Category Archives: Business

We’re not gonna pay rent

I love my Upper West Side neighborhood.

But today, I have a major beef.

ditch plains uws

Ditch Plains, a wonderful restaurant across the street from my apartment, has closed. And the rents in my neighborhood are to blame.

Owner Marc Murphy did everything right when they opened three years ago. Their ‘soft open’ lasted a month, offering the entire menu at half-price and free appetizers and desserts. By the time they officially opened their doors, the entire neighborhood was hooked. On the menu. The atmosphere. The friendly vibe.

During the past three years, I have been a loyal customer, and from my unique vantage point, I have seen them maintain a healthy business — far more popular with people of all ages than the two previous restaurants that occupied that same space for brief spans of time. But like their predecessors, Ditch Plains’ success still couldn’t scale the exorbitant rents in my neighborhood.

And they are no more.

If you visit my neighborhood, you will see several empty storefronts. They no doubt are victims, too.

This is just the first to hit so close to home.

Honk

New Yorkers –

All over the city, Horse Heroes are taking to the streets to urge City Council Members to show compassion for our city’s abused carriage horses.

HONK

Write to your City Council member at http://nyclass.org/citycouncil

And the meaning is…

I saw this ad for PayPal on the 1 train today:

specialness

“No one is special because everyone is.”

It certainly got me thinking…for six stops and beyond.

Obviously PayPal wants you to think they treat every member special.  But does this saying go against everything our parents have told us… our teachers have pounded into our heads… our very country has sold us: you can achieve anything if you have the talent and the work ethic.

The truly special succeed.

Or maybe it’s a wake-up for all those helicopter parents who tell their children how special they are when they really aren’t.  For children’s sports teams that give trophies to every child on every team, regardless of who won or lost the game (if they even keep score, that is).

Or maybe this ad campaign is merely a reflection of that very phenomena.  We’ve raised a generation of children who all think they’re special…so PayPal is acknowledging it with this bizarre turn of phrase.

Or…maybe it’s a typo.

Image

Magic Monday

labor day

Stamps are funny

Although I might not have agreed with who got what award at this week’s Emmys, it was, as always, amazing to see so many truly funny people gathered in one room.

Even the nominees in the Drama categories are pretty darn hilarious when they let go.

So when I saw the news today that Canada has issued stamps with the name and likeness of five of their great comedians, I had two immediate reactions:

canada stamps

 

  1. Good for them.  Well-deserved all.
  2. Why haven’t we done something similar here in in the USA, the home of comedy?

Turns out the US Postal Service did do something similar back in 1991 — a booklet of stamps honoring the comedy greats of days gone by.

comedy stamps

 

 

When I saw these stamps, I had two immediate reactions:

  1. Good for them.  Well-deserved all.
  2. Why haven’t we done something similar for the current generation of comedians and comediennes?

Do you see a pattern?  More importantly, do you agree?

What current ‘funny folk’ do you think deserve to grace the correspondence that we don’t send via email?  Vote in the comments!

 

Shopgirl

It’s been almost 20 years since Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks put Manhattan’s Upper West Side on the map in the rom-com classic You’ve Got Mail.

Visit my neighborhood today and all the movie’s sights are still here — the local restaurants where they rendezvoused, the farmer’s market, Riverside Park. Everything but her little Shop Around the Corner.

Well, that’s changing.

book-culture3Book Culture is opening their doors literally around the corner from my brownstone apartment and taking up the ‘small bookshop mantle’ that Meg’s character abandoned lo’ those many years ago.

Their window says it best:

youvegotmailNow, the modern version of the movie’s ‘big bad Fox Books’ exists today — Barnes & Noble is just a couple of blocks away.  So it will be interesting to see how this small store will compete on selection and pricing.

But I for one am excited to see life imitate art just feet from my doorsteps.

Wonder if the proprietor will be as photogenic?

Hello stranger

It’s Friday night, and I am parked on the couch.

There’s no place I’d rather be.

nyc montageIt feels like I have spent the past two months on the road.

A week in Japan.

A long weekend in Kentucky.

Another week in Boston with Rory Dog.

Don’t get me wrong — I enjoyed all my trips, even the days and nights when I had to work. But I have missed my apartment and my adopted hometown.

When I moved to New York City eight years ago, I wanted to live in my favorite place to visit.

Time to play tourist right here at home!