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Broadway Musical by Douglas Adams?

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Whoever designed this Times Square ad must have been the same guy that named the six-book HGTTG series a trilogy:

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The Yankees Win the 2010 ALDS

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

Another terrific night at Yankee Stadium – father and son. Click here for some memories to throw on the pile. And here is the highlight:

We went to watch batting practice before the game, and got a great spot next to the right-field foul pole. Nick Swisher and Joba Chamberlain, two of the nicest guys on the team, were standing in right field shagging fly balls and then throwing them into the stands. When a ball made its way into the corner and Joba came to retrieve it, he caught my eye. I immediately pointed to my son, Brandon, who was staring wide-eyed at Joba with a big smile on his face. Joba handed me the ball.

This being a year where my kids had to choose who got to go to which game, Brandon was nice enough to call home and tell his big brother, Avery, that Avery could have the ball when he brought it home.

The Yankees won the game and the series, meaning there would be no Game 4. As it turns out, though, it looks like Avery might get a chance to see a playoff game this year after all, as I may have secured a pair of tickets to an ALCS game. My kids and I have a rough life, huh?

Categories: Family Matters, New York, New York, Sports Talk | 1 Comment »

September 11, 2010

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

It’s become a bit of a personal, annual tradition for me to write something on the anniversary of September 11, 2001. Each one, quite obviously, is a little different, and reading through them all now (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), provide an interesting (at least to me) perspective on how one processes a traumatic event like this one over the years.

This year, I once again note the degree to which we are moving on. There will be memorial services of course, but the President’s remarks at his most recent press conference show the shift in emphasis:


Categories: New York, New York, Political Rantings | 1 Comment »

New York City Sights – The Times Square Kiss

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Walking through Times Square the other day, I came across this giant statue, appropriately standing right near the famous U.S. Army Recruiting Station where the famous VJ-Day Kiss took place back in 1945:

A couple of days later, it was gone. I have no idea from where it came, nor where it went. I’m just glad I took a picture of it so I know I didn’t dream it…

Categories: New York, New York | 4 Comments »

New York City Sights – Jets for Sale?

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Typically, the first year of a new sports stadium brings large crowds of casual, but curious, fans out to the stadium. In the case of the New York Jets (and, to a lesser extent, the New York Giants, who share the new stadium with them), their decision to require a personal seat license for each season ticket (often running into thousands of dollars in addition to the cost of the seat for next season) has left them with some very angry, lifelong fans and quite a few available seats. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw these folks, dressed in New York Jets jerseys, on the streets of New York, handing out fliers to buy tickets to the games.

And to add insult to injury, someone on the street was harassing them about ticket prices, prompting one of them to yell “I am not a Jet! I am not a Jet!” to passersby. I’m sure this is not what the Jets had in mind for a marketing strategy…

Categories: New York, New York, Sports Talk | 2 Comments »

About that Mosque…

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that an Islamic group has received permission to build a mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan. Everyone from Newt Gingrich to Sarah Palin to Glenn Beck has weighed in against the project, claiming that the mosque’s presence would be seen by some as a victory for the 9/11 terrorists. Others have taken a more passive-aggressive tack, claiming that they, personally, don’t mind a mosque, but that putting one so close to Ground Zero would be a cruel reminder of the attacks for the families of those who died there. A smaller contingent is in favor of the mosque, pointing out that one of the things the terrorists attacked on 9/11 is our freedom of religion, with which any American has the right to worship as he/she chooses.

Fortunately, that last group includes New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who, surrounded by religious leaders of many different faiths, gave an impassioned speech about religious freedom while announcing that the petition for the building’s landmark status has been denied, clearing the way for construction to begin.

Today, the New York Times ran an article about the woman in charge of the mosque project. Here are some things I learned from reading the article that I’m sure Newt, Sarah & Glenn don’t want anyone to focus on:

Read the rest of this entry »

Categories: New York, New York, Political Rantings | 13 Comments »

Dumb Tourists Invade New York

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

A few days ago, I was walking through Times Square with a friend of mine, and we passed the former site of Times Square’s ESPNZone restaurant. About a month ago, Disney decided to close five of these stores due to lack of profits (isn’t that always the reason?). Anyway, they posted these signs on the doors of the restaurant:

(Click on the image to enlarge it if you have trouble reading it here)

As we walked by the sign, a couple of tourists were reading it as well. One of them said to the other, “Wow, check this out. They closed the ESPNZone TODAY. Damn – we just missed it.” Now, remember, this is mid-July. The first sentence of the letter does say, “ESPN Zone operations in Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C. were discontinued today.” But immediately above that sentence is the date the letter was written: June 16, 2010. Perhaps this guy thought they replaced the signs every day?

I just hope he made it home OK. I can imagine him looking at his plane ticket and saying, “Aw, jeez, honey – the flight left a half hour ago. We missed it AGAIN. I guess we’ll just have to try again tomorrow…”

Categories: New York, New York | 1 Comment »

New York City Sights – Freedom Tower Update

Friday, July 16th, 2010

I had some business to conduct in downtown Manhattan today, so I get to update my readers on the latest progress of The Freedom Tower, the 1,776 foot skyscraper being built on the site of the World Trade Center. Here is where things stand as of today:

It’s always hard to tell from the outside, especially in a building who’s lobby has a high ceiling like this one does, but I’m guessing the building is around twenty stories tall at this point (or roughly 200 of it’s eventual 1,776 feet). So they’ve got a long way to go. But I think we can stop calling the Trade Center site “the pit” now. Also, the glass and steel building just behind and slightly to the left of the Freedom Tower is the rebuilt Seven World Trade Center. It’s been built and open for business for quite some time now, but I’d venture to guess that most people don’t know that, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never posted a photo of it on this blog.

They’re also making progress on the national memorial (two reflecting pools which outline the footprint of the original two towers), although that’s not as visible to the naked eye right now, so I didn’t attempt to photograph it.

That’s the update. I’ll try to follow the progress when I get the chance to be downtown…

Categories: New York, New York | 2 Comments »

R.I.P. George Steinbrenner

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Quite a bad week for the New York Yankees. First they lost their voice, then they lost their leader. George Steinbrenner bought a flailing franchise with a rich history and returned it to its former glory. He was a brilliant businessman, a confident leader, a passionate sports fan, and a charitable benefactor.

He was also one mean sonofabitch, who let his passion for winning make him vindictive, and occasionally afoul of the law (he was suspended from baseball twice – and reinstated both times). He changed the game of baseball, changed the Yankees, and even changed The House that Ruth Built. In short, he changed just about everything he touched. Some people hated him for it while it was happening, but the baseball world is mourning him today.

My personal memories of George Steinbrenner, aside from all the “Bronx Zoo” antics of the late 70’s – the arguments, the firing of managers, the controversy-baiting game he played with the New York sportswriters – was how such a tough man could have such a big heart. In 1981, when I was twelve years old, Yankee pitcher Tommy John’s youngest son fell out of the third-story window of their home. He required brain surgery and then lay in a coma for 17 days before making a full recovery. I remember reading that George Steinbrenner paid all of the doctor’s bills, and offered to pay for Travis’ college education when he recovered. In later years, I read similar stories about him spending money to fund drug rehabilitation (for players like Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry) and helping out Jorge Posada’s son, who was diagnosed with craniosynostosis at the age of ten days old. Over the years, he’s setup many charitable foundations, usually to fund scholarships for kids, particularly those who’s parents were police officers or firefighters killed in the line of duty. Thankfully, these charities, along with the New York Yankees, were a family business, and his four children have taken the reins ever since Mr. Steinbrenner’s health began to fail.

Thanks, Boss. Not just for all the championships, but for instilling the Yankees with the consistent expectation of excellence. Many reviled you for this trait, called you cut-throat or mercenary, and accused you of “buying championships.” But as you used to say, “Winning is important. It’s a way of life.” You taught your kids (and me, and eventually my kids) that it is important to set goals and it is okay to be disappointed when you don’t achieve them. Failure teaches lessons; it drives improvement. Trying hard is great, but it should never be the goal. Success should always be the goal. I get the feeling that this will be your legacy in the Bronx. I look forward to many more years of exciting baseball as a result of your tutelage.

Categories: New York, New York, Sports Talk | Comments Off on R.I.P. George Steinbrenner

R.I.P. Bob Sheppard

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

A sports icon passed away today – Yankee announcer Bob Sheppard was 99 years old, and was the voice of Yankee Stadium from 1951 until his retirement, due to poor health, in 2007. In that time, he announced more than 4,500 major league baseball games. Anyone under the age of 60 or over the age of 5 who has been to Yankee Stadium has heard (and likely remembers) his voice.

Back in May of 2000 (May 7th, to be exact), my family and I went to Yankee Stadium for a game, and realized when we got there that it was Bob Sheppard day. The Yankees honored Mr. Sheppard with several gifts, brought him out on the field, had him read the lineups, and then gave him the day off. It was the first Yankee game I had ever been to where Bob Sheppard wasn’t the announcer, and it remained the only such game until 2008. At that game, they gave each fan a commemorative pin:

If you click on the image above, you’ll hear a few of Mr. Sheppard’s most common announcements, strung together in a fitting goodbye message . . . to himself.

I also found this YouTube video (from that same day in May of 2000), which features Bob Sheppard announcing the many Yankee greats for which we all remember him best, as well as some recollections by some of those Yankee greats:

Rest in Peace, Mr. Sheppard. And thanks for the many, many memories…

Categories: New York, New York, Sports Talk | 1 Comment »

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