hopeful and want to feed our imaginations the comfort of a bullish market.

If you have a day or two to spare, it might not be a bad idea to hit up one of those tour buses that take you all around town. A lot of the stuff that they tell you about is very interesting and I bet you didn’t know half the things they talk about.

Oh! And we happened to be in the downtown area near Wall St. when Trinity Church was having services. The beautiful organ along with the fascinating structure made for a nice peaceful meditation break during the day’s busy planning.

Oh and before I forget, go on a super cold day – freezing preferable – to Central Park. Walk along Literary Path and visit the frozen over lake. Be sure to take vegan energetic snacks from home as the food in the Park is not all that great and overpriced (read: $2 for honey roasted peanuts).

Once it’s dark, head on over to Times Square and magically all that fatigue you experienced while touring your own city will disappear.

So take some time out and revisit your favorite city before Metrocard prices go up!

Melissa’s Tough Love: Stop Flirting with Your Neighbors

In a city like ours, there are times that our neighbors are a little too close for comfort.
I have one that I’m going to have one of those “not so comfortable” conversations with.

In the last 2 years, I’ve run into a neighbor of mine on more than one occasion. Yes, I know that’s normal, but I also know that it’s not normal to take someones friendly behavior as an invitation for flirting. Sometimes, nice is just nice. Some would call that being neighborly.

He’s invited me to his place for parties, but I’ve declined. Once, I did accept an invite for a drink, but as soon as I figured out that he was flirting, I made a point of stating that I wasn’t looking for any type of companionship of any kind. Seems that wasn’t enough to let him know that I wasn’t interested. One other time when I ran into him, I remember telling him that we shared a wall and that I wasn’t going there.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.