TGIPD: Thank God It’s Pigeon Day!It’s time to pay respect to our fine feathered friends, those adorable little birdies that crap 25 pounds of poop on our city every year. Bless them!
Happy Martin Luther King Day!In honor of MLK, we will not be posting today. If you don’t have the day off, we hope work isn’t too tough without our mildly amusing banter and pictures. We also hope you get a new job soon.
Your Labor Day Forecast: Sunny and Mild
Okay, we just checked, and the weekend forecast basically couldn’t be any better. In town, on the East End, down the shore, upstate, even on the Vineyard: It’s supposed to be completely sunny, warm but not too hot, not even too humid. So get thee to the beach, people — but if you’re going to Coney Island, pictured here on July 4, get there early to grab a spot. Have a lovely Labor Day; we’ll see you Tuesday.
Greatest American Hero
Joey Chestnut, 23, of San Jose, California, eating two of his 66 hot dogs yesterday to set a new record and defeat six-time defending champion Takeru Kobayashi of Japan. USA! USA!
The Winner and New Champion, With 66 Hot Dogs [NYT]
Every Day’s the Fourth of July
We’re off tomorrow, as we suspect you are, too. Macy’s says the big show starts at 9 p.m., with “120,000 burst of color” shot from four barges in the East River, three between 23rd and 42nd Streets and one south of the Brooklyn Bridge. We’ll be watching from Brooklyn Heights; if all else fails, there’s always the NBC broadcast. See you Thursday, ideally sunburned and hung-over.
the morning line
Fireworks, Pools, Booze — Not Terror — Will Kill You Tomorrow
• There’s no reason to fear terror attacks on the Fourth of July, the mayor is insisting; the threat of terror, he says, is nothing compared to the dangers of unguarded beaches and pools. “Don’t let the kids play with fireworks. Don’t drink and drive,” he advised. Oh, also, the NYPD is on its highest alert. [NYDN]
So This Is Christmas
“X-Mas Came Early This Year” says the sign on the Christmas tree planted in front of the Soho Apple store. Being of the more Hanukkish persuasion, we’re not entirely up on every last Christmas tradition. But somehow we’ve always imagined snowy lawns, warm beds, and roaring fires — not steamy sidewalks, sleeping in chairs, and occasional pouring rain. Did we misunderstand something?
Earlier: Daily Intel’s we-realize-we’re-just-as-bad-as- they-are ongoing iPhone coverage.
How Is a Park Slope Seder Different From All Other Seders?“All right,” said the rabbi. “We’ll try to get to the food as fast as we can.” Rose Water, the Haute Barnyard Park Slope restaurant, was holding its second-annual second-night Passover Seder, and the obstacle between the starving, secular attendees and the five-course prix fixe was an hour-long ritual leavened, as it were, with trademark neighborhood sanctimony. The plagues recitation became a mini-lecture on abused women (the modern-day plagues were rape, shame, and so on); we were even more riveted by the time- and nabe-specific Four Questions.
How Today’s Mail Is Different From All Other Days’ Mail
The perfect sign that Passover has arrived at New York, even more than those calls from mom (no, you can’t take a train that late; seventeen people I’m cooking for!)? The messenger-delivered arrival at the office of PR matzo, handmade by the Chabad of — where else? — Southampton. Good yontif, everyone.
Whiskey, You’re the Devil
Pop quiz: Do you remember being interviewed by a New York camera crew outside of McSorley’s or Bull McCabe’s on Saturday night? No? We asked you how many drinks you had, if you knew who Saint Patrick was, and what “Erin Go Bragh” meant. Then you told us that you used to hate the Irish, that your knowledge of the holiday comes entirely from The Simpsons, and something else we couldn’t quite catch. It was late, and you were pretty drunk. So watch the video to see what might come up at your future intervention. And remember: We’re just here to help.
Video: Overheard: Saint Patrick’s Day [NYM]
in other news
Countdown to Saint Patrick’s Day: C Is for Cookie
At Saint Patrick’s Day approaches, the man who might be New York’s angriest blogger, Copyranter Mark Duffy, reminds us of an artifact of our not particularly Irish New York youth: Carvel’s Cookie O’Puss. Specifically, he found what we think is the TV commercial that initially introduced regular Cookie Puss’s Irish friend. It’s from 1982, and dig those low-fi special effects. Copyranter, we thank you for your patronage.
Cookie Puss [Copyranter]
Victorious Chinese Workers Celebrate Belated New Year
The Chinese New Year ended more than a week ago, but Chinese Staff and Workers Association — a militant labor-rights group trying to gain better pay and conditions for employees in the city’s Chinese restaurants — held a celebration at P.S. 2 on Henry Street yesterday. “It’s the Golden Year of the Pig, and it will be good for workers,” said Wing Lam, the group’s executive director. It’s a moment for the association to be celebrating: Its members refused to sign a contract with the Saigon Grill mini-chain, which led the restaurant to suspend its delivery service last week, and in February a federal judge ruled that managers at the 88 Palace restaurant on East Broadway wrongfully pocketed a service charge the restaurant had imposed on banquet tabs, ordering owners to fork over to eleven busboys and waiters some $700,000 in gratuities and other costs dating to 2002. Lawyers for 88 Palace’s owners have filed an appeal, and they’re also fighting the workers’ attorneys’ request for close to $1 million in legal fees. But for now, at least, happy Year of the Pig. —Mary Reinholz
Happy Chinese New Year!Carroll Gardens: Will a bank, national chain store, or real-estate office replace Bleach House, the Dickensiansly named, now-defunct launderette on Court Street? [423smith]
Chinatown: Party like it’s 4705! That’s right, the Chinese New Year kicked off this weekend. Welcome to the Year of the Pig. [Gothamist]
Coney Island: The PR firm for development giant Thor Equities has released another homemade-looking “newsletter” about future Coney fun — which yet again makes no mention of Thor’s planned condo towers for the area. [Gowanus Lounge]
Greenpoint: From the looks of the floor plan, it seems like the Polish movie house turned Burger King at 910 Manhattan Avenue is due to become Greenpoint’s first Starbucks. Rejoice or recoil? [Curbed]
West Village: When special people like Sarah Jessica Parker, Lucy Lawless, or Christine Quinn need to pick up a package, they do it at Something Special, a mailbox-rental place on Macdougal and Houston. [The Villager]
Valentine’s Day Countdown: Step Away From the RosesIt’s nearly Valentine’s Day; do you know where the love of your life is? Neither do we. But here’s the guidance we learned this week from New York’s intrepid band of dating bloggers.
• Threesomes are interesting; lasagne is not. Somewhere in Brooklyn, there is a boy who doesn’t want to hear about what his friends had for lunch again, ever. Even if eventually the conversation moves on to the fact they’re dating bisexuals. [Forksplit]
• Subway rides are, ipso facto, unromantic. If you’re going to try to experience sexual fantasies on the subway in this weather, of course you’re just going to feel like a “huge winter muffin in my 5 degree weather outfit”! But the muffin thing’s a start. [Virginist]
Beef Lifts Us Up Where We Belong
Bad news for all the single people of New York: Valentine’s Day is mercilessly creeping up on us. (Depressing, isn’t it?) There are several gastronomic ways to mark the date, as the Underground Gourmet points out on Grub Street today. You could stay at home and order pizza; you could drown your sorrows in a vat of Häagen-Dazs; you could spend the evening with the gallant General Tso, who in such cases we have always found to be both an officer and a gentleman. Or if you’re determined to celebrate your singlehood — and perhaps ensure that you remain that way — you could try the sandwich the Underground Gourmet has identified as Sandwich of the Week: the Breakup Burger. Find out all about it at Grub Street.
Sandwich of the Week: Twisted Burger’s Breakup Burger [Grub Street]
in other news
One Day Our Cell Phones Will Be Judged Not By the Color of Their Shell But By the Content of Their FeaturesThe Wall Street Journal is breathlessly reporting on an announcement from BlackBerry yesterday that the company is planning to “strike back” against the new iPhone by releasing – drumroll, please – a new BlackBerry Pearl. We scanned the article eagerly, excited to find what further features would finally let the Goliath knock Apple’s David to the ground, but we could only find one change: The formerly black Pearl will now also be available in white . (To be frank, we’re a little mystified that a product called “Pearl” didn’t come in white in the first place.) Now, we’re fine with the white cell phone riding up to save the day when the black cell phone just can’t cut it – but we’re wondering, who decided to announce that on Martin Luther King Day?
BlackBerry Pearl Goes White [WSJ (subscription)]
Now, a White BlackBerry Pearl! [Techtree]
Training for the Big Day
Groundhog Day is rapidly approaching, and today’s Times detailed the training regimen Chuck, the Staten Island Zoo’s groundhog, is undergoing to prepare for his weather-predicting premiere in three weeks. A photo from the zoo’s website — highlighted this afternoon by Gothamist — shows that Chuck sees the date looming, too.
Grooming a Weatherman for His TV Debut, and Hoping He Doesn’t Bite the Host [NYT]
’Tis Always the Season
Just a quick reminder from building staffs across New York — this one was posted in a Chelsea elevator and photographed by a correspondent — that tipping is always appreciated. (N.B. to Daily Intel’s doormen and porters: We’re on it. Really.)
[Snap a Photo Op–worthy shot? Send it to us at email@example.com.]
Christmas Vacation! Yay!
That’s about all, folks. And we’ve got some sad news for you: Daily Intel is going on vacation. We won’t be posting next week, but we’ll be back bright and early on Tuesday morning, January 2. Thanks for reading these last three months, happy and merry and all of that, and we’ll see you in 2007.
in other news
Holiday Season, Brooklyn Style
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz — the man, the legend, the boat — is known for his elaborate holiday cards. (Well, among other things.) The minds at Brooklyn Papers have analyzed the latest missive from the beep, which finds Marty, two Santas (black and white), and a rabbi in a curiously uneven volleyball match with two bikini beauties. Us? We’re more fascinated with the reindeer referee with a parrot perched on its hoof, a reference we can’t quite place.
A Very Marty Xmas [Brooklyn Papers]
in other news
So This Is Christmas, and What Have You Done?For those wanting to take their holiday giving beyond the doorman’s tip, the Morning News has put together a great holiday charity guide with some very unique and deserving organizations who’ll be happy to receive your last-minute stab at saving the world. Even if you gave at the office, go over and take a look.
Of course, according to an article they’re currently running, the Morning News kids also sent their intern to go to the Christmas-tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. Charity begins at home, guys.
Morning Edition [Morning News]
the morning line
No Justice, No Peace, as They Say
• Several hundreds of people took over Wall Street to protest the police’s killing of Sean Bell and what they see as the NYPD’s failure to punish the guilty. They were met with almost as many police officers, some undercover; for a march that called for a “war on the NYPD,” the protest went without an incident. [amNY]
• The State Liquor Authority is cracking down on all-night New Year’s Eve parties, nixing dozens of bars’ requests to stay open late on December 31. (The permit is usually easily granted.) [NYP]
• In a similar crypto-Prohibitionist vein, the proposed alcohol ban on Metro-North and LIRR is about to deny suburban commuters one of their few remaining joys in life. Or is it? Meet Commuters Aligned for Responsible Enjoyment, or CARE, a quickly assembled opposition group. Vive la Resistance! [NYDN]
• It’s a bit unexpected after all those mayoral pronouncements about the coming population boom, but NYC’s birth rate is way down, at a 25-year low, in fact. Officials call it a quality-of-life achievement, however, since the most rapidly declining subset is teenage births. [NYS]
• And the Times tut-tuts the “phantasmagoric, Disney-esque experience” sweeping the suburbs: giant inflatable lawn figures causing an “intramural disagreement among the Christmas crazed.” [NYT]
Food, Glorious Food!It may or may not be the most wonderful time of the year, but there is no doubt it is the most well-fed time of the year. Indeed, we’re all busy shoveling so much stuff into our mouths this month, we may not give proper consideration to what’s coming out of it. Fortunately, New York food critic Adam Platt is here to help. How is ravenous different from famished? Stuffed different from sated? Platt considers twenty terms for degrees of hungriness, and he ranks them all on his Gobbler Scale of Rabid Food Consumption. It’s at Grub Street.
The Scale of Rabid Food Consumption, From Ravenous to Blacked Out [Grub Street]
No Band, Little Booze, But Good Food (for Munchies?) at Wenner PartyThere was one last big blowout to catch before Holiday Party Season 2006 wound down: The annual Wenner Media extravaganza. With the bank busted on Rolling Stone’s 1,000th-issue celebration in May, this year’s holiday gathering was less glitzy in the past, with no big-name musical act slated to perform. But that didn’t stop indefatigable party reporter Julia Allison. Her wrap-up — her final wrap-up of the season — is after the jump.
Eating — and Eating! — With the ‘Daily News’; Drinking and Dancing With ‘Star’With less than a week left till Christmas, company-holiday-party season is nearing its end. But for a last few fabulous nights, it keeps going strong — and naturally crasher extraordinaire Julia Allison is there. Last night she hit the Daily News do at the Copa and the Star shindig at Dirty Disco. Which one had a face-painter? Which one had only caffeinated vodka? Julia’s reports await.
Rupert Murdoch Wishes You a Merry ChristmasHappy HolidaysThere’s a general rule of thumb that work events are always held on Monday through Thursday nights, because Fridays are reserved for real friends or for family. Who could flout that rule? Rupert Murdoch, of course, who held the annual holiday party — and it’s called a holiday party, not a Christmas party, Bill O’Reilly — for all New York News Corporation employees Friday night. It’s a huge event, for everyone from HarperCollins editors to Fox 5 local-news guys to 20th Century Fox PR people to Fox News ideologues to all their associated sales teams and managerial staffs and all that. Naturally, Julia Allison was there, and after the jump she takes you on a tour of Rupert’s world, with stops for frat-party booze and trans-fatty food. Yum!
Eggnog and Latkes With Hearst, ‘Vogue,’ and the Sunshine FlacksSilver bells, silver bells. That’s right, kids: It’s Christmas time in the city. And what does that mean? Company holiday parties. Lots of ‘em, booze-filled, cheesily themed, and often resulting in embarrassed avoidance at the office for a few weeks. This is the week holiday-party season kicks into high gear, and we’re introducing our Office-Party Patrol, in which dedicated partygoer Julia Allison will crash company Christmas parties on your behalf (or just ask question from outside, when security is too tight) and let you know what you’re missing. In today’s premier installment, we take you to the Hearst party, the Vogue party, and the Ken Sunshine PR party — and we rank each one for food, drink, venue, debauchery, and exclusivity. Which was most exclusive? Vogue, of course. Drunkest? Read on to find out.
Hark! The Herald Angels Burn Energy!
Amazingly enough, there really is some religious devotion to be found in this godless city. And how is it displayed? With enormous, expensive lighting displays, naturally. The good people at Gowanus Lounge took a trip over the weekend to Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, which is apparently the extravagant-Christmas-lights capital of New York City. This picture’s our favorite, mostly for the rows of herald angels flanking the entryway, which provide a nice counterpoint to the usual excessive rows of lights and signs. But there’s lots more what that came from. And, hey, Merry December 11!
Dyker Heights Lights! The Photos [Gowanus Lounge]
Lawyers Lament Lousy Christmas-Party PlansIn this era of hedge-fund riches, word is, the perks of life at a white-shoe law firm are seeming meager by comparison. And here’s some proof: Dewey Ballantine, whose big-name clients include Fortune 500 companies like Walt Disney, Sony, and GE, has previously held its annual holiday party in fancy-pants venues like Lincoln Center and a rented-out Madame Tussauds. This year’s fête, on the other hand, will be held in the company cafeteria — and that’s leaving some grumbling litigators. “Even my kid’s high school has the good sense not to hold the prom in the gymnasium,” sniffs one. The big question is where future merger partner Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is having its end-of-the-year shindig — and if this is a bad omen for what’s to come. Plus, wonders another disgruntled Dewey worker, “Does this mean the partners are taking their annual trip to Brighton Beach this year instead of Bermuda?”
Everything Is Illuminated
Last night was the kickoff of Prospect Park in Lights, a holiday public-art thingie in which four of the Brooklyn park’s entrances are decorated with seasonably over-the-top lighting displays. (Apparently some 4 million LEDs are involved.) We’ve been looking at some photos of the event posted by the Gothamist kids — including the above image, by Atomische — and we’re thinking it looks kind of cool. We’re also thinking we’re glad we don’t pay the park’s Con Ed bill.
Light Waves in Brooklyn [Gothamist]
Happy Thanksgiving to All, and to All a Good Night!
Well, folks, that’s about it for us. On Grub Street, Josh Ozersky imparts his hard-earned Four Simple Rules for Having a Pleasant City Thanksgiving. And earlier we let David Rockwell tell you how the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade makes the city feel smaller, literally. That’s all we got, and now we have to start prepping for maximum pigs-in-a-blanket intake. Be careful out there, and we’ll catch you Monday morning.
Your Last-Minute NYC Thanksgiving, and How Not to Blow It [Grub Street]