Posts Tagged ‘New York’

, member of the United States House of Represe...

, member of the United States House of Representatives. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Hello, my name is Ashley, and I’ll be your server this evening.  This summer, our chef has a season long special: WeinerSpitzle.  WeinerSpitzle is an only in NY combination of hubris, stupidity, perversion, and blatant disregard for the law.  We take a little bit of working class Bronx-boy-made-good-goes-bad, mix it in with the fallen star of an uber-powerful real estate dynasty, and serve it up to voters too shocked at the utter gall of it not to order it. So far, it’s the clear winner!


Only in NY.


It’s hard to believe that this election cycle we have not one but two formerly-disgraced-now-looking-for-redemption politicians in the mix.  Former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s transgression – mistakenly sending semi-nude (not even nude!) photos of his – ahem, weiner – out on Twitter, rather than to a private, consenting adult, and then blatantly lying about it, was stupid and showed lack of judgement and lack of respect for his wife, but wasn’t criminal.   Elliot Spitzer, on the other hand, flaunted the laws he had sworn to protect first as Attorney General, and then as land-slide elected Governor, when he frequented a “high-class prostitute”. (I love the distinction – isn’t  “high class” prostitute an oxymoron?  Do high class hookers have better manners?  Do low class whores chew with their mouths open?)

And now they both want back in. And according to a poll released today – they just may get their wish. (more…)

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Saw this at Toy Fair this week.  Could it be more perfect for your tweeps? From Jay@Play Toys!

Gift for Social Media Junkies

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Costa Rica. The Canadian Rockies. South Africa.  These are all places I’ve taken my kids.  Cost Rican Rain Forest family trip

I have nothing against Disney World.  I’ve taken them there, too. (Once.) But Disney offers a perfectly fabricated adventure – and they do it better than anyone – and I want my kids to know all about the messy, surprising, unexpected things that can happen on a real adventure, in a real place – where different cultures collide. Where they can learn about something new, get a different perspective. And we’re lucky enough to be able to do it.

I know that traveling with your family is an expensive proposition.  I’ve done it.  But to me, travel is a necessary expense.  I’d rather forego seeing movies in the theatre for a year, seriously scale back dinners out, and even  – wait for it – heavily curb my shoe-buying habit – if it means we can take a trip that my kids will remember.


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Recently, I went shopping at Duane Reade, the New York convenience store, and it made me think of Times Square.

If you grew up in New York, or if you’ve been here more than 20 years, or if you’ve seen any Scorcese movie made in the 1970’s, then you remember when Times Square was seedy.  You remember – maybe even with fondness –  the way there were creepy men hanging around the peep shows, how Robin Byrd was headlining at Show World.  You remember that certain combination of grime, sleaze and glitz that was Times Square.

Now, Times Square isn’t gritty, it’s glitzy and glamorous.  Now there are brand name stores, like the new American Eagle Outfitters, and Sephora, and the flagship Toys R Us complete with indoor ferris wheel.

It’s a bit disconcerting.

And that is kind of like Duane Reade.  For decades, Duane Reade, a NYC chain of pharmacy/snack/drug store/convenience stores, was famously – oh, how can I put this kindly – seedy.  Oh, we all shopped there.  Duane Reade had everything. Need Shampoo?  You’ve got it.  Need a mop? Check.  Need bandaids, aspirin, Leggs pantyhose in a plastic egg, pork rinds, Spam in a can? Duane Reade was the place to go.

But it was also famous for being maybe not the most service oriented place.  Maybe not the cleanest. Definitely not glam.

My how times have changed.

Fancy Schmancy Fragrance at DR on 72nd and Broadway

And while there’s a part of me that thinks it’s a bit sad – the Walgreens-i-fication of the chain has taken out the New Yorkiness of the place (Walgreen recently bought all 257 DR stores for $1.1 billion)  – it didn’t stop me from heading there to do a little bit of last minute stocking stuffer (well, you can’t stuff a Menorah) shopping at my newly glammed up DR. (more…)

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Image from BroadwayWorld.com

On average, I’d say my husband and I go to the theatre about 15 times a year — maybe even a bit more. Our kids?  Not so much.  A lot of the time, New York productions skew either too old (inappropriate) or too young (can you help the Princess find her way home? Clap three times everyone!).  We do love going to The New Victory, for unusual, innovative productions. I just bought our subscription for the year, as a matter of fact. But other than the occasional Broadway musical and the New Vic, the kids don’t go to the theatre with us very much. (Though we do go to dance: Alvin Ailey is a perennial favorite, as is Parsons Dance, as long as David Parson’s piece “Caught” is on the bill. Plus, I force them to see at least one classical ballet each year. Cuz I’m mean.)

My son has complained that he only ever gets to see musicals – never a play.  And I can’t say I disagree.  But do I really want him – does he really want – to sit through a meditation on the morality of war photographers, and the essence of what it means to be present? (Donald Margulies‘ Time Stands Still, last season at Manhattan Theatre Club) Would he enjoy a play about a small town that’s really about birth, death, and everything in between? (Will Eno’s Middletown, at The Vineyard Theatre last season.)

ummmm. No.

Which is why I was excited about War Horse, the hugely successful play from The Lincoln Center Theatre at the Vivian Beaumont. Based on the young adult novel by Michael Morpurgo, (more…)

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Techlicious, I think I love you. At the big CES  show last year (thank you, Microsoft Windows Live) I felt that women were distinctly marginalized.  I mean, booth babes?   Seriously?  But last week in NY it was Consumer Electronics Week here in NY,  (CE Week) and Suzanne Kantra from Techlicious asked me to speak on a panel two of my Blogging Angels co-hosts, Amy Oztan and Rebecca Levey, about brands and mom bloggers, and how they can work together.  Angel number 4, Heidi Leder, was  organizing the event so didn’t have a chance to join us…this time!)

I thought the panel went pretty well.  We covered a lot of do’s and don’ts.  Had a good crowd.  And it felt like – based on the size of the audience alone – that maybe – just maybe – women in tech are starting to get some respect — at least Mom Bloggers are.  And it’s about time, too.  The panel even got some press, you can read about it here in Dealerscope and  here at CEA Digital Dialogue. (That’s me, in the middle.)

After the panel was an actual, useful talk by Suzanne on the best audio and video tools for bloggers.  ( Adobe Photoshop is more accessible than I thought!.  One thing I really liked that she showed us was the I  iRig microphone  gives you excellent quality audio even from a dinky phone or handheld camera speaker, and the Zoom Q3HD video camera?  Me want.) After that, (and yummy lunch- thanks, Techlicious)  Chad Latz of Cohn & Wolfe made my day by calling us all not MOM Bloggers, or the hated Mommy Bloggers, but by referring to us as “Digital Influencers.”

How awesome is that?

After he spoke, all of us digital influences  hit the floor to see what the next year in tech has in store.  My favorite thing was  the nPower® PEG  – a backup battery charger for hand-held electronics that uses the energy you generate while walking, running, or biking. It’s amazing to me that no one has come up with this yet: As you move, your very movements cause the PEG to continuously  top-off its internal battery providing you with extra power when you need it. –When you’re away from a plug! And, if you’re in an emergency situation, shaking your nPower® PEG will give you the ability to call for help.  Talk about useful.  And GREEN!

Green and tech, and me!  It was a good day.


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So it’s day four in Paris, and the kids have finally, thoroughly, shocked me:  their favorite thing so far was not the Eiffel Tower, not the hot chocolate at Angelina’s, not the patisseries or the bookinistes along the Seine.  Nope.  They’re favorite thing was visiting The Louvre.


Not that I’m not thrilled, proud, even.  Just a bit surprised.  What kid goes away on vacation and says that their favorite thing was a museum?  It’s either a sign that I’ve done something very right in raising two kids who are interested in art and history and appreciate it’s significant — or a sign that I’ve done something very, very wrong, and have raised two oddball kids who like Da Vinci’s better than pains au chocolats.

I think I’ll stick with the proud/did something right scenario.

It’s been a bit of a rough trip. For one, it’s made me feel OLD. I remember virtually nothing of my days here. Granted, it was 20 years ago — but still.  I can barely remember which museum is on which bank.  Restaurants I knew and loved are long gone.  And most importantly, men do not notice me at all. That was always the case in New York, but my memory of myself in Paris was different — I was a babe.  No longer.


For my kids, though, it’s been great.  And seeing Paris through their eyes has been  fun.  Just like I can’t possibly know what it’s like to discover New York City (it’s just the place I live), I don’t really remember anymore discovering Paris.  So nice to get to see what that’s like.

Here — take a look:

All looks good, huh? Guess I can’t complain.

More later.

A bient tot!

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