Whitehall and I


The starting point (if you don’t live in SI) to NYC’s best cheap date just went upscale, so you can feel a little less like a cheapskate bringing someone here before splitting the check at Gray’s Papaya. Can it really be that the spectacular Staten Island Ferry ride is still free? Yes.

(Whitehall Ferry Terminal, Manhattan)

Forever in Bluejeans


I’ve been meaning to blog about the numerous health benefits of drinking at least eight glasses of water a day and eating a diet rich in fiber. And as soon as I can spend more than 15 minutes away from the toilet, I will.

Androids Dreaming of Electric Sheep


Help me, I cannot escape the Cult of Mac. I own a PowerBook. I own an iPod. I want to buy more Apple stuff, even though I don’t need it. A power adapter, some extra RAM, even one of those damn iPod socks — I need to buy something…

Or help you buy it. If you need assistance purchasing a Mac or an iPod, I can offer advice and probably even help you set it up if I have enough frequent flyer miles to get to where you are. Just drop me a line. You know the URL. Please do it quickly.

(Apple Store SoHo, 103 Prince St at Greene St, +1-212-226-3126, open 7 days)

The Big Drink


Quench a City’s thirst
With Hudson River Cocktail
Ice cold refreshment

(Battery Park)

Heavy & Light


Not sure if what we’re getting this weekend qualifies as a bona fide blizzard, but whatever it is, I love it. A good dumping of snow always transforms the City, hushing its noise, covering its eyesores, lightening its mood.

All kids love snow — and more adults should. So bundle up, watch your step, stay off thin ice, don’t eat yellow snow, and enjoy yourself.

Golden Touch


If you want to avoid severe confusion, don’t read more than one self-help book at a time. Just take my word on this.

(1 St & 4 Av, Bklyn)

Lost in the Land of the Lost


Although it’s a fairly common belief here in Brooklyn that early humans spent their days battling dinosaurs for food and real estate, it simply isn’t true. The fossil record unambiguously shows that dinosaurs and humans never co-existed, which precludes scenes like the one hanging in my living room of a scantly clad she-warrior riding a triceratops. During the Age of the Great Lizards, in fact, mammals were a lowly bunch of pre-human scavengers and deadbeats, bolting in fear at the mere mention of a brontosaurus. (Broadway’s Les Miserables is an excellent chronicle of the mammalian struggle to get out from under the thumb of T-Rex and his scaly ilk, if you’re into musicals.) It wasn’t until the Great Comet/Ice Age/Alien Invasion that these ferocious and ornery beasts were vanquished, making way for the ascent of mammals, who were next on the waiting list. Through evolution, these creatures would eventually become the species we call “people.”

I’ve often taken pleasure in smugly deriding the “humans vs. dinosaurs” myth as silly “Land of the Lost”-based history, but now I wonder how long I’ll be able to say it with confidence. Recently, researchers from the American Museum of Natural History reported their discovery of a small prehistoric mammal fossil in China — with an even smaller dinosaur partially digested inside its stomach. Mammals munching on baby dinosaurs? That’s bad-ass, yo. Now that we know early mammals were much more gangsta than we’d been led to believe, what other revelations await us?

Perhaps we have already seen the Land of the Lost — and it looks a lot like Brooklyn.

Parts, anyway.

(“Alligator” by the awesome Tom Otterness, MetroTech Commons, Brooklyn)

To Serve or Protect?


They seemed awfully young, they were wearing dress uniforms, and they didn’t have guns. They looked alert, scanning the throngs of busy commuters quietly and methodically. I thought they might be a symbolic sort of protection, not unlike the unarmed National Guardsmen that are stationed at Grand Central and Penn Station. Or maybe it was part of their training, the way NYPD rookies are now sent into the worst precincts right out of the Academy. Was Atlantic Av Station on high alert now? Whatever the reason, they became part of my daily commute.

One day, one of them made eye contact with me. I felt I was being checked out. Did I look suspicious? I wasn’t offended, just curious as to why I had merited any attention. For some reason, the moment stayed in my mind.

On Saturday, I saw them again — differently. They had pamphlets, brochures. They were speaking to young men. They were recruiting.

(Atlantic Av Station, Brooklyn)

NYC > AC 8

NYC > AC 8

When choosing a beachfront condo, make sure beach chair storage is included in your common fee. If it’s not, you may find yourself, er, saddled with unanticipated charges.

(Atlantic City)

NYC > AC 7


Lucy the Margate Elephant has been around for a real long time, but she still looks great.

(Atlantic Av, Margate)

NYC > AC 6

NYC > AC 6

Ventnor City is a quiet town (at least in January) next door to Atlantic City. There’s a lovely beach and some beautiful old homes here.

(Ventnor City Beach)