Things I Love About NY

Tourist For A Day: New York City Edition – Guggenheim Museum

Posted on January 15, 2010. Filed under: Things I Love About NY, Tourist For a Day | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Being “between opportunities” has its benefits (and no, I’m not just talking unemployment). This is particularly true in a city like New York, where you never have time to do the things you want because you’re working too hard (or you can’t afford it, but that’s another issue entirely).

So now that I am a free agent on the job market, I thought I’d take advantage of the opportunity to do some things and see some sights that I haven’t done in my 16 years here. Or that would require me to go on a Saturday or Sunday, when the rest of the world has “free” time. BTW, have you ever wondered why it’s called “free” time? It always costs me a lot of money.

Introducing Tourist For a Day: New York City Edition

Welcome to the first installment of a new series I’m calling “Tourist For a Day.” Each week, I’ll do something “touristy” that’s been on my list, take pictures, and write about it. There will be a number of museum visits and I hope to finally walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (weather permitting).

I will not, however, go to Times Square as part of this series. I worked in that area for many years and frankly, I don’t need to spend any more time there. Ever.  Also, I won’t walk four across on the sidewalk, stop in the middle of the street for a photo or look slack-jawed at anything for no good reason.  I can only take the “tourist” thing so far. I am a New Yorker.

I’m also open to suggestions, so please feel free to send me a note or leave a comment if there’s something that you think I should check out.

Kandinsky Retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum

First up? The Guggenheim Museum for the last day of the Wassily Kandinsky Retrospective, a 95 piece collection put together to honor the museum’s 50th anniversary. (For the record, going to a museum is not in and of itself a “touristy” endeavor; going at 1 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon is). Kandinsky played a large role in the creation of the Guggenheim Museum, as his works were some of the first to be acquired by Solomon Guggenheim, the museum’s founder. So of course it was only fitting that this museum host the huge retrospective in its trademark spiral setting.

Just a few people at the Kandinsky Retrospective

My aunt and uncle saw the exhibit when they were in New York and said it was one of the best exhibits they’d ever seen. And since it was closing on Wednesday, January 13, I had no time to spare. Off I went. I expected it to be crowded, since it was the last day of the exhibit and because the city is just crawling with tourists in December and January. Wednesday was no exception.

As you can see, a few other people had the same idea I did and wanted to see this fantastic retrospective before it closed.

I don’t want to turn this post into a history of Kandinsky, so I urge you to read the description of the exhibit from the Guggenheim or even his Wikipedia page.

Who is Kandinsky?

Wassily Kandinsky was born in Russia but lived in Russia, Germany and France, and witnessed two world wars (he died just after World War II ended). He was a fascinating man whose style and approach evolved over time. Incredibly, he didn’t even start painting until he was 30, giving up his study of law and economics. Kandinsky was interested in the deconstruction of art and so his paintings, not surprisingly, are abstract and a bit hard to understand. But that’s ok, because they are very cool to look at. His use of colors and geometry is striking and to see all the works together in one place was really quite impressive.

Kandinsky's Yellow, Red, Blue (photo from http://simplyartonline.net)

As someone who was looking to reinterpret art and push the boundaries, it is no surprise that Kandinsky founded the “Blue Rider” and also played a large role in the creation of the Bauhaus movement, along with founder Walter Gropius. I learned a lot at the exhibit thanks to the complimentary audio tour (well, it was included in the price of the $18 ticket, so I’ll consider it “complimentary”).

Schönberg and Kandinsky

The exhibition’s curator also used a lot of the music of Arnold Schönberg in the exhibit.  Schönberg and Kandinsky shared the same basic philosophy towards their respective arts: break it down and recreate it in a way that’s never been done before. In fact, Kandinsky was so moved by Schönberg’s work and his approach to musical deconstruction that when he first heard one of Schönberg’s pieces, he wrote him a letter telling him how much he admired his work.  The men had never met, but that letter forged a relationship between the two. Totally fascinating.

A Trip to the Museum Isn’t Complete Without Idiots

Apparently two idiot women didn’t learn anything (or at least didn’t know anything), based on what I overheard: “What is the Bauhaus? I’d never heard of it.” Um, excuse me, ladies, you are AT THE KANDINSKY EXHIBIT AT THE GUGGENHEIM. HOW HAVE YOU NEVER HEARD OF BAUHAUS? Thank you for letting me get that off my chest. I have no patience for idiots. And in defense of tourists, I don’t know if these ladies were from out of town. Don’t tell anyone, but there are actual real-life idiots right here in NYC.

Museum Mile

After two hours at the Guggenheim (the line was out the door to buy tickets when I left, though the museum was closing in under 2 hours), I walked down the famous Museum Mile to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Don’t worry – I had no intention of actually going to the Met on Wednesday, but I wanted to walk in a tourist’s shoes.

You can see the photos from my seven block walk in the Tourist For a Day photo set on Flickr (which I’ll be updating regularly). I did the walk at around 4 pm ET, and the light was very cool as dusk approached. I love the shots of the sky and the light and shadow with the buildings. But I digress.

My favorite discovery was on the corner of 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue, directly across the street from the Met. As I turned the corner, I saw this:

Reason #892 why I love NYC

Yes, that is what you think it is: a drawing on the sidewalk with instructions where to stand in order to take a cliche photo of the Met. I nearly danced a jig in delight. I would never have seen this if not for my walk down Fifth Avenue for Tourist For a Day. In order to see the picture I took from that exact spot, you’ll have to check out my photos on Flickr.

See you next time after my next adventure in NYC. What else will I see that I’ve missed during my 16 years in the big city?

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Bob Sheppard’s 1st Lineup Card at Yankee Stadium – April 17, 1951

Posted on November 27, 2009. Filed under: Baseball, Sports, Things I Love About NY, Yankees | Tags: , |

 

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This is fantastic. And so true. Wow.

Posted on November 10, 2009. Filed under: Baseball, Sports, Things I Love About NY, Yankees | Tags: , |

 

There is nothing more I can possibly add.
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The Yankees’ Lucky Charm: 2009 in Review

Posted on November 7, 2009. Filed under: Baseball, Sports, Things I Love About NY, World Series, Yankees | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

As you’ve probably already heard, this 2009 season has been pretty remarkable for me and my boys in the Bronx. In fact, when I am in attendance (and Sergio Mitre does not start – important caveat), the Yankees are undefeated in both the regular season and the playoffs. Of my 14 wins at the Stadium, 7 of those wins (that’s half!) have come in games following a loss the previous game.
Is it me? The lucky jeans? (note: they’re not Lucky brand jeans; they’re just lucky jeans, though I do have Lucky jeans, which aren’t necessary lucky. Get it?) The lucky shirt? The lucky shoes? Nobody knows for sure, but one thing we do know is that the Yankees’ excellent pitching and hitting clearly are secondary to my lucky charms.
The Legend of The Streak
I started off this season with a stunning 10-0 record at the Stadium — aka “The Streak” — before a September 15 loss (stupid Mitre) to the Blue Jays ended it. It should be noted that I was not planning to go to that game until I was offered a ticket by a friend. I knew that The Streak was in serious jeopardy (Mitre v. Halladay? this would not end well) but could not justify turning down a ticket for a game to save The Streak.Since then, the baseball gods have rewarded me. I’m 4-0 at the Stadium, and 3-0 in the postseason (1-0 ALDS, 2-0 ALCS). As this has become a recurring theme, I put together basic information from each game I’ve attended. Oh, did I mention that I’ve also gone to see the Yankees at Seattle and Toronto this season? Yeah, I’m committed. All information courtesy of the invaluable website baseball-reference.com.
*Caveat: note that I had a perfect record for as long as I did because I did not attend Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium. You may recall (and probably want to forget) that the Yankees were unceremoniously crushed by the hapless Indians, 10-2.
Here is the evidence of my lucky charms.
THE REGULAR SEASON
Game 1: Sunday, April 19 v. Cleveland
This game followed the infamous Bronx Massacre the day before, a 22-4 beatdown by Cleveland.
Starters: A.J. Burnett v. C. Pavano
Final score: Yankees 7, Indians 3
Win: Albaladejo
The Streak: 1-0 at the Stadium (and the first of several wins following a loss the previous game)
Game 2: Monday, May 18 v. Minnesota
This game capped a 4 game sweep of the Twins following 3 consecutive walk-off wins by the Yankees
Starters: Pettitte v. Perkins
Final score: Yankees 7, Twins 6
Win: Pettitte
Save: Coke
The Streak: 2-0 at the Stadium
Game 3: Sunday, June 7 v. Tampa Bay
Starters: Joba v. Garza
Final score: Yankees 4, Rays 3
Win: Aceves
Save: Rivera
The Streak: 3-0 at the Stadium (2nd win following a loss the previous game)
Game 4: Friday, July 3 v. Toronto
Starters: Burnett v. Tallett
Final score: Yankees 4, Rays 2
Win: Burnett
Save: Mariano
The Streak: 4-0 at the Stadium (3rd win following a loss the previous game)
Game 5: Saturday, July 18 v. Detroit
Starters: CC v. Verlander (what a match-up!)
Final score: Yankees 2, Tigers 1
Win: Sabathia
Save: Rivera
The Streak: 5-0 at the Stadium
Game 6: Sunday, July 26 v. Oakland
Starters: Mitre (NOOOOO!) v. Braden
Final score: Yankees 7, A’s 5
Win: Coke
Save: Rivera
The Streak: 6-0 at the Stadium (4th win following a loss the previous game)
Mitre did not get the win, but he started the game. And the Yankees still won.
Game 7: Thursday, August 6 v. Boston
Starters: Joba v. Smoltz (this was Smoltz’s last appearance for the Red Sox)
Final score: Yankees 13, Red Sox 6
Win: Joba
The Streak: 7-0 at the Stadium
Game 8: Thursday, August 13 at Seattle
Starters: CC v. Snell
Final score: Yankees 11, Mariners 1
Win: Sabathia
The Streak: 8-0 overall (7-0 at Stadium)
Game 9: Saturday, August 15 at Seattle
Starters: Mitre v. French
Final score: Yankees 5, Mariners 2
Win: Mitre (yes, you read that right)
Save: Mariano
The Streak: 9-0 overall (7-0 at Stadium)
Game 10: Wednesday, August 26 v. Texas
Starters: Pettitte v. Holland
Final score: Yankees 9, Rangers 2
Win: Pettitte
The Streak: 10-0 overall (8-0 at Stadium) (5th win following a loss the previous game)
Game 11: Saturday, August 29 v. White Sox
Starters: Mitre v. Contreras (ayayayayay)
Final score: Yankees 10, White Sox 0
Win: Mitre (Mitre and Gaudin combined on 1 hit shutout)
The Streak: 11-0 overall (9-0 at Stadium)
Game 12: Sunday, September 6 at Toronto
Starters: Mitre v. Tallett
Final score: Bluejays 14, Yankees 8
Win: Tallett
The Streak: 11-1 overall (9-0 at Stadium).
* Streak still intact in the United States
Game 13: Sunday, September 13 v. Baltimore
Starters: CC v. Guthrie
Final score: Yankees 13, Orioles 3
Win: Sabathia
The Streak: 12-1 overall (10-0 at Stadium) (6th win following a loss the previous game)
Game 14: Tuesday, September 15 v. Toronto
Starters: Mitre v. Halladay (this was not going to end well)
Final score: Bluejays 10, Yankees 4
Win: Halladay
The Record (the Streak ended): 12-2 overall (10-1 at Stadium)
Game 15: Saturday, September 26 v. Boston
Starters: CC v, Dice-K
Final score: Yankees 3, Red Sox 0
Win: Sabathia
The Record: 13-2 overall (11-1 at Stadium)
THE PLAYOFFS
Game 16: Friday, October 9 v. Minnesota – ALDS Game 2
Starters: AJ Burnett v. Blackburn
Final score: Yankees 4, Twins 3 – 11 innings
Win: Robertson
The Record: 14-2 overall (12-1 at Stadium)
Game 17: Friday, October 16 v. Angels – ALCS Game 1
Starters: CC v. Lackey
Final score: Yankees 4, Angels 1
Win: Sabathia
Save: Rivera
The Record: 15-2 overall (13-1 at Stadium)

Game 18: Sunday, October 25 v. Angels – ALCS Game 6 – The Clincher!
Starters: Andy Pettitte v. Joe Saunders
Final score: Yankees 5, Angels 2
Win: Andy
Save: Rivera
The Record: 16-2 overall (14-1 at Stadium) (7th win following a loss the previous game)
Pettitte was simply awesome. The Yankees got clutch hits. Mo got the 6 out save. Click here for some pictures and video from the ALCS clincher.
THE WORLD SERIES (YEAH, THE WORLD SERIES BITCHES!)
Game 19: Wednesday, October 28 v. Phillies – World Series Game 1
Starters: CC v. Cliff Lee
Final score: Phillies 6, Yankees 1
Win: Cliff Lee
Save: N/A – Lee pitched a complete game
The Record: 16-3 overall (14-2 at Stadium)
This is the most painful blog update. Cliff Lee was fantastic. 10 strikeouts, zero walks, one unearned run. Yankee batters (except Jeter of course) were off balance all night. He owned them.
Game 20: Thursday, October 29 v. Phillies – World Series Game 2
Starters: AJ Burnett v. Pedro Martinez
Final score: Yankee 3, Phillies 1
Win: AJ Burnett
Save: Mariano (6 out save)
The Record: 17-3 overall (15-2 at Stadium) (8th win following a loss the previous game)
I didn’t wear the original lucky shirt. I wore the new lucky shirt (it’s just like the old lucky shirt but a crew neck instead of a v-neck) which I bought at the Stadium store after the Game 1 loss. See what I did there? Turned the luck around. For more, read this.
And oh, btw, the Yankees won the World Series. And the city of New York threw a parade on my birthday. And I got to go. This was a really really good year.
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VIDEO: Jay-Z Empire State of Mind – live at City Hall for Yankees Victory Celebration

Posted on November 6, 2009. Filed under: Baseball, Sports, Things I Love About NY, World Series, Yankees | Tags: , , , |

Check out this video of Jay-Z live at City Hall performing Empire State of Mind. Watch until the end – the last 15 seconds are definitely worth it.

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Tale of the Tweets: Yankees World Series Victory (and Birthday) Celebration Edition

Posted on November 6, 2009. Filed under: Baseball, Sports, Tale of the Tweets, Things I Love About NY, World Series, Yankees | Tags: , , |

Just because the World Series is over doesn’t mean we can’t bring back the Tale of the Tweets. I’ve pulled all the tweets from today’s Yankees parade and Victory Celebration at City Hall and put them into one nice post. See how easy and fun this is?  Enjoy.

One quick note: I didn’t actually see the parade. I had to fight my way through the insanity that was the parade crowds in order to get my ticket to the City Hall celebration. I thought I was going to die from overcrowding. No joke. It was a total and complete nightmare. Once I got into City Hall, it was all good. I staked out a great spot in the center but towards the back when I befriended the crew guys working the camera hoist. No, not in that way. Come on. And with my 10x zoom camera, I was able to take some great pictures, which you can find here.

All in all, an amazing way to celebrate the Yankees. And my birthday (did I mention it was my birthday?)

Without further ado, here is the Tale of the Tweets: Yankees World Series Victory (and Birthday) Celebration Edition

There are no words to describe the nightmare clusterf$*k that is downtown Manhattan right now. No. Words.

 

A parade on my birthday? Oh, New York, you shouldn’t have.

 

– At City Hall for Yankees Victory ceremony.

 

Cotton Eye Joe on PA system at City Hall. Really? Hasn’t he tortured us enough?

 

The crowd is getting restless here at City Hall. I Got A Feeling playing on pa now.

 

Really, New York, you didn’t have to go to so much trouble for little old me today.

 

Reggie, Yogi, Michael Kay, John and Suzyn all gathered on stage.

 

Chuck Schumer in the house. Shocker.

 

Rudy in the house. Even more shocking.

 

Not yet! But could happen. 🙂 RT @runner_23 @amandarykoff Did the crowd break out into “happy birthday” yet?

 

Kay congratulates Bloomberg on re-election. Crowd boos.

 

– Yankees on City Hall stage

 

Sergio Mitre gets a key to the city. And I am here to witness it.

 

Jay-Z took a picture with the trophy. And that’s a wrap from City Hall.

 

If only Jay-Z had sung Happy Birthday instead of Empire State of Mind. Otherwise, not a bad way to celebrate.

 

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Best. Present. Ever.

Posted on November 6, 2009. Filed under: Baseball, General, Sports, Things I Love About NY, World Series, Yankees | Tags: , |

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Ticket to Yankees Victory Celebration at City Hall. Best. Birthday. Present. Ever.

Posted on November 5, 2009. Filed under: Baseball, Sports, Things I Love About NY, World Series, Yankees | Tags: , , |


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World Series victory lunch at Shake Shack

Posted on November 5, 2009. Filed under: Food, General, Things I Love About NY | Tags: |

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

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Tale of the Tweets: World Series Championship (and Chris Meloni) Edition

Posted on November 5, 2009. Filed under: Baseball, Sports, Tale of the Tweets, Things I Love About NY, World Series, Yankees | Tags: , , , , , |

Happy. Exhausted. Hung over. Relieved. That’s how I feel right now as I put together the final 2009 installment of the Yankees Tale of the Tweets. Why is that? Oh, because the Yankees closed out the Phillies last night at the Stadium to win Championship #27.  The boys got to Pedro Martinez early and won thanks to outstanding pitching from Andy Pettitte, Damaso Marte (yes, really!) and the great Mariano Rivera and a series-record tying 6 RBI from MVP Hideki Matsui.

Requisite disclaimer: if you’re looking for real analysis and an actual game recap, please look elsewhere, including my friends at River Avenue Blues, This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes and Yankeeist.

We (@rebecca_glass @bkabak @schwartzslaw @joepawl @larry_koestler @bniche) gathered at Blondie’s on the Upper West Side for the third straight game, along with a ton of Yankees fans. Blondie’s had a good vibe working from the start (unlike Monday night), and the team took the lead early. As the game progressed, it looked like our boys were going to close this thing out in six games.

The crowd was fired up and lots of chants (“Der-ek Jeter”, “Let’s Go Yankees!” “Andy Pettitte”, “Hip Hip Jorge!”, “MVP! MVP!”, “Who’s Your Daddy?”) erupted at the bar throughout the game. And as usual, the Blondie’s DJ played all the Yankees songs, just as if you were at the Stadium: Empire State of Mind, YMCA, God Bless America, Take Me Out to the Ball Game, I Wanna Rock, Cotton Eye Joe (unfortunately), and Enter Sandman.

After Mariano locked up yet another World Series save (there are no words to describe Mariano), they put New York New York on repeat and we sang along until we couldn’t sing any more. (Note: pictures will be posted later. I had some technical difficulties with iPhoto and thought I might have lost the pictures, but they’re fine; I just couldn’t upload them).

Without further ado, I present the Tale of the Tweets: World Series Championship (and Chris Meloni) Edition:

Just a few people at the bar for the World Series http://post.ly/BdhT

OH: At least he got good wood on it. #thatswhatshesaid

Welcome back Hideki Matsui.

What's Japanese for "Daddy"?

There is a lone Phillies fan here. Why would you come to a Yankees bar? Seriously. He’s going to be abused all night.

Come on. We’ve got to be able to hit that. #thingsthatsounddirtybutreallyarent

I’m afraid to see what Evil Stacey tweeted after that A-Rod strikeout. (@gotsu_bb)

What’s Japanese for “daddy”?

Matsui needs a new nickname. “Chichi” is daddy in Japanese. #chichi

Who was the last DH to win World Series MVP? #twitterismygoogle

Chris Meloni just walked in to the bar. No joke.

Nice to see you Detective Stabler (photo courtesy Rebecca Glass)

And I just walked by Chris Meloni (not on purpose, I swear). He is, um, super hot. Wow.

And I just high-fived Chris Meloni. Who agreed with the Daily Show that Philly fans are the douchiest.

CBS in NY has a camera at Blondie’s to film the hoopla. We might be on tv later!

Chants of MVP at the bar for Matsui. #notashock

It is now time for the Hideki Matsui MVP-eanut M&Ms.

Witnesses to the Meloni high five: @rebecca_glass @bkabak @larry_koestler @joepawl @schwartzslaw @bniche.

On our feet at the bar for Andy Pettitte. #awesomeandy

Oh no! Meg is in twitter jail! RT @YankeeMegInPHL I’m in TWITTER JAIL!!!!!!

My favorite part of a night like this is the crazies that come out in NYC.

Damaso Marte. To sneeze or not to sneeze. That is the question.

Never been so happy to hear God Bless America. 6 more baby.

Buy 6 get 7th free! RT @bkabak We just got yet another pitcher of Brooklyn. This one was on the house. Oh yeah. Free beer.

Bar going nuts to Enter Sandman.

I am not ok with the defense of Brett Gardner. #understatementsoftheyear

Looks like a helluva game between the Lakers and Rockets tonight. #waytoosoontotalkaboutnba

Reunited - and it feels so good

And the bar plays Empire State of Mind. 3 more outs. #hfs

Start spreading the news. New York Yankees 2009 World Series champs.

Bar has champagne for everybody. #classact

Next up at the bar: New York State of Mind. Seems about right.

Post World Series victory beers with @bkabak @joepawl @larry_koestler = awesome.

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