Saturday, May 10, 2014

diamond girl

New York is renowned for quality pizza, 
and Patsy’s is one of the best.

Founded by Patsy Lanciani in east Harlem in 1933, her ovens burned coal and lent a distinctive, smoky flavor.



Coal was originally brought in by teams of horses, but eventually trucks brought coal chutes for cellar deliveries.


Today coal arrives in neat bags.


But did you know that the coal-fired pizza our Grandfather’s loved will be vanishing? 

Patsy's is Grandfathered pizza.

Environmental regulations prohibit the installation of new coal-burning ovens, but ovens that pre-date the rules are still legal.

This puts pressure on new pizzerias because the westside Patsy’s still has one.

Friday, May 9, 2014

turn about is fare play

Back in 2012 we took Spotify to task.

They pay artists only half-a-cent for playing their song. 

No one can build a music career on that.


But now Los Angeles band Vulfpeck has turned the tables on the streaming giant.

They “recorded an album” of absolute silence, 

called it Sleepify

then asked their 1000 or so fans to stream it while they slept.

Over and over.

All night. Every night. For months. In total silence.

Generating about $4.00 each time they slept.

Before long Spotify owed Vulfpeck 20grand.


The band promises a free concert series based upon where the silent plays were clustered.

To their credit, Spotify retained a sense of humor, remarking "Sleepify seems derivative of John Cage's work.

Four minutes and 33 seconds of ha ha.


But they also made Vulfpeck take it down.

It’s worth noting Spotify hasn’t actually 
sent a check yet, either.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

the new sharing economy

Roughly 3.4 million houses and apartments 
make up our five boroughs today.

Bill de Blasio wants more New York City apartments for poorer families.

He’s promised to “create or preserve” 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years.

This assumes two terms and his successor finishing up.


The plan is to socialize the cost by blending rich and poor together, so the better off help those who are living at poverty level.


The Brooklyn-Atlantic Yards 363-unit B2 is already earmarked for this 50/50 share.


That means half will be expected to pay market rent over $3,000 per month, and the other half around $723 per family.


I’m sure folks with modest incomes will appreciate sharing doormen and concierge, mailrooms and an elevator with those who are better off.

But I also wonder how many of our wealthy will 
think this is a good idea.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

all fired up for summer

Take one oil drum.

Cut ¼” out as a lid.

Add hinges.

And metal screening.

Now get a shopping cart.

Trim the basket so the drum drops in.

For nighttime grilling you’ll need a street light.

Or a flashlight.

Or not.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

one comes purely


A lot has changed since 1892 when the Art Students League moved into their new building at 215 West 57th Street.



But their basic principles have not.

These principles were on display at a recent art show 
I attended.

The League emphasizes the importance of artistic creativity.

They maintain the greatest respect for artists who devote their lives to art’s creation.

They educate students in the process of making art in an environment where anyone can realize his or her full potential. 

An interesting side note is that although the League is steeped in education...

...there have never been any degrees or diplomas...

 ...or any set curriculum. 

From their webpage:

Pure exists.