December 29, 2006

Kauai, Hawaii

Kauai, Hawaii, originally uploaded by butterflymom2000.

OK, time for another trip. Come New Year's Eve, I'll be flying out to the island of Kauai, in Hawaii. It's a long flight from New York, but long flights do not phase me one bit.

Have never been to Kauai before. Looks a little different than Honolulu.

butterflymom2000 says:
"One of the many falls on the leeward side of Kauai, scenes of Jurrassic Park were filmed there"

December 26, 2006

Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union

Hey, big news!

Gene Brody, the head honcho of the Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union is part of a delegation of US credit union people in Moscow, who will provide the Russians with advice on how to encourage and regulate credit unions there.

I've lived in Bay Ridge all my life and I've never heard of the Bay Ridge Federal Credit Union. Hey boys, if you want to grow right here in Bay Ridge, how about doing a little advertising? Or tell us who you are?

December 25, 2006

Meeting Jack Dempsey

Want to hear a wonderful New York story?

ozoni11 has one for you!

"In 1955 (a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away) my parents took me and my brother to New York City to see the World Series. Yes, it was the Brooklyn Dodgers vs. the New York Yankees. It was a thrill for a young baseball fan like me. It was even more thrilling when Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall took the two seats in front of us.
After one of the games we went to a restaurant owned by former Boxing Heavyweight
Champion of the World, Jack Dempsey. I was a little bit of a practical joker. I had a fake pack of chewing gum that snapped on your finger when you pulled a piece of gum out. I did it to a man at the next table—he turned out to be a friend of Jack Dempsey. He asked me to play the trick on Dempsey. He called him over to the table and I offered him the gum—snap. He laughed…and my brother and I ended up on Jack Dempsey’s lap and this photo was taken. Notice that the movie, “Oklahoma” had just opened and was playing across the street. A typical New York crowd gathered at the window to catch a glimpse of Dempsey and they help make this photo complete. I’m in the dark jacket and my brother, Ron, is in the light jacket and tie."

If that isn't a perfect photo, or story, I don't know what is!

December 24, 2006

Santa rides along

Santa rides along, originally uploaded by RSEanes.

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

December 22, 2006

Yankees' Steve Hamilton throws Folly Floater

from hadrons
"Yankees' Steve Hamilton gets out the Indians' Tony Horton on his famous "folly floater" and Horton crawled back to the dugout on all fours. This is the old Yankee ballpark and the Yankee catcher is a very young Thurman Munson. See the old park's "death valley" in centerfield, reaching 463 feet in right center."

Great comments from youtube viewers. Wonderful to see this clip from 1970, with the real Yankee Stadium in the background and a young Phil Rizzuto behind the mike.

Duke Rape Charges Dropped: Prosecute Nifong Now!!

The Duke Rape charges have been dropped. The three defendents still face kidnapping and sexual offense charges that could bring them nearly 60 years in prison.

It has been clear for some time that this is nothing more than a Southern-fried
Tawana Brawley case.

The slipshod Durham County Michael Nifong is clearly guilty of malicious prosecution. Nifong should be brought up on charges immediately.

December 21, 2006

Donald Trump Wishes Rosie O'Donnell A Merry Christmas

So, I ran into Donald Trump on the R train yesterday. We ducked into Peggy O'Neill's where he wished Rosie O'Donnell a Merry Christmas.

Atlantic Yards

December 20, 2006

Brooklyn: Atlantic Yards Approved!

It's the best news in Brooklyn since the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the NY Yankees in the 1955 World Series.

Today, the Atlantic Yards project received final approval from NY State. When complete, the Frank Gehry-designed complex will add 6,400 housing units, significant office space, and a gorgeous 18,000 seat arena to house the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, who will be liberated from their New Jersey imprisonment.

After a lapse of over 45 years, Brooklyn will shortly be a major league town again. The Brooklyn Nets will be playing against the Knicks, the Celtics, the Lakers and the rest of the NBA. I've never been much of a basketball fan, but that will change with the first jump shot on the Brooklyn arena floor.

A dramatic project hasn't been built in Brooklyn since the Verrazano Bridge opened in 1964. And we have to share that with Staten Island.

Brooklyn has never had a center--but once this place opens, it , right next to the LIRR and a zillion subway lines, will be the center. I predict that it will be immensely popular, and once it has been completed, it will rather quickly win over much of those in Park Slope, Fort Greene and other neighborhoods that have opposed it.

New Starbucks on 86th Street

Right next to Circuit City, between Fifth and Gelston Avenues. So we now have a "Caffeine Triangle" of three Starbucks in Bay Ridge. The other two are on Third and 92nd and Third and 75th.

Thanks, Judy for the photo.

December 18, 2006

New York City Subway Video

Bay Ridge / Bensonhurst straphangers will recognize the N train exiting the tunnels into the open air.

Steven Bornhotz's ten minute film is made with great skill and love.

Trip goes along through the N, 7, and D line through Brooklyn and Queens. It ends with lovely images of 1940s vintage trains as they go on a recent "fan trip"/

Play with sound on!

Riding a Bike Through Dublin

What's it like to commute by bicycle through Dublin? Well funny you should ask.

I meant to only glance at this, but after the first minute I was hooked.

What kind of camera does he use? Will he be hit by an opening car door? You'll have to watch the video to find out.

( Goes by: Terenure, Rathgar, Rathmines, Grand Canal in Dublin )

December 17, 2006

Freedom Tower Steel Signing

Messages left on the steel.

This steel will be installed in the building foundation this week.

Freedom Tower Steel Signing

One of the heavy steel beams to be used in the construction of the Freedom Tower was displayed to the public on Sunday December 17. Families were given the chance to sign it earlier in the day. I went there in the afternoon.

Merry Christmas from the Firehouse - Engine 241, Ladder 109

At Third Avenue, near 67th Street in Bay Ridge

December 10, 2006

Nixon Comes to China at the Raccoon Lodge

Don't know who's supposed to be Nixon, and the Raccoon looks more like a used auto-parts store than it does China, but I found myself there this past Friday.

I got there by means of a little wager. I must be the only "right-wing" (by NYC standards anyway)guy who won a political bet this past election. But I did, which was like picking a needle in a haystack on a windy night.

In the aftermath of Ned Lamont's defeat of Joe Lieberman in the CT Democratic primary, I said that Joe would win in the General Election. Darcy James Argue took me up on a wager that entailed a few beers, a bag of potato chips and five bucks for the jukebox, going to the winner at a bar of the winner's choice. So, I won, and Darcy was true to his word. We met this past Friday at the Raccoon Lodge for some friendly conversation with Darcy and Lindsay Berenstein of Majikthise.

Darcy is the ringleader of the jazz big-band Secret Society and the blog of the same name. I've never heard the band play live, but if the audio clips linked to his blog are any indication, they're really good. Darcy, you've been blogrolled. Hope to see you again sometime.

December 09, 2006

Andy Pettitte Returns to the Yankees

Andy Petitte, originally uploaded by dgriffin_ice9.

So, its announced today that Andy Pettitte has been re-signed by the NY Yankees. That's good news. A Southern gentleman and a "money player" , there isn't a Yankees fan that won't welcome him back with the loudest of cheers.

One of the best performances I ever saw was Pettitte's shutout of the Atlanta Braves in the 1996 World Series. The Braves had plenty of runners on base that game, but any time he got into trouble, Pettitte gutted his way out of it. A fearless, effective lefty who comes up big in an important name--that's Pettitte.

Roger Clemens observes the situation from his home in hell.

Let's hope that Clemens does not follow Andy Pettitte to NYC. Roger Clemens' act has gotten very old by now, with the retiring-and-unretiring for ten years in a row it seems, and I'm not sure that there's anyone left for Clemens to betray anymore. Clemens, stay away from the Bronx: I'm warning you.

December 07, 2006

Lufthansa Buys 20 747s

Lufthansa 747 D-ABVU, originally uploaded by caribb.

Well, this isn't a business blog, but since I run the stupid thing, I get to write about what I want to write about.

I've always loved flying, and aircraft. And I've basically grown up with the Boeing 747
Not that I flew when it entered service in 1970. We weren't exactly a wealthy family, and the closest I got to setting foot in one of these things then was the observation deck at Kennedy Airport

When relatives came to visit from Ireland, they flew on these proud aircraft. Now, Aer Lingus flits with their generic Airbuses, which zip to the gate unnoticed at JFK. Even in the scrapyard in Arizona, their "St. Kiernan" 747 has more dignity in its desert afterlife than every Airbus ever built. You'll never hear comments like this when their Air buses retire.

I first flew the 747 in the 1980s, on Pan Am to Europe before Pan Am became Pan Am sadly ceased to be. And then a long gap until September 2005 when I made my little trip to Vietnam on Eva Air, the Taiwanese airline. I flew their 747 Newark-Seattle-Taipei, then another 747 to Saigon. Then it was one 747 from Hanoi to Taipei, then another from Taipei-Seattle then on to Newark. All over again, I appreciated the majesty of these planes. Flew across the world and back, and never a moment of discomfort. Air turbulence doesn't rattle this beautiful craft.

So imagine how I felt when I heard that the mighty Lufthansa has agreed to buy 20 of the newest generation of the plane, the 747-8. The 747 nearly went out of production a couple of years ago. The Airbus A380, a ugly catastrophe of a thing that seats 8000 passengers or something was supposed to be the wave of the future.

But now the A380 is trapped in a swamp of delay and engineering problems, while the 747 has been modernized with fuel efficient engines. As
Boeingsays in their specs:"Operating economics will offer a significant improvement over the A380. The 747-8 is more than 11 percent lighter per seat than the A380 and will consume 10 percent less fuel per passenger than the 555-seat airplane. That translates into a trip-cost reduction of 19 percent and a seat-mile cost reduction of more than 3 percent, compared to the A380." This modern version of the venerable craft does all this with a range of 8000 nautical miles. And looks good doing it.

An Airbus hack was quoted in the press saying that the 747 was just a "modernized Essel" or something like that. Huh? It's more fuel-efficient and generally costs less and its supposed to be the lesser aircraft?

The Germans are known for their engineering excellence. They studied this nine ways to Sunday, and bought the magnificent 747. A plane whose life has just begun. Long live the 747

December 05, 2006

Sarah Godfrey - December 5, 2006

Hi guys. Appreciate the kind e-mails from Pennsylvania and elsewhere. Have noted a number of "hits" from Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, White Haven, Noxen, Broomall, Drums, Mountain Top, Lancaster, Analomink, Berwyn, and Pittston. Welcome.

We've decided that Sarah deserves a site of her own. Effective immediately, most new posts will be placed in the brand spanking new Sarah's Place That's

The new website will allow visitors, including new ones, to have an easier time finding what they need, without navigating through other things.

I'll keep all the old posts here, and will duplicate them on the new site.

Please bookmark Sarah's Place. It will be "linked" to this blog, on the right hand side. So, I'll meet you over there right now!.

December 04, 2006

Sarah Godfrey- December 4

Mrs. Casey

Mrs. Casey, mother to Brigid, grandmother to Sarah, and matriarch of the Casey family suffered a stroke a few days ago.

She passed last evening at about 7:00pm. The loss is great. Mrs "C" was full of life, love and was always upbeat. It won't be the same without her, but the house will
continue to be the place to gather. It will continue to be filled with the people she loved most..her family.

The family is in the process of making arrangements. Though specifics aren't yet known, Sharon believes that arrangements are being made with Lehmans, which is located on Hazle Street on the hill toward Ashley.


Sarah continues to remain stable. This morning we believe she broke a fever she has had since her hospitalization, so that is great! She is also exhibiting more movement, so we continue to hope she starts responding to commands, and opens her eyes.

As always, the family thanks you all for your love, concern, support and your prayers. (Sharon)


I will soon create a separate "blog" page that will be exclusively for news about Sarah and the family. I think that this would make it easier for those concerned to read and to find information. Good night, everyone.

December 03, 2006

Winter Arrives in Bay Ridge

It was a global warming November here in Bay Ridge, but winter's here now. It came in from the West, dropping lots of snow in Colorado and the Chicago suburbs, but by the time it crossed the East River, all we got were strong winds and bracing weather.

For as long as I can remember, they've sold Christmas trees in front of the A&P supermarket on Fourth Avenue between 67th and Senator. Unfortunately, the A&P is no more, replaced by yet another Duane Reade drugstore that noone wanted. But the Christmas tree guys you can depend on. They're out there tonight, where Christmas trees have been sold since the sixties and probably decades before. The Christmas tree men are hunched over the fire, as they've been for decades, among the pine trees.

Spoke to Kirk, who owns the building at the northwest corner of 68th and Fourth. The store there has a new tenant, who'll be there in less than a month. Think it will be a Gyro/Greek place, run by someone who owns aimilar places in Manhattan. Since a properly made Gyro is one of nature's perfect foods, I can't wait to check it out. If he makes good falafels, that would be perfection. I'll throw out the stove and the refrigerator. If there's a good gyro stand next door, who needs 'em?

Bobby and Keri and the Trains

Bobby came up from Wayne, PA and rode the D train like a champ. Here he holds the pole between 36th and Pacific Street. That look? He was playing around with an "Elvis sneer". I didn't know kids less than nine years old knew about Elvis!

We moved on to the E train. Here, Bobby and his cousin Keri were writing silly notes for me. I passed sillier responses back, all the way to Lexington and 53rd Street.

Riding the escalator at 53rd and Lex- Keri, her dad (my brother in law)Steve, Bobby the wild man, his mom (my sister) Helen.

We went to the wonderful "The Station"model train exhibit at Citicorp Center. There are many model trains rattling around there, through a mockup route that runs from a 1950w Weehawken NJ, with NYC in the background, up to "the Catskills" and beyond. These photos don't really do the trains justice, but trust me--this is a wonderful exhibit that any kid or adult should come in to see. It's free, in the basement lobby at Citicorp Center.

There is great detail here-in the trains ( my favorite- the North Pole Express, with flatcars with huge presents on them--also Pennsylvania Railroad trains, trams ), grade crossings, a movie theater showing "High Noon", a guy ice fishing, a little house being built, with a very little man sawing wood, etc. Its wonderful. The kids liked the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, but they liked this much more. See it.

Sarah Godfrey - Dec 3

Sarah had a quiet evening [Saturday night] , and continues to remain "stable" which we are
pleased to report. She did sustain a broken jaw during the accident,
and on Wednesday of this week one of her Dr's will be exexamining the
situation to determine whether it can be wired at that time. They are
concerned about infection, and although we would hope they are able to
fix it on Wednesday, it may be something that will have to be addressed
down the road.

December 02, 2006

Express Train ( Travis Ruse )

I've always loved trains, especially the New York subway. Well, apparently so does Travis Ruse. He runs the terrific Express Train, which consists exclusively of photos taken in or about the NY Subway system.

All the photos are good, some are just wonderful.

And the NY Times agrees.

Travis, you've been blogrolled.

Sarah Godfrey- Dec 1

(from Pat)

It is about 10:00 p.m. on Friday, December 1 and time for an update on

Early this morning Dr. Pratt notified Brigid that Sarah would need a minor
procedure today. They were concerned about the overall appearance of
Sarah's wound at the back of her head. Not a critical situation but
something that needed proper attention. They took her to the operating room
in the late afternoon.

She was returned to her room relatively quickly and the procedure was
characterized as a success. They were able to clean and dress the affected
area. Moreover, they were able to get a good look at surfaces within the
incised area and were pleased with what they saw.


November 30, 2006

Sarah Godfrey Update- Nov 30

Thanks to Juliana, who advised me that the proper spelling is "Sarah".

Sarah has spent some quiet days in the hospital, which is good. She is gagging and coughing at times--which is also actually good in this context.

Additional tests are forthcoming, which will reveal more.

November 28, 2006

Under the Bridge

Under the Bridge, originally uploaded by lornagrl.

This isn't the only good photo of the Verrazanno that lornagrl has posted on flickr.

November 27, 2006

Sarah Godfrey- update

Sarah Godfrey was severely injured in an auto accident on Friday, November 17.

I heard today that tests indicate that it appears that she may maintain control of both arms and legs. At this stage, considering the scope of the injuries, that's good news.

This comes after some earlier good news.

(Reprint of November 22 post)
**Please share this with friends**

Sarah Godfrey is a thirteen year old girl from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She's an eighth-grade student at St. Boniface School.

This past Friday, she was hit by a car. She had just exited a vehicle after being dropped off. She sustained severe head injuries and was placed in a drug-induced coma.

"She is in a struggle for her life", says her uncle, Herb Godfrey. " She is a strong girl. Her vital signs are good, but we don't know the extent of the head injury".

Her mother Bridget is asking those concerned to pray for Sarah. She has made a "prayer map" with stars in all the places in the world where people are praying for Sarah. If you care to join the prayer map, please add a comment here, with your location, or send me an e-mail at

A fund has been established for the benefit of the family. Any money raised will go toward lodging and travel expenses, and will help with the girl’s rehabilitation, said Herb Godfrey, director of purchasing at King’s College.

Donations can be made to the Sarah Godfrey Fund, Choice One Credit Union, 101 Hazle St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.
Newspaper articles shown here and here. I will provide updates in future posts.

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole

Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, originally uploaded by hokulea.

Brudda Iz's albums are available on Rhapsody's music service. In his short life, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole attained great popularity in Hawaii and beyond.

November 26, 2006

No Sirius, I'm Serious, It's Rhapsody for Me

Gave Sirius a test-drive over the weekend. Their music channels were not bad at all. But the talk stations were surprisingly lame--the political channels were predictable "liberal" vs "conservative". With commercials.

I tried to test-drive XM Radio, but I couldn't do load in the "plug in" for the 30 day free trial.

So, I did a last round of testing with Rhapsody On Line, an internet only music service. I found the sound quality as good as that of Sirius, and a lot better than that of Yahoo Music Player. And Rhapsody's many "radio stations" are way better than those of YMP and they have a larger number of focused stations than does Sirius. They even have a Hawaiian Music channel, which this Hawaii-phile really likes. I am listening to legendary Hawaiian performer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole while I type here.

I signed up for the plan that allows me unlimited listening via the computer and on a supported MP3 player. Rhapsody it is!

Plus, by not going with Sirius, I don't have to be part of the station that is known primarily for being the home of the lame Howard Stern.

November 25, 2006

Testing Sirius

New York City has the worst radio in the United States. There's no rock station worthy of the name. The rock that does exist has a narrow playlist ( WCBS is now something called "Jack FM" ). WPLJ is still around, with their own playlist and their "Scott and Todd" in the morning. WNEW still exists, and this is what they do, whatever that is.

I don't want to listen to endless Doors reruns and I don't want to listen to shock jocks of any kind. I'd like to hear some good music from today, and its just not available in NYC.

There's no country station, period. Since I like rock and love country, this is a major problem.

We do have some college stations, who at certain times of the day will provide what I want, but they're hit or miss. What's a listener to do?

Well, opting out is one solution.

I'm experimenting with Yahoo Music Player which provides you to select "on demand" play from a vast library. I'm also looking at Rhapsody, which offers a cleaner, and slightly more expensive version of what YMP offers. Both services come via the Internet. Both offer you the option of downloading onto a portable device, and both offer commercial free "radio stations" some which you can tailor to your own taste.

But there's also the two satellite "pay radio" stations. There's XM Radio and Sirius.

They were designed for in-the-car use, with special satellite radio receivers, at a cost of $13 a month. You can get either over the Internet, and I'm testing Sirius right now. They give a free three day trial. Their "Coffee House" station is very good. It has no commericials and features "singer-songwriters and acoustic rock". Am now listening to an acoustic "The One I Love" from REM, which followed about ten great songs which came before it. More tomorrow.

November 24, 2006

Sarah Godfrey - UPDATED

Heard on Saturday:
  • she is now breathing on her own.
  • they're unable to do some brain-function tests at present because to do so, they'd have to move her.

Hang in there, Sarah.


I heard the following as of Friday:

  • bladder control returning
  • there had been concern about her heart, but that has abated-heart seems fine
  • some eye response observed

Will pass along additional information when I can.

Sarah Godfrey is a 13 year old girl who was badly injured in an auto accident in Wilkes-Barre, PA exactly one week ago.

November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, originally uploaded by Fotomom.

We all have a lot to give thanks for. So lets give thanks.

( Image from Fotomom, posted on flickr. Thanks ).

November 22, 2006

New York Marathon in Bay Ridge

DSC01785, originally uploaded by mattsix.

I wasn't in town on Marathon Sunday. But mattsix was there, and he posted this on flickr.

I ran two NY Marathons, and boy the adreniline was running good for me at this point-- Fourth Avenue and 69th Street.-- maybe five miles into the race.

Ten miles later, the legs felt like lead, and a mere 11 1/2 miles to go.

John F Kennedy

Forty three years ago, John F Kennedy was assassinated. I was a student at Our Lady of Angels (OLA) elementary school then. They suspended class and led all the kids into Church for a suddenly called memorial Mass.

Walking home on Fourth Avenue, I saw people crying. My Mom and Dad cried at home. It was one of the worst days ever in Bay Ridge, in America, in many places.

When JFK was campaigning in 1960, he made a campaign visit to Bay Ridge. I believe he went past OLPH in a car. The crowds were enormous.

Thirteen Year Old Girl Needs Your Prayers

**Please share this with friends**

Sarah Godfrey is a thirteen year old girl from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. She's an eighth-grade student at St. Boniface School.

This past Friday, she was hit by a car. She had just exited a vehicle after being dropped off. She sustained severe head injuries and was placed in a drug-induced coma.

"She is in a struggle for her life", says her uncle, Herb Godfrey. " She is a strong girl. Her vital signs are good, but we don't know the extent of the head injury".

Her mother Bridget is asking those concerned to pray for Sarah. She has made a "prayer map" with stars in all the places in the world where people are praying for Sarah. If you care to join the prayer map, please add a comment here, with your location, or send me an e-mail at

A fund has been established for the benefit of the family. Any money raised will go toward lodging and travel expenses, and will help with the girl’s rehabilitation, said Herb Godfrey, director of purchasing at King’s College.

Donations can be made to the Sarah Godfrey Fund, Choice One Credit Union, 101 Hazle St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702.
Newspaper articles shown here and here. I will provide updates in future posts.

November 21, 2006

Visit Hawaii Tonight!

I first visited Hawaii, if you call it a visit, when I was in the Navy. I caught a flight one January from Travis Air Force Base, near San Fran, to Guam. We had a two hour stopover in Honolulu. Though it was just a brief stop in an airport, the glimpse of the palm trees, and feeling the tropical breezes from the outdoor central area was enough to make me decide that I had to return.

I returned a year later, and I've returned many times since. I have a number of favorite places in the world, and Hawaii, even the very overbuilt Honolulu is definitely on that list.

Hawaii has an interesting music scene. The Spanish and Mexican cowboys brought in to work the ranches in the 1800s brought the guitar, which remains the foundation of Hawaiian music.
Hawaiian slack key guitar music is as accomplished as you'll hear anywhere.

Floating in from Jamaica decades ago came reggae, which metamporphized into "Jahwaiian" music, which has its following, esp among the politically minded.

Though few speak Hawaiian, you'll hear many songs in the Hawaiian language.

Much of Hawaiian music is as awful as anywhere, but some of it is wonderful. There's a distinct sound, even when someone's doing a cover of something that was on the top 40 five years ago.

I've linked to IRH Live Hawaiian Music. Click on this link, and you can soon be hearing the sweet sounds from the far away islands. Good to hear anytime, esp when it gets cold.

Don't blame me if you fall in love. Make a donation to this excellent, commercial free site if you care to.


November 20, 2006

Ed Kranepool Back In the Majors!

Actually, we speak of the Eddie Kranepool Society, a New York Mets fan blog that has been of major league quality for some time. I've just blogrolled it.

It will share space with Brooklyn Met Fan. Together, they're the Mantle and Maris of NY Mets blogs.

Ed Kranepool was a native New Yorker who joined the Mets in their first season. He was a member of the 1969 Miracle Mets team.

Always, always baseball has produced more literature that any other American sport. Its not even close. Baseball has a far longer history, more calls on our national memory. And there is something about this sport that causes you to reflect, to discuss, to remember. Sitting in the stands, you have the illusion that you could manage a major league team, or even hit a major league pitch. They're only illusions, but they're illusions you always treasure.

Welcome, Eddie Kranepool Society. Blogmaster Stephen Keane is a former Bay Ridge resident ( 72nd and Fifth ) taken away to Staten Island "against [his] will"! Steve, welcome back to virtual Bay Ridge!

BTW, where are the good Yankee blogs?

November 17, 2006

Bush is in Hanoi

Hanoi, Vietnam, originally uploaded by HellonEarth2006.

President Bush is in Hanoi, but the Phantom beat him to it.

When I went to Vietnam last year, I saw a very interesting country filled with bright , curious children and adults. Most were and are extremely poor by US or European standards, but they wear clean clothes, and are working very hard to catch up with their richer Asian neighbors. Give Vietnam a couple of decades of peace, and they'll be in fine shape.

Visitors are welcome. I wandered all over Saigon and Hanoi, back streets and big avenues, and was greeted warmly everywhere.

The reconciliation between Vietnamese and Americans over the past 20 years has been nothing short of astonishing. There is so much bad news in the world--this is one of the world's good stories.

November 16, 2006

Lets Build Atlantic Yards

Which act will perform the first concert at Atlantic Yards?

Except for some in the immediate neighborhood, most Brooklynites I know are very strongly in favor of the
Atlantic Yards

This project would be built over the Long Island Rail Road tracks. It would replace a barren spot with residential, office and retail development. It would also bring a new indoor arena to the area, and an NBA team, the Nets, to play in it.

Brooklyn's a great place, but it has never had a center. The minute this place opens it will be the center of a completely revitalized Brooklyn.

I love the idea of seeing a sports event or concert at Atlantic Yards, then hopping on the train at Pacific Street for a 20-25 minute train ride home.

Having a great arena by the Flatbush Avenue transportation hub will mean more competition for the Garden, and probably more concerts and special events in the city.

Opponents are bringing suit to try to block the project. Rumors are that they may be aided and abetted by the Dolans, who would not want a brand new arena to compete with the ragged Madison Square Garden. Lets hope that they fail. Build it now!

Frank Gehry-designed building. A little bit of funk for funky, rising Bklyn.

November 14, 2006

Gil Hodges Bridge

IMAGE_00078, originally uploaded by j0shuak.

Alan McDonald asked if I had any photos of the Gil Hodges Bridge.

The answer was no, but I have easily obtained one at the sensational photo-sharing site

Just went on there, and did a search for "Gil Hodges Bridge". You'll see some other photos of the bridge there.

If you want to find photos of any public place, this is a good place to look. Really handy for bloggers also.

The Gil Hodges Bridge connects Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn with the Rockaway Pensinsula of Queens NY. it is named after the famous Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player Gil Hodges, who played in the 1950s.

I've rode my bike over this bridge a few times, into Rockaway and beyond. Great fun on a cool day.

November 13, 2006

Rudy Giuliani For President

rudi giuliani, originally uploaded by theboost.

  • Today, it's reported that Rudy Giuliani has taken first steps towards running for President in 2008. I want him to run and I want him to win.

    Rudy has a record of accomplishment that no other candidate can match.

    As mayor of New York City, it was under his watch that Compstat was implemented, Bill Bratton was hired, and the NYPD given the resources they needed. He said he'd reduce crime and by God did he--his mayoralty saw historic reductions in all categories of crime. And the improvements continued during the mayoralty of Mike Bloomberg, who continued Rudy's policies.

    Let's get very local. Let's go to the NYPD website. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and hit 68th Precinct, which serves Bay Ridge. Then hit "Precinct Crime Statistics".

    If you compare "Crime Complaints" Year to Date 2006 and compare them to Year to Date in 1993 (early in Giuliani's term) you'll see

Murder is down 75%
Rape is down 71.4%
Robbery is down 78%
Felonious Assault is down 54.8%
Burglary is down 68.3%
Grand Larceny is down 5.6% and
Grand Larceny Auto (Auto Theft) is down 86.7%

And that's just Bay Ridge, which did not have a bad crime problem to begin with. Similar improvements have happened all over the city. Hundreds of people are alive today because of the changes that he implemented.

The other thing most of us remember Rudy for is his leadership of a deeply wounded New York City after the September 11 attacks. Unlike the crime drop, this can't be quantified. Crimefighting showed Rudy's tough side, but on September 11 and afterward we saw a toughness coupled with a real gentleness. He said that he didn't expect attacks against the city's large Arab minority because "he knew New Yorkers would never do anything like that".

He became the face of a defiant and very proud city. Most of the credit for New York's survival and recovery rightfully go to its citizens, but the fact is that we had a strong, tireless leader during terrible days.

Rudy's not perfect. But he's by far the best potential candidate out there. And unlike the current President, Rudy can actually speak.

Giuliani's leadership places him in a position that is most unusual- he is beloved by many Democrats and liberals, as well as Republicans and conservatives. The normal labels don't apply. If nominated, he carries 45 states. You heard it here.

Run, Rudy, run!

November 11, 2006

Borat: The New Global "Polack Joke"

Sacha Baron Cohen is brilliant. I've been a fan of The Ali G Show for a couple of years, admiring the insanely funny Ali G, Borat, and Bruno characters.

Now of course Borat the movie has arrived, and is a global phenomenon.

The Borat character is beyond stupid, which is cool for most of us, because he comes from Kazakhstan, a country that many have never even heard of. To a lot of people, you could say it's a fictional country and they'd believe it. The "Kazakh journalist" stumbles all across America, and that's cool.

In today's NY Times, John Tierney describes Borat as "the new global Polack joke".
We all know Poles or Polish-Americans, but its unlikely that many of us know any Kazakhs, so its cool to show Kazakhs as having cows in the living room and being proud to have sisters that are prostitutes.

Since "Borat" obviously couldn't be filmed in Kazakstan, they found a substitute "Kazakh village" in Glod, Rumania, one of the poorest towns in Romania, itself one of the poorest countries in Europe.

The English Daily Mail, says that the Glod villagers weren't told what type of movie this really was. Since Cohen thrives on pranks, that's not a surprise.

But unless this report is false, some of these villagers were paid three pounds a day--less than ten bucks-- to be portrayed as imbeciles. Nicu Tudorache, a villager with one arm was shown with a sex toy on his stump--he didn't even know what the fucking thing was-- and now the world is laughing at him.

The Daily Mail showed the film's trailer and "many were on the brink of tears as they saw how they were portrayed."

Its one thing to dupe rich celebrities like Donald Trump--but mocking poor villagers, then throwing them 3 pounds a day from your Mercedes--that's not cool at all.

Verrazano Bridge, NYC

Verrazano Bridge, NYC, originally uploaded by Bongo Cachanga.

I've changed from blogger to "blogger beta " which is supposed to be better. I had to change my flickr settings once this was done. Lets see if this photo posts successfully.

Once in awhile, flying back to JFK or LaGuardia, I get a view of the bridge like this. Of course, Bay Ridge is on the top of the photo, left of the Verrazano Bridge. The spot of green past the Brooklyn tower of the bridge consists of Dyker Golf Course, Poly Prep Academy ( high school ) and, near the Belt Parkway, Fort Hamilton Army Base.

When I joined the Navy, I reported for duty at Fort Hamilton. We hung out in a waiting room most of the day, then they gave us tickets for an Amtrak train to Chicago. After a long overnight ride, we arrived at Chicago's Union Station. Chicago in January was the coldest place I have ever been.

Remembrance Day

(Photo by torontofotobug on flickr, from a poster she made for the Toronto Police Mounted Unit for Remembrance Day.

On November 11, 1918, at 11:11, an armistice was declared in the Great War.

On this anniversary, Britain, Canada, Australia and much of Ireland remember the great fallen as they commemorate Remembrance Day. I was just in London, where many wore paper poppies , evoking the flowers that grow on Flanders' fields, where so many fell.

The US commemorates this day as Veterans Day. But we don't think of the meaning of the day the way our friends overseas do.

Let's remember all of those who have served, and all those who fell. In the war to end all wars, and all the wars we've had since.

Below, the words of The Green Fields of France. The version by the Furey Brothers is unforgettable.

Well how do you do, Private William McBride
Do you mind if I sit here down by your grave side?
A rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone that you were only 19
when you joined the glorious fallen in 1916.
Well, I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, William McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they beat the drum slowly?
did they sound the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind?
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916
To that loyal heart are you always 19.
Or are you just a stranger without even a name
Forever enclosed behind some glass-pane
In an old photograph torn and tattered and stained
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Well, the sun it shines down on these green fields of France,
The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance.
The trenches are vanished now under the plough
No gas, no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it is still No Man's Land
And the countless white crosses in mute witness stand.
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
And a whole generation that was butchered and downed.

And I can't help but wonder now Willie McBride
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause?
Did you really believe them that this war would end war?
The suffering, the sorrow, some the glory, the shame -
The killing and dying - it was all done in vain.
For Willie McBride, it's all happened again
And again, and again, and again, and again.

Did they beat the drum slowly?
did they sound the pipe lowly?
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down?
Did the bugle sing 'The Last Post' in chorus?
Did the pipes play 'The Flowers o' the Forest'?

On an August day in 1915 Percy Macnevin, left, Walter Lantz, right, and Waldron VanIderstine, centre, enlisted in the 2nd Siege Battery the first Prince Edward Island unit to fight in the First World War. With a range of ages and occupations, they made an odd trio. Macnevin, at 28, the oldest of the three, worked as a machinist with the railroad. VanIderstine was an assistant accountant with the Bank of Nova Scotia. Lantz, the youngest, was fresh out of Prince Of Wales College and trying his hand at fox farming when the war broke out. Whether they knew each other before that day, they were certainly good friends by the time this photo was taken, shortly before the unit shipped overseas in November 1915. The 2nd Siege fought almost continuously on the Western Front from the summer of 1916 until the last day of the war. By then, only one of the three was still alive. Lantz was killed in action on 12 July, 1916 -- just a few weeks after the Battery went into action. VanIderstine died a year later from a case of pneumonia he contracted in the trenches. Promoted twice and decorated for bravery, Macnevin came home with the Battery in May 1919. He went on after the war to become a Colonel in the militia artillery.

[The photo and text above appeared in Prince Edward Island's "The Guardian" under the title Archive of the Month. I can' t remember exactly when, but it was probably 2001 or 2002]
( From flickr, posted by freelantz

November 07, 2006

Hello from London

But I won't be here for long. I write this from Gatwick Airport, where in an hour, I will be on my way back to New York.

This has been too short a visit, but that's how business trips are. Other than a pleasant, itself too short visit to Galen,Kerry and the wee fel down in Sevenoaks, its been business the entire time.

People tend to say think that courtesy is a thing of the past here. But I disagree. Twice, saw people get up for pensioners on the Tube. And heard a few more pleases and thank yous than I tend to hear in New York, itself not as impolite as it is often given credit for.

Security line at Gatwick much longer than I've encountered in the States--a good 45 minutes. As is he case in America, lots of people do not clearly understand what liquids can be carried aboard.

November 02, 2006

"The Black Donnellys" in Bay Ridge

I can't park my car where I normally do tomorrow, because a new NBC TV show ,
The Black Donnellys will be shooting on 68th Street (between Third and Fourth), 69th/Bay Ridge Avenue (between Third and Fifth Avenues) and on the nearby avenues.

The site says "The Black Donnellys follows the exploits of four young, working-class Irish brothers. Their involvement in organized crime in New York City will put their life at risk and they will do anything to protect each other from the hostility between them and the others New York families who want their territory".

Apparently, any cars parked in the filming zone will be towed away--but will not be sent to the pound. They'll be re-parked in a free parking spot outside the zone. You can call the City and find out where it is. But where the hell are they going to find available spots in parking-deprived Bay Ridge?

This show will ultimately be in the same time slot held by ER

November 01, 2006

John Kerry: Botched Joke

john kerry, boston, originally uploaded by foto amazonas.

Always, there was something that seemed inauthentic about John Kerry.

He loved his "band of brothers" but left them in the field, then libeled them in the halls of Congress.

He's the friend of the working man, who became a man of wealth and patrician airs the old-fashioned way- he married a dead millionaire's widow.

Now, after leading the Democratic Party to defeat in the 2004 Presidential Election, he may have just derailed the Democrats' victory train in the 2006 House/Senate elections. Until days ago, it seemed as though they might take control of both houses.

A couple of days ago, at a California rally, Kerry said "Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

He claims that he botched a joke about President Bush, but I question this. As Britain's Telegraph says, "Kerry has long had a reputation as a haughty Boston Brahmin, a privileged, elitist, condescending careerist who cannot relate to ordinary Americans."

Could you see him looking down on our troops in Iraq? I could, easily. I think that he looks down on everybody. This was a slip of the lip, that revealed a bit of the man's soul. And he isn't the only Democrat to look down on the military and on the men and women who serve in it.

But I look up to John Kerry, at least for now. Because he may have thrown a case full of monkey wrenches into the engine of the Democratic Victory Train. And Howard Dean and the rest are hardly the ones to fix it.

This could be a very interesting Election Day. See you at the polls.

October 24, 2006

Sanitation Cop Busts Bulbs in front of Bensonhurst Sushi Joint--Then Tickets Restaurant for "Dirty Sidewalk"

Today's NY Daily News provides a story of a Sanitation Agent who smashed a large fluorescent bulb in front of a sushi restaurant...and who then
slapped the owner with a ticket for failing to keep the sidewalk clean.

Only one problem...the agent's activities were captured by a surveillance camera.

This type of thing happens often enough in NY...where malicious or quota-obsessed cops or agents give phony tickets. I recall a good few of these complaints coming from Bensonhurst, too. Could the malefactor here thought that the Asian-American restaurant owner would be too scared to file a protest? Wrong.

If the News is correct here, this agent needs to be fired. Sometime before he goes to jail.

October 22, 2006

Baseball- Lucifer, Kenny Rogers and the Tigers

Methastophalies, originally uploaded by STUSEA.

Kenny Rogers' new partner?

I was away in Washington on Thursday night. After our business dinner was done with, I looked forward to watching the end of the Cardinals-Mets game at the hotel bar.

Only one problem- I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
I left the dinner, only to see the the hotel bar did not have a TV. I went to my room, only to find that the fancy, flatscreen hard-to-use HDTV didn't have two channels--one being the DC Fox affiliate that was showing the game. I had to go on the Internet to watch a pitch-by-pitch display of the last 1 1/2 innings.

To lose on a called third strike with the bases loaded, winning run on first....couldn't be worse. Maybe the Mandarin Oriental Hotel did me a favor.

My man Irish Eagle said it best. His next day post said "Mets lose and are out. Nothing left now, but a long, dark winter." Thirteen words aren't a lot, but they said it all.


Tonight, Kenny Rogers has pitched eight shutout innings in a World Series game, for God's sake. This, the guy who melted in every big situation he faced in his New York career with both the Mets and the Yankees. Now, he looks like a young Ron Guidry out there. There is only one conclusion to be reached. Sometime this year, Kenny Rogers sold his soul to Lucifer. I may be somewhat lacking in proof, but there simply is no other explanation.


I didn't watch any of yesterday's game, but am watching tonights game.

Who am I rooting for? I only decided last night. It would have been the Cardinals, but for two reasons:
  • Albert Pujols' gratuitous insult against Tommy Glavine. After Glavine defeated the Cards in Game One, Pujols said that Glavine ""wasn't very good at all"
  • Cardinals' reliever Braden Looper led a mock chant of "Jose Jose Jose" in the Cards' clubhouse after Game 7 on Thursday. Apparently Jeff Weaver was in the chorus. [This mocked one of the Mets team chants]
So, since the Cardinals have no goddamned class, and the Leyland-led Tigers have lots of it, I hereby throw in my lot with the Detroit Tigers. Even if this means I am on the same side as Lucifer and Kenny Rogers.

October 18, 2006

Mets Win, Go For The National League Title Tonight

Mr. Met Hits The Streets, originally uploaded by snowdog101.

Mr. Met can breathe easy, but Met fans all over New York have been sweating blood.

After tonight's 4-2 thriller at the big Shea, round two of the playoffs is now tied three games apiece. Whoever wins tomorrow goes to the World Series against Detroit.

ThIs series has been agonizing for the Mets faithful because the fans have no faith at all in closer Billy Wagner. He's already blown a game in this series, and in tonight's game he came in in the ninth, and promptly gave up a single to Encarnacion and then a double to Rolen. After two outs, he served up a double to Taguchi, turning a 4-0 win, into a tenuous 4-2 lead with the tie run in the on deck circle.

Even over the TV, you could hear nervous chatter in the crowd when Wagner came in. Maybe he'll snap out of it, but its tough living with this guy as the closer when the team has already lost two starting pitchers.

But...if they win tomorrow, this flawed team could find themselves in the World Series vs the Detroit Tigers.

I'll be in Washington DC tomorrow night, at a convention. Look for me and the other New Yorkers at the sports bar at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

Lets go Mets!

October 16, 2006

Wounded Warrior Project

Today, I went to a dinner at a charity event. This happens several times a year, where we help "fill a table" for a corporation that has cut a check for a good cause- - the Boy Scouts, college educational foundations, etc. But this one was different. I'd never heard of this organization before. It was raising funds for the Wounded Warrior Project
What's this? The website says "The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is to raise public awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members to aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.
Tonight, they spoke of their "Disabled Sports Project" where wounded soldiers-missing one arm or leg, or two, or...are invited to all-expense paid outings where they learn or relearn how to ski, golf, fly-fish, or whatever. The goal is to get them out of bed as soon as possible, and to learn how to play the sport in one day.

At each of the tables were a number of us corporate types, plus one "Wounded Warrior". At my table was Chris Short, from Arkansas. He lost his right leg below the knee somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan.

The Secretary of the Army was at the table over my shoulder. But the stars of the show were the wounded vets, most in dress uniform.

And Claudia Mitchell, from Breezy Point, Queens, in a cocktail gown, comfortable and natural with her bionic arm, which she controls with her mind.

Major Ed Pulido, from Oklahoma City, was one of the guys who got up to speak. He lost his left leg to an improvised explosive device in Iraq in August 2005. When in the pit of despair in a hospital bed, two members of the Wounded Warrior Project came to visit. They offered to take him to learn new sporting skills--but, he said, he thanks them most for what they did not give him. Pity of any kind.

The most understandable thing in the world would have been for one of these young men or women to stay in bed, cursing the cruel and unfair hand they were dealt. Wounded Warrior couldn't help with that.

But they could help him learn new physical skills, gain new confidence, and do it quickly.

Tonight, the morale and camaraderie of these guys and girls was through the roof. As was that of their families.

If you want to contribute to this great organization, go here

PS- this isn't about supporting or not supporting the war or other government policy. It is about helping brave men and women.

October 15, 2006

Mets Not Dead Yet

shea stadium, originally uploaded by Jeff Jedras.

The Mets live. Baseball will be played at the big Shea again this year.

As predicted by Brookyn Met Fan on October 15, Oliver Perez came up big. And the hitters absolutely crucified the Cardinals. As of this post, the Mets lead 12-5 in the bottom of the seventh, after home runs by an unconscious Delgado, another by an awakening David Wright, and two by a Carlos Beltran who could not be more zoned in.

After yesterday, it looked like the Mets were on their way to a quick exit. No more. They looked awesome tonight, and they could soon be prepping for a Motown-Midtown World Series.


Today's papers report that the apartment Corey Lidle's plane crashed into belonged to
Kathleen Caronna. You probably don't know her name, but if you're from this area, you remember her--she's the woman who was hit by a falling lamppost hit by a float in the 1997 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

''How do you go through two major things like this?'' Caronna's sister-in-law, Lisa Brown, told the paper. ''It's spooky. It's very spooky.''

October 11, 2006

Corey Lidle, Thurman Munson and 9/11

planecrash, originally uploaded by jkeller.

I'll always remember the shock I felt when I heard that New York Yankees' great
Thurman Munson had died.

I was on duty aboard the USS Spruance in the middle of the night, somewhere in the middle of the Black Sea. I pulled a page from the news teletypewriter --no Internet in those days--to see a headline that pole-axed me "YANKEES THURMAN MUNSON DIES IN PLANE CRASH". I couldn't believe it. Thought it was some sick joke. Thurman Munson, the figure of health, the heart and soul of those great teams, was dead?

My shipmates on duty were briefly sad, sympathetic, but to them, Thurman was just some guy that they had heard of. To, me it was as if JFK had died. It was so sudden, awful.

Munson died behind his personal aircraft, a Cessna Citation jet. He bought it so that he could see his family in Canton, Ohio more often.

All these years later, this afternoon I am told that a small aircraft has crashed into a plane 20 blocks north of my office building. We in my company lived through 9/11, and, even more than most others, our thought turned to the possibility of a terrorist attack. A thought that, thank God, was quickly disproved.

It then came out that this small plane was flown by Corey Lidle, a New York Yankees' pitcher. Unlike Thurman, he was not a great athlete. His uniform number will not be retired.

But by all accounts he was a decent guy. He worked very hard to get his pilots license this past February. But why in the name of God did he want to be flying anywhere near Manhattan skyscrapers?

I love to fly as a passenger, and can understand why athletes, or anyone, can get the bug to fly airplanes. But I'd like my NY baseball players to get another hobby.

The dramatic photo of today's fire was taken by jkeller, from his apartment on Roosevelt Island, and was found on flickr. Good job.

October 08, 2006

The New King of New York

mr.met, originally uploaded by dangunderman.

He's always smiling, and his he has a huge baseball where his head should be.

He's Mr. Met, the NY Mets team mascot.

If the Mets get to the World Series, or win it, then Mr. Met will be the King of New York for a long, long time.

New York has been a Yankees' town for the past couple of decades. But it was a Mets town in the 1960s, in the mid 1980s, and we may be entering a new National League reign right now. Last night, as the last out was made by Shawn Green in right field, there was a changing of the guard in New York. Its a Met town again.

And, up in the Bronx, the knives are being sharpened for both Joe Torre and ARod. This offseason will not be pretty in Yankee Stadium.

October 07, 2006

Baseball: Yankees Eliminated from Playoffs

Well, the Detroit Tigers have just elimininated the Yankees from the American League playoffs. They've been dismissed three games to one in the first round. In most convincing manner.

Last night, Kenny Rogers, whose resume is littered with choke peformances in big games, grew a backbone and pitched a masterpiece, the game of his life.

Today, it was young Bonderman who pitched into the ninth with attitude and without fear. He left with an 8-1 lead in the ninth, soon to be the winning pitcher in the 8-3 game that sends the Tigers one step closer to the World Series.

I'm a two fisted New York fan who roots for both Mets and Yankees. So this is a sad day. The only real good thing about it is that it assures me that there will not be another Subway Series with the Yankees playing the Mets. When we had one of those in 2000, I hated it. It was as though your twin sons were playing one another in a boxing match. You're supposed to choose? I didn't want to. This year, I will not have to.

There will be a lot of really angry Yankee fans now. A lot of that anger will be directed at Alex Rodriguez, their third baseman who is the highest paid player in the game. He has the reputation as a player who fails in big games, and his very weak offensive performance here will mean that he's the eye of a very nasty storm more than ever before. He may wish to consider the witness protection program.

All I can say is Lets Go Mets. A very cohesive and happy team that may win their first round against the LA Dodgers tonight. The Mets could advance on the same day the Yankees are eliminated. The changing of the guard in New York City baseball.

And congratulations to the Detroit Tigers. A good bunch of players led by the great manager Jim Leyland in a town that really loves the game of baseball. I tip my hat to you. Until you face the Mets in the World Series, a real possibility. Then the Tigers will be tamed. But tonight, celebrate a victory well earned.

October 06, 2006

Alpine Theater has a website!

Look who has joined the computer age. The Alpine Theater that's who!! Or should we say "Alpine Cinemas "

It's pretty sharp looking and easy to use. You can see showtimes of current movies, coming attractions, how to rent out the theater, and there's a section for the cultural center that will be added to this theater.

I get the feeling that the new owner Nicolas Nicolaou knows what he's doing.

October 03, 2006

B-9 Bus Route Changes

Posted by Picasa
Next year, you'll have to catch this bus on Fourth Avenue.

The Bay Ridge Courier reports that the B9 bus will change it's route before the end of the year.

When it comes down 60th Street from Kings Plaza, it will take the left turn on Fourth Avenue, not Third, and will proceed along Fourth until 69th Street ( Bay Ridge Avenue ) where it will take a right turn down to Shore Road.

This re-routing could be a major problem for this part of Bay Ridge. I could easily see them deciding to create a new bus stop for the eastbound ( Kings Plaza ) bound bus, which could mean a loss of four or five parking spots in a neighborhood with too few of them as it is. The City had better find a way not to confiscate parking spots, or to make up the difference, that's what I say.

I take this bus every so often, so the rerouting can be a minor convenience for me as a bus passenger--the Fourth Avenue stop is closer to home--and it makes sense to have an easier connection between this bus and the R train. But don't mess with the parking, boys.

So, why do two buses ( the B9 and the B1 ) end at the 69th Street pier, not exactly a transit hub? I thought about it a while back, and figured it out. What say you?

October 02, 2006

9/11 As Seen from Bay Ridge

Found some fascinating posts on Youtube recently.

They're raw, amateur, spontaneous recordings taken down by the Belt Parkway/Bike Path on September 11, 2001.

Spectators gather by the bike bath near the Belt Parkway on the September 11, after the Towers were hit

At the overpass over the Belt Parkway, an eyewitness speaks of seeing United Airlines 175 fly overhead, before it crashed into Two World Trade Center.

The South Tower ( Two WTC ) burns

From the overpass, you see large crowds on the 69th Street Pier, and in the distance you see the smoke from the Towers...and, thankfully obscured by the smoke, the second tower falls.

I think that we'll be learning new details on this for the rest of our lives.

October 01, 2006

Fourth Avenue Repaving


I was surprised the other night when I saw trucks scraping the asphalt off Fourth Avenue in the high Sixties and lower Seventies, in preparation for a repaving job.

I don't know why they're doing this now...the road looked like it was in good shape, and could easily have lasted another couple of years. There are other roads in much worse shape in Brooklyn and Staten Island that should have gone first.

But OK, they're re-paving Fourth Avenue tonight for whatever purpose, I don't know. Have fun boys.  Posted by Picasa

September 25, 2006

WTC: " Jody Tededino 9/11 Memorial Way " Named in Bay Ridge

" A “lovely, young” Bay Ridge woman, who perished in the World Trade Center terror attacks, was immortalized on what would have been her 44th birthday when her family and friends assembled to help co-name a local intersection, “Jody Tepedino 9/11 Memorial Way.” "

I read this article from a recent issue of Bay Ridge Courier.

I've seen the Bay Ridge Courier before, but wasn't aware that it was online. Well, they'll now be blogrolled here.

The article does not say exactly where the intersection named for Jody Tepedino is located, but as the gathering was by Circles Restaurant, it implies that it's at the corner of Third Avenue and 69th Street ( Bay Ridge Avenue). That's about one block away from where I live.

I'm sorry that, five years later, it is only now that I become aware of someone living so close to me that died that day. God bless, Jody Tepedino.

September 24, 2006

Clinton Comes Out Swinging

Just saw President Clinton's interview on Fox News, where he went off on interviewer Chris Wallace during an interview that aired today.

Clinton got angry when Wallace when he was asked " I got a lot of e-mail from viewers.. Most of them wanted me to ask you this question: Why didn't you do more to put bin Laden and Al Qaeda out of business when you were president?"

Clinton said that he had given explicit authorization to the CIA to "get groups together to kill bin Laden"

He also said that he wanted to invade Afghanistan after the USS Cole bombing, but that the CIA and FBI would not certify that Bin Laden was responsible for it. Also, the US at the time did not have basing rights in Uzbekistan, which would have necessitated a Special Forces operation and a (dangerous) night refueling.

He also said that the "right wing" forces at the time thought he was too obsessed with bin Laden.

And you know something? The guy's right. I remember very well when the actions Clinton did take were derided as Wag the Dog or "Monica Missiles"

The fact is that Clinton was attacked by Republican and "right wing" sources for doing what he should have been doing. I voted against Clinton twice, far as I can tell, everything he said in this morning's interview is true.


Bay Ridge notes
  • Needed a small repair on my car this past Monday, and took it to Carma Car Care at 6761 Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge. ((718) 921-4400) Mike over there did a good job at a fair price.
  • I belong to New York Sports Clubs and today I visited the location near the Belt Parkway/Bay Parkway for the first time in ages. They've made a lot of improvements. The locker room and shower area have been totally rehabbed, and they now have towels for the members to use. Good job. Now let's get some towels at the location on 73rd Street and Third Avenue and I'll be a member forever.

September 19, 2006

Helen Hunt Making A Movie in Bay Ridge

Atomic Media asked if I knew anything about a movie being filmed in Bay Ridge. I had not, but I did speak to Judy who knew everything. She said " Its a film called "Then She Found Me" written and directed by Helen Hunt. I saw the end of the filming last night on Shore Road- today they are on 3rd. I saw Colin Firth, he is one of the leads in it. if you go to you can see more about the movie.. i think they were on your block last week..."

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day

Your Pirate Name Is...

Bloody Left Eye Louis

My pirate identity is Bloody Left Hand Louis.

Now, avast you mateys and go take a walk off the 69th Street Pier! Now!