Barbarians Or Gurus?

Destroying perfectly good office furniture might be seen as one more sign of the vast disorder of a decaying nation. Or maybe these guys are just trying to get people to think about “being” rather than “having.” Photograph: Stephen Wise

Predators

The same government that produced this Lottery ad is responsible for educating millions of young people.  How can irresponsible bureaucrats be trusted to help parents nurture literacy and responsibility among their youth?

Gourmet Ice Cream

Coolhaus gourmet ice cream sandwiches have a growing fan base. The company has trucks in LA, NYC and Austin, Texas.

Family Dynamics

Film Director Lee Daniels, filling in for Julian Schnabel, kicked off an art auction tonight to benefit Family Dynamics — the Brooklyn organization that works to protect children and strengthen families in Central Brooklyn’s most fragile neighborhoods. Money raised will go towards art programming. Family Dynamics helps more than 5,000 New Yorkers annually. In his remarks, Lee Daniels talked about being put into a trash…

First In Last Out

The FDNY Foundation held their annual Humanitarian Awards dinner April 14, to honor those who have supported the New York City Fire Department in a big way over the years. Shown in top photo are Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano and Chief of Department Edward Kilduff. Established in 1981, the FDNY Foundation is the official non-profit organization of the Department — helping to bring the…

New York State Paint Job

New York State public employees are paid well. Their average annual salary is $63,000. NY taxpayers will pay $1.5 billion+ into state employee pension funds this year. So, it’s fair to ask what NY State taxpayers are getting in return. On Mar. 4 (sunny day), at a train station in Woodside, Queens — a state employee partially painted one section (about 2 feet of the top bar)…

Suspicious Activity

On Feb. 22, the Mayor of New York City signed into law a ban on smoking in city parks, beaches and Times Square. Violators will be fined $100. LE asked a member of the NYPD what he thought about the new law? The cop said: “They want to control everything, pretty soon they’ll be charging for air.” Photograph: Stephen Wise

Art Bazaar

New York gallerist Michael Lyons Wier, with his wife Deanne, hosted a dinner tonight for artists and friends at their Art Bazaar Gallery in Chelsea. The gallery, which has been in existence since 2009, allows artists to present their work, usually for two weeks in group shows. So far 300 artists have exhibited there. The current show has works ranging from $25 – $17,000, in various mediums.

The Children Are Not Fine

According to U.S. census data from 2009, for every 1000 African American babies born in New York City — 1489 were aborted. The National Black Pro-Life Coalition has made February 28 a ‘Day of Mourning’ — for the 55 million babies aborted in the U.S., since the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision legalising abortion in 1973. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, has…

Doughnut Plant NYC

For Mark Israel, founder of Doughnut Plant NYC, innovation starts with trusting his grandfather’s “doughnut” recipes, and then improvising with contemporary flavors, such as Creme Brulee, Carrot Cake and Blackout — in “cake,” “yeast” and jam filled doughnuts. Doughnut Plant opened a second NYC location recently in the Chelsea Hotel on W.23rd St. They have nine shops in Tokyo.

Arrest

“Arrest is an instantaneous, shattering thrust, expulsion, somersault from one state into another.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago Security guards here are confronting a man and a women suspected of shop-lifting in a Manhattan department store yesterday.  A guard picked up the woman and put her on his shoulder, like a bag of rice. She was eventually released but the guy was arrested.  As NYPD officers were…

“Take Five”

A saxophonist on Fifth Avenue was heard playing Dave Brubeck’s Take Five. Mr. Brubeck, born in 1920, was in Patton’s Army in WWII where he started the first racially integrated band. Photograph: Stephen Wise

New York’s Dirtiest

It’s hard to know who is dirtier in New York City these days — the honchos of the Sanitation Department or the honchos on Wall Street. Photographs: Stephen Wise

Yellow Snowman

This “yellow snowman” in Queens, NY is a fitting metaphor for the way New York City officials have dealt with residents in the aftermath of the Dec. 26 blizzard. One day after the storm, Mayor Bloomberg said “it’s a day like every other day,” and urged people to go to a Broadway show. Perhaps the ‘greatest show on earth’ is watching how New York City deals with 20″ of snow. Three days…

Friendly Subway Mice

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Honey & Gifts

Charles Mraz, owner of Champlain Valley Apiaries, in Middlebury Vermont, was on Park Avenue giving out honey samples today. In addition to their honey which is terrific (crystallized and liquid), they also offer gift boxes with: Vermont Maple Syrup, Vermont Cheddar Cheese, coffees, teas, soap and candles — in various configurations. Mr. Mraz says their technique for producing superior honey starts with raising their own queen bees — using eggs from…

Still Going Strong

One of the inspiring stories in this year’s NYC Marathon was Michal Stadniczuk, an 81 year old runner from Poland, shown here after Saturday’s pasta dinner. Mr. Stadiczuk survived the Nazis and overcame debilitating work related injuries to become a serious marathoner 40 years ago. Since then he has run hundreds of marathons (one year 9 marathons). When asked his secret, he mentioned good nutrition and added that…

Malaysian Experience

A 2-day Malaysian Food Festival in New York’s Grand Central Station featured some of the city’s best Malaysian restaurants.  Standouts from Manhattan included: Laut, Cafe Asean and Obao. And from Elmhurst, Queens: Taste Good.

Message In A Bottle

A 21 year old Yale University student from Texas jumped to his death yesterday, from the Empire State Building in New York. He died where he landed — on the sidewalk in front of a Bank of America. Earlier in the month, two Cornell University students jumped to their deaths from the infamous bridge near the campus. One of the students left behind this…

Bar Breton

Ten years of serving jaded New Yorkers hasn’t hardened Cyril Renaud, chef and owner of Bar Breton — the French style cafe in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. Open now for two years, after the closing of Mr. Renaud’s first restaurant — Fleur de Sel, Bar Breton comes across as a “personal project” from one of the world’s great chefs. We’re not foodies, but on a tip…

Street Sweets

The recent economic difficulties in the U.S. are causing people to re-think their assumptions about a lot of things. Even Alan Greenspan, the former Fed Chairman, admitted before Congress that his basic “world view” was flawed. In the last year, New York City has seen a number of former professional, white collar, workers getting into the upscale food cart business. It seems to fulfill…

A Place In The Sun

Georgia Stamoulis is a special New Yorker who runs “Georgia’s,”  a delightful French patisserie and neightborhood fixture, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Known for their croissants and macaroons, Georgia’s now serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, with live music several nights a week. For people in New York City looking for a bit of tranquility, along with a dining experience that offers classic French cuisine at a fair price, check…