Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Staten Island's Next Ninja?

You guys remember the ninja burglar?

Back in 2007, a bunch of houses in the Silver Lake area of SI got robbed by some guy who, maybe, possibly, might have been wearing some sort of mask that could have made him look like a ninja.

Naturally the media dubbed him the 'ninja burglar' making him synonymous with Island iconoclasts like Vanderbilt, Kreischer, Alice Austen, and Ol' Dirty Bastard Inspectah Deck. (thanks, to Mike Cohen)

He even has his own Wikipedia entry. So he must be for real.

It was fun! It sold papers. The ad people were happy. In short, those were the good old days.

But now there's a new bandit on the loose and the Advance reporters have blown this one wide open.

It seems that some strange man, who reportedly may have a 'fetish with lawn ornaments,' is committing a series of heinous acts involving campy Family Dollar lawn decorations.

That's right people: garden gnomes, lawn jockeys, those crappy wooden deer. Nobody is safe.

For more info follow SILive and buy the Advance -- our only protection against such vicious and brazen attacks on our pastoral, suburban way of life.

Die Antwoord - Enter The Ninja 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How Awesome/Terrible Is This?

This is quite possibly the worst and/or coolest song performed on SNL since Elvis Costello did "Radio, Radio" in 1977.

First off: Did MGMT really name a song after Brian Eno??

Secondly: Is this ballsy, or, a massively lame name drop?

: Are MGMT now hippies, mod-rockers, or refurbished chillwavers?

It seems like a joke. As if MGMT is saying,
"Watch this crazy shit we are gonna pull on our next album. Transplants will eat it up like a double-double In-N-Out burger."
Or, are they really saying:
"We don't give a shit what Brooklyn thinks about us. We are going to make an album to please ourselves, not the 'Best New Music' crowd at Pitchfork."
Which is it Staten Island? This is your moment. You will look back at April 2010 and say:

"That was back when I was the only muthafuker that liked the new MGMT (or) I told y'all that MGMT album was bullshit."

Choose a side wisely, and quickly.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lessons in Journalizm: Editorials

On April 10 the Staten Island Advance ran a guest editorial from an orthopedic surgeon, Dr. John P. Reilly, that criticized the President's new health care bill.

This is great right?

We want to know what our doctors think of the new health bill. They are on the front lines in this battle, and who doesn't trust their doctors?

Except there's one problem.

Dr. John Reilly serves on the executive board of the Molinari Republican Club, an organization that promotes "limited government," "low taxes" and is dedicated to removing the "Democratic majorities in Washington [who] are working to strip away our protections from terrorists."

So on Saturday morning April 10 when all the old white people opened up their Staten Island Advance they probably thought:

"Hmmm, a real doctor. I wonder what he thinks about this whole health care nonsense."
"Our health-care system’s deconstruction, reconstruction and expansion should not be relegated to or contingent upon the vision or agendas of other entities which, at best, have a symbiotic or worse, a parasitic relationship, on that fundamental trust." - Dr. John Reilly
Old white people: "Holy hell. Even my doctors don't like this socialist bill. Maybe I should go join that wacky Tea Party after all."

Moving forward, the Advance needs to identify their partisan hacks accordingly, so as not to confuse their old white readers.

In Honor of St. George Day

Anonymous quote from a wise journalist:

"Staten Island
is like a plant
Manhattan is the sun
All the good parts
move toward it."

Happy St. George Day!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Confession

We have a confession to make.

This won't be easy.

Last weekend, we had a few drinks, one thing led to another and before we knew it..... exhale.... we were in Brooklyn.

We know, but it all happened so fast.

There we were. The entire staff: the copy desk, photographers, graphic designers, even our personal chef. We went to see the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, which was great. Can't wait until those guys come play Cargo Cafe.

Anyway, we went to this bar after. It was one of those shitholes on the crap side of Williamsburg that nobody knows about but in, like, six months will be huuuge.

Things were going swell. drinks. dancin'. drugs. mgmt. gaga's 'bad romance.' pretty much the best time eva -- until.

A member of our entourage may have had a few too many and they accidentally mentioned that we were from Staten Island.

All hell broke loose.

The music stopped. People were throwin bottles. One of us got a black eye. They told us we didn't belong and that we should go back to our own borough.

This will not stand. This aggression will not stand, man.

Who do these so-called 'brooklynites' think they are anyway? They only moved here, like, six months ago and they probably haven't even been to Staten Island.

These assholes actually think they can rip on us because they watched a few episodes of the Jersey Shore... fuck outta here.

Eat it Brooklyn.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Painting Soldiers at Martini Red

Hey guys.

This Friday. Martini Red. There's a few bands playing.

Painting Soldiers is a lo-fi folk duo.

Guitar Bomb is raucous blues-punk.

Admiral of the Narrow Sea is, idk, intriguing and a bit scary.

We think it's a side project from Andrew Philip Tipton.

We are pretty sure Painting Soldiers played last summer on a barge off Richmond Terrace.

In fact, it was a self-sustaining Waterpod that floated around New York City for a few weeks. There were plants, living quarters, chickens.

Honestly, it was pretty effin kick ass.

Painting Soldiers are working on an album that is being produced by Lee Ranaldo.

Yeah, the same Lee Ranaldo from Sonic Youth, at least according to COAHSI.

Nice to see a folk show down on Van Duzer. How about a little diversity? Yeah!

Admiral of the Narrow Sea - Horn

Monday, April 19, 2010


Spring Fever: Staten Island style

The Bronx has the Bombers. Queens has the Metropolitans. Brooklyn's got the Cyclones.

And, Staten Island, the Yankees?

That's right.

When a single-A franchise came to the Richmond County some genius decided to name them after the greatest franchise in sports history.

Lemme guess how that meeting went:
Dbag in a suit: So, what should we call this Single A team on Staten Island?

BP Molinaro: grumble, grumble, grumble...

some other a-hole: Hoooow about....... the Yankees?

Josh Getzler: That's fucking genius. How did you come up with that?

previous a-hole: An Indian and Jim Morrison told me in a dream.
Brooklynites are quite proud of the Cyclones. You can spot them wearing their Cyclone T-shirts and hats all over town.

Can you imagine wearing a Staten Island Yankees T-shirt?

How many of these things do you think they sell??

The season is still a few weeks away. There is still time to fix this. How about we change the name?

Here are some suggestions totally free of charge -- we will accept beer as a gift though.

The Staten Island Shoguns (in honor of Wu-Tang)

Vanderbilt Chops

In honor of those rich fucks buried at Vanderbilt's tomb, and Cornelius Vandebilt's mutton chops.

What are some other good names we can come up with? There's gotta be more options.

We need to get together and change this awful name.

What kind of jerkoff borough names their minor league team after another borough's major league team?

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What do Staten Island and LOST have in common?

LOST and the island of Staten have something in common.

Take a look at the picture below and try to guess what it is:

Yeah, remember Goodwin. We believe he was an Other on LOST, who was eventually impaled with a stake through the heart.

And Sawyer, well we don't need to tell you, he's the sexpot that was with Kate (almost) then Juliet, until she died.

So does Staten Island hold the secret to LOST? Is there some kind of connection between Goodwin and Sawyer? Possibly, Jewett Ave?

And where is the temple in case the smoke monster comes? Vanderbilt's Tomb?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do we need to choose a side in this?

A recent piece in the SI Advance went after the grant-giving process over at COAHSI.

Basically: some people got grants, some didn't.

The piece boils it down like this:
Two opposing camps formed. A mostly 35-and-under group endorsed Shulick, and the awards made under her supervision. A somewhat older faction asserted that favoritism contaminated the process.

...In some instances, thanks to Facebook, it was also clear that the young newcomers and the 28-year-old grants director are all part of the same social network.
really? is it that simple? if so, what camp are we in?

The Dump never signed up for a 'camp' and we are afraid we might get left out.

Are we automatically connected through the 'Facebook?' idk, we need to check all our contacts and make sure.

In fact, if there is a war and all the grants go to one side, or the other, we think we should at least pick one side so that we can maybe win the fight.

(Hopefully, it won't flare out into the wider conflict with Williamsburg!)

So should we side with the older faction, or the younger one? Which one is cooler, more artistic?

Such a tough decision.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Column: Fighting the socialist media

Recently the Advance published a hit piece on the Tea Party.

It's upsetting that the local paper would join the drive-by, socialist, mainstream media.

At least we have patriots here to defend us: so many people that I wonder if we are still boycotting the paper.

We can win the fight by simply using facts -- (and guns just in case).

Anyway, we decided to probe into the liberal media's slime machine.

Where do they get the idea that the Tea Party, or any conservative movement, is biased or racist?

Exhibit A: This piece of claptrap from the Washington Post: "Tea party' protesters accused of spitting on lawmaker, using slurs"

Ridiculous, this is just the kind of left-wing attack that damages the credibility of the movement.

There is no proof of spitting by anyone.

In fact, there is even video to prove that this is slanderous.

If you watch you can clearly see this 'patriot' was simply greeting Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and gently spraying him with saliva in the process.

This is completely normal. In fact who does this elitist snob Cleaver think he is? He thinks can walk to work without being moistened in the face by the spittle of a white protestor?

This is what our country has come to?

What happened to the days where us white folk could run around shouting insults and spraying saliva on black people without the liberal media jumping down our throats?

Is this the 'change we can believe in?'

We think not.

The Advance needs to see this video, and learn the FACTS. We except an apology written with the blood, sweat, and tears of Brian Laline.

And until we get one, we'll be boycotting Pronto Pizza (which is delicious, btw).

We want our America back.

-Johnny Patriot

Monday, April 12, 2010

Story of Rodulfo Olmedo

He almost made it home.

Rodulfo Olmedo, a 26-year-old Mexican baker, put the key into the door of his apartment after 4:30 in the morning last Monday. But just before Olmedo turned the lock he was knocked on the back of the head and savagely beaten by four teenagers wielding baseball bats and allegedly shouting "Fuckin' Mexican" and "Stupid Mexican."

As the location of the most recent hate crime on Staten Island, this Port Richmond neighborhood is shaken and residents are left wondering what will come next.

"In the morning there was so much blood outside. I got scared," said Benjamin Leyva, owner of the La Hacienda Mexico bodega.

Leyva's security cameras at La Hacienda Mexico caught the beating in vivid detail as Olmedo was repeatedly pounced with baseball bats and two-by-fours. The assailants then took his wallet and cell phone and left him lying unconscious on the pavement.

"I was surprised, when I saw the video," Leyva said. "I thought he was gonna die."

Leyva turned the tape over to police. After the beating played on television a concerned citizen recognized the men and alerted the police who promptly made arrests.

Rolston Hopson, Tyrone Goodman, and William Marcano were arraigned in Stapleton Criminal Court on Saturday and accused of a slew of charges including robbery, assault, criminal weapons possession, and hate crimes. A fourth assailment, a 15-year-old male, was not named.

If convicted they face up to 25 years in prison.

Olmedo was taken to Richmond University Medical Center and treated for a skull fracture, bruised arms and ribs and has suffered memory loss.

"He is a very nice guy, a very good worker," said Martha Navarrete, who worked with him at Cafe Con Pan Bakery just a few doors from his apartment.

"I hear he is home now," she said. "He is doing better."

Unfortunately for the immigrants in Staten Island, this was not an isolated incident.

Last June a Nicaraguen chef was beaten by a man in the Bull's Head section of Staten Island who allegedly shouted "Fuckin' Mexicans, this is my country!"

"It's dangerous," Navarette said about violence in the neighborhood.

"I have kids out here," she said. "Now it was him, but tomorrow we don't know who it's gonna be."

Last Friday, a host of politicians including Council Speaker Christine Quinn, held a press conference on Staten Island to denounce the attacks.

“We all strongly denounce the hate that exists around us,” said Speaker Quinn. “We are all partners against hate."

The Port Richmond neighborhood has become home to many Mexican immigrants in recent years. According to the New York City Department of Health, 24 percent – approximately 15,000 -- of Port Richmond residents are from Mexico.

“They’ve enhanced the neighborhood quite well, in my opinion," said Pat Silvestri, owner of Nat's Mens Shop, which has operated in the neighborhood for more than 75 years.

"Other people disagree, but I believe they've made this a very vibrant place," he said.

Sunday night, the local Mexican community held a candlelight vigil outside Olmedo's apartment. A hand-made banner read "Paremos La Violencia" or "Stop the Violence." Residents gathered to support Olemdo and discuss the recent attack.

"It's not safe," Leyva, the bodega owner, said. "A lot of Mexicans get robbed by different kinds of people."

Vigil for victim of bias attack

Kudos to the Advance for putting together this video.

Unfortunately, the hatred runs deep on this Island.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why is Staten Island not 'Obama country'?

It must have sounded strange to New York City residents who woke up last week and heard a local wanna-be politician bash the Democratic congress on a Fox 5 morning show. But that's exactly what they got when Staten Island's Republican challenger to Mike McMahon made an appearance on the program.

Mike Grimm, former FBI stooge and Tea Party panderer, appeared on the show and gave an eloquent alternative to the Island's current rep on Capital Hill.

The contender was more subdued and pragmatic then the acerbic letters that come out of his press apparatus.

His biggest bullshit moment came when he was asked why Staten Island is so different politically from the rest of the city or "Obama country" as the host called it:

"I think it's a few things. It's the highest concentration of veterans, It's the highest concentration of small business owners, it's the highest concentration of Italian Americans."

Really, where does he get these numbers from? I had no idea there were more veterans in Staten Island then, say, Queens, or the South Bronx. Italian-Americans? Yeah, I'll give you that. But small business owners? More small businesses (or a "higher concentration" whatever that means) then Manhattan? Brooklyn? Nah, don't think so.?

So why is Staten Island really more politically right-leaning than the rest of the city?

It's geographically isolated from the other four boros. The only way to get off the island and into "Obama country" is the 25-minute excursion of the Staten Island Ferry and the Verrazano-Narrows bridge to Brooklyn.

On the southern tip of the island is a neighborhood called Tottenville, which is so close to New Jersey that the boro's growing deer population is rumored to swim across the Arthur Kill on to Tottenville's shores. If the deer were to take the train however, they would have a 45-minute ride just to get to the ferry from those beaches.

And there's all those white people. Census estimates put some South Shore neighborhoods at 75 to 80 percent white. Not that this should matter. But the island's politically active have a particular disgust for black politicians, hence the Staten Island Tea Party and references to the Island's first black elected official as an "ugly low life" who reminds them of "the old show Mr. Ed."

This is why Staten Island is not "Obama country." It has nothing do to with Grimm's erroneous assertion that we have more small businesses here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Developing: Hate Crime on SI

Three people have been arrested in connection to this incident. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn is holding a press conference at SI's Borough Hall this morning.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wow, there's a lot of Old Man Bars on SI

The Cargo Cafe was closed tonight (rumors abound) so we needed to choose a drunken alternative.

We were traveling around the Island, doing "research" and discovered something.

There are a shit load of dirty old man bars that cater to burnt out drunkards who may or nay not ride motorcycles and have receding hair lines.

But you know what? these bars aren't half bad.

At first there was some general awkwardness, but after we played some Journey and Van Morrison on the juke box, the party was on.

Dudes were buying us shots and having general drunken conversation.

This particular pub on Victory blvd had a few pool tables, dartboards, TVs w/ both Yankee and Met games.

The bathrooms were dirty cesspools and there were more than a few bikes parked outside.

The bartender lady even gave us a pair us glasses because we lost ours in a drunken outing at Marie's Gourmet.

The glasses were for the Mets game, which was lost in extra innings, but the sentiment was important.

So y'all have a fav dive bar on SI? or is Martini Red the only place to go?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Dump goes into Phase One

Freshkills Park, the former home of our namesake, is hosting a presentation Wednesday night on "Phase 1" of their design.

What does this mean?

Well, basically they want to turn the Dump a huge swank-ass park.

Here's what the Parks Dept. website says about the first section of Freshkills to be transformed into pristine park land, perhaps coincidentally named "South Park:"
"South Park, envisioned to be a center for active recreation, is bordered by Arthur Kill Road to the south, the West Shore Expressway to the west, and Richmond Creek to the north and east. The first phase of its development will offer softball fields, hiking and biking paths, play areas, a parking lot and flexible event spaces. This phase will also be the first project allowing public access to the top of one of the mounds, with its expansive views of Staten Island and beyond."
Sounds great. You can follow all this fun development news and other exciting urban renewal plans at the Freshkills Park Blog.

If you'd like to attend the meeting to see the new digs it will be:

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
1466 Manor Road, Staten

So what do you think? Can they do it? Will the former landfill be beautiful parkland for our children, and children's children to frolic and play? Or is Molinaro and the Parks Dept. blowing smoke up the Island's collective arse?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday morning coming down

Here's a palate cleanser from one of our favs Spoon. This is "Written in Reverse" off their recent album Transference.

We recommend the album, as well as others like Girls Can Tell and Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Is the Advance ripping us off?

Probably not. More likely, it's a coincidence.

We'll try to explain: bear with us.

On Thursday, the Dump wrote a piece about racism and right-wing politics on Staten Island. Today the Staten Island Advance published an opinion piece on racism and right-wing politics. Again, purely coincidental.

The op-ed is not online, but it looks like the paper published this piece that argues how the roots of Tea Party emanated from segregationists of the '60s South and the movement has similar ideological strains and intimidation tactics to those racist groups.

"The angry faces at tea party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school's first black student, bravely tried to walk to class."

Nothing earth-shattering really. This has been written about before in many other places: here is Frank Rich's NYT piece which strikes a similar tone. Also, this from Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post is in the same vein. And Kelefa Sanneh's epic, comprehensive piece on white culture for the New Yorker.

Today's Advance piece is a syndicated column, written by a Pulitzer winner. Basically the Advance or anyone who subscribes to this service can lift it and place it on their own paper. (So it's not an 'Advance' writer. Just an Op-Ed writer.)

OK. So the local wingnut chapter of the Tea Party is not happy with this piece. In fact, they've gone ape-shit crazy.

They are planning an all out war on the paper, telling members to cancel their subscriptions and boycott all the paper's advertisers. That is not a joke.

The leaders are currently gathering a "list of advertisers" to boycott, sorta like McCarthy. So if your company happens to advertise in the Advance (the only local paper on Staten Island) you are now subject to losing customers because some people don't like something they read in the paper.

Oh, and one of the Republican congressional candidates has weighed in on this urgent matter:
"I would be remiss if I didn't rebuke the disgraceful rhetoric that is infecting the national media and now the local media here in Staten Island. The notion that the Tea Party Movement is in any way motivated by racism is a disgusting and baseless untruth. I know many of these Patriotic members and I salute every one ...of these proud Americans that voice their opinions, getting peacefully involved in our democracy."
- Mike Grimm, Republican, candidate for congress, Tea Party Panderer

First: to the Advance

Thank you for publishing this piece. Not because we agree with it, exactly, but because it is a point-of-view that needs to be heard and will hopefully spark some soul-searching among the racists of Staten Island, of which there are many.

Next: to the Tea Party

Are you effin' serious? You're over-reacting. This is an opinion piece, and it's not even written by a staffer. Get over it.

The Staten Island Advance is not a mouth-piece for your fringe political group. In fact, the paper has gone way overboard on promoting your little rallies. Are you really going to go up against the one institution that has basically legitimized you time and time again?

Good luck with that.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wow, (some) Staten Islanders are racist

So back in November, Staten Island elected their first black politician to public office -- which is nice. It's just the kind of thing that could bring the boro up 1980s-era equality.

Her tenure in the city council has been brief, and her policies, so far, have not been clear. But one thing about Debi Rose has become undeniable and unavoidable: she has shown that Staten Island is full of racists.

Now, we can argue about how prevalent these racists are, and if it's fair to use them as a sampling of Staten Island opinion. But the fact is, racist Staten Islanders are using every opportunity to voice their hatred and ignorance on the comment threads of SILive every time her name comes up in the news.

(On a side note: we are almost positive these people don't live in her district of the North Shore, which is pretty diverse -- so their opinions are really meaningless.)

Before we dive into the minutiae, we need to ask: why is the local paper's website letting this nonsense go on? Is the ad revenue they get from these racists diatribes really worth making Staten Island look like 1950s Alabama?

Notice how the commenter conflates a Staten Island city councilwoman with the President of the United States. They're both black and, according to this guy, part of some Communist conspiracy to give lazy people free handouts. One thing we have to give this guy credit for: at least he does admits to being a racist (sort of).

Wait, the rest of NYC is a cesspool?

A common theme in these threads is that minorities are "lazy" and get all sorts of "handouts" from the government -- handouts that us "white people" fund through our tax dollars. And Councilwoman Rose, I guess because she is black, by default feeds this paranoid theory of theirs.

The comments go on, and on. There are 102 of them. Not all are racist but the majority against Debi Rose contain a vitriol which is uncalled for and display a seething hatred that exists on Staten Island but only rears its ugly head in people's living rooms.

Just awful:

There's no point in arguing with these people. A hatred that runs this deep can not be negotiated with. But an observation is warranted.

What does this tell us about Staten Island, if anything? And what could be done about it?

(update: here is the offending article as per PB's request.)