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Riding the V Line: Coming Back Around to Russia

We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way. As the V Line reaches its terminus along the vast, terrifying stretch of Queens Boulevard that dominates Rego Park, we find it poetically pleasing that it resumes the Russian atmosphere of its starting point in Brighton Beach. Our second favorite Uzbek kebab restaurant, Cheburechnaya, is at 63rd Drive, but our favorite, Café Arzu, is at 67th Avenue.

After Taco Bell, Rodents Take On Cobble Hill

Clinton Hill: What? You say you weren't at the Pratt annual antique steam-whistle concert on New Year's Eve at midnight? Like, where else could you have been? At least it was captured on this YouTube video. But, dude, it's not the same thing as being there. [Clinton Hill Blog] Cobble Hill: Is that a squirrel or a rat sunning himself in the window of that shamefully derelict Kane Street walk-up? Locals are bitterly divided over the answer. People, can we all agree that it's a rodent? [Lost New York City] Dumbo: Will the new owners of an old Water Street warehouse really build a theater and host a Korean film festival in there? We'll see, kimchee. [Brooklyn Eagle via DumboNYC]

Meredith Viera Plays the Sinbad Card

Hillary
Meredith Viera: "But when you mention something like Bosnia people have responded, yeah, but she went to Bosnia, for example, with Sinbad." Hillary Clinton [Trying to act like this is not the most embarrassing thing that's happened to her since Monica]: "That's right, mmmm-mm." Meredith Viera [Making frustrated noises]: "That wasn't really establishing any kind of foreign policy." Hillary Clinton: "Oh, you know…" Meredith Viera: [Practically snorting with laughter now]: "I mean, I'm not saying that traveling to a war-ravished country with a guy who played the condom in Malcolm Jamal-Warner's classic after-school special Time Out: The Truth About HIV, AIDS, and You wasn't an experience, it's just probably not the kind of experience the American people are looking for in their next president." (Actually, she didn't say that last thing. But she might as well have. And the rest is real.)

Popeyes Brings Chicken and Biscuits Shrine to Chinatown

Popeyes
We’re not sure whether the Popeyes that opened three days ago right across from the mouth of the Manhattan Bridge (that’s right, the first thing motorists now see when entering the island is a Popeyes) has to do with the Bowery location that closed over the summer. But we do know from this floral arrangement festooned with ribbons and cards reading “Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits” that it's Chinese run, and enthusiastically so. Yesterday found the manager offering patrons free refills and giving away free chicken to everyone in the restaurant at closing time (might want to try your luck tonight around midnight). Says a friend of Grub who lives in the hood, “I’m overjoyed.” No kidding! Now he doesn’t have to trek to the Waverly for biscuits...

Noncandidate Bloomberg Just Happens to Have Better Ideas Than the Real Candidates

Bloomie
As far as Mayor Bloomberg's presidential ambitions are concerned, we are gluttons for punishment. He keeps toying with our emotions, teasing us, and leading us on — and we come back for more. It's like we're Carrie to Bloomberg's Mr. Big, except, you know, it matters. This weekend, for example, when Bloomberg announced his attendance at a bipartisan political conference in Oklahoma, we chewed our fingernails into a pulpy purple mush. And today is no different. When Hizzoner lashed out at the current presidential candidates in a press conference (and did you know there is some caucus thing going on in Iowa tomorrow?), we rubbed the sand out of our eyes, wiped the spit off our chin, and jumped to attention. During a chat with reporters at City Hall about reduced teen smoking rates in the city, the Observer reports that Bloomberg bitchslapped at the current field of runners on the topics of free trade and health care:
"Some people are in favor of free trade and then walk away from it. It's no one candidate. Don't say Bloomberg is criticizing A, B, or C on either side. It's all of them. And I think that's the frustration you see among a lot of independently minded people from both sides and the middle of the aisle, and that's why I'm thrilled to be asked to participate in the conference in Oklahoma."