Sunday, February 24, 2008

Lapses in Hibernation

This winter has seen me at my most reclusive. It's so cold outside that I don't really leave the house unless there's something I absolutely have to go and do. Here are some of the things that have made the cut:


Closing of Cafe La Fortuna
69 W. 71st St., Upper West Side
February 16, 2008

For 32 years Cafe La Fortuna was owned and operated by Vinny Urwand and his wife Alice. The cafe was made famous during the late seventies when John Lennon became a regular there. He was known to sit in the front of the restaurant and write songs. Sometimes Yoko would join him there. You can read more about Cafe La Fortuna here and here.

The restaurant had it's last day of business on Sunday, February 17, 2008 for reasons mentioned here. I was lucky to have my first and last meal there with my friend James the day before the closing.

This is Randy. We sat next to him and found out that he lives upstairs and was the one who tipped the story to the press.


Both The Dakota (Lennon's old home) and Strawberry Fields are in the same neighborhood.


Pete Hamill at Broad Street Ballroom
41 Broad St., Financial District
January 17, 2008

Pete Hamill is a famous writer. He's also one of the major Gothamists featured in the 8-part PBS documentary on New York City. Nick, Richard, and I went to a free lecture he gave on his book Downtown: My Manhattan.

As you can see, we hit it off smashingly.


Advance screening of Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?
66 3rd Ave., East Village
February 20, 2008

A guy in my ward had hookups for a free screening of an upcoming film called Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? It's made by Morgan Spurlock, the guy who brought us Supersize Me. Basically the title says it all. Morgan goes on a hunt to find the world's most wanted man. I liked it. Very interesting film.

The best part was getting to fill out a survey and be part of a focus group after the screening. I hope they use my opinions. After having my work attacked by focus groups, it sure was nice being on the other side of the testing process for a change.


New York New York New York at Flux Factory
38-38 43rd St., Long Island City
January 12, 2008

Flux Factory is a group of artists in Queens who rent out a space for working and events. It's what I imagine Andy Warhol's Factory must have been like in the 60s.

So, the New York New York New York exhibit was created in response to the famous Panorama at the Queens Museum. Rather than being a highly accurate, scale model of the city, it's a dreamlike vision of an imaginary New York. It's a model of New York on acid.

An armadillo posing as the Brooklyn Bridge

Taxis on a treadmill

The Little Red Lighthouse

New York harbor


CPH Experiments at Storefront of Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare St., No Man's Land (or Little Italy)
Late November

The Swedes have some pretty great architectural ideas for more communal living. Oh, and their miniature people are pretty awesome too.


The Maps by Paula Scher at Maya Stendhal Gallery
545 W. 20th St., Chelsea
Late November

Paula Scher is a designer at Pentagram. She also likes to paint maps. Love it. (These photos are taken from the gallery site.)


Rob Sheffield at McNally Robinson
52 Prince St., Little Italy
January 16, 2008


69 Gansevoort St., Meatpacking District
January 5, 2008


Julian Schnabel at Apple Store, SoHo
103 Prince St., SoHo
November 28, 2007

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Closer than it seemed

There are many missteps Romney made that cost him the nomination. I pretty much agree with the 10 mentioned here.

That said, Romney came far closer to winning than most people think:

After Iowa, New Hampshire, and Wyoming, Mitt was winning the race. This went almost completely unrecognized; the media grossly underplayed Romney's lead. In my opinion, their favoring of McCain could have been what gave McCain the lead. (People voted for who the media said was the leader, even when McCain wasn't the leader. As a result, McCain became the leader.)

After those three states, Romney won Michigan, Nevada, and Maine, and McCain won Florida and South Carolina. (Florida, being the most important of course was a close race...36% to 31.1%.

Romney was robbed by the following factors...

1. The media bias

2. Many of the other GOP candidates, who dislike Romney and teamed up against him...he is not a Washington insider like them

3. The Huckabee/McCain/Ron Paul scandal in West Virginia that Romney really won. Being that it was the first Super Tuesday state result, Romney's win here could have really helped him have a stronger showing for rest of Super Tuesday.

Even after all that abuse though, Romney still did tremendously on Super Tuesday.

McCain: 43.1% (3,611,459)
Romney: 35.4% (2,961,834)

If the GOP counted delegates like the Democrats (instead of winner-takes-all) the race would be VERY different right now. Romney is a smart guy though, he suspended his campaign for the good of his party. Be looking for him to rise again either as VP running mate this year or president 2012.

Friday, February 08, 2008


The first time through it's kinda dumb.
The second time through it's amusing.
The third time through you'll be LOLing.

Ron Regs!

My Man Mitt

He may not be headed to the White House, but to me Mitt Romney is still a success.

He will forever go down as the man who inspired me to take a deeper interest in political issues--and to have more genuine concern about the future of our country.

Watching the CPAC today, I was as sad as the next Mitt fan to see him go. The way he did it, though, couldn't have been classier. He really took the high road by putting his party ahead of his own self-interests. This shows what a man of vision Mitt truly is.

And as for the speech--it was probably one of the most inspired and authentic moments of his campaign. I partially attribute this to the fact that, perhaps for the first time, he told his audience exactly what they didn't want to hear.

As Mitt learns from his mistakes and finds his voice in the coming years, I am confident Americans will gain a new appreciation for him.

We've not seen the end of Mitt Romney.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Exposing the Huckabee/McCain/Paul Scandal

Mike Huckabee won the West Virginia GOP primary fair-and-square. At least, that's what he'd like you to believe. While his tactics Tuesday may have been legal, they certainly were not ethical. Isn't he supposed to be the candidate of morals?

Here's how it went down:

To win the West Virginia caucus, a candidate had to have at least 50% of the vote. After the first vote, the numbers looked like this:

375 - Huckabee
176 - McCain
118 - Paul
464 - Romney

Mitt had 47% of the vote. Clearly the winner, yet not enough to take the victory. So what did Huckabee do? He hired Ron Paul supporters to come to his camp so he could beat Romney. In exchange, Huck promised to give Paul a cut of his delegates--three to be exact.

As for Mr. McCain, his campaign simply told his supporters to not vote for him and instead vote for Huck. Here we see a picture of an embarrassed McCainer showing her true colors.

So in a nutshell, Huckabee cut a back-room deal with Paul, while McCain played the dirty game of politics shamelessly.

The second vote looked like this:

524 - Huckabee
479 - Romney
11 - McCain

So basically, it took all three candidates to beat Romney.

When asked about his scandal, Huck said:

“I have not talked to Senator McCain or people on his staff about West Virginia. You know, every time we win something, somebody tries to figure out a way to explain it away. Truth is people voted for me. They had a chance to vote for somebody else. And when they didn’t vote – when their candidate -- either John McCain or Ron Paul didn’t get the votes on the first ballot and they had to pick somebody else, they picked me. It’s as simple as that. I think it shows that when this party wants to come together, it looks to somebody they know can carry the message. People in WV believed I can do it. Yesterday, Mitt Romney was saying don’t be a whiner. Yesterday, he was against whining. Today, he’s for whining. So I think we just need to say we won WV and he’ll just have to deal with it.”

Notice how he doesn't mention Ron Paul. While it's possible that McCain instigated his own role in the scandal, Huckabee definitely approached Paul with the deal. Paul's campaign spokesperson said this:

"We struck a deal with the Huckabee people. They came to us and dealt with us honorably and with respect. And so we told them that if Dr. Paul didn't make it through the first round, that we would go for their man. They pledged us three delegates to the republican national convention."

So Huckabee may not have "talked to Senator McCain or people on his staff," but he certainly did conspire with Paul. On top of that, he was able to avoid lying about it while still not acknowledging his shady trick.

Mr. Huckabee, you may have won the West Virginia nomination, but we'll always know who the real winner was.

(To watch a newscast on the event, click here. Select the 6pm coverage.)

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hold the press

If there is one thing my degree in communications taught me, it is to recognize bias in the media. Everywhere I look I see news sources either endorsing John McCain or painting a picture of him as the clear front runner in the race for the GOP nomination.

The truth is that before Florida, Mitt Romney was leading in the delegate count. What did most media outlets do? They declared that McCain was in the lead because he had won in states that were more vigorously contested. When Mitt took Nevada in a landslide win, they disregarded it because no one else (besides Ron Paul) had campaigned there. Now, I understand that head-to-head campaigning certainly scores high in newsworthiness. But how about the fact that McCain, Giuliani, and Huckabee all stayed clear of Nevada because they knew they didn't stand a chance against Mitt? Where were the media then? They were too busy talking about McCain's win in South Carolina.

And then came Florida--a McCain win I feel was largely created by the false perception that the man was already in the lead. And where did people get that idea? From a liberal press doing whatever it takes to keep a real conservative out of the White House.

With that said, I'm providing some links here below to some great articles written in support of Mitt. You have to dig harder to find this stuff, but it's worth it.

Rally for Romney by Mark Levin

A Call to Conservative Action by Vin Weber

Why I Am Endorsing Romney Now - Obama A Strong Second Choice by Dan Riehl

The fat lady won't sing on Super Tuesday by David Sparks

This pretty much sums up what I dislike about McCain. John McCain Hates Me by Michael Reagan

And here's a good analysis of the GOP situation going into Super Tuesday. Intransigent Huck Voters by Hugh Hewitt