Posts Tagged ‘nyc’

NYC Chinese Communities Sending Relief to Quake Area

In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Sichuan province in China, the Chinese-American communities in NYC are opening up hearts and wallets to help victims. An estimated 20,000 are believed to be dead or buried, with the toll expected to go up as rescuers go into the more remote areas. Many of the survivors are sleeping out in the street, either because their homes are gone, or they can’t trust that any structures still left standing are structurally sound enough to not collapse on them. Food is in short supply, and practically depleted.

The New York Consolidated Benevolent Association, based in Chinatown, has raised thousands as a result of a letter-writing campaign to over 60 member organizations. According to the MSNBC website, they hope to raise $100,000. And City Councilman John Liu, who represents the Asian area of Queens [including Flushing, Elmhurst, and Bayside], urges New Yorkers to donate to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which is also sending relief to victims of the recent cyclone in Myanmar.

Donate to a Progressive Candidate — see Pearl Jam Concert

You can get a ticket to see Pearl Jam on June 24 or 25 at Madison Square Garden, while supporting a progressive candidate for US Senate. Steve Novick is a liberal progressive candidate for Congress from Oregon. He is being endorsed by a group of musicians, including Stone Gossard, guitarist for Pearl Jam. Other musicians in support of Novick are Rufus Wainwright, Michael Stipe of REM, and Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie.

Some of the issues that Steve Novick has taken strong stands on are the environment, marriage equality, and net neutrality. A donation of $250, $400. or $700, will get you a ticket to the Pearl Jam concert. Donations must be paid through the Novick for US Senate site.

Cuisine of Africa: Merkato 55

I always said that you could get cuisine from every part of the world, until my trip to Africa in the 80s. It was then that I realized that there was one continent underrepresented in the world of NYC cuisine– Africa.
There were a few Ethiopian eateries and, if you knew where to go, you could scout out a few places serving up dishes familiar to Senegalese immigrants [a friend once brought me to the back of a Theater Dstrict deli, where a woman in African garb stirred up a delicious stew in a huge pot, surrounded by tables occupied by Senegalese street vendors on their lunch breaks].

Now, the hot place to get into, is Merkato 55, at 55-61 Gansevoort St. in the Meatpacking District, and is a far cry from the back of that deli . Tne NY Times reports that Merkato 55 is “a bold adventure, ranging across the entire African continent”
It is the creation of Marcus Samuelsson, of Aquavit fame. But Samuelsson, who grew up in Sweden with his adoptive parents, was born in Ethiopia. Merkato 55 is not an Ethiopian restaurant, though. The renowned chef manages successfully the daunting task of bringing together dishes from all parts of the continent, drinks named for African dances, and decor featuring batik wall hangings and blow-up photography of African markets [the restaurant’s namesake is an open-air market in Ethioia]

All this, and a Meatpacking District locale, make Merkato 55 a coveted NYC reservation.

Good Pesach, Pope Benedict XVI!

There has been more than one unprecedented move by the Holy Father during his visit to the US. As I write this, the Pontiff is on is way to the United Nations to speak, after landing at JFK. His acknowledgment of the sex scandal rocking the Catholic Church, and meeting with some victims, has been an earthshaking move, although demonstrators outside the UN are protesting that it wasn’t enough.

Later today, the Pope will visit Park East Synagogue. This will not be the first visit to a synagogue by a pontiff. This is the second time this pope has visited a house of Jewish worship, and the third visit overall [his predecessor was the first]. What is significant is that this is right before Passover when the pope will meet the Jewish leaders. And this German-born pontiff, who was a young man in the Nazi era, will come face-to-face with the Rabbi Arthur Schneier of Park East Synagogue, a survivor of the Holocaust.

And so I wish Pope Benedict XVI a Happy Passover!

How Much Would You Have to Be Paid to Lick a Subway Pole?

My answer: you couldn’t pay me enough! But then again, I won’t touch a thing after I get off the subway until I wash my hands with anti-bacterial soap!

But check out this crazy kid who licked a subway pole for a mere $20!
here

Congestion Pricing R.I.P.

In what is a very symbolic blow to NYC, the congestion pricing plan was laid to rest even before it was brought to life. The honour for that misdeed goes to “Scumbag Silver” a.k.a. Sheldon Silver the speaker of the NY State Assembly.

The proposal would have brought much needed relief to Manhattan’s chaotic traffic during weekdays.

Mr. Bloomberg and his supporters — including a vast array of civic environmental organizations, as well as key city officials like the City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, and other elected officials — viewed the proposal as a farsighted and essential step toward the city’s future growth. [link]

Even though I live in Brooklyn, I was for the congestion pricing plan and was pretty sure that it would go through. Of course I did not factor in the dumb-ass politicians from my own borough and others from Queens, Bronx and Staten Island.

…the plan was strongly opposed by a broad array of politicians from Queens, Brooklyn, and New York’s suburbs, who viewed the proposed congestion fee as regressive and Manhattan-centric.

This is not the first time that Scumbag Silver has derailed major environmental plans for NYC.

…The plan, which would have charged drivers $8 to enter parts of Manhattan during peak hours, was a huge blow to Mr. Bloomberg’s environmental agenda and political legacy, and his second major defeat at the hands of Mr. Silver and the state Assembly, which in 2005 blocked the mayor’s plan to redevelop the West Side railyards and allow a big sports stadium to be built there.

Seriously, if such nonsense continues for political gains, NYC is fast on its way to become a second tier world city lagging behind places like London, Tokyo and Paris. Why do smart people get stupid politicians ?

Central Park Reservoir

The other day I was riding my bike through Central Park and decided to stop at the edge of the reservoir for a breather. A calm wind swept out over the reservoir and the sun shone brightly. I used a Kodak V570 with in camera panorama stitch to make this 180 degree shot. Spring is one of my favorite times in New York City. I look forward to many more days of calm reflection in Central Park.
central park pano

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