Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Wondrous Glamour Of Oscars Past...

As we prepare to plod through the 83rd Academy Awards Sunday evening, we can only hope that in spite of the predictable spate of awards (Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, "Social Network" vs. "The King's Speech"), at least hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway will provide some entertainment value (singing "Grease"!).

Meanwhile, on Oscar eve, let's take a look back at the glorious, glamorous past of the event, shall we, cool cats? (All pics courtesy of Life magazine's fab retro webbie.)Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn backstage at the 1956 Oscars.Natalie Wood in 1962, nominated for "Spelndor in the Grass."Audrey Hepburn, waiting to hear the results of her nom for "Roman Holiday" in 1954, with her mamer.RKO Pantages Theatre, 1954, where the Oscars were hosted for a decade.Liz Taylor, 1961, who won Best Actress for "Butterfield 8."Rock Hudson and Mae West, 1958.
Siblings Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty at the 1966 Academy Awards.A stunning Faye Dunaway in 1968, when she was nominated for "Bonnie & Clyde."Audrey Hepburn and Julie Andrews at the 1965 ceremony.

Subway Snuggle: Love Along The 1/9

Sweetness... Friday night, two couples embracing simultaneously, waiting for the 1/9 downtown train at Christopher Street. Mercy... the heart of gay New York, and they're both straight!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Recession Relief: Pop's $1 Burgers, Fries, Wieners Win Over Midtown Manhattan

McDonald's, consider yourself cooked. A new midtown Manhattan eatery is lending a real hand to empty-pocketed New Yorkers with a menu that includes $1 burgers, fries and hot dogs. Pop's Dollar Food Shop opened this month on Seventh Avenue between 33rd and 34th streets, owned by Fox Goodman, a Midtown resident who has been in the restaurant industry for 38 years, and tells he's sick of people being ripped off in the area at lunch.

The unemployment rate in the city remains lodged at 8.6%, a smidgen lower than the national tally of 9.1%. That means 3,610,000 New Yorkers remained without steady income, as of December 2010.

In addition to fresh meat and baked rolls, Pop's burgers are topped with onions, ketchup, pickles and, for a quarter more, cheese. The menu also includes a $1.75 bacon cheeseburger, double burgers and a soda for a buck.

And on that note, today marks the two-year anniversary of being laid off from Billboard magazine. Thanks, Pop's.

Subway: Wide Load!

The return of the full-bodied afro. Love it, girl! Thursday eve on the 6 downtown train (in case you want to stalk her yourself).

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Maplewood, N.J. Househunting!

Who needs to pay a million bucks for a home in the beautiful suburbs around Maplewood, N.J.? I've come across some lovely properties in the right nabes that are within my price range. Jersey, here I come!

Maplewood, N.J.: Parade Of Homes

Maplewood, N.J., is a township in Essex County, originally developed as a weekend town for Newark residents. It maintains something of a country-home aesthetic. The small downtown is wholly quaint, and residences are predominantly twenties clapboard or brick Colonials.

“It has this small-town sweetness; it’s more like a town in the Berkshires than the suburbs,” says writer Marina Budhos. Population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, is 23,867. It sure has been nice to be No. 23,868 for a few days.

And now, our grand parade of homes! No cookie cutters here!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow: A Beautiful Dusting

Just enough snow in Brooklyn this morning to coat a beautiful dusting... over the black soot that remains from the previous 12 snowfalls. Lovely.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Magnificent NYC Cityscapes: CMMooney

Photog CMMooney offers some of the most profoundly beautiful cityscapes of New York on his Flickr site. His work is jaw-dropping in its craft, his keen eye and the editing techniques he employs.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

'Son, There Used To Be Stores That Sold Nothing But Books...'

Looks like the writing is on the wall for Border's bookstores. The Wall Street Journal reports that the 674-store chain is expected to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week. Rival Barnes & Noble is also struggling.

What a decade of changing technology. First, record stores vanished one by one as digital downloads became the status quo, with Tower, HMV and Virgin Records shuttering their doors, until even New York City was left without a record retailer.

Next came Blockbuster, which didn't stand a chance against newer, simpler technologies like Netflix, Redbox and on-demand.

And now the iPad, Kindle and other E-Readers have eradicated good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar retailers of paper with words printed on it. Books, they were called. Between 2007 and 2009, E-sales grew 366%, according to the Assn. of American Publishers, as hardback book titles dropped 7%.

It's a world dominated by Amazon and Apple out there. And that may not be such a good thing.