Tuesday, June 14, 2011

NY + food + blogs

Eatery NY
Mermaid NYC
Midtown Lunch
NYC Food Guy
Grubstreet NY
The Feed – time out New York
Crumbs New York

Are a few cool resources - the coolest thing to do is this:


It searches tumblr and pulls all sorts of cool food blogs.


Friday, May 20, 2011

More things happening

·         June 4th – Cuban Day Parade of NJ – Bergerline Avenue, NJ

·         June 5th – Puerto Rican Day Parade – 5th Avenue, NY

·         July 17th – Colombian Festival – Flushing Meadows

·         Aug 7th – Dominican Day Parade – Avenue of the Americas

·         Aug 27 – Feria de Salud – American Diabetes Association @ St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx

·         Sept 4 – Brazilian Festival – 46th street

·         Sept 11 – Mexican Independence Day Parade and Festival – VARIOUS LOCATIONS

·         Cecomex Mexican Festival

Summer in NYC

Here are some images of NYC summers:
 Museum Mile
 Harlem Week
 Shakespeare in the Park
 Puerto Rican Day Parade
 Mermaid Parade
4th of July @ Coney Isalnd

Summer in the City

Coney Island Mermaid Day Parade
Crazy day - everyone on the subways is in Costumes heading to Brooklyn

June 12th:  
Puerto Rican Day Parade: Get ready for one of New York's most colorful and festive parades — as New Yoricans celebrate the 54th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade on Sunday, June 12, 2011. Parade is down 5th Ave.

June 14th:
Annual Museum Mile festival: "New York's Biggest Block Party" Rain or shine, 5th Avenue is closed to traffic and becomes home to a block party, complete with musical and artistic entertainment for children and adults. In addition to the nine museums offering free admission, there are interactive activities, musical entertainment, and artist demonstrations along Fifth Avenue. Face painting and chalk drawing along Fifth Avenue are especially fun activities for children.

June 18th:

Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks in New York City: famous, usually watch from the river - can see from Jersey or West side Highway
Coney Island 4th of July Nathan's Hotdog Eating Contest Huge! Tons o people go down to the tip of Brooklyn and hang out, watch the contest, eat, hang on the Boardwalk and Ride the Cyclone.
July 11-24, 2011 (excludes Saturdays): NYC Restaurant week
Shakespeare in the Park:exactly what it sounds like - performances (paid tickets limit of 2); for the last 50 years
Central Park SummerStage
Met Opera in the Parks
HBO/Bryant Park Film Festival
New York Philharmonic Concerts in the Park
Midsummer Night Swing
Baseball Season

Harlem Week HARLEM WEEK Starts July 31st
37th Anniversary
"Tracing the Evolution"
"Tracing the evolution of HARLEM WEEK, now thirty seven-years old (1974), is very simple— it began as HARLEM DAY, a one-day tribute that was so astonishingly and unexpectedly successful that more days were needed to showcase the community’s rich economic, political and cultural history, to say nothing of the current, ever increasing artistic talent in Harlem. Above all, HARLEM DAY—in its unique way—was a day of encouragement and fellowship for New Yorkers in general and Harlemites in particular, many of whom had struggled for some years to see a positive future for Urban America."

HBO/Bryant Park Film Festival
Baseball Season
Women's Liberty Season (WNBA)
Central Park SummerStage
Shakespeare in the Park

Labor Day
Shakespeare in the Park
San Gennaro Festival (Little Italy) Thursday, September 16 (Opening Day) from 2-3 PM - 8th Annual Cannoli Eating Contest: The Performance Stage; Saturday, September 25 at 2 p.m. The annual Grand Procession, starting at 2 p.m.
US Open
Fashion Week

Monday, February 28, 2011

Iconic IMages of Long Island

From our favorite Long Islander, Daniel:
I would have to say...

-Montauk Lighthouse
-North Shore Harbor towns: Stony Brook, Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Northport
-Vineyard region
-Beaches: Jones Beach, Robert Moses, Cupsogue, Coopers, Smith’s Point
-Historic Trails
-Fire Island, Shelter Island, Hamptons
-State Parks: Sunken Meadow, Heckscher, Robert Moses, Accompsett
-Museums, Whaling, Vanderbilt, Carriage

-Historic Cottages/Homes
    -General Stores

Friday, February 25, 2011

Interviewing New Jersey

Just had a chat with a recently transplanted UES guy - originally from New Jersey (Princeton).  To him, iconic NJ images include the Princeton Battlefield and The Pinelands in South Jersey.South Jersey is more rural (except western portion) smaller feel. Central is more urban, and Northern is more suburbs.

"NY is "the city" and you don't see a lot of people doing long commutes to the Jersey cities. NYC is the best for fun but you feel like outsiders (non-NY region people) look down on you for not being from NY"

"The inclination is to always stick up for Jersey - there are a lot of good things about it too"

A chat with a Long Islander

Here is the LI scoop:

Nassau vs. Suffolk Counties: Nassau is closer to the city and also more affluent, usually snootier.

North Shore vs. South Shore: North shore is usually more affluent, but also located on the sound, beaches aren’t as nice. South shore is notorious for being pretty trashy, the loophole the South Shore has are the Hamptons.

Long Islanders refer to Manhattan as “The City.”

When heading to the east end for beaches or vineyards, we refer to it as, “Out East.”

Predominantly Italian or Jewish

Mostly White, not a large ethnic population

Suburban families with children mostly

An accent unlike any other, so take a seat Jersey!

Guidos and Guidettes are abundant

We go to the beach, not the shore. The hamptons are obviously the chicest and best beaches. Robert Moses and Jones are staples and also have a nude part..hehe

We say hero, not sub or hoagie, usually piled with fresh Italian cold cuts or meats! Haha
It’s Soda, not pop
Pizza is a way of life
Food is Love
Seconds, sometime third helpings are required

Proud: You have the best beaches in the world, live near the best city in the world, great food & shopping..why live anywhere else?


You know you're from New Jersey when...

 You know you're from New Jersey when...

  • You don't think of fruit when people mention "The Oranges".
  • You know that it's called Great Adventure, not Six Flags.
  • A good, quick breakfast is a hard roll with butter.
  • You've known the way to Seaside Heights since you were seven.
  • You've eaten at a Diner, when you were stoned or drunk, at 3a.m.
  • You know that the state isn't one big oil refinery.
  • At least three people in your family still love Bruce Springsteen and you know the town Jon Bon Jovi is from.
  • You know what a "jug handle" is.
  • You know that WaWa is a convenience store.
  • You know that the state isn't all farmland.
  • You know that there are no "beaches" in New Jersey-there's the shore and you don't go to the shore, you go "down the Shore". And when you are there, you're not "at the shore", you are "down the Shore".
  • You know how to properly negotiate a Circle.
  • You knew that the last sentence had to do with driving.
  • You know that this is the only "New __" state that doesn't require "New" to identify it (like, try...Mexico,...York, .Hampshire - doesn't work, does it?)
  • You know that a "White Castle" is the name of BOTH a fast food chain AND a fast food sandwich.
  • You consider putting mayo on a corned beef sandwich a sacrilege.
  • You don't think "What exit?" is very funny.
  • You know that people from the 609 area code are "a little different". Yes they are!
  • You know that no respectable New Jerseyan goes to Princeton -that's for out-of-staters.
  • The Jets-Giants game has started fights at your school or localbar.
  • You live within 20 minutes of at least three different malls.
  • You refer to all highways and interstates by their numbers. (except for "the Parkway" and "the Turnpike")
  • Every year you have at least one kid in your class named Tony.
  • You know the location of every clip shown in the Sopranos opening credits.
  • You've gotten on the wrong highway trying to get out of the mall.
  • You know that people from North Jersey go to Seaside Heights, and people from Central Jersey go to Belmar and people from South Jersey go to Wildwood.
  • You weren't raised in New Jersey -- you were raised in either North Jersey, Central Jersey or South Jersey.
  • You don't consider Newark or Camden to actually be part of the state.
  • You remember the stores Korvette's, Two Guys, Rickel's, Channel, Bamberger's and Orbach's.
  • You also remember Palisades Amusement Park.
  • You've had a Boardwalk cheese steak and vinegar fries.
  • You start planning for Memorial Day weekend in February.
  • You've NEVER, NEVER pumped your own gas.

    I've taken the liberty of hyper linking these things to explain them too - just click on them!

Long Island Christmas Tree

Obviously this is just for fun - but my long Island friends swear it's their mother...

From a NYC cab driver: Why I hate Jersey and a "Jerseyite" Response

"New Jersey drivers do not know how to drive properly in New York City. They never use their turn signal, they drive like they're sightseeing, they have an incredible sense of entitlement, and they're almost always on the phone. I've figured out that the worst cars on the road are white Mercedes SUVs with New Jersey plates. Each of these characteristics stand alone as a sign that the person will drive like an asshole, but put them together and you get the shittiest drivers ever. These are the ones that will dangerously cut you off, forcing you to slam on the brakes or swerve into oncoming traffic, and then, to add insult to injury, they will give you the finger because you honked. I'm not saying that the driver of the car in the photo did anything wrong (because that might be considered libel), but I'm not saying he didn't either."

Jersey does have a reputation for having the worst drivers south of Massachusetts....

Here is a response his posting got:
Anonymous said...
"A Pennsylvanian by birth, I used to share your sentiment. After living in South Jersey for the past 15+ years, I have changed my tune. Pennsylvanians and New Yorkers drive like tourists when in NJ. Just like Jerseyites do in the other two states and so on. There are the "by-the-book" rules of the road that everyone needs to follow and then there are the de-facto rules that apply to specific stretches of road during specific times of day. I could cite numerous examples, but suffice it to say that if you drive a particular stretch of road every day, you know the nuances of speed/swerve/potholes/bottlenecks that someone driving there for the first time does not. Of course there are cars of any state that are operated by assholes. They are assholes in every other facet of their miserable lives, so why should they be magically transformed when they get behind the wheel of their car?"

New Jersey vs Jersey SHore

Check this article out on Jersey VS Jersey Shore:

New Jerseyans across party lines can agree on at least one thing: they have put up with the 'Shore' long enough. A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that 54 percent of the state's residents think the ubiquitous reality TV show The Jersey Shore and its tabloid-friendly "stars" are bad for the state's image. Governor Chris Christie, who lashed out at the MTV show last month, might consider that to be understatement, saying on ABC that:

"What it does is it takes a bunch of New Yorkers — most of the people on ‘Jersey Shore’ are New Yorkers — drops them at the Jersey Shore and tries to make America feel like this is New Jersey."

Quinnipiac pollster Maurice Carroll, was more candid than Christie in a CNN interview: "New Jerseyans to New York: Keep your low-lifes at home and away from our seashore."

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Worth a Look - a photographer walking through Harlem

Although this is from a few years ago, some of this can be worked with - worth checking out: http://www.urban75.org/photos/newyork/harlem-new-york.html

Map of Harlem

Just to give you a better idea of what you're working with!

Calling Harlem a place is like calling the Eiffel Tower a building....

Some really insightful observations in Harlem from someone who is not from Harlem.
The author, Greg Gross is a New Orleans native. Southern California resident. Award-winning journalist. Lifelong writer, traveler, dreamer. From this blog:  http://imblacknitravel.com/harlem/

I wanted to describe my first impressions of the place, but calling Harlem a place is a bit like calling the Eiffel Tower a building. Technically correct, but woefully inadequate.
It’s a name, an attitude, an emotion. A storehouse of legacy, memory, history. Cultural anchor and political third-rail. The unsanctioned, unofficial and universally recognized capital of Black America.
The least of what this place is…is a “place.”

It also may be a misnomer to call it a “neighborhood.” Harlem is home to about 119,000 people, making it more populous than at least 64 American cities. The MTA gives you several options by bus and subway to come here from anywhere in New York City — but honestly, what option does a first-timer have but to “Take the ‘A’ Train,” the Duke Ellington classic that introduced this neighborhood to the world?

So I did, entertained along the way by jazz saxmen, gospel and rap singers on station platforms, and a three-man break-dancing crew on the train itself — while the train was in its rocking, jerking motion.
Leave the subway at 125th Street, Harlem’s commercial heart, and you come up within sight of the Apollo Theater, whose stage has launched so many stars of music, dance and comedy that it has its own sizable Hall of Fame.

People come here just to be photographed under its marquee, as if hoping some tiny bit of fame might somehow rub off on them. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, while still drawing more than a 1 million visitors a year.

And it’s still holding Amateur Night.
In a larger sense, though, all these streets are historic places.
These are the streets where Ethiopian sailors and black free men formed the Abyssinian Baptist Church as a cradle of gospel music and a cauldron of protest against racial injustice. The streets where Frederick Douglass touched the conscience of a nation reluctant to give up slavery and Malcolm X told us we’d been “hoodwinked and bamboozled.”

As you stroll the bustling boulevards that bear their names today, you scan the lean faces and sharp eyes of the young men passing by, and you wonder. Which of them might be the next Douglass, the next Malcolm, the next Marcus Garvey? Who will be next to speak the truth out loud?
Perhaps someone like the young black man I came across in a drug store, teaching his sons:
FATHER: “How old are you?”
SON: “Five.”
FATHER: “And how old is your brother?”
SON: “He seven.”
FATHER: “Well, if he’s seven and you’re five, how many years older than you is he?”
SON: “What?”
FATHER: “You’re five. He’s seven. Five, then six, then seven. So the difference between five and seven is what?”
FATHER:NOW you got it! NOW you’re in the house!”

This is not the image of a black man you typically see on the evening news or in a music video. But you’ll see it in Harlem.

Or maybe it would be the young woman sitting with her daughter in a storefront Mickey D’s, praying at length over a couple of sodas.

This community still has its struggles, not the least of which is how to lose its poverty without losing its identity. There are worries about gentrification, fears that changing demographics and rising housing values may cut off Harlem from its cultural roots.

Its black population has dropped from 98 percent in 1950 to about 69 percent today.

You know that the police officers stationed on strategic street corners are there to discourage thugs from preying on locals and visitors, but they still have the look and feel of an occupying army.

Young men who perhaps should be getting treatment in a mental facility ride the subway, ranting almost incoherently about racism. Older men with no place to live sleep at the base of the Stalinesque statue honoring one of Harlem’s most beloved political figures, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
They lie there without so much as a old blanket to ward off the cold night, face-down and motionless, as if they’d been shot.

But this is not a stagnant place. Throughout its history, up or down, Harlem never stops moving. You would expect no less from a community that created a neighborhood called Strivers Row.
In ways large, medium and small, Harlem gets its hustle on.

For every chain drug store, office supply center or fast-food stop along 125th Street, you’ve got the homegrown men’s clothier, the Mom-and-Pop soul food joint, the neighborhood club, the hole in the wall selling African fabrics.

And lining the block along with the storefronts are the street vendors, selling everything from caps for your head to scents for your skin, spices for your kitchen and hand-crafted African figures for your soul. Meanwhile, there’s the super-block of shops built around the multiplex theaters built by Magic Johnson of basketball fame.

Meanwhile, over on 116th Street, West African immigrants are creating a community within a community, a collection of businesses, cultural centers and places of worship that have come to be known as Le Petit Senegal, Little Senegal.

Then there’s Red Rooster Harlem, which is what brought me here in the first place.
Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson named this $2 million project in honor of the original Red Rooster, an old Harlem speakeasy.

That wasn’t a casual choice. By tying world-class dining to community history, Samuelsson is making a brave attempt to bring Harlem’s heritage new life in the 21st century.

A day in Harlem doesn’t make you an expert in anything, but a day is enough, more than enough, to show that there’s more here than just a name or a place. There’s a heritage worth preserving, a community that’s evolving, and a lot of folks worth knowing.

The history books describe this period or that as a Harlem Renaissance, but the reality is that from its inception as a Dutch enclave in the New World, Harlem has never stopped reinventing itself. And visitors are always welcome to come see how it’s done.

All things Harlem...

Some cool sites worth checking out:



" The Harlem Week/Harlem Jazz & Music Festival is an annual summer festival taking place each August, with food tasting, art exhibits, concerts, seminars, music, street entertainment, sporting events and an auto show. And don't miss The Greater Harlem Historic Bike Tour in early August. The Urban World Film Festival also takes place in August every year."

Moving Up - Harlem

Albert Maysles, Moving Up In The World (update)

Documentary filmmaker, Albert Maysles, has met the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Eleanor Roosevelt, Fidel Castro and Haile Selassie.  Now he’s meeting some of the residents of Harlem.  He moved from the Dakota to Central Harlem because “I felt it was time to move up in the world.”

Saturday, February 12, 2011

So New York (Region)

New York Public Library
Chrysler Building (from 42nd street view)

Rockefeller Center Statue

The View from the Top of the Rock

The most "New York" images...

    I asked a few people what the most iconic NY imagery was to them - what places resonate as their initial thought of New York, this is what I got:

    • Empire State Building
    • Chrysler building, the bull, yankees stadium, Madison Square Garden
    • Statue of Liberty, Times Square
    • Central Park too!
    • Harlem!
    • statue of liberty, time square, lots of advertising and central park, oh i cant forget people walking everywhere and really fast
    •  ‎30 Rock Fountain(or the statue IN the fountain at least.)
    •  Grand Central Station, Citi RInk, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Public Library, Macy's on Herald Square
      George Washington Bridge (for those coming in from CT)
    • museum of national history, MOMA, guggenheim, the lincoln center, rockefellar center, grand central station, carnegie hall!
    • Well I would say Shea stadium but they had to go tear it down. 
    • Clark Street in Brooklyn 
    • Rockefeller Center
    • The view of Manahattan from the Jersey Side of the river - Jersey City/Newport
    • Madison Square Park
    • 5th Ave 
    • Herald Square
    • The network of tunnels for the subway at 42nd street and Penn station
    • The Apollo!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Queens - an interview with a native

I got an interview from my favorite girl from Queens today - I had her take a look at the blog, give me her thoughts about the borough....Ashley is a 23 year old Queens native (born and raised), American by birth and Jamaican by the love of her family.

From Ashley:

okay, reading through this blog again....Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia!

anyways, having been brought up in the most diverse county in the country (and damn proud of it!), i have a few things...

City and Neighborhood:
people in other parts of the city (other boroughs) may *refer* to their neighborhoods as if they're their own little cities, but we neighborhoods in queens get to put it on our mailing address.
For example, if you're from BK, your address says whatever whatever Brooklyn, NY 11208 or some ish. If you're from Queens, you get to put:

Cambria Heights, NY 11411 (SHOUTOUT!)
Forest Hills, NY (11375)
Jackson Heights, NY (11372)

and ish like that.

The 718 area code & The most diverse county in the USA:
The 718 area code makes you extra proud if you've got the landline area code on the cell. doesn't mean we don't jive as a whole borough, bc that's not true. we've got every culture in the world represented here (thanks to having BOTH nyc airports, oy vey), but the neighborhoods flow like liquor on an ice luge. they're never *really* segregated to begin with (i grew up in a mostly caribbean/orthodox jewish neighborhood but there were non-carib/jews all over), but you'll def see mixes in between when neighborhood shifts start. Like if you're btwn rego park and corona (BEST ITALIAN ICES IN THE WORLD at King of Corona), then you'll see a lot of indian restaurants mixed with italian places, a couple of indian/italian takeout. hell, you'll even see a higher proportion of indian italian kids than in the general population. our neighborhoods mix well and thrive off of each other.

Cabs versus Dollar Cabs, and of course the train:
You may have noticed that outside of manhattan, there aren't that many yellow cabs. that's because the outer-borough residents aren't pansy-asses who are afraid of mass transit in the early am (unless you're my parents ><). aside from the buses and the trains (E train's my train!), we've got the livery cabs and the dollar vans. Don't let the name fool you: the dollar vans charge a $1.25 AT LEAST, and they have no problem giving you a discount if you/your family's from the same island/country they immigrated from (or adding extra if you're not...).
Summertime in NYC:
summertime means free concerts (which means cool picnic dinner parties if you're among my friends) in cunningham park. every borough has their major park:
bronx=van cortlandt
staten island=some shit, i'm sure it has one.

Arthur ashe stadium, where the US Open is played, is in flushing meadow park. i used to teach swimming out there. you've got the gorgeous swimming/skating complex, the hall of science (which is still fun no matter how old my ass is), shea stadium (no way in hell i'ma call it after some punkass bank), and the marina out by laguardia airport. driving by during low tide on the CIP (cross island parkway) is a bitch on the nose, but it's perfect being on the bike trails when the water's in.

hope this helps! big hugs and bigger bottles of liquor to split.


Saturday, February 5, 2011

On the Path

A friend shared this picture from on the Path Train in New Jersey...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Area codes

A NYer is very protective of their area code. It says a lot about who they are - think of Elaine on Seinfield when she loses her area code:

The episode also featured the New York area code 646. When the 212 area code ran out of numbers, 646 was created. Elaine repeatedly gets a piercing high beep in her phone after Kramer signs up to receive restaurant menus by fax with a service called "Now We're Cookin'". Elaine then gets a new number with the 646 area code. She is not happy with the new number because she believes the area code makes it too long to dial. She is proved correct when attempting to give her number to a man in the park. Initially eager, he reads the number, asks if it is in New Jersey. Her response is, "No, it's just like 212 except they multiplied every number by 3… and added 1 to the middle number." He makes an excuse and walks off. When an old woman named Mrs. Krantz dies, Elaine manages to get her old 212 number. Mrs. Krantz's grandson Bobby keeps calling Elaine's apartment, ignorant of the fact that his grandmother is dead, and that Elaine has her number.

Two of everything to serve this City...QUEENS

In an earlier post I mentioned that NY needs more than 1 of everything - 5 boroughs, 2 NFL team, 2 MLB teams (The Mets are in Queens on Roosevelt Ave), 2 Airports etc.

Both major airports are in Queens. (JFK & LaGuardia) And if you're not from NY you ALWAYS mispronounce LaGuardia for some reason - tourists say "La gard E uh", it's "La-gwarr-dee-uh" (it's the Spanish influence of the meaning of the word) - EVERYTHING has the "W" sound, it's part of the NY accent.

Queens is also the 4th most densely populated county...and NY's most diverse borough. Queens is world diversity - everyone from everywhere.
  • Were each borough an independent city, Brooklyn and Queens would be the country's third and fourth largest cities, respectively, after Los Angeles and Chicago.
  • The tallest tree in the New York metropolitan area, called the Queens Giant, is also the oldest living thing in the New York metro area. It is located in northeastern Queens, and is 450 years old and 132 feet (40 m) tall as of 2005. 
  • Queens and Brookyln both speak to leaving Manhattan behind, even the subway comes above ground as you get out into Queens and near Coney island.

Memorializing the past - it's about pride and respect

The hip hop culture becomes part of the landscape in NY. In Queens, this  mural for Run DMC DJ Jam Master Jay who was murdered in 2002 has been featured from the NYtimes to Jay-Z's autobiography. Jay-z used this location as one of many he built into his album and books digital scavenger hunt - it's worth checking out here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More from Reginald...

Some relevant facts and points of interest for inspiration
  • Brooklyn is the birthplace to some of the greatest rappers  – Notorious BIG, Jay –Z, LiL Kim.
  • Brooklynites consider Brooklyn to be the “Realist” borough and the epic center of Hip Hop and Fashion.   
  • Harlem has the famed Apollo Theater that still holds amateur Night contest. If you can survive the Apollo theater crowd, you can make it on stage anywhere. 
  • The Bronx has been affectionately called the “Boogie Down Bronx”.

When you get more into the details:
The Apollo theater is world renown and is famous because of it’s Amateur nights that launched the careers of stars  such as Ell Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, James Brown , Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Mariah Carey, Lauryn Hill , to name a few. It Billed it’s self as a place "where stars are born and legends are made”. Because of the caliber of talent that has passed through the Apollo Theater, the audience developed a high standard for applauding on the best of the best during Amateur night. If you can make it on the stage at the Apollo Theater, then you can make it anywhere. The same as the New York motto. To past and future legends that braved the crowd at the Apollo Theater

Expand beyond rappers born in Brooklyn and focus on New York being the birthplace of rap legends. The list is long – LL Cool Jay, Mar J. Blige, Heavy D. , Russell Simmons founder of DEF Jam records, Puffy, Queen Latifah . It’s really the home of East Coast Rap - to the city that gave birth to East Coast Rap.

The Life of trends...

Reginald also gave us these popular Fashion/accessories to keep in mind when thinking about trends and their life cycles...


  • Chuck Taylors (Converse Sneakers)
  • Hoodies are fashionable
  • Workman or utilitarian boots with pants tucked inside
  • It’s cool to wear shades at night

  • High end headphones – Skull Candy, Dr. Dre Beats
  • Scarves for guys even during the summer and warm weather
  • Mixed tapes
  • Return to more socially conscious themes instead of misogynistic and material wealth themes in Rap music

To NY, Love Reginald

Hi Guys,

Here are some interesting things provided by Reginald - worth thinking about for sure!

Brooklyn – Heavy Concentration of African Americans – “Bed- Stuy” aka Bedford Stuyvesant is neighborhood in Brooklyn that is a hub for African American culture and is often referenced in rap music. It is the birthplace of rappers  Biggie Smalls and Jay Z. ("Bed Stuy Till i Die" is a saying here)

Harlem – Historically the epicenter of African American culture – The birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance. The home to the Cotton Club and the famed Apollo Theater that still conducts amateur night.

Spanish Harlem also know as East Harlem/El Barrio  – Largely dominated by Latinos or Nuyoricans

The Bronx – Heavy concentration of Hispanics. Was coined the “Boggie Down “ Bronx in rap music during the 80’s. Also home to Yankee Stadium.

Newark – Heavy concentration of African Americans. Nick named “Brick City” which captures the feeling of the city being a city that is tough as Bricks.  Newark also has a heavy concentration of Portuguese and Brazilian in area named the Ironbound. Also home to the new Red Bull Soccer Stadium.  

 Little kids in Bed Stuy Brooklyn


Kind of a snarky blog, but some interesting and weird observations about NY....


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Renting your first NYC apartment...

Anther great post from Thought Catalog: Renting your first NYC apartment, Enjoy!

You’re on the cusp of graduating from Reed, Oberlin, or Williams College. You flew to New York for the weekend to lock down a pad so you can finally move here to become a freelance _________. Start by picking a neighborhood, telling yourself you can only live in a studio, by yourself, in Williamsburg. That’s where everybody from your liberal arts college flocks when they graduate, so obviously that’s where you need to be to feel hip, cool, legit.

Go on Craigslist. Skip the past the “Broker” apartments, click on “All No-Fee Apartments Only.” You’re saying, “Who uses a Broker to rent an apartment?!” Believe you’ll get a better deal this way, don’t realize nobody gets a “deal” in New York real estate.
Type “Williamsburg” in the search window and limit your max rent to “$900.” 26 results materialize. You’re seeing stuff in non-Williamsburg neighborhoods you’ve never heard of, such as Bushwick, Far Rockaway, and Gowanus. You’re like, What’s a Gowanus? Open up Google Maps to see what “Gowanus” means. See that it’s toxic, has Gonorrhea, is nowhere near Williamsburg. But Whole Foods is coming, so that’s kind of rad.

Scroll down. Here’s one, an “AmaZinG 1bdrm Aptm***(Williamsburg)”—no price listed. Click it. Inside the link there’s just a picture of a wall, which obviously tells you everything you need to know. But it’s by the Bedford L train, a major plus. The owner is having an Open House tonight from 6-9PM, something you’ve never heard of, so you go.

By the time you get there you realize the place isn’t by the Bedford L at all. It’s actually on the Lorimer Street J train. Whoa. To get to Williamsburg, all you have to do is walk to the Flushing Avenue G train, coast two stops up to Metropolitan Avenue, get out, walk up the stairs, walk, then go down the stairs, then up more stairs where you catch the L train at Lorimer and move one stop west to Bedford. Total travel time: 35 minutes.

By the time you get there, 10 or 45 people are already inside, plus a line of people outside waiting to get in. All this for an apartment? You take a look around and realize everybody’s handing out cover letters, resumes, employment letters, tax returns, bank statements, blood test results, health records, police reports, school transcripts, and photo albums to the owner dude. Everybody’s filling out questionnaires.


You go over to the owner, tell him you’re about to graduate from wherever with a degree in whatever. Tell him you really need to lock down a place today because you’re leaving Sunday—you only flew out to find an apartment. He’s like, I don’t rent to students or freelancers. Do you have a guarantor? And you’re like, What’s that? And he goes, How’s your credit? So you go,        I don’t think I have any, and that’s when he asks if you have a parent who makes 250x the rent who can get on the lease with you and you’re like Um and then he asks where they live so you’re like in California and he’s all, Sorry, kid, I only take guarantors in the Tri-State area.

Basically you just wasted a whole day on that one apartment. Call your parents. Tell them getting an apartment is like trying to get accepted to Harvard. Ask them—plead— can’t you just buy me a place? No. Call your best friend Max, tell him what happened. He’s like, Bro, you gotta use a broker dude.
Next day. Roll around (real) Williamsburg and pop into a broker such as Apartments and Lofts. Speak to Lisa (hot, maybe 25-29) and tell her you’re leaving tomorrow, you really need a place today. Tell her what you want. Say your budget is $900. She throws a stack of paperwork at you and you fill it out in her office while she sifts through phone calls, text messages and other alerts on all four of her BlackBerry’s. You’re just on the verge of Carpal Tunnel from all the paperwork and she puts down the phone and says, Okay I have a couple places to show you, one for $1250, one for $1500, and the other for $2300. All totally out of your price range. She talks with a New Jersey accent and has on a spray spray tan. Big hair. Reaches for her Louis Vuitton, Starbucks, and you both climb into her BMW M6 convertible, top down.

Apartment 1, noisy, under the BQE, 15 minute walk to the subway, no doors. Apartment 2, a one-bedroom with a shower in the kitchen, no stove—just a microwave and a hot plate. Apartment 3—a breath of fresh air (sort of): new construction, doorman, center of Williamsburg, 100 square feet. $2300. You pick that one, almost three times what you wanted to pay. Lisa’s like, Great. I’ll need a copy of your cover letter, resume, employment verification, tax return, credit score and bank statements to get you approved.

You: Um…

Lisa: How much money do you have, kid? You need to make 65x the rent in a year. Plus first, last, security, holding deposit and my broker’s fee.

You: Oh, um…how much is all that?

Lisa: Let me add it up. [Typing on her BlackBerry]. It comes out to $11,500 total.

You: To rent an apartment?!

Lisa: This is New York Fuckin’ City.

You: Um…

Call your parents. Tell them the news. Dad freaks out. Dad says That’s ridiculous. Dad says We’re not giving you $12,000 to rent an apartment. Says to settle for a different, cheaper city, such as Burlington, Vermont. TC mark

Monday, January 31, 2011

Google turns the Subway into a lullaby

Check this out

"Alexander Chen used HTML5 and Massimo Vignelli's famous subway map to turn NYC's mass transit system into a playable musical instrument.
Manhattan denizens sometimes describe the sounds of the subway as the city's incidental music. Now programmer/designer Alexander Chen has created a more soothing version with MTA.me, an interactive NYC subway map-turned-musical-instrument that uses transit lines as its strings."

(There's more, so check it out)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Brooklyn - On the streets of Dumbo

A friend snapped this picture yesterday and shared it with me - she lives in Brooklyn...

Friday, January 28, 2011

Strangers of New York

Hi Guys,

This is a friend of mine and fellow planners blog on nyc - all photos....she's kind of a creepy people watcher who takes pictures of people on her phone when they aren't looking...



"Don't stand so close to me"

New York Tourist day

Every year some of my friends who live in the city have a "New York tourist Day" - they've been doing it for three years.

First, the break up into teams -  it's a game.  You start out at a bar at 10am- everyone drinks cosmos and appletini's - anything you'd see on Sex and the City. Then you're let loose on the city, you're awarded points based on the pictures you take documenting the shenanigans of the day.

Bonus points for: Statue of Liberty visit, Top of the Rock, Confusing the Empire state and Chrysler buildings, Time Square, Brookyln Bridge, pictures with the stereotypical street performers, going to a cheesy NY gift shop and going to Starbucks.

You must dress like a tourist: shorts, tennis shoes, goofy hat, fanny packs, "I heart NY" tees (We buy them at a discount as a group the day before), cameras. You have to walk slow, get "lost" and ask for help, and take obnoxious pictures with the subway poles. You also have to take a double decker tour bus ride.

The more outrageous team wins dinner when everyone meets up at the end of the day - at Olive Garden.

Some New York-isms

You can never hail a cab on Friday afternoons - between 4 and 8 it's useless to try (only tourists try) Thankfully the subway doesn't close.

Avoiding Time Square in an unspoken rule.

You only go near Penn to leave town.

If you don't know where the 33rd street Path station is you'll never find it alone at night - it's in a little park of sorts, no huge signs or subway markings - yet it's always packed at night.

Open the fridge/freezer of a NYer - they have a bottle of water and a bag of edemame - but they have beer and wine.

At least 2 of everything - baseball, football, basketball - a region of choices.

Referring to neighborhoods like they're cities of their own "Yea we are heading to the Village then might get up to Hell's kitchen later" or "I'm in the Lower east right now, but I can meet up in SoHo?"

Living "in the 80's" etc. is a location not a time. Tons of young people in the UES (upper east side).

Lots of abbreviating like you would in texts or how people identify a city with an area code in the south or west coast - Upper east side becomes UES, Lower LES, Jersey City is JC, Long Island is the LI

Smells: you jump from the sewer, to the smell of a nuts for nuts cart, the awful fish smell in the bottom of China town, to the smell of pretzels to the smell of the subway versus the path train.

Summer: Turns NY on broil - fire drills in July in the heat, laying out wherever there is grass, pretending that your rooftop is the beach

You know you're a New Yorker when...

You Know you're a New Yorker when....
1. You order your Chinese food through bullet-proof glass. 2. When you get angry at people for not walking fast enough. 3. When you understand this: "Jeet yet?" "No, jew?" 4. You reach middle age never having owned an automobile. 5. How many people outside of the 'City' know what a 'Regular' coffee is? 6. Every other phone book looks like a magazine. 7. When your greatest wish is to have an apartment with its own washer and dryer. And when you finally get that apartment, the washer and dryer are the first thing you show to everybody that comes over to visit. 8. You’re a Hindu and start talking Yiddish: “Why that son of a Nafkeh! That no-good chamoole's tokhes! May he receive hot borsht cristiyahs and live on pishechtz and dreck! Kuck im on!” 9. When you walk past the Black Rock on 6th and wonder how long it's been since Moondog left the scene. 10. When you stand 2 lanes into traffic waiting to cross the street. 11. You can not only take a catnap on the subway while sitting, but can manage to fit one in and stay standing while hanging onto the bar. 12. When you walk into a crack-house and it reminds you of your first NY apartment building. 13. You know you're a New Yorker when the "shortest time span known to man" is the time between the light turns green and the guy behind you honks his horn. 14. When watching “Deliverance” reminds you of that time you went to New Jersey. 15. You're sure that the kids on the subway selling $1.00 M&M's for their "basketball team" are totally scamming you, but you think that paying $225,000 for a 400-sq.-ft. studio is a good deal. 16. You consider taking a cab because you don't want to lose your parking spot. 17. You discover that NYC sells over 3,500 telescopes a year. Of course, we haven't seen a star in the sky since the blackout of 1977 but that doesn't matter since the telescopes never point higher than the top window of the building across the street from their owners. By the way, Winona Ryder never closes her blinds. (just kidding) 18. You Know You're a New Yorker When... you're standing nose-to-nose with someone on the subway & yet you're not looking at each other. 19. ...when the most important utensil in your kitchen is the phone
 ------- You know your a new yorker when.... 1. You say the "city" when you mean Manhattan and expect everyone to know what it means. 2. Hookers and the homeless are invisible. 3. You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you muliligual. 4.You think $7.00 to cross a bridge is a fair price to be charged without a gun held to your head. 5. You've considered stabbing someone just for saying "The Big Apple." 6. Your door has more than three locks. 7. Your favorite movie has DeNiro and Pacino in it. 8. The most frequently used part of your car is the horn. 9. You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression. 10. You call an 8' x 10' plot of patchy grass a yard. 11. You complain about having to mow it. 12. You consider Westchester "Upstate". 13. You think Central Park is "nature." 14. You're paying $1100 a month for a studio the size of a walk-in closet and you think it's a "steal." 15. You've been to New Jersey twice and got hopelessly lost both times. 16. You pay more each month to park your car than most people in the U.S. pay in rent. 17. You haven't seen more than twelve stars in the night sky since you went away to camp as a kid. 18. You go to dinner at 9 and head out to the clubs when most Americans are heading to bed. 19. Your closet is filled with black clothes. 20. You pay $5 without blinking for a beer that cost the bar 28 cents. 21. You actually take fashion seriously. 22. Being truly alone makes you nervous. 23. You have 27 different menus next to your telephone. 24. Going to Long Island is considered a "road trip." 25. You've gotten jaywalking down to an art form. 26. You're suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you. 27. You haven't cooked a meal since helping mom last Thanksgiving with the turkey. 28. You take a taxi to get to your health club to exercise. 29. Fifty dollars worth of groceries fit in one paper bag. 30. You have a minimum of five "worst cab ride ever" stories. 31. You don't hear sirens anymore. 32. You've mentally blocked out all thoughts of the city's air quality and what it's doing to your lungs. 33. You live in a building with a larger population than most American towns. 34. Your doorman is Russian, your grocer is Korean, your deli man is Israeli, your building super is Italian, your laundry guy is Chinese, your favorite bartender is Irish, your favorite diner owner is Greek, the watch seller on your corner is Senegalese, your last cabbie was Pakistani, your newsstand guy is Indian and your favorite falafel guy is Egyptian. 21. Traffic regulations are mere suggestions 22. You know you're a New Yorker when you…understand that there are as many New Yorks as there are New Yorkers 23. You tip the super $10 to hang a picture on the wall because you don't own your own hammer.

Another Life in NY

Check this blog out, all about life in NY:


To New Yorkers...The Subway

To America / to New Yorkers

Convenience store, 7-11 / Bodega, Deli

Front porches are a hangout / Rooftops and Stoops are hangouts

Time Square is New York / Time Square is avoided and touristy

Even the way people interact with something as common as the subway is different. NYers hate when someone walks up or down the stairs of the subway station slowly - Move out of their way. People also have the ability to wake up at their stop - even though there usually is no announcement or it's an indecipherable dialect of New York-lish. Somewhere like Boston's T you would never see the things that you would see on the subway of New York - things like Mariachi Bands playing through the cars near Time Square, street preformers flipping down the train between Penn, and the ineveitable opening and closing of the car backdoors to someone with a sad story that beings "Ladies and Gentlemen, may I have your attention. I wasn't always this way...." asking for your donations and kindness.

NY subways are like no place else. But Wether it's the commute home or the commute out, the ride to Coney Island or to Queens (when you passed out at 5 am after a long night out only to wake up 10 stops past your stop) - the subway has a lot of stories.

Here's another cool NY Blog: http://missbinnyc.blogspot.com

The NY Mentality

       "People who move to NYC and really want to succeed are willing to wait tables or fold T-shirts in a GAP or do whatever it takes to be self-sufficient at first.” - Sarah, 27 Manhattan

“I don't consider myself a New Yorker yet - I just moved here a few months ago. To me a New Yorker is someone who can say they made it here…I’m still working on that." Macey, 25 Manhattan

“     "The city is full of life, fun, exciting, dirty, and young.” - Laura, 23 East Village Manhattan
“The thing about NY is that you can really be whoever you want to be here, no one cares one way or another what you’re wearing, who you’re walking with. It’s great." – Liz, 24 UES Manhattan
“The New York attitude is thinking quick on your feet. Quicker then anywhere else. You make the same decisions everybody else makes only the make them twenty times more a day and do them five times quicker.” – Josh, 29 Brooklyn

“I      "I have the NY mentality, I walk faster than others, I drive faster than others, I talk loud as if I don’t care what others think of me. I’m from New Yawk and if you don’t like it, get out of the way." - Sarah, 27 Long Island

“There’s nowhere else like NY. As much as you may hate taxes, tourists, and traffic on the LIE, BQE, or basically everywhere that you drive, it’s still great. Its just a distinct attitude we have that makes us stronger/tougher.”Darian, 32 NY

“U     "As New Yorkers, we have a boss mentality ‘no one is above me’...born and raised here, Wash Heightz all day baby! NY is not only Times square and Wall St..it’s much more then you can even imagine…”- Yami, 26 Washington Heights 


Pulled from a blog: Definition of a NYer


Re: Definition of a New Yorker
Posted by: Jason (---.range86-139.btcentralplus.com)
Date: June 06, 2008 12:08PM

No other city has this paradoxical 'state of mind' identity greater than New York City. It manages to transcend its sense of place, in the conventional sense of the word. Paris is the only other city that seems to come close to this universal sense of place. It is a 'street theater' quality, which has everything to do with its 'aspirational' and 'poetic' sense of itself. Anyone who strongly identifies with those qualities is, innately speaking, a New Yorker. it is also that sense of longing for something beyond ourselves, which identifies a true New Yorker. But more than anyting else, the film and television industry perpetrates this 'other sense of self' as a universal and transcendent identity which is the unique New York experience. And to be a part of this experience is to be a part of the American dream, with its keen sense of justice, liberty and eternal progression in all things both temporal and spiritual.

Re: Definition ?
Posted by: leelee (---.si.res.rr.com)
Date: September 04, 2009 12:00AM

the definition of a true new yorker is someone that lives breaths eats acts talks walks with their head held high and you want it to be higher than anyone elses you strive for attention you want your voice to be heard. if your a true new yorker you could write a book on your life and feel it could be one of the best books ever written. a true new yorker dosent care about what anybody says your yourself you come before anybody else. a true new yorker has become numb to pain because they learn that it never goes away it only gets harder and you gotto know how to deal with it .a true new yorker says fuck you to anybody who stands in their way of want they want . a true new yorker would flip out to someone who says fuck you to you . a true new yorker always gets that uneasy feeling when they hear sirens plus we know the diff between a ambulence siren a fire truck siren and a cop siren lol. a true new yorker knows that feeling that you get when your not in new york that uncomfortable feeling kinda like a lost feeling but a dont worry ill be back home soon kinda feeling. every true new yorker owns a pair of jordans or air forces. every true new yorker always gotto look good and fresh cuz people aint gotto know what we have and dont have just know we are hustlas. every true new yorker hates goin to the city cuz theres just to many tourists and if you do go u usually take a train or ferry or bus. BUT a true new yorkerr knows what its like to look at that skyline and think to themself wow i could never get sick of that view im so blessed to be born and raised here not alot of people get to and expirience this, my reality is someones dream. im a true new yorker born and raised its 3 in the morning and what do i hear cars racing music bumpin, the sirens ah man i love it bk aand staten all dai .

Thursday, January 27, 2011

From my friend Erin - why I love NY

why I love you nyc

by Erin on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at 11:19am
Nicole Brooker asked me: "could you give me specific examples of things that you see about NY that others couldn't?"

I'm having a hard time with this one... what do I see when I look around NYC?

I see passion and drive and millions of people who are intent on manifesting their own destinies - no matter how big their dreams - working tirelessly to build the foundations of their own success;

I see people who are more open minded, more accepting, more aware than most, yet are busy busy busy, so may come off as detached and self absorbed;

I see amazing style that constantly inspires me and pushes me to reinvent myself as often as I my eyes peek open in the morning;

I see humanity at its best: helping to shovel sidewalks and push cars out of the snow, carrying an old lady's suitcase up the stairs, giving their time to those less fortunate than themselves - and at its worst: closing their eyes to the pregnant woman who needs a seat or barely giving a sympathetic glance to the man bundled up in dirty rags in the corner;

I see more creativity and inspiration than I could ever imagine there possibly being in the world - artists who transcend the status quo - musicians and photographers and artists and performers and dancers that make my heart swell and ache with admiration and longing;

I see anything and everything you could possibly imagine wanting - no more than an arms length away - ripe for the taking, ripe for the abusing, ripe for the savoring;

I see the crème de la crème, the folks who can make it anywhere, yet choose to make this big, beautiful, wonderful city their home, their sanctuary, their playground, their wasteland;

I see the first and only place in the world where I've ever felt accepted, ever felt at home;

I see the youth seeping in, adding their fire and their brilliance, their curiosity and their passionate insistence - building the new skyline of New York with electric dreams and steely determination;

I see the place that I am beginning to whisper goodbye to - taking it in my arms, wrapping myself in its embrace and feeling the soft crush of passion and remorse;

Brooker: I hope that helps.

I <3 New York.

Erin has lived in NY forever - she's 30 and currently lives in Crown heights - she's super in tune with culture and is truly happening.

10 steps to becoming a NYer

This list is on becoming a new yorker (10 things u have to go thru before u are “official”) - a friend sent me this list when I first moved here:
#10 - get a 917 area code
# 9 - learn to hate time square
#8 - visit all landmarks and declare "they're okay" when asked about them
#7 - tell people you go to new jersey ONLY for ikea
#6 - find YOUR number one new york pizza spot and say IT IS THE #1 NY pizza spot
#5 - hook up with as many foreigners as you can
#4 - after partying hard fall asleep drunk in a subway car and wake up in queens
#3 - have several encounters with CRAZY people and have trouble picking the worst one
#2 - have everything delivered
#1 - slip and fall on your ass, hurt, suck it up, stand-up and keep going NO BLUSHING

You know you're from long Island (Suffolk County) when...

Hey Guys - this is something a fellow planner from LI got passed to him on FB....all about LI...enjoy!

You know you’re from Suffolk County (LI) When...
1. You ask yourself why you talk different from every other state.
2. You know someone or you have adopted a pet from North Shore Animal League.
3. More white people talk ghetto then black.
4. You curse. A lot.
5. You put a “er” at the end of an “a” word or the opposite. ex: Soder
6. You are afraid to step in the ocean water because you can’t see past 1cm.
7. There is damn geese everywhere!
8. You know of only one mall, Smith Haven.
9. You have been to the Amityville house at least once.
10. Wonder why only our beaches are contaminated.
11. You feel like you have contracted Tuberculosis from lake Ronkonkoma.
12. You go to Island 16 all the time, Because obviously it’s the coolest place.
13. You think we have the poorest schools, when really we have the richest.
14. You wish that the only roller rink in Bayshore wasn’t demolished.
15. You go to the Rinx on Friday nights.
16. You know the construction on the roads is pointless because they are always worse then before.
17. You wonder why we never get snow, It snows 3ft, then never again until the next winter.
18. You ask yourself “Why does everyone move to Florida?!”
19. You don’t know why schools spend all the money on sports when only a selection play.
20. You wonder why only we have to take a regents exam.
21. Hate the schools heath code.
22. Most girls dress like sluts, but you have gotten to the point where you don’t realize because you’re so used to it.
23. You wonder WTF is with the Uggs?
24. The Commack movie theatre scares you.
25. You go to the mall more to hang out then to shop.
26. You had no idea how rich we were until you went out east.
27. You have been to Atlantis Marine World at least once.
28. You know the security guards anywhere(mall, school, ect.) don’t care what you do.
29. You wish Global warming would stop because our beaches are disappearing. O.o
30. You can’t wait until summer, so that you can do nothing but stay inside on the computer.
31. you've waited on the line at taco bell at 2am cause you got a craving and its four town away.
32. You thought you were bad ass when you were 10 and your mom let you ride your bike to your friends house
33. When people from upstate/out of state ask were you live you have to describe your towns location by distance from N...YC in minutes. [we dont use miles :P]
34. you've spent your weekends durring the summer taking ferries to FI
35. There's no DQ yet we're tortured with commercials
36. When you know exactly how it feels to wake up in the morning feeling like p diddy

Hope this helps..I’ll think of some more tomorrow!