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Our Town

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:


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.


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.


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 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.


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:


The Kentucky Gal at the Center of NYC’s Horse-Drawn Carriage Debate

If you have not been closely following the debate about New York City’s iconic horse-drawn carriages, you might be surprised to learn about the lineage of Christina Hansen, a driver who has become a dynamic spokesperson for the “pro” side.

BlueStarEquicultureLogoDad Gary teaches sociology at the University of Kentucky and mom Elizabeth is chair of Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Communications. The 33-year-old Hansen, back in her home state to attend mom’s induction into the the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, talked with Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Tom Eblen about how she detoured from graduate school and plans to follow in her parents’ teaching footsteps:

In 2009, Hansen helped a friend, fellow Philadelphia carriage driver Pam Rickenbach, start Blue Star Equiculture in Palmer, MA. The non-profit helps working horses in need of rescue and is a retirement home for Philadelphia and New York carriage horses.

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Daily News Heralds Tavern on the Green a ‘Tourist Trap No More’

Next to a therapist’s couch, where various mental problems gained during New York’s “winter from hell” can be broken down, the renovated Tavern on the Green could be right up there as a spring-summer comfort spot. At least if the advance reviews are to be believed.

KatySparksandTeamFollowing Tuesday’s friends, family and media preview, the NYDN duo of Michael Kaminer and Gersh Kuntzman are full of praise for an establishment that has wisely turned a culinary corner:

Chef Katy Sparks’ (pictured, front right) food is a far cry from the ersatz Italian dishes at the old Tavern, famously dubbed “Crap-hole on the Green” in one of the more polite Yelp posts before the restaurant closed.

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Sherry-Netherland Gives Mural Artist Joseph Aruta His Due

There’s a whole new reason to drop by the lobby of the Sherry-Netherland at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street. After decades of painted-over ignominy, a spectacular ceiling mural created by artist Joseph Aruta for the hotel’s opening in 1927 has been fully restored.


From a report in the Daily News by Beth Stebner:

Bill Mensching, the director of EverGreene Architectural Arts’ Mural Studio and project manager of the monumental task, says it’s a mystery when or why the artwork – featuring the seven Liberal Arts muses and modeled after a mural at the Vatican – was plastered over in the first place.

“No one remembered it was there,” he said, until board members of the 59th St. hotspot saw old black-and-white photos of the artwork.

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