April 25, 2009

Nationals - Mets, April 24, 2009: K-Rod Gives Up A Hit

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez ( K-Rod ) pitches against Washington right fielder Kearns in the ninth inning last night, and gives up a ground ball single just left of second.

The new Mets stadium is gorgeous.

One complaint- the food is not nearly as good as they've been saying. I had an Italian sausage that had clearly been sitting around for a while. And customer services is surprisingly slow.

Had a short conversation with one of the staff, who used to work at Shea. He said that he much preferred Shea to the new place, which he referred to as a " theme park ". Said that Shea attracted real fans, while the new place attracted those who " don't care about the game ".

The new Shea is a nice theme park, though. Even if the food service is slow.


Bag policy far more liberal than that of Yankee Stadium. The Yankees won't let you bring in any backpacks. The Mets will allow you to bring in normal size backpacks, but of course will search them.

Parking lot very congested. Don't drive, or if you do, don't park in the stadium lots. Subway or LIRR a much better bet.

April 18, 2009

Sunday Music: Brooklyn Owes the Charmer Under Me

Steely Dan has Brooklyn roots and have a proven inability to make bad songs. Here, one of my many favorites. Off to Orlando tomorrow for the big conference.

( from the great wikipedia )

Donald Fagen and Walter Becker met at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, in 1967. Fagen was passing by a cafe called The Red Balloon when he heard Becker rehearsing the electric guitar.[11] He would later recount the experience during an interview: "I hear this guy practicing, and it sounded very professional and contemporary. It sounded like, you know, like a black person, really."[11] He immediately introduced himself to Becker, and asked him "Do you want to be in a band?"[11] They quickly realized that they enjoyed similar music, and even listened to the same jazz radio stations; not long after, they began writing songs together.

The two soon began playing in local groups. One of these bands, first known as The Bad Rock Group and later as The Leather Canary, included future comedy star Chevy Chase on drums. They played covers of songs written by The Rolling Stones ("Dandelion"), Moby Grape ("Hey Grandma"), and Willie Dixon ("Spoonful") along with a handful of originals.[11] Terence Boylan, another Bard musician, remembered that Fagen immediately took to the Beatnik lifestyle while attending college: "They never came out of their room, they stayed up all night. They looked like ghosts — black turtlenecks and skin so white that it looked like yogurt. Absolutely no activity, chain-smoking Lucky Strikes and dope."[11] Fagen himself would later remember it as "probably the only time in my life that I actually had friends."[12]

After Fagen graduated in 1969, the two moved to Brooklyn and tried to peddle their tunes in the Brill Building in midtown Manhattan. Kenny Vance, a member of the pop group Jay and the Americans, who had a production office in the building, took an interest in their material that led to work on the soundtrack of the low-budget Richard Pryor film You've Got to Walk It Like You Talk It or You'll Lose That Beat in 1971. Becker later spoke bluntly of the soundtrack: "We did it for the money."[13] A series of demos made between about 1968 and 1971 are available in bootleg form.[14] This collection features approximately twenty-five tracks, and is notable for the stripped down production and decidedly lo-fi nature of these tracks (many songs are just Fagen and his piano) is contrary to many other Steely Dan works. In addition, although some of these songs ("Caves of Altamira", "Brooklyn", "Barrytown") re-recorded for Steely Dan albums, the majority of them were never officially released.

More here


Susan Boyle Makes the World Rock

Of course, as Left and half the world will tell you , this should be the song of the week on this and on everyone's blog. I'm not a fan of these contests, but this triumph of the human spirit makes me want to change my mind. Blow it up, watch every second of it two or three times. The performance, and the story, is that good.

Until last weekend she lived a self-contained existence alone with her cat Pebbles, listing her hobbies as watching television and reading. She is a volunteer at Our Lady of Lourdes church, visiting elderly members of the congregation several times a week. It seems a far cry from being tipped at odds of 1-2 by Ladbrokes, the bookmaker, as the winner of the UK’s most popular talent show. ( from timesonline article

( Performance from " Britain's Got Talent" live talent contest in Glasgow, Scotland )

April 12, 2009

Easter Message to the Somali Pirates

When you see a US flag ship, stay very, very far away.

Don't f*** with the US Navy. They don't play. Trust me on this one.

The US has had an effective strategy in dealing with pirates since the days of Thomas Jefferson. The strategy is to destroy them, without mercy.

Good work, men of the Alabama and the men of the US Navy.

Semper fi.

Philippe Petit High Wire Walk At World Trade Center

A short tribute film of Philippe Petit's walk between the Twin Towers on August 7, 1974.

An act of the greatest beauty and courage, which only becomes more great the more you think of it.

See Man on Wire to see how he did it.

An interesting 2006 article from the NY Times- A High-Wire Artist Touches Down

Sunday Music ; : " Bay Ridge Avenue " by David Lind Band

Did you go to OLA or did you go to PS 102?

Making its Bay Ridge Blog debut, here is " Bay Ridge Avenue " by the great David Lind Band.

It doesn't get much better, or more local, than this terrific song and video. Tremendous detail here. Great work guys. ( Recommend that you hit the little rectangle at bottom right so you get to enjoy it in full screen mode )

( from the description on youtube )

Portrayed here by Steve Smith, self-styled movie producer/director, and set to the music of David Lind Band. Special thanks to Moises Prieto, producer of David Lind Band, Miguel Gil, horn arrangements.

David Lind Band:
David Lind-vocals, David Prieto-lead guitar, Moisés Prieto-lead guitar, Miguel Gil-saxophone, Pepe Troya-trumpet, Santiago Cañada-trombone, Fany Nsue-backup vocals, M. Muriel-bass, Mathias Cresto-drums

April 11, 2009

Bloomberg Administration Incompetence On Show At Bay Ridge H.S.

The construction at " High School of Telecommunications " ( Bay Ridge High School ) has was completed over a year ago.

But, still, the sign on the pole says that there is No Parking for reasons of temporary construction.

In a neighborhood starved for parking spaces, four perfectly good spots have been unavailable for one year, despite the fact that the construction has been completed..

If you walk one block over, you will see that the temporary classrooms that have desecrated Lief Erickson Park for more than ten years are still there. A once nice pocket park looks like Guantanemo Bay.

Why is this? Mayor Mike Bloomberg has complete control of both the streets and of the NY Board of Education. He is such a master of detail and leadership that he had to overturn the City's term limits laws so that we would not be deprived of his magnificence.

Since there is no possibility that these small and large things have not been done for reasons of incompetence, we may only conclude that this is being done as a slap to City Councilman Gentile and Senator Mary Golden.

I will expect the Bloomberg Administration to try to blame their poor performance on the bad economy. But the aforementioned construction was completed well before the economy tanked. And you'd think that removing this pigsty from Lief Ericson would take priority over any other parks construction in the city.

Mayor Mike, since times are tough, I will volunteer to remove the No Parking Sign from Senator Street for free once you give the word. I can have my ladder over there in ten minutes.

So, Mayor Mike, management genius, money is no excuse. Fix it, you incompetent schmuck.

April 05, 2009

Peggy O'Neill's Closes

Peggy O'Neill's has been a Bay Ridge mainstay since the Koch administration.

It used to be a gold mine, a genuine Irish pub/restaurant attracting crowds from 18 to 80, and ( good ) live music most nights. It attracted plenty of people from all parts of Brooklyn, Staten Island and points further afield.

It was jam packed on Friday and Saturday nights, and did well the other days as well.

I think that there were ownership changes over time, and at various times they messed with a formula that should never have been tampered with. The restaurant service went away, then the bands weren't the same, and before long it wasn't Peggy's any more. There was no reason to go there anymore.

Peggy's should be still open and prospering. This is an example of bar owner's malpractice. I don't want to hear about the bad economy or demographic changes. They killed their own gold mine by messing with it. Shame.

We have a report that at about 9pm tonight the door to Peggy's was open, and that there were four NYPD cars outside, lights blazing. Something was going on.


Took a walk down 69th Street, to the projected site of the new Key Food. No signs of any progress. I don't care what they told City Councilman Gentile. Something's wrong.

See some comments on Councilman Gentile's website including comments from angry and suspicious neighbors.

What the hell is going on? Everyone wants this thing to succeed, but nothing is happening and nothing has been happening for a very long time.

Sunday Music: Hawai'i 78

From the late, great Israel Kmakawiwo'ole

Album - Various Songs

Lyrics - Hawaii 78


(rough transalation: The constant, wet Rain Gives Life to the land
and brings goodness/change to Hawaii)

If just for a day our king and queen
would visit all these islands and saw everything
How would they 'bout the changing of our land
Could you just imagine if they were around
and saw highways on their sacred grounds
How would they feel if they 'bout this modern city life

Tears would come from each others eyes as
they would stop to realize
that our people are in great, great danger now

How would they feel
would their smiles be content
rather then cry
cry for the gods, cry for the people
cry for the lands that were taken away
and in it you'll find Hawaii

Could you just imagine if they came back
and saw traffic lights and railroad tracks
How would they feel about this modern city life
Tears would come from each others eyes as
they would stop to realize
that our land is in great, great danger now

All of the fighting that the king had done
to conquer all these islands
now there's condominiums
How would he feel if saw Hawaii now

How would he feel
would his smiles be content
rather then cry
cry for the gods, cry for the people
cry for the lands that were taken away
and in it you'll find Hawaii



Support Hawaiian music. Check out Buy Hawaiian Music website, which ships anywhere.

April 04, 2009

Taliban Whips Girl in Pakistan, Gutless Men Look On ( disturbing )

Watch this. Watch every second of it.

This is a film ( from Britain's Guardian newspaper ) of the Taliban publicly whipping a young woman in the Swat Valley of Pakistan.

Her " crime " is not known. The NY Times says :

One account said she had stepped out of her house without being escorted by a male family member...Another account said a local Taliban commander had falsely accused the teenager of violating Islamic law after she refused to accept his marriage proposal.

Note the men standing around and observing this. You know that some of them oppose this, yet the gutless dogs stand in meek observance.

The Taliban is an oppressive force, internally and externally. Do not forget that it is they that gave Al Queda and Osama bin Laden shelter while he plotted the attacks on my buildings, my city and my country.

This video is being aired widely in Pakistan, and it has disturbed people there. I don't know what they're so damned surprised about. This is what the Taliban does.

Good luck to those who seek to destroy the Taliban.

April 01, 2009

Andrew McCann Deleted My Post

This refers to yesterday's conversation on the excellent multi-author site A Tangled Web and will make sense to those who are regular readers there.

I made a post there and another author ( not the owner ) took it upon himself to delete mt post. That is unacceptable behavior.

ATW readers are welcome to comment, but not to trash Andrew McCann. No point would be served by such commentary.

( Below, a posting I made late yesterday, after a prior posting had been deleted. )

Each good blog has clear rules of engagement, and this one is no different.

This site has one proprietor, David Vance, who runs the place. His rules, which are few, are shown on the left sidebar. The rules are basically to be civil. If you follow the rules, you basically can say what you want.

There are a number of contributors to the site besides David. We adhere to the rules set by David, and by certain very basic, unwritten,. minimal rules of decency. One of these would be not to tamper with posts written by someone else. You can add or delete a post written by yourself, you can delete an offensive response to something you yourself wrote - but you can't mess with someone else's work.

You see, it's easy to do it. Registered users have the ability to edit - or to delete - anything here. This is probably a power that only David should have. But it's a power that Patty, mahons, PeteMoore, Alison, Mike Cunningham, Troll, Monica, and all of us have.We, and Andrew McCann have this power. A power which none of us to myknowledge none of us have ever used. Until today.

Some hours ago, when the owner of these pages was away on vacation, it is clear that Andrew McCann deleted my " April Fools " post. This is an act of great disrespect to David and to all those who write here, as authors or commentators. It is an absolute violation of the " free speech " premise that governs these pages.

It is all the more strange, as I have actually defended Andrew McCann more than once, on these pages and on the pages of Balrog. This is how I am repaid. With an act of sneakiness and treachery when the owner is on holidays.

We've crossed a Rubicon here. I have no quarrel with Mr. Vance, but here must invite him to a conversation as to how we ensure that such things will be prevented from ever happening again. If that can't happen, this is my final post here.

To prevent Andrew McCann from ever abusing the trust placed in him again, I am creating a replica of this post. If, and only if it is deleted, I will immediately post it on my site Bay Ridge Blog

I hope that the conversation continues, with my many friends here, who may be allies or adversaries on any individual issue. The one thing that all of us, or all but one agree, is that freedom of speech is paramount

No one is going to take it away.The conversation will move elsewhere if it must, but no one is going to stop the conversation from happening.

David, I am sorry that this happened on your vacation.

Good night, all.