July 2006 Archives

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Tosca - Free, August 1, 2006

Uncle Paq & Blackberry Ellie: Please go to the New York Grand Opera website for information about a free opera at 7.30 pm this coming Tuesday, August 1, 2006 ... Tosca ... at the Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park, 72nd Street at Mid-Park ... let us all go bring a pinic buffet and sing-along in Italian ...

Also see Naumburg Orchestral Concerts

Update: Postponed due to the heat.

Posted July 31, 2006 11:55 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Central Park , Music , Notes to a Friend , Theatre   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Spicy & Tasty - Flushing

Another great Sichuan restaurant in Flushing, strongly recommended by AGINY, is Spicy & Tasty ... there is a counter with plenty of ready-prepared cold appertizers, one can pick and choose ... I love to eat the hot and spicey "beef tongue and tripe" and cold tofu with slivers of Chinese stalks of celery ...

Moreover, along this stretch of Prince Street, there are numerous ethnic restaurants which I still must find the time to enjoy, especially the Malaysian restaurant ...

Spicy & Tasty, 39-07 Prince Street, Flushing, Queens, between 39th and Roosevelt Avenues, 718-359-1601 [Menu from Bridge and Tunnel | NYT | NY Mag | Village Voice | openlist | Yelp]


Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

Posted July 30, 2006 11:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Chinese , Flushing , Malaysian , The Best   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

3rd Annual Tiger Beer Singapore Chili Crab Festival

The 3rd Annual Singapore Chili Crab Festival, Sunday, August 6th, 2006, DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Brooklyn, 66 Water Street (between Dock and Main Streets), 12 - 6pm. (rain or shine) ... a sensational experience for all ages in DUMBO's summery outdoors ...

From Tiger Beer:

We will once again take over the Brooklyn waterfront and give it the vibrancy and excitement of a massive Singaporean Street fair.

In addition to chili crabs, other authentic Asian delectables will be available. Entertainment will include live band performances, souvenir vendors, children's street entertainment, massage therapy, traditional lion dancers, pedicab rides and kickboxers from Gleason’s Gym.

The admission is FREE to all with charges for food and beverages from 12 noon to 6 pm, outside Water Street Restaurant & Lounge at 66 Water Street (between Dock and Main Streets).

The location is accessible by the A & C trains to High Street; the F train to York Street; and the #2 train to Clark Street. By car, festival goers should take Old Fulton Street to Front Street to Main and Water streets.

Water Taxi service will be available to festival attendees. The service will be available from South Street Seaport to Fulton Landing from 12 Noon to 6 pm.


Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop: A train to High Street, F train to York Street, 1 or 2 train to Clark Street

Posted July 29, 2006 08:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Holidays & Festivals   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Cappucino, ice cream and sorbet

The very best "ethnic" Italian cappucino and ice-cream is at Bottega del Vino, ... the real McCoy for $4 per cup ... the foamy milk is so thick it will float the sugar ... (a friend ventured into Starbucks and ordered an expresso that was served in an unappertizing paper cup - no class. What a contrast! I was ashamed for Starbucks) ... I enjoyed many World Cup matches standing at the coffee bar ... the ice-cream and sorbet are made in small batches ... $3 per two-scoops ... a great treat ... and just across the street from the Apple Store ... web site, 7 East 59th Street, 212-223-3028 [MenuPages | Citysearch]

The very best "ethnic" French ice-cream and sorbet is at Payard, also made in small batches ... the breads, pastries and chocolates are so delicious... web site, 1032 Lexington Avenue, 212-717-5252 [Yummy Baguette | MenuPages | NY Mag | Citysearch | Gayot]

Perfect after a meal in Chinatown, they both close at 11 pm ... Sweet dreams ...

Posted July 28, 2006 09:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Dessert , The Best , Tips , Upper East Side   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBack (0)


"Wikipedia is to Britannica as 'American Idol' is to the Juilliard School."
-- Jorge Cauz, President of Encyclopedia Britannica

“Wikipedia is to Britannica as rock and roll is to easy listening."
-- Jimmy Wales, founder, Wikipedia


Is Wikipedia accurate? Last year, Nature published a survey comparing forty-two entries on scientific topics on Wikipedia with their counterparts in Encyclopædia Britannica. According to the survey, Wikipedia had four errors for every three of Britannica’s, a result that, oddly, was hailed as a triumph for the upstart. Such exercises in nitpicking are relatively meaningless, as no reference work is infallible. Britannica issued a public statement refuting the survey’s findings, and took out a half-page advertisement in the Times, which said, in part, “Britannica has never claimed to be error-free. We have a reputation not for unattainable perfection but for strong scholarship, sound judgment, and disciplined editorial review.” Later, Jorge Cauz, Britannica’s president, told me in an e-mail that if Wikipedia continued without some kind of editorial oversight it would “decline into a hulking mediocre mass of uneven, unreliable, and, many times, unreadable articles.” Wales has said that he would consider Britannica a competitor, “except that I think they will be crushed out of existence within five years.”

Larry Sanger proposes a fine distinction between knowledge that is useful and knowledge that is reliable, and there is no question that Wikipedia beats every other source when it comes to breadth, efficiency, and accessibility. Yet the site’s virtues are also liabilities. Cauz scoffed at the notion of “good enough knowledge.” “I hate that,” he said, pointing out that there is no way to know which facts in an entry to trust. Or, as Robert McHenry, a veteran editor at Britannica, put it, “We can get the wrong answer to a question quicker than our fathers and mothers could find a pencil.”

"Know It All: Can Wikipedia conquer expertise?" by Stacy Schiff, The New Yorker, July 31, 2006

"Wikipedia Celebrates 750 Years Of American Independence: Founding Fathers, Patriots, Mr. T. Honored," The Onion, July 26, 2006

Posted July 27, 2006 10:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Good teachers

I had good teachers, and remember two [of] the best: Mr. Olson, who gave me a love of history, and the inestimable Rhoda Hansen, who coached speech and debate. To the callow student who drew her for English, she must have seemed like a bemused bird of prey; to those of us who had her for a coach, she was the ultimate authority on the superficial aspects of our craft. How to stand. How to walk. How to gesture. She was also the one who tore apart our arguments and built them back up, taught us to construct a thesis, rebut on the fly and think on our feet, act like junior Barrymores, deliver a humorous speech or a tearjerking monologue, then head over to the Extemporaneous Speaking round and whip a defense of Israel or the 55-MPH speed limit out of our own heads in 15 minutes. She had a sense of sarcasm sharp enough to shave granite in micrometer-thin slices. When you got one of her exfoliating critiques you felt it down to the bone, and when she reacted to your humorous speech with her dry smoker’s cackle – the tenth time she’d heard it! – you were on top of the world. She treated us all like grown-ups who’d unaccountably ended up in high school, but she wasn't our peer and she wasn't our pal; if we doubted her authority, it took one arched eyebrow to bat us back into place. She expected victory and she got it. She loved us and we loved her. She was the most important teacher of my life.

I sat at my desk in the motel; I cracked the window. I made a pot of coffee. I got out the phone book. I had a cup, collected my thoughts, dialed the number, and wondered why I felt so oddly nervous. Well, because it was Mrs. Hansen, that’s why.

She was pleased I’d called. She read the column; she’d kept up. She was happy I’d done well. I told her what I wrote above, more or less. I felt 15 again. I felt like I should be standing in front of her desk, hands clasped behind my back (the reverse fig-leaf position, she’d called it) while she gave me a critique of my career since leaving her charge. She was dismissive of her impact – why, I had so much energy and so many ideas, I was easy to teach – but I had to set her straight on that. She gave me confidence and craft, without which energy and ideas just fizz away. I will always owe you everything.

We said goodbye. I closed the phone and put it on the desk and looked at it. Damn.

What took me so long to do that.

"The Trip Home, Con't." by James Lileks, The Bleat, July 26, 2006

Posted July 26, 2006 06:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Chatham restaurant - New Big Wang

Last Saturday, we had 9 for lunch at Chatham restaurant ... Liz & Roger with their 3 children: Max, Becky, and Julia ... Max brought along three college friends: a Mongolian-Chinese, a Korean and a Filipino ... We ate very well and the cost was $63, plus a $10 tip ... less then $10 per person ... I missed Julia's bat-mitzvah last month and this was my make-up party for her ...

My favorite place for a single person snack-meal in Chinatown is now the New Big Wang ... a bowl of delicious "swei-kow tong" (dumplings of ground pork and chives) for $3.00 ... a plate of roast pig or duck for $5 ... yummy ... 1 Elizabeth Street, 212-219-3686 [previous post on AGINY]

Post by Peter

Posted July 24, 2006 07:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinatown , Chinese   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Jazzmobile - Frick Collection - The Jewish Museum

Wednesday nights in the summer time are reserved for the free Jazzmobile concerts held at Grant's Tomb ... 7 pm ... 122nd Street and Riverside Drive ... this coming Wednesday features the Wycliffe Gordon Quintet ... jazzmobile.org ...

The Frick Museum is "pay-as-you-wish" on Sundays between 11 am to 1 pm. Parking is very easy so early in the morning ... the Jean-Étienne Liotard exhibition runs through September 17, 2006 ... 1 East 70th Street, 212-288-0700

The Jewish Museum is free on Saturdays ... 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, 212-423-3200

Posted July 23, 2006 08:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Are you happy?

Most people are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
-- Abraham Lincoln

"[I]f you want to know the absolutely most miserable Zip Code—and this is based on a very large number of people—it seems to start with 101.”

That’s the prefix assigned to many of the office buildings in midtown Manhattan. “Staten Island is also miserable,” he [Chris Peterson, of the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania] adds.

So what does this say about New York? I ask.

“I don’t know,” he says. “Maybe that if you make it there, you can make it anywhere, but you won’t be happy doing it.”
. . .
Smarter people aren’t any happier, but those who drink in moderation are. Attractive people are slightly happier than unattractive people. Men aren’t happier than women, though women have more highs and more lows. Surprisingly, the young are not happier than the elderly; in fact, it’s the other way round, with older people reporting slightly higher levels of life satisfaction and fewer dark days.

Money doesn’t buy happiness--or even upgrade despair, as the playwright Richard Greenberg once wrote--once our basic needs are met. In one well-known survey, Ed Diener of the University of Illinois determined that those on the Forbes 100 list in 1995 were only slightly happier than the American public as a whole; in an even more famous study, in 1978, a group of researchers determined that 22 lottery winners were no happier than a control group (leading one of the authors, Philip Brickman, to coin the scarily precise phrase “hedonic treadmill,” the unending hunger for the next acquisition).

"Some Dark Thoughts on Happiness: More and more psychologists and researchers believe they know what makes people happy. But the question is, does a New Yorker want to be happy?" by Jennifer Senior, New York Magazine, July 17, 2006


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Posted July 22, 2006 11:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBack (0)

This Week in NYC Reviews - July 21, 2006

This Week in Reviews (TWIR)

Each Friday, A Guy In New York publishes "This Week in NYC Reviews (TWIR)," with quick links to reviews of New York City restaurants that sound interesting to us and that we believe represent a good value ... places we would take our friends.

To see a list of upcoming food events in the NYC area, see "New York City Wine Tasting, Dinners, Food/Drink Events."

For DC restaurant reviews, see This Week in DC Reviews at Hobnob Blog, and Tyler Cowen's Ethnic Dining Guide ....

NYC Restaurant inspection results online


Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

Did we miss your favorite review?

Let us know: aguyinnewyork [at] gmail.com ... we're especially interested in hearing about mom and pop places from NYC bloggers ...
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Posted July 21, 2006 08:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  This Week in Reviews   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Joe's Shanghai - Chatham - Amy Ruth's - Nice

Last Sunday, my old friend Mietta Buitoni arrived from Italy ... we ate at Joe's Shanghai in Flushing for delicious soupy pork and crab dumplings, clams with ginger and scallions, and "oon choy" green vegetables ... $45 for 3 persons ... 13621 37th Avenue, Flushing, Queens, 718-539-3838 [previous post on AGINY | NYT | NY Mag | Village Voice | openlist | Gayot | Yelp]

Monday morning, we rode the M1 bus downtown to Canal Street and enjoyed dim-sum at Chatham ... $13 for two ... 9 Chatham Square, 212-267-0220 [previous post on AGINY]

Tuesday morning, we rode the bus to Harlem for waffles at Amy Ruth's for $20 ...113 West 116th Street, between Lenox Avenue and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., 212-280-8779 [NYC nosh | MenuPages | NY Mag | Citysearch | openlist | Savory NY | Yelp]

Tuesday evening, we ate at the Nice (with a compliementary wedding show) for $90 for 4 ... 35 East Broadway, 212-406-9510 [previous post on AGINY | NYT | Citysearch]

All excellent and all good value ...


Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop | Interactive Transit Map

Posted July 20, 2006 06:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Chinatown , Chinese , Harlem   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Good value

We've been talking about the kind of restaurants we want to tell other people about ... and very few of them have PR budgets and "buzz" ... Eater, Bruni, Andrea Strong, and hundreds of other folks can and do adequately cover those kinds of places ... there's nothing wrong with those kinds of places - we even eat at and like some of them! ...

But we're more interested in, and prefer to support, the numerous great "mom and pop" places, where the owners - and often their families - are much closer to the business of cooking and not so focused on showy and expensive artistry ... again, nothing wrong with showy and expensive artistry, but those places have many people who want to swoon over and gossip about them ... and we don't need to add to that ... plus, we're not the swooning types ...

Steer away from all the fancy flowers, silverware, bottled still or sparkling water, sexy female hostesses and publicity-seeking chefs ... we are not impressed with all the extra noise ... we are only interested in the food and great value ...

Moreover, some would claim that ethnic eateries are not hygenic but we have not seen any empirical evidence from the City health authorities to substantiate that claim ... we have never caught any sickness from eating street vendor food and at ethnic eateries ...

From now on, we will highlight reviews of places that sound interesting to us, and we'll continue to try and spread the good word about places we like ... places we would like to take our friends ... and we hope that you will try them, too, so that they can stay in business and thrive ...

NYC is a town where you can eat at fantastic restaurants and street vendors every day on less than $20 ... yes, we like him, too ... so, from now on we will share reviews and tell you about those places that we believe are a good value ...sometimes those will be expensive places ... but more often they won't be ...

Posted July 19, 2006 06:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  This Week in Reviews   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)


What disappoints me as I slip the bounds of the coveted 18 to 34-year old demographic is that advertising is not treating the newest batch of consumers as intelligent peers. Advertising has forgotten how to be subtle. Worst of all, it requires no cultural competencies to decode.

"The death of the double entendre: Ads are killing our 'cultural competencies'," by Ryan Bigge, The Tornoto Star, July 16, 2006

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Posted July 19, 2006 08:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

The Gaijin Girl's Guide to Chinatown

The Gaijin Girl's Guide to Chinatown is in the process of putting her Guide into blog format ... we are looking forward to using TGGGC in this new easy-to-link-to format ... and she's keeping the html version available too ...

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Posted July 18, 2006 11:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinatown   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Who is responsible for fat kids?

If the only publicly admissible or mentionable locus of responsibility for the diet of children is the government, we have accepted the premise of totalitarianism.

"PC Among the Docs," by Theodore Dalrymple, New English Review, July, 2006

Posted July 17, 2006 10:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

The more expensive the restaurant the better the food?

According to Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University who also has a popular dining guide for the DC area,

Receiving a Michelin star increases prices in a Parisian restaurant by 20 percent, controlling for measures of quality, décor and location. Michelin-starred restaurants in fancy hotels, or in areas with other Michelin-starred restaurants, also have higher prices, again adjusting for quality. Diners are paying more to eat in fine or prestigious surroundings, whether or not the food is better. One gastronomy expert, speaking in Le Nouvel Observateur, noted, “Gaining a Michelin star ensures that your banker will be kind to you.”
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It remains easier to get good cheap food in the United States, if only by looking to the growing number of ethnic restaurants, most of which stand outside formal ranking systems. Labor laws that are more flexible than those in France also support more dining options in the United States. Most Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris are closed on Sundays, and many are closed on Saturdays as well. Labor costs are the major culprit.

"In the Language of Gastronomy, Those Michelin Stars Translate as Dollar Signs," by Tyler Cowen, The New York Times, July 13, 2006

We know that great dining can be had at many restaurants across the pricing spectrum here in NYC ... from inexpensive places such as Sanur ... to the more expensive such as Aquavit ... and with Summer 2006 Restaurant Week here, there are even more affordable places to explore ... Bon appétit!

Posted July 13, 2006 07:27 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Nobody will remember Materazzi - Hate cell phones? - Nostalgia

Materazzi who?

Most people don't even know who Marco Materazzi is ("one of the dirtiest players in the game" - see comments), and in a few years no one will remember him, while many WILL remember Zinedine Zidane, one of the world's great football players. However, Zidane should have waited until after the game to smack Marco....

Hate cell phones?

Hate cell phones? You should move to Vermont. As of June 2005, the most recent data available, the Green Mountain state had the fewest cell phones per capita in the country at just over 300 per 1,000 people.
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[A]s more and more people switch to cell phones, local governments are losing revenue from the franchise fees they have traditionally charged to landline subscribers.

"Cell Outs," by Josh Goodman, 13th Floor, July 10, 2006


Play Guitar Like the Cowboys Do

Play Guitar Like the Cowboys Do…Only 8-1/3 Cents a Lesson

from boingboing

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Posted July 10, 2006 04:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Whistling soccer fans ...

All the whistling by the German fans didn't seem to help their team beat Italy .... Italy 2, Germany 0 ... On to the finals!

You'd think they would have learned from the English fans ....

Posted July 4, 2006 09:36 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Humor   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)