Translation from English

Friday, October 23, 2009

Short Lived Store

Halloween season inspires short-lived store at Second Avenue and 30th Street...
This is the site of the old Office Depot store that was once here...huge basement, now filled with masks and costumes and other Halloween regalia.
If I remember right, store opened about a month ago.
Asked employee if store closed on Halloween and he said yes.
I remember when I did public relations for a business association there was a lecture I covered on how to make a go of short-term businesses. This is one, I guess.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Clarks and Zappos.Com- Terrible shoes

Have just had terrible time with Clarks shoes bought from you avoid both.

Shoemaker told me Clarks shoes I had ( which cost $75) were terribly made and just designed to rub skin off of ankle.

Already returned one pair which was rubbing skin off my toes.

Payless Shoes has erratic quality and they don't last long, but they are much more comfortable.

Would be getting some Nikes or something except they are so expensive and no good once there is rain and snow.

If you know of some good reliable shoes, let me know.

Also, avoid Zappos...they have terrible quality control.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Where the Wild Things Are"--Deep Fantasy

You may or may not like "Where the Wild Things Are." I was bored by this well-made movie but the audience around me seemed to be enjoying it...

The movie version is supposedly very close to the book, so if you liked the book you'll probably like the movie. I have never seen the book.

"Wild Things," though very imaginative, is just not my cup of tea.

Suggest you see it via Netflix unless you loved the book-- then would be worth going to a theatre.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Convenient location...Murray Hill

Big apartment buildings at 34th Street and Park Avenue are prime Murray Hill locations...

A short walk from such places as the Empire State Building ( entrance shown with tourists flocking around)-- and Grand Central area, these buildings also are good for public transportation.

Apartments in these buildings vary...I have been in the building in the center here ( 40 Park Avenue) and was surprised on smallish nature of living is a great looking building the top floors have big penthouse like apartments.

Air quality is a problem for people who are sensitive to city pollution I guess. Suppose you can always buy an expensive air filtration system...

Lots of shops and restaurants around but is something of a hike to nearest supermarket ( at 32nd and 3rd)...not that bad, really.

Wouldn't mind living here if I had the air filter system.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Is America Losing Its Faith in Itself?

The Marble Collegiate Church at Fifth Avenue and 28th Street is famed as the home of Norman Vincent Peale...

Peale, if you are too young to remember, was a wildly successful motivational speaker who encouraged "The Power of Positive Thinking," and was part of the official optimism of the country during the 50's and 60's and even later.

His book sales were enormous as he urged people to positively think their way to a world and country where all things were obtainable.

Now the church's gate in front is draped with "Peace Ribbons" commemorating  military people fallen in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as prayers for peace in general. 

The recession has hit hard and everyone knows it will take some time to emerge from it. But, on a deeper level, have Americans lost their traditional faith in the inevitable success of America?

Surely, there is no lack of immigrants who are searching for the "American Dream." And Obama's slogan of "Yes We Can" seemed to be a great protestation of faith in America's potential.

But you sense really negative undercurrents these days which contradict that American Dream idea. ( I remember one scene from an episode of "The Sopranos" where a Russian mob--related woman says to Tony Soprano, " Americans always act so surprised when things don't turn out for the best. In the rest of the world, people expect the worst, and they are usually not disappointed."

Noticed on my walk around Midtown the other day that new buildings are still being put up, and in the beautiful autumn sunshine the City looked so pleasant and appealing...

But New York has certain advantages other places do not. Consider the plight of Detroit or Newark. Does anyone really expect life there to realize the American Dream?

And the ravings on the Right get more and more strident and doom laden.

Finally, there is another big scare about the world coming to an end in 2012 (supposedly because of Mayan calendars ending then and some super-rare convergence of stars)-- there will even be a much ballyhooed motion picture about it.

Somehow, as during Vietnam, America isn't a very confident country these days and it looks like it's going to take a long time for that to change.

"Julie and Julia" -- Unbelievable

The new Meryl Streep film "Julie and Julia" is such an over-the-top sugary chick-lit fantasy that it is unbelievable.

Julia Child was quite an enjoyable personality and I remember seeing her on TV years ago. I didn't watch all that closely because I wasn't that interested in cooking...

This movie is not for anyone who has at least one foot planted on the ground.

It is ultimate in what the Irish and British call "twee"-- so cutesy and arch that it is painful.

I sort of sat through this movie in stunned silence because I couldn't believe it was headed the way it was... it is so sappy, so saccharine ....

The men are like the guys in teen-age girl romantic fantasy comic books.

Meryl Sreep does a pretty good imitation of Julia Child.

And that's about it. 

Miss it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Ricky Gervais Strikes Out

I left after the first third of "The Invention of Lying" and I don't really care what I missed...

Not in the mood for this movie today. It has one basic comic idea--the invention of lying in a world where lying is unknown-- and that's pretty much it.

Having people blurt out all their thoughts and feelings uncensored all the time gets to be boring. As someone has pointed out, no world could really exist if people did that. It would cause too much social disruption. 

White lies are a kind of social glue found the world over and we can't do without them.

I had heard bad things about this movie but wanted to see for myself. If I had been in a more tolerant mood, I would have stayed for the whole movie-- there are chuckles here and there.

Save your time and money for some other movie!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Living Among Skyscrapers

Living among skyscrapers becomes second nature if you live in the inner part of New York or Chicago...
But, interesting as it may be to a tourist, you get fairly jaded about it as a resident.
There is one immense apartment building, about 50 stories tall, across the park from where I live...
At night you see scores (hundreds?) of lit apartments, and it suddenly dawns on you again that each one of them represents a home, a life, somebody.
Meanwhile, on the street, you just dodge traffic and other pedestrians and silently curse the ones who cut you off on the sidewalk or who stop abruptly without warning right in front of you... all this congestion makes me long for Cape Cod again!