Like the internet, only flammable WEEK OF May 18, 2009 Chicago Gold Coast Edition VOL 1 No 15
Printed with Explicit permission From Each Content Provider
Kushpel Kirill | tpburl.com/bvx3zt Chicago
colors of spring
By Joanna Thompson | 5/4/09 | Above the Fray tpburl.com/vh0wnz Spring has finally arrived in Chicago: the air is fresh and warm; the trees are bursting with tiny green leaves; and we can finally rid ourselves of cumbersome jackets and boots. We feel blithe, confident, and care-free. What to wear to match the mood? Lucky for us, designers have made it easy. For spring they’ve turned out vibrant shades to yank us out of the winter doldrums. Bright colors are the way to go this spring, but caution: too much and you’ll look like a neon sign. Balance your brights with deep, translucent, neutral shades. And—and ka-bam—you’re ready for spring. Here’s our color palette—we’ve sorted the best colors for spring. Color palette: • Fuchsia • Salmon rose pink • Lemon yellow • Lavender •Slate grey • Dark citron green • Rose dust • Palatial blue • Lucite green (aqua) Advertising
Luca Patrone | tpburl.com/3z5t9q
inside this issue:
Sell Your Twitter Name for Cash
STAYING POSITIVE IN AN ECONOMIC DEPRESSION
TWITTER WILL NOT FIX YOUR CAR Ryan Strong | tpburl.com/vh8×34 Views expressed in Content do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the printed blog inc.
Business and Finance
staying positive in an economic depression By Deborah Chaddock Brown | 4/21/09 | OPEN Forum by American Express tpburl.com/1d3b0r “It is hard to stay positive when it feels like the whole world is against me.” I just hung up the phone with a friend who is in industrial sales. Times are tough and sales are down. How do you keep the faith when every meeting, phone call and proposal ends with a “sounds good, but not right now.” Do you remember the 1958 movie The Blob? Steve McQueen starred in this B-rated sci-fi movie in which an alien life form - The Blob - consumes everything in its path. Nothing is safe. Every nook and cranny is touched by the growing alien jelly. Our current economic crisis reminds me of the blob. Nothing is safe. Every person, business, community and family is being affected by the economy. How do we stay positive when it feels like nothing will ever be normal again? I find myself telling my pre-teen that we can’t buy that DVD right now, but maybe we can borrow it from the library. Families are gathering around the dinner table sharing a home cooked meal when they would have dined out. And some high school students graduating next month that have dreamed of heading directly to college in the fall - are putting those dreams temporarily on hold. How do you stay positive? Is the world against you? Recognize that although it feels like the world is against you when customers choose to delay a purchase or refuse to sign your proposal - that they aren’t against YOU - they are just focused on THEM. We are all circling the wagons. Protecting our resources in case things get worse. It isn’t a slam against you as much as it is an act of self preservation. What happened to selling smarter? In the past it was better to invest your time and resources on the customer who made a big purchase; better to sell one $10,000 contract than 10 - $1,000 products. It is time to reverse that thinking. People are more inclined to spend $1,000 than a larger amount. Look at your products and services - what can you sell a la carte? What smaller services do you offer that customers can easily afford and see the benefit of? Put your focus there. In today’s market it is better to spend the time selling 10 - $1,000 items than to NOT sell one $10,000 service! Did you forget about this little item? When I worked for Pearle Vision we knew from past years that December was our worst month of sales. People forgo an eyeglass purchase for themselves in favor of a present for a loved one. One year we decided to see if we could break the mold. We realized that we had over 40 items that retailed for less than $10. We never focused on them. We never mentioned them and consequently we rarely sold them. That December we turned the spotlight on our little known accessory items and sales went through the roof. Do you have a smaller product or service that you rarely offer because it seems too small? Today would be a good day to dust it off and showcase it to your customers. Is it contagious? Attitudes are contagious. If you hang out with business associates, vendors and peers who spend their time moaning and groaning about the economy - pretty soon you’ll join right in. After all, you have lots to complain about so why not weigh in with your woes? Traveling back again to the movies - remember Hayley Mills in the 1960 movie Pollyanna? You couldn’t find a more negative, bitter population, but enter one spunky, glasshalf-full girl and pretty soon the sun is shining and people are singing a happy song. If you can’t be that positive influence on others than find someone who is and let their positive spirit rub off. You’ve heard of “fake it ’til you make it?” Slap a smile on your face and look for the good in this economic crisis. Remember the old joke of the kid happily shoveling manure: “with all this stuff, there must be a pony in there somewhere.” When was the last time you learned something new? There is nothing more stimulating than learning something new. Something for your business, something for your own personal development or something just for fun; look for the opportunity to gain new knowledge. Your local library is the perfect place to start. Most classes are free and the venue is right in your own backyard. Visit the Libweb directory for a listing of libraries in your area. About.com offers a Continuing Education site for the non-traditional learner - that’s us - work by day, family by night and continuing education in the cracks. Check it out. Bottom line - the current state of our economy isn’t a nightmare we are going to wake from, it is our daily life. So if we plan on getting out of bed and facing it head on - we need to arm ourselves with a positive outlook, a realistic approach to business and surround ourselves with those who will encourage and support rather than depress and deflate. What tricks are you using to face each new day? Share them here. We can all use a little positive advice. Speaking of positive advice, check out Life Organizers’ article “21 Days to a Positive Attitude Habit.”
Robert San Martin | tpburl.com/0f5wdv Advertising
change your credit card due dates By Jim Wang | 5/5/09 | Blueprint for Financial Prosperity tpburl.com/4w2f6p This morning, I gave you five good reasons why you should go to paperless statements and I’m here to lay down another useful tip. Did you know that you can get the due date on your credit card statements changed just by asking politely? I don’t know how credit card companies pick a due date but it invariably never matches each other or your paycheck - now you can fix that with one phone call. How To Change Your Due Date Flip over your card, call the customer service number, and get yourself to a representative. Once you’re there and done verifying your identity, simply ask to adjust your payment due date. It’s that simple. Each credit card will handle this differently and some won’t let you change the date at all. I just got off the phone with a Citi representative and she was very helpful. She warned me that the due date floats within a 3 day window, so you you have to ask for a particular week (1st week, 2nd week, etc.), and it can take up to two billing cycles to take effect. When it takes effect, it will make that billing cycle slightly longer. Money hackers will recognize that this gives you a slightly longer grace period for the billing cycle when your date changes, unfortunately that reprieve is short-lived. This little tip might solve some temporary cashflow problems but if you’re in serious trouble, shuffling around the due dates won’t help. Have you done this before? If you have experience with other issuers, please let me know! Advertising
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filing for underemployment By The Writer | 4/30/09 | Notes from the Underemployed tpburl.com/qjm8p7 So the cool thing about freelancing is the ability to collect unemployment. It’s a humbling process, getting in line (well waiting on the phone, but if you can’t get through then getting in line), and going through all your jobs in the past 18 months that no longer exist. So humbling in fact that you’d think the bitter people at call centers would be a little more considerate, but no. If they can’t hear you because you’re on a cell phone (honestly, how many people really have landlines these days?), they will give you attitude. Like hello, it’s your JOB to have good phone etiquette. Don’t be a douche bag. And then the best part is when they say “oh based on your work history you have to call this other state instead.” Who cares that I just wasted like 30 minutes on the phone with you? Now I have to go waste another 45 on the phone with a different state. I must say, though. I got INCREDIBLY lucky today. I got through to both CA and NJ and was even able to start the process of paperwork. It’s so intense though, all the “if you’re lying the government will essentially murder you” (hyperbole). But I mean what if I’m not lying? I just answer the question incorrectly because I think I’m right? It’s like filling out insurance forms. Instead of saying you will die if you lie, can’t they just say, “please answer to the best of your ability and you won’t be penalized if you misunderstand something?” Being UNEMPLOYED sucks. No getting around it. BUT like so many people have experienced, I’m hoping to go through the same thing of getting a job as soon as I receive my paperwork. Like the paperwork is some sort of good luck charm for getting a job. It’d be pretty cool if I could just float on to the next thing, with blessing and luck from the governator.
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star trek review By Jason Chen | 4/24/09 | Gizmodo tpburl.com/62k0fv Star Trek will disappoint no one. As the lights dimmed and the familiar Star Trek Federation logo slid on screen, the emotion of all those hours of watching Next Generation reruns as a kid came sloshing back into my brain, dripping out of my eyes as tears of pure happiness. I expect that it was essentially the same emotion Star Wars fans felt during the opening credits of Episode 1, but without the massive letdown afterwards. (Ha ha, suckers.) But yes, to answer your question, there’s Kirk, there’s Spock, and there’s everyone you expect (even Pike!). Not all of the same mannerisms are there, but if you wanted to see the old actors you’d go watch the first six movies again. This implies that Kirk doesn’t do a two-hour Shatner impression, which is, of course, good news. Instead, he plays Kirk as an intelligent, brash, but friendly youngster that has confidence oozing out of every torpedo tube. And the new Spock is more Sylar than Spock, to be honest; though the rest of the casting is essentially spot on. So long as you go into the movie expecting a “Star Trek” movie, in that there’s space and aliens and action and shooting and torpedoes and pew pew pew, you’ll come out happy. The movie is targeted enough toward the mainstream in that someone with zero Trek experience would enjoy it. Director J.J. Abrams also gives enough shout outs to old time staples that trekkers will be giddy at the slight nods and fanservice that say, in essence, “thank you for supporting us all these years, now here’s something you asked for.” Think of it like Casino Royale was to the James Bond franchise: fewer gadgets, more action and an incredibly pugilistic lead. And lens flares. Lots, and lots, and lots of lens flares. Kirk’s Enterprise has never looked better. These guys took the original ship, combined it with some designs of the Enterprise-B, then mashed it up with Picard’s Enterprise-E and then added a dash of ‘60s non-Trek Sci Fi. The set design, however, is almost all touchscreen (like TNG), but with a tremendously updated UI. I’d hate to call it Apple-y, but there’s lots of glass and slick white finishes. Retro this is not—you’ll barely be able to equate the bridge to the original’s, other than the fact that the players are all sitting in the right places. Why Bones canoodles in the bridge so much instead of where he’s supposed to be is still beyond me. And the plot? The plot makes as much sense as any other Star Trek movie. There’s even a very good explanation of why this movie is the way it is, which is the most I can say about that. This is what Star Trek needs right now. After writing on Next Generation, Ron Moore went on (about a decade later) to reimagine Battlestar Galactica, a relatively realistic show (topic-wise) that just happened to be set in space. Sci Fi fans have moved on from the utopian, and what many accused as sterile, confines of TNG to a grittier, less kempt future. That’s not to say Star Trek is now gritty—it’s just more...modern. And more sexy. Like when you upgrade from a six piece KFC meal to a 12 piece bucket: you’re going to get more breast and thigh. It also doesn’t have any crap about the Prime Directive or any undertones about race that TOS and TNG dealt with, but it is a very good “restart” of the franchise. With this film as the base, I cannot wait to see where the franchise goes from here. Bonus: there’s a four-issue Star Trek: Countdown comic series that prequels the movie. Though, you might want to wait until after you watch to read, since it gives away a few plot points. To tell you more would be to spoil too much. It’s too much even to tell you what KIND of fans would like the comic. You can download the first one for your iPhone. PHOTOS
Stephanie Bassos | tpburl.com/bwtv7j
Kyle Wong | tpburl.com/cq8d31
sell your twitter name for cash with tweexchange By Pete Cashmore | 5/1/09 | Mashable tpburl.com/7ywzfh How much is your Twitter username worth? $300? $400? $1000? With only a limited number of Twitter names available and many of the good ones already taken, it was perhaps inevitable that a market would spring up for Twitter username sales. That was the thought that occurred to Craig Agranoff, one of the founders of the crowdsourcing site VOIS.com: today he’s launching an aftermarket for Twitter names at Tweexchange.com. (Incidentally, Agranoff claims to have hired a developer for the project through the VOIS service itself for under $1000.) It’s an inevitable idea, and one that raises the question, “what am I buying?” since the Twitter names are still owned by Twitter. But you might also wonder if the brands with the biggest wallets would make use of such a service: if you’re Walmart and your Twitter name is taken, you go direct to Twitter or the user who took it. It’s more likely, then, that Tweexchange will become a market for individual’s names and generic terms. To do so, however, it’ll need to get enough attention to reach a critical mass of high quality usernames. We just hope that putting a price on Twitter usernames doesn’t lead people to hoard thousands in the hope they might sell them later: alas, it seems this is exactly what might happen. PHOTOS
Christopher McVeigh | tpburl.com/qms5vt
11 essential iphone apps for a road trip By Ben Parr | 4/18/09 | Mashable! tpburl.com/qf8cgj Whether you’re driving 20 miles or 2000, being able to find gas, grab a bite to eat, keep up with the news or check the map for your location are all essential to a good journey on the road. With the right iPhone apps, you can avoiding sticky situations like running out of gas or getting lost miles from home. Recently, I drove across the country (Chicago to San Francisco) and got to experience the usefulness of iPhone apps on the road. From finding the nearest gas station to learning about the local scene, the iPhone was integral to my journey. The following are 11 of the most useful iPhone apps if you plan to embark on a road trip, or even just a drive across town: iPhone apps for finding things 1. MapsBuddy: MapsBuddy is a popular application that makes searching on Google Maps easy. MapsBuddy provides quick shortcuts for finding gas stations, restaurants, post offices, and everything you’ll need for the road. 2. SimulTravel GPS: If you’re looking for a hotel for the night, a great app is SimulTravel GPS - it locates hotels near your location in a snap and provides prices and detailed information on each hotel. 3. Urbanspoon: Looking for food nearby? Then Urbanspoon is your best bet. Urbanspoon helps you find great restaurants based on your cravings. The key to its usefulness during road travel is its ability to show you restaurants nearby, no matter where you are. 4. Yelp: Yelp, the popular reviews-based social network, is also an iPhone app. It will detect your current location and give you reviews of hotels, restaurants, and even gas stations nearby. 5. Where To?: Another great app for finding things, Where To helps you find places of interest (i.e. zoos, spas, shopping centers). It does cost $2.99, but is worth it just for the “Surprise Me!” feature, which will help you pick where you want to stop if the group or family can’t decide. iPhone apps for information on the road 6. Road Trip: The most comprehensive road travel app of them all, Road Trip allows you to track mileage, fuel prices, graph out trip expenses, and even export the data to CSV. It costs $4.99, but there is also Road Trip LITE, which is free. 7. The Weather Channel: The weather can change in a snap, and thus you need to be prepared with knowledge. Although the iPhone has a standard weather app, The Weather Channel will provide you with weather conditions for your exact location, as well as radar maps and long-term forecasts. 8. WifiTrack: If you’re on the road, there are things that you’ll need to do that require Internet on your computer. But why pay for Wi-Fi when it can be found for free? WifiTrack helps determine the strength of WiFi hotspots and helps you find the ones that don’t require you to pay. This app costs $0.99, so an alternative is Free Wi-Fi, which has less features and different functionality, but saves you a dollar. Miscellaneous Useful Applications 9. Road Trip Fun: If you’re bringing kids on the road, you need an easy way to entertain them. How about some games? Road Trip Games provides simple explanations for dozens of classic road games like I Spy and Where’s the Alphabet? 10. Flashlight: If you’re stopped at night and need to find something in the car, you’re going to need a flashlight. This free app turns your phone into a flashlight (there are many color options, too), and it could come in handy. 11. Tweetie: If you’re a Twitter addict like me, having Twitter on the road is essential for keeping up with the latest news, trends, and memes. Tweetie is not only great for the road because of its easy-to-use interface, but because of its integration with TwitPic, so you can send your friends and family pictures of you on the road. It also has a location feature for nearby tweeters if you’re in the mood for an impromptu tweetup.
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twitter will not fix your car By The Bloggess | 4/27/09 | TheBloggess.com tpburl.com/y3zm4k Today after I picked up Hailey from daycare I rolled down all the car windows to get a bug out of the car and then they wouldn’t roll back up. Then it starts raining sideways and Hailey is freaking out and we’re both soaked and screaming and everyone passing us slows down to look at us like we’re mentally ill and I keep hitting the window wipers because I can’t see and then I realize that it’s because of all the water on the inside of the windshield. Then we finally get home and Victor checks all the fuses and they’re fine but the windows are still all stuck down and so I decide to ask Twitter how to fix stuck windows on a Saturn and within an hour I had like 80 responses, which is kind of amazingly helpful until you look at them. A few direct quotes: “It’s a fuse.” “It’s not a fuse.”
kennedy pushed caroline to make senate bid By Taegan Goddard | 5/5/09 | Taegan Goddard’s Political Wire tpburl.com/ryjq74 Vanity Fair runs an excerpt from the new book, Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died by Edward Klein. Most interesting: Klein reports that Sen. Ted Kennedy felt it was very important to have a Kennedy in the Senate after he was gone, so when Sen. Hillary Clinton’s seat became available, “he put it to Caroline almost like a last wish, and Caroline felt that she couldn’t let her uncle Teddy down.” Klein says “it honestly never occurred” to Caroline “that the seat wouldn’t be given to her immediately.” So when Governor Paterson “failed to react, and made her wait, she seethed.” The book also claims it was Caroline’s children who ultimately convinced her to take her name out of the running for the Senate because they “felt that she was becoming a different person -- one that they didn’t much like.” Blogosphere
“It’s the relays to the hood.”
bloggers at sea
“it’s probably a bad wire to the circuit board.” “Sounds like it could be a memory chip” “Maybe the window thingy got wet?” “A Saturn Vue? I think it says in the manual that you can’t roll all the windows down at once or else they might get stuck.” “All signs point to……special window motor?” “Is the car running? Some power windows don’t work if you don’t have the car on.” “Turn the car on” “Use the wind-y handle thingy.” “Grab both sides of the window (flat hands) and pull up while someone else pushes the button.”
By Andy Sernovitz | 5/4/09 | Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! tpburl.com/fbq9j7 I’ll be spending a night on the USS Nimitz at the end of the month with 15 major bloggers. Scary = we’re flying to the ship mid-ocean, landing on the deck. Stay tuned for a lot more detail as I share the story on this blog. I look forward to getting to know what life is like for the thousands who live and work in this floating city. Thanks to Guy Kawasaki, who set up the trip. Read about his visit to the USS Stennis. The other participants are Charlene Li, Beth Blecherman, Jennifer Leo, Jenny Lawson, Pamela Slim, Penelope Trunk, Jennifer Van Grove. Jennifer Jones, Guy Kawasaki, Bill Reichert, Jefferson Wagner, Robert Scoble, Mike Arrington, and Steve Wozniak. The first lesson is one I’ve shared before: If you want bloggers to write about you, just ask. Invite them over to see what you do. It works for the Navy & Marines, for all sorts of companies, and it will work for you. Here’s a detailed plan for Molson’s blogger outreach day. Don’t make it too complicated -- just invite folks to see what you do. Advertising
“Duct tape. garbage bag. done.” “I think the car will eventually dry…or smell.” “Turn the car upside down and shake it.” “I think the Gov backs up GM stuff now.” “It’s the battery” “Pee on the battery” “The solution is dead hobos. drape them over the windows. 8 should do it unless they’re fat. or blankets.”
“You have the child locks on.”
Made to order tees, served hot with a bag of chips.
“Pee on the child locks”
e and take
“Did you put the window locks on accidentally? You know, like so the kids won’t roll them down and throw your purse out on I10?”
it to go :
Bucktown / 1739 N. Damen Andersonville / 1482 W. Berwyn
“Looks like you’re screwed.” “Ok, you’re going to need an old priest and a young priest….”
Moral: People on twitter don’t know shit about cars but they are very entertaining. Also my car is totally fucked.
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from gardening to farming:
a glimpse at long island’s garden of eve farm
Bria Soucy | tpburl.com/r2bchv Humor
afghanistan’s only pig quarantined in flu fear By freewilliamsburg | 5/6/09 | FREEwilliamsburg It’s not the Onion. That’s a real headline from Reuters.
Afghanistan’s only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with the virus popularly known as swine flu. The pig is a curiosity in Muslim Afghanistan, where pork and pig products are illegal because they are considered irreligious, and has been in quarantine since Sunday after visitors expressed alarm it could spread the new flu strain.
And here’s our favorite bit from the story: The pig was a gift to the zoo from China, which itself quarantined some 70 Mexicans, 26 Canadians and four Americans in the past week, but later released them.
Thanks for the tip Jeff. Lifestyle
jewelry for you, inspired by your diamond dog By Lesley Scott | 5/5/09 | Stylehive Blog tpburl.com/v15s8p It was only a matter of time... fine jewelry inspired by pets such as dachshunds, pit bulls, poodles, chihuahuas, and labs (with German Shepherds, terriers, retrievers and schnauzers soon to come). Made from 18k matte yellow and white gold, and encrusted with hand-cut onyx, sapphires, and conflict-free micro-pave diamonds, the new collection from Diamond Dog New York also includes paws, hearts, and bones. Created by Suzanne Mates, a longtime recording studio exec who changed careers after getting her dog and realizing “a pet can change the world,” a portion of the net profits is donated to no-kill shelters, making any of the rings, earrings, or charms perfect for fun-loving accessory hounds. Purchasing info at DiamondDogNewYork.com. For more fashionable finds, check out FashionTribes! PHOTOS
By Cathy | 4/26/09 | Not Eating Out In New York tpburl.com/q0c7df Not so long ago, I tended to associate Long Island with being stuck in squawking traffic on the LIE and guys in wifebeaters who wouldn’t think to eat an apple if the tree plopped one in his hand. True, the eastern trail of New York City never exactly conjured an agrarian idyll, replete with rustic farmstands and coastal pastures producing everything from grass-fed beef to tasty wines. But perhaps that’s just the Jersey in me speaking (ironic as it may seem, New Jersey and Long Island kids have a long, stupid rivalry). Because after a trip out to Garden of Eve organic farm in Riverhead, I was introduced to a world of old-school farming values being led for the most part by young and fresh-thinking pioneers. Garden of Eve farm really began as just a garden — Eve Kaplan-Walbrecht’s, to be exact. In 2001, a friend invited her to sell some of her vegetables that she’d grown at a farmers’ market in Long Island. She made $40 that day, and decided to take gardening to the next level. Today, the farm boasts 70 varieties of vegetables, 20 herbs and 30 flowers, all certified organic, across its 100 acres. 500 Rhode Island Red laying hens run wild and free, producing rich eggs that keep the customers coming back. There are seven beehives, not so much for producing honey as to promote healthy crops and biodiversity. This spring, the farm welcomed a small handful of baby lambs to join their few goats, sheep and guard dogs, and next weekend, they’re planning to bring some piglets down from Vermont’s Tamarack Hollow Farm. Along with her husband, Chris Kaplan-Walbrecht, Eve maintains a rigorously pesticide-free safe haven and believes in free-range, humane and healthy practices when it comes to food. A longtime environmental advocate, Chris grew into farming on his family’s conventional dairy farm. In a recent Long Island Press article, he lamented the exposure to toxic chemicals in that environment, and vowed to farm organic only for the benefit of the environment and human health. In addition to Garden of Eve, Long Island has seven other organic farms. While the sights alone were certainly a foodie’s paradise, my main reason for coming to the farm was to visit my friend Melissa (aka Midge Pingleton), currently soaking up the farm life as a live-in apprentice. I didn’t get to stay as long as I’d hoped, to help harvest and pack some of the last winter CSA shares (the farm serves ten CSA locations), so only got a taste of what it’s like to tough it out on the field from morning to dusk. I don’t imagine I would be very good at it. In late April, the field was windy and a week’s worth of rain had muddied almost every step. Nevertheless, I found Melissa and a handful of workers far, far down from the farmhouse in the field when I arrived, just finishing up their morning chores. Melissa was excited to find some kohlrabi she’d been searching for among patches of last winter’s crops. It’s an in-between week, or month, for farms in the metro area, straddling the winter and spring’s first harvests. According to the workers, the farm will “get crazy” with activity pretty soon. Along with Melissa, there are five other apprentices currently working on the farm, and six full-time staff including Chris and Eve. Their ages range from the early twenties to late thirties, most of them on the younger end of the spectrum. Many have worked at various other farms over the years. But Melissa (and many other young people in recent years, it seems) has taken to farming as an educational experience and conscious escape from city life. Previously a cook at Roberta’s Pizza and a Greenmarket Manager for CENYC, Melissa had been living in Brooklyn, and I might mention participated in almost every cook-off written about on this blog (including the s’MACdown, which she hosted). Her interest in food and where it came from was what drew her to farming, and her decision to embrace it hands-on for an entire season (March to November). Trading the subway for tractors and heels for sodden clogs, she works from eight in the morning to six in the evening, taking breaks for communal meals, and sharing living space with her co-workers. I can’t even really begin to imagine how drastic the switch must be. She noted that in the city, it was easy to pick up a snack of junk-food from a bodega. Now, several miles from any business that isn’t a farm, and between the work and a healthy, farmfresh diet, she’s lost some ten pounds so far (not that she needed to). But all this hasn’t stopped her from cooking. During lunch break when I visited, all the workers gathered in the farmhouse for a family-style meal. They take turns at preparing the meals, and another is appointed the dishwasher. Though it wasn’t her turn, Melissa made a pear custard tart for dessert, which everyone dug into eagerly. While most workers hail from the states, two men are South American, via MESA exchange program. They speak little English, and are pretty unfamiliar with many of the crops grown on the farm, according to Melissa. Pointing to the tart at the table, one of the workers tried a few words in Spanish to describe it. The South American men nodded and sounded out a few more words in between bites, but for the most part, everyone seemed to be too busy enjoying the dessert to tie down an exact translation. As the busiest season for the farm approaches, it has some exciting programs up its sleeve. Thanks in part to Melissa’s expertise, the farm stand will soon begin serving lunch to the public, and a tantalizing, all-vegetarian menu is in the works. Visitors (not just goggle-eyed bloggers) will flock to the farm for tours and educational workshops. There is an annual Garlic Festival in early fall in which various garlic-oriented vendors will set up camp and a garlic cook-off will be held. And the farm will become a pick-up location for a raw milk club in the area. But most excitingly, to me at least, Garden of Eve will hold cooking classes this summer to the public. Most will be taught by Melissa. One will be taught by me, on July 12th. It’s going to be on vegetarian dumplings, of all varieties, using all sorts of summer’s bounty. And I just can’t wait. More on that as the time approaches. For now, you can still visit Garden of Eve every weekend, or go to the McCarren Park Greenmarket in Brooklyn or Atlas Park Greenmarket in Forest Hills, Queens every Saturday to find Garden of Eve’s produce stand. If you’re a Long Islander (sorry if I’ve offended any of you with that intro), the farm sells at West Hampton Beach Greenmarket as well as right on on the farm, in Riverhead. PHOTOS
Mino Inoue | tpburl.com/v8jw69 Views expressed in Content do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the printed blog inc.
Rob Morse | tpburl.com/fr48vz
Lifetimes By Marissa | 4/14/09 | The Shared Journey tpburl.com/vndbx7 On a walk through the city last weekend I passed by the very first apartment building I lived in when I moved to New York in 2002. Of course I’ve walked by it countless times since I’ve moved out of that neighborhood, but on this particular occasion, a torrent of memories rushed through my mind and I began to feel a bit nostalgic for lifetimes past. Let me explain: As I think back upon my years here, I feel like I’ve lived several different lives. I’ve gone through many different incarnations of identity, starting out as an exceedingly dependent, naive and uncertain child, and transforming into an autonomous, self-assured and aware adult. And as I think about leaving this place where I matured and learned so much about the world, and also myself, I can’t help but reminisce on the years and experiences past that have gotten me here. Looking back, when I first moved here, I was a fresh out of college. I didn’t think long and hard about my decision to move to New York. It was simple, really. It seemed like the most terrifying thing I could think of doing. I knew Manhattan would challenge me in ways I couldn’t even imagine, and though I was petrified to do so, I knew moving here would help me gain the independence, confidence, and life skills I desperately needed. So, in September of 2002, I found myself living with a college friend in an apartment in Murray Hill. I’d only ever been to New York a couple of times before making the move, and so I’d left the decision of where to reside up to my born-and-raised New Yorker roommate. During that first year, it really felt like we were in our 5th year of college. The only difference was that we all had jobs and were making money. But because we were all new to Manhattan, and admittedly a bit intimidated and afraid, we college friends stuck together. It seemed I spent every weekend hanging with the exact same group of friends, plus a few others we picked up along the way, that I’d spent my time with in school. We were still young, and able to go out both weekend nights and stay out ‘til the sun rose (at 22, this was easy and fun; at 29, this sounds like an impossible feat, and also complete hell). After about a year or so, I met a guy and embarked on a tempestuous and turbulent yearlong relationship. That was my second New York identity, one that I’m certainly not proud of, but am now able to realize how much it helped mold me into the individual I am today. Thankfully, I grew up, and shed that unfitting self. I decided that in addition to being single, I needed to learn how to rely on nobody but myself. That was my next self-challenge. So, I said goodbye to my roommate and Murray Hill, and moved to a studio apartment in the Village. I lived there, alone, for a couple years. I learned to love the silence of my single room, and really found myself in the solitude. During those years I started meeting new friends through work and various classes, and built some of the best friendships I’ve ever known. One in particular, with my now dear friend, A. Without her, I would be lost. I spent a lot of time writing in my apartment, and at coffee shops. I delved into dance classes, and made improving my most important mission. I learned to knit because a friend said it was therapeutic, and within 1 month I had made at least 10 scarves. I dated, but didn’t want to get serious with anyone. This time was about me. I filled my life with aloneness, very different from loneliness, and embarked inward on a journey of selfunderstanding and growth. I remember feeling annoyed when people would ask for plans, like they were infringing on my “me” time...but it was all “me” time. I came to a realization, after a while, that I needed to learn to balance time to myself, and time with others. Somewhere in this process, in 2005, I quit my job as a development professional, and started writing full time. It was a bold and uncalculated move, and if I had to do it over again, I wouldn’t give up my day job. I would have written, while continuing to earn a steady income. Follow this advice, because it’s one of the hugest lessons I’ve learned during my time here: don’t let go of one rope until you’re holding onto another. I thought I was gripping the rope of freelance tightly, but, unfortunately, the very nature of freelance is that it’s fickle and uncertain. I became incredibly close here in New York with a best friend, and in the past few years felt heartbroken as that relationship disintegrated. I now realize it hasn’t died at all, but merely transformed. If we can learn to grow close again, as the people we are now versus who we were then, we’ll be able to make it work. In 2006, I suppose I was ready to let someone else into my life, because I met my current boyfriend at the gym. It was tough at the beginning to get used to dating a medical student -- oh, who am I kidding? It’s still tough! -- but so far we’ve overcome the hurdles. I am not sure what the future will bring, but for today, we are working through as much as we possibly can. 2007 was a year of hardship: I suffered a life threatening bleed in my brain, and I lost my father suddenly from complications of a supposed standard surgical procedure. 2008, then, was a year of pain, coping, and ultimately, healing. In the midst of everything, I finally said goodbye to the apartment in which I’d gained so much strength, autonomy and inner-understanding, and moved in with my boyfriend. A major transition for both of us, as we are each very particular people, and had never before shared a living space with a significant other. Overall, it’s been a positive experience - we continue to learn (and practice) the all-important arts of compromise and communication every day! As I prepare to leave New York, I look back on my time here, my plethora of differing experiences and lifetimes, with an abundance of gratitude and affection. When I leave, I will be a much more mature, well-rounded person than I was when I arrived here, a wide-eyed young girl, nearly seven years ago. PHOTOS
Mino Inoue | tpburl.com/v8jw69 Lifestyle
why i will never be a beauty queen By Bayjb | 5/4/09 | The Everyday Adventures Of Me In The City tpburl.com/z21nr8 The Miss USA pageant was a few weeks ago and looking at the women, so statuesque and curled, sprayed and tweezed within an inch of their life (while I sat on the couch in glasses, face mask and retainer in), I realized, I will never be a beauty queen. And I am okay with that. It’s looking beyond the scary pageant mom and coach, but from my peek at pageant life through reality TV and movies, those women are kra-zee! Here is what makes me non-beauty queen potential: • I am not eloquent. I have a tendency to “um” and “ah” and “errrrr” my way through answers to questions • I don’t like to smile all the time • I will not put Vaseline on my teeth • I don’t prance around in a swimsuit. But I will prance around in an evening dress willingly • I have no talent. I don’t play an instrument, dance, sing or work with animals, but I can do stand up comedy and accessorize • I can’t cry on command if I win. I could try, but no promises And if asked my feelings on world peace, I might stumble over my answer. Yes, I do want world peace, but I’d also like our economy to stabilize, my 401k to get it’s act together and cancer to be cured. Then we’ll get to world peace. That is my declaration tonight, that I am not beauty queen material, but I do love playing dress up. I guess I’m more Miss Congeniality than the MTV pageant reality shows. Now, I don’t mean any offense to those who were in pageants or are fans of them. I’m merely saying I’m not that kind of girl. So I guess the question for tonight is, are you “beauty queen” material? And if not, what kind of beauty queen would you be? Me, I’d probably be the smart a** one who giggles and acts immature. It happens. PHOTOS
Nicolas Schack | tpburl.com/wxnh8t Food
butter lane now delivers By Rachel | 5/1/09 | Cupcakes Take The Cake tpburl.com/hzpxy2 For those in Manhattan, East Village bakery Butter Lane, one of our favorites, now delivers: Just fill out and submit the form below by 8 pm (any day but Monday--we’re closed) and we’ll get your cupcakes out to you right away anywhere below 110th Street in Manhattan. Or if you’d like them for another day, let us know and we’ll make sure you get them when you need them. Each cupcake costs $2.75 and there’s a $10 delivery fee; minimum order is six cupcakes. Once we receive your order we will email a confirmation and receipt.
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Michael Rivera | tpburl.com/ncbf2s
four years out and rudy is already working the anti-gay vote By BarbinMD | 5/4/09 | Daily Kos Because Rudy is such a family values kind of guy:
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was a last-minute no-show at Saturday’s Westport wedding of his former roommates—a gay couple, The New York Post reported today. It was a disappointment for Queens car dealer Howard Koeppel and his longtime lover, Mark Hsaio, who tied the knot in a double-ring ceremony before 10 guests at a private Westport home, the newspaper said. The couple famously let the ex-mayor crash at their luxury $2.37 million three-bedroom Manhattan apartment while he was going through a nasty divorce with Donna Hanover in 2001, the Post said. Later, Giuliani married the “other woman,” Judith Nathan.
What a guy. He screws over friends who helped him out after he screwed over his wife, to pander to a group that wouldn’t vote for him anyway. PHOTOS
Alexis Sorich | tpburl.com/03qwg1 Lifestyle
your bra and you By KiKi | 5/4/09 | I’m Not Kidding
“I only stuffed my bra once. Not bad for someone who for all of Junior High was mercilessly teased as being a carpenter’s dream (flat as a board) in home room every day...” ~ The Art of Stuffing Bras, Flibbertigibbet (4/2/09)
Heather Adair | tpburl.com/mvdfq2
Luca Patrone | tpburl.com/3z5t9q
As a follow-up piece to my essay titled “The Art of Stuffing Bras,” previously posted on Flibbertigibbet (do read it if you haven’t had a chance to yet...it’s deliciously humiliating!), I published my further thoughts--a sort of response to the essay--on my blog at Twolia.com. While I’m preparing a new essay, I thought I would reprint “Your Bra and You” for those who may not be familiar with my other blog, “I’m Not Kidding” (INK for short). Please do drop by INK to check out some of my other posts as well! xo - Ki Your bra and you...it’s an interesting topic.... The self-esteem of women is like a delicate--and kind of creepy--china doll. I think a lot of it goes back to that first bra, or the idea of it. For some, purchasing the monumental first bra at Kmart with mom was something they couldn’t wait for, nor could their negative A cups. Others, like me, were painfully embarrassed by the idea and did everything possible to not only avoid the topic, but put off wearing that cheap little harness as long as humanly possible. As we age, the brassiere can sometimes become a fashion statement, and it constantly evolves in its stature as a symbol of our wavering self-esteem. We must be a certain size, we must not sag, we must have a certain amount of cleavage, we must not be wearing Grannie bra and panties when out on a date with a gentleman caller. (Gentlemen caller? Wow. Slap me on the ass and call me Hazel.) To study the history of women and the impact of advertising on our culture, it can be said that throughout time, there has been a sexist view of women, replete with nasty sexual innuendo, and a big scarlet arrow pointing to the advertisements for undergarments. I say hooey. Certainly sexual innuendo and messages have almost always been present in advertising, and sexism also played its role (albeit in a very different time), but if you are looking at a Playtex Cross Your Heart Bra ad and crying “that’s overt sexuality” -- then maybe you are trying to look a little too closely there at things you shouldn’t be staring at. Personally, when I am in the mood to buy something pretty it is because not only do I probably desperately need something that the elastic isn’t all worn out in and looks like I checked the oil in my car with, but because doing so makes me feel good. And empowered. And confident. I really couldn’t give a rat’s behind if someone’s brother liked to look at the Sears catalog underwear models when we were kids, or if Victoria’s Secret has a way of finding ways to appeal to men in their advertising. Not only that, but--in many cases, that brassiere is a neccessity. Bottom line, the first reason we buy them is because we need them. Not so some guy can hover in a corner like Egor hissing through his drool, “booooooobie.” Some argue we do it for ourselves, to feel good. Others argue we do it for men, or for others, or to live up to a standard. Any way you slice it, the whole thing is kind of funny and interesting. I remember visiting the Lingerie Museum at Fredericks of Hollywood...in Hollywood. The infamous bra museum showcases undergarments worn by some of the screen’s most beloved actresses as well as a timeline of the evolution of man bra. The evolution itself is fascinating and highlights in a certain respect where we have come as women. To see the progression from the corset and bloomers to the girdle to the cone bras of the 50s that provided that amazingly pointed sweater girl look (go that way!), to the no bra (got milk?), to the Cross Your Heart (might as well be cardboard), training bras (might as well be a headband), strapless bras (that always fall down to your stomach), maternity (uglier than sin), lacy (itchy), demi (spillage), smooth (more like it), push-up (now we’re talking), gel filled (except when it pops!), air-pumped and on and on. Whether you enjoy a sleek, sophisticated push up bra, or something more on the trashy side, or your Maidenform staple from Penneys, there is a statement, and one to be proud of. Some of our sisters in the late 60s took great pains to burn their bras. Now, whether it was a matter of realizing women could be just as powerful with a satin holster under the blouse, or the sagging issue got to be an annoyance, I’m not sure...but the fires stopped, and with our quest for support, the fabulousness of the bra has grown. Pun intended. I may have been shy about it in my youth, but I am proud to be a woman, and proud to feel pretty, and even proud to wear my rattiest tattered grannie brassiere when I’m feeling just too PMSy to care. And to quote the ever philosophical Bobby Brown, well, it’s my perogative. Long live the bra! PHOTOS
Kari Otero | tpburl.com/swj49v Advertising
Alexandra Miritello | tpburl.com/znr2ys Views expressed in Content do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the printed blog inc.
We are hunted
BEST IMPORTS PLAYLIST With everyone panicking about Swine Flu, we could all use a reminder that cultural exchange is really a good thing. Take for example these musical imports, which come to you from the faraway, exotic lands of Australia, Israel and France. “Heartbeats” - The Knife
We Are Hunted aggregates social networks, P2P networks, music forums and blogs to compile a chart of the most popular songs in the blogosphere based on sentiment, expression and advocacy rather than a mere download count. It’s a smart and highly addictive way to discover new music. Here, this week’s top nine emerging songs. (As of May 6, 2009)
Combing the theatrical with electronica, the Swedish siblings of The Knife disguise themselves in grotesque bird masks, perform behind gauze curtains and weave a heavy dose of distortion into their vocals. There must be something good behind all those layers since Pitchfork named “Silent Shout” the best album of 2006. http://www.tpburl.com/8f4302 “The Fear” - Lily Allen The reigning princess of sassy British pop released her sophomore album “It’s Not Me, It’s You” this year, earning positive reviews from critics and fans alike. If you enjoy biting lyrics and catchy melodies, then become one of Allen’s hundreds of thousands of MySpace friends. http://www.tpburl.com/4fgsd5 “I’m Good, I’m Gone” - Lykke Li In the tradition of Abba, The Cardigans and Robyn, Swedish songstress Lykke Li has enchanted the U.S. with her powdered-sugar pop. Her debut album “Youth Novels” (produced by Bjorn Yttling of Peter Bjorn and John) blends soul, electro and twee. http://www.tpburl.com/nk5p73
WHEN THE SIRENS SOUND (DON DIABL...
COME MONDAY NIGHT
GOD HELP THE GIRL
BURIAL & FOUR TET
HEADS WE DANCE tpburl.com/n6jt0x
BLINDED BY THE LIGHTS
DON’T TALK IN YOUR SLEEP
THE STREETS tpburl.com/z3dbk1
MAGIK MARKERS tpburl.com/3vd671
TALK TO ME
THE LIE/THE TRUTH
“Lessons Learned” - Matt and Kim If you haven’t yet seen the video for the latest track from Aussie electropop duo Matt & Kim, YouTube it now. It’s gone viral for obvious reasons: an infectious song paired with a video of a good-looking guy and girl nude in the middle of Times Square is just smart marketing. http://www.tpburl.com/xmydwr “Body Language” - Monotonix Israeli punk trio Monotonix had to bring its raucous live show to American when every venue in its hometown Tel Aviv banned it for lighting instruments on fire, crowdsurfing, and inciting riots among the audience. You have to see the band live to get the full experience, but listening to this catchy, Kings of Leon-esque track is a good first introduction. http://www.tpburl.com/9hwcxv
PREPARE YOUR COFFIN
“Lizstomania” - Phoenix Think Phoenix is only a city in Arizona? This French pop act has a solid repertoire, with six albums of non-stop dance rock under its belt. You may recongize its song “Too Young” from the Lost in Translation soundtrack. Hey, if it’s cool enough for Sofia Coppola, it’s cool enough for us. http://www.tpburl.com/nbmswc “That’s Not My Name” - The Ting Tings The U.K. pop/rock duo has found a huge cult following in the U.S. thanks to lead singer Katie White’s sassy style and an arsenal of kicky tunes. Some shrewd song placement in the Slumdog Millionaire trailer and on Gossip Girl and the Victoria’s Secret fashion show has also helped. http://www.tpburl.com/spt70z PHOTOS
Jaleh Krause | tpburl.com/b82q7z
Alexandra Miritello | tpburl.com/znr2ys
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exclusive: there’s no crying in roller derby!
Alexis Sorich | tpburl.com/03qwg1
Guru Thapar | tpburl.com/j4b15c
By Spyridon P. Panousopoulos | 5/4/09 | Flavorwire tpburl.com/g1zn8p Fishnets stockings, tattoos, and girls with names names like Judy Gloom and Kelly Kaboom may be what you’d expect to find at your favorite rock club, but you’re more likely run into this kind of thing at a local Roller Derby match. The sport, known for its participants taking on flamboyant personas and names, has been around since the early 20th century, but only recently evolved from “sports entertainment” into a legitimate (if somewhat brutal) form of athletic competition. It will also be the focus of Whip It, Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut, which stars Ellen Page and Juliette Lewis, and opens in theaters this fall. The script was authored by LA Derby Dolls founding member Shauna Cross, and is based on her book Derby Girl. Flavorpill asked Ms. Cross to give us some of the ABC’s of the game so we can act like we know what we’re talking about next time we’re at the track. Flavorpill: So Roller Derby is for real right — no scripting — no acting? Shauna Cross: It ain’t choreographed like pro wrestling if that’s what you’re asking. When a girl goes down, it’s for real. The acting, if any, is within the personas the girls create for themselves. FP: What was your Roller Derby persona’s name? SC: Maggie Mayhem. FP: What’s the difference between a banked track and a flat track? SC: Banked track is a wooden track that’s ramped on the sides so players get a lot of speed and power going around those turns. And when you take the rail, you go flying over what is sometimes an 8-foot drop. Flat track is derby on a flat surface that can be set up anywhere, outside, on a skating rink, etc. It’s fun as well. When girls are knocked out off the track, they tend to go flying into the audience’s lap. It’s a crowd-pleaser. FP: What does a ‘jammer” do for the team? SC: The jammer is the person on each team who scores by passing members of the opposing team. They’re the stars. FP: What’s a “whip?” SC: A whip is when you advance a teammate by holding out your arm or leg to “whip” her ahead of you. It gives the “whippee” and extra boost of speed. FP: OK, what about “getting railed?” SC: That’s when you get knocked into the rail by a skater on an opposing team. FP: Which may result in a “track rash?” SC: A rash usually happens on your ass or thigh. It results from falling on the track. It’s the derby version of carpet burn. Sometimes it’s fishnet patterned. That’s hot. FP: Who was your arch nemesis on the track and why? SC: Maybe Tawdry Tempest from the Fight Crew. She always skates balls out, never gives up and is gobs of fun to compete against. FP: What was the worst brawl you ever got into? SC: My league skates hard and for real and that’s much more dramatic than taking time out for a silly fake cat-fight. We don’t do that. However, watching Iron Maiven face plant on a kick rail and lose her front tooth - that was pretty legendary. There was lots of blood. FP: Are there a lot of hard feelings off the track after the action, or do you all go get a beer and hug it out? SC: During a game, with your adrenaline going, you truly want to destroy the other girls with your bare hands, but the second that final whistle blows, and it’s all over, it’s all make up and make out. You’ve never seen a tighter group of broads. It’s so much fun. FP: Are fishnet stockings really necessary athletic gear? SC: In the game of life, one should always dress their gams to the finest. Roller derby is no different. But individual flair is half the fun, so if fishnets aren’t your bag, there’s no hosiery police that’s going to wrestle you to the floor and put them on you. FP: What are your favorite injuries/scars? SC: I have a little moon-shaped scar on my knee. It’s not very bad ass, but it’s my only scar. FP: Any moments you were particularly proud of on the track? SC: Just being relentlessly aggressive. I’m much more low-key and girly in my real life, so it’s fun to discover this other ballsy side of myself. I can take some bitches down; that’s always fun and it’s given me confidence that extends to other parts of my life. FP: How similar is this to Fight Club for girls? SC: It’s aggressive but that’s where the similarities end. First of all — what’s that rule about Fight Club — don’t talk about it? In derby, we never shut up about it. We’re chicks after all. FP: What do your family and friends think of all this? SC: They were terrified at first, but now they’re all digging it. I was one of the original twelve girls who helped form the LA Derby Dolls, so it is a huge source of pride to see how much the sport has grown. Huge. FP: Did Hollywood do you justice with Whip It? SC: Hell yeah! So much amazing talent. I can’t wait for everyone to see it! FP: Who’s your current favorite roller derby team? SC: What? I love them all! But lately, I’m rooting for the Varsity Brawlers in Los Angeles. They’re new upstarts, so they need the fans. FP: So if I asked you out would, I get thrown over the rail? SC: Totally, unless you like that kind of thing. Then I charge. Green Living
down with bottled water
mexicans nostalgic for era when all anybody knew about them involved drug violence By Balk | 5/5/09 | The Awl tpburl.com/w0y5f2 Let us turn our attention to Mexican people. Even as the recent flu which bears their name is beginning to fade and was probably never the giant catastrophe that the news media and panicky Twitter users made it out to be in the first place, citizens of Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos are still feeling the sting of fear and ignorance: disrespected by Chileans, quarantined by the Chinese, and generally mistrusted by pretty much everyone, including themselves. Late last week, a crowd of people in the Mexican state of Guerrero stoned two cars that had license plates from Mexico City. The protesters were apparently worried by the arrival of people from the capital, where the influenza has hit hardest.
It’s tragic, particularly on today of all days. Yes, it’s Cinco de Mayo, a holiday traditionally celebrated by countless American office workers who crowd “South of the Border”-style restaurant chains and participate in the timeless custom of drinking half-price margaritas until they make out in the parking lot or throw up in the dumpster. So while you’re out tonight commemorating the 1862 defeat of the French at the Battle of Puebla, spare a thought for our neighbors to the south. In fact, if you see one, why not greet him or her with a gentle smile or “Hello.” Just don’t get too close; who knows what those people are carrying.
By Courtney | 4/27/09 | Allie’s Answers tpburl.com/6yrmkj Here’s an earth-shattering revelation for you: This recession is bad. Bad, bad, bad. People left and right are unemployed, some are losing their houses, and I don’t even want to think about the hit my IRA has taken. But there’s a silver lining to every cloud, and here’s one for you: Since we’ve been in this recession, people are buying much less bottled water. I never understood the bottled water fad myself, and the environmental cost of the bottles is not the only reason. To me, bottled water tastes like plastic. And I don’t enjoy drinking plastic. My beloved aluminum Sigg bottle comes with me everywhere I go, and I fill it with tap water that’s been run through my Brita filter. It’s easy, it’s cheap, and no waste is involved except for the filter. The bottled water market is down 1 percent, and it may not be just because of the recession. It’s possible that people have considered the fact that plastic bottles are not ecofriendly and have – wait for it – stopped buying them. Though it may not often seem like it, when you see SUV after SUV on the roads and all the overpackaged items in stores, being green is catching on. Let’s hope it’s not a fad. In the bottled water case, it’s my opinion that the key to keeping plastic bottles from making a comeback lies in marketing. Nalgene and Sigg and even Brita should be focusing their marketing and advertising efforts on the green angle – as with many environmental matters, sometimes just bringing something to people’s attention is all it takes. If these companies start pushing themselves as an alternative to wasteful bottles, perhaps reusable bottles will become the norm. How do you think this trend can continue? How can we promote the use of reusable bottles?
Views expressed in Content do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the printed blog inc.
daily chick flick: bride wars By Jay Ferris | 5/4/09 | Genius Pending tpburl.com/94v07p Scanning recent new releases I was a little disappointed to see the low representation of chick flicks out there (did I really just type that?). There are always a lot to speak of from the straight to DVD crowd, but I’m going to try and stick with theatrically-released films this month, if for no other reason to have greater overlap in those likely seen by the readers of these reviews. The two choices that jumped out at me were Bride Wars and Marley & Me, and by “jumped out at me” I mean they were available and the exact kind of movies I would never watch under normal circumstances. This brings us to today’s review on the epic cinematic adventure Bride Wars. I’ll have to admit that I was immediately apprehensive about this film. Realistically, a wedding-themed movie is hardly at the top of the “must-see” list for most guys, let alone one like myself who tends to be especially critical of crappy movies and crazy women. It didn’t help matters that the movie opens on a couple of young girls creating and filling a bedazzled “dream wedding box” whilst gushing about the particulars of the perfect matrimony. In their minds, settling for anything less than a June wedding at The Plaza Hotel would be disastrous. So, in a cruel twist of fate, they both get booked for the same date and time, forcing one of them to either relinquish this, the venue to end all venues, or both miss the nuptials of their bestest childhood friend. Neither one is willing to relent on holding their sacred spot at the Plaza, which spurns a rivalry between the two, who then become determined to sabotage the other’s wedding plans. Hilarity, montages, and low-key mayhem ensues, interspersed with many shots of the two staring off woefully into the distance with that “is this really what I want?” look played across their face. For me, the characters seemed like a good fit for the actors that played them. Kate Hudson is a high-powered ball-busting attorney, and Anne Hathaway (unrelated topless picture HERE) is a slightly more timid schoolteacher who doesn’t really seem to like children and/or spend time at the school. This contrast between the two leading ladies was one of the few things that I thought made any real sense in this film, but only because the rest of the film was all over the place. Yes, a lot of the gags they pull on each other are passably amusing. That being said, there was little buildup to any of it or even real explanation as to why the two had such a girl boner for getting married in the first place. It’s almost like the writers rested the success of the film entirely on the supposed comedic value of Hudson and Hathaway’s sneak attacks on each other, tossed in a girl power-infused climax, then bookended the whole mess with a prologue and epilogue. In my head I picture them cranking out the script as quickly as possible, throwing their hands in the air with a yell of “Time!” like something you’d see at a calf-roping competition. Overall, this movie was simply too played out. Not that I dislike either of the actresses because of it, nor do I think this will discourage me from watching them in future films, although their ability to pick a decent script is certainly questionable. Kate Hudson needs to be a psychotic killer in her next movie, really deranged a la Charlize Theron in Monster. And even if Hathaway continues to ignore the countless letters I’ve sent her about starring in the pilot project I’m working on, I’d still like to see her featured in a really lowbrow comedy. She has this uncanny ability to look surprisingly confused half the time, making her perfect for all the grossout gags which come with that genre of film. As far as rating goes, I’m giving Bride Wars a solid 3 pink tacos; while undoubtedly a chick flick, not having the overly-inflated notion of finding true love as a central theme made it somewhat bearable. PHOTOS
Kari Otero | tpburl.com/swj49v Business
pet airways is the world’s first pet-only airline By Andi Wang | 5/2/09 | Gizmodo tpburl.com/05y719 Pet Airways was designed to cater to, yes, your best friend. With potty breaks and attendants checking on your pet’s comfort, they’ll travel in the lap of luxury. Sort of. Because no humans besides the flight crew are allowed—and because there aren’t exactly effective seat-belts that’ll keep your pets from wrecking havoc on the plane—your dogs and cats will still have to travel locked up in a carrier. But at least they’ll be seated in the main cabin with temperatures that are “just right,” with fresh circulating airways away from the cargo hold. After all, says the cheesy announcer, “Our pets are not luggage... They’re paw-sengers!” Get it? Pet Airways will begin service this coming July, in limited runs from LA, Chicago and NYC, starting at $150 for a one-way ticket—actually not a lot more than what the airlines charge to stick your cat in the cargo hold. [Pet Airways via Laughing Squid] health
france is the world’s most sleepy country By Simon Crisp | 5/5/09 | NewsLite tpburl.com/mhwkpq French people spend longer in bed than those from any other country, research has found. A study into the leisure habits of people from 30 countries found that the French spent by far the longest amount of time sleeping. They spend an average of NINE hours in bed, more than an hour longer than people from Korea or Japan. Americans were found to be almost as fond of their beds - with 8.5 hours - said researchers from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. It seems to me the researchers have jumped from ‘time spent in bed’ to ‘time spent sleeping’ a bit too quickly ... remember this is the French we are talking about. The French also spent more time eating and drinking than anyone else - 2 hours a day which is nearly twice as much time at the table as Americans, Canadians or Mexicans. PHOTOS
Myrna Zolezzi | tpburl.com/jm4vdp Lifestyle
a mother to the motherless By Neennah | 5/3/09 | Thoughts Along My 52 Week Journey tpburl.com/cq67z5 A friend of mine announced this week that she is going to adopt. I remember the seminar on adoption this friend and I both attended 3 years ago. She, like me, is in her 40s and has never married. And when she was younger, she, like me, thought she would marry and then have babies. But here we are! I couldn’t be happier for her. The idea of bringing an orphan into your home and vowing to care for this stranger and making them your family until your dying day is heroic. I always thought I would adopt, regardless of whether or not I could have kids biologically. I’ve been passionate about adoption, spending time volunteering with adoption agencies and groups, doing research, and media consulting on adoption. Over the last decade, I’ve even thought about adopting as a single parent. There is a growing population of women who fall within a term called ‘single mothers by choice.’ According to an article in the New York Times, the birthrate for unmarried college-educated women has climbed 145 percent since 1980. Many of these women pursued starting a family of their own without a partner. As much as I love the idea of adoption, I’ve come to realize that being a single-parent by choice is not the best option for me. But like my friend, I am still pursuing my dream of having a family. That family dynamic may be just me and my husband without a child. But for all of you single mothers or single mothers-to-be of orphaned children, I am cheering you on, and wish you all the joys and blessings of motherhood!
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Christopher McVeigh | tpburl.com/qms5vt
Bubba on the supreme court... don’t totally rule it out
Alexandra Miritello | tpburl.com/znr2ys Advertising
By Nick Ragone | 5/5/09 | Donklephant tpburl.com/ydb4fr Trivia question: Who were the last three Supreme Court justices to be appointed by Democratic presidents? The most recent are pretty straightforward — both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer still serve on the high court. But prior to that, it had been over 40 years since Lyndon Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall as the first African-American justice. President Barack Obama finds himself in the enviable position of likely having multiple Supreme Court appointments during his first term — at least one for certain with the retirement of Justice David Souter. Enviable because, with the Democrats filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (once Al Franken takes his seat), the president will face scant opposition to whomever he nominates to the court — a luxury that few presidents have been afforded. But the real question: will President Obama take advantage of this unique moment — he has a 20-vote majority in the Senate, sky high approval ratings, and the political winds at his back — to make a truly game changing selection? Or will he be content to find a justice that simply ‘checks all the boxes’ –someone that satisfies the numerous political considerations that go into these picks. If the early “short lists” are any indication, it seems like the overwhelming consideration is nothing more than gender. The names most frequently mentioned — Appeals Court Judges Sonia Sotomayor and Diane Wood, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, and Georgia Supreme Court judge Leah Sears — are all women, and the overwhelming expectation among beltway insiders is that the next justice will come from that cohort. The smart money is on a minority woman, and for that reason Sotomayor is the prohibitive favorite, mostly because she would solidify Obama’s standing with Hispanic voters, a group that he’s struggled with at times. Leah Sears would be only the third African-American to sit on the court, and is a strong possibility, too. But would any on the short list really be a game changer — someone who could reshape the court in their image the way Earl Warren, and Thurgood Marshall, and now Antonin Scalia have? They’re all capable jurists and would cast a reliability liberal vote, no question about it. But for years the Democratic faithful have been lamenting how the liberal bloc has lacked a booming presence — a first rate intellectual with the personality and persuasion to match — who could act as a foil to Scalia and Thomas, and chart a new direction for the court. In many ways, the court has become as much a political institution as a judicial one; these days, landmark decisions tend to be born of bold thinking, political calculations, and risk taking more than stare decisis, and it’s uncertain if the names being bandied fill that bill. However, one name not being discussed does fit the mark: Clinton — both Bill and Hillary. Were Hillary not the secretary of state, she would be an obvious choice and the overwhelming frontrunner; she’s the perfect combination of political acumen, legal heft, and spirited debater that the left so desperately wants to see on the court. Don’t rule her out for future consideration; she may still find herself on the court someday. The more tantalizing and interesting pick would be Bill Clinton. It would be an unusual — ok, highly unusual — selection, but not without precedent: William Howard Taft served as chief justice for nearly a decade after he left the presidency. Having the greatest politician in generations on the Supreme Court would certainly qualify as a game changer. Is there any doubt that Bubba would make an immediate and indelible impact on the high court? How much would he relish the chance to match wits and do battle with Scalia, Thomas and Roberts on a daily basis? You would almost have to take pity on the justices — and the clerks for that matter — the first time he lobbied them on a decision; they wouldn’t know what had hit them. Nobody is more persuasive in a small setting, and the Supreme Court is the ultimate small setting. President Obama would probably take some flak for not picking a woman or a minority, but in the end Clinton would sail through Senate confirmation, and it would put to rest any lingering hard feelings between Bubba and Obama. It’s a long shot — probably a super long shot — but as the Kentucky Derby proved on Saturday, sometimes long shots hit. PHOTOS
take me out to the ball game for how much? By Jill Jaracz | 4/5/09 | the Diva Platform tpburl.com/yvs8jx I’ve got to say that I’m a pretty smart girl, so I don’t like it when things baffle me a whole lot. However, a recent Wall Street Journal article had me staring, jaw open, trying to comprehend the words in front of me. I know, I know. You’re thinking, Jill, stop reading all those fancy articles about market-rate derivatives that are shorted in order to leverage maximum hedged synergies in comprehensive bonds, or whatever. I mean, the CEOs of those companies didn’t even get those products, and they all have fancy degrees from Ivy League schools. How could you possible know what that economic mess is all about? My response (besides, First of all, my Ball State education was pretty good, and have you seen some of the Ivy League morons walking the face of this earth?) would be that I wasn’t reading about suspect financial products devised for short-term gain and long-term failure. I was reading about baseball tickets. It seems that the Yankees–America’s team, cough cough–are having trouble selling tickets to their snazzy new stadium, which opened this year. The sucker cost $1.5 billion to build, so ticket prices were naturally set a little on the high side (or maybe New Yorkers just consider that “normal”). The unfortunate thing for the Yankees is that they decided ticket prices before the recession really clobbered a lot of people New Yorkers, and they couldn’t afford to spend $2,500/ticket for premium seats. Yes, that’s right. $2,500. A ticket. So now the Yankees are a little embarrassed to have games on television where most of the stadium is full–except for the very best seats around the plate that are shown on TV all the time. They’ve cut prices radically and are giving away seats to season ticket holders, but if that will help remains to be seen. As one lawyer who has season tickets that are $325 each said prices started out too high because it’s hard to try to resell any tickets you can’t use during the season. But still. $325 a ticket sounds like an absolute bargain compared to the $2,500 a ticket. I still couldn’t believe that it cost that much, so I actually went to Ticketmaster’s website to get some facts (and find out what the convenience fees were–if they almost double the price of your average concert ticket, what would they do in this case). The best seats for a 2009 prorated season of 66 games are….$16,087.50. A ticket. That works out to the bargain price of $243.75/game (”bargain” wouldn’t be my word though…I think anything over $20 is too expensive for a ball game–especially when you’re buying superexpensive hot dogs and drinks and peanuts on top of it). The total for four tickets (for the price of three–though if I’m reading correctly, that doesn’t come off the top. They’ll credit it or refund the money, so this is the 16-grand times four): $64,350.00. Regular people of America, can you imagine paying this much? This is more than the average American salary! Hence, the reason I’m dumbfounded. Or should I be more dumbfounded that I’m not making more money so that of course, I’d think nothing of buying tickets at this price? Oh–I almost forgot the fees: $40.00 for an online processing fee. $25.00 for a shipping and processing fee. That’s it. Guess there is some justice in that. Can you imagine if you were given the option of printing them out at home for $2.50/ticket? Views expressed in Content do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the printed blog inc.
Josh Diaz | tpburl.com/rz94d8
GOLD COAST Exhale Spa Categories: Day Spas, Yoga, Massage, Acupuncture, Skin Care Location: 945 N State, Chicago, IL 60686 tpburl.com/mw61pb Amanda H. says, â€œFirst, the bad news: The locker room smelled pretty bad when I changed for my massage - it smelled like ten thousand dirty feet or maybe a boys' high school locker room after football practice (not that I've ever been in a high school boys' locker room after football practice. or at all. uhmmmm....)... But after my massage, it smelled perfectly clean. I would guess that one of the exercise classes had just gotten out and by the time my massage was over, they had time to clean. Also, the flipflops I was provided were really uncomfortable because they were apparently older and the plastic straps had become brittle. The "zen relaxation room" has poor space planning - you're offered complimentary tea, but there's only one table in the relaxation room on which to set your cup of tea, and only the person sitting in the seat directly next to it can use it. But that's not so much of a big deal, because it's not like I have the time to chill in the zen relaxation room, anyway. That's why I need the massage in the first place, no time for zen. BUT the massage was amazing. Sarah is a great masseuse. It is the best massage I've had in Chicago. I got the fusion massage, and though that's not a deep tissue massage, Sarah found every knot in my back and worked it out. It is the first time I've had a massage in years in which I could feel the tension knots actually release. It was GREAT. Which is why I booked another appointment in a month. I just plan to show up right before my appointment, change really fast in the smelly locker room, and have a minimal wait in the zen room. Everyone go see Sarah!â€?
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CHICAGO EVENTS MAY
Flogging Molly House of Blues tpburl.com/6xp754
Keane Aragon Ballroom tpburl.com/my431s
Green Festival Navy Pier tpburl.com/crz3vq
Chicago Spring Half Marathon The Park at Lake Shore East tpburl.com/4km8p5
Chicago Comic Book May Meetup See listing for location tpburl.com/m1vnsy
Andre Rieu Allstate Arena tpburl.com/8dw0p3
Lady Sovereign Metro tpburl.com/pg56yf
Keyshia Cole Chicago Theatre tpburl.com/yp79dz
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An Le | tpburl.com/q126wv
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Published on May 18, 2009