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Our Town

Dan Aykroyd on the City That Never Blinks

GhostbustersStillIf Dan Aykroyd had partied the night before his British GQ interview with a vodka brand other than the one he is responsible for, his answers would likely have been groggier. But as he explains to Aice Howarth, there’s no hangover from Crystal Head because he’s cut out the glyceride.

The actor also had a great answer when asked for some of his fondest memories from the Ghostbusters shoot:

“I always remember walking down Madison Avenue in the full Ghostbusters costumes and stealing shots with the crowds, in other words not filing a permit to shoot in New York but just going in and getting the shots but people’s reactions were so funny.”

“First they looked at us, you know, with the packs and everything, and were like “what?” and then there was this kind of acceptance “oh, that must be some new kind of exterminator or sanitation guy or something” [laughs], in the way that New Yorkers sort of accept everything and move on. It was really, really funny to see their reactions. I’ll never forget that.”

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Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now! 

Liam Neeson Goes the Extra Mile for NYC Cobbler

ShutterstockLiamNeesonFeb2014Many topics are addressed by Liam Neeson in this wonderful newspaper interview, conducted recently in Hollywood with The Independent‘s Gill Pringle.

There’s the 62-year-old actor’s view of the likely embarrassment our Founding Fathers would feel if they could see how the Second Amendment is being touted today. His fear of heights, recently confronted on a Utah mountainside with the help of one of his two sons. And this fascinating bit of civic-duty confessing from the New York resident, whose latest movie A Walk Among the Tombstones comes out September 19:

The problem, Neeson believes, stems from a generation that prefers to replace older items rather than repair them. “They just don’t fix things any more. It gives me cause for concern.”

“Where I live in New York, any time a bar closes down, suddenly there’s a Revlon make-up shop. There must be about 15 of them along Columbus Avenue. In the middle of it all there’s a little cobbler who operates from a tiny little space and I find myself sometimes breaking shoes in order to just bring them to him; just to keep it alive.”

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Four North Carolina Kids, One Crazy New York Summer

Summertime… and the modeling was easy. For the cover of apparel and fashion industry trade magazine Earnshaw’s, Gap Kids, Little MisMatched and many more.

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Per a wonderful write-up in the Charlotte Observer, here’s how it has gone so far in 2014 for mother of four Terri Murray and her children ages two through nine. In January, she signed the kids up with a local North Carolina agent; in February, she added NYC representation; and in May-June, she and the brood came to town with a nanny in tow for what turned out to be a six-week bookings bonanza. Even the spark for all this is a keeper:

The journey started in January, when Murray’s nine-year-old daughter, Peyton, left a tearful message on Murray’s cellphone. “I want to be on TV. Will you help me?” Peyton pleaded in the message, emotional after watching TV and deciding it was her calling…

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Worst Celebrity Couple Short-Form Ever?

JarlosWall Street Journal reporter Mike Vilensky‘s piece about the dynamic twentysomething NYC male duo of John Tuite and Carlos Santolalla starts out with some impressive social media particulars. The two model-photographers-writers are constantly about-town and ready to Instagram, resulting in some notable flashpoints.

But then, for us, it went off the rails:

Inspired by it-couple forebears like “Kimye” and “Brangelina,” Messrs. Tuite and Santolalla also have a combo nickname: “Jarlos.”

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Chloe Sevigny Exits Greenwich Village

ShutterstockChloeSevignyA couple of fun media strands to note in Marlow Stern‘s solid Daily Beast Q&A with actress Chloe Sevigny, whose Amazon series The Cosmopolitans debuts August 28.

Shortly after departing SoHo restaurant Balthazar, where she had sat down last week for lunch with the reporter, Sevigny was snapped and her outfit turned into a Daily Mail summer item. Meanwhile, the woman whose personal New York scene was once celebrated in the pages of The New Yorker by Jay McInerney has made a decision on that front; one that some other media coverage didn’t quite prepare her for:

“[I moved to Brooklyn] two weeks ago. I just sold my apartment a year ago. After ten years of living in the East Village, I was on 10th St. between 2nd and 3rd, I was like, “Get me the fuck out of here.”

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BuzzFeed Writer Puts the Lust in Listicle

TheMeatballShopMatt Ortile, who works in editorial development at BuzzFeed and helps run the company’s Filipino-focused Twitter feed, pronounces his last name “or-TEE-lay.” And on this summer TGIF, he also is not ashamed to present himself as “HOR-nay.”

Under a tongue-in-cheek “Newsflash” headline and sub-hed ‘My Loins Are On Fire,’ Ortile slavishes manly praise on Michael Chernow, one half of the duo that owns New York joint The Meatball Shop. To fully complete Operation Must Sit Down, he plumbs the man’s workout regimen, Instagram account and J. Crew sideline gig.

The BuzzFeed tags for Ortile’s item are michael chernow, chefs, hot guys, restaurateurs who can get it, the meatball shop. But the author forgot one: lusticle.

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Santa Stops NYC Summer Traffic

We’ve written in the past about the increasingly ridiculous start at some radio stations of non-stop holiday music. Well, thanks to some Midtown shenanigans today, a new, even crazier Christmas calendar benchmark has been set.

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Per AP drama writer Mark Kennedy, St. Nick and 15 Rockettes were enlisted - spectacularly early – for some promotion of the 2014 edition of their annual extravaganza Radio City Christmas Spectacular:

The calendar says August, but that didn’t stop Santa Claus from visiting midtown Manhattan and snarling a section of Sixth Avenue, much to the bafflement of tourists and the frustration of drivers forced to idle their vehicles.

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Berlin Performance Artists Reveal Brooklyn Bridge Motivation

It wasn’t terrorism; it wasn’t vandalism. Rather, the recent swap of flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge was a 145th year anniversary shout-out to a late German-born architect.

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From the statement posted this week by Berlin performance art duo Wermke/Leinkauf (a.k.a. Matthias Wermke and Mischa Leinkauf), supported by a series of phone interviews with the New York Times:

In the night from July 21st to July 22nd, Wermke/Leinkauf hoisted two hand-sewn white American flags on the towers of Brooklyn Bridge. They were careful to treat the bridge and the flags with respect and followed the U.S. Flag Code. The return of the original flags is in progress…

John August Roebling and Washington August Roebling White American Flags refers to the German-born American architect of the Brooklyn Bridge, John August Roebling, who left his Thuringian hometown Mühlhausen in 1831 in search of a better future in the land of freedom and opportunity. He was a pioneer in the field of suspension bridges and his creations have become landmarks and unique architectural pieces of American history. Tragically, Roebling did not live to see the completion of his greatest work, the Brooklyn Bridge. He was injured in an on-site accident and died on July 22nd 1869. His son, Washington August Roebling, completed the masterpiece fourteen years later. He died on July 21st 1926.

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Hearst Editor Praises Hudson News Employee

Give that employee a raise!

HudsonNewsStorePer a feel-good blog post at the San Francisco Chronicle end, Hearst newspapers national photo editor Chris Preovolos is heaping praise on a JFK Airport newsstand employee. All because of the way the employee handled things after Preovolos paid for a copy of a competitor magazine and left his Samsung tablet at the counter:

By the time I landed in San Francisco, an employee at the store identified me as the owner of the tablet and emailed me with her contact information. She then handed it over to a manager at her company’s central office at the airport, who then offered to send me the tablet for free via FedEx Priority Overnight — this after I offered to pick it up from them upon my return to New York. They subsequently rebuffed my offer to reimburse them for shipping.

Hudson News lost money on this.

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Latest Yahoo Travel ‘Smackdown’ Takes Aim at New York

In the same vein as our weekly Cover Battles, Yahoo Travel likes to pit two destinations against each other under the heading of a “Smackdown.” We couldn’t help but take special notice of this week’s duel, as it throws Chicago and New York into the ring.

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Up first to make Chicago’s case is freelance travel writer Bill Fink. At one point, he drags our most august weekly magazine into the conversation:

New York City’s myopic, self-absorbed viewpoint is best seen in the famous New Yorker magazine cover created to compensate for its citizens’ miserable quality of life. Bad news for New Yorkers: Unless you’re a billionaire hedge-fund manager, you’re living in an unaffordable, closet-size apartment, scurrying to work on packed streets like rats in a maze.

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