Tag Archives: Manhattan

Playing in the dirt

Anyone who has owned a car has probably had this happen at one time or another…

wash meEveryone’s a critic.

But whereas the writers obviously have high standards for car cleanliness, car owners have never had high expectations in the presentation of the graffiti.

Oh, but we should.

‘Dirt Art’ is a thing…an amazing thing.  Some of the examples out there on the Internet will blow your mind.

dog poker dirt artbridge dirt art













Now, I don’t have a car here in Manhattan, but if I did…

Complaints would really have to bring their A game.

Big hearts, Big Apple

New Yorkers are a the nicest people.  I see proof of it all the time.

Take today, for instance.

floating-money-bd4a4449-originalI had taken a cab to the vet to pick up my dog.  The driver gave me my change, which included several singles, near the open door.

The wind instantly picked up the bills and scattered them in the street.  Did the rude, me-me-me New Yorkers of TV and movies jump upon them and run for it?

Not a chance.

Instead, three people stepped on the loose bills and stood waiting for me to retrieve them.  We all shared a laugh as I collected my change and thanked them for their help.

Nice folks.  Yep, we’ve got lots of ‘em here in NYC.


It is a cold, incredibly windy day in New York City.

I had appointments this morning, which meant two hours walking around outside in the bitter cold. I was dressed for it, but was still feeling a bit sorry for myself.

window guysThen I saw these guys.

Can you imagine having to do your job, hanging on the side of a Manhattan skyscraper, with the cold winds whipping you around?

I suddenly felt  a whole lot warmer there on the ground.



Zip it

How far will you go to suffer for fashion?

In the winter?  In the bitter cold?

I know New York City is the fashion capital of the world, and I should be used to trends that are cutting edge.  But this winter, I’ve seen so many people — men and women — who refuse to close their coats.

open coatIn the coldest weather, with wind chills at zero or below, folks are walking through the streets of Manhattan with their overcoats flapping open in the wind.

I just don’t get it.

Sure, the rest of us do get a glimpse of your outfit when you choose not to zip or button up.  And if you are particularly pleased with your ensemble that day, that works to your advantage.  But if you lose a limb or a couple of fingers or toes to frostbite due to your peacocking, well –

That hardly seems like a fair trade, does it?

Close your coats, folks, and keep your extremities — and your ego — nice and warm en route.  I trust you’ll get lots of props about your person when you arrive at your destination.


Push me

Think politicians are fake?  Put on false fronts?  Tell lies?

They got nothun’ on this character.

Meet the crosswalk signal button.  You’ve no doubt seen one in your city.  Probably pushed it a few times as well.

They don’t work.  On purpose.

In Manhattan, 90 percent of the crosswalk signal buttons do absolutely nothing.  And most major US cities are following suit.  Apparently allowing pedestrians to manually change traffic timers causes too much disruption in the traffic flow.

So why keep the buttons out there if they don’t do anything? To give people something to press while they’re waiting.

A “placebo button.”

Well, golly gee, transportation folks — I appreciate your trying to keep me entertained at red lights.  But there are lots of things I enjoy more than button pushing.

Movies. Concerts. Free stuff. Money.

Change ‘em out.  Believe me, no one will miss the button.

Humor in advertising

Reverse psychology has been known to work on children, boyfriends, even clients.

But on hungry New Yorkers and tourists?















If the owner of JoeDough Sandwich Shop in the East Village can have a sense of humor about a nasty review…

I’m there.

And I recommend it — sight unseen — to any of my friends and family headed to NYC.  Let’s give this guy some business! 

He’s funny.

Breaking legs

Quick — name this actor.

I’m guessing most of you can’t.  Only the most insider of Broadway theatergoers will recognize him.

But give it some time — this understudy just got his big break:

Michael McKean’s leg.

James Lecesne, an understudy in the play The Best Man on Broadway, was tapped to replace the This is Spinal Tap legend after he was struck by a car and broke his leg on New York’s Upper West Side last Tuesday.

James got the news a couple of hours before showtime and, after making sure someone would walk his dog — I like him already — headed right to the theater.  Understudies rehearse their parts once a week, but many never go on.


I met Vanessa Redgrave’s understudy for A Year of Magical Thinking a few years ago in Central Park.  She never went on, and yet knew that entire one-woman show.

Just in case.

So, while I would never wish an accident on anyone, I’m glad this one was a ‘lucky break’ for James Lecesne –

A Broadway star!

That rascally rabbit

I am amused when Broadway audiences applaud the set at the start of a show…as if the couch needs a boost in self-esteem.

But perhaps the set for Harvey, which is in previews on Broadway, needs just that.

About 20 minutes into the performance last night — as the home of Elwood P. Dowd transforms into the dread psychiatric hospital — a loud clunk was heard.  The set shuddered.  All action grinded to a halt.

And poor Jim Parsons, who was faux reading a book in the library, scurried away as they dropped the curtain.

The curtain dropped a lot last night; a cable snapped in the set mechanism that couldn’t be quickly repaired.  So every time the set changed, the curtain dropped and the lights came up.

Harvey lasted almost three hours.

I intended to review the play today, but it wouldn’t be fair.  While I found Jim Parsons’ Dowd utterly charming, the show itself didn’t get a fair shake because of the constant interruptions and expansive running time.

I was literally nodding off at the end.  Bnd that wasn’t really Harvey’s fault…or was it?

Darn pooka.

Broadway Harry

Potted Potter, the parody of the seven Harry Potter books now on Broadway, was tailor-made for kids.

It’s only 70-minutes long, is super high energy, and even features a quidditch match with audience participation.


No wonder I liked it so much.

Brits Dan Clarkson and Jeff Turner, who also wrote the show, bring all the characters to life with minimal props, costumes and staging.  The humor is decidedly British as well, but Potter lovers — and the family and friends who they drag along — will find it easy to translate.

Obviously some plot points are skipped in such a short synopsis, but the ones that made the cut are treated with high hilarity.  Favorites include Lord Voldemort, the dragons from book four, and the bigger-than-life quidditch snitch.

Dan and Jeff cracked up a few times during the show, but the reason was pretty obvious –

They are as wild about Harry as the audience.

Sweets for the sweet

I had big dreams as a kid — live in New York City, be on TV, write a book.  Well, I have a new one to add to that list:

Be immortalized in cake.

Betty White was.

We’re talking a 5’2″ life-size vanilla cake with buttercream, covered in modeling chocolate.  It was created by Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro and his team.

And you thought Betty couldn’t get any sweeter.

The cake was served at Wednesday night at Betty’s roast at the Friars Club here in New York City…hence their motto at the base (where Betty’s feet should be).

Funny thing — being roasted?

Not on my list.