Archive for the ‘Did You Know?’ Category

Who are the Hare Krishnas?

Singing in the Montreal suwbay

Singing in the Montreal suwbay

I’m familiar with the Hare Krishna movement – followers of ISKCON (International Society of Krishna Consciousness) are often misunderstood as a cult. When they’re doing chant sessions at the Union Square L train stop, people sometimes keep smiling and walk away.

Some, however, stop to learn a little more. I should just say that I’m a big fan of their movement and what they try to achieve – peace for themselves and others through harmless means.

The origins of ISKCON happened on 2nd Avenue by Srila Prabhupad. The temple he founded was on 2nd Avenue and 1st street. At that time, several people who were seeking happiness were looking to do it through artificial means of drugs and free “love.” Not much has changed since that time. People are always searching for happiness – it is human nature to do so.

So what the Krishna lovers do is spread the ancient religion of Bhakti – connection through devotion (which may include, singing, dancing and meditating) so that this happiness can be derived through natural means. A lot of misconceptions can be cleared by visiting the Krishna NYC site’s FAQs.

Getting back to the East Village, their program has become superbly popular and each week more and more devotees show up for the chanting sessions. I had the opportunity to go there and record the session (episode 16). I’ve always found them to be peace bringing and meditative. Hopefully, if not all, at least one person attains that meditative state that I do when I attend by listening.

And the next time you see them chanting on the subway, stop and ask a few more questions. They’re not weird at all, in fact, they happen to be super nice!

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.

Find your way around NYC more easily

I’ve lived in NYC now for practically my entire adult life and sometimes it’s difficult to find my way. While Google maps makes things a bit easier with its new features, I still find that by following directions, I’ll get lost.

As an example, it took me 1 year to find 9th street Espresso. I know, how hard could it be to find an espresso shop whose name itself tells you the location? I have no idea. I’m slow and I looked in every single direction except for the right one when trying to find the shop.

I accidentally bumped into mondomaps yesterday while trying to find the name of a restaurant in Curry Hill. We were search for Tiffin Wallah—but their Web site is not listed on mondomaps. But a bunch of others are and the way it is linked up is very helpful. I don’t know if they update the site and if so, how often…I definitely see some missing information. But I’m always looking for new tools to find my way around the city, so I thought I’d share. Here’s a link to all of Chelsea’s art galleries. This one particularly excited me because I rarely know where all the great art in NYC is and I’m definitely going to check them out now using the data from the map.

Enjoy discovering.

Queens Blvd Echoes

Usually you have to be in the mountains somewhere, way up high or in a cave or maybe some really acoustically enhanced building to experience echoes. What I didn’t realize just until yesterday is that there is an echo underneath the 7 train all throughout Queens Blvd.

You might have seen the space under the above ground train tracks being occupied by cars. Well yesterday when I was in dire need of a restroom and crossed my way to the Burger King on 40th street and Queens Blvd. I experienced this echo and was instantly amazed.

My mom, who works in LIC said “didn’t you know that? the echo goes throughout Queens Blvd.”

Well then we just all started hooting and hollering and saying ‘hello’ which seems to be the most common phrase uttered when an echo is recognized.

You don’t have to take my word for it, try it out for yourSELF.

The Odyssey, starring You?!

No, it’s not Fringe week just yet. Don’t get all Shakespeare-eyed on me and reminisce about those days you became an unpaid stage hand just so you could watch the gritty and real life of off-off-Broadway productions. Don’t think of that time you did gigs with your band for free drinks. Don’t even try to recall the PA gig you did on the Sopranos in hopes that some day you will make Second Second Assistant Director.

No. Forget those dreamy gigs you’ve taken in the past. Live in the now. Let’s snap back into reality as Eminem would say. It’s time to take a deep look at your wallet, your pocket, your bank account and measure it against your lifestyle.

Are you living with more than 2 people you’ve never met before you started living here? Are you working multiple jobs and having barely enough time to sleep? Do you survive on Cup of Noodles and Mac n’ Cheese? Does the thought of free food still excite you?

It seems that a lot of people did take into account all of the above and the big moves have finally started. A few of my personal friends have done so, but this New York Magazine article proves it: people are fleeing NYC for more affordable places where their dollar goes farther. Places like Buffalo, NY – imho one of the biggest architectural nightmares ever. But you know what? It beats sleeping on an air mattress.

Are you moving?

Less Than A Month Till Steak And BJ Day

OK, any of you guys who tried to skimp past vallentine’s day with a $5 teddy bear and some sweethearts are gonna suffer soon. I learned about the emerging movement for a really great holiday designed just for us called–Steak and BJ day from the L.A. Metroblog. There’s also a website to get info– or at least there was untill they crashed the server!!!!

Callifornia has nearly destroyed the planet and given the world a lot of crap but if this catches on–ALL WILL BE FORGIVEN.

Local Boy Adds Twist To Valentine’s Day

Bitter singles might enjoy the dark twist a local boy from Gowanus and his friends put on Valentines day. I will celebrate the occasion by brutally killing some chocolate bunnies.

The Real Meaning of Labor Day

Okay, I am going to cut into those barbecues and last-minute tanning opportunities, to remind everyone what today is.

Today is Labor Day. It’s a day off for most of us. It’s the unofficial last day of summer, even though the real coming of fall is more than 2 weeks away. If you have a summer share in the Hamptons, Fire Island, or the Jersey Shore, it’s time to say good-bye to the housemates and haul you stuff home. If you have a cabana at a beach club, it’s time to clean out. It’s time to put the whites away; it is still against the unwritten rules of fashion to wear white after today, or anything linen. And although there may even be a heat-wave in mid-September, you have to switch to the fall suits for work. If you are a student or teacher in NYC, the party’s over. The lines at the teacher store. Staples, CVS, Duane Reade are going to be around the block.

How many of you know that Labor Day was born out of the Labor Movement. The first official Labor Day celebration was Tuesday, September 5, 1892, and became a national holiday in 1894. I am proud to say that this tradition began in our city. But, in walking around my neighborhood today, I saw a lot of people working. And, aside from the bank and post office, retail businesses were all open for business and enjoying enormous response to the usual Labor Day sales.

So, if you’re reading this, take a moment to think of the worker who doesn’t have a day off today. Or, better yet, look at some bridge or building or tunnel that was built 100 or 80 or even 10 years ago, and think of the worker who put it there, who could have even been you grandparent or other ancestor. And, most importantly, remember the reason for the formation of the Labor Movement. Read about the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, which happened where the NYU campus is today. Read “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair. If you don’t become a vegan after reading it, at least you will gain an appreciation of those before us who formed labor unions to fight for workers’ rights. Whether you love or hate labor unions, they are a big part of New York City’s history and legacy, and Labor Day stands as an annual reminder of their struggles 100+ years ago

Did You Know? from MetroBlogging

MB_didyouknow-thumb.jpgEver notice those 5-foot tall compressed nitrogen tanks on the streets around the city? With all of the crazy stuff going on in the world these days, and with New York a perennial target of people who want to do us harm, the sight of an oblong, shiny metal cannister will always produce concern among the citizenry. But, though ominous-looking, the are actually quite necessary.

The various utility companies place these tanks above ground and run lines down into the infrastructure for a number of reasons. The most common use is to pressurize pipes, lines, and wires. Below NYC is a maze of water, sewage, heat, cold, and other elements, and pressurizing these delivery systems helps to keep the lines safe from the elements.

Did You Know? from MetroBlogging

Each Thursday, Metroblogging NYC posts an interesting, little-known trivia tidbit that will help you get to know this city we call home and will also shock and amaze others at parties or around the coffee machine at work. If you have a suggestion for a good trivia subject, LET US KNOW. You can read past trivia entries here.

MB_didyouknow-thumb.jpg I’m a bit late this week, but, better late than never… Anyway, you may have heard that while NYC’s subway system is the largest in America, Boston’s “T” system is the oldest. While it is true that Boston’s MBTA is older than any municipal network in the country, a New York inventor actually experimented and commenced construction on a subway line as much as 30 years before Boston’s system launch!

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