Saturday, July 2, 2011

In emergency, break glass

I found Tony Montana’s bike parked on east 80th street 
the other day.

Looks like a heavy custom Hayabusa to me.

Makes sense that Tony’s bike can do 194 mph 
right out of the crate. 

With a handgun under glass in its tank!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Indian wants the Bronx

It’s not everyday a bicycle ride through the South Bronx feels like you’ve entered a western movie location, but Brook Park offers just that illusion.

Indigenous Lenape (Delaware) Indians were pushed out of the South Bronx beginning about 1643 by settlers from Holland and England, Ireland, Germany and Italy.

Beginning in the 1940’s right after World War 2, those Europeans were displaced by an even larger influx of African and Hispanic Americans, largely from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Actually, tipi’s are associated with Plains Indians, the Lenape tribe lived in bark and moss lodges built from local flora.

But that’s a technicality. 
I shouldn’t be calling them Indians in the first place.

Mumbai is not in Mott Haven.

And the Bronx ain’t Bangalore.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

about to withdrawal charges
Wow. Remember the Dominique Strauss-Kahn rape allegations and the affirmation of his detention posted here on CTT back on May 18th?
A lot has changed.
The New York Times reports that forensic tests have determined “unambiguous evidence of a sexual encounter” but almost everything else is turning our differently than prosecutors expected.
While Strauss-Kahn insisted the sex was consensual, she alleged forcible rape and the NYPD/NYC Court system threw him into Rikers. The French went crazy.
Now authorities are discovering this 32 year old woman from Guinea telephoned an incarcerated man she calls “her fiancĂ©” the next day and discussed the benefits of a rape case against Strauss-Kahn. The entire conversation was recorded on the jailhouse system.
The man she was talking to was in the slammer for possessing 400 pounds of grass and it turns out that he’s deposited $100,000 to her bank account over the past two years.
Isn’t that special?
She also claims one cellphone but somehow she’s been paying hundreds of dollars every month to five different telephone companies. The cherry on the top is they found lies about a false rape accusation on her asylum papers used to gain access to America in the first place. Authorities are about to withdrawal charges against Strauss-Kahn, an enormous climb down for the proud NYPD.
I don’t think the official response was too heavy handed despite strenuous complaint from abroad. Too many times women have been exploited in western culture only to keep it to themselves because the perp is her employer or in a powerful position relative to her like, say, the head of the IMF. So I hope when the next round of lurid allegations come out against an entitled and powerful man they are pursued just as vigorously as these.

Then again, if it turns out this woman lied to get in then lied about the sex to extort him falsely at the expense of his global financial career, I’d hope we have the means to show her the door back to Guinea. We’ll see.
Evidence indicating involvement in drug trafficking is the least of the problems here.

I have mixed feelings about WikiLeaks

But this is a darn good 60 seconds.

It’s a grand, baby

The “Dangerous Room” at the Flux Recording Studios in the East Village is named after Dangerous Music, the host of a Rolling Stones recording session there. I was there for a music panel awhile back, discussing the way forward for digital artists.

This room is very satisfying with its solid, honeyed tones in the architecture and the historic piano used in sessions.
It’s beat up but meticulously tuned, an 1895 Steinway Model A Parlor Grand about a decade younger than our ClockTower. You can have your very own in solid oak for about $55,000.

But this one's not for sale. SONY won’t allow an embed of this video and I’m sorry about the ad at the beginning.

But Ray Charles recording “BabyGrand” with Billy Joel, Bronx born by the way, is terrific once you get to him.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

perfectly natural

I like hot dogs.
And I like Sabrett hot dogs because they make a “natural casing” variety.

Vegetarians should just stop now, “natural casing” refers to being packed into an actual, continuous pig intestine so when grilled or pan fried it “cracks” when you bite through. That’s my favorite part.

So I paid my respects to the Sabrett Distribution Center at 787 East 138th Street. (718) 665-2560 ‎ ·
It looks like this on their website:

But when I arrived, I wasn’t all that thrilled to discover rat traps in person.

Rat traps up the hill to the left...
...and down the hill to the right.

A whole bunch of rat traps.

So three questions come to mind.
1) Is it better the traps are there and they are catching them?

2) Would honesty in advertising require that traps appear in their corporate photo, too?
3) What exactly does Sabrett do with all those, uh, dead rats?

"Rat Grill" lol

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

it's wild over there

Definition: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating

"The total weight a vehicle is designed to carry including the net weight of the vehicle itself, plus the weight of passengers, fuel, cargo and any additional accessories." 
In this case, an articulated bus.

The big MTA buses are great but a heavy hassle when they break down. How to tow them back to the shop?

The MTA uses one of the largest automotive tow trucks in the world. It has a gross vehicle wight of over 16 tons. Similar trucks are used by NASA.

It’s manufactured by the famous MACK Truck company...

...and custom fitted with the sleekest styling this side of a late model Lexus.

Including a roll bar.

The entire process, believe it or not, is handled by just one highly trained man.

With a lot of hydraulic help.

First he opens the control panel and lowers the tow bar.

Then he has to open the storage hatches and carry the loose tow parts back to the bus.

The tow bar hooks up to the front of the bus.

The truck tow arm is aligned with the bus tow bar and pinned together.

Now he adds the safety chains.

Then he gets the rubber brake lines from another hatch. He told me the bus is too heavy to be stopped by the towtruck brakes alone.

So by hooking the brake systems together, when he hits the brakes in the towtruck it activates the brakes on the bus, too.

He slides under the bus on an official MTA Blue plastic skid and hooks up the chains and brake lines.

And finally he adds a ratcheted nylon strap around the whole thing as one last safety feature.

And now he’s good to go.