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Little Britain

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The British Are Coming! And They Expect to be Disappointed!

Times Square
According to a poll of British people, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square are two of the most disappointing tourist attractions in the world. On a list of the top ten most boring spots, they fall behind the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa, both in Paris. We imagine if they didn't inherently hate the French so much, the English would have ranked the two New York gems at the top of the list. We have two responses: (1) You're never getting a street named after you now and (2) ahem, Stonehenge? Eiffel Tower Most Disappointing Tourist Spot [Daily Telegraph]

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Little Britain: Peace in Our Time!

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This is what we came home last night to find waiting with our doorman. (We have never, for the record, mentioned our name to the Tea & Sympathy people, nor said exactly where we live.) It was tasty, we were charmed, and now, we confess, we think we've reached acceptance. We're Daily Intel, and we live in Little Britain. God save the queen! Earlier: Daily Intel's coverage of Little Britain

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Little Britain: We'll Close Our Eyes and Think of Cake

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Oh, thank God. Turns out our little conversation with the Little Britain people didn't end yesterday afternoon, as we feared it would. Not at all. They still like us, they assured us last night. They really still like us! And now they're offering us cake (and using fun Britishisms):
From: info@ campaignforlittlebritain.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 8:26:25 PM
To: intel
Subject: Tally-ho! Intel, You know we love you. You'd definitely have a point if all the business on the block hadn't signed individual letters of support, if we hadn't collected over 1,000 signatures in person in the stores, if we hadn't received over 90 letters of thanks from community groups we've supported over the last year, if a fine, upstanding pillar of the community hadn't spoken in support at the Community Board 2 meeting. But they all did.

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The Battle of (Little) Britain Rages On

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We wonder if perhaps our across-the-street/pond conversation with the jolly good folks at the Campaign for Little Britain is coming to an end. We've received another missive from them this afternoon, and this time there's no humor, no suggestions of a special relationship. We're keeping a stiff upper lip, but we're concerned:
From: info@campaignforlittlebritain.com
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 12:41:38 PM
To: intel Dear Intel Let's address the real issue, regardless of any rational arguments and examples of precedent we might make you can't get over your central objection — "it's a marketing gimmick." This is a specious.

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Little Britain: We Will Never Give In, Never Give In, Never Never Never

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We've received an offer of détente in our ongoing battle with the Campaign for Little Britain, to which we have heretofore entirely objected. Yesterday we suggested, dismissively, that if they succeed in getting Greenwich Avenue between West 12th and West 13th Streets — the British-ish shops Tea & Sympathy and A Salt and Battery are on the north side of that block — renamed "Little Britain," we'll campaign to have the southern side of that same block, from which we're writing this, renamed "Little Place Where Some Jewish Writers Live." Late in the day, we received a supportive reply. Here, a Balfour Declaration just for us:
From: info@campaignforlittlebritain.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 2:41:42 PM
To: intel Terrific idea! We'll vote for you if you vote for us. We've put the kettle on… Sean
Sigh. If only we could bring ourselves to vote for them. Earlier: Daily Intel's self-indulgent coverage of Little Britain.

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Correction: The British Are Bemused! The British Are Bemused!

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If anthropomorphization is when human characteristics are applied to things not human, what's the opposite? Because we got another letter today from the Campaign for Little Britain, which writes very much as though it's one human being but signs its notes as though it's an intangible entity. In any event, our new pen pal Campaign takes issue with both our response to his (her?) letter yesterday, and with our (punning) headline description of the Brits as angry. Here's London calling, from a far-too-close place:
From: info@campaignforlittlebritain.com
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 1:11:08 PM
To: intel
Subject: Angry? Me? Dearest Intel Not remotely angry. Bemused, perhaps.

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The British Are Angry! The British Are Angry!

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Earlier this afternoon we noted our disgust with the PR-driven plan to rename a block of Greenwich Avenue as "Little Britain," a ploy by the proprietors of two British-ish businesses on that block to get themselves onto the city's official street map. We objected to many things, among them the attempt to liken this designation to Chinatown or Little Italy, which, we argued, organically developed because of the immigrant populations who clustered in the area, not because a tea shop got a few bucks from Richard Branson to hire a PR firm. The Campaign for Little Britain responded, refuting some of our claim and charmingly using the words "recognised" and "cheers":
From: info@campaignforlittlebritain.com
Sent: Monday, July 16, 2007 2:20:24 PM
To: intel Hi Got to take issue with your article, it is in the tradition of already recognised neighborhoods, check out Little Brazil, Koreatown, or Little India — they were started by businesses, too.

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Defy British Imperialism: A Belated Call for a New York Tea Party

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So did you notice in yesterday's City section that little article about the proposal to rename a stretch of Greenwich Avenue in the West Village as "Little Britain"? Yeah, we almost missed it, too — but it reminded us about this insipid idea, first announced a few months ago, about just much how we object to it, and that we ought to explain why. See, here's the thing: It's all a marketing gimmick. For a private business. The couple behind the plan own Tea & Sympathy and A Salt and Battery, respectively a tea shop and a fish-and-chippery, on that stretch of Greenwich. And they want the name of the street changed simply to boost their own business. (Hey, great idea: Let's rename Madison Avenue between 49th and 50th "Magazine Avenue!")

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Late-Night LES Kimchee Cart Accepting Applications

Bedford-Stuyvesant: In addition to Belgian waffles and couches for weary churchgoers, Common Grounds café will now offer homemade ice cream! [Brooklyn Record] Brooklyn Heights: Moxie Spot, planned for 81 Atlantic Avenue, wants a liquor license, says they’ll be family-friendly. [Brooklyn Heights Blog] Carroll Gardens: The new farmers' market won’t launch until July 8. Meanwhile, they’ve hit the ground running in Union Square. [Brooklyn Record] Clinton Hill: Cadmen Congregational Church will host a Good Friday fish fry fund-raiser — plates will go for a miraculous $7. [Clinton Hill Blog] Lower East Side: Unless you’re willing to run it (seriously), the late-night kimchee cart may become a thing of the past. [Gridskipper] Midwood: DiFara reopens today. Dom DeMarco: 1; rat excreta: 0. [Slice] Soho: Balthazar challenger FR.OG, set to open on Spring Street Friday the 13th, brings mild ethnic slur to the fight. [Gawker] West Village: Department of Health nabs Kobma Thai; neighborhood resident unfazed. [Eater] The battle to rename part of Greenwich Avenue “Little Britain” rests with a man named Rupert. [Englishman in New York]

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