Toasted with the Children 2014

Tonight was a good night. Spent some good money on charity for the Children of Bellevue, a non-profit organization that is devoted to “leveling the playing field for New York City’s vulnerable youths” as they say but I see it as an opportunity to just spend some time (and money) with children that just don’t have the parental or monetary support in the NYC community.

Tonight was the Toast to the Children 2014 event at the Riverpark Restaurant, all the way out on the FDR, but where no normal cab knows how to get to….

It was a smaller venue than the previous location I’ve been to, which was Mandarin Oriental NYC hotel. Riverpark is more intimate but this year had definitely less people in attendance; and I’ve noticed a much “cheaper” clientele…

Venue was modern but a sort of functional labyrinth for the event, however, no one seamed to mind. The wine and food were great as usual (thank you Tom Colicchio and Staff for putting this together!). My favorites were Jonathan Waxman’s contribution of grilled shrimp with beans and grains (Barbuto), the octopus from Frankies Spuntino, the Rappahannock River Oysters, Peasant’s take on razor clams, and Colicchio & Sons (or maybe it was Craft’s) tapioca pudding… Honorable mention to Fairway market for their cheese, charcuterie, oils and spreads table which of all the tables besides Pearl Oyster Bar’s lobster roll table, had the lines.

Wine was on point this year (I wish I had a list as the french table wines were excellent) and I’m happy they had a mix of hard liquor (I took on the bourbon, skipped the vodka and gin) and beers for the event.

I was a little disappointed in the turn out for the silent auction… this year they did a digital display “silent auction” which everyone could log into via their smart phones and bid, however, response was lack luster. My recommendation of the developers, is that you need to post ALL the bidders (as if you’re looking at a clip board of who’s voted) and you can gauge if 1 person has bid or 30, but at least it gives a bit of competitive nature to the process…

I won tickets to The Killer play that I had never known about until today… I hope its good, however, even if it’s not, happy my donation goes to the Kids.

I say that the response was lack luster this year because there wasn’t the crowds I had been used to, there wasn’t demand at the live auction (Tom had to bid on his own item to get the price up! fuck you guys!), and man of the people I met had made it through donated tickets and thus those that paid didn’t show or were given access.

I hope the event continues for many years of success and look forward to several more. If you are in NY (or even if you’re not) please spend some time looking into supporting this very beneficial charity:

Celebrate MLK and Continuing to Move Forward

“Ben, make sure you play “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” in the meeting tonight. Play it real pretty.”

Those were Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last words after falling to the ground from a shot through his right cheek. King had many enemies fighting for civil rights in the 60’s and because of that fight we can have proper social dialect like this from Wanda Sykes.

Poirier – Enemies feat. Face T (Dub I.D. Remix)


No Pants Subway Ride NYC

Improv Everywhere is one of my favorite public space chaos creators. They have created some interesting events such as No Shirts in the Abercrombie and Fitch store, Slo-Mo in Home Depot, Human Mirror and the MP3 experiments. But the most attention grabbing and news catchy event is this day in winter when thousands of New Yorkers strip off their pants and ride the subways, seemingly unaware that there’s anything wrong with their attire. No Pants subway ride has now gone global in 43 other cities around the world in 16 countries and I assume will continue to amass exhibitionists and voyeurs for years.

The event occurred this past Sunday, the 10th, and I accidentally stumbled upon the end result that evening stopping off at Union Square for groceries when 3000+ participants had gathered to celebrate the joint feat. I got off the 4 coming down from a museum day in the UES when I was hit by a wall of pant-less participants shouting in unison “Take off your Pants!”. Unfortunately, it’s chaotic night scenes like this that push the limits of my camera, as the XSi I have is slow with autofocus and my standard flash is equaly inaccurate in these situations. As a result, my photos are not as clear as I had hoped. I’ll need to practice more of these in the future as I work to pick up the much faster Canon EOS 5D Mark II on the wish list.

I would have participated (*cough*), if it wasn’t for the 28 degrees and my fashionable thermal underwear just wasn’t as revealing as some of the lingerie bottoms flaunted around the square. Much better photos from agents are available on the IE site.

Seu Jorge – Rebel Rebel (David Bowie Cover)

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Rebel Rebel, you’ve torn your dress
Rebel Rebel, your face is a mess
Rebel Rebel, how could they know?
Hot tramp, I love you so!