Tag Archive for New York News

Celebrating Africa Through Film

Every year, African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) celebrates the work of African and Diaspora filmmakers and visual artists through the annual New York African Film Festival (NYAFF). In essence, we see the festival as a yearly opportunity for audiences to rediscover Africa through the richness of her culture. It is fitting, then, that as the United Nations prompts us to celebrate the International Year for People of African Descent in 2011, this year’s NYAFF pays special homage to the vast contributions made by people of African descent worldwide — contributions to the political, economic, social and, of course, cultural development of the global community Read more

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Monday everyone, here’s my Top 5 for March 28, 2011 from Len Berman at ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The Final Four match-ups in the NCAA basketball tournament are Butler vs. Virgina Commonwealth, and U-Conn vs Kentucky.
* Everyone loves a winner. 5,000 fans greeted VCU when they arrived home in Richmond Read more

Walle ChineseAmerican food in Midtown

China and America may never fully understand each other, but bridging that gap are certain commonalities, like our positions as economic superpowers, and never cheating at sports, ever. For a restaurant bridging the gap on its own, hit Walle.
Started by the Chin-Chin dude (who recruited a Monkey Bar alum chef), this new midtown spot’s focusing on “Evolutionary Chinese Cooking” in dimly lit digs with a downtown-ish vibe, evinced via a lounge with black textured walls and red backed chairs, and a curtained-off main dining room that sports a raised nook rimmed with backlit booths, who look far more foreboding the closer they get to Lincoln Center.

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Ghetto Klown Big Laughs Yet Little Focus

In the program for his new Broadway show, Ghetto Klown, John Leguizamo notes that he’s “re-created” some of the events of his life to bring more “clarity” to his story. These kind of liberties are common when adapting real-life events to the stage, yet, in Leguizamo’s case, you wind up wondering if he could have done more to clarify his overall point. It’s not a question of the comedian’s conception but rather the show’s execution.There are too just too many tangential stories that aren’t central to the protagonist’s long journey to acceptance, stardom, and self-assurance that get in the way of the actor’s self-reflective moments.
His honesty and forthrightness is commendable – this production is rife with consideration of the relationship between truth and memories – but the show fails to provide much insight into Leguizamo’s motivation to remain a Hollywood actor in spite of his own disillusionment and dismay with the state of the industry. If the production were more focused and structured, it could reveal something about the pressures on rising young actors who hope to make inspiring movies and meaningful impact Read more

Stage Door Priscilla Queen of the Desert

This drag is a drag. Priscilla Queen of the Desert, based on the wonderful 1994 cult movie, is less a Broadway musical than a bad drag show on steroids. Wild costumes and crazy confetti replace any insight or feeling. Outrageous dress is fine, but artifice works best when it encases authenticity Read more

Falling Out of Love With My eReader

A funny thing happened on my way to becoming a dedicated e-reader. I wound up falling back in love with a couple of small, independent bookstores in my home borough of Brooklyn.
It began when I was in the Fort Greene neighborhood and came across Greenlight Books, a relatively new bookstore trying to make it against all odds in this e-reader age. It could not be a nicer, homier bookstore, carrying a lot of independent publishers and writers who are not household names. There was just something very comforting about browsing there Read more

Top 5 Sports Stories

Happy Thursday everyone, here’s my Top 5 for March 24, 2011 from Len Berman at ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* The Sweet Sixteen gets underway tonight with 4 games. All times Eastern.
* 7:15 Connecticut/San Diego State — CBS
* 7:27 BYU/Florida

* 9:45 Arizona/Duke

* 9:57 Butler/Wisconsin
* A Manny Ramirez line drive nails Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt in the neck. The Phils say he’s OK.
* Former Mets pitching bust Oliver Perez lands a minor league deal with Washington.
* Derek Jeter’s was the top selling Major League jersey in 2010 Read more

In Defense of the Silly From Direct Action to the Pies of March

I work with a group called Times Up! Toward the end of our recent Pies of March ride, we engaged in a pie fight at the house of one of our political opponents. As the ride ended, there were some negative tweets about our tactics. It made me wonder whether many of these critics had ever studied the history of social movements. If they had they would find that behind most successful movements, right and left, lay examples of disruptive tactics Read more

Major Quilt Exhibit Sponsored by American Folk Art Museum Opens in NYC

From March 25-30, New Yorkers will have a unique opportunity to see the largest quilt exhibition ever mounted in the city–and the experience is free. “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts” is being organized in the Wade Thompson Drill Hall at the Park Avenue Armory and is being sponsored by the American Folk Art Museum, an organization that is celebrating the “Year of the Quilt” with other exhibits as well.
The entire collection of red and white quilts being displayed belongs to collector Joanna S. Rose who plans to donate 50 of the quilts to the museum after the Armory exhibit Read more

VIP Entry to NYCs Premier Asian Food Fest Feat food drinks from David Chang Todd English Daniel Boulud at LUCKYRICE

Save mad cash (up to 55% off) on exclusive access to one of the year’s most inventive food events, The LUCKYRICE 2011 Festival, a dizzying, week-long showcase of Asian cuisine and cocktail culture.
Plan A: VIP Opening Cocktails at the Bowery Hotel
Hosted by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon of fashion juggernaut Opening Ceremony, this gala features 34 Asian-inspired cocktails made by bartenders from some of the best bars & restaurants in the city, from Ssm Bar and WD-50, to Pegu Club and Lani Kai. Your ticket gives you access to the appetizer-happy VIP hour (7-8pm), and of course ALL the cocktails. Get you Ssm!
“I am number 4″ is nothing compared to “I am number 34″. Grab discounted VIP Opening Cocktail access right here Read more

Mets The Effect of the Media

In late November 2010, I attended a discussion panel featuring renowned sportscaster Bob Costas in which he and three other panelists discussed the current and future state of sports. (Full discussion can be seen here.) In response to what is most different about the world of sports today as compared to previous generations, all the panelists unanimously agreed that it was the role the media plays in sports. Said Bob Costas, “Watch ESPN from noon until five. There are a half dozen or more shows which take the same ten or twelve topics, just with different panelists, and they present the same questions, all of which are ginned up to be more and more provocative Read more

Astoria Characters The SewingMachine Savior

Eleven. That’s the number that forever altered Sakis Karagiannakis’ life.
That’s how old he was when his father died, paving the way for his becoming the prime provider for his mother and two sisters.
OK, he did get to finish grammar school and his older sister did get hired out, too, but by 13, he was working full time repairing bicycles and motorcycles.
“I always wanted to be an airplane mechanic, but I never got to go to school,” says Sakis, owner of SK, the neighborhood’s only sewing machine fix-it shop and supplier of stitchery supplies like foot pedals, feed dogs and throat plates. “But that job gave me the chance of a life because my boss told me to go to technical school Read more

Unwritten Urban Rules The Pet Edition

My twenties: a time for adventure, confusion and near-constant change amid a string of successes and failures. I’ve traveled and moved with frequency — collecting mail in Texas, North Carolina, Washington D.C., New York, London and Namibia — learning in the process that mobility generally prepares one for a more attuned, almost chameleonic existence.
I adapt with relative ease to the people I meet in the new places I visit and inhabit, although certain unwritten social rules continuously bemuse me. Where is Larry David when I need confirmation of my own nuanced/neurotic assessments regarding society’s unwritten mores?
Take, for instance, the urban canine owner. That so many exist in Manhattan’s cramped quarters mystifies me: they present themselves at every corner Read more

Spring Cleaning to Make Your Home Pet Friendly

Dog and cat parents are known to disagree at times, but one thing America’s 78 million dog parents and 94 million cat parents can agree on is that having a pet affects the way you design, clean and function in your home. From pet hair to scratches on floors, doors and windows, it is a lot of work maintaining a home that is practical for both pets and people. But hope is out there, and the market for home products designed with pets and people in mind is growing. I have the purr-fect tips for a pet-friendly home, from toys to beds, from filters to pet-safe home dcor Read more

Its A Nice Day For A White Wedding

By Jennifer Lam
In November 1882, Emeline Hopkins Cornell wore a stunning custom-made wedding dress to marry Herman Livingston in Catskill, NY. The white satin gown trimmed with point lace was largely copied from European designs and featured orange blossoms, a bustle and a fitted waist. After the wedding, the young bride moved across the Hudson River to the Livingston ancestral home at Oak Hill where the dress was packed away in the attic to join the generations of Livingston family paraphernalia. There the dress resided until the early 21st Century, when the house had to be sold and tough decisions about its contents – what to keep and what to sell – had to be made Read more

Kellys FBI Bubble

So was Senator Chuck Schumer sincere or mischievous in announcing that he would push Ray Kelly for the job of FBI Director?
Schumer’s idea prompted an immediate disclaimer – not from Kelly but from his boss, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Schumer called Kelly “the pre-eminent law enforcement person in the country,” and said he’ll “strenuously advocate” for him to run the Bureau, although Schumer acknowledged that he hadn’t spoken to Kelly about it. The job opens up in September when Director Robert Mueller retires, ending his ten-year term.
Bloomberg, however, announced that Kelly wasn’t going anywhere, an indication that Schumer hadn’t spoken to the mayor about it either.
“I for one, would certainly like — I expect — him to stay … the next 1,023 days,” said Bloomberg Read more

The Worlds Toughest Trip Its Trying to Go Home

Now I know it’s true. The toughest travel destination, by far, is the one you know way too well. I’ve walked into the original location of the former Barney’s men’s store in Manhattan on a spring afternoon. Since it’s Saturday, the place is packed, and while I wait in line, I grab for a brochure Read more

Goodbye Luis Castillo

Sorry Kermit, it’s actually quite easy being green. It’s being a Mets fan that’s really difficult. The New York franchise has a rich history, but also always seems to punish its fans with poor signings, bonehead planning, and inept management. In recent years, the team has reached all-time lows and I say this about a team who’s still paying Bobby Bonilla not to play Read more

For Public Financing Reform All Eyes on New York State

According to Jessica Wisneski, Legislative and Campaign Director of Citizen Action of New York, New York State is in an ideal position to enact legislation for the public financing of statewide elections. And, given the crippling blow dealt to national campaign finance reform by Citizens United v. FEC, New York’s precedent has the potential be a game-changer on a national scale.
Wisneski was part of a panel discussion held on Wednesday on the future of public financing in the wake of Citizens United; the panel was held at the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture in Park Slope and was sponsored by Citizen Action NY and New Kings Democrats Read more

Stage Door The Comedy of Errors

Bawdy, raucous and played with slapstick abandon, The Comedy of Errors at BAM’s Harvey Theater has all the trademarks of the Propeller troupe: lively, gender-bender antics that celebrate Shakespeare’s language with muscular verve.
Here, the farce comes fast and furious.
In director Edward Hall’s inventive hands, two sets of separated twins find themselves in a south-of-the-border town, unaware that their double is there, too. Mistaken identity subjects the brothers to a series of exasperating moments. Merry bachelor Antipholus of Syracuse (Dugald Bruce-Lockart) is content to party with his abused servant Dromio (Richard Frame), while his married brother, Antipholus of Ephesus (Sam Swainsbury), accompanied by his Dromio (Jon Trenchard), encounters endless domestic travails Read more

New Directions Religious and Community Leaders Address the Failed Drug War

On Saturday, March 19th, an unprecedented collection of community advocates, service providers, public safety personnel and public health professionals will come together at a day-long conference to chart a new course in drug policy that could serve as a model for the nation. The New Directions conference will examine the decades-old ramifications of President Nixon’s declaration of the “war on drugs” in urban communities like Newark and African American communities in particular.
One of the unique themes of the conference will be how the war on drugs has increased prohibition-related violence, leading to declines in property values, the evaporation of local businesses, and an array of social ills in urban areas. Convened at Bethany Baptist Church, one of the oldest and largest African-American churches in Newark, the conference will speak to the unique concerns and viewpoints of communities of color as they look for new ways to reduce the harms of drug use and drug prohibition Read more

Japans Animals Are in Peril

The recent earthquake and consequential tsunami in Japan has kept people all over the world asking how they can help. When a disaster like this strikes the devastation is enormous, not only to our human friends, but to our animal friends as well.
Animals left in the quake of a natural disaster need your help! Left without their owners, food, shelter, or medical attention many could die. Last time a natural disaster struck Japan, Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK), was able to save 600 animals. The tsunami has left even more animals alone and scared, and with your help and donations many more charities can aid in saving their lives.
Animal Fair has compiled a list of tips on how we can help these innocent and majestic creatures when their worlds are turned upside down.
Japan Earthquake Animal Support is a wonderful coalition of charities brought together for the animals’ plight; they include HEART- Tokushima, Animal Garden Niigata, and Japan Cat Network Read more

New York City Apartment Hell Pt 4

(Wherein we are basically extorted by our broker and revisit, once again, a place we didn’t even like that much the first time. For Pt. 3 click here.)
That night we waited in our apartment for Lauren to drop by and pick up the deposit. “I’m going to be in the neighborhood anyway,” she said, “I’m visiting friends in the Village.”
She came by at 8:00 p.m Read more

Congressman King The Yahoo Has a Point

Long Island Congressman Peter King can be a wild and crazy guy.
The big-mouth Republican has fallen in love with the IRA, championed losers and picked sorry political friends.
He sounded semi-hysterical when he defended Bernie Kerik after a federal judge tossed the former police commissioner into the slammer for four years, calling Kerik’s sentence “an absolute disgrace.”
Forget that Kerik had pleaded guilty to eight felonies, including tax fraud and lying to the White House while being vetted for the job of Director of Homeland Security.
Rather, King saw Kerik’s prison sentence as political correctness run amok. “If Bernie Kerik were more politically correct, or if Bernie Kerik didn’t come from such a rough upbringing… we’d have editorials all over the country denouncing what happened,” King told Geraldo Rivera on Fox News.
“Kerik got too big for some people who don’t go for his type of person: a tough guy, an honest guy, a guy who fights for the people. He didn’t come from the socially elite crowd.. Read more