Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Xmas from New York Rocks

Waaay back in the vault, we found the New York Rocks Christmas special from 2008. For those of you not 'in the know,' New York Rocks is the greatest community television show from Staten Island that showcases local cock rockers and sub-D-list actors. It's like Tim's Terrible Tunes but with guests. (Props to Mustard Man, Amanda Curtis, and Ginger Shulick for managing to keep a straight face throughout this seasonal episode.) So get the children, fire up the Yule log, and gather around the laptop - it's xmas time.

Staten Island loves Dunkin' Donuts

Starbucks is for effete snobs. Dunkin' Donuts is for real blue collar New Yorkers.

This is a stereotype, sure, but it's also true - as evident in the annual numbers released as part of a highly detailed yearly survey on retail chains in New York City. Read it here.

A chain store census can say a lot about people.

Staten Island has a favorable Dunkin' Donuts to Starbucks ratio, specifically 30:8 (or 15:4 if you're a math whiz). Compare this to Manhattan, where Starbucks has infiltrated the city like roaches and outnumbers D&D 194:115. Pitiful.

Sure, Brooklyn has a more favorable ratio (126:17), but factor in all those boutique coffee shops and your back in the effete category, at least in Park Slope/ BoCoCa/ Williamsburg/ Brooklyn Heights/ etc../../../../..

Also notable in the annual survey: only one Staten Island Au Bon Pain (in the Ferry terminal); no Chipotle, Five Guys, Pret A Manger, or Le Pain Quotidien.

We don't like that French crap.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Old Spice guy from Staten Island

Yes, that's right someone had to do a parody of the Old Spice guy, and it had to be Staten Islander Vinny from MTV's sleaze-fest Jersey Shore. Naturally. This will be a New Year's Eve we will never forget - especially if the Snooki midnight ball drop goes as well as that new Spider Man musical.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ghostface Killah's Apollo Kids Twitter rant

Tomorrow, Tuesday December 21st, is the official release date for Apollo Kids, Ghostface Killah's fantastic new album. We heard a copy last night and it's up there with Fishscale and Ironman - maybe not Supreme Clientele territory or even Big Doe Rehab, but definitely better than Pretty Toney.

Anyhow, in anticipation for his new album, Ghost has been hitting the Twitter lately, and last night he went balls to the wall.

The following is a chronological rendering of last night's epic tweet-a-thon where Ghost waxes poetic about women, crack, rented furniture, and Oprah. Yeah, it was pretty impressive:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Staten Island's 2020 subway map

Christmas is always full of unrealistic, unfulfilled dreams: a diamond ring, new XBox, full-time job with benefits? Maybe next year. But we can still wish can't we?

Now you can throw a Staten Island subway into the mix. Writing for City Limits, Samuel I. Schwartz ponders a whole slew of public transportation initiatives that can bring New York City's infrastructure into the 21st Century.

He also comes up with the following modest proposal for our (mostly) forgotten borough:
A subway extending into Staten Island 
One could go from St. George to the Battery into the T-line. Another could go from Clifton to Bay Ridge to link with the R train (groundbreaking for this subway was held in 1923; let's open it for the centennial). Both would originate from the existing Staten Island Railway. While we're at it, let's also re-establish the Staten Island North Shore Railroad and attach a West Shore link.
Fan-tastic. Not one, but TWO subway lines spewing out of Staten Island.

We got an exclusive look at the proposed subway line, from an artist rendering. A graphic depiction of how the Clifton to Bay Ridge tunnel will operate.

2010 Pros and Cons: Grimm and SI Girls

It's that time of year, everybody!

It's been a busy week, but we wanted to create a Top 10 list, compiling the 'best and worst' of Staten Island for the year. However - as usual - we found ourselves endlessly contemplating the merits of each and every one and then taking a nap.

So due to laziness and/or over-analysis we came up with Pros and Cons - a series of posts that look into the good and bad of this epic and tumultuous year of all things Staten.

Staten Island Girls:

This mini-meme sensation from our Staten shores was probably deemed sad and pathetic by most people who watched it, but we saw some redeeming qualities in this.

The obvious contradiction in this YouTube vid getting over 500K views was that a large percentage of viewers were laughing at, and not with, these young women. We are guessing they intended on making a mockery of the SI/Jersey Shore couture, but being so entrenched and isolated on this peculiar island, the girls gave us a unique insight into the race species that is 'the young locals.'

Friday, December 10, 2010

Angelina: Jersey Shore to porn star?

Where do you expect Jersey Shore star Angelina Pivarnick to go for employment? Back to the dental office on Bard Avenue?

Aw, hell no. Radaronline is reporting that Staten Island's serial reality TV show quitter was recently made a $50,000 offer she simply can't refuse. It could make her the borough's first celebrity porn star.

The offer - launched by hot shot celeb sex tape company Vivid (Google it) - requires the production of a Jersey Shore-themed porn movie starring the so-called Kim Kardashian of Staten Island.

In the prospective deal, not only does Angelina get the $50K, but also shares in the profits. Not bad. But, she told Radar that she wasn't likely to take it:
When asked if she was prepared to do the porn, Angelina told "No, I'm not. I'm definitely not."
So what happens now? Are we done with this woman? Has she had her run, or will she stick around and show up at Fushimi for the Season 3 premiere, attracting the local media and SILive video crew?

The problem with Angelina - like others in the Shore cast - is that there is no intrinsic value in what she does, like the 500 dollar bill

She's not even rich like other, more successful mindless entertainment stars, so the prospect of following her everyday life is not particularly exciting. Unless, of course, she is naked.

Abstract Art and National Lager Day

It's the perfect gift for mom and dad.

This weekend only, you can go ahead and cross everyone off your Christmas list, without going near the Staten Island Mall.

At the bitter end of Hylan Boulevard one of our borough's finest cultural institutions is holding a holiday art and craft fair - or something to that effect.

At The Alice Austen House you can find vendors with homemade stocking stuffers, doo-dads, binglebots, and bejewelments for all the members of your extended family.

Mom/gf/wifey: feminist collage art. Artsy brother's dorm room: abstract oil paintings. Grandma: handmade mittens. Rover: gourmet dog biscuits. Also, something called typewriter soap(?).

Check, check, check, and check.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Media Column: Post-racial television

The election of an African American president was supposed to usher in a new era of post-racial America. It didn't happen. We're still divided; at least in the political realm. Two years of Barack Obama's presidency has shown us that people can still revert to ugly (though, sometimes latent) generalizations about race – even if it takes the guise of an assumed Muslim faith and Kenyan nationality.

But one element of our culture has evolved recently: popular television. A place that once showcased a myopic vision of minorities and homosexuals – reducing these and other groups to gross caricatures and fodder for cheap one-liners – has introduced smart and complex shows with realistic and well-intentioned individuals, who for once can be judged by the content of their characters.

Black characters were once relegated to their traditional role as sidekicks (Daryl from The Office, Deacon from King of Queens) while gay people were simply happy to be invited to the party as something acceptable to laugh at (Will and Grace). Both ABC's Modern Family and NBC's Parenthood offer sober and vibrant examples of the struggles, challenges, and pleasures inherent in fostering a 21st Century extended family, with blemishes and all.

Thirteen's video of The Greenbelt

Thirteen has a great online project called The City Concealed. It's awesome for people who like to find these bohemian, off the beaten path destinations throughout the five boroughs. They did one on the Freshkills Park Project back in June.

Here they traverse the Greenbelt in all its beautiful, wooded glory. The Greenbelt Conservancy has protected the area from greedy developers since the '70s. It turns out Robert Moses wanted to build a highway through it - just like everything else.

The Greenbelt isn't exactly a New York City Park, but rather a conglomerate of different parks, forests, and camps - or something like that. Pouch Camp was a piece, but 'Boooo' to the Boy Scouts for screwing that one up.

Watch the video:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Road Trip: Kill Bears in Jersey

Time to go huntin'.

Fill up your gun rack and camouflage gear 'cause we're headed over the Bayonne to Northern New Jersey where the big bear hunt is currently underway.

In an attempt to control the bear population, Gov. Christie has decided to play offense. The state sold $2, 6-day hunting permits to almost 7,000 Jerseyans for this week.

Hunting bears has been illegal in the state since the '70s, so the bear population has blossomed leaving some people to cry foul that black bears were encroaching on their New Jersey lifestyle. There was another brief bear hunt back in '05, but Jersey needed another week-long extermination.

Still, some people protested the big bear hunt. PETA is, like, totally pissed.

Hunters have killed over 300 bears so far, putting a sizable dent in the bear population. But what do they do with all these dead bears? Well, one idea sounds delicious: eat them.

Check out this video from of butchers carving up the goods. Yummy.

Video after jump:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Surprisingly cogent homeless man at the Ferry

What's the intrinsic value of a 500 dollar bill?

It's not every day that you're asked this question at 8:30 in the morning. It's also not every day that you find a rambling homeless man at the Staten Island Ferry spouting off about Obama, the Federal Reserve, and North Korea yet somehow making more sense than Glenn Beck and the entire Tea Party combined.

He started off by singing a word for word rendition of 'My Favorite Things' before launching into this epic diatribe.

I'm not sure what the point is. But I'm pretty sure there's one in there somewhere. It's a palpable mix conspiracy theorizing and anti-government angst. He also tried to explain why the Ferries are orange and black (something to do with the Dutch, don't remember.)

Notice the meticulous attention the detail, the honest self-awareness, and the uncanny ability to string complete sentences together in an apparently random ad lib. This guy has a bright future at Fox News.

Video after jump:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ghostface Killah: 'Beats is like women'

Most of us will have to wait a few weeks to hear more nuggets of wisdom from Staten Island's most successful rap artist: Ghostface Killah.

Ghost (aka Tony Starks) will release Apollo Kids on December 21st. The album will probably be better than his last album (the R&B-inspired Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City) but not as good as his classic Supreme Clientele. We're hoping it is somewhere between Pretty Toney and Big Doe Rehab.

But more importantly, what sorts of classic lines will Ghost give us. This is the dude who spit out lyrics like: "Remember when I longdicked you, and broke your ovary?"

Well, anyways here is a video of Ghostdeini laying down some wisdom and a track for Apollo Kids -with the winner of some Red Bull contest.

Ghost on the importance of good beats:

"Beats is like women," he says. "He might be a good MC, but look at the music he chose. His girls is messed up."

The beat is not bad, a very Wu-Tang appropriate. Scroll after the video for a tracklist and guest appearances for Apollo Kids.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

One last bet on OTB

How much longer can OTB survive?

"They'll let us know Tuesday, one way or the other," the cashier said.

She sat behind a glass partition at the OTB in the Elm Park section of Staten Island. My ear was pressed up against a small metal grate in the window, trying to listen.

The woman had been perched on her stool for years, taking bets from methadone addicts, Social Security recipients, and 30-year-old graduate students trying to fill a curiosity and professional requirement.

How long had she worked there?

"Too long," she said with a slight smile and air of resignation.

Her career might come to a sudden and abrupt end this week unless the State Senate can vote on a last minute rescue package to save the 50 betting parlors across New York. OTB could be gone for good.

It's hard to imagine an outer borough without Off Track Betting. The institution has been around since the '70s when the government decided to take a commission from a favorite vice of immigrant communities: gambling.

Sal from 91st Street doesn't take wagers on horses and numbers anymore. Uncle Sam is the bookie.

Friday, December 3, 2010

What's up with the floating Xmas tree?

We were driving on that beautiful, but barren, stretch of waterfront parallel to Bay Street when we saw (what looked like) a mysterious floating Christmas tree.

Because of unnamed impediment (read: laziness) we didn't take a pic, but thanks to @GirlontheFerry we now have visual proof of this holiday miracle.

Driving by, we thought the 'tree' was placed on a dock, but the image clearly shows water between us and the ornament. Weird. Who put it there? How does it float? (cue: double rainbow) What does it mean? The world may never know.

Area of detail (in case anyone wants to swim out there and check it out):

Welcome Walter Schreifels to Cargo Cafe

Walter Schreifels (the dude from seminal hardcore band Gorilla Biscuits, influential '90s pre-emo power group Quicksand, and also Rival Schools) will be visiting Staten Island for the first time Saturday night.

Give him a nice welcome. It's not everyday we get a legendary musician playing a small venue on Bay Street.

The show is at Cargo Cafe. 8 bucks. Pablo and The Amber Jets are opening. DJ Mike Spinella is, well, DJing. It's a no-brainer.

There's really not much else to say except some people have bitched about the cover charge. Get over it. Some adults need to earn a living.

For the younger folks: the dude opened for Weezer. How awesome is that?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leland Sundries at the Staten Island Tugboat Graveyard

Check out this video of Brooklynite band Leland Sundries. Nick Loss-Eaton, the man behind the band, drives over the Verrazano to escape the seepage of the Newtown Creek and frolic in the bucolic marshes of Staten Island.

Dude even takes a canoe and traverses the tugboat graveyard. Great visuals. Nice Leonard Cohen-esque song. Where is this shit, anyways? Need to hang out on the abandoned docks more.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Deconstructing Kanye's Fantasy

This week America grappled with the gargantuan task of setting aside Kanye West's epic douchery and attempting to appreciate his fantastic new album entirely on its own merits. Not easy.

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was released on Tuesday with the predictable fanfare and rave reviews expected for our generation's most revered megalomaniac.

Fantasy is a pop album. A meticulous, triumphant pop album - with, sometimes, pitiful lyrics. But instead of borrowing from musical past to regurgitate his own version of Thriller, West takes some of today's more successful musical tropes, then uses broad strokes to apply each one to his own inchoate repertory.

It's this collage method that helps Kanye craft a pop album more successfully than contemporary crossover rap stars. Lil Wayne rode mixtape madness to the top of the charts. However, when Weezy strapped on a guitar for Rebirth, the results were met with mild derision and ample head scratching.

Kanye places a funky guitar riff into "Gorgeous" with the deft skill of a veteran producer. The saucy lick drips all over the track without sounding forced or haphazard. He may not play the instrument, but he knows exactly where to put it.

I suppose one would point to Jay Z - an artist who attempted to turn his rhymes into a new American songbook - as the most ambitious hip-hop 'pop' star these days. But although Jay's "Empire State of Mind" has an indelible hook, the song's ubiquity is wearing thin and may soon be relegated to the 'used bin' of once great pop songs.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Consider the Bike Lane

The recent decision by the Department of Transportation to remove a bike lane on a scenic stretch of Father Capodanno Boulevard - overlooking the putrid beaches on the east shore of Staten Island - was disappointing, although not exactly surprising.

Generally, bike lanes are a good idea. They help promote alternative forms of transportation, and could ease congestion by diverting traffic into a single lane. They also prevent speedsters from wreaking havoc on pedestrians.

Father Capodanno Boulevard is not a heavily-trafficked street (except for rush hours) and the addition of the bike lane was a mild impediment to cars, to say the least.

But the unfortunate fact is that Staten Island drivers are not mature enough, forward-thinking, or possess the common decency to share the rode with cyclists traveling at a less-than-optimal speed. This will obstruct the locals from getting to their nail salons and mini-mansions at an average clip of 30 to 90 seconds a commute. Not acceptable.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Is George Bush too dumb to write his own book?

George W. Bush, the guy who ran the country for 8 years, is back. And this time, he's writin' books. It's the perfect Christmas gift for your Republican relative, who you have nothing in common with.

Bush's new memoir, Decision Points, was released recently and it is the usual re-hashing of important points in his colossal error of a presidency without the requisite insight and analysis you should probably get from the person who was actually there and making the important decisions.

You may have seen him making up with Kanye West recently on the Today Show. Wouldn't it be great if Bush got a guest verse on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy?

Anyways, it turns out that Bush couldn't even bother to write some of his own memoir. The HuffingtonPost points out that some of the book was lifted from the book American Soldier by one of the guys who ran the Afghan war, Tommy Franks:

Staten Island Jihadist faces judge, gets no bail

A former Staten Islander, and Tottenville High School student, appeared in federal court Tuesday to hear why he won't be joining the Taliban anytime soon.

Appearing in a Brooklyn court, Abdel Hameed Shehadeh was accused of lying to authorities after making a number of unsuccessful attempts to fly overseas and join Jihadist groups.

The Times describes the non-eventful courtroom scene:
In court on Tuesday, Mr. Shehadeh, who wore a brown T-shirt and loose-fitting blue pants, quietly answered questions from a United States magistrate judge, Ramon E. Reyes Jr., saying he understood the nature of the charges and his rights.
After he was denied travel to Iraq and Somalia in 2008, Shehadeh tried to enter Pakistan and claimed he was going to attend a University. He wasn't. And when investigators questioned him, he got caught lying.

The dude even tried to join the Army and go to Iraq where, we would guess, he was going to desert and join the other side. What an a-hole!

Prosecutors asked that he be denied bail because he is a flight risk and danger to the community: ya think? His lawyer didn't even bother to file a bail application.

Shehadeh faces up to 8 years in prison. Meanwhile, Staten Island is under Jihad watch. Maybe Pam Geller was right after all.

Redman is in Wu Tang? Who knew?

The Grammy-winning, How High-acting, Cribs-appearing, post-EPMD rapper Redman (aka Reggie Noble) is doing promotion for his next album, Reggie, due out in December.

During a recent interview while touring Europe, Noble came out as the 11th member of Staten Island's prolific hip-hop collective, Wu-Tang Clan:

"I am a Wu-Tang member and Method Man, he been a Death Squad member way before I was a Wu member," Redman said.

"I was like a Wu member but I wasn't official. But E. [Erick] Sermon made him Meth a death squad member back in the day. I became a Wu member about 5 years ago. I am the 11th member of Wu."

Besides the head-scratching grammar, what the effe is going on here?

Hipsters wage war on Duane Reade

The New York Times featured a story Friday about the scourge permeating the hipster neighborhoods of Brooklyn: Duane Reade.

Apparently, a second version of this chain establishment is opening in their artist enclave/former-crack epidemic crime zone. And this is just too much for the trustafarians to bear.

The Times lays it down:
For many residents it signaled that dreaded chain stores — symbols of all things corporate and uninspired — were about to breach the industrial neighborhood turned bastion of the young, do-it-yourself and arty.
Arty? That's a word, I guess. Odd how these 'residents' will happily take the L Train to Manhattan everyday, where there are - i dunno - maybe just a few Duane Reades. Also, what is there position on Starbucks? Tell me these kids like bodega coffee. I'm sure their anti-corporate crusades stop at the point of Cappuccino convenience.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Wild Turkeys terrorize Staten Island (video)

You've heard the apocalyptic headlines the past week or so. There's been everything but a red alert issued for all seniors living near the Ocean Breeze section of Staten Island.

Turkeys are everywhere, and they are raising hell.

Here is just a sampling of the horrors we've been subjected to from local media in the past week - coincidentally, right before Thanksgiving.

'Wild turkeys take over Staten Island neighborhood' - ABC

'Staten Island Locals Fear Wild Turkeys!' - Gothamist

'Turkeys Terrify Staten Island Residents, Trap Woman in Car' - Field & Stream

'Scourge of Staten Island: Turkeys terrorize residents as they roam neighborhood' - Daily News

We went down to Ocean Breeze to investigate, and it was just as terrifying as the news outlets told us. Honestly, it is amazing that we made it out of that shit hole alive.

Video below:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Angelina's rap: the remix

It's the best piece of music to come out of Staten Island since the last Budos album, or Ingrid Michaelson, or whatever crap you people listen to.

NO. We are not talking about the horribly awesome rap song leaked to TMZ this week. The one with Staten Island native, and Jersey Shore actress, Angelina doing her impersonation of a whiny cat getting run over by trunk. Not that one.

It's the remix! By Staten Island's own DJ LowBall.

In case you're not in the know of Island culture/high art, LowBall is the guy who DJs at local hot spots every so often with an iPod for, like, real cheap.

You can catch LowBall himself, at a venue near you. Just name your price. But for now here's his latest creation:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Beware of the annual turkey story

What a coincidence. Every year, just a few weeks before Thanksgiving, a bunch of turkey stories waddle right out off Seaview Avenue and into the pages of the local dailies.

Do turkeys send out a press release, or is it just the time of the year when editors say: "They have turkeys out in Staten Island, don't they? Go drive out there and see if you can find a few."

And find turkeys they did.

"Thanksgiving may be two weeks away, but every day is turkey day for a quiet section of New York City's Staten Island." -CNN

Cute, but a conspiracy theory lurks nearby, in the hot dog cart.

"About 12 years ago somebody dropped two turkeys off down by the psychiatric center." -hot dog guy

This could be a new urban legend, like Cropsey. What happens when turkeys attack?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My Big Friggin' Stereotype

Now that Jersey Shore Season 2 has ended, Viacom could not help themselves but dole out another pitiful reality program that portrays Italian Americans as shallow, materialistic pieces of trash.

The latest tome in their canon of diminishing returns is My Big Friggin' Wedding, a reality show that follows four couples as they plan out the biggest day in their young guido lives. Not surprisingly, there's a lot of drinking, embarrassing revelations, and gross generalizations.

There's even a token character of color thrown into the mix, a Haitian man named Danny. He's mostly there to show how others react to his skin color.

"My grandmother was crying hysterical, for months, because I was marrying a Haitian," his to-be bride admits.

"My family is making him feel like he's gonna steal something as soon as he walks in. Like, please."

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How many hungry cats can you fit in a rented Staten Island home?

This disturbing story came out of Great Kills last weekend.

70-year-old Bill Reilly moved out of his rented home in October, but when something started to stink real bad, neighbors complained.

Animal control found 38 cats living in the apartment with nothing to eat or drink.

When the Advance called Reilly he said they "just multiplied" and then hung up.

No word on whether the cats were really Gremlins, the creatures from the 1984 movie who multiply when you add water.

Reilly's landlord was a little defensive about his tenant.

"Apart from the thing with the cats, he was a great guy."

Yeah, besides the whole thing about torturing animals, we're sure Bill Reilly is totally awesome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

10 questions for 'The Situation'

Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino came to the Barnes and Noble by The Staten Island Mall Wednesday night to sell some books.

As the 'Jersey Shore' wanes in popularity (MTV is already moving on to younger programming) the reality star is grasping at his newfound fame and whatever monetary deals come his way.

The Situation - or, more accurately, his ghostwriter - has written a new book that celebrates his shallow, manufactured, misogynist lifestyle.

Even the local paper could not hide their contempt as we detect a smidge of snark in their straight report.

Reportedly 600 people showed up, and the video verifies that at least some screaming young women were excited about the opportunity to meet the character and/or read his epic piece of literature.

Since we have no desire to go near this piece of shit, unless given the opportunity to smack him in the face, here what we would have asked him:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Staten Island: You done goofed

Election night hangover is in full effect. Not from booze or weed (Prop 19 failed) but from a late night of watching election returns come in from around the country.

But like the double rainbow, the election left us wondering: what does it mean?

On a national scale, the election confirmed our belief that the Tea Party is wildly overblown: the witch lady lost in Delaware, Paladino and his baseball bat went down in glorious flames, Sharron Angle was pummeled by Harry Reid, Sarah Palin's pick in Alaska, Joe Miller, looks like he will go down to a write-in candidate of Lisa Murkowski.

Sure, Republicans picked up lots of seats in the house of a bunch of governorships, but most big ticket Tea Party crazy candidates went down. One exception being Rand Paul, a guy who want to privatize social security - good luck with that.

But Staten Island's congressional race was a close one. Incumbent Mike McMahon and Mike Grimm battled back and forth late into the night, and Grimm was left standing.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Last gaffe for Carl Paladino

We're gonna miss you Carl!

Even though only 13 people showed up to your last Staten Island meet-and-greet, you were by far the best (local) candidate to make fun of.

The election is tomorrow, and it's hard to think what life will be like without you: your misogynist statements, your white rage, those hardcore pornographic e-mails... All will be lost.

As if your fat head never emerged from the wastelands of Buffalo.

If Christine O'Donnell weren't a practicing witch you could've have rode your bullshit campaign into a national spotlight of vulgar assholery.

But you were rendered to viral internet memes. Better than nothing, we guess.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Shocker: Angelina's mall fight was PR stunt

If you're not keeping up with your 'Jersey Shore'-related news, Staten Island's favorite serial-quitter of reality shows got into a tussle in the Hot Topic of the Staten Island Mall this week.

The biggest shock about this incident - besides the fact that Angelina shops at Hot Topic - was that the whole thing was a PR stunt (according to the Staten Island's intrepid mall cops).

Wow, didn't see that coming.

Radar Online got all the juicy quotes from Angelina's mom:  

"Angelina and her girlfriend got jumped at the mall by two teenage girls," said momma Trashbags. "The security guards did nothing to help them and told her, 'This is a publicity stunt, we have no time for this."  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

McMahon's karate stunt: neat trick or low blow?

The McMahon campaign has taken of the gloves, and kicked Mike Grimm right in the nut sack.

The Advance did some deep investigative work to find out that Mike Grimm's ex-wife was given a preferential front row seat in Tuesday night's Battle Royale debate between Grimm and Mike McMahon.
"Observers saw four Team McMahon placeholders, who had arrived early to stake out front-row seats, give them up just before the debate began to Grimm's ex-wife, Susan Kim, her father and two brothers. The four took seats directly in front of the podium at which Grimm would stand."
Add to the mix that the Kim family are taekwondo experts who own a chain of karate schools.

The apparent goal: to make Mike Grimm shit himself in fear.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The official Hipster Survey

Some people said that the hipster died with the '00 decade. And we said, 'Oh yeah? Prove it!'

Well thanks to the City University of New York now we can.

The departments of sociology and anthropology have combined in this painstaking effort to create a demographic profile detailing where, when, and if the hipster actually exists. It's all compiled in this neat little survey.

You see, unfortunately the U.S. Census does not have a category for 'hipster' under ethnicity so that whole ten-year data collection is basically useless.

This is the only way we can honestly quantify hipsters.

Here's the plan: gather enough data of Staten Islanders, compile it, hire a statistician, average it up, and presto. We have a hipster index for Staten Island.

We can then compare our hipster index with other neighborhoods in New York City by using the internets to survey those areas.

OK Greenpoint, let's see what you got? If everyone cooperates we'll email other blogs and get them to pony up.

Survey is below:

From Tottenville to Taliban

There's a Jihad on the South Shore.

A former Tottenville High School student was arrested in Hawaii on Friday on charges that he repeatedly tried to fly into Pakistan and join the Taliban.

Abdel Hameed Shehadeh, a 21-year-old guy from Prince's Bay, is being transferred to Brooklyn where he will face further proceedings.

According to the New York Times the case is "based on numerous statements Mr. Shehadeh made to F.B.I." concerning his intended travels to the Afghan region.

The feds implicated Shehadeh and "several other individuals in connection with a plot to travel overseas and wage violent jihad against the United States and coalition military forces."

He even tried to enlist in the Army at the Times Square recruiting station.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What has Mike Grimm done for Staten Island?

The midterm Congressional election on Staten Island is a competition between a politician who has served the borough for the past decade and a mystery man who recites Sarah Palin talking points.

Last night on NY1, Mike Grimm and Mike McMahon slowly devoured each other in a preview of Tuesday night's discussion at Wagner College.

Both candidates landed a few jabs, there was only a modicum of policy discussion, and the event set a precedent for the closing weeks of what is purportedly a battle for the future of Staten Island's soul.

But it's not. It doesn't matter. Tuesday's debate will likely revolve around the same nonsense that we were subject to in the NY1 preview: all spit and no substance.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mike Grimm overreacts to NPR debacle

This one comes thanks to the people at Rap Scholar.

Juan Williams, the always reliable Alan Colmes-ish liberal foil on Fox News, was fired from his NPR gig after saying some pretty ignorant and flat-out dumb stuff about Muslims, or Mooslims as they're called on Staten Island.

"When I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Replace "Muslims" with "black people" and "plane" with "dark alley" and you'll see how far we've come with race relations in this country.

Anyway, NPR may have over reacted in firing Williams, but not as much as Mike Grimm, Staten Island's next Congressional representative (according to all the mail we're getting).

Grimm wants NPR de-funded by the government, so they can solicit ads from Goldline or something.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

CMJ: Punk's not dead, it's old and pathetic

It smells down here. I'm at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, in Brooklyn, downstairs at the bar - and it stinks.

It happens to be the venue where washed-up punks come to watch their favorite retro acts during the CMJ Music Marathon. It's between sets and their body odor is awful. I should get out of here.

Once an opportunity for college-aged independent rock bands, CMJ was the place they went to showcase their stuff for the industry folk, with the hopes of scoring a record deal. But that's not gonna happen.

Today everything is niche-ified. For the blog crowd. Wanna hear a one-man electronic act that sounds like four records played in reverse on an incessant loop while random projections run on a movie screen in the background? That's next door. But for now, we're at the '90s punk show.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Geeking out to 'The Social Network'

'The Social Network' - a Page 6 version of Mark Zuckerberg's rise from dorm room geek to billionaire baller – is a compelling, though highly clichéd, picture of Silicon Valley via 'Girls Gone Wild.'

The film chronicles the meteoric rise of the now-ubiquitous social networking site Facebook. Through its evolution, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (West Wing), along with director David Fincher (Fight Club, Zodiac), have brought us a hackneyed morality tale - one in which the losers inevitably win, but at a cost that renders them impotent and alone.

Before they even role the opening credits, a smug and condescending Zuckerberg (a curly-haired Jesse Eisenberg) chides his girlfriend in a Cambridge pub until she finally relents to his overbearing verbal assault.

Girls won’t like him, she says, but not because he’s a geek. It’s because he’s an asshole.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wu Tang Clan covered across the Pond

Thanks to the good people at ACanofSoup for sending us this.

Below is a stellar performance of Wu Tang's "Protect Ya Neck" by a London street busker and one-man-band, Lewis Floyd Henry.

The Soup (a good read on any day) supplied a great critique of NYC busker culture:
"When I see La Suena del Inka on the L platform, rocking pan flutes and a baritone 12-string uke (!), something larger stirs in me. There’s a multiculturalism there that the dum-dums of the rat race aren’t likely to expose themselves to, even with the aid of the Internet – there’s a spirit, something beyond the tunes."  
Wu Tang put us on the map in the early '90s. Their brand of spitfire verses, and cryptic soul samples signified a culture of its own - specifically underground hip-hop in the boroughs including Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten. It was an untapped market of creative genius. And it's nice to think of an SI export as multicultural on a London street corner.

The 'culture' attributed to our borough in the past few years has been decisively exploitative and of the outer-boro whitebread (or tanned) variety. But this is a passing fad. The authentic will always outlast the artificial. They will know us for something other than our vapid guido aesthetic.


Reporter mistaken for psycho killer on Facebook

Oh, the internets.

This episode of epic fail is brought to us by a local "link farm" outlet, the Facebook page of Staten Island, New York.

The page, which is "not associated with, sponsored or authorized by, any County Government," has more than 11,000 likes and regularly posts random links about local news.

They are also heavily skewed to the right, sharing 'news' about: Sarah Palin, 'Obamacare,' and insightful nuggets about November's local Congressional race, like this one:
Election 2010: "Last week, the campaign for one-term incumbent Rep. Michael McMahon crossed that line from rough-and-tumble campaign tactics to bald-faced deceit."
Way to be non-partisan.

But the site really fucked up on Sunday, when the anonymous farm put up this story about Eric Belluci, the guy who (allegedly) killed his family and fled to Israel.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The tragedy of Brian Wilson's beard

What happened on the mound during Saturday evening's National League playoff game between the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants was a minor tragedy.

It was the 8th inning. A burly and intimidating Brian Wilson took the rosin bag. His performance didn't concern me. He was stellar. A 96-mile-per-hour fastball struck down the final four outs of the game. It was an exemplary performance for a closing pitcher - Mo Rivera territory - but something much more important was amiss: the state of his facial hair.

I sat watching the last two innings, as Brian Wilson dominated hitters, and couldn't get my mind off his prominent beard. It was long. It was heavy. A suspiciously dark hue. Something was off here. It was very neatly trimmed - manicured like the topiary on the Todt Hill estate.

It was just too damn pretty for baseball.

I consider myself a baseball purist. Not in the sense of designated hitters and dome stadiums -- these have been around since before my time. But there is a storied tradition of relief pitchers and facial hair. They somehow manage to sign a multi-million dollar contract and still look like the guy who changes your oil.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Carl Paladino's campaign rendered in animation

The good people of Taiwan (that island nation off mainland China, which is actually our ally) put together this CGI version of the Carl Paladino saga.

There's not much that can be said beyond that fact that it's awesome. They even included the fight with NY Post's Fred Dicker, except in the Taiwanese version they use automatic weapons (the media use baseball bats on Crazy Carl).

The animation pretty much sums up the entire campaign. No need to read the papers anymore. What would we do without Taiwan? Probably pay much more for animators from South Korea.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Sun Ra Arkestra playing on Staten Island

Important Public Service Announcement:

This Saturday is the United Temple for the Arts Jazz Festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center. The legendary avant-garde jazz group Sun Ra Arkestra will be performing under the direction of Marshall Allen.

The event is early: 2 pm to 7 pm, and $30 or $25 in advance if you go here.

Pre-show activities include a panel discussion on the future of jazz. Check the site for the full gamut of performers, but we will leave you with some old school Sun Ra.

He may be dead, but they still wear those wacky space suits.

Video, bump:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

NY Post exclusive with Staten Island streaker

Leave it to the New York Post to get an exclusive interview with the naked guy who got arrested at President Obama's Philadelphia rally on Sunday.

In this amazing YouTube piece, Staten Islander Juan Rodriguez explains why he performed the nude stunt, gives a history of streaking, and voices his approval for both President Obama and The Roots.

The incident was staged after billionaire Alki David promised $1 Million to anyone who streaked past the President with '' written on their chest.

Rodriguez claims he got "10 feet" from the President and says that Obama kept his cool.

"That shows that he's a great leader for this country." ---- huh?

He then gets into the history of streaking (graduations, Queen Elizabeth) in an apparent effort to legitimize the art form. According to Rodriguez, the first streaker is even in a museum!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Titone calls Carl Paladino mentally ill

Staten Island Assemblymen Matthew Titone came out with some heated words Tuesday for Republican gubernatorial candidate Crazy Carl Paladino.

The Island's first openly gay politician was responding to the comments Paladino made Sunday afternoon during a homophobic rant at a meeting with Jewish leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Albany's Times Union had the full statement from Titone:
“Honestly, I swear to God, all morning I’ve been festering over this, while doing dishes — by hand. And all I can think is, there must be mental illness there, and I can’t be hateful. I think there may be some sort of mental illness with Carl Paladino that is completely un-addressed. He can’t help himself. He just simply cannot help himself. He’s attacked just about every person, every group, so far. I really think he just cannot help himself. He’s even attacked Italians! It’s one thing to be angry and frustrated, it’s another thing to be so myopic. I would hope the Republican Party re-considers their position with Paladino as well as what they would like to define themselves as. I’ve got to tell you, some of my best friends are Republicans, and they don’t think this way.”

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bullied for being Muslim

The Staten Island Advance first reported the story of a 16-year-old attending Port Richmond High School who was bullied and eventually beaten by classmates who yelled anti-Muslim slurs.

The boy, Kristian, is an American-born Trinidadian, whose last name is being withheld. 

The Daily News got the gory details:

"They punched me in my groin, and I fell to the floor. They started kicking me, and calling me 'You fuckin terrorist,' 'You fuckin Muslim."

Police have arrested four teens, three 14 and one 15, and charged them with a hate crime.

Was this an isolated incident, or a systemic problem not only in our borough, but in our country?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Staten Islander streaks at Obama rally

Staten Islander Juan James Rodriguez was arrested for public nudity Sunday after streaking at an Obama rally down in Philly.

Apparently, some really rich guy promised he'd pay $1 million to anyone who got naked at wrote "Battlecam" across their chest while running bare-assed through the Philadelphia rally.

"When I see the video and it's won't be a check [that Rodriguez receives], it will be cash," the rich guy told the Weekly Standard.

Rodriguez has been charged with indecent exposure, open lewdness, and disorderly conduct.

Go Staten! Video here:

Paladino's crusade against speedos

Carl Paladino is like your crazy uncle who gets drunk on his armchair and screams about how he would change the government - except he's actually on the ballot.

A day after Paladino's anti-gay tirade in Brooklyn, he went on the 'Today' show to make amends - sort of. 

Here he is on valium (?) trying to explain away his bigotry.

On gay pride parades:

"They wear these speedos and they grind against each other - it's a terrible thing" and later... "it's disgusting."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Why we vote: Tea Party Nazis

When it comes to political bickering, the Nazi card gets tossed around the blogosphere more than a Hacky Sack at Bonnaroo. But it's hard to avoid using the N-word when you have a candidate who actually dresses up and performs military re-enactments as a Waffen-SS soldier.

Meet Rich Iott, a Republican, Tea Party-backed candidate for Ohio's 9th district. Iott is a millionaire former-CEO of Food Town Supermarkets and Boy Scout. Iott also likes to play Nazis with his friends every so often.

The Atlantic's Joshua Green revealed the candidate's connection to Wiking, a group of World War II re-enactment enthusiasts. (Kind of like Comic Con, for old war nuts.) Problem is, they enjoy re-enacting the other side, specifically the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking, an actual Nazi division that fought for Hitler's domination of Eastern Europe.

Oh, and there's pictures:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hipsters spar over Katy Perry

Every so often we travel over the bridge to that Disneyland for 20-somethings known as Williamsburg.

When the inevitable question of where we live comes up, the transplant scoffs derisively. Funny, we were born here, you just moved in from some podunk town in Western Pennsylvania.

So it's moments like these that give some reprieve. A passive-aggressive note left in an apartment hallway - actually more than a note, like a short story. An extremely anal retentive one.

Notice the different font sizes, four full paragraphs of specificity, and most predictably the peanut gallery scribbling of fellow Williamsburgers.

Thankfully, we don't live next to, or above, any of these people.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Homophobe jerk: I'm not sorry

Matthew Francis, the Staten Island gay basher who attacked a man at the Stonewall Inn, insists that he doesn't hate gay people, and that he was just breaking up a fight when he had Ben Carver pinned down and pummeled. Right...

"I'm not going to say sorry, because I don't know what I should be sorry for," Francis told the Daily News. "I don't hate gay people."

To bolster his defense, Francis is using the 'I have a gay friend' tact, in this case it's his sister Deanna Francis, a bartender at the Black Dog Grill on Forest Avenue.

"My sister's a full-blown lesbian," he said.

The attack happened at the Stonewall Inn, a bar synonymous with the gay rights movement.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Watch trailer from 'Bridge & Tunnel'

Everyone take a deep breath: It's been cancelled.

'Bridge and Tunnel' - the Staten Island-based reality show that was going to put 'Jersey Shore' to shame - has been axed by MTV execs because it was reportedly 'too similar' to the guido-centric reality show. (They say that like it's a bad thing.)

The show is pretty much what you would expect. Staten Islanders acting like assholes. Like real life, but 'acting the part' a bit more for the MTV cameras. It's sad to think that these people were hoping to achieve stardom, maybe one day be as famous as Charlie B. from 'True Life: I'm Getting Married."

Tip your 40 ounches tonight for 'Bridge and Tunnel,' the show that never was. And thank Jesus that your children don't have to grow up in a world where these people represent their home town.

Watch below:

Requiem for Trashbags

(When we all tune into this week's Jersey Shore, it will be missing our favorite character - Angelina. She left us again last week after a physical altercation with the little Chilean* girl from Poughkeepsie - video below. A look back at our muse. The boro's finest.)

To Angelina:

You came into our life with the emotional baggage of a pampered outer-borough Italian, and the actual baggage of laundry, packed into Hefty Cinch-Sacks.

Your self-appointed nick names (Kim Kardashian of Staten Island, Jolie) never caught on. Because they were terrible. Your colleagues came up with better ones - although we will not let you take ours.

From behind the receptionist desk of Dr. Flynn on Bard Avenue to a summer rental in Seaside Heights, you were destined to become one of the great reality stars of our generation. But something went horribly wrong.

You were - let's face it - a cold bitch. And made no friends. And weren't very interesting, except when you were yelling at people. Then, just like that, you left us.