Tag Archives: Manhattan

Overbooked

I was very excited to attend today BookCon at Javits Center, the publishing conference for us non-industry folk.

BEA_BookCon490

The organizers had put together a great schedule of panel discussions, author appearances and book signings, and had even created a designated BookCon show floor separate from the BEA Expo, the industry event that has been going on all week.

But then they oversold it. A lot, a lot.

There were so many people trying to get into the show that security had to limit the people who could enter each half hour.  People (like me) missed events because they weren’t allowed in due to traffic congestion.

bookconOnce I finally was inside, every session I wanted to attend was either already over, closed to additional participants, or had a two-hour line that snaked around Javits and back.

The feed on the BookCon app was filled with derogatory comments from disappointed fans, many of whom had traveled hours to attend.  I realized fairly quickly that we had all been ‘conned’ and left.

Manhattan was right outside, and can be fairly entertaining.

 

Crittercism

Did you know that ferrets have been banned in New York City for over 15 years?

I didn’t.

Then Mayor Rudy Giuliani banned the critters. And Michael Bloomberg upheld his decision.

But now thanks to Ariel Jasper, a Brooklyn College student, that may all change. She petitioned the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on Wednesday to consider an amendment to the Health Code. And since our current Mayor Bill de Blasio is an animal lover, most people think the ferret has a pretty good chance of returning to Manhattan households.

And, seriously, why not? Ferrets are legal pets in 48 states, including the remainder of New York.

ferret raspberry So take that, Rudy.

And Michael.

Goobers.

 

Take your hands off my lobby boy!

Reason #873 I love New York City:

The 10:00 am showing of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was two-thirds full.

budapest lobby

Perhaps because we have all been watching the trailer for this beautiful, whimsical, fanciful film in theatres for almost a year.  And every time I’d think, “This looks so much better than the movie I’m getting ready to see!”

(Many of those times people in the theatre would clap, so I think they agreed, too.)

The best news? The film lives up to the trailer.  In fact, Budapest is, in my opinion, Anderson’s best movie to date.  The world he creates has the exquisite detail you expect and an amazing array of characters both real and remarkable.

But Budapest is a bigger yarn than Anderson typically tells.  While his Europe is a fictional one, some familiar dark elements surface that give its message more import.

And I want to go on record now — the film’s title song deserves an Oscar nomination. So does Ralph Fiennes, for a pitch perfect comedic performance.

Or should I say…on the nose, Lord Voldemort?

Playing dress up

I have lived in New York City going on eight years now, and I sometimes worry that I will start to take the city for granted.

Maybe I already have.  Maybe we all have.

Image: An aerial view of Burj Dubai is seen in DubaiThe city of Dubai isn’t going to take that chance.

They have put together a think tank on tourism, and one idea is getting serious consideration —

Covering the Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building (2,716.5 feet and 160 stories) — with a “super-lightweight, reflective and semi-transparent fabric material.”

They say it’s art.

Critics say it sounds (and will look like) something much less low brow, but I like the idea of dressing up monuments.  The Statue of Liberty in a tasteful winter coat? The Guggenheim Museum decked out as a layered birthday cake? The Flatiron Building as a wedge of Swiss cheese?

Oh man — I think I’ve finally found my calling!

Or we could fly a kite

So, Manhattan got four more inches of snow last night…on top of the eight that were already on the ground.

But the falling ice woke me up.

I don’t dwell on the weather too much — at least, not on this blog — but I have to wonder, as the local news reports power outages for thousands of residents yet again in New Jersey and other neighboring states —

ice on electrical wiresWhy don’t more cities bury their power lines?

Cost is probably the answer, but after a winter like this one — one that is not nearly over — I would think residents in New Jersey, for instance, might think of that cost as an investment.

Aren’t there lots of costs associated with fixing the downed lines after every storm? Trimming the trees around the downed lines? Lost productivity?  Lost revenue?

Lost food in the frig and freezer?

Just wondering.  I have electricity right now, and I think everyone else should, too.

Here’s a paint job for ya!

I sold my car when I moved to Boston in 2000, and I would never want a car here in Manhattan.

But perhaps the right car could change my mind —

whack car

Only in New York City…

View from the cush seats

Center of the row. Center of the auditorium.

That’s where I like to sit at the movies.

So I watch with furrowed brow when folks purposefully choose the aisle seat. Or sit in the first row when there are so many other options still available. I’ve always imagined the ‘aislers’ want to stretch out their legs…or take frequent bathroom breaks.

Or like their world view off-center.

Today I went to the matinee at the newly renovated 84th Street AMC here in my neighborhood in Manhattan.

amc renovationIt has cushy recliner seating and large aisles between rows, so legroom is never an issue. You even get to reserve your seat online or at the box office when you buy your ticket.

So, here’s the test: with all those improvements, where were people sitting?

On the front row. And on the aisle. Plus a few folks clustered around the center.

It takes all kinds to make an audience.