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Posts from the NYC Category



Cigarette pack tax hike of $1.25 takes effect in New York City

New Yorkers started paying the highest cigarette taxes in the nation Tuesday with the latest $1.25 spike per pack that officials expect to bring in $265 million a year. The average pack in New York City, which also taxes cigarettes, is now around $8.50.

Smokers will be paying $2.75 per pack in state taxes, a jump from the previous tax of $1.50. Before the new tax, the average price of a pack of cigarettes was $5.82 statewide, and about $8 a pack in New York City, which levies its own taxes, Daines said. The new retail price for a pack in the city could now soar past $10 depending on the store.

Man, do I miss Atlanta sometimes……….I mean, I’m going to stop smoking now because it’s too expensive.

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On a lighter/less serious portrayal of cigarettes note, look at these insane pictures I found of old Parliament Light ads:

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Reviews of Kanye’s “Glow in the Dark Tour” have trickled out in the two weeks since it kicked off, and they have, almost unanimously, been nothing short of phenomenal (I say “almost” because Sacramentoans were upset over a little snafu on Kanye’s part…crybabies). Here are some snippets from the reviews:

  1. The L.A. Times review:

    A show that carries [Kanye's] braggadocio into the realm of myth itself, Glow in the Dark raises the bar for arena tours as no show has since U2′s 1992 Zoo TV breakthrough. It’s that innovative and galvanizing.

  2. Entertainment Weekly review:

    Eschewing hip-hop’s buddy system, West is his stage’s sole visible human, and he’s become a riveting soliloquist. Crouching on one knee, broken up, during ”Hey Mama” — or pacing like a prizefighter during every other number — he gets you caught up in his journey to the center of the id and pulls off something rare: an intimate spectacle.

    UPDATE: So it seems as though Kanye may have disagreed with my assessment of Entertainment Weekly’s review of the tour; today he posted an entry on his blog entitled “FUCK ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY I’M SICK OF YALL SHIT!!!,” where he, um, criticized the magazine’s staff for their “B+” review of the tour:

    You know what, fuck you and the whole fucking staff!!! I know I shouldn’t dignify this with a comment, but the reviewer threw a jab at all the artists. I just wanna know when was the last time you enjoyed yourself. If you can’t have fun and lose yourself at this tour it’s a good chance you’re a very miserable person. I actually feel sorry for you guys. Your job forces you to not have fun anymore. Grab a drink, holla at some nice girls, and party bitch!! You don’t know shit about passion and art. You’ll never gain credibility at this rate. You’re fucking trash! I make art. You can’t rate this. I’m a real person. I’m not a pop star. I don’t care about anything but making great art. Never come 2 one of my shows ever again, you’re not invited and if you see me…BOW!! This is not pop, it’s pop art!

    So I guess we should forget about #2 on this list.

  3. The Seattle Times review:

    It was a magnificent, thrilling, uplifting, sensory experience, unlike any other pop concert before it. West has rethought the whole idea of live performance, from the staging to the lighting to the overall message. He took the excited, involved, constantly moving young crowd on an out-of-this-world journey, to Planet Kanye and back.

Kanye and his Glow in the Dark Tour will be at Madison Square Garden on May 13th, and I will be there if I have to sell a teste to get a ticket.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please let me know if you know anyone looking to trade tickets for teste(s).

On a Friday evening in October of 1999, Nicholas White was working late on his job at the New York City office of Business Week when he decided to take a smoke break. So, around 11PM he rode the elevator down from the 43rd floor of the McGraw-Hill Building in Rockefeller Center. A few minutes later he took the elevator on his way back up to his office, but he never made it up there; instead, the elevator malfunctioned, and White remained trapped in the elevator alone for the next 41 hours, until he was finally rescued on Sunday afternoon.

While the New Yorker story chronicling his experience and the “lives of elevators” is unbelievably interesting, by far the most fascinating thing about this story is the time-lapse security video of all 41 hours he spent in the elevator. It’s no more than 5 minutes long and, while somewhat disturbing, it is incredible to watch. Here’s some specifics from the article:

White has the security-camera videotape of his time in the McGraw-Hill elevator. He has watched it twice—it was recorded at forty times regular speed, which makes him look like a bug in a box. The most striking thing to him about the tape is that it includes split-screen footage from three other elevators, on which you can see men intermittently performing maintenance work. Apparently, they never wondered about the one he was in. (Eight McGraw-Hill security guards came and went while he was stranded there; nobody seems to have noticed him on the monitor.)

Moral of the story: don’t smoke.


Yea, a great post title, I know. Given the week-long hiatus for Blogbdon, I figured I would come back with a bang for my first post back. But then I decided to post about “magic vaginas,” so maybe I’ll come back with a bang tomorrow or something. Anyway, on to the magic vagines.


So, it seems that during his time in office former-governor Eliot Spitzer went a little ho-crazy (a relatively P.C. way of putting it, considering he has been called everything from a “whoremonger” and a “whorelover” to “the disgraced horndog” at times in the wild coverage of the story) and once the government found out he had to resign, blah blah blah.

Now I guess that’s news and all, but what has dumbfounded ME over the course of this whole fiasco is the same sort of thing that blows my mind when someone like Michael Vick chooses to run an illegal dog-fighting ring over resisting that temptation and guaranteeing that his $100 million stays safe in his pocket.      

In other words: the big question to me is why did Eliot do it? Well, my friends, I never thought that I would find the answer, but, with the wind of google at my back, alas, I finally did:

Ashley Dupre had a magic vagina!


      ….and, not only magic but, apparently, the most beautiful vagina in New York:

 Says Jason “King of all Pimps” Itzler: “Big hedge-fund guys, the heaviest hitters, called and I’d say this is the girl with the magic pussy, the best in New York.”

Another of Jason’s ladies confirms, “As soon as I saw her coochie, I told Jason, ‘this is special.’”


UPDATED: Over the weekend there was an enormous discovery in my investigation: a cutaway map of the magical vagina has been unearthed!

Read more (if you want): 

“I am all about my music, and my music is all about me… It flows from what I’ve been through, what I’ve seen and how I feel. I live in New York and am on top of the world. Been here since 2004 and I love this city, I love my life here. But, my path has not been easy. When I was 17, I left home. It was my decision and I’ve never looked back. Left my hometown. Left a broken family. Left abuse. Left an older brother who had already split. Left and learned what it was like to have everything, and lose it, again and again. Learned what it was like to wake up one day and have the people you care about most gone. I have been alone. I have abused drugs. I have been broke and homeless. But, I survived, on my own.”

And, apparently, there is some competition to Ashley’s claim to vaginal fame:



This post was intended to celebrate this incredible country and the incredible holiday created on today’s date: Steak and BJ Day. But, in the process of celebrating writing about today’s joyous holiday (created as a response to the unfairly female-dominated Valentine’s Day and celebrated exactly one month later: on March 14th), I became aware of the unfortunate news that the Steak and BJ website is down, diminishing much, if not all, of the credibility of my piece. In fact, I can no longer confidently even say that it exists. So, today, rather than speaking of this new, grand American tradition and its parallel to our country’s indelible spirit of brotherhood, I decided to dedicate today to something else: excrement.

And if you’re still wondering about Steak and BJ day, google it.



And now that you’re sufficiently nauseous, check out the new $5 bill

             Unless you’ve been living under an un-nerdy rock of late, you should know that a total lunar eclipse will be on display tonight for almost all of North America. Since it will be the last opportunity you have to see one for another three years, I would seriously advise you to take out them binoculars and telescopes, and peer out into the Eastern sky between 10 and 11 this evening.  

          Even those of us living in super-light-polluted New York City will be able to join in on the fun. Here is a schedule of the eclipse and its phases, as provided by the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York:

        There’s a big event coming up – a total lunar eclipse – on Wednesday evening, February 20. The partial phase begins at 8:43 PM, totality runs from 10:00 to 10:52 PM and the partial eclipse ends at 12:09 AM. Both Saturn and the star Regulus will be near the Moon.

Phases of the eclipse (see below for times):

1. Penumbral eclipse begins. The penumbra is the region where Earth partially eclipses the Sun. There is a slight darkening of the leading edge of the Moon. Not very dramatic.

2. Partial eclipse begins. The Moon enters the umbra of Earth’s shadow, where the Sun is totally eclipsed. There is a dramatic reduction in light in the umbral region, and the boundary of the umbra is easily seen. For over an hour more and more of the Moon enters the umbra.

3. Total eclipse begins. The entire Moon is now in the umbra. The Moon is not totally dark, but usually appears somewhat reddish. This occurs because while not receiving light directly from the Sun, some light passes through Earth’s atmosphere and reaches the Moon after being refracted (and reddened). For Wednesday’s eclipse, this phase will last 52 minutes.

4. Total eclipse ends. The phases now appear in reverse order. The leading edge of the Moon exits the umbra. The eclipse is once again partial.

5. Partial eclipse ends. All of the Moon has left the umbra. Only a penumbral eclipse remains.

6. Penumbral eclipse ends. The Moon is restored to its usual brightness.

Penumbral Eclipse Begins 7:35 PM
Partial Eclipse Begins 8:43 PM
Total Eclipse Begins 10:00 PM
Middle of Total Eclipse 10:25 PM
Total Eclipse Ends 10:52 PM
Partial Eclipse Ends 12:09 AM
Penumbral Eclipse Ends 1:17 AM


We’ll have telescopes and binoculars set up at a number of locations. These include:

Carl Schurz Park in Manhattan: At the east end of 86th Street. We’ll be set up overlooking the East River (map and directions at

Floyd Bennett Field: We have made arrangements with the National Park Service to have an extra observing session at Floyd Bennett Field. We will view the lunar eclipse on Wednesday, Feb 20. This will be at our usual meeting place, the Model Airplane Flying Field. The event will start at our usual time, 8:00 PM. Early arrivals are welcome. We will be able to stay later than our usual quitting time should conditions permit. We will have several instruments set up. Handouts will be available. People attending should remember that they need to go around some orange barriers in order to get to the Flying Field. These barriers are there to restrict the people going to the Aviation Sports complex. We have permission to go onto the runways (map and directions at

Park Slope, at the corner of 7th Avenue and 9th Street.

Northern Boulevard and 82nd Street (in front of the firehouse), in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Also, feel free to learn about how a lunar eclipse saved Christopher Columbus.

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