Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Walking to school in winter

Yes it was cold this morning. Maybe 15 degrees when I left the house. These here folks on the radio want to scare us with that wind chill nonsense. Yes it was negative 5 degrees with the wind chill factor. 
Good healthy January weather. Nothing to get excited about. I drove by a school on the way to work and the streets were loaded with cars. Mommy driving their poor charges to school. Too cold for the poor lambs to walk a few blocks in honest January weather. Balderdash.

How many times did my mother drive me to school because it was cold outside? Zero times. ZERO. Why in my day...

It's great being over sixty.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mali or am I a man or a mouse

Last week a new word was introduced to my vocabulary. Mali. The first new entity in the news of 2013 that did not exist for most of us in 2013. It seems that after a coup or two, France has invaded Mali, a former colony, to drive out Islamist terrorists. Then they got mad and took over a natural gas site in Algeria. Then there was a botched rescue attempt. Somehow all the trouble started when Quadafi gave guns to men to fight for him. Now the guns are in Mali. Time for us to bone up on Algeria. The one thing I remember is seeing the Battle of Algiers in college. I think the French lost that one.

So what should America do? Are we men or  mice?

We are men!
We can't let the French carry all the water. This is a fight for freedom and America has interests in keeping the gold and natural gas out of the hands of Al-Qaida. Time has come for us to have a good fight in Mali. Love of freedom means troops in Mali. 

We are mice!
Let the French do it. It's their turn. We don't get any energy from that region. We have our own natural gas. America doesn't want to add Mali to a list of failed American ventures fighting terrorism. This whole thing could turn out badly. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

An interesting question

Two weeks ago I was coming down with a bad cold (or perhaps a weak flu) and I passed it along to someone I know. She got sick. The next day I emailed her sister and then she got a cold. My question is, if you communicate with someone online can you give them a cold? Can Facebook transmit viruses? Skype?

I have always been of the opinion that the best way to get rid of a cold is to pass it to someone else. And today, I feel swell.

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Golden Globes

This year for the first time I watched (well grazed through) the Golden Globes Awards.  I have heard the name but always ignored it since I always thought it was kind of a dumb idea. After tons of advertising for Tina and Amy, this year I tuned in. Not as serious as the Oscars, it is sort of schocky and has an inside Hollywood feel. You get to watch actual stars drinking and eating. Sort of fun. I Especially liked the bit where Tina and Amy drank cocktails on the stage. I also like Tina Fey appearing unexpectedly in weird teeth or costumes. They wouldn't do that at the Oscars.

I did watch Jodie Foster. Thought it went on way too long and I suspect I wouldn't care for her if she was my boss. Still, it was the Golden Globes.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Downton abby

For a certain socioeconomic type, over 40, college educated, upper middle class or so apiring, today is the first over hyped event of the year. It is the return of Downton Abbey. Will Mary marry Mathew? Will John Bates get out of jail? Does Daisy's new found in law have designs on the poor lass? Will Shirley MacLaine turn out to be a b--ch?

When they asked Michele Dockery (Lady Mary) how she liked working with the American from Irma La Douce she she remarked on  how quiet everything seemed after she left. It must have been exciting when she was there.

The dirty truth is that people love watching the show because it allows them  to enjoy a soap opera and at the same time impress people with their  ascetic tastes. "Oh I love Masterpiece Theatre" one can say at work and seem cultured and refined.  Sort of like rhapsodizing on Tschaikovsky or eating  Nutella and telling everyone it's a health food. Or watching Les Miserables and talking about how one loves French literature.

Editor's note: When I was going to college my father mentioned a family friend who loved Tschaikovsky and I told him that people who know nothing about classical music listen to Tschaikovsky to impress people and that true music patrons ignore him. At that moment my father smiled, knowing that every penny of my college education had been well spent.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Santa Claus is back in the garage

A friend wrote me that she gets depressed this time of year. She hates taking down the tree and putting the ornaments back in boxes. Most of all she hates putting her life sized Santa Claus back in the garage. I was so moved I wrote this poem:

Another Christmas come and go

The fun the tinsel ho ho ho

But now it’s over no no no

And Santa’s back in the garage.

We sang our hymns and cookies made

But now that cheery time will fade

Christmas visits have been paid

And Santa’s back in the garage.

Oh holy night is now forgotten

Old wool socks replaced by cotton

I was so glad now feeling rotten

And Santa’s back in the garage.

So here’s a toast to the new year

Hot spiced cider replaced by beer

Winter gloom instead of cheer

And Santa’s back in the garage.

Next to the gas for the lawn mower

Near the sand and the snow blower

Spirits high now getting lower

Santa’s back in the garage.

Times Square New Year's Eve

I was just reading the official instructions for attending Times Square New Year's Eve. Humbug. Why in my day...
The one time I went to Times Square for New Year's Eve we got there about 10:30 PM after taking the 165 bus from Hackensack. There were no barricades, no walking restrictions. You had to be careful about pick pockets. Everybody, including the police, had glass bottles filled with liquor in their pockets. There was no live music, just the stinking ball. We managed to get back to the Port Authority by 1 and went back to New Jersey. Mom and Dad never knew about the expedition. Who remembers when Guy Lombardo ringed in the new year?

New Year's Eve FAQ

Still want more after reading the F.A.Q.s?  We've got everything you need to know about the Ball Drop and all the festivities leading up to the big night. More >> 




Getting Here




Food, Drinks, Shopping and Restrooms








Other Questions

Where is the Ball lowered?

The Times Square New Year's Eve Ball descends from a flagpole at the top of One Times Square. It can best be seen along Broadway, from 43rd Street to 50th Street, and along Seventh Avenue, as far north as 59th Street.

What streets will be closed for the celebrations?

The New York Police Department will begin closing down access to Times Square starting at 43rd Street and Broadway and moving north as revelers arrive. The exact times that these blocks close to pedestrian and vehicular traffic will depend on when the revelers begin arriving. It is likely that there will be no vehicular traffic on either Broadway or Seventh Avenue as of approximately 3:00 p.m. Vehicles will most likely have difficulty traveling across town after 6:00 p.m. above 42nd Street as far north as 59th Street. If you are planning to come to Times Square and join in the festivities, you are advised to enter from Sixth or Eighth Avenue. Your chance of getting a viewing spot near the Ball (at Broadway & 43rd Street) increases the earlier you arrive. The blocks will be closed off as they fill up northward, street-by-street, as the police deem necessary.

Will there be areas in Times Square designated for the disabled?

Yes. The police will set aside a viewing area for the disabled, located on the northwest corner of 44th Street. However, this area will fill up quickly, and it is advised that disabled visitors arrive early in the day. For a listing of the access points from which you can enter Times Square, please click here.

 Where is the best view?

The earlier you arrive, the better your view and the closer you will be to the action. The sound system is set up in the Bowtie area (where Broadway and Seventh Avenue cross), and the video screens on One Times Square (where the Ball is lowered) are easily visible. There are additional screens set up at Broadway and 50th Street, Broadway and 52nd Street, Broadway and 54th Street and Broadway and 58th Street.

What is the best way to come to Times Square?

The best way to come to Times Square is via public transportation. To get to Times Square, the # 1, 2, 3, 7, A, B, C, D, E, F, N, Q, R, W, V and S shuttle trains all service the Times Square area. Please note that the MTA has advised revelers not to use the 42nd Street Subway Station on New Year's Eve due to crowding conditions - you are advised to exit at one of the surrounding stations and enter Times Square on foot. It is expected that the MTA will keep all subway stations open on New Year's Eve. Some entrances and exits may be closed as crowd conditions require. After 7 p.m. on December 31st, the N and R train station at 49th Street and Seventh Avenue may be closed until after midnight. Trains may also bypass some stations, depending on how the crowds build. For further information nearer the date of the event, please call or visit the MTA at (718) 330-1234 or
Other useful sources of information:
Port Authority Bus Terminal (212) 564-8484
New York City Transit Authority (Local Bus Service) (718) 330-1234
Amtrak (800) 523-8720
Metro North (212) 532-4900
Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) (718) 217- LIRR
For questions on New Year's Eve about access, please contact the NYPD sub-station at (212) 239-9803 or the Times Square Alliance Dispatch Office at (212) 452-5218. Please call ONLY on New Year's Eve.
UPDATED: 12/12/12
On New Year’s Eve, Monday, December 31, 2012, certain subway access will be altered in the Times Square area.
While the actual time of the system changes depend on the arrival of the revelers for the New Year’s Eve Celebration, based on the timeline from last year the following service disruptions should be expected:

The 42nd Street entrances to the 42nd Street Times Square stop closed at approximately 4:30pm last year. Riders can use the 41st Street entrances to access this station.
The 47th Street entrance to the N/R/W lines closed at approximately 5:00pm last year. Riders can access this station from the 49th Street entrance until the stop is skipped at 7:00pm.
Southbound and northbound N/R/W lines will skip the 49th Street station beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, December 31st until approximately 12:15 a.m., Tuesday, January 1st.
The northbound IRT "#1" train will skip the 50th Street station beginning at 7 p.m., Monday, December 31st until approximately 12:15 a.m., Tuesday, January 1st.
These entrance closings are based on the arrival of the revelers for the New Year’s Eve celebration and are approximate. These have been the times for the last two year’s but depending on the time the crowds arrive the times could be adjusted.
The Times Square Alliance will provide updates to the subway system changes as they are made available to us through this e mail alert system and also up to date Transit information is always available a

How do I enter Times Square on New Year's Eve?

If you are attending a party or event within Times Square on New Year's Eve, be sure to contact the business to confirm special instructions you may need in order to access the entrance of the establishment.
Access Points:
To Access South of 41st Street
  • 37th  & 7th Ave
  • 37th & Broadway
  • 38th & 8th Ave
  • 38th & 6th Ave
To Access North of 43rd Street
  • 46th from 8th & 6th Ave (press access)
  • Emergency Vehicle Route (48th, 5th-9th Ave)
  • 49th from 8th & 6th Ave
  • 52nd from 8th & 6th Ave
  • 54th from 6th Ave
  • 55th from 8th  Ave
  • 57th from 7th Ave
  • 57th from Broadway
  • 58th from 8th & 6th Ave
  • 59th from 8th & 6th Ave
Pedestrian/Subway Chutes:
  • 39th - Broadway to 6th Ave
  • 41st - 7th Ave directed westbound to 8th Ave
  • 49th - 7th Ave directed eastbound to 6th Ave
  • 50th – Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
  • 53rd – Broadway directed westbound to 8th Ave
  • 55th – 7th Ave directed eastbound to 7th Ave

When should I get there?

Revelers begin to gather in the late afternoon on New Year's Eve, December 31st. The best advice we can give is to get there as early as possible. We cannot predict how quickly the viewing areas will fill up. Prime viewing areas may fill up early in the afternoon.
At approximately 6:00 p.m. EST the Times Square New Year's Eve Ball will be raised to the top of the 77-foot flagpole at One Times Square (Broadway at 43rd Street) and lit. At exactly 11:59 p.m. EST, the Ball will make its 60-second descent down the flagpole to signal the start of the New Year.
Please Note: Revelers who arrive very early in the day, before the police have established viewing areas, may be moved by the NYPD when barricades are put in place.

What is the schedule of New Year's Eve events in Times Square?

Check the event schedule to see when and where it's all happening in Times Square on New Year's Eve.
Here is the timeline for LAST YEAR'S street closures and viewing areas and are subject to change without notice. We will update as more information is release by the NYPD. This information may be helpful for planning your trip to this year's event:
1:30 PM - All pedestrian mall pens full 43rd to 47th Street
2:00 PM - Vehicle traffic closed 42nd to 48th Street
3:30 PM - Viewing areas filled north to 49th Street, south 40th - 41st Street
5:00 PM - 52nd Street Access Point Closed
5:15 PM - 54th Street Access Point Closed
6:55 PM - 56th Street Access Point Closed
9:00 PM - 58th Street Access Point Closed

Will there be portable public restrooms available?

No. There are no portable restrooms in Times Square during the celebration. The Times Square Museum & Visitor Center has public restrooms but will be closing early on New Year's Eve.
Times Square Museum & Visitor Business Hours
  • 7 Days a week, 8 am - 8pm
  • Venue will close at 2pm on New Year's Eve (December 31st)

Is alcohol or champagne allowed?

No. Public drinking is illegal in New York City. Police will confiscate alcohol.