J.P. Chan 

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We Had a Winner

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Take a chance take a chance take a chukka chance chance take a chance take a chance take a chukka chance chance…

(Wall St & William St)

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Tuesday Unlucky Rats (I Am, I Said)

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As I was taking this photo to show how one can get used to anything in this City, including drinking Dr. Pepper next to stinky subway trash containers, a rat the size of my cat darted out from between them.

I leapt out of its way, barely a second before it would have climbed onto my shoe, crawled up the inside of my pant leg, chewed its way into my right front pocket, turned on my iPod’s shuffle mode, listened to several tracks, made some snide remarks about Neil Diamond, and escaped by squeezing itself past the loose waistband of my baggy jeans.

As I stood there with a big grin of shock and relief at the fate I’d escaped, I could hear a couple with a baby next to me chuckle and say, “that’s a big one.”

(14 St-7 Av Station)

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Monday Lucky Cats

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(Great Wall Store, Canal & Broadway)

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Cut Rate

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(Fulton St & Ryders Alley)

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Dunkin-n-Writin

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(Dunkin Donuts, Hudson Pl, Hoboken)

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FIRST Robotics Competition: Boom Box

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Lastly, what’s a teen event without loud music? This robot, which was built as a side project by the Pirates of George Westinghouse High School (BKLYN!), features a DVD player, a stereo, and of course, Earth-shakin’ bass. The makers tell me they may attach an arm to it and enter it in next year’s competition.

(Riverbank State Park)

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FIRST Robotics Competition: The Pit

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This is the Pit, where the robots are kept and repaired between matches.

(Riverbank State Park)

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FIRST Robotics Competition: British Invasion

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The Systemetric team hails from Hills Road Sixth Form College of Cambridge (UK, not MA). They’ve posted flyers with UK trivia all around the venue, presumably to help us dopey Americans understand their stange and exotic culture. I didn’t see any flyers explaining their mysterious uniforms, however.

(Riverbank State Park)

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FIRST Robotics Competition: Grrl Power

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The Brearley Bots of Brearley School are competing here for the first time. They’re one of the few all-female teams.

[Special shout-out to my good friend Zoe, a proud Brearley alumna.]

(Riverbank State Park)

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FIRST Robotics Competition: Bklyn Rbttng

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The JeffTech2005 is straight outta Thomas Jefferson High School, Brooklyn.

(Riverbank State Park)

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FIRST Robotics Competition: The Game

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This year’s competition is a kind of tic-tac-toe involving “tetras” — fiberglass pyramids about three feet across. The competitors are divided into two sides of three teams each. The remotely-controlled robots have arms that can stack the tetras — and block opponents from doing so.

(Riverbank State Park)

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FIRST Robotics Competition

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The FIRST Robotics Competition NYC Regional is always a raucous and uplifting event. This year, three dozen teams of NYC-area high school students have built robots for the competition, which is designed to encourage interest in science, technology, and math. The teams have their own uniforms, chants, face paint, and even cheering sections. The enthusiasm of the kids and their supporters is incredibly inspiring.

It’s especially great to see that the program has attracted teams from a wide variety of schools — not just the elite ones. The kids are as diverse economically and ethnically as NYC is. It’s a wonderful sight.

(Riverbank State Park, Riverside Dr between 135 & 145 Sts)

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Rehearsal

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Writing a play — even a short one — is a difficult and lonely process for me. Maybe one day it’ll get easier, but for now there’s no fun to it until rehearsals start. I love watching the director and actors find their way (and themselves) through the text, trying some great things, trying some not-so-great things, but trying always to get at the truth.

Sitting quietly, watching them work, I’m glad they’re too busy to notice the big embarassing grin on my face. They’re my heroes and I’m their biggest fan.

(Lower East Side Tenement Museum Theater, Orchard St)

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Cars, Snow, Cold

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(Houston St & Lafayette St)

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The Iceman Zambonith

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I don’t care who you are or how far you had to travel to get here or where you have to be in an hour. When you come here to skate, you play by my rules. And my rules say that every ninety minutes, you get your ass off the ice so I can resurface the most famous and most perfect piece of ice on the motherfrickin’ planet.

(Rockefeller Center)

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The Needle and the Damage Done

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The junkie chic look of the early nineties is back! I guess a Kate Moss comeback can’t be far behind.

(55 St & 5 Av)

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Hope Springs Eternally Underground

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What is it about our species that we can’t resist throwing coins into every small man-made body of water we come across, even if said small man-made body of water is a fetid stream of who-knows-what flowing through Brooklyn’s busiest subway station?

Whatever the reason, my frickin’ wish better come true soon, because coming here every day with an offering is getting damn tedious.

(Atlantic Av Station)

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