Archive for September, 2008

Street Festivals in NYC Should Be Whacked!

Street Festivals Suck!

Besides being a nuisance to those living in neighborhoods, street festivals in New York City need to take the route of the squeegee men. They must be systematically eliminated or at least limited to a few every year.

Not only are these festivals generic, simplistic, and mass produced – they clog up the already narrow and much needed streets. It’s like U.N. Week every Sunday in some neighborhoods of Manhattan. There’s no way around or through certain areas.

Getting rid of these festivals would save the city tons of hassle and would also improve the lives of those living in the areas drastically by reducing the noise and digestive pollution that they carry. Not to mention, you’ll save a lot of cash instead of buying fake Pashima shawls and branded purses along with “authentic” trinkets made in China.

2008 Walk for Farm Animals

Farm Sanctuary Walk 2008

Farm Sanctuary Walk 2008

Walk for Animals happens around the country and today those interested in joining the cause of saving these farm animals can join in the walk. There is a fee of $15 to register to walk, but I think you can also just show up and enjoy.

New York
Date: Sept. 28
Time: Registration 10 a.m., Walk 12 noon
Location: Columbus Circle
Local Walk Coordinator: Cody
Phone: 831-818-2926
A printable flier is available here.

Spring in Autumn

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I went to see the musical Spring Awakening last night. My only knowledge of the show had consisted of some snippets on television commercials and a musical number played at the bar Splash on a Musical Monday. I had the impression that it either took place a while ago or among modern day Mennonites and that it involved a coming of age story. The show surprised me with rousing musical numbers, a touching story, and interesting characters played by very talented, very young actors.

The story centers around two young people discovering love in a strict and conservative society. The main characters stand out with their unique ability to see another kind of life.  Some of the show’s vibrant numbers include “The Bitch of Living” and “Totally Fucked”. This modern voice gave a sense that youthful optimism and angst have always existed.  From school girl crushes to wet dreams and masturbation, this production freshly portrays young people discovering their sexuality and illustrates some of the negative consequences of abstinence-only education. The plot follows the romances and tragedies of these young characters.


NYTimes Is Getting Cheap

And I dont mean on a cost basis


If you go to you get this full page banner ad for about 10 seconds before you go on to the actual home page. I use firefox with Adblock Plus (god bless the inventors behind this) and started noticing that I would get a blank page and would come to the main page only if I refreshed the page.

On checking in Chrome I get the above screenshot.

Now I would expect this overtly intrusive advertising from the likes of the TOI, but not he NYTimes.

So dear editors and publishers of NYTimes, in case you are reading this, please take this mess away. Give us our real NYTimes back.

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Ottomatic Favorite

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Last night, I checked out a dinner spot that I’d heard a lot about: Otto. Located in the West Village, this Mario Batali restaurant serves up a variety of appetizers, pizzas, and pastas with a killer wine list. Unlike Batali’s Babbo (which I went to once and can’t afford again anytime soon), the dishes are very reasonably priced – $9 for a pasta dish, $12 – $15 for a pizza.

We were glad we’d made a reservation, since the place was pretty packed. There’s a wine bar in the front, with more seating options in the back. We were politely greeted by a red-haired waiter who aptly looked like Mario himself.  We started off the meal with a drink, possibly the most expensive glass of wine I’ve ever had (all wines by the glass were $12-$15, despite the reasonable food prices). But it was a bit more than a glass and super tasty. (more…)

PARK(ing) Day NYC

Today is Parking Day NYC.

Its a nationwide movement to raise awareness of the importance of parks and open spaces in urban areas.

Our office Cook+Fox Architects along with Terrapin Bright Green have set up this park on 6th Avenue between 19th and 20th street.


We have transplanted a portion of our green roof down to the street level to raise visibility of alternative green spaces in the very vertical city.

Other spots in the city can be found here.


If you are in the neighborhood, stop by, hang out in our park and say a hello to us.

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Free Bike and Kite Weekend on Governor’s Island This Weekend!

Here’s your chance to see Governor’s Island, by bike, before the developers go in and change it [and you know that’s next]
Transportation Alternativesand the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation are expanding their popular “Free Bike Fridays” this entire weekend on Governors Island. Bring your own bike, or take a free one-hour rental [limited supply, first-come first-serve]. 250 kites will also be available for flying. From Friday 9/19 10am to 5pm and Saturday 9/20 and Sunday 9/21 10am to 7pm, you can take advantage of this great opportunity. Ferries will leave from the Battery Maritime Building, 10 South St., at Whitehall St. You can check the ferry schedule online at

Castle Williams, Governors Island, NYC

Castle Williams, Governors Island, NYC

If the Shoe Fits…

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Ever since my stormy excursion to Governor’s Island, I have been looking for a pair of rainboots. Nothing crazy – just simple rubber shoes that would be good for trumping around the city in the rain and look cute in the process. I went to my usual shoe source, Zappos ( which carries my freakishly small shoe size), but most of the rubber boots I found there were over $100. A bit extreme for simple rubber boots!

So I thought I’d brave a few stores. Checked out David Z in the West Village, which does have cheap rain boots but sadly they don’t carry my size. I tried Laila Rowe (a decent source for cheap accessories), but they also start a size higher than mine. After several other failed attempts, I did check out some children’s rainboots. But I’m not too into wearing bright pink shoes with flowers or butterflies. It seems odd to have trouble finding anything in this city, but oh well! So if anyone knows of a place to find cheap rubber boots for small feet, let me know!

Chocolate Bar

There's me with my Raspberry Dark Chocolate

There's me with my Raspberry Dark Chocolate

A brand new store has opened up on the Lower East Side’s expanding alternative to simply coffee shops. Chocolate Bar offers dark, milk, and all sorts of varieties of chocolates. With an emphasis on delicious coffee-infused drinks – one named “the buzzed” which I refused because it is hot chocolate with espresso – the place is open-like and has really freaking good chocolate and even chocolate infused teas!!! Make sure you smell one.

Chocolate Bar is located at 127 E. 7th street between Avenue A and First Avenue.

Come by and have yourself a treat. They also sell Fedoras! How freaking cool. There’s a nice vibe. I’m definitely going to come back often.

Panic in my pockets

WaMu or Washington Mutual or the bank of choice for all my friends in NYC, Queens – whether business or personal accounts – is rumored to fall next.

I got a worried voicemail instructing me to move all my funds out of the bank while riding the subway. There’s mass confusion for us that are not financially savvy.

Can someone from WaMu please let us know what’s going on and what we can expect? I know that the FDIC insures up to $100,000 and after that, you’re sort of on your own.

So any help would be great. And what I’m doing now is re-visiting other banks and figuring out how to manage this plan. NYC is getting to be more of a hazard for businesses and individuals.

The once popular banks employed well-paid bankers. Businesses thrived, real-estate prices sky-rocketed, night spots grew, coffee shops expanded, but with the fall of major banks, where will our city be in 5 years?

I’m worried.

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