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Our Town

Jimmy Fallon Helps Move the Tentpole to Manhattan

ShutterstockMichaelBayWhen Paramount rolls out the red carpet June 25 for its latest Transformers sequel, a sideline transformation will also be on display. Instead of Westwood, CA, Michael Bay and co. will be tub-thumping in front of a New York marquee.

According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Pamela McClintock, Transformers: Age of Extinction is one of a number of 2014 Hollywood tentpoles to notably premiere in NYC rather than LA. This is due, she writes, to the rise of fly-backs by stars from far-away international destinations and… Jimmy Fallon:

“We are probably doing double the number of premieres in New York than we did three or four years ago,” says Craig Waldman, founder of events production company 15/40

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Singer-Songwriter Ponders New York vs. LA

Remember the concept album? It still exists. Gabriel Kahane‘s latest, The Ambassador, is all about Los Angeles, with each track sung from the perspective of a specific Lalaland address. On the the title track, for exampe, Kahane embraces the POV of a doorman at the bygone Ambassador Hotel.

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The singer-songwriter has also penned a fun New Yorker essay on the age-old dismissal of Los Angeles by New Yorkers. He starts off with a good theory as to why that is:

The notion that LA is a place unsuitable for serious thought is one many of us cling to in order to justify the cramped and sometimes squalid conditions in which we live in New York…

I spent six years writing music (which, for most people, requires silence) in a small apartment one floor above a middle-aged couple whose domestic disputes frequently reached decibel levels that would not have been out of place on a tarmac at J.F.K. And there was the time when, working as a bartender, I watched my boss at a dingy midtown bar douse his genitals in vodka in order to “sterilize” himself after a basement assignation with a female patron, only to turn around and fire me an hour later for “overpouring” and thus wasting his liquor. I told myself that these were the wages of true artistry.

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Journo Improvises Louie Walking Tour

New York Observer staff writer Vinnie Mancuso decided it might be fun to visit some of the iconic Manhattan locations featured in Louis CK’s sitcom. However, as his slide show documents, the halo of the F/X series was – on this night at least – hard to pin down.

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A man in line at the Comedy Cellar had never heard of the show. A waiter at Banjara, one of two restaurants featured in the “bang-bang” back-to-back meals Louie episode, went out of his way to deny being a witness to any location shoot. Finally, at the very end, Mancuso found a show fan at the Ukrainian diner Veselka:

My waitress was a pretty blonde with the interesting name of Karlyn. She was from New Jersey. She would probably be out of my league on a night that I only ate one dinner. But I pressed my luck, for the sake of this tour.

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GeekWire Shoots Down the Idea of ‘Microsoft Square Garden’

MSG-Network1The Bay Area correspondent for Seattle website GeekWire has spoken. After reading today’s TheStreet op ed by contributor Jonathan Yates, Blair Hanley Frank rifled off an angry response:

So wait, let me get this straight: buying Madison Square Garden, for whatever exorbitant sum that might cost, is a good idea because it keeps Microsoft from buying a tech company?

The way Yates sees it, Microsoft made a bad deal in 2007 [for aQuantitative], so it should spend money on a sports stadium. Really.

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Inveterate Hitchhiker John Waters Takes Another Shot at Manhattan

When your article begins with this:

Hitchhiking Through New York City With John Waters”

And then immediately follows, before any article text, with this:

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You’re well on your way to a Divine bit of feature-interview journalism. Freelance writer Mark Yarm hung out with the 68-year-old Waters last month as the Baltimore native, with two other signs besides the one shown above, did some signature promotion for new book Carsick. Out this week, Waters’ latest tome details a recent cross-country hitchhiking trip from San Francisco to his beloved hometown.

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Joe Pompeo Boards the New York Media Boat

Is this Capital New York headline a tad sarcastic? Maybe. But even if Bjoern Kils isn’t quite “Living the Dream,” he’s still got one of the least desk-chained and highly hourly-compensated gigs on the Manhattan media horizon.

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Per Joe Pompeo‘s recent field trip, Kils is captain of the New York Media Boat, a Willard Marine Sea Force 7-meter Standard vessel that when not booked for a media gig, ferries sightseers. Media clients have included the Golf Channel, Celebrity Apprentice, MSG Channel and more:

Kils has hosted reporters from the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg for a press event touting a solar-powered ship; shuttled CNN to the site of the great JFK jet-ski security breach of 2012; and taken the Chasing New Jersey team on a tour of the Garden State’s ravaged coastline in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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Daily News Reporter Has No Trouble Getting Fake ID

How much? Ten dollars for the photo, $100 up front and another $50 upon delivery. How long? Ninety minutes.

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Those are the broad strokes of New York Daily News City Hall reporter Corinne Lestch‘s recent visit to the thriving fake ID economy on Roosevelt Ave. in Queens. With one minor caveat:

I didn’t get a new high-tech driver’s license – those are much harder to reproduce — but the market for current licenses, which are still valid if they are issued before September 2013, is skyrocketing…

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Sotheby’s Set to Auction Bonus Norman Rockwell Cover

WillieGillisConvoyTomorrow starting at 10 a.m. ET, Sotheby’s New York will drop the gavel on an auction of “American Art.” A number of Norman Rockwell pieces will be offered for purchase including “Willie Gillis in Convoy.”

The illustration, which had been sitting in storage since 2001 after previously being displayed in the office of the principal at Gardner High School in Gardner, Massachusetts, is expected to fetch around $2 million. The school and city plan to use the raised funds to endow a non-profit foundation. From the notes for tomorrow’s Lot #53:

When “Willie Gillis in Convoy” was submitted for review, Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post editors praised it for the painterly qualities it displayed, but it ultimately never appeared on the cover of the publication. The work remained in Rockwell’s Arlington studio until 1951, when F. Earl Williams, the principal of Gardner High School, paid Rockwell a visit…

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NYC Starts Spreading the Top-Level Internet Domain News

Six years after Gale Brewer, currently Manhattan Borough president and then a City Council member, first put forward reignited the idea in 2008, the reality of .nyc domains is almost upon us. Per an announcement on the nic.nyc site, today – May 5 – is the first day local businesses and individuals can apply for a dot-NYC domain. When the URLs go live this fall, New York City will officially become the first U.S. city with its own top-level domain suffix.

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From today’s announcement:

“New Yorkers are constantly innovating and putting this great city on the digital map,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The launch of the .nyc domain is one of the most anticipated arrivals for the city and the Internet at large. There is no shortage of New Yorkers ready to claim their exclusive .nyc identities online, and this is their chance to reserve their piece of this city’s valuable digital real estate.”

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Remembering When New York Counted on Horse-Drawn Fire Brigades

On most Fridays, New York Post film critic Lou Lumenick is concerned with the merits of Hollywood’s latest releases or the details of a festival like TCM’s annual big-screen tribute to the Golden Age.

Today however, he is reaching back much further, to some of the pre-World War II glimpses that make up British Pathé’s YouTube account. Here for example is a Pathe newsreel from 1936 highlighting some Manhattan footage shot in 1983:

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