The world from my corner of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn-- Free Speech Zone -- E-mail me at email@example.com--
October 24, 2006
Sanitation Cop Busts Bulbs in front of Bensonhurst Sushi Joint--Then Tickets Restaurant for "Dirty Sidewalk"
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
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]
October 18, 2006
Mets Win, Go For The National League Title Tonight
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
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
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
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
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!
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
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
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.