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Wednesday, April 09, 2021

I care not for jelly — neither the spreadable stuff nor the British version of Jello.

But I guess I like Jelly well enough, because I’ll be at the coworking space in midtown this Friday. I’m anticipating attending for a couple of hours in the morning, probably checking out around noon.

I’m not planning on a repeat performance of liveblogging, like I did at last month’s Manhattan gathering. I expect most of my time will be occupied with blog housekeeping, specifically updating this site to the latest and greatest version of WordPress (currently 2.5). Since my past experiences with the supposedly simple upgrade have always been bumpy, I figure I should take advantage of Jelly’s heavy contingent of tech-heads as a go-to help resource. I’m crossing my fingers.

I’m also considering bringing along my XO Laptop, just to show it off to anyone interested. I don’t think there are that many floating around in the U.S., so it’d be a novelty. That doesn’t exactly fit under the working-time concept for Jelly, but what the heck.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/09/2021 11:53:37 PM
Category: Business, Creative, New Yorkin'
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There was nothing special about the Starbucks on 8th Avenue that I ducked into at midday, unless you count its curiously weak wireless signal (that my iTouch kept dropping, making routine email checking an adventure).

But check out the store manager’s name, as gleaned from the business cards prominently displayed on the front counter: Spacious Starkes.

What do we know about Spacious? We know that Spacious is not only a store manager, but also a Coffee Master. I’m sure the latter is a prerequisite for achieving the former.

What we can’t tell: Whether or not Spacious is male or female. And I don’t want to hazard a guess. After all, I once thought that “Chip” was exclusively a boy’s name.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/09/2021 10:38:05 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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Sunday, April 06, 2021

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but I’m actually following through on intentions. Case in point: I managed to attend last night’s performance of “Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?”, like I said I would.

Never mind that it was a fairly last-minute affair, what with having to stand in line for rush tickets for an hour beforehand. And that both the play, with its strained-staccato dialogue, and my companionship were both lacking (although the night ended up surprisingly cheerfully, once I ditched her).

The rush-ticket experience did produce a noteworthy sideshow. At one point, a street person worked his way up the line, offering up a bag of Starbucks ground-roast coffee beans for sale for the low-low price of $4.

His non-stop spiel emphasized that the retail price on this gourmet package was around $24, which made it fairly obviously that he had freshly lifted his merchandise from the Lafayette Street location. And that was the funniest part about it for me: He wasn’t trying to hide that he had stolen the stuff. He was merely trying to unload it as quickly as possible.

At the time, I felt a slight tinge of sympathy for the Starbucks store that got ripped off. But a few minutes later, when I went there to kill some time before the play’s start, I got a mild shock from how much pricier their menu was from other locations around the City — probably a good 25 percent higher. Maybe that’s attributable to their higher loss rate from thefts — or maybe they’re just greedier. So at that moment, I was actually kinda glad that that hustler swiped his caffeinated stash. Stick it to the man, if he’s going to stick it to me for my usually-cheap Awake tea.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 04/06/2021 11:24:23 PM
Category: Media, New Yorkin', Political
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Saturday, April 05, 2021

I’m pretty proud of how quickly I learned my way around New York’s subway system. I’m confident about finding the right train to take to the right spot (at least in Manhattan).

But sadly, that applies largely to the prime-time action of weekdays. The weekend schedules? Different story, and a baffling one as well:

“To reach the West Side of Manhattan from Brooklyn, take the 2 to Franklin or Atlantic Avs and transfer to the 4. Take the 4 to Bowling Green and transfer to the 5 on the opposite platform. The 5 makes uptown 2 stops from Chambers St to 149 St-Grand Concourse.”

You got all that?

It’s bad enough for civilians, and even the subway officials can’t dope it out:

William Henderson is executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Even he has had his troubles.

“My son was going to a test prep class on Saturday mornings,” Mr. Henderson said. “I do this stuff for a living, and I’m sitting there on the platform as the train rolls in, trying to read the sign to figure out if this A train will stop where we needed to stop.”

I’ve been lucky in that I haven’t gotten too flummoxed on a weekend ride. Again, intra-Manhattan stops don’t seem to be affected as much as the outer-borough lines. More than anything has been the slower schedules, with waits of 20 minutes or more for trains that run every 5 minutes Monday through Friday. It’s a drag.

Of course, the best alternative is to just walk, or else grab a cab if it’s really too far away. Otherwise, step onto your train and cross your fingers. If you get totally lost, just stay on until Monday rolls around and the normal schedule resumes!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 04/05/2021 04:27:24 PM
Category: New Yorkin'
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Friday, April 04, 2021

Are the logos above twins? Apparently, they are to Steve Jobs: Apple Inc. is suing New York City to prevent its eco-friendly GreeNYC campaign from using an apple symbol, contending it’s too similar to the computermaker’s mark.

I’m usually sensitive to even a whiff of intellectual property infringement, as most people seem willfully ignorant on the very concept of look-and-feel mimicry. But I have to say, I don’t see much merit in Apple’s suit here. The “infinity apple” design obviously looks like an apple, as intended; but I think the resemblance to the home of the iPod ends there. There are enough points of distinction between the two images that it’s hard to see confusion widely setting in.

Plus, consider the context here: New Yorkers are used to seeing Big Apple messaging all the time. If the GreeNYC ads were somehow to roll out in other parts of the country, I might see the concern. But since that’s not going to happen, and the City audience can distinguish between the two apple-themed concepts, I don’t see a problem.

Less seriously, this could be a signal that Apple is getting ready to unveil some sort of environmentally-optimized gadget, and were prepping a green apple logo of their own. Under-ripened marketing, perhaps.

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 04/04/2021 08:39:29 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, New Yorkin', Tech
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Thursday, April 03, 2021

There’s much anxiety being generated over the finer points of New York’s plan to charge car drivers a traffic-reducing fee to drive into Manhattan during the daytime. Now that it looks like even the bridges and tunnels will be subject to some toll amount, this comment from a Daily News reader seems even funnier than face value:

Be careful! The terrorists have plenty of money, and soon may be the only ones rich enough to enter N.Y. city.

Time for Homeland Security to check on whether or not al Qaeda is setting up an E-ZPass slush fund.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 04/03/2021 09:09:18 AM
Category: Comedy, New Yorkin'
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Sunday, March 30, 2021

As intrigued as I was about “Ladies & Gents”, the offbeat theatrical production being staged in Central Park’s public restrooms, I doubted that I’d be able to find a date willing to share the experience.

Well, luckily I did, and we got to see the show a couple of nights ago. And luckily for her — and for me, come to think of it — the bathrooms weren’t nearly as stinky as I imagined they could be.

Neither, for that matter, was the play itself. It had a unique structure: Two acts, which were played out simultaneously in the separate Ladies and Mens “conveniences” (Irish idiom for restrooms). Accordingly, the audience was split into separate halves, which were then filed into each bathroom to watch their particular segment of the story. At intermission, the two groups filed out and then switched restrooms, to see their concluding half of the play (which, given the nature of this narrative, isn’t properly the “second” part).

Just my luck, my date and I were separated into the two separate groups for the duration of this performance. But that actually turned out okay, because:

Given the cramped conditions, audience arrangement took the form of standing up against the walls, forming a rough circle around the “stage” where the actors did their things. It was the ultimate in intimate, and lent a real unnerving feel to the whole show. But it also meant that there was no opportunity for comparing notes with one another, because even the faintest whisper was impossible to disguise. So there would be no advantage to being paired up during the performance. That’s if it would even have been possible: The staff herded us in brusquely (I even said “Gestapo tactics” out loud), and “assigned” us our standing spots without any regard to preference.

And in fact, we ended up having more to compare and contrast about afterward because of this. We realized that we were experiencing the same story but in a different sequence, so we retraced how that affected our perception of the events. It turned out to be not so much, but I’m not sure it would have come so readily to us if we’d been watching the same sequence at the same time.

You’ll notice I’m being very light on the narrative specifics. You could say that I was more captivated by the format then by the creative content itself. The cloak-and-dagger noir setting in 1950s Dublin was satisfying, but nothing groundbreaking. The story moved along at a rapid-fire pace; combined with the staging elements, it just worked.

I’m not sure if I’m waiting for the next toilet-bowl production. My companion came up with the idea — prior to the night’s actual audience separation — of dividing the showgoers according to gender, thereby having all-women attending the Ladies room portion and all-men in the Gents facility. Maybe some enterprising playwright can work on that concept.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/30/2008 11:12:11 PM
Category: Creative, Media, New Yorkin'
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Sunday, March 23, 2021

Today was the Easter holiday for most of Christendom — but not all of it.

And since I’m aligned with that other Church, this Sunday was just another free day for me. No familial obligations to fulfill (they were pointedly avoided, in fact, in what amounts to a silent signification of the Eastern Orthodox divergence on this holiday), so I took advantage by getting out of the house and wandering the streets, with nothing particularly pressing to drive me.

Frankly, o counter-Christians, I’m not impressed with this late March observation of Jesus’ comeback. Resurrection is supposed to coincide with Spring, renewal and all that; and while the calendar might align that way, the day’s weather sure didn’t. Temperatures in the mid-40s in midtown Manhattan don’t jibe with rejuvenation, either spiritual or physical.

I’m thinking that Orthodox Easter, scheduled for April 27th, is going to be a lot more Springlike around here, provided we don’t get a freak extension of Winter weather (you never know, in this age of global weirding). So for once, the “other” Easter will seem more appropriate, at least climate-wise. I’ll take it, on style points.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/23/2008 08:49:55 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Society, Weather
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Saturday, March 22, 2021

I guess there’s just not enough celebrity dirt to go around. What seemed like a slam-dunk print-to-Web migration turned out to not make financial sense, as the New York Post was forced to shutter PageSix.com merely three months after launching it.

PageSix.com started in December as an addition to the print and online versions of Page Six, the New York Post’s highly influential gossip column.

But the site encountered heavy competition for readers from popular gossip Web sites such as TMZ.com, which is owned by AOL, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

How sour could ad sales have been? I can’t believe they couldn’t scrape up enough eyeballs, even if only among New Yorkers most familiar with the Post’s tongue-wagging format.

The only thing I can think of is that they didn’t open up commenting on the site, which to me seems like the most engaging part of other online gossip rags. Unfortunately, there’s no archive to look at yet, so I can only guess.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/22/2008 06:34:43 PM
Category: Internet, Media, New Yorkin', Pop Culture
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making a face
Cute presentation, no? This serving of fried rice was set down in front of a lunch companion yesterday at Chai Restaurant, and I couldn’t resist taking a quick cellphone picture.

I think it’s obvious that the two cucumbers with plum tomatoes, accompanied by wedge of lime, represents a face. That wasn’t apparent to a third lunchmate, who thought the arrangement looked like “boobies”, with no accounting for the lime.

Said lunchmate obviously is swimming against the tide of cognitive human visual language, which allows us to see two dots and a half-moon and interpret the visual representation of a face.

On the other hand, I kinda envy the ability to conjure up images of female breasts. Maybe a cultural re-education is in order — to the extent that our desensitized society hasn’t already done the job.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/22/2008 06:05:52 PM
Category: Food, Media, New Yorkin', Science
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Thursday, March 20, 2021

While I managed to do a little live-blogging at last week’s Jelly coworking session, I neglected to add pictures to my words.

Never fear: Another Jelly-er snapped a few photos and Flickr’d them.

In that picture set, you’ll see yours truly up close and personal, along with an action shot of me eating pizza while conversing with the t-shirt aggregator dude. This is what it’s like to live your life in Web 2.0 mode, right?

Maybe I should get into the act and bring my fancy on-loan Nikon camera to the next Jelly, scheduled for Williamsburg (which I’m 90 percent sure I’ll attend). But I hate lugging that thing around, and since I’ll already have my computer in tow, I think I’ll have to leave the visual record to someone else.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 03/20/2008 04:46:09 PM
Category: Business, Creative, New Yorkin', Society
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Wednesday, March 19, 2021

Of all the possible spots in Central Park to stage a play, I’m pretty sure the restrooms at Bethesda Terrace Fountain wouldn’t occur to most theater organizers as the optimal performance space.

But the Irish Arts Center, of all troupes, thought otherwise when it came to its production of “Ladies & Gents”. The cramped toilet ambiance was such a good fit for this noir thriller set in 1950s Dublin that the play’s the thing, for $25 a pop later this month.

Of course, they were aiming for toilet space in the first place:

The bureaucracy involved in getting permission to host a play in a toilet was another matter altogether. After the play’s success in European bathrooms — first as part of the Dublin Fringe Festival and later on a small tour of England and Scotland, where it won the Edinburgh Fringe First Award — Heller and the Irish Arts Center hoped to bring it to New York. Everyone underestimated the amount of red tape involved in renting public restrooms.

“It was a big toilet mess,” said Laoisa (pronounced LEE-SHA) Sexton, one of the show’s six actors who was dispatched to help with “the great New York loo hunt.”

Sexton quickly discovered what any frustrated tourist could have told her: “There really aren’t a lot of public toilets in New York City to choose from.”

Of the meager offerings, bathrooms at Grand Central Station and in Riverside Park were rejected for their small size and busy traffic. Then the loo hunters discovered the Bethesda Terrace bathrooms. It took over a year of back and forth with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, including a personal letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to win approval.

With that much attention to detail, it’s just gotta be a winner.

If I can snag a ticket, I’m definitely going to catch a performance (plenty of dates are already sold out). The tricky part is, who to go with? Not every girl will swoon over the prospect of attending a theatrical performance in a stinky public bathroom. That’ll take some work, I guess.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/19/2008 10:58:47 PM
Category: Creative, Media, New Yorkin'
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It’s the big-box retailer equivalent of unplanned pregnancy, and the end result is the biggest Wal-Mart in America at 260,000 square feet, located on the outskirts of Albany:

Real estate planners at the Bentonville, Ark.-based company - the world’s largest retailer with more than 4,100 stores in the United States and 3,100 more overseas - never set out to build their biggest store in New York’s Capital Region. In fact, the larger stores tend to be built in rural areas, [Wal-Mart spokesman Phil] Serghini said.

In the 1990s, Wal-Mart co-located a Sam’s Club - its members-only warehouse store - with a Wal-Mart department store in a dual-level shopping center, with the Sam’s Club on the lower floor.

The company closed the Sam’s Club in 2006 because of low membership and decided to use that space to turn the department store into a supercenter.

“It’s the largest one really only because of the situation involving the former Sam’s Club,” Serghini said. “But it is unique, and the customers are going to be very pleased with the layout.”

Finally, something of interest in the state capital. Maybe the steady stream of gubernatorial sex partners can catch up on their sundries shopping while they’re in town, after their visits with whoever’s currently in the Governor’s seat (or even before, to prep).

I’m disappointed the article doesn’t mention the current largest Wal-Mart title-holder. I could swear it’s a big ol’ SuperCenter location in Pinellas Park, Florida, by which I used to live; but it may just be the busiest/most profitable, not necessarily the biggest.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 03/19/2008 08:18:04 PM
Category: Business, Florida Livin', New Yorkin'
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Tuesday, March 18, 2021

A friend of mine related the mishap of her live-in boyfriend’s kid sister, who, last night, overdosed on spicy green curry sauce while dining at a Thai restaurant in Jersey City. End result: She was throwing up like crazy this morning in said friend’s bathroom.

Since yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, I couldn’t help but observe that, well, at least kid sister’s puking was in reaction to something green. I give her props for being unconventional, rather than go with the old-hat green beer. It’s all in the spirit of the holiday!

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/18/2008 10:09:08 PM
Category: Food, New Yorkin'
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Sunday, March 16, 2021

As I write this, I’m knocking back a bit of Bushmills on the rocks. Yes, it’s an Irish whiskey in honor of tomorrow’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration (and yes, I’m going with “that Protestant whiskey” this year; I’ll have to remember to give equal time in ‘09 and have a pour of Jameson).

I’m celebrating a bit early, and in a limited way, because I’m not going to have time to do so tomorrow. If I’m lucky, I may be able to catch a few minutes of the granddaddy of all St. Paddy’s Day parades, on 5th Avenue here in New York. But I’m not counting on it.

Anyway, I’m far from the only one who took a jump on the holiday celebration this weekend. Any holiday where drinking is emphasized is alright in my book.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 03/16/2008 08:29:50 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Society
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Saturday, March 15, 2021

It won’t happen overnight, but it looks like a ethnic stereotype is fading away as fewer Greek-Americans are staying in the restaurant diner business, the result of a generational shift.

But [Nick] Karkambasis, who is also a director of a New York purchasing co-op of 437 diners, estimates that the proportion of Greek-owned diners in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region has declined in 10 years to 70 percent from 90 percent.

“To tell you the truth, the parents don’t want their children to go into the business,” Mr. Karkambasis said. “It’s a lot of hours, and most of us don’t want our children going through what we went through growing up.”…

A sharper decline is looming, said Bill Kapas, one of the largest diner brokers, as the generation of Greek immigrants that founded more than 600 diners in the New York region retires. Mr. Kapas, 38, is the son of a Greek immigrant.

I’m Greek, so naturally the restaurant business is woven throughout my family quilt. I was never encouraged to go into the business myself, and neither were my brother nor my cousins. It was definitely seen as a lucrative way to make money, but not as a legacy to hand down. There was a sense of setting up the next generation for white-collar pursuits. (That’s not to say that no one follows in the footsteps, and in fact, there’s a dispute in my more immediate family over a succession plan for a years-old diner business.)

I guess the biggest loss here will be the eventual disappearance of those iconic “anthora” Greek-lettering blue coffee cups.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 03/15/2008 05:36:40 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Society
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Friday, March 14, 2021

Since office-less coworking among freelancers and other labor free agents is all the rage, and I don’t want to pay Office Nomads actual money in timeshare-like rent for some non-Starbucks workspace, it’s Jelly for me.

What is Jelly? It’s a semi-regular gathering of independent white-collar workers (like me) who converge on a host dwelling for a day, for the purpose of creating a convivial collaborative work environment. It’s like an office setting without a boss hanging over you. The aim is to network with like-minded individuals (as far as work work-life balance goes) and ward off the shut-in mentality that can take hold from working at home every day.

I don’t usually have to guard against stir-craziness, as I go to one client office or another every day. But I was intrigued by Jelly’s concept, and today I was able to jigger my schedule to attend today’s 2nd anniversary of Jelly.

So here I am, having landed in the founding Manhattan edition of Jelly’s gathering, in midtown’s House 2.0. I think I’ll take the opportunity to maintain a running post, to record the couple of hours I expect to be here. Here goes:

1:27pm - I’ve been here about 10 minutes. CNN cameraman arrived a couple of minutes later. The bigtime! I have mixed feelings about being on camera, but I guess I don’t have to worry about it until/unless they turn the lens on me.

Otherwise, I coughed up four bucks for community pizza, and found a backroom area to fire up the computer and (allegedly) get to work. A bunch of people were already here, mostly in the living room where the building’s elevator opened into. I was a little overwhelmed, so I scurried back here. But I think I’ll relocate myself back up front, if there’s still room.

Also, the house puppy Oscar, a daschund mutt, is making his presence felt. Like I need another distraction from work…

2:17pm - Pizzas arrived, so it was socializing time. Talked to a couple of co-Jelly-ers. One was a developer who’d been to these gatherings before, very low-key guy; he’d just gotten a new iMac which he didn’t have with him, so I think he was just observing. The other was a newbie like me, a budding novelist named Kelly; she was most interested in interacting with live, breathing people versus being alone with her (vibrant) thoughts in her apartment.

2:19pm - Some independent vid-journalist/blogger showed up after CNN left. She’s floating around, interviewing the Jelly hosts and taking random shots.

2:21pm - I figured I’d be the only schmoe here dressed in shirt and tie — and I was right. Couldn’t be avoided as I had onsite client work this morning. I’m also one of the very few non-techies hereabouts, which I also expected. It’s all good; it’s been pointed out to me that a different creative perspective is good to inject into these gatherings. Or something.

2:23pm - At this point, I’m waiting for a 3pm conference call to begin; it’s scheduled for an hour, but I doubt it’ll last even half as long. After that, I may or may not hang here at Jelly for a while longer. In the meantime, I’m tackling a couple of put-off marketing reports (between blogging sessions ;) )

2:51pm - That developer I was talking to earlier: His name is Dan. I’m bad with names.

2:54pm - Weird vibe here. A couple of people are pairing off to collaborate, advise, etc. but most are just hunched over their notebook computers, typing away. Not much in interaction, other than being aware of a live body in close proximity. I guess it’s just feeding off the broader aura.

3:22pm - Just had my lone conference call for the afternoon. Short, as expected, and painless. I have the rest of the afternoon, to Jelly or not.

I’m having a bitch of a time with these marketing reports, which is what I feared (and which is why I held off doing them until now). I may have to shunt these until the weekend. I’ll stick with it for another hour or so and see if I actually accomplish something.

3:44pm - We seem to have hit a lull at House 2.0. Most of the folks seem to have cleared out (temporarily, as there are computers and personal effects lying around), except for me and two other guys. They’re chatting about BarCamp and other techie stuff. Oscar the puppy is wandering about, looking for attention and/or food.

And I’ve hit a lull myself. I’m getting nowhere manipulating these marketing charts. So I’m about ready to give up and re-engage over the weekend.

Overall, not as much social interaction as I thought there’d be. It was nice getting a change of venue for one workday, but it was less stimulating than I’d hoped. Maybe I should have gotten here earlier.

3:49pm - Here’s something, at least: This blog post is already ranking high on a Google search of ‘jelly nyc’, somewhere around No. 20. That’s within a couple of hours of creation. Much love for the Googlebot!

This seems to be it. It was worth a shot. I might try for the next edition, provided it’s in Manhattan. Midtown is nice and central, for me anyway.

The greatest irony: I don’t even like jelly. Peanut butter and honey sandwiches — that’s what I’m talking about!

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/14/2008 01:26:15 PM
Category: Business, Creative, New Yorkin', Society
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Tuesday, March 11, 2021

The Empire State is just waiting for the other boot to drop at this point, as Eliot Spitzer is holed up on Fifth Avenue, contemplating his resignation from the governor’s office.

But in the meantime, David Letterman is going off on the “luv guv” and his stalemate:

The studio audience erupted in applause when Letterman ripped Spitzer for pondering his future on the public’s dime.

“Well, I mean how does that benefit us residents of the Empire State, you know what I’m saying,” Letterman said. “I mean, should that really be his decision?”

Spitzer should “go down to the Mayflower hotel and figure that out there,” said Letterman, drawing both laughs and cheers referring to the Washington D.C. location of the governor’s tryst.

When one of the main beneficiaries of the punchline material being generated gets down and serious about ending this episode sooner rather than later, I think the writing on the wall can’t get any clearer.

As for the long-term impact, we can always look back on this as a prime example of hubris in action. Spitzer went from coronation (his landslide election victory over hapless Republican John Faso, which was telegraphed months beforehand) to condemnation in a remarkably short timeframe. And his vague apology over the prostitution sting, which came off more as an attempt to frame the issue as a private family matter than a political target, was the cherry on top.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/11/2021 10:55:10 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Politics, True Crime
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Here’s a cute local sports media maneuver: To coincide with this week’s rebranding of the Fox Sports New York (FSNY) to MSG Plus, the channel’s Islanders pre- and post-game host Deb Kaufman is taking the opportunity to rechristen her own on-air handle.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do; there just never seemed to be a good time to do it,” she said. “Since the network was changing its name…”

Well, why not? Starting with tonight’s Islanders-Lightning game, Deb Kaufman will be Deb Placey, her name in her non-work life for the 13 years since she married Ed Placey, a senior coordinating producer for ESPN college football…

She does not plan a formal announcement but figures [Isles announcers] Howie Rose and Billy Jaffe will take care of spreading the news.

Actually, she did make the announcement on the air, during the pregame show. I’m sure many Islanders fans hearts were broken upon hearing that Deb is already hitched; I suppose they could start drooling over competing NHL television MILF Christine Simpson on Versus.

It’s worth noting that MSG Network has not caught up on this development, as it still lists her as Deb Kaufman on her bio page. Rebranding is always a tough row to hoe.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/11/2021 10:18:50 PM
Category: New Yorkin', SportsBiz, TV, Women
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Friday, March 07, 2021

Once or twice in the past, I’ve invoked that old joke about finding a parking spot in New York City:

It’s like playing musical chairs, and everyone already sat down back in 1965.

For all the city government knows, the mid-60s might be when some of the 142,000 municipal free parking permits currently in use — only half of which can be accurately accounted for — were first issued.

The Bloomberg administration has vowed to reduce the number of free passes, as part of the justification for the congestion-reduction plans the Mayor’s been tossing around. But history suggests this cancer won’t be easy to reduce:

The placards have been a source of frustration to New York drivers for decades. In 1987, The New York Times reported that to ease traffic around City Hall, the number of placards issued to public employees would be cut to 15,000 from an estimated 50,000.

But the numbers continued to grow. For example, there are now some 50,000 permits that have been issued to Police Department employees to park around station houses and other workplaces, a number close to the 59,000 police and auxiliary officers and civilian employees who are eligible for them…

The numbers grew, in part, because city agencies were allowed to issue their own permits with no central accounting of whom they went to or why. In addition, the placards were easy to duplicate, creating numerous fakes on the street.

From now on, only the Police and Transportation Departments will be allowed to issue them. That will make them easier to track; it will also make it easier for the police and traffic agents to tell the difference between legitimate and bogus placards, city officials said.

Good luck. The only way to fix this mess is to null and void all the existing permits, and then force those who want/need them to reapply for theirs, with a limited number of justifications for getting them. That sort of drastic act just doesn’t come out of City Hall.

Once again, being carless in the City, I’m glad I don’t have a dog in this particular fight (and can function splendidly besides).

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 03/07/2021 08:15:57 PM
Category: New Yorkin', Politics
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Tuesday, March 04, 2021

Part One was a month ago. Now, Metropolitan Corporate Counsel takes a further overview look at how the major pro sports league exploit their playing facilities as revenue streams: Namely, via naming rights and amenitized in-stadium premiums like luxury boxes, club seating and personal seat licenses.

As I pointed out a while back, the New York metro area is lately leading the way in terms of naming rights deal, dollar-wise:

Thus, in a span of less than three months, three New York area teams from different sports generated almost $1 billion in sponsorship fees. Such astronomical numbers can be attributed not only to the location of the facilities, but also to the pent-up demand for such agreements. Indeed, prior to this string of deals, the last naming rights agreement in the New York area had been in 1996 when Continental Airlines put its name on the former Brendan Byrne Arena in New Jersey’s Meadowlands sports complex.

And it’s always important to remember that, just because a stadium name remains unblemished by corporate rechristening, that doesn’t shut the door on selling select facility components:

Similarly, although the Yankees do not plan (at this time) on renaming their new $800 million palace - as the Yankee Stadium moniker is as sacrosanct as names can be in sports - they do plan on selling naming rights for each gate at the stadium. In light of the history, popularity, and importance of the New York Yankees, these mini naming rights deals should prove very profitable as well.

By the same token, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees sell the naming rights to the actual playing field — something like “Merrill Lynch Field at Yankee Stadium”.

As with the first edition of this report, there’s not much new here. But it’s a good summation of the current landscape of big-time sports business leveraging.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 03/04/2021 10:25:15 PM
Category: New Yorkin', SportsBiz
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