Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, May 04, 2021

Madonna’s got a new album out, so that means there’s an expectation of a new “reinvention” look/style for the Material Girl. Past iterations of this impulse brought us lingerie-as-outerwear and vogueing in the 80s, and dominatrix-couture in the 90s — so I guess we’re due for an infusion of Madonna-guided fashion sense.

If her promotional history is any guide, her recent mini-concert at midtown Manhattan’s Roseland Ballroom was the tip-off for her latest direction: She’s anointing the sweatsuit as the uniform of lifestyle hipness.

Why? Because it’s what you wear for where the new musical ground zero resides:

While hardly a groundbreaking aesthetic choice, it makes sense. As New York nightlife, once synonymous with transcendental exuberance, becomes a thing of the past, the most popular place to pump a dance floor anthem is no longer on the dance floor. One of the few destinations where a wide cross-section of the city goes to hear a mix of hip hop, techno, and house music 24/7 is the gym. Equinox is the new Paradise Garage, and Madonna — her finger firmly on the pulse monitor — knows it better than anyone.

Interesting theory. I’d be more convinced if the nouveau health clubs featured in-house mixologists, spinning the latest phat beats for the gym rats. That wouldn’t make much sense, since most people keep workout time to their own personal earbuds-delivered rhythms; but I guess someone’s listening to the piped-in house music.

Another reason why I have trouble accepting the nylon-tracksuit ensemble as dominant clubwear: It reminds me of nothing so much as something The Fat Boys used to cruise around in. And they didn’t do it because they were body-conscious.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/04/2021 10:42:53 PM
Category: Celebrity, Fashion, Pop Culture
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It used to be that executive-level businesswomen had to kiss the corporate world goodbye once they embarked upon the mommytrack. But the Internet, outsourcing, and networking have combined to offer up new opportunities for SWAT (”Smart Women with Available Time”) teams, made up of at-home ex-professionals being tapped to work on temporary business-development projects.

Skilled workers taking temp projects isn’t new, of course. What’s different about these teams is that they’re available on short notice because the women are usually at home; they tend to work cheap because their main motive is to keep their skills fresh; and they’re often extraordinarily well-qualified, having left the work force voluntarily when their careers were on the ascent.

That “work cheap” part is not exactly music to my ears, since I swim in a lot of these same waters nowadays. As always, it’s a matter of finding a value-add service to offer clients; still, I’m not thrilled about dealing with the undercutting of rates.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/04/2021 05:02:50 PM
Category: Business, Society
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It’s a bit of a hike, but I’ll have to keep Larry’s Barber Shop, on the northern fringe of Hell’s Kitchen, in mind for my next haircut. Not only will I get a new ‘do, I’ll also get a chance to watch a random mobster movie while I wait.

From the mirrored reflections of the talking heads in his tiny shop on 57th Street near 10th Avenue in Manhattan, [shop owner Larry] Babizhaev receives political opinions, financial advice, sports commentary and other news between haircut and tip.

Along the way, some of his customers started recommending films like “The Godfather,” “Goodfellas” and “A Bronx Tale.” “I just got hooked,” Mr. Babizhaev said.

He began spending a good portion of his tips on mob movies and “anything to do with gangsters.”

Providing a DVD to watch is definitely preferable to some inane snip-snip chit-chat. Only snag: I’m not sure I’d be satisfied watching just a snippet of a movie. But then, I wouldn’t want to spend two hours in a barber shop just to see the complete “Pope of Greenwich Village”, either.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 05/04/2021 04:28:33 PM
Category: Fashion, Movies, New Yorkin'
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