Monthly Archives: March 2004

Linky Link!

· Visual Newsmap (“an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News news aggregator”… astoundingly cool) [marumushi.com via boingboing]
· Theo Epstein’s Florida frat house, Phi Sign-a Playa (“Jed Hoyer was sleeping at 2 in the morning so we opened his door, yelled ‘fire’ and got him with the fire extinguisher. That was pretty good.”) [Boston Globe via blubox]
· Choire Sicha, Loathsome New Yorker (it was inevitable) [ChoireSicha.com]
· Noted photoblogger seeks temporary downtown commercial space (help these worthy souls out—karma, baby) [Craigslist]

Take Our People Out-of-Doors

2004_03_bridge.jpg

Walking across the Manhattan Bridge yesterday, we looked down at a dazzling field of green. Astroturf, of course, but that’s not the point. With the Yanks opening in Japan tomorrow, we type this on the eve of the 2004 baseball season, perhaps the most anticipated in our 30-odd years on this planet, especially for those of us loyal to the boys in Red. Feeling oddly put off by the Post calling the Sox over the Yanks in today’s edition, we’re seeking our soothsaying from other observers, obscure and strange.
· Seventh Inning Scratch [Maxim Online] Our boy Dobrow, a lifelong Yanks fan, also picks the Sox first. Most peculiar.
· The Passion of the Major League Baseball Preview [Black Table] Leitch, too. Oh, you people.
· SoxFan’s 2004 Predictions, Abridged, No Commentary [YanksFan vs. SoxFan] Hope springs eternal, indeed.
· The Hot Corner [Blubox] No predictions, but it’s got a great beat.

Dear Diary: I Will Now Light Myself On Fire

Today’s Metropolitan Diary strays into foreign water, daring to taste life below 42nd Street:

Friends recently took my girlfriend and me to one of the fine new restaurants on the Lower East Side to celebrate our birthdays, which fall a couple of weeks apart. After a fantastic dinner, including some decadent desserts, we decided to work off the evening’s calories by exploring the neighborhood we’d heard so much about.

Do not read the whole thing.
· Metropolitan Diary: Dear Diary [NYTimes; thanks, greg—N.B. spiffy new site!]

Right On

New-to-the-market West Village apartment listing at Elliman.com tickles our inner storyteller:

The perfect West Village pre-war apartment. Blinding southern light bathes this Jane Street jewel. So special, so perfect- with a wood burning fireplace too!!! The Exposed brick makes you want to right a novel, a brand new gourmet kitchen makes you think you should write a cookbook instead. Sky-high ceiling heights, fabulous wood floors, and a winged floorplan complete the picture. This is the “real deal” West Village apartment you have been waiting for… see for yourself- TODAY!

You know, righting. Like that Devil Wears Prada thing.
· 41 Jane Street [elliman.com] thanks aap

Signs of the Times

2004_03_chrystie.jpg

Baffled by the giant street signs that have sprouted across Houston in recent weeks? Fear not—DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall explains how they work (using, of all places, Brooklyn as an example):

“Currently, a driver proceeds along Eastern Parkway, and, before the driver approaches the Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue intersection, the driver clearly sees a sign that reads ‘Washington Avenue.’ These signs give the driver a sense of where they are, and a driver does not have to look for conventional street signs on the side of the intersection.”

Jesus, Iris, babe, have we died and awoken in the hell that is San Francisco? The whole point of Chrystie Street is that no one is supposed to know that it’s just the special name for Second Ave. below Houston. Alas, the kicker: “Ultimately, about 3,000 signs—costing anywhere between $100 and $120 for installation—will be placed along major streets at key signalized intersections.” Perhaps the cost will be subsidized in part by the streetsign store the DOT appears to be running right under the nose of the Bloomberg administration. Now that’s entrepreneurism.
· DOT Bringing Oversized Street Signs to Many Roads [nyc.gov]
· Custom Made Signs [nyc.gov]

Cargo Messenger Purse Update

Actual, honest-to-goodness field report on the Cargo Messenger Purse: “I’ve been using mine as a lunch bag (it holds 2 Diet Cokes, a tangerine, two fruit roll-ups and a small Tupperware container quite nicely).” Meantime, the kids at Best Week Ever dissect it (“I don’t think purses for men will do very well”), though none with quite the panache of Mr. Sicha (“All you’re doing is riding on the coattails of the fashion-forward gays without actually having to have sex with other men”).
· Cargo Bag [Lots of Co.]
· Your Free Gift for Being a Metrosexual [VH1's Best Week Ever]
· Letter from the Editor: The Cargo Manpurse [Gawker]

Review: Cargo (The Messenger Bag)

Although much ink has been spilled concerning the first issue of new men’s shopping magazine Cargo, many reviewers have missed the bigger story. Last week, we arrived home and popped open our mailbox to find, packaged smartly in white plastic, our premium for subscribing to the magazine: a branded Cargo Messenger Bag. Herewith, our review.


2004_03_cargo1.jpg
Initial Take: Sporting a sleek black-on-black palette augmented with the Cargo logo and yellow reflective strip, Cargo: The Messenger Bag makes an all-around pleasing first impression. Such an impression, in fact, that one is inclined to wonder anew: just what are guys supposed to use messenger bags for, anyways? Cargo: The Magazine, alas, does not offer us an answer to this question in issue No. 1 (although, in an interview with FoxNews, Cargo style director Bruce Pask sagely notes, “I think men would have a hard time holding a mint-colored messenger bag.” No worries here, Bruce!) But, relying on our extensive experience riding New York City subways, we can now reveal that messenger bags for men serve the primary purpose of toting well-reviewed literature to and from jobs in midtown Manhattan.


2004_03_cargo2.jpgUsage Report: So, how does Cargo: TMB fare in this regard? Despite the poor tactile quality of the plastic lining (one tester likened it to “a used sandwich bag”), we initially were won over by the whole package. The Cargo Messenger Bag, measuring a stately 13″x10″x3″, swallowed even the weightiest in postmodern fiction—without flinching.

2004_03_cargo3.jpgComparative Report: Unfortunately, when compared to a similarly styled messenger bag from competitor Manhattan Portage, Cargo‘s freshman offering withers. In lab tests, we managed to fit the entire Cargo messenger bag, plus three (3) important hardcover literary works, into the Manhattan Portage bag—with room to spare. In a five blades world, it seems Cargo is left offering a mere three blades and a (yellow reflective) strip.


2004_03_cargo4.jpgConclusion: It was only when we abandoned the laboratory and slung the Cargo messenger bag over our broad shoulders that we realized what it is that some clever associate publisher at Conde Nast is trying to get us to wear.

A purse.

In next week’s column, we’ll report back on our experience wearing the Cargo Messenger Purse around town, with to-the-second detail on how long it took for us to get beaten to a pulp. Until then, go forth and consume!
· Subscribe to Cargo and get this FREE GIFT as our thank you! [buysub.com]
· Spring Turns Up the Color [FoxNews]

LES Linkage

· Go south, young hipsters: Post annoints Chinatown as new hot real estate district (“I think most of the people you see moving here are your young urban-hipster types, people without a lot of money. Artists, musicians, that sort of person.”) [NY Post via ebway]

· Rivington synagogue has seen better days [The Villager]
· Here’s a list of LESers donating to the presidential campaign (helloooooo, Nicholas Butterworth!) [thanks, JH]