Archive for May, 2009

The Bowery Hotel

Bowery Hotel

Bowery Hotel

I had a meeting tonight at The Bowery Hotel. I was floored at how gorgeous it was inside. Though it’s not my scene (lounge filled with tourists or residents that were quite old) sipping on champagne and wine and beer, the interior decorations were enough to keep me in awe the entire time.

It was as though I had been transported back to an age I only can recall via watching period pieces. A dark and lush New York City from the 50s or even earlier era. Plush sofas and neat tables. A very professional wait staff and the best grapefruit juice I’ve had ever.

And to top it all off, some out of towner decided to smoke in the area which while disturbing only added to the film noir setting.

Photo courtesy: http://www.papermag.com

Give my regards to Broadway

Starting today, the city has begun closing down several blocks of Broadway in midtown to vehicular traffic. This is part of the mayor’s plan to try and ease midtown traffic congestion. Broadway will be closed to vehicles and open to pedestrians and bicycles only from 42nd-47th Streets and 33rd-35th Streets. Permanently.

As one might imagine, the change has been met with mixed reactions. Honestly, I had no idea about it until a few days ago when I read about the closure at Curbed – and as evidenced by the NY Times article about the closure, apparently some pedicab drivers were unaware as well. I expect cab drivers to be pissy about it, especially the ones I’ve had lately who complain about the traffic (which requires its own blog post entirely), and I expect the tourist masses to embrace it.

It seems as though the city is approaching this cautiously, blocking off the closed blocks of Broadway with orange barrels instead of installing concrete or other more permanent barriers and gauging how the closure will be received by the public. I’d imagine that it will be difficult for some businesses on the closed blocks to get deliveries, but they’re still working all of the kinks out.

What I really want to see is what Broadway, 7th Ave, 47th Street, and 35th Street look like on Tuesday morning, when all the people who are crazy enough to drive to work return from the Memorial Day holiday. Anyone want to volunteer to take photos? Post photo links in the comments. Best angry cab driver photo wins a freakin’ awesome Metroblogging t-shirt.

Is Brooklyn Industries the Idiot’s Ben Sherman?

I used to go crazy for the Brooklyn Industries logo (since I heart watertowers) and their stylish carry-away bags.

But yesterday after spending a good amount of time at the Ben Sherman flagship store on Spring street, I realized that every piece of clothing that I liked at Ben Sherman was also available at the same price or even a bit higher at Brooklyn Industries.

I know that fashion has trends, but does that mean that each designer will have the same outfits with the only difference being their tag? All I know is that I’m confused.

Weekend roundup

I know it’s already Saturday night and you’re probably just rousing yourself from your hipster party coke binge hangover to get ready for round two, but since I had such a lovely day frolicking around the city with hot tattooed girls finding bargains and checking out local events, I thought I’d give you a little roundup of awesome stuff to do when you come out of your Jager blackout tomorrow.

Photo by Atom Moore

Photo by Atom Moore

– NYC Tattoo Convention: The always awesome, always crowded NYC Tattoo Convention is back again. Be sure to check out the booths of Calypso Tattoo for amazing blackwork, Chris O’Donnell for beautifully detailed Japanese-style work, New York Adorned for my favorite local tattooers, and Pure Body Arts for piercing. It’s open tonight until midnight, so you still have time to head over there and get that tattoo of your girlfriend’s name on your neck in cursive, just like you’ve always wanted. It’s also open tomorrow from 12-8. At Roseland Ballroom, 239 W 52nd Street between Broadway & 8th Ave.

– Decades Two popup: Decades Two is a Los Angeles-based resale shop that is known for having tons of high-end designer stuff at not so high-end pricing. They have a pop-up store above Kiki de Montparnasse just this weekend, and though it was only open to fashion insider types yesterday, it’s open to the public today and tomorrow. We stopped in today and found B. Romanek clutches for a mind-boggling 1/5 retail (and if they’d been carried at all, you couldn’t tell), an entire rack of bargain-priced Chanel (one woman nearly peed herself when she found out the Chanel jacket she tried on was a mere $100), and all the usual designer suspects (Lanvin, Louboutin, Prada, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, some insane McQueen pumps) at really great prices. Rumor has it that the pop-up will be back again soon, but for now the designer treasure trove is limited, so head over. 79 Greene Street at Spring. (You have to go inside Kiki to get to the sale, so pick up some lingerie or high-end bondage gear while you’re at it.)

– International Fluevog Day Sale: John Fluevog is having a sale of 15% off everything in the store in celebration of International Fluevog Day (aka the shoe designer’s birthday, which was yesterday). They also had cupcakes for the customers today from Sugar Sweet Sunshine, my favorite cupcake shop in the city. Don’t know if they’ll have any cupcakes left tomorrow (especially after my husband plowed through their cupcake stash today), but wander in and check out the great shoe selection, and if you’re lucky, meet the shop dog. 250 Mulberry at Prince.

Extreme Mammals Exhibition: The newest exhibition at the American Museum of Natural History opened today and features live sugar gliders, which I am very excited about. I’m a sucker for a nocturnal flying marsupial, what can I say? They also have kid-friendly interactive exhibits, so you can bring your girlfriend’s 3 kids from a previous relationship. And don’t miss the Butterfly Conservatory, which is only open until May 25. You can frolic amongst live butterflies, which terrifies me utterly but does not faze small children in the slightest. Open 10 am – 5:45 pm tomorrow. 79th Street at Central Park West.

New Yorkers are friendly!

When I was at a tradeshow in Long Island recently, our booth exhibitor neighbors expressed interest in visiting the city. They were from Canada and this was their first ever trip to the U.S. and to NYC. As soon as any native New Yorker found out about this, they started drawing up maps, recommending places to eat, visit, setting up a timeline and even handing out their cell phone numbers, in case Canadians get lost.

This is what NYC is about. Offering that extra hand, being super friendly and reminding these Canadians of “the Ottawa hospitality” that they are used to at home. None of the stereotypes that they had about NYC came true when they actually visited it.

Sure, someone attacked the Westbury LIRR station yesterday apparently screaming “give me all your f**ing money” and then running away after the mugging – and the Canadians witnessed it – but besides that, their experience in NYC had been a really awesome one.

Nice.

Butterfly Conservatory at the Natural History Museum



Butterfly

This past weekend I took my mother to see the butterflies at the AMNH. This young boy couldn’t get rid of this little orange butterfly. It stayed on his shoulder as he and his father tried to get more to land on them. What a magical place. The Butterfly Conservtory is only open through May 25th! Get there while you can.

Bocce in Bryant Park

Bocce, the sport for the non-athletic

Bocce, the sport for the non-athletic

If you happen by Bryant Park on a nicer day, be sure to visit its NorthEast corner for some Bocce ball action. Amidst the benches, free reading, free wifi and countless sandwich shops there lies a gravel pit of your fate. If you choose to you can partake in some pro Bocce with the folks who seem to always be entangled in a game.

I don’t really know if they’re part of a league or just people who own professional Bocce balls, but this game is of patience and concentration. Not something to do just for kicks, but something to help you jolt out of your deskjob and into the real world. All while not really requiring much physical prowess. In other words, bocce is the perfect sport for those who don’t want to get in shape to play a game.

Maybe you can ask one of those nice people in the park to let you in on the game next time you’re there. For more information on Bocce, clicketh hereth.

Fung Wah? Fung You!

We’re all familiar with the Fung Wah bus service. And if not, we should be. They are the buses that run for really cheap between Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City. The buses are often called “Chinatown” buses as their primary stops are in the China town section of each city they travel in.

But in addition to being cheap, Fung Wah buses also have a tendency of being shady. What do I mean by that?

Well, the list of offenses is shocking and pretty ridiculous, discrimination (blind couple denied access to bus),fatal Accident and the latest addition, bullying by the bus driver.

My friend shared this story with me of last weekend (May 2-3). She took the Fung Wah to Boston on Saturday. AT the bus’ pitstop, someone noticed that a passenger was missing. The driver turned around and picked up the girl who was sobbing on the sidewalk as she had missed the bus.

The bus driver got off the bus. She apologized profusely while still in tears saying her food had taken too long to be made. The bus driver forced her to throw the meal out. She pleaded as she had not eaten anything and was starving. But he made her throw the meal out and she was admitted onto the bus. Hungry, teary-eyed and probably a little psychologically devastated.

If you’re out there reading this and you’re the girl I’m writing about, please contact me and I will gladly work with you to ensure that what happened to you does not happen to hundreds of people every weekend.

Definitely never riding a Fung Wah bus again. We have enough trouble in the world without worrying about being bullied by a bus driver.

Alternate Side Parking Regulations Suspended in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

This has to be some of the best news in a long time for the neighborhood. As a car owner, it is one of the least favorite tasks of mine…..to switch the car around every other day.

The city plans to suspend Alternate Side Street Cleaning for a couple of months till they change all the boards and then street cleaning shall be once a week. Whew !

My sincere thanks to all those who campaigned to get this approved.

Read below fold for actual notice and area coverages.

 

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Best Buy Gets its Own Rat

Spotted the friendly neighborhood “rat” outside of the Chelsea Best Buy yesterday. And today too !

However no protestors outside with placards and slogans and stuff.

I have no love for Best Buy and therefore dont mind their new “fan” outside their store.

bestbuy_rat

However what is really interesting with this inflated balloon is that it is a perfectly Mobile Dissenting Machine (MDM….patented yo !)

Sitting on a truck, it can be driven to the next dissent site in a jiffy. If you want one outside your (or rather your employers place) just dial 1800-MOBILErat.

OK, I just so made that up. Slow news day and weather suck, so….

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