Travel

Just landed in NOLA

There’s a cool breeze tickeling my thin shirt in the cylindar style termanal C of the “Satcho” AKA Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans, Louisiana. I’ve just landed and I’m chillin (literally, I thought it was supposed to be hot down ‘er) in cookie cuter stiff airport seats of the “lobby” waiting for a friend to land, and head into the CBD.

Why the lobby? Nothing is open. After 9 apparently everything in this terminal shuts down. Good to know on the next time around. I’m looking at a row of stores with books begging to be thumbed through, PJ’s coffee waiting for that percalation and across from the Jazz alley lounge where I thought I would be sipping down my first brew of the weekned in New Orleans…

I’m here for the 2nd weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and to tear it up for the first time with some friends from the east. There’s not much planned but a spot to sleep and the festival headlined by Stevie Wonder, Jimmy Buffett, The Roots, Santana, Steel Pulse and hundreds of other superbly tallented jazz musicians.

Here’s to po boys and dirty girls, schucked oysters and hot river boat casinos…

Society

NYC congestion pricing meets crushing defeat

This has been an on going issue in New York city for over a year. It’s had many revisions and names which don’t reflect the true nature of the project (Bloomberg’s pet project being probably the latest). The concept for those outside of New York is this:

New York congestion pricing is a proposed traffic congestion fee for vehicles traveling into or within the Manhattan central business district of New York City. A small part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030: A Greener, Greater New York which is designed for the sustainability of New York City through 2030, planning for population and job growth and well as sustained standards of living (originally outlined in April 2007).

The congestion pricing plan cites comparable congestion pricing programs in London, Singapore and Stockholm already in place and would be the first such plan in the US.

As proposed, the congestion pricing zone is defined as the island of Manhattan (bordered by the East and Hudson Rivers) south of 60th Street (“Central park South” but was originally 96th Street). Provisions were made for free zones (the FDR Drive, New York Route 9A (West Side Highway and Henry Hudson Parkway included), the Battery Park Underpass, and the East River bridges). The charge would apply during business hours on weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Proposed fees would be $8 for cars and commercial vehicles and $21 for trucks entering from outside the zone. Transit buses, emergency vehicles, taxis and for-hire vehicles, and vehicles with handicapped license plates would not be charged the fee. Taxi and livery trips that begin, end or touch the zone would have a $1 surcharge. Vehicles would be charged only once per day.

The pros for this were:

  • Federal money allocated to New York for improved public transportation, reduction of auto traffic and congestion resulting in expedition of timely arrivals, and significant reduction of greenhouse gases and smog in Manhattan.

The objections of the plan (many of these by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver who opposed the plan and was able to kill it):

  • Congestion pricing would create “parking lots” in the outer boroughs and in NJ for people attempting to avoid paying additional money. This would result in more traffic and pollution to those neighborhoods. The plan would reduce traffic in Manhattan’s central business district, but no where else in the city, especially neighborhoods with high asthma rates such as Harlem, the South Bronx, and Bedford-Stuyvesant would not benefit from the plan. The installation of cameras for tracking purposes may also raise civil liberties concerns.

As a resident of Manhattan, the congestion pricing plan may only be a benefit to me in that when taking a cab, I may save a few minutes on my commute. Typically I take the train anyway so this wouldn’t effect me, however, with more people needing cabs and taking trains, this may create a situation where it’s harder for me to get a cab, and with more riders on the subways, the opportunities for delays go up also. What was not publicized much was that the taxi rates would go up again (a $1 surcharge) which would add costs to my commute.

I definitely oppose the installation on hundreds of cameras for “transit” surveillance purposes but I don’t buy the point that this effects the poor working class, because the people that can afford cars and commute to the city are definitely not poor working class – those are the ones that already park their cars at a outer borough subway stop and take the train or bus anyway.

The biggest congestion factor is the delivery trucks and their consequently parallel parking which cause slowed traffic and delays. By forcing a $21 surcharge, this will not deter the number of trucks in the city – this delivery cost will only be transfered to the customers and create higher cost of goods in Manhattan.

Thus I agree with Silver and the blocking of this congestion pricing. The pros to do this (for the money and limit pollution) are week and selfish to the Bloomberg administration. The MTA should already be forced to upgrade their transit offerings, and where the hell is this infamous 2nd Ave Subway going to get put in…

What I can foresee the end result of the congestion pricing and the added ridership will be something like the end scene to the Crocodile Dundee movie when Mick is trying to reach Sue in the subway, only 24×7 or something like this:

Or worse… get to this [click through for video]

BTW those are shot on the Yamanote subway line that circles Tokyo, Japan. The Line carries 3.5+ million passengers a day. Here’s an interesting video tour of the line (if someone knows the D&B track in this, please let me know):

Music

Why I’m not going to WMC

There’s a whole lot of reasons I’m not going this year…. Here’s a few in no particular order:

There’s going to be an over saturation of rock artists and djs this year (Tommy Lee and DJ Aero, Dave Navarro with DJ Skribble)

Ultra Music Festival is and will be a waste of time… again.

Diddy is going because he wasn’t happy with the event the last year and he want’s to bring this “new” electro-tech music that’s all new and not all mutha fuckin commercial ya’ll. I’ll give you a nickel if you can get through watching this whole trash… Sit up straight foo’!

Ok, I just can’t afford discretionary spending for this trip… maybe next year.

Music

WMC 2008

Winter Music Conference kicks off tomorrow. Yet another year I can’t make it but it’s looking blown up as usual.

Tuesday
3/25: Defected In The House Party w/ Junior Jack & Kid Crème, Joey Negro, DJ Spen, DJ Gregory, Hardsoul, Funkerman, Copyright, DJ Yass, ATFC, Simon Dunmore, Aaron Ross, Shovell on percussion @ Set
3/25: Dirty South, Serge Devant @ The Fifth
3/25: Jody Wisternoff @ TBA
3/25: Mstrkrft & Fischerspooner, Boys Noize, Lazaro Casanova and Benny Benasi @ Mansion
3/25: Nic Fanciulli @ TBA
3/25: Pop Tarts 4 (80s party) w/ Danny Howells, Lee Burridge @ Automatic Slims
3/25: Shelter @ Shine
3/25: Simon & Shaker @ TBA
3/25: Wave w/ Francois K @ Pawn Shop

Wednesday
3/26: Chus and Ceballos @ Space – 10pm-6am
3/26: Danny Tenaglia @ Pawn Shop
3/26: Deep City Sessions w/ Halo @ Beach Plaza Hotel
3/26: Dig Deeper w/ Danny Howells @ TBA
3/26: Dowtown Riot w/ Switch, Sinden, Jesse Rose @ Studio A
3/26: Erick Morillo @ Cameo
3/26: Fred Everything, Amenti, Solid Tokyo, Lazy Days @ Beach Plaza Hotel
3/26: FSOB w/ Craze, Z-Trip, Tittsworth Sessions @ Nocturnal
3/26: Lot49 Label Party w/ Meat Katie, etc @ The Laundry Bar
3/26: Luca Bacchetti @ Nikki Beach
3/26: Lust4guesthouse w/ Sneak, MastikSoul, etc @ Blue
3/26: Mau5trap presented by tranceaddict w/ Chris Lake, DeadMau5, DJ Aero & Tommy Lee @ Bed
3/26: Miguel Migs @ The Fifth
3/26: Noel Sanger, Tattoo Detectives, Villo, Core NYC @ Shelley – 12pm-5am
3/26: Perfecto w/ Paul Oakenfold, Kenneth Thomas @ TBA
3/26: Proton Radio – Dare to Open w/ Phil K, Opencloud, Tom Budden, Hello Humanoids @ TBA
3/26: Pure Behrouz @ Mokai
3/26: SAW Party w/ Satoshi Tomiie, Hector Romero, Lexicon Avenue, & Audiofly @ Shine
3/26: Sci + Tec Recording Night w/ Nic Fancuilli, Dubfire, David Squilance, Behrouz @ Parkwest flyer
3/26: Tocadisco @ TBA

Thursday

3/27: Adam Feeland, Evil Nine, Alex Metric @ Bed
3/27: Anjunabeats Night w/ Above & Beyond, Andy Moor, Super8 & Tab, Mark Pledger, Fine Taste, Boom Jinx, James Grant, Electrobias @ Nocturnal
3/27: Beatport Pool Party @ The National Hotel – 2pm-9pm
3/27: Buzzin Fly w/ Benn Watt @ Shine
3/27: Cedric Gervais @ TBA
3/27: Dirtybird Afterhours w/ Justin Martin, Worthy, Christian Martin and Tanner Ross @ Studio A – 5am-10pm
3/27: Donald Glaude vs Special Guest, Scooter & Lavelle, the G-Roy & Theron show DJ Frances vs DJ Diamond, Scott Roberts vs dadon @ Tantra
3/27: Eric Prydz, Sharam @ Cameo
3/27: Fedde Le Grand, Flamingo Night @ Set
3/27: Ferry Corsten and Sander van Doorn (main room) Eric Prydz (terrace) David Guetta (afterhours terrace) @ Space
3/27: Fire Miami @ TBA – 10pm
3/27: Get Physical w/ M.A.N.D.Y., Junior Boys, Noze, Thomas Schumacher, Heidi, Italoboyz, DJ T @ Studio A
3/27: Green Velvet @ Set
3/27: Hyde, Digital Mix Set @ TBA
3/27: Jackal, Digital Mix Set @ TBA
3/27: Juicy Beach w/ Robbie Rivera, Deadmau5, Benny Benassi, Axwell, Sander Van Doorn, Tocadisco, Steve Angello, Mark Knight, Dirty South, Sebastian Ingrosso, etc @ Nikki Beach flyer
3/27: KOMPAKT w/ Gui Boratto (live), Ewan Pearson, Dominik Eulberg @ Pawn Shop
3/27: Lights Out Miami w/ Steve Lawler, Clive Henry, Audiofly, Jamie Jones, Livio & Roby @ Parkwest flyer
3/27: M_nus w/ Richie Hawtin, Magda @ Nocturnal Terrace
3/27: Mindcontrol w/ Richie Santana, Peter Bailey, Carlos Fauvrelle, Vinny Rue, Paul Raffaele, Dean K, DJ Klutch @ Gem
3/27: Objektivity w/ Dennis Ferrer, TMB, Karizma, Abicah Soul @ Sobe Live?
3/27: Onionz @ Shelly
3/27: PH Recordings Launch w/ Steve Porter @ TBA
3/27: SOS Balance CD Release @ Pawn Shop
3/27: Subliminal Sessions w/ Erick Morillo @ Space – 7am
3/27: Sultan @ Mynt
3/27: Victor Calderone, DJ Vibe, Chus and Ceballos @ Shelborne
3/27: Wet Grooves Pool Party @ TBA – 12pm
3/27: World of Drum and Bass @ Area 51

Friday
3/28: Andy Moor @ Beach Plaza Hotel
3/28: Beatport Pool Party @ The National Hotel – 2pm-9pm
3/28: Bob Sinclar @ Set
3/28: Boris @ Parkwest 3/28: Drumcode w/ Adam Beyer, Joel Mull @ Bed
3/28: Gabriel & Dresden @ Pawn Shop
3/28: MN2S w/ Fedde Le Grand, Todd Terry, Tom Novy, Mark Farina, Joey Negro, Bodyrox Joe. T Vannelli, Antoine Clamaran, Brian Tappert, Jon Cutler, Johny Fiasco, Outwork, George Morel, Jay-J, Jamie Lewis, Outwork, Ian Pooley, Tedd Patterson, Halo, Sir Piers, John Julius Knight, Eddie Thoneick, DJ Heather, PA With Darryl D’Bonneau @ Opium
3/28: Future Sound of Breaks v/ 6 @ Area 51 flyer
3/28: Minimoo Party w/ David Squillace @ TBA
3/28: Most Wanted DJs Showcase w/ Andy Moor + More TBA @ Beach Plaza Hotel
3/28: One+One aka James Zabiela and Nic Fanciulli @ Studio A
3/28: Pacha Ibiza w/ Sander Kleinenberg, David Morales, Frankie Knuckles and Axwell @ Shine – 11am-11pm
3/28: Paul van Dyk, Sander Kleinenberg @ Space
3/28: ULTRA Music Festival Day 1 phase 2 flyer
3/28: Radio 1 w/ Cedric Gervais @ Surfcomber
3/28: Slide Into Miami w/ Mike Monday, Hipp-E, Justin Martin, Etc @ Aquabooty Warehouse
3/28: SOS Tikki Boat Party – Invite Only
3/28: Techno Block Party by Teggno Records @ 700 block Lincoln – 12pm-10pm
3/28: X-mix Productions w/ Armand Van Helden, Bad Boy Bill, DJ Sneak, Felix Da Housecat, Harry Choo Choo Romero, Junior Sanchez, Mark Farina, etc @ Suite

Saturday
3/29: Afternoon Delight w/ Jamie Lewis, Andy Caldwell, Jask, Brian Tappert, Groove Junkies, Justin Michael, Adam Auburn, AAron & Dirty, Sleep, Boo @ The Beach Plaza Gardens
3/29: Amnesia Ibiza presented by Juicy w/ Robbie Rivera, John Aquaviva, Marco V, Tom Stephan, Laidback Luke, Willie Morales, Brian Cross, Mar T, Martin ten Velden, Oscar G @ Nocturanl
3/29: Andy Caldwell @ The Beach Plaza Gardens
3/29: Armada Night w/ Armin van Buuren, Markus Shultz, Blake Jarrel, Menno de Jong @ Parkwest
3/29: Beatport Pool Party w/ Guy Gerber and many more @ The National Hotel – 2pm-9pm
3/29: Boris and friends @ Surfcomber
3/29: Burridge Barrage @ Pawn Shop
3/29: Contagious After Party w/ Rabbit in the Moon (Dj Set), Jackal + Hyde (live), Dynamix II (live), Fabio, Adam F, Photek, Shy FX, Teebee, Reid Speed, Empress, BabyAnne, Hydraulix, Merlyn, Josh David, Supernaught, Sir Kutz, Loki @ Area 51
3/29: Crosstown Rebels present Get Lost 3 w/ Damian Lazarus, Pier Bucci live, Jamie Jones, Clive Henry, Steh Troxler @ Studio A -5am -11am
3/29: Eddie Thoneick @ Stealth
3/29: F*ck Me I’m Famous w/ David Guetta @ Cameo – $60
3/29: Hope Recordings w/ Nick Warren, Dave Seaman, Jody Wisternoff, Hybrid, 16 Bit Lolitas @ Shine
3/29: Housebroken 4 w/ Stacy Kidd, Grand High Priest Craig Loftis, Lego, FLX, Lady D, Craig Alexander, Ricky Bradshaw, Scott K., and David Sabat @ Chesterfield Hotel Rooftop
3/29: Jonathan Peters @ Shelborne Hotel
3/29: Loco Dice & Marco Carola @ Pawn Shop
3/29: Mobilee Loves WMC (day party) w/ Anja Schneider, Sebo K, Ralf, GummiHz @ Town House Hotel Rooftop
3/29: PH Recordings w/ Steve Porter, Eli Wilkie, Bons, Emjae, Chris Micali, Phil and Fluff @ Ink
3/29: Sander van Doorn, Cedric Gervais @ The Fifth
3/29: Stanton Warries @ Bed
3/29: Stealth Records w/ Roger Sanchez, Laidback Luke, Tom Stephan @ Mynt flyer
3/29: Stonebridge @ Gryphon, Hollywood, FL
3/29: Swedish House Mafia w/ Axwell @ Set
3/29: ULTRA Music Festival Day 2 phase 2 flyer
3/29: Yoshitoshi w/ Deep Dish, Cedric Gervais, Sultan, Miss Nine @ Space

Sunday
3/30: Beatport Pool Party @ The National Hotel – 12pm-9pm
3/30: Circoloco w/ David Squillace @ TBA
3/30: Little Mountain Recordings w/ Dan Sanders, Fine Taste, Patch Park, Matthew Dekay, Sander Kleinenberg @ Shine
3/30: Mixology w/ Mark Lewis, Reza, Oliver Moldan, John Rondell @ Nikke Beach
3/30: Sleaze w/ Cedric Gervais, Sultan, Miss Nine, Axwell, Second Sun @ Mynt Lounge
3/30: Sunday School w/ Guy Gerber and more @ Pawn Shop
3/30: We Love Techno w/ Marco Carola, Paco Osuna, Misstress Barbara, Lopera, Dsan Powell @ Nocturnal

Society

Commute issues

I’ve heard NYers are perpetually late but unlike most regions there’s an understanding for this lack of punctuality because of situational influences: freak rain, taxi accidents, or train delays. I admit, I’ve used the train delay reason for being tardy a few times, but there have been several justifiable instances where I’m on time and there’s just no way a taxi, walking or a train will get me to my destination or meeting early enough.

Today was one of those days, I had a meeting uptown near 54th and Lex, so I took the dirty E uptown about 45 min before my appointment. I arrived on time up to Penn station and then the train relaxed. You can always tell you’re going to be stuck when the door don’t slam shut on someone and the train releases a burst of air pressure from the breaks as if signing, needing the rest. Apparently someone had gotten sick on the train in the station ahead of us, and it’s holding up the whole line.

Getting sick and halting the transportation system for one of the largest cities in the world seems absurd but apparently it happens more often that I thought. Today I just happen to be reading the NY Post, and in it is an article on one of the MTA‘s latest marketing campaigns as of late: Ads through out the subway lines that encourage New Yorkers to take the day off if they are laid up or sick and to stay off the trains.

Apparently last year, sick customers caused 6,136 delays on the the NY subway lines, which is the 3rd largest cause of delays (for the 2nd straight year – 4,481 delays in 2006). Apparently when passengers are sick, MTA employees and even train conductors must stay with the passengers until EMT or other help arrives to ensure their safety. Without someone to man the trains, everyone must wait….. So next time you’re feeling sick on the train, make sure you get off before you puke! I was 25 minutes late for my meeting because some jackass threw up from his pneumonia.

Science & Nature

China’s air pollution threatens 08 Olympians

Haile Gebrselassie the world record holder for the marathon run just announced that because of Bejing’s extensive air pollution problem, and his asthma, he won’t be running in the high endurance race.

China’s pollution problems for the Olympics have been well publicized on the net but are not fully well known to everyone in the states (stats are listed below). China had committed to the Olympic committee to ease these concerns and are doing so by moving factories outside the city, reducing taxi use and replacing them with more fuel efficient cars, replacing coal burning furnaces with natural gas, and even committing to closing plants all together during the events of the games. Still:

Runners coughed and gagged as they limbered up. Thick smog shrouded the Tsing Ma Bridge. Pollution index readings on this morning in February 2006 were at 149, the highest in months. Any reading over 100 is considered unhealthy.

A disturbing trend in popular thought is Gary Lough’s quote (husband of Britain’s Paula Radcliffe, a planned runner for the games) said:

“There’s no point in us being especially concerned, because pollution’s not really something you can control.”

Ahh but it is if we want to Gary, it is if we want to. And obviously if this is a situation that’s effect athletes that are in top shape, imaging what it’s doing to those typical day walkers that don’t have the physical conditioning?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What’s wrong with China’s air:

  • China’s air was rated Worst in the World in late 2005 based on satellite data for all countries contributing pollution and particulates into the earth’s atmosphere.
  • According to the World Bank, 16 cities in the world with the worst air pollution are located in China.
  • The country’s Ministry of Science and Technology has estimated that 50,000 newborn babies a year die from the effects of air pollution.
  • China’s emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important global warming gas, are expected to surpass those of the United States in 2009, according to the International Energy Agency.
  • At a recent Marathon (in 2006), the pollution Index read 149 (Anything over 100 is considered unhealthy).
  • “Eric W. Orts, professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, says that pollution, if left unchecked, will drag down China’s economic growth and result in huge healthcare costs. In addition, China’s pollution will, over time, erode its competitive position in the global economy.”

“It isn’t pollution that’s harming the environment. It’s the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”
~ Dan Quayle (former Vice President of US, with George H Bush 1989–1993)

Travel

Slogging through Sonoma

This past weekend, I was afforded some time off wrapped around the weekend; unfortunately not for a relaxing weekend in the Bahamas or to go boarding in Tahoe. It was still work. My fiance and I went out to California to scour Napa for the perfect spot to have our wedding. Loaded up with redbull and shrimp chips we braved sideways winds and rains to view 14 potential sites. Several were perfect but had lingering bad characteristics like being REALLY far away from any hotel, town or sustainable life form. The net of this trip was no wine tasting but more ideas and hopefully we’re closer to an end result plan….

Culture

Things you should have been told before you moved…

The way the French will critically discuss a meal while eating it is similar to the way New Yorkers will complain about everything wrong with the city while loving it!

If you do not live in Manhattan you are known as “bridge and tunnel” and it is meant derogatory

Manhattan is an island built on solid rock and landfill

Do not live on an block with a Fire house or Ambulance station or be warned of ridiculous sleep hours.

You pay for what neighborhood you live in, not what kind of apartment you live in.

“Fuhgettaboutit” is pretty much only said in Brooklyn

“Downtown” means below 14th Street on Manhattan

People from Manhattan do not have a NY accent; Long Islanders and Jerseyites do.

People here care more about how you look in your clothes than out of them (as opposed to L.A. or Miami). Dress to impress, baby!

The only time New York city is quiet: At night during a snow storm

You’re going to spend more than you think here

That head-turner you just saw? – there are a million more straight ahead. Keep walking.

Wearing stilettos to the Meatpacking District clubs/bars, expect to get caught and teeter around in the cobblestone streets at least once every time you go.

When you meet someone out at night, one of the first questions you should ask them to get a sense of how this person is, is what part of town he hangs out in. It will tell a lot about style, substance and sexuality.

Get the most out of your neighborhood but get out to all other boughs as well to see all of New York.

Subway transportation to and from Queens while it is raining is a figment of your imagination

Have a good idea of how to get where you’re going when you hop in a cab. Tell them the streets or direction you want to go even.

Forget dining in touristy areas (times square mainly) and avoid the chain restaurants, there are 100 times better food at a corner deli than at TGI Fridays.

The city is not handicapped friendly.

Good customer service is rare; cherish it and tip accordingly

NYC is no longer such a tough place that the simple act of living here gives you instant cred as a badass.

Shopping at your average bodega is like shopping at a gas station – do it if you have to, or you need one or two last minute items. Get used to getting your produce from the produce guy, your meat from the butcher, your fish from the fish monger, your cheese from a cheese shop, your pasta from an Italian shop, your cosmetics and drugs from the drug store, and so on.

It’s 6th Avenue, not Avenue of the Americas. Don’t use the latter or cabbies and locals will assume you’re a tourist.

70% of the restaurants in Brooklyn (and random places in Manhattan) are cash-only (but there’s usually a bodega with ATM close by; bring cash when you go out!)

Refills are not free

There are no public bathrooms. Aside from being a customer of some restaurant, bar or coffee shop, find a local Hotel or larger department store for a pit stop.

Do not bring your car. Though our subway system does have its issues, it’s one of the best in the world – you can get anywhere in the city with public transport. Learn the bus system, it’s invaluable on the weekends.

There are endless amounts of activities, organizations, cultural venues, events, bars etc. You should not be bored ever.

Slices of pizza are meant to be folded.

Construction is everywhere all the time as is scaffolding and the scaffolding exists sometimes for no apparent reason.

Get used to other people doing your laundry: drop off wash and fold laundry service is fantastic (but expensive).

You’ll end up incorporating 1 or more Yiddish words in your everyday conversation and not realize it until a friend from back home asks you what “schlep” means.

Feeling like a newbie and staring at the subway map is better than getting lost for an hour or taking the express line when you should have just stayed local.

Master the art that is “pre-walking” – plan out which subway car is closest to the exit at your stop. While you’re waiting, you walk down the platform to the right car so that you don’t have any wasted steps at the other end.

The kids selling candy on the subway are not on a basketball team raising money; but at least they aren’t selling drugs.

Don’t ever stop in the stairwell, at the top or bottom of the stairs for a subway entrance/exit.

Tipping in restaurants: Cash is best. Give at least 15% no matter what (servers typically get paid on tips alone) – If you don’t like the service, tell them and or the manager before you leave. Keeping up with inflation it’s usually 18-20% now, and for parties of 5 or more tip at least 18%.

Cabs cannot refuse rides to boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn, S.I., Bronx); you must pay the tolls. Report them if they refuse.

Stay to the right when you walk down the street (DO NOT take up the whole sidewalk with your fat ass, there are other people in the city that “commute” too). Stand on the right when on the escalator and walk by on the left.

Master the art of fast walking while dodging the slower lost/roaming tourists.

Shopping on 5th avenue around Christmas is the worst idea. Ever.

Expect to build an extensive booger collection as living here guarantees more junk caught up in the nose than living pre-NYC

Expect to get sick 5 times more than anywhere else, unless you learn to wash your hands more frequently.

With all the hand washing and dry winters, moisturize, moisturize and moisturize.

Don’t pick up “females” prostitutes between 14th and 30th Streets on the Westside.

That isn’t mud on your shoe. Ever.

In the summer it’s not raining on a clear day; the air conditioner condensation will leak on you if you walk too close to the buildings.

Learn the cabbie lights: when the number on top is lit up – it’s empty, when it’s not – someone is in there, and when the whole thing is on – it’s off duty (they may negotiate your ride though)

When a subway car is significantly emptier during rush hour than all the others, it’s for one of three reasons: There is a smelly bum stinking up the place, an irate psycho harassing passengers or the AC is broken.

5 dollars for a pint of domestic beer is totally reasonable.

Existing the subway, you can know what direction to head by the corner you are standing on and direction you exit the subway from, by paying attention to the SW-NW-SE-NE directional signs near the exits.

You still have to look both ways when crossing a 1-way street – watch out for delivery or messenger bikers. They will take you out.

Even numbered streets go east, the odd numbered ones go west. For numbered streets, 20 blocks = 1 mile. For the avenues, a “short” avenue block = 2 street blocks, and a “long” avenue block = 4 street blocks. “Short” blocks include Fifth Ave to Madison, Mad to Park, Park to Lex, and Lex to Third. The rest are “long”.

If a restaurant or store special is too good to be true, it probably is.

Stores will go out of business or have 60% off this week sales for years. Don’t believe the hype.

A $37+ steak in a Manhattan steak house doesn’t not come with a side.

Happy hours do exist on Saturdays. Ask knowledgeable NY’ers to know where.

A MP3 player and a good playlist is a great soundtrack for moving around the city. Bring one regardless of business or personal agendas.

It’s totally acceptable to make plans to meet someone somewhere at 1 am, “just when it’s starting to get a little busy”.

Dinner starts anytime after 8 pm or when happy hour ends.

Pre-war means your building was built before World War II

Everything in Manhattan has a Manhattan tax of at least $1.00 more than the rest of NYC and several more dollars than outside NY.

Walking 10 (street) blocks is not a lot, in fact if your subway stop is less than two stops, then walk it.

People you don’t want to talk to you, won’t if you don’t look at them.

People you WANT to talk to you won’t (automatically or with out bringing your A game).

If you wear flip flops expect to have sickly gross feet within the hour of walking this city.

Do not turn on a Red light in the City – it’s illegal and you could hit a pedestrian.

Don’t expect people to have manners but encourage others to have them by using proper manners yourself. Contrary to believe NYers are cordial people when they want to be.

No matter how expensive consumer goods are in the city, there are always cheaper alternatives if you’re willing to look and hunt them down (groceries in Chinatown, furniture in jersey etc.)

9th Ave becomes Columbus, 10th Ave becomes Amsterdam, and 11th becomes West End – very useful when traveling by cab between Hell’s Kitchen and the UWS.

Look up once in a while, there’s some great architecture here.

Culture

High on Art

In Atlanta for business this week, I optioned for the Marriott hotel close to midtown but not stuck in between office buildings. The hotel offered the option with my room, free tickets to the High Museum or free tickets to their buffet. I was able to get both and with some time to kill between my last meeting and a dinner event, I decided to walk down to the High Museum.

The High Museum’s permanent collection isn’t teeming with Screams, Starry Nights and Monas but it does offer up lesser known gems from Monet and Joseph Stella, and a nice collection of Frank Lloyd Wright and Walter Dorwin Teague pieces. They are currently partnered with the Lourve Museum (Paris) and sharing pieces from The Ancient World (Egyptian, Greco-Roman, and Eastern artifacts). Unfortunately I didn’t get a full view of all the works and my timing was short but there were a few interesting pieces and I swear I recognized a few from my initial visit to the Louve years ago.

In addition to the art, they were starting the first in a series of music performance and DJs every Thursday night through the winter – much like the Guggenheim’s First Fridays events. I hung around for almost and hour and barely anyone showed up. I was quite unimpressed both by the lack of promotional planning for the event and the selection of music for the showing. It might have something to do with a lack of a bar but I had heard there was going to be one. I hope they fix this scenario as this, like the NYC event, could be a great focus for late night art and music showcase.