Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, July 31, 2021

Inspired by — if not actually endorsed by — celeb foodies Ted Allen and Amy Sedaris, The Ted and Amy Supper Club is a convivial Brooklyn affair. It’s organized and hosted by Kara Masi every other week (or so) in her Fort Greene apartment, and last night was the latest edition. After getting shut out from previous sessions, I’m happy to say that I snagged a couple of seats for me and my date, Karen.

The French Bistro-style menu was:

Steamed Mussels in White Wine Sauce
Steak & Pommes Frites
Goat Cheese Frisee Salad
Vanilla & Orange Bon Bons
Selection of Wine

How was it? Well…

Kara usually has help with the food prep from one Adam, but she was flying solo for the first time. She made a valiant attempt at juggling all the courses, but unfortunately, the salad and pommes frites (steak fries to you and me) didn’t come out too great. She apologized profusely and even offered a refund on the night’s meal ticket.

But that was unnecessary, because the rest of the night came through with flying colors. The carnivorous portions of the menu (mussels and steak) came out great, the dessert (with a generous helping of extra bon-bons) was yummy, and the wines were excellent. I think everyone was pleased with the final culinary results.

Besides, the food was merely an excuse for coming together to meet people like Jennifer, Alix, Jennie, Brian, Halley, Nathalie, Carolina, and Amy. I know Karen and I were nothing but pleased with the company. The conversation was lively and fairly non-stop, which is what you want out of a dinner party. I’m sure the steady flow of wine helped.

So I’d say it was a fun soiree at Kara’s, failed frites/frisee and all. I’m hoping I can make it to the next one! As it is, I’ll be returning to the scene tomorrow, as Kara is hosting tomorrow’s Jelly co-working event at her pad. I’m hoping for leftovers…

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/31/2008 10:17:24 PM
Category: Celebrity, Food, New Yorkin'
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Because the National Hockey League’s collective bargaining agreement calls for a minimum team salary floor ($40.7 million for the upcoming 2008-09 season) to go along with the salary cap ($56.7 million), the dynamics of the league’s player-transaction market have gone topsy-turvy:

Normally the trade market would be something akin to salvation. I have an asset I can’t afford. You have a need and room to accommodate it. But here’s the newest wrinkle in a CBA that is now showing more wrinkles than Liz Taylor’s Shar-Pei: Because the floor is so high, the team with cap room no longer has an advantage…

To reach the mandated floor, they need to spend more, in some cases considerably more, money than they take in. To do that, they have to trade not just for useable players per-se, but for salaries that will get them to the new lower level. That usually means getting a high-salaried player, the kind that generally comes with liabilities such as fading performance for the dollar or an expiring contract and/or impending free agency, perhaps even a lifestyle issue. Risky in their own right, but now those same players also come with a demand for some cap-friendly and budding young talent to close the deal.

Obviously, the players association has no problem with this, because inflated spending to reach the floor translates into a higher NHL-level salary. Basically, the owners should have insisted upon a percentage-based spread between the cap and the floor, instead of the set-amount $16 million. Top-to-bottom competitive balance between teams is just as achievable on a relative scale. Something to re-jigger in negotiations for the next CBA.

I do think it’s unfair to impose a minimum payroll on teams; but then, I think it’s just as unfair to impose the cap maximum, too. Salary caps and floors are artificial restrictions, even if tied to league revenues. Bear in mind that, with the mandated minimum NHL-level individual player salary ($475,000 for next season), a de facto floor would take effect anyway. While I’m not in favor of a team suiting up a wholly minimum-wage roster (which would earn well below this year’s $40.7 million), it’s a saner solution than a pegged collective amount.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/31/2008 03:24:11 PM
Category: Hockey
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Brooklyn Bowl is a soon-to-open live-band club/bowling alley that’s based on the premise that people want more out of their intimate-venue experience than just the music:

“To sit at a show, cock your head back, watch a band and then leave, it’s been done,” [club owner Peter] Shapiro said. “But to come see a show, do some bowling, eat some French-bread pizza from Blue Ribbon — that hasn’t been done.”

You know why “that hasn’t been done”? Because no one, i.e. the audience, wants to do it.

Oh, I’m sure fans of cosmic bowling would crave this union of ball-return machines and rock bands. But just as the disco-ball atmosphere in bowling alleys became passe, this gimmick isn’t likely to hold the crowds’ attention for long.

Frankly, if the performance club scene has to rely upon this “come for the ten-pins, stay for the rock-and-roll” pitch (or maybe that’s the other way around?), then prospects for survival are slim.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 07/31/2008 01:42:42 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Pop Culture
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