Thursday, April 30, 2009

'Maybe it just collapsed on its own'... apparently in this case it did

I don't know if it made the news outside of the city or not (a lot of times it's hard to tell) but a building just up and collapsed this morning in lower Manhattan. It just so happens it was about a block from my office.

In fact, the dozens of fire trucks, police cars and mobile command units that were in the area were between my subway stop and the office on the way to work... and of course were all kinds of in the way, hehe. They had vehicles lining the nearby streets for blocks. Later in the day when I left work, they still had blocked off both the street the building was on and the one behind it to all cars and people.

I'm going to assume a lot of people weren't exactly stunned, since the building was on the same block as the locally famous "Leaning Tower of Broadway," probably less than a couple hundred feet away.
From Flickr (the photostream has some cool shots of the new Mets stadium to boot)

Basically, a while ago they demolished the building next to the "Leaning Tower" and it started easing over (to the South) and they had to put up supports to keep it from falling over. That really builds confidence in the nearby buildings that are of a similar ilk, right? I guess they're worried about the same thing happening near where the other building collapsed and some are reporting that they may have to demolish some of the buildings that were next to the collapsed building for just that reason. Keep in mind a lot of the buildings in the area are designated "historic landmarks," including the one that fell, so that should be interesting...

What's a bummer is there was a pizza place in there that had just opened when the building started leaning over and was condemned... their "Grand Opening" sign is still in the window on the side. That really must have sucked for them...

Who knows, maybe the 59th Street Bridge (also known as the Queensboro Bridge I think) over by the UN building will be next...

  • Hank Scorpio: Good afternoon, gentlemen. This is Scorpio. I have the doomsday device. You have 72 hours to deliver the gold. Or you face the consequences. And to prove I'm not bluffing, watch this... (explosion in the background)
  • UN member #1: Oh, my God! The 59th Street Bridge!
  • UN member #2: Maybe it just collapsed on its own.
  • UN member #1: We can't take that chance.
  • UN member #2: You always say that. I want to take a chance!
  • Hank Scorpio: Collapsed on its own? You sh... You have 72 hours. See ya.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Someone quite literally "got served" on the train the other night....

So the other night I had a long ride home on the subway. It was late enough that the train was running local... and these three teens were on the train practicing their tap dancing in their regular hard-soled shoes.

They were classically trained and likely had been tapping and dancing for years. So they were discussing timing and beat counts and such while tapping, when this big guy halfway down the car starts kind of mocking them.

He sarcastically started slowly step dancing, with the stomping and the clapping while his crew started cracking up. Keep in mind this was a fairly full train, including a group of girls that the tappers are went to school with...

The girls happened to be near the big guy mocking and a couple of the tappers went to go talk to the girls....

Then the jawing started, with trash talk being exchanged and it eventually escalated into the big guy joking that they were just loud and couldn't dance. From where he was on the train, he probably could only hear a bunch of tapping (possibly sounding like clapping).

One of the tappers started yelling things like "Oh hell to the no, do you really want to do this? Do you really want some of this? I don't want to have to take you to school!"

I was cracking up. It was like something out of a cheesy movie.

So the kid keeps yelling and the big guy keeps taunting.

Eventually, the kid was just like "Ohhhhh... I didn'a wanna do this, but you gone and made me do this!" over and over while he literally took off his normal shoes and put on his tap shoes with the metal parts.

He then proceeded to tap his little heart out down the middle of the train, right up to the big guy and then he started tapping just solely on his toes right in front of the guy essentially playing like a revolutionary war fife tune.

The show this kid put on was something like this video (where his style was more like the second tapper in the video)... and it was on a moving subway train!

Then he of course kept talking trash after the train applauded.

"I didn'a wanna do it! I didn'a wanna! I had to to though, you just got busted and you know it! Ohhhhh!"

It was pretty entertaining. I just wish he had actually yelled "you got served"... but oh well. I probably would have laughed until I peed if he actually said that. Either way it was still pretty neat.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Phillies crave Wang, nobody is surprised

PHILADELPHIA -- While the Yankees struggle to figure out what seems to be wrong with their starter Chien-Ming Wang, it seems the Philadelphia Phillies are pushing to make a trade for him as a both clever and disturbing marketing move.

"I know he's been a bit limp out of the starting gate as of late," said Rich Dubee, the Phillies pitching coach. "I just see a lot of potential still in the kid."

Wang, who is now 0-3 on the season with a whopping 34.50 ERA after being rocked like a hurricane by the Cleveland Indians (yes, the Cleveland Indians) in a 22-4 loss, seems like an unlikely choice for any club to be courting but the Phillies seem interested.

"When he's hot, you've never seen a Wang explode like that kid can explode, all over the mound, you know?" Dubee said. "I'm optimistic we can work with Wang on his kinks and get him solid again."

Some are doubtful as to the true reasoning for the Phillies wanting to acquire the young talent.

The Phillies called a press conference to address rumors swirling around the team's odd choice of pitchers to pursue and reporters peppered Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel with questions about various potential reasons for the Phillies powerful desire for Wang.

Some questions hinted the move may be geared toward providing potential depth to a pitching arsenal that, when healthy is formidable, but has in the past suffered from mysterious feminine illnesses.

"Brad Lidge and his Lidginal issues last season have nothing to do with Wang... at least nothing to do with Chien-Ming Wang that is," Manuel said. "We're confident in Wang's health and that he'll pass all of the club's routine exams."

Others seemed to imply the move was a way to boost the morale of the team's lone Asian-born player on the roster, Chan Ho Park of South Korea. Lending credence to this theory was that Park was, oddly enough, at the press conference.

"You seriously think it would make sense to bring a guy in from Taiwan to make me, a South Korean, feel more at home? Yeah, we're all the same, right? Fuck you." Park said. "The team may not have the most internationally sensitive or competent front office, but I'd like to think they're not as dumb as you and your question."

Some, though, don't think the front office has embraced other cultures enough in their hiring practices. That includes the Department of Labor according to a recent report. It turns out the Phillies are actually one Asian and/or Asian-American short of the quota set two years after the league achieved a sporting marketing coup with Ichiro Suzuki's joining the Seattle Mariners in 2001.

"I've said it again and again, leave us the hell alone until you can prove conclusively there is no Chinamen in Chase Utley, got it?" said Manuel. "The Department of Labor guys have nothing on us and can't prove anything."

"Did you just say that?" Park said after Manuel's comment. "Seriously, I'm so out of here. Fucking ridiculous."

However, a little research showed with the Phillies latest sponsor, the move to hire Wang was potentially just a not so family friendly marketing ploy.

"I assure you we came to the decision to pursue Wang with no pressure from upper management," Manuel said. "Just because we are now backed by Cialis has had no impact on our on the field moves. This conference is over!"

Manuel then knocked over his chair and ran out of the room.

Further research showed the team is also in the process of inking sponsorship deals with Trojan condoms, Hustler and the Philadelphia Gay News - all of which hinge on hiring Wang.

With financial pressures making the acquisition almost a certainty, the remaining question is will Wang be able to perform.

He has repeatedly insisted there is nothing wrong with him and after each failed start has said it "was the first time, I swear! This has never happened before."

He was also not interested in talking about his performance issues.

"Get out of my way you serf," an angry Wang said on his way out of the posh new Yankee Stadium after the recent loss to Cleveland. "I'm fine, one... two or three slightly rough starts in a row aren't indicative of a serious problem. I'm still all man."

However, citizens of the city and state of New York, the Indians, the Yankees players, staff and management, blind little girls and most everybody else aware of his situation begs to differ.

"I'm embarrassed for him right now, really," said disgraced former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who was brought down when his involvement in a prostitution ring became public.

P.S. Just a friendly reminder that this "story" is totally made up and is just a goofy satire, kind of like Onion stories. Have a good one.

Remember that lame club across the street from my apartment?

So the supremely cool night club across from my apartment is apparently upsetting the neighbors or something.

The door to get in my building had a notice on it saying some night this week the community board will be having a meeting to discuss the complaints made against the club and what course of action to take. Though I'm sure it would be entertaining, I don't think I'll be able to make it.... bummer.

I guess being the lamest place in the city might actually be against the law. Who knew?

So I spent a little while in Minnesota...

So recently (I know I'm uberslow) for work I spent a couple weeks in St. Paul Minn., which of course means really one crucial thing. You guessed it, that means I had to go through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, the scene of Sen. Larry Craig's (R-Idaho) awesome, awesome bathroom shame.

Being the classy citizen that I am, I made a point to check this historical spot out. I quickly learned that while there are lots of pictures and some videos online dedicated to this particular potty pilgrimage, there really weren't any explicit maps for the someone who might not be familiar with the airport and might not have a lot of spare time. So... I made one with some hopefully helpful visuals.

At full size, this map is 8.5 by 11 inches, so it is perfect for
printing and carrying around the airport, though I
think I got a couple odd looks, but whatever.

Both times I wandered into the bathroom, the stall in question was in use. Oh well, I wouldn't want to accidentally send some mysterious signal from there anyway. Though I should add that the bathroom as a whole, was filthy. Every toilet there was in need of flushing... gross.