Saturday, December 18, 2010

It started innocently enough

Anytime a holiday bash begins with frying bacon, how bad can it be? Add table hockey and it’s going to be a late night. :-)

ClockTowerTenants and our SoBroSiblings gathered in 402 last evening to celebrate the season and to raise a glass to our dear friend, LanceLee. 

Emily Hara made a delicious fire-roasted tomato chili that all-but disappeared. Javi and Corey arrived with a plate of sensational bruschetta while a salad and three mac and cheeses rounded out the menu. 

The mac must have been okay too, because take-out containers were pressed into service in the wee hours. The only thing cheesier was the digital fireplace.

It started innocently enough but then... the troublemakers arrived. haha

A hockey game broke out with Santa officiating.

If you like the back you woulda loved the front. lol 

Giant poinsettias snarled holiday traffic out on Lincoln Avenue.

We ate and drank all night. And with the moon finally sinking in the western sky….

...the last group left about 3:30am. 

Thanks for coming, everyone, this was fun!
“And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight…….
Merry Christmas to all…….. and to all a goodnight.”

Friday, December 17, 2010

‘Tis the season (and all that)

So let’s get ClockTowerTenants together tonight and celebrate the season and give thanks for all our blessings. 
Tonight in #402 beginning at around 8pm I’m hosting a chili/macaroni and cheese supper. Emily Hara is making her awesome chili, I’m making different kinds of mac and cheese including a vegetarian friendly one, plus a big salad. Please bring your own drink but we’ll have openers and corkscrews, wine glasses and flutes to use and a large ice bucket if you want to chill a bottle.
So if you are around tonight and feel like stopping by to say hello, please do.
We’ll raise a glass to our friends, look forward to what 2011 may bring and join in the SoBro holiday spirit. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Le Roi est mort

A remarkable feat of engineering is on view at the foot of Lincoln Avenue, barely a 2 minute walk for ClockTowerTenants.

Both sections of the historic Willis Avenue Bridge-- the fixed arch span and the wavy rotating turnbridge section-- are floating on barges and anchored in the Harlem River right outside our door.

The Estey Piano Factory in our ClockTower and the Mott Haven IronWorks were driving forces behind the creation of this bridge. As the modern 1900’s were arriving some 15 years after our ClockTower’s opening, the expanding manufacturing in our neighborhood overwhelmed the Third Avenue Bridge. Another at First Avenue was clearly needed. 

Four bridges can be seen in the above photo taken from the Third Avenue Bridge. (a fifth!) Floating in the foreground: the old bridge sections, between them in the distance: the replacement Willis Avenue bridge, the two towers are the TriBorough (now the Robert F. Kennedy) and the arch on the far right is the HellsGate, an Amtrak bridge to New England. The old Willis Avenue roadbed is being dismantled now.

From the Department of Transportation:
“In 1894 the State Legislature authorized a new bridge to be built in the same location where a ferry ran in the 17th century. After a delay due to a right-of-way conflict with the New Haven Railroad, the bridge opened on August 22, 1901, at a cost of $2,444,511. Significant work to strengthen the structure was performed in 1916, when the Union Railway Company routed a trolley line across the bridge.”

$612 million is the official cost to replace the existing "swing" bridge, which opens on a pivot to allow marine traffic to pass on the Harlem River. Perhaps the balance of the cost---over half a billion dollars-- was spent on higher labor costs, taxes, new bridge delivery from upstate, road reconstructions and access lanes from First Avenue and the FDR Drive.
The pivoting turntable has been revealed where the old bridge once attached.

And the circular base that once mated to it is also clearly visible on the barge.

There are 2,027 bridges in New York City.


Soon the sections will be floated away for scrap. Should you ever miss the old bridge, a symbolic section of the original will be showcased as a monument in Harlem River Park. 

The King is dead. 

Long live the King. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tomorrow is tonight

Make sure your stocking’s large enough

Is it just me or are new cars looking 
more like shoeboxes everyday?
The CUBE, by Nissan

The SOUL, by KIA

The SCION, by Toyota

Call me old fashioned, I guess.

And for our 2 wheel enthusiasts.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

You want fruitcake with that?

Forget sugarplums, Santa’s goin’ for the double 
McRudolph with cheese.

with thanks to

Monday, December 13, 2010

in your calendar

Last month the ClockTowerTenants hosted a briefing from the 40th precinct and we made a very good impression upon them. They arrived with almost a dozen officers in tow, including an undercover plainclothes and the precinct commander. But we did our part, too.
Over 40 ClockTowerTenants attended that night and raised a series of important questions. We sent a loud and very clear message in the wake of Helen’s mugging about our concern and our eagerness to partner with them to ensure something like this never happens again. 
Please... join us again this Wednesday night the 15th at 7pm in loft 418 for the second in this series of security related briefings. I have no doubt the cops will show up again in force.
It would be a very good thing for the ClockTower if we do, too. 
Please put it in your calendar.

facebook ftw

It’s just, y’know...

ClockTowerTenants may recall back in August I ran the numbers on the potential box office revenue for “The Social Network”... 
...and at that time I opined: 
“that’s still ten bucks per user or a 5 Billion (with a B) return on investment. To give you some idea of the magnitude of a figure like that, TITANIC at $1.84b has been the champ since 1997 until AVATAR just blew it away in 2009 with a collective $2.7b. With a little luck, “The Social Network” has a plausible shot at nearly twice that.”
Well the numbers are in and fine, I’ll stick to my day job.

First, the good news. It has a terrific cast and the critics loved it.

Rotten Tomatoes gave it “an average score of 9/10 and a critical consensus of: "Impeccably scripted, beautifully directed, and filled with fine performances, The Social Network is a riveting, ambitious example of modern filmmaking at its finest."

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave it it four stars and wrote: "David Fincher's film has the rare quality of being not only as smart as its brilliant hero, but in the same way. It is cocksure, impatient, cold, exciting and instinctively perceptive."
Peter Travers of RollingStone “gave the film his first full four star rating of the year and said: "The Social Network is the movie of the year. But Fincher and Sorkin triumph by taking it further. Lacing their scathing with an aching sadness, they define the dark irony of the past decade."
Even the Harvard Crimson---the setting of the film itself---” called it "flawless" and gave it five stars.”
So how’d I do in my prediction? Eh, not so much.
At least it opened at #1 grossing $23 million and in its second weekend it was #1 again. But from there it fell away quickly.

This weekend chart shows that despite the strong opening, as of three days ago it was doing a paltry $280,000 a weekend. So it’s done.
And the total?

$185,391,000 world wide, or less than…... ohhhhh….. 4% of what I thought it could do.

 “This is our time!” the Sean Parker character exclaims.
Yup. It’s just, y’know….. not mine. lol