Whistling in the dark

Yaffa Phillips writes sporadically

Serendipitous discovery of the day

While on the wrong train hearing these 2 lovely women playing violin at Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station. Thank you GreenHerring2 for uploading this video to youtube.

I love NYC public transit, for the convenience, for the people-watching, for the mashup of 5 people’s headphones with the sound of the tracks, for the hours it keeps & for poetry in motion.

Two poems on public transport today

Untitled by Jeffrey Yang, Art: Holly Sears Hudson River Explorers

Poetry in Motion - Untitled by Jeffrey Yang

Ragtime by Kevin Young, Art: Raul Colon – Primavera

Poetry in Motion - Ragtime by Kevin Young

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posted by Yaffa in art,music,New York and have No Comments

Do you know someone who has made New York a better place? and NY Newspapers online

Do you know someone who has made New York a better place?

NY Post screengrab - Click on the image and click on all sizes to view it larger for yourself.

This screengrab is from today. A story about an ex-professor getting prison time for possessing child porn ends with, “Some of the photos found on the 62-year-old’s computer depicted infants being sexually abused.” It is followed by the question: “Do you know someone who has made New York a better place? Nominate your hero for the 8th Annual New York Post Liberty Medals.” [link to story here]

The New York Post has sometimes been known for fun wordplay Headless Body in Topless Bar: The Best Headlines from America’s Favorite Newspaper in this case an editor should have picked up on this. It makes it seem like the Internet is an afterthought and the staff doesn’t bother to find the time to check what will end up on the screen. Big mistake: I would guess more people are reading the story this way than in print. Can anyone help me get the numbers to back this up?

You get another NY-based paper going through a web redesign [via: via] that prioritizes the display over content. The paper is a ditz with a status update and shiny pictures.

On the other hand the NY Times is doing neat things with their website – data visualizations, game, ads, facebook, facebook app, twitter, global edition, NY Times Reader.

posted by Yaffa in New York and have No Comments

RIP Free Events NY (2004-2008) / Finding Things to Do in NYC

I just deleted the Free Events NY group on Yahoo!. I started it on June 20, 2004. I had created a master list of free events going on in NYC organized by date for my benefit so I could look up a specific day and see what was on. I decided to share it with whoever would be interested via the Yahoo! group. Over the years thousands of events were posted.

I thoroughly enjoyed a lot of the events and was happy to share my efforts to organize them. I got some sweet thank you emails from a number of members. There were also the random emails from people who couldn’t figure out how to download the files, the messages I had to delete when people tried to post events that were not free – the title of the group was too mysterious and unclear and responding to RSVP emails when people didn’t notice that I was not the person who needed the response. :-)

I have moved to England and so I finally pulled the plug today. There were still 1230 members even though it had not been updated in about a year. The upcoming.org group still exists, though I don’t post events, but I gladly moderate through what people choose to share every so often.

Besides the resources below, general tips on finding what to do with yourself in NYC…If there’s a venue or community organization you like – find their website and subscribe to their calendar. On the websites of book stores you can find out about author events in your area. Check out New York City’s Parks Department website for info about events in your local park. You can do the same for your local library. Also, if there is a college or university near you they may have events that are open to the public. Many cultural organizations have facebook pages and twitter feeds as another way to communicate with you – do a few searches on your favorite social networking site.

There are loads of things going on. Realize you can’t do it all. Give yourself some time to recharge. Enjoy every minute.

Online resources for NYC:

  • NewYorkology
    The best guide to NYC for locals and tourists. It’s still in my RSS reader.
  • NewYorkology Links page
    Links to official sites for NYC’s (mostly free) summer concerts and film series, Pro sports teams, Alt-cinema theaters and venues, Tours and tour guides (divided by categories), Broadway shows, Hotels, Essential blogs, Auction houses, Museums, Iconic shopping sites.
  • Brooklyn Vegan
    Great music blog with a list of free events here
  • Oh My Rockness
    Indie Rock show list
  • Free NYC
    Online calendar for free events
  • Nonsense NYC
    Weekly list for silly events
  • upcoming or eventful
    Searchable databases of events by location.
  • HopStop
    Directions to get where you want to go.
  • Menu Pages
    View menus of restaurants online. Search by food type or neighborhood.
  • Serious Eats: New York
    NY food blog with a great board you can ask questions on.
  • ask.mefi
    Posts tagged with NYC on ask.metafilter.com. Not all will be event/visit related but there will definitely be some interesting reading.

NY Media with good listings:

Reduced price ticket opportunities:

  • TKTS Booths
    They sell same day tickets for 25% or 50% off the regular price.
  • TDF
    Reduced price tickets you can buy in advance as a member (annual fee of about $30). You can join if you are a full-time student or teacher, a union member, a senior (62 or over), a civil service employee, a staff member of a not-for-profit organization, a performing arts professional, a member of the armed forces or clergy. A great deal, if you can join, because they get big shows for reasonable prices.
  • Goldstar Events
    Free for anyone to join, reduced price tickets. They will send you a weekly email with events. I have gotten some great tickets from them.
  • High 5
    Reduced price ticket opportunities for teenagers 13-18.
  • Audience Extras
    $85 annual fee plus $3.50 per ticket. You have to put money in your account with them which you draw from when you get tickets. Sometimes Broadway shows and lots of off and off-off-Broadway stuff. It is worth it if you will go a lot – quality of the performances is mixed.
  • Play-By-Play
    A few annual membership types (online membership – $99 plus an $8 processing fee. phone membership – $125 plus an $8 processing fee. Double membership – $198 plus a $16 processing fee with access to listings and reservations online and via telephone.) $3.50 surcharge per ticket. Like Audience extras you need to set up an account that ticket charges can be debited from.
  • Theater Extras
    Two different annual membership types ($99 – up to two tickets, and$175 up to 4 tickets per show.) $4 surcharge per ticket.
  • Theatermania’s Gold Club
    Two different annual membership types ($99 – up to two tickets, and$169 up to 4 tickets per show.) $4.50 surcharge per ticket.
posted by Yaffa in internet,New York and have No Comments

Muslim Women – Hijab vs. Niqab, Plans for Peace, NYC

Today, I learned the difference between hijab and niqab. For Muslim women a Hijab is a headcovering or modesty. A niqab covers the whole face (except for the eyes). A women sitting on the subway next to me was dressed in full niqab. Her face was covered except for her pretty eyes. (I think people will fetishize what they cannot see, her eyes were a heck of a lot more intriguing than Britney Spears; and it is not a common choice in NYC.) She wore long sleeves and also gloves…fyi nyc summer has begun.

By furtive glances, I noticed her eyes and that she was dozing a bit as I do in the mornings with her bags in her lap. Her two gloves were mismatched colors (dark blue and black) and underneath her long dress as she got off the train I noticed she had on white socks.

Told my Israeli coworker Naomi about this….her response: they’re crazy….I said it was similar to religious Jewish women covering up….she agreed but retorted….they’re crazy too….they are alike….

So we just have to get people to see their similarities…or an ingenius plan I heard in a recent documentary I went to see Encounter Point about workers for Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict….make all the smokers get their cigarettes from either the territories or Israel whichever is the home of The Other and people will get along in service of their nic fits…

I think it’s neat that except for a glance or two, at the odd sight of it, people went about their business. It’s one of the things I like about NYC…The countdown to leaving has begun so of course I have to appreciate it before I go.

posted by Yaffa in Israel,Jewish,movies,New York and have Comments (2)

May 2nd – Björk at Radio City Music Hall Photo Gallery

posted by Yaffa in music,New York,photography and have No Comments