February 27, 2008


Some New Yorkers were disappointed yesterday that they could not get their fix of Choca-Loca-Moccha Grande at Starbucks. The company closed nearly 7,100 of its U.S. stores for three and a half hours, officially – to train their staff how to make a killer espresso. Whatever the reasons can be (Three hours to make an espresso? Are you kidding us – it’s supposed to be “express”, as the name indicates) some marketing experts think it was a trick. The company has lost 50 percent of its stock value since 2006 and is actually closing a hundred stores this year. So maybe it’s just a move to convince Starbucks customers that the corporation is starting fresh.

If they thought people were going to take it to the streets in protest, tough luck. Nothing like that happened. Here’s an idea: why not pair up with some creative force and try to work on some other marketing techniques. Just off the top of our hat: start making coffee with fair trade grains, go organic etc.

Which reminds us. We’re sure all of you know about it, but if you don’t, a quick reminder. Improv Everywhere, New york City-based group of pranksters (responsible for the famous “Frozen Grand Central” skit), played a joke on Starbucks customers recently.


Scream All You Want

February 26, 2008


We have a lot of stress living in the city of New York. Sometimes it makes us want to scream at the top of our lungs.

If you also feel like that, particularly this week, we (after NewYorkology) invite you to suck it up at least till Sunday. March 2nd marks the 75th anniversary of “King Kong’s” premiere, so Film Forum will be screaming… oops! sorry, screening 1933’s blockbuster at 1pm and 4pm. The best part? After the 1 o’clock show, they will also hold a “Fay Wray’s-like scream contest”. Finally, a chance for you to let loose and shout all you want, the louder the better. AND you can win a Grand Prize: Deluxe “King Kong” two-disc collector’s edition DVD plus one-year Film Forum membership, plus a trip for two to the top of Empire State Building.

Wanna practice before the contest? Here’s the instructional video:

Keep your fingers crossed

February 24, 2008


(Photo: Cary Conover)

We admit it – haven’t seen half of the movies nominated for grandpa Oscar who’s turning 80 this year – can you believe it? He still looks like a youngster (must be botox injections or something). But we’ll root for the few movies we managed to see as well as those we haven’t watched, but heard were really good – “No Country for old men”, “There will be blood” and you know, “Juno” (the last one is going to get some prize, for shizzle). Oh – let’s not forget “Ratatouille”, too.

But our special attention goes to Andrzej Wajda’s movie “Katyn”, which is nominated in a foreign movie category and which we haven’t seen but know is worth getting an Oscar, if only because it’s Polish (if he gets it, it would be a second statue in Mr. Wajda’s collection).

Colbert Goes to the Planetarium

February 22, 2008

TGIF. It was a long week for us, too. That’s why we have some good entertainment for you today. Sit back, relax and enjoy!

Don’t rain on their parade

February 20, 2008


If you are Irish, you’re most probably Catholic. But you have to ask yourself a question – which of the two are you first – writes metro. If you are Catholic first, better get an extra blessing from your priest before goofing around at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade or downing multiple pints.

For the first time since 1940, St. Patrick’s Day will fall during Holy Week, the sacred seven days preceding Easter, during which you should be fasting, not gorging on Guinness.
Because of the overlap, liturgical rules dictate that no Mass in honor of the saint can be celebrated on Monday, March 17, according to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. But a few Roman Catholic leaders are asking for even more moderation in their dioceses: They want parades and other festivities kept out of Holy Week as well. Some of the dioceses (like the one in Savannah, Ga) had moved St. Paddy’s day celebrations for Friday the 14th, before the Holy Week.

In a letter last fall, the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, Ohio told the Shamrock Club (organizer of their parade) that Bishop Frederick Campbell wanted “all observances honoring St. Patrick” (that means the parade, also) removed from Holy Week.

“It’s not a sin to celebrate your Irish culture,” countered Mark Dempsey, president of the Shamrock Club in Columbus.

“Actually, you’re born Irish first,” he said, “and then you’re baptized Catholic.” Well said. And true.

Thank goodness we don’t have that problem in New York and Boston. Bishops here are taking a hands-off approach, saying the church has no intention of “raining on their Parade” (pun intended). Whew – that was close. Imagine? New York without a Green Parade?

Thank God, Holy Week won’t clash with St. Patrick’s Day again until 2160. Let the next generations worry about that.

Go green (to Staten Island)

February 19, 2008


Good news. Staten Island Ferry is not going to be New York’s worst polluter any more – reported Daily News. The City Council has passed a bill forcing the city-run ferries switch to less-polluting, fuel by July 1.

The bill is not signed into law yet, but it will be (knowing Mayor Mike’s passion for eco-friendly solutions0 soon, according to the newspaper. Of course, the ultralow-sulfur diesel fuel is more expensive than regular marine diesel. We just hope it doesn’t mean that the best free ride in the city is going to cost us more, too. And by “more” we mean: if we’re going to have to pay for it at all. You get used to things, especially as cool as seeing Madame Liberty and the skyline of Manhattan, for free. Don’t take it away from us, please. You know we won’t go to Staten Island if we’ll have to pay (just kidding, but not really).

Ticket to the Moon

February 18, 2008

“Star Party” -

If you’re anything like us, you love looking at the stars, the moon and other planets. If you do – you already have the knowledge about Lunar cycles, and surely you’ve heard the news. But we just found out, thanks to metromix! A total lunar eclipse will occur Wednesday night. For that special occasion, the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium on Long Island plans to use its new telescope. After being without a telescope for about a year-and-a-half, they just got themselves a brand new, shiny 16-inch Meade LX-200-R model, that can see star clusters, galaxies, nebulas, planets and incredible details of the moon’s surface. It’s debuting on Wednesday, during lunar eclipse – when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon – at 8:45 p.m.
You can see it with your own eyes, and we’re told the Vanderbilt Museum itself is a gem – picturesque combination of mansion, marine and natural history museum, and planetarium, all surrounded by a beautiful park. Get a blanket, pack up cold cuts in a picnic basket and you’re all set. You’re going to have to wait for next lunar eclipse until December 2010, so don’t miss this one.

However, if you don’t feel like leaving the island of Manhattan, you could go to the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Museum of Natural History. They have a great planetarium, too. You can see Cosmic Collisions, the breathtaking new Space Show, and the exhibition Full Moon: Apollo Mission Photographs of the Lunar Landscape that shows rarely seen photographic prints from NASA’s missions to the moon. They are really breath-taking. It’s as close as we ever got to set a foot on the moon.