Tips Archives

What's wrong with this picture?

What's wrong with this picture?

Caution: this is a professional actor. Do NOT attempt this at a business meal!

There are at least eight business meal etiquette mistakes in this picture.

Answers here.

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Posted February 1, 2008 06:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBack (0)

Parents - save a new driver's life!

In 2005, 5,288 teenagers died in the United States from crash injuries. Such injuries are by far the leading public health problem among people 13-19 years old. In 2004, the latest year for which data are available, 38 percent of all deaths among 16-19 year-olds from all causes were related to motor vehicles. The crash risk among teenage drivers is particularly high during the first months of licensure.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Many parents spend thousands of hours and dollars getting their children to and from sports practices and games including soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey, volleyball, music lessons, dance lesson, etc., but have no problem turning a newly licensed 16-year old loose with a 1 to 2 ton vehicle after a few hours of questionable classroom and behind the wheel instruction. Parents - hello, wake up!

If you want to reduce the odds that you will receive a call from a hospital or police officer about your newly licensed teen driver being in an auto crash, sign them up for the one-day Decisive Driving course from Car Guys.

Decisive Driving is a one day course offered in the VA, MD, DC area that will teach your new driver how to avoid car crashes, how to control a car during a skid, and how to improve the odds that they will not be one of the new drivers that has a crash.

We recently had a new driver take this course and we saw immediate improvements in driving skills after the course. The best $300 and 1-day we have invested in a long time. Highly recommended.

Picks up where conventional driving programs stop. It teaches skills that can take years to develop by accelerating the learning curve in a safe environment. In one day, we provide drivers with intensive training and hands-on experience that lays the foundation for a lifetime of good driving habits.

Decisive Driving, 301-984-8300


Posted September 25, 2007 10:47 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Russian restaurants in NY

RESTORAN.US claims to have a

catalog of the Russian restaurants and other restaurants of the former USSR cuisines in New York - Over 150 places with Google maps. It is a result of about two years of continuing research...

Check it out if you are interested in Russian food.

Posted August 20, 2007 08:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Movie Under The Stars

Movie Under The Stars ... Wednesday, July 25, 2007, 8.30 pm ... Pier 1 on 70th Street, Hudson River, Riverside Park

Post by Peter

Posted July 21, 2007 08:07 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

How to eat at all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets

there is a strategy for eating at all-you-can-eat buffet places ... start with a huge plate of fried crabs, very fresh crunchy string-beans, fried shrimp to-fu squares ... next a large bowl of spicy-coconut flavored-chicken curry with scallion pancakes and fried broad rice noodles ... next, the assorted dim-sum dishes ... finally, a plate of desserts ... of course, you can go for seconds and thirds if you have the desire ... 1 1/2 hour time limit ...

Posted December 23, 2006 08:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinese , Notes to a Friend , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Dim sum palace in Elmhurst - East Manor

My friend introduced me to a Chinese dim-sum palace in Elmhurst, Queens, this week ... on week-days, from 11.30 am to 3.30 pm., all you can eat for $7.99 ... a great value if you can eat, eat and eat ....

Plenty of variety, such as curry chicken, fried crabs, tonkatsu, soups, mussels, fried shrimp tofu, green vegetables, roast pork, etc., plus desserts ... the cooking is very good and they use very fresh ingredients ...

East Manor, web site, 79-17 Albion Avenue, Elmhurst, 718-803-3952 ... "for your convenience a 15% service charge and 8.875% sales tax are added to your bill." That means, you can eat for under $10.00 per adult with a 1.5 hour time limit, not bad at all ... [Locations Magazine | Chowhound]

Posted December 21, 2006 01:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinese , Dim Sum , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Central Park hot dogs no deal

I have noticed that the Central Park "hot-dog monopoly" is gouging the unsuspecting public ...

For example, the hot sausage (which is a large hot-dog, my favourite snack with mustard and red onions) sells for $3 and I can buy the same item for $1.50 at several hot-dog stands on the north-east corner of Madison Avenue and 81st Street (which is a block from the entrance to the MET Museum), the north-west corner of 71st Street and Madison Avenue, and 68th Street and Lexington Avenue ...

Post by Peter

Posted December 5, 2006 10:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (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)   ·  TrackBacks (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)   ·  TrackBacks (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 ... ...

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)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Jean-Étienne Liotard - at the Frick

Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789), Liotard Laughing, c. 1770, oil on canvas
Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789), Liotard Laughing, c. 1770, oil on canvas, 84 x 74 (33 1/16 x 29 1/8), Musée d’art et d’histoire, Département des Beaux-Arts
Whatever Liotard was paid for these pictures [of Austrian Empress Maria Theresa's 16 children], it was too little. He poured every ounce of his talent into them. Each seamlessly blends several mediums: black and red chalk, pencil, pastel and watercolor. Details are executed with a watchmaker's precision. To give the figures a naturalistic glow, Liotard colored the reverse side of each thin sheet of paper. Marie-Antoinette is bathed in a rosiness that you sense rather than actually see.

"Jean-Étienne Liotard, the Unrelenting Eye of the Enlightenment," by Holland Cotter, The New York Times, June 23, 2006

To his admirers, Liotard was the “painter of truth.” The artist was unsparing in his depiction of his sitters, including himself, avoiding the flattery and embellishment that characterized the art of his colleagues. He also avoided the painterly touches and visible brushstrokes favored by his contemporaries, railing in his Treatise on the Principles and Rules of Painting, published in 1781, that since one did not see such flourishes in nature, they had no place in art. Although the artist’s scrupulous realism put him at odds with the artistic establishment and did not please all of his sitters, it was the startling veracity of his likenesses that attracted the attention of noble and non-noble elites and secured his international reputation.

"Special Exhibition: Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789): Swiss Master," June 13 through September 17, 2006, at the Frick Collection

The Frick Museum is pay as you wish on Sundays, 11am to 1 pm. A great bargain, go early and enjoy...

The Frick Collection, web site, 1 East 70th Street, 212-288-0700

Posted June 24, 2006 10:47 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Art , Central Park , Museums , Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

Macbeth at Delacorte Theatre - FREE

Macbeth is playing at ... through July 9, 2006 ...

Strongly recommended ... I saw the play last Wednesday and Thursday, even thought they posted a "Sold Out" sign ... there are tickets available at the last minute because of many no-shows ... sitting in the open fresh air in Central Park is so magical ... the blowing wind amongst the trees, the movement of the clouds, the airliners, the stars ...

The Delacorte Theater is located near Turtle Pond, just south of the Great Lawn, in Central Park. The closest Park entrance from the East Side is Fifth Avenue at 79th Street; from the West Side, Central Park West at 81st Street. After entering, follow the footpath to the Delacorte Theater ...

all shows at 8:30 pm

  • Tuesday, June 20
  • Wednesday, June 21
  • Thursday, June 22
  • Friday, June 23
  • Saturday, June 24
  • Sunday, June 25
  • Tuesday, June 27
  • Wednesday, June 28
  • Thursday, June 29
  • Friday, June 30
  • Saturday, July 1
  • Sunday, July 2
  • Monday, July 3
  • Wednesday, July 5
  • Thursday, July 6
  • Friday, July 7
  • Saturday, July 8
  • Sunday, July 9
  • Pick up your free Shakespeare in the Park tickets on the day of the performance beginning at 1pm at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park (212-539-8750) or from 1 to 3pm at The Public Theater Box Office, 425 Lafayette Street [NYT | Central Park 2000]

    Posted June 19, 2006 08:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Free , Sights & Sounds , The Best , Theatre , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    APPLE store for music

    Friday night I went to the APPLE store on 58th Street and 5th Avenue and did not leave until 2:15 am on Saturday ...they have a live DJ playing and creating contemporary dance music with lots of energy ... the DJ Friday night was Louis Vega ... I sat behind him on a bar stool and watched his fine performance ... the APPLE store plans to host a live DJ show every week, 12 am to 2 am Friday night/Saturday mornings ...

    APPLE store, open 24 hours a day, every day ... 767 Fifth Avenue, 212-336-1440 [Yelp] ... see "Exclusive photos from the Apple Store Fifth Ave," by AppleInsider, May 18, 2006

    Post by Peter

    Posted June 18, 2006 10:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Central Park , Music , Sights & Sounds , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Unknown Wegee (Arthur Fellig)

    Come visit New York City and see this wonderful exhibition of photographs by Weegee (Arthur Fellig)...

    "Unknown Weegee," June 9 - August 27, 2006, at the International Center of Photography, 1133 Avenue of the Americas, at 43rd Street, 212-857-0000, $ admission fee

    "'Unknown Weegee,' on Photographer Who Made the Night Noir," by Holland Cotter, The New York Times, June 9, 2006


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

    Posted June 12, 2006 06:57 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Art , Museums and Art , Notes to a Friend , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    28th Annual Free Museum Mile - FREE

    Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 13, 2006, from 5:45 - 9:00 pm - the 28th Annual Museum Mile Festival ... FREE

    all the museums along Fifth Avenue will throw open their doors to the public for free, the Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic, there will be world music every few blocks, crayon drawing for children on the avenue, etc.

    I will head to the Cooper-Hewitt for their show of Hudson River School paintings and the National Academy for the American Art contemporary show.

    Participating Museums along Fifth Avenue

    Post by Peter


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

    Posted June 11, 2006 10:07 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Art , Central Park , Holidays & Festivals , Museums , Museums and Art , The Best , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    FREE First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum - Brasil Carnival

    First Saturday at the Brooklyn Museum, Brasil Carnival will be lots of fun for the whole family ...

    Target First Saturdays - FREE

    At the Brooklyn Museum's Target First Saturdays, thousands of visitors enjoy free programs of art and entertainment each month from 5–11 p.m. All evening long, the Museum Café serves a wide selection of sandwiches, salads, and beverages, and a cash bar offers wine and beer. Parking is a flat rate of $4 starting at 5 p.m.

    March 4, 2006
    (these are just some of the events on March 4 - see web site for more)

    6 p.m.–8 p.m.: World Music
    Hall of the Americas, 1st Floor
    Jeff Newell's New-Trad Octet of Brooklyn plays New Orleans Mardi Gras music with a twist.

    6:30 p.m.: Performance
    Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd Floor
    Drama of Works and 2 Punks Puppet Theatre combine overhead projection and traditional shadow puppetry to tell a Cajun fairytale in which the hero goes in search of that one special ingredient for a Mardi Gras gumbo. Free tickets available at the Visitor Center beginning at 5:30 p.m.

    8 p.m.: Free Dance Lessons
    Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor
    Get ready to move those dancing feet to the rhythms of samba music led by Stepping Out Dance Studio instructors.

    9 p.m.–11 p.m.: Dance Party
    Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd Floor
    Twice voted the best Brazilian band in the U.S. by the Brazilian International Press Association, Grupo Saveiro will perform high-energy Brazilian music—just like at Carnival in Rio!

    Brooklyn Museum, web site, 200 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, 718-638-5000

    previous post: "Brooklyn Museum of Art - free first Saturdays," February 14, 2006

    Posted March 1, 2006 03:17 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Brooklyn , Free , Museums , Museums and Art , Music , Tips   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    How not to get sick on an airplane

    According to an ABC News story, the way to avoid getting sick on an airplane is to wrap yourself in a sterilized bubble before boarding ... or don't fly.

    Actually, some of the advice is just as impractical: don't sit within 5 rows of anyone sneezing or 3 rows of anyone coughing.

    Other suggestions are a bit more under your control: Don't use the lavatory. Don't use the tray table. Use a hand sanitizer. Use a surgical mask. Turn the overhead air on.

    The longer you're on a packed airplane, the greater the chance you'll walk off sick.

    A lot of travelers blame stale recycled air. But scientists say that's not the problem. Most larger planes now have special systems that filter out germs and let some outside air in.

    "The problem is actually your [fellow] passengers that are seated in proximity to you," said Dr. Philip M. Tierno, Jr., director of clinical microbiology and diagnostic immunology at New York University Medical Center. "The closer the passengers are to you the worse it is for you if they have some sort of illness like a simple cold."

    "Fliers Must Dodge Hidden Germs: Where Are the Germ Hotspots? Hint: Avoid the Restroom," ABC News, January 14, 2006

    The longer you live, the greater your chance of getting sick...

    See "Products that promise to keep you healthy on planes," by Conor Dougherty, The Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2006

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    Posted January 15, 2006 10:37 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips , Travel   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    "Papering" and "Dressing the House"

    For theater-lovers, learning some industry jargon couldn't hurt. "Papering the house," for example, is a common producers' practice to fill unsold seats. It's done during previews -- to start buzz about a new play, and assure a full house when critics are in attendance -- or when a show is past its prime and ticket sales dip. "We used to invite staff from fellow theater offices, sort of as a professional courtesy," says one theatrical company manager. "Now, no one wants to admit they're papering, so we're turning to sources outside the theatrical community."

    Organizations such as Audience Extras (AE), Play by Play and's Gold Club collect lists of interested theatergoers. In exchange for an annual fee of $85 to $99, those individuals receive offers to Broadway, Off- and off Off-Broadway shows (sometimes on opening night) costing just $3 to $4.50 a ticket. Seeing a play for such a ridiculously small amount of money, however, is viewed as a privilege; in return, producers expect proper business attire, etiquette (no skipping out at intermission), and discretion (don't brag at the box office about the great deal you got, while others pick up their full-price tickets). You are, in a sense, working the show, providing the actors with a full and attentive audience, often as they try to iron out kinks in a new production.

    "Now That’s (Cheap) Entertainment," by Joseph V. Amodio, Newsday, January 15, 2004

    Audience Extras distributes complimentary tickets to it's subscribers when a show is in previews, under publicized, expecting a reviewer or celebrity to attend, or would like the benefit of a full house.

    As an Audience Extras subscriber you get to choose from over 1000 different events a year! You can attend as many shows as you like for only $3.00 reservation service charge per ticket! A portion of the service charge goes directly to The Memorial Foundation for the Arts to aid non-profit theaters.
    . . .
    Audience Extras (AE) is a "papering" system (i.e. provide additional audience to shows when needed) that was established by Mr. Peter Copani and his son John-Vincent to benefit the Performing Arts in three innovative ways. First, by screening for responsible, dependable and discreet people to put in an empty seat when a producer needs extra audience. Second, by distributing "paper" complimentary tickets in a way that could develop future audiences, that is, on a "free sample" introductory basis. The third benefit is to use the AE "papering" program as an ongoing funding source for non-profit theatre. The cost of the AE communication system is covered by the ticket recipients making it free for theatre companies and producers who use the service to "paper" or "Dress The House".

    Audience Extras, 212-686-1966

    Theater Extras is a “seat-filling audience development organization” only. We do not sell tickets. Theater Extras arranges COMPLIMENTARY tickets for its members when a performance or event is in previews, under publicized, expecting the attendance of reviewers or celebrities, or would like the benefits of a full house. Performances range from previews to opening nights to performances throughout a show’s run.

    Theater Extras, 212-802-7277 or 914-304-4093

    Play by Play, a unique organization called upon by theatre producers to fill unsold seats to their Broadway and Off Broadway shows.

    Performances range from previews and opening nights to performances throughout a show's run. Corporate attire is required for Broadway shows.

    Play by Play, 212-868-7052

    TheaterMania [Gold Club] works directly with producers, theaters, and venues to make tickets available for our members who discreetly fill the house and help build buzz and word of mouth for shows.

    Members log into the Gold Club, select shows and events from our exciting and diverse list of offerings, print a voucher, and present it to the box office. It's that simple! The membership pays for itself with one or two shows!

    TheaterMania Gold Club, 212-352-0255

    Posted December 9, 2005 09:02 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Theatre , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (2)

    5 Star Anise and Tamiflu

    The five-star anise is the heart of the flu drug Tamiflu ... try Cantonese soy-sauce chicken with anise and ginger ... yummy ...

    The Chinese spice, star anise, provides the starting material for the manufacture of the anti-influenza drug Tamiflu, which is expected to be the first line of defense in a pandemic.
    Even if companies can make the drug, they might not have enough shikimic acid. That ingredient is extracted from the fruit of star anise trees, which grow in Southern China. Most of the star anise is now used for Roche's production, but it is also an Asian cooking spice and is used in herbal medicines and in the production of the liqueur pastis.

    Since demand for Tamiflu started growing recently, the price of shikimic acid from China has soared to more than $400 a kilogram, from $40.

    "Is Bird Flu Drug Really So Vexing? Debating the Difficulty of Tamiflu," by Andrew Pollack, The New York Times, November 5, 2005

    Other points from the article:

    the Chinese have been cooking chicken with five-star anise for centuries ... also, Dr. Andrew Weil has strongly recommended ginger for anti-inflammatory problems ... Chinese food is preventive medicine! ...

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    Posted November 6, 2005 10:35 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Spaces for Writers in NYC

    We're aware of 4 membership-based spaces for writers in NYC ... let us know if there are others ... aguyinnewyork [AT] ...

    Brooklyn Writers Space ... "Membership rates are paid quarterly: $250 per quarter for full time membership (24/7 access to the space); $150 per quarter for part time membership (weekday evenings after 6:00pm and anytime on the weekends); There is a one time $50 initiation fee and a $20 refundable key deposit." ... 58 Garfield Place, between 4th and 5th Avenues, 718-788-2697

    Paragraph ... memberships vary for full- and part-time ... Full-time: $132/month, $672/6 months, $75 initiaion fee ... Part-time: $100/month, $4802/6 months, $75 initiaion fee ... includes wireless Internet ... 35 West 14th Street, 3rd Floor, between 5th and 6th Avenues, 646-216-8407

    The Writers Room ... "Memberships vary from $350.00 to $550.00 per half year (payment is due on January 1st and July 1st). There is a one-time initiation fee of $75.00" ... 740 Broadway, 12th Floor, around the corner from Astor Place, 212-254-6995

    Village Quill ... 3 levels of membership ... Evening and Weekends - $109/month, $600/6 months, $1100/year ... Basic - $129/month, $700/6 months, $1300/year ... Full - $149/month, $800/6 months, $1500/year ... for monthly, "a 3-month committment is required. There will also be a one-time $50 administrative fee at sign up." ... 106 Franklin Street, between Church Street and West Broadway, 2nd Floor, 212-226-0442


    Posted November 5, 2005 10:20 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Dual Lock Fastener Tape

    To me, as a commuter, one of the most impressive parts of the EZ Pass toll-paying system is the hardcore industrial "velcro" tape they give you to attach your transponder to your windshield. . . . I use mine to attach my iPod to my dashboard, and tools to the wall in my workshop. S.S. Flanders

    "Dual Lock Fastener Tape: Heavy duty velcro," Cool Tools, November 4, 2005

    Posted November 4, 2005 09:39 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    How to keep your apartment heat just right this winter

    deadprogrammer's cafe has a good article on steam and water heat ... and a tip on how to adjust the temperature ... "Deadprogrammer Visits The Radiator Planet" ... using a "regulated thermostatic valve" with pics ... and help from Gary the cat ...

    The kit usually consists of three parts: a temperature control device, an adaptor and a Hoffman-type valve. This will run you about $100 altogether. I have one on two radiators, and let me tell you, these are worth every penny.
    Posted October 21, 2005 08:12 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Free concert tonight, September 30, 2005 at 8 pm

    Manhattan School of Music, 8:00 pm ... FREE ... no tickets required ... Brahms, Symphony #2 in D major, Op. 73 ... Hindemith, Symphonic Metamorphosis ... Ravel, Shéhérazade ... George Manahan, conductor ... Rachel Calloway, mezzo-soprano ... we're going to the NY blogger party after the concert ...

    John C. Borden Auditorium, 120 Claremont Avenue, at 122nd Street (directions), 917-493-4428

    Subway MTA map | Straphangers interactive map | schedules | HopStop

    Posted September 30, 2005 12:29 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Free , Music , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Inflation calculator

    Here's a handy inflation calculator ... from Steven Morgan Friedman ... who also started Overheard in New York ...

    Posted September 7, 2005 03:02 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Web site worth knowing about - Eating Chinese

    Eating Chinese "is a labor of love, and being the creation of a man with a slow hand, it will not come to the table with the alacrity of a dry-fry, which is to say it is permanently under construction."

    Gary Soup, the webmaster, has an impressive collection of links, but the heart of the site is the discussion forums.

    As a lover of chicken feet, we were pleased to discover an entire thread discussing them. And if you want advice for a good Chinese restaurant anywhere, try posting in the Restaurant Tip Sheet.

    Mr. Soup, all you need is a blog!

    Posted September 7, 2005 12:30 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Book and Web Site Reviews , Chinese , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Upcoming events from the Culinary Historians of New York

    Culinary Historians of New York (C.H.N.Y.) has several upcoming events, including an interesting panel discussion on November 17.

    Membership is only $40 annually.

    Posted September 7, 2005 12:11 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Counterfeit handbags ... watches ... "the real McCoy"

    Handbags, books, baby formula, shampoo, auto and aircraft parts, pharamceuticals, electrical cords, audio CDs ... the list of counterfeit goods goes on and on ...

    Knockoff designer goods and other fake products not only cost the city millions of dollars, but may also fund terrorism. Helping to bust these counterfeit rings is an army of "secret shoppers."

    "Spies Like Us," by Jane Borden, Photographs by Timothy Fadek, Time Out NY, August 12-19, 2004

    In 1872, inventor Elijah McCoy patented a lubricating system designed to prevent overheating and seizing on steam engines. His lubricators worked extremely well, saving the shipping lines and railroads lots of money. The success and popularity of McCoy's device soon brought many copies, which cost far less but didn't work nearly as well. These fakes created costly problems for purchasers, who believed they were saving money. Those who wanted to use a genuine product to ensure quality and dependability asked for McCoy's product by name. Thus was born the phrase "the real McCoy."

    "Counterfeit Parts: A Poor Fit for Your Shop," by Tom Nash, MOTOR, January 2004

    More Information

    Posted August 25, 2005 06:02 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Coney Island - Classic Wooden Coaster & Circus Sideshow

    Coney Island ... the birthplace of the hot dog ... has many attractions ... classic wooden coaster ... great minor league baseball ... the last 10-in-1 circus sideshow in America ... aquarium ... 150-foot tall Ferris wheel ...

    The Cyclone at Astroland
    The Cyclone, at Astroland - THE classic wooden coaster ...

    Review in New York photos

    New York Aquarium at Coney Island

    10-in-1 circus sideshow
    Sideshows by the Seashore ... "the last place in the USA where you can experience the thrill of a traditional ten-in-one circus sideshow. They're here, they're real and they're alive!"

    The Brooklyn Cyclones, a Mets affiliate, play in KeySpan Park ... fireworks at Friday night games ...

    Ferris Wheel
    The Wonder Wheel at Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park ... has both swinging and stationary cars

    Coney Island Tourist FAQ

    1000 Surf Ave. (Corner of West 10th St), Brooklyn, NY

    Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop: D, Q, F train to Stillwell Avenue (last stop)

    Posted August 9, 2005 09:00 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Amusement Parks , Brooklyn , Sights & Sounds , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    See Manhattan by Water - $20 for 2 days!

    Want to see Manhattan and Brooklyn by water? ... Want an easy way to avoid the subway and traffic while doing so? Then take the water taxi!

    New York Water Taxi offers a 2-day unlimited pass that is only $20 ... see New York from the East and Hudson Rivers ...

    They have an excellent web site ... interactive map with links to nearby tourist sites, restaurants, NextBus ... and suggested walking tours ... printable schedule (pdf)

    Unlimited hop-on hop-off stops

    NYWT offers other tours, but we recommend the $20 2-day pass or the two-hour $20 Sunset Cocktail Cruise.

    Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop

    AGINY Good Value

    Posted August 9, 2005 07:45 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Brooklyn , Greenwich Village , Moving Around , Taxi , Tips , Tours , Water

    Forced to Sing Show Tunes - Freedom of Speech on the Subway

    The next time you're riding the subway and you become part of someone's captive audience, think about this story ... "Freedom to Preach" from Englishman in New York.

    Perhaps hearts sank when the doors closed at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, and the evangelist, a slight, black woman dressed in a black frock, which sprouted white frills, began exalting the Lord. Or perhaps spirits were raised ("thank God, for it is still too early to appreciate another guitar-playing Latino"). Either way, the preacher failed in her duty of reaching out to the one in the carriage she may have thought needed saving the most when she addressed the subject of "gay evils."

    An Asian woman, slightly rectangular in build, rose a full 5ft 1ins from her seat and beseeched the bible reader to cease her proclamations: "Why do people like you always have to do this? Can’t you just let these people travel in peace?"

    But the people did not want to travel in peace and the riders rose in unison and turned on the short-haired devil: "Let her speak! Let her speak! Freedom of speech," came the cry from a sizeable and wholly black section of the carriage, all of above average age and of a mainly female persuasion. "Let her testify."

    But the Lord worketh in mysterious ways. And the woman refuseth to back down, warning: "If you do not be quiet, I shall be forced to sing show tunes."

    To find out which show tunes are useful in these situations ... you will have to read the whole thing ... and then read the showtune singer's account here ... it's good she didn't have her ukulele with her ...

    Posted August 7, 2005 03:15 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Comedy , Music , Subway , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (1)

    Christie's summer House Sale

    Christies is having The House Sale August 9-10, 2005 ... no reserve (means that there is no minimum bid price, i.e., you can find bargains if there are no other bidders) ... located at 49th Street and Rockefeller Centre (btwn 5th Ave. and Avenue of the Americas/6th Ave.) ... no charge for looking and browsing ... a very wonderful way to spend some time browsing in a very civilised enviroment ...

    Wu Liang Ye is around the corner on 48th Street for lunch or dinner (36 West 48th) ... Le Maison du Chocolat is across the street (30 Rockefeller Center) ...

    Wu Liang Ye

    Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop: B, D, F, V train to Rockefeller Center, 6 train to 51st and Lexington, 1 or 9 train to 50th and Broadway

    Posted August 2, 2005 10:12 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Appraisals , Auctions , Auctions and Appraisals , Mid-Town , Sights & Sounds , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Great Idea for Cell Phone Users

    Add a couple of new entries to your cell phone ... ICE (In Case of Emergency) numbers can help first responders reach your loved ones if you are unable to communicate ... create entries in your cell's phone book and label them starting with "ICE" ...

    Read More »

    Posted July 31, 2005 12:35 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Tips

    2nd Annual Singapore Chili Crab Festival

    The 2nd Annual Singapore Chili Crab Festival, Sunday, August 7th, 2005, 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 ...

    enjoy Singapore chili crabs and other specialities prepared by The Global Culinary Society of the Culinary Institute of America ... free admission (you pay for food and beverages) ...

    limited free transportation from South Street Seaport by NY Water Taxi ... or take a leisurely stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge ... the walkway feeds into Washington Street, then walk north toward the East River on Washington Street to the Festival ... or

    From Tiger Beer

    In addition to chili crabs, other Southeast Asian flavors including Beef Rendang, deep fried Beef Wontons, and Singapore Satay (bite-sized skewered meat) will be available. Entertainment will include live band performances, souvenir vendors, children's street entertainment and petting zoo, caricaturists, face painters, massage therapy, traditional lion dancers, East-West horoscope readings by Madame Tiger and kickboxers from Gleason’s Gym.

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

    Posted July 30, 2005 03:37 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Brooklyn , Ethnic , Holidays & Festivals , Restaurants , Seafood , Tips   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Best block in Chinatown to buy fresh green vegetables

    The best block in Chinatown to buy fresh green vegetables is on Mott Street between Hester and Grand Streets ... the vegetable seller will call out his produce in sing-song Cantonese ... for good value, buy after 7pm when the produce will go on sale for $1 per package ...

    Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop

    AGINY Good Value

    Posted July 26, 2005 07:01 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Chinatown , Cooking & Food Prep , The Best , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (1)

    “…one of the most sensual, graceful open spaces in New York City.”

    is how Gianni Longo described Bryant Park in "A Guide to Great American Public Places."

    Bryant Park

    Next to the New York Public Library in mid-town, Bryant Park is located between 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues ... a gem of a park ... moveable chairs provided ... ride a carousel for $1.75 ... free wifi ... free movies during the summer ... fantastic people watching ... very relaxing ... you can play pétanque here ... beautiful flowers and trees ... what are you waiting for?

    Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop

    Posted July 25, 2005 06:15 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Mid-Town , Parks , The Best , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Great produce in Chinatown - fun to browse and haggle

    I agree with Julie Powell ... the Union Square Farmers' Market is too expensive and elitist for my taste ... a great place for browsing ... and where I buy my produce is Chinatown ...

    I confess that half an hour browsing in that utopia of produce [Manhattan's Union Square Farmers' Market] - or the new Whole Foods Market at the square's south end - often leaves me longing for the antiseptic but nonjudgmental aisles of low-end supermarkets like Key Food or Western Beef.

    Don't get me wrong: I love a big, ugly tomato as much as the next girl. I buy my fair share of pencil-thin asparagus and micro-greens, and I'm sure if ever I were to stand in an orchard and taste a peach picked during one of its two days of succulent perfection, I would find it one of life's greatest joys.
    Shopping is the province of the privileged; fine cooking is not. Indeed, great cuisine arose from privation. The techniques of smoking, drying, salting and roasting were all developed to preserve foods past the "perfect peach" stage, past the day the vegetable was harvested or the animal butchered, to save for a time of less bounty. Preserved foodstuffs led directly the development of culinary traditions, as people who wanted nothing more than to feed themselves well and with pleasure taught themselves how best to combine ingredients artfully, to create something more than the sum of its parts.

    "Don't Get Fresh With Me!", by Julie Powell, Op--Ed in NYT, July 22, 2005

    Posted July 23, 2005 11:06 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  Chinatown , Cooking & Food Prep , Shopping , Street Vendors , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    A Friday evening Fine Arts education

    Keep Friday evenings free because it is pay as you wish ...

    (1) Start at the Guggenheim Museum, 6 pm. - 8 pm., 1071 5th Avenue (88th Street), take the elevator to the top floor and walk down the circular staircase ... so much fun ... to see the art-works ... people watching ... time required about 45 minutes ...

    (2) Afterwards, walk out of the museum and head south and east to Sant Ambroeus, 1000 Madison Avenue (78th Street), treat your-self to two scoops of delicious ice-cream or fruit ice for $3 ...

    (3) Then walk south to The Whitney Museum, 6 pm. - 9 pm., 945 Madison Avenue (75th Street) ... keep the Whitney for last because of the 9 pm closing time ... watch all the Lower East Side young and very hip folks trekking up-town for the 5 floors of American art ...

    (4) Finally, walk to Via Quadronno, 25 East 73rd Street, for two more scoops of ice cream for $3, too!

    In one evening, you get a very cool Fine Arts education with some exercise and lots of ice-cream ... I'm in heaven on earth ...

    Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop

    AGINY Good Value

    Posted July 22, 2005 10:00 AM  ·  Permalink   ·  AGINY Good Value , Art , Dessert , Museums , Museums and Art , Sights & Sounds , Tips , Upper East Side   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    New York City Dept. of Parks - web site

    The New York City Dept. of Parks and Recreation has a web site that is very useful for finding out about many free events that take place throughout NYC.

    You can start on the Things to Do page, but our favorite is the upcoming Concerts, Performances, and Films page.

    Want to learn how to play petanque? ("A close relative of bocce and a distant cousin of horseshoes.")

    How about a two-hour boat ride along the Hudson featuring an on-board lecture by Joyce Gold about the history of the waterfront neighborhoods .. with dinner .. for $20?

    Or maybe you'd prefer to "sample regional cuisine from neighborhood restaurants, picnic on the grass as the sun sets over the city, enjoy performances by local musicians and dancers and, as the sky darkens, see exceptional international films on a large format screen - all set against the spectacular backdrop of the Manhattan skyline."?

    These are only 3 among hundreds and hundreds of events listed.
    AGINY Recommended.

    Posted July 21, 2005 09:19 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Bronx , Brooklyn , Getting Around NY , Parks , Queens , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)

    Getting to and from La Guardia airport

    Very easy to get from La Guardia airport (LGA) to anywhere in NYC ... The Port Authority has a very convenient page on their web site ... also see the handy page at CitiDex that includes driving directions and parking info, and all the ground transportation options such as city bus, taxi, train, and shuttle ...

    To get to mid-town Manhattan (1) take the M60 bus, which stops at all terminals (get a $2 MetroCard and get a free transfer to the subway) ... (2) take a shuttle (between $8 and $22)... (3) if you have plenty of money to spend ($35 - $45, including tolls), hop into a taxi ...

    With the M60 bus, you can travel to and from La Guardia from the West Side (stops in front of Columbia University at the last stop). The M60 runs between 106th St and Broadway in Manhattan and La Guardia Airport from approximately 5 am to 1 am, seven days a week - schedule here in pdf. The M60 serves all airport terminals. Connections can be made with all north-south Manhattan subway lines ... This is a grand-view ride across the Triborough Bridge to 125th Street and Lexington Avenue (i.e., Harlem) and free-transfer to the IRT #4 or #5 subway downtown to Grand Central ... about half hour for the trip ...

    The MetroCard has many great features ... such as: a free transfer between a bus and subway or vice versa within a 2 hour period ... ride costs 20% less when you buy a Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard worth $10, $20 or more ... $7 for the one day fun pass, $21 for seven days and $70 for 30 days ...

    Subway interactive map | schedules | HopStop

    AGINY good value

    Posted July 21, 2005 04:58 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Bus , Getting Around NY , Getting Into NY , Harlem , La Guardia , Tips   ·  Comments (1)   ·  TrackBacks (1)

    Excellent shopping web site - Recommended

    LittleViews on Shopping is an excellent web site with shopping tips and secrets that even experienced New Yorkers will find worthwhile. And many of her quick tips warm our frugal heart.

    Do you know where you can get fancy umbrellas? Wholesale jewlery? Where to locate lists of sales in the City? You will after you visit this "little" gem, hosted by Karen Little.


    Posted July 20, 2005 05:36 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Getting Around NY , Shopping , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0) - web site - Highly Recommended is a website devoted to the subway sytem in New York City. It is run by David Pirmann, who started the site in 1995. The site does not contain operating information about the subway, but it is filled with information about the development and history of the NYC subway.

    My favorite sections are Subway Art, Abandoned Stations (the old City Hall station is beautiful!), Subway Signals, A Day in the Life..., and Upcoming Events.

    If you are interested in the history of the NYC subway system or how it works, or you want to see photographs of stations, trains, or subway yards, you must see this site, which is truly a labor of love. Thank you Mr. Pirmann.

    If you like, leave a tip for the webmaster. is Highly Recommended

    . . . . . .

    Posted July 19, 2005 07:40 PM  ·  Permalink   ·  Getting Around NY , NYC blogs , Subway , Tips   ·  Comments (0)   ·  TrackBacks (0)