August 2006 Archives

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A $3 product "that will change the world"

Sitting humbly on shelves in stores everywhere is a product, priced at less than $3, that will change the world. Soon. It is a fairly ordinary item that nonetheless cuts to the heart of a half-dozen of the most profound, most urgent problems we face. Energy consumption. Rising gasoline costs and electric bills. Greenhouse-gas emissions. Dependence on coal and foreign oil. Global warming.

The product is the compact fluorescent lightbulb, a quirky-looking twist of frosted glass. In the energy business, it is called a "CFL," or an "energy saver." One scientist calls it an "ice-cream-cone spiral," because in its most-advanced, most-appealing version, it looks like nothing so much as a cone of swirled soft-serve ice cream.

"How Many Lightbulbs Does it Take to Change the World? One. And You're Looking At It." By Charles Fishman, FastCompany, September 2006

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Posted August 31, 2006 11:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Caught Our Eye   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Don't honk at granny ...

Careful who you honk at ...

Posted August 27, 2006 09:57 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Humor   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Governors Island

Last Saturday, I made my first visit to Governors Island ... what a great place ... two more Fridays & Saturdays left to visit ...

This Saturday, August 26, 2006, a Revolutionary War re-enactment ...

Take the # 6 subway to Chatham for dim-sum, walk to Madison Street for the M-15 bus to the free Governors Island Ferry at the Battery Maritime Building, slip 7... pdf map here (approximately 3 South Street)

Earlier this month, the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation presented a list of 10 plans it was considering in its quest to secure the future of this 172-acre island. The group planned to announce the finalists by mid-September and the winner by the end of the year. But the date for selecting the finalists has been postponed.

In the meantime, here’s a radical idea. How about doing nothing with Governors Island?

Seriously. Such a decision would instantaneously transform the place into a monument of conceptual art. Talk about a found object.

But there are substantive aesthetic reasons for letting it be as well. To appreciate them you have to visit the island. And time is about to run out. As of Sept. 2, the old Coast Guard ferries from Slip 7 in Lower Manhattan, just to the north and west of the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, will stop running. Slip 7 is not easy to find because there’s very little in the way of signage, and that’s a promise of what the island itself has to offer.

Not much, and it’s such a relief.

"Let it Be," by Thomas de Zengotita, Op-Ed, The New York Times, August 20, 2006


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Posted August 23, 2006 12:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Governors Island , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Duke Jordan RIP

Great Bebop jazz great, Duke Jordan, died last week ... RIP ...

Duke Jordan, the superb bebop piano player best-known as the pianist for Charlie Parker's classic 1947 quintet with Miles Davis and Max Roach, and as the writer and namesake of the jazz standard "Jor-Du," died on August 8 at his home in Copenhagen. He was 84.

Jordan was one of the last two surviving members, along with Max Roach, of the quintet known variously as the Charlie Parker Quintet, Charlie Parker's All-Stars, and the Charlie Parker Original 5. Although the band was only together for a year (1947-48), it is widely regarded as among the greatest in the history of jazz and American music in general.

"RIP Duke Jordan, 1922-2006," by Michael J. West,, August 12, 2006

Also see "Duke Jordan, 84, Jazz Pianist Who Helped to Build Bebop, Dies," by Tim Weiner, The New York Times, August 12, 2006

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Posted August 16, 2006 06:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Music   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Alexander Calder's wire puppet circus

boingboing has links to "Carlos Vilardebo's 1961 documentary of mobile-maker Alexander Calder's intricate, ingenious wire puppet circus. The flying trapeezes actually fly, the lion poops, and the belly dancer gyrates lasciviously in the mind-blowing film that shows that, had Calder not become famous as an artist, he might have been equally famous as a puppeteer. In four parts." On YouTube: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4


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Posted August 13, 2006 01:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Humor , Museums and Art   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Figaro Pizza for rice and beans

Saki Knafo has a short piece in the NYT about Figaro Pizza on 2nd Avenue at 77th Street ... my kind of place for a $5 lunch, inexpensive, no tipping, delicious ethnic food ... walking distance from my apartment, too! Care to join me for lunch?

[I]ts workers serve lots of pizza in the front of the tiny shop. But follow a Spanish-speaking customer to the back and you’ll find Hispanic servers dishing out heaps of rice, beans, plantains and pollo guisado (chicken stew).

“It’s very hard to find Spanish food around here,” said Wilson Casue, a 29-year-old construction worker from Ecuador. He sat before the last specks of a hearty meal of fried fish and rice and beans, which, at $5, had cost just a nickel more than the dainty goat-cheese-and-cucumber sandwich at a gourmet deli in the neighborhood.

"The Pizza Joint Con Carne (and Salsa)," by Saki Knafo, The New York Times, August 6, 2006

Figaro Pizza, 1469 2nd Avenue, between 76th and 77th Streets, 212-472-2220 [Menupages]

Post by Peter

Posted August 8, 2006 06:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Dominican , Upper East Side   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

eBay buyers beware

There is a new scam on eBay. Analagous to phishing scams, except these are on eBay itself.

We have seen 2 listings that when clicked, took us off eBay and to an eBay sign in page that looked identical to the eBay sign in. Except the sign in page was hosted on a non-eBay site.

So beware: before signing in to your eBay account after clicking on a listing on eBay itself, check the URL in your browser address line to make sure it is Plus, a genuine eBay listing does NOT require that you sign in again to view the listing.

eBay does offer the eBay Toolbar, which has eBay's Account Guard built in.

Bottom line: be careful when looking at listings on eBay and be sure you only sign in to eBay on the eBay web site.

Posted August 7, 2006 12:57 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Technology   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Sweet Spring Restaurant

Recently discovered the Sweet Spring Restaurant ... very Chinese, fresh-off-the-boat cuisine ... pure Fuzhou, not yet diluted by the New World ... very inexpensive, and NO tipping ... several varities of steamed dumplings are 5 for $1 ... 25A Catherine Street, 7:30 am - 10 pm, 212-766-1777 ... [Yelp | Judy's Book]

AGINY Recommended

Post by Peter

Posted August 7, 2006 09:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Chinatown , Chinese   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Sonny Rollins - FREE August 27, 2006

Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2006 free concerts ... Celebrating the Spirit of the Blues ... Sunday, August 27, 2006, 8 pm ... Sonny Rollins: The Jazz Master ... ... Damrosch Park Bandshell, 62nd and Amsterdam ... [Sonny Rollins: web site | discography]

Lincoln Center Out of Doors 2006, August 4 - 27, 2006

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Posted August 6, 2006 09:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Music   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting - in DC

The National Gallery of Art in Washingtan, DC, has a not-to-be missed exhibition underway ... and the Chinatown bus only runs about $35 round-trip ...

Titian, Pastoral Concert (Concert Champêtre), c. 1510, oil on canvas
Titian, Pastoral Concert ("Concert Champêtre"), c. 1510, oil on canvas
This show was 13 years in the making. Visually seductive and rich with exciting ideas, it is one that visitors will long savor.

"Show reveals relationships," by Sheila Wickouski, The (Fredericksburg) Free-Lance Star, July 27, 2006

A major new international exhibition, Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting, will present more than 50 masterpieces from the most exciting period of the Renaissance in Venice. Premiering June 18 through September 17 at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, the exhibition explores the relationships between these and other artists, emphasizes their innovative treatments of new pictorial themes such as the pastoral landscape, and reveals what modern conservation science has discovered about the Venetian painters’ techniques.
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The time span covered by the exhibition represents, visually and intellectually, the most exciting phase of the Renaissance in Venice, when the old Giovanni Bellini (d. 1516), Giorgione (d. 1510), and the young Titian, among others, were all working side by side. The exhibition will present approximately 60 paintings that best exemplify the new ideas and ideals: music, the pastoral landscape, the female nude, and the romantic portrait. It will include Bellini and Titian's Feast of the Gods (1514 and 1529), Giorgione's Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1500), Laura (1506), and Three Philosophers (c. 1506).

Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and the Renaissance of Venetian Painting, an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, June 18 - September 17, 2006, West Building, Main Floor. Mondays through Saturdays, 10 am - 5 pm, Sundays 11 am - 6 pm.

The National Gallery of Art is located on the National Mall between Third and Seventh Streets at Constitution Avenue, NW. The West Building is at 6th Street NW at Constitution Avenue NW , Washington, DC. The nearest Metro stops are Judiciary Square on the Red Line, Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Square on the Yellow and Green Lines, and Smithsonian on the Blue and Orange Lines.

Also see

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Posted August 5, 2006 11:17 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Art , Museums , Museums and Art , Washington, DC   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Hampton Luxury Liner

Friday morning I rode the Hampton Luxury Liner to the Peconic Bay and enjoyed my very first swim, 2006 ... this bus service is very good and the price is very competive ... very spacious black leather lounge seat, cool air-con, personal music head-phones, free spring water and snacks, NYTimes, etc. ... very comfortable and a pleasure to ride the hi-tech Daimler-Benz bus ... new passengers can get a round-trip ticket for $31 ...

Posted August 2, 2006 12:08 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Long Island , Moving Around , Travel   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)