Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tinatin's Moscow Send-Off, Brooklyn-Style

Our Tinatin is heading off to her homeland this month for several weeks. What better way to send her off than with an authentic Turkish meal, courtesy of Ayhan. Mmm, mmm Очень хорошо!

Karine Hannah Releases Music Video To Support Single 'Frida's Sonnet'

Karine Hannah’s new single “Frida’s Sonnet,” is a modern adaptation from the Act One finale of 1995 full-length theatrical production Swedish Style, written by Selcen Pamuk and Ayhan Sahin.
Inspired by the private lives of super-group ABBA, it was deemed "Turkey's first rock opera" by the national press, followed by stagings in nearly a dozen European venues throughout late 1990s.

The Swedish Embassy in Turkey, in fact, was so impressed that they flew Ayhan to Sweden for a one-on-one meet with ABBA founders Benny & Bjorn.

A new accompanying music video filmed by Christopher Holmes in the dead of winter 2011 showcases Karine's rafter-raising vocals, set in a fantasy sequence where she reflects upon the protagonist's enduring feelings for a lover that has since been left in the dust. The backdrop: New York City. Ayhan also makes a cute cameo.

"Frida's Sonnet" has now propelled from the theatrical stage to the world's online stage. You can see the video on YouTube (and, of course, below) and purchase the song on iTunes and amazon.com as a track from Karine's second album for Young Pals Music, Karine. Please, take a look. It's cool (and primarily filmed in our apartment, which looks surreal in this context).

What Exactly Is 'Men's Health' Trying To Say Here??

Um... uh... ah... I have nothing more to say...

Celine Dion Doc '3 Boys And A Show' Coming To OWN Network

ADDENDUM: The show has been postponed until the fall.

Oprah's OWN cable channel will premiere a new documentary about Celine Dion's life behind the scenes of her Las Vegas show, "3 Boys and A Show," June 26, at 9 p.m.

"Celine Dion is used to juggling roles as mother, wife and musical icon. And now she has another to add to the list: headliner at Caesars Palace. In this one-hour primetime special, viewers are given an unprecedented look at the day-to-day balancing act of the legendary artist as she tends to newborn twins, helps her eldest son with his homework and spends quality time with her longtime husband, all the while working to launching her spectacular Las Vegas extravaganza, 'Celine.'"

A 2011 Anomaly: Add The Year You Were Born & Your Age And...

How bizarre is this? 2011 is quite a year. First, we are dealt a handful of wild dates—1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11 and 11/11/11.

But because of a bizarre anomaly , if you add the year you were born to the age you will turn this year, you will inevitably end up with the number 111. It really works. Boo!!

NYC Vintage Image: The New York Of The Future... Then...

Over the past 100 years, engineers and urban planners have come up with some ingenious solutions to New York City's inherent challenges... Here are five that are wildly unique, if not either highly impractical or just plain stupid.
1) In 1918, the concept of technology that could dig tunnels not only beneath existing streets, but tunnels beneath tunnels—that didn't cave in on one another—was next to impossible to imagine. So using the Broadway subway line's construction, city planners offered a visual to demonstrate how steel wedges and wooden beams would be employed to support existing rails, while blasting rock from beneath them.

Eventually, the steel wedge would serve as permanent ceiling for the second layer of tunnels, while another beam would hold everything in place. After areas surrounding the supports were filled with cement, workers could take them away and let the structure stand on its own.

For that matter, it's still pretty astounding.

2) In 1916, Dr. T. Kennard Thomson, a consulting engineer, proposed a novel solution to New York City's growing population problem: add more land! His proposal entailed adding 50 square miles of land from the New York Bay, which would contribute 100 miles of new waterfront, essentially turning downtown Manhattan into midtown!

The black portions at the bottom of the map show where Thomson planned to add land mass, including the new East River he planned to carve inside Queens. With the original East River filled in, Brooklyn and Manhattan would become Manhattan's new East and West Side.

Even though the project was projected to cost more than the Panama Canal, the engineer theorized that the added populace would contribute enough financial returns to justify the investment.
3) A decade after T. Kennard Thomson offered his proposal, in 1924, John A. Harris, special deputy commissioner in charge of traffic, proposed draining the pesky East River and constructing a massive paved boulevard between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

After damming and draining the East River between the Williamsburg Bridge and Harlem River, a new city hall atop the boulevard would house police, health, music and art centers, while new high schools, playgrounds and a theater district would serve all four boroughs.

Beneath the paved boulevard would be parking spaces, subway lines, east and west ramps, as well as a tunnel for large vehicles... Actually, this is a pretty boffo idea... you know, except for turning New York City into a dustbowl.

4) Transferring on the S subway shuttle between Grand Central Station and Times Square is a royal pain in the ass, to this day. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. & Stevens-Adamson Manufacturing came up with a genius solution in 1951: instal conveyor cars that would shuttle passengers between the two stations.

These cars would carry twice as many people a third faster than the existing shuttle train. To further ease traffic, a moving sidewalk would carry commuters to and from the tunnels, the conveyor cars and subway platforms themselves. Damn shame that never happened.5) Welcome to the all-new Times Square, circa 1962! Without cross streets, traffic flow would be magically undeterred, as the center of the universe was transformed into more of a village setting, complete with multi-level connecting theaters, retail and transportation...

Funny, while nothing of the sort ever happened, NYC Mayor Bloomberg has taken today's Times Square back in time, a la George Orwell's 1984. Even though you're outdoors, somehow, smoking is hazardous, despite a steady stream of car, cab and bus exhaust.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memories Of Strele

Happy birthday to my dearly departed Strele. My sister for life would have turned a ripe 50 today.

STUNNING: Julia Robert & Tom Hanks Cover June 2011 W Magazine

Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks, who showcase true timeless Hollywood glamor on the June 2011 cover of W Magazine, are starring together in the upcoming film Larry Crowne, directed by Hanks. She is wearing Dolce & Gabbana silk on the cover, Versace gown and Giorgio Armani corset and skirt inside.

Memorial Day Cookout... Up On The Roof

I'm still stunned that Memorial Day weekend 2011 has been warm and sunny... It simply never happens. As part of my staycation, while Ayhan worked, Leo and I were invited to Zanne & Ralph's Cobble Hill digs for a cookout on their deck... Ah, outdoor space, the ultimate NYC luxury. Italian sausage, anyone?
From their third-floor deck, you can actually climb a rusty ladder to the building's rooftop. I'm not sure what possessed me (more wine, please...), but I was determined to see the view from up above.Up on the rooooooooof!Left, Zanne & Ralph's building from the front; Right, looking down on the little people...What a magnificent view, as sunset approaches.

EXCLUSIVE: Lady Lib Gets Ready For Work, Just Like The Rest Of Us

If there's no camera aimed at her, is the Statue of Liberty really standing on her pedestal 24/7? The Smoking Nun has discovered in these exclusive photos that Lady Liberty gets ready for work, just like everybody else, taking a ferry boat from Battery Park to her daily job on Liberty Island....Above, Lady Liberty is none too amused when I try to take her picture before she's officially on duty... She then gathers her things: sunblock, sunglasses, make-up bag, cigarettes and a small flask of booze... And to my astonishment boards the Statue Cruises boat with all of the tourists...Thirty minutes later, standing tall, as her workday begins. Who knew?!!

Window To The World

An easterly view of the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn Heights, as the spring sun begins to set.

NYC Vintage Image Of The Day: Fifth Avenue, 1913

In this gratifyingly expansive, beautifully sharp image looking up Fifth Avenue in the spring of 1913, it doesn't much matter if it's in black or white, since all of the automobiles were the color of shiny coal. Note that at the time, Fifth Avenue had traffic in both directions. Photo: George Grantham Bai.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Urban Oasis: Fulton Landing, River Cafe, Brooklyn Bridge Park

An utterly poifect weekend day. Sunny and warm, with blue skies abounding... and a walk in the park with Leo. Destination: Fulton Landing, the grounds of the five-star River Cafe and Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1. Ain't it great to be alive?Kayaking on the East River... scary!

'Young Man, Drink Your Homo Milk So You'll Grow Up Big And Gay...'

God Almighty: Meet Jed Hill, The (Latest) Sexiest Man Alive

William Levy, Rodiney Santiago, Michael Barre, you have met your match for the Sexiest Man Alive. Meet Jed Hill, a 26-year-old former Penn State football player who decided the world would be better served by his dedication to fitness and underwear modeling. Look at those scintillating blue eyes. Note that sturdy 6'2", 245-pound frame.

I don't know where to begin with the collection of images I've found on countless webbies over the past month, since one is more beautiful than the next. The best I can offer is to showcase a few frames on the home page, with more after the jump. Prepare for a full meal.