Category Archives: Commentary

Spoken word

I got up at 3:30am to watch the men’s singles final at the Australian Open.

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Djokovic is playing; of course I did.

There’s a video that has been shown repeatedly throughout the tournament featuring a poem by a native Aussie and images of the continent.

It’s very high brow and thoughtful.

Wimbledon produces similar films which befit its formal air and traditions. But I would love it if the US Open would follow the same format but make them funny.

Same earnest delivery.  Same chamber music.  Heck, you could show the same type of beauty shots.

But have Tina Fey and Amy Poehler voice them and add their hilarious takes.

That would be poetry.

America’s Greatest Innovation

What is America’s greatest innovation?

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John Hockenberry, host of The Takeaway on WNYC Radio here in Manhattan, has that question up for a vote.

There are nine candidates vying for the title, and it’s far harder than I expected.

How do you choose between the mobile phone and the hearing aid?  The sewing machine and air conditioning?

GPS and the electric guitar?

Review all the candidates, and then cast your ballot here.

One life too many

Cats is coming back to Broadway this summer.

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Even the article announcing the news wondered why.

When the show originally opened,  the Great White Way was struggling. Cats helped revive the musical and Broadway.

Both are flourishing now.

I think the current generation is okay experiencing this show elsewhere.

I know I certainly am.

Chill

Samsung, I already love your brand. I’ve traveled up your smartphone chain to my current Galaxy5.

Satisfied customer, I am.

samsung frigSo my little heart fluttered when I read about your new smart refrigerator…with its ridiculously large touchscreen…which allows me to order groceries while standing in my kitchen, in front of my empty frig!

I’m a city chick who already uses Fresh Direct for my grocery delivery, so imagine how excited I am to have two of my favorite brands working together to make my life easy peasy.

It’s like the Jetsons, it is.

And when life starts to look and feel like the Jetsons, it’s a very good day indeed.

Let’s get to work

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#Happy2016

Subtle? No

Do you watch those cheesy made-for-TV holiday films on Hallmark Channel and Lifetime?

I do. I’m a sucker for all that sap.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t notice the product placement that they sneak into each movie…mainly because it tends to be the same products used in the same way in every film.

FolgersFor example, at some point in every story, the lead characters gather around the kitchen table with steaming mugs of Folgers Coffee in hand.

And yes, the logo is prominently displayed on the canister of coffee. Sometimes we even see them prepare the coffeemaker — primo screen time.

walmartbagThe other advertiser who gets lots of TV movie love this time of year is Walmart. Characters return from shopping trips with their logo bags in hand, which are usually placed front and center on a table or cabinet.

It’s so obvious but so subliminal at the same time.

But I see what you’re doing, guys…even through all that feel-good, sticky holiday sap.

Blue Christmas

Hey New York City jazz fans, a word of warning —

blue-noteIf you love Chris Botti and are hoping to catch one of his shows at the Blue Note during his annual holiday residency, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, don’t buy bar seatsThe club offers seats at tables and at the bar, and the marketing assures you that both choices offer a great view of the stage.

In reality, there are about 10 bar seats in total, and the Blue Note sells five times that many advance tickets.  So most bar seat ticket holders are essentially Standing Room Only.

Second, don’t assume you are in like Flynn if you buy table seats. At tonight’s Christmas Eve performance, many table patrons with advance tickets were turned away because the Blue Note oversold the show.

On Christmas Eve. Are you kidding me?!

Third, whatever ticket you purchase, be at the club as soon as the doors open. That’s the only way to get any kind of seat.

Actually, my best piece of advice is to go somewhere else. That’s what we ended up doing.

Total. Holiday. Fail.