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Go West Young Men

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The Whirled Serious moves to San Francisco and I gotta figure the Giants will win tonight.

Either way, Let’s Go Base-ball!

[Photo Credit: Eyetwist via This Isn't Happiness]

Beat of the Day

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Finally Friday.

Picture by JKB Fletcher via MPD]

Taster’s Cherce

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An apple-a-day ends with the Black Oxford: Cute, crunchy and crisp.

 

Are Don Mattingly’s Days Numbered in L.A.?

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M’eh, could be.

[Photo Credit: Scott Iskowitz/AP]

Where & When: Season 2!

Greetings ladies and gents and welcome to a new season of Where and When! No, it wasn’t a dream or a passing fancy of some lunatic minds, it was and is a rather fun puzzle game for our readers to utilize their deductive skills in tracking down the answers to life’s important questions… well, trivial maybe, but all games involve a certain amount of seemingly useless knowledge. Back by popular demand (and a moment to spare in a busy work schedule), I’ve brought to you something new to disseminate and ponder.  But before we get down to the nitty-gritty, a little background for the newcomers to Bronx Banter and/or this game we play…

Earlier in the year, Alex posted an interesting picture here from another site of a New York City landscape from the early part of the 20th century (so near, and yet so far) in which the writer asked help in identifying the location depicted in the picture.  After some pondering and sharing of our observations within the picture, several of our loyal readers (myself included) concluded that the picture was an early photo of Manhattan’s West Side along the Hudson River; facing north from the busy piers near Midtown and peering far into the distance where the George Washington Bridge was just under construction.  By this we were also able to determine the probable date the photo was taken.  Riverside Drive was the dominant roadway, but the Henry Hudson Parkway was also under construction at the moment the picture was taken.

It was a fun undertaking, as I later wrote to Alex, and I suggested making a game out of it.  “You’re hired” he responded, and I’ve been the administrator of this effort ever since. I’ve experimented with rules and formats throughout, trying to make it fair and more involving for everyone as our readers are so widely dispersed that some miss out on the game due to the difference in time from here to there part of the globe, but I’ve compensated in creative ways to involve them as well.  In the end, I settled for a free exchange of ideas and suggestions with the stipulation that whoever answers he questions fully explain the process they used to find the answers (the journey can be equally as, if not more entertaining than the destination itself).  The winners (the first person to answer the questions correctly) would receive a theoretical root beer; a Banter tradition that began with the jinxing of anyone who posted an identical comment to the comment prior to his or her own.  The rest of the players were given cream sodas as a consolation prize for playing.  I had something special in mind for the person who tabulated the most wins in a year, but because my work schedule began to interfere with regularly scheduled postings, I tabled that idea for the time being (but it’s still under consideration).

About the scheduling; I tried to adhere to a two or three-a-week schedule of games, but I ran into two big problems: life (big problem, supersedes everything fun) and supply.  I am a bit of a perfectionist, so I try to find interesting challenges for these games and generally avoid stock footage of standard New York City easy-to-identify landmarks. There are many sites with different photos of many places around the city, but even some of those are nondescript and would not provide a fair amount of clues to present as a challenge.  So with those limitations, I’ve often found myself painted into a corner concerning what to present.  Alex and I have discussed this at length and he has encouraged me to open my definition of what I consider interesting challenges as it were, bearing in mind that some people may be seeing these locales for the first time.  With that in mind, I am being more open minded about what to present so that I don’t run out of material and also to allow one of my main goals to come into fruition: to educate and enlighten our readers and players about the history and appreciation of our great city and its region of influence.  The most important thing to remember is that it is a game and was born from and meant for fun.

So let’s have some fun, shall we?

Where & When S2 G1 C

Here we have an aerial photo of a region within the city that you may or may not recognize from certain features within the picture.  I think this is an easy one, but I’m sure that those of you not native to the region will want to look up some of the details in whatever manner you use to research. I can say this much, the features in this picture give a good indication of the time period of this photo, so I don’t have to drop many hints.  If you get it within the correct decade, you’ll get credit for the when answer.  So, if you answer Where this picture dipicts and When it was likely taken, you will win our traditional first prize, a frosty mug of high-quality root beer (which is always up for discussion).  As a bonus, if you can identify at least two major features within this photo with proper names from the time it was taken, you will get a scoop of ice cream to add to your root beer, making it a root beer float of course.  All players who participate in the discussion will receive a cold mug of cream soda for your efforts.  I will try to return during the latter part of the day to reveal the answers and discuss any trivia or history that’s associated.  You are all free to discuss whatever you like about it, but please avoid using the direct link in the photo credit (unless you find it during your research) and also as discussed before, show your math.

So ladies and gents, welcome back and have fun!

photo credit: Wired New York

Morning Art

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“The Portrait” by Rene Magritte (1935)

New York Minute

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So good. 

Photo Credit: Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times]

Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You?

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Now, if that’s not the best book title of the year I don’t know what is.

Here’s James Guida writing about the lessons of Dr. Funkenstein over at The New York Review of Books. 

[Photo Credit: George Clinton]

Taster’s Cherce

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A few weeks ago, Holland Cotter reviewed the new Matisse show in the Times:

For Matisse, self-appointed purveyor of luxe, calme, and volupté, it seems that trial-and-error rawness, some evidence of struggle, validated the work. You find a lot of such evidence in the zesty pinned-paper maquettes he made in 1943 for his book “Jazz,” for which he had high hopes. But when it was finally published in 1947, he hated it. All the irregularities of texture, the paper-on-paper depths, what Matisse referred to as the “sensitivity” of the designs, were missing. Printing had cleaned and pressed them in high-contrast graphics, polished, perfect and dead.

Texture. It’s the first thing I noticed about today’s apple a day: Hudson’s Golden Gem. It is rough and beautiful like a pear. Close your eyes and take a bite and damn if it doesn’t taste like a pear too.

New York Minute

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Every day when I get out of the subway on my way to work I see this dude selling the papers.

I walk up to him and bow. We smile and say hello. That’s it.

I admire the hell of him because he’s out there no matter the weather. Like this morning, a cold, rainy one in Manhattan.

Beat of the Day

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The voice of God on a rainy fall day in New York.

[Photo Credit: Shooting Film via This Isn't Happiness]

Baseball Jersey Numbers: An Archetypal Analysis

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A friend of mine sent me the following, his informal guide to baseball jersey numbers.

1. Tall, lanky, slick fielding outfielder ..left-handed hitting.. Good speed but a bad base stealer. Or, a light hitting shortstop. (not a second baseman).

2. Under 5 foot 10, middle infielder that plays third on occasion; switch-hitting. Plays successfully for multiple teams never eclipsing 90 games in one season.

3. Outfielder, good glove in the early part of their career. Most likely a Left-handed thrower, so an average arm at best.

4. Third baseman or shortstop, fairly light hitting. One or two gold gloves in the course of a double-digit year career.

5. Third baseman, not a shortstop. Hits over .275

6. Weak hitter.Second baseman. Over 6 foot but under 180 pounds. Right-handed hitter only.

7. Great swing, but an underachiever. Two or three disproportionately great years, then at 275 hitter with 70 or so RBIs per year.

8. A catcher, absolutely no foot speed. right-handed hitter. Calls a good game.

9. hard-hitting hard driving red ass.

10. A versatile number… could be a shortstop or a first baseman, either way a non-power hitter. This should’ve been Derek Jeter’s number.

11. Tall, thin, switch hitter, 227 lifetime hitter with less than 20 home runs lifetime.

12. Another versatile number..most likely an overweight back up first baseman who has multiple years of double-digit home runs but never hits above 264.

13. Third baseman, rocket arm, multiple teams. Right hand hitter. Hits in the clutch.

14. Right-handed hitter and Batter.. Left fielder, possibly a first baseman. Slow footed. Most likely a red ass.. Low on home runs relative to high RBI total

15. Catcher, right-handed hitter. Multiple gold gloves.

16 Right-handed pitcher. Ace of the staff.

17, left-handed outfielder. Decent speed. Hits long home runs but not many of them. Good arm, most likely a platoon player.

18. Tall thin utility player either infield or outfield, definitely a right-handed hitter. Multiple teams.

19. Versatile; could be a left-handed hitting outfielder that hits in the 290s or a left-handed pitcher who hides the ball well.

20. First base, solid Fielder, 90 RBIs per. 25 home runs plus over multiple seasons.

21. Outfielder, Throws right with a cannon.. bats right. Or, outfielder, hits left, 104 games per year in the outfield 41 as a pinch hitter 19 home runs 58 RBIs.

22. Leadoff hitter or, center fielder, switch hitter. Fast, base stealer. Weak arm but excellent glove .

23. Team leader, left-handed hitter, right field or first base.

24. Right-handed hitter, outfielder, strikes out a lot. Big career numbers. Good glove good arm low batting average.

25. Divergent–either a left-handed pitcher that throws soft or right-handed DH.

26. Left-handed relief. great breaking stuff, maybe a left hand specialist. Does not break 88 on the gun.

27. Platoon outfielder, right-handed hitter. 271 average 69 RBI 18 home runs.

28. Right-handed hitting right-handed throwing first baseman. Overweight. Long solid career.

29. Left-handed starting pitcher, throws hard in the early part of his career, reemerges as a more complete pitcher. 15 years in the league.

30. Hard one to pin down position wise. Definitely a position player however. Most likely a right-handed hitter and thrower.

31. Outfielder, big arm, right-handed. Above-average home run hitter with big RBI numbers..

32. Power hitter, left-hand hitting right-hand throwing. Plays first base because there’s no other place for him. Two all-star teams. Good clubhouse guy.

33. Power hitter. Outfielder. Possibly a right-handed pitcher.

34. Someone who throws “country hardball”; right-hander. Either starter or reliever.

35. Backup catcher. Defensive replacement type. 226 batting average 14 year career.

36. Overweight right-handed pitcher.

37. Tall lanky fire-balling left-handed pitcher.

38. Right-handed middle relief pitcher.

39. Side arming right-handed closer over 6 foot four.

40. Right-handed starting pitcher who wears a mustache.

41. Hard-nosed player, outfielder or right-handed pitcher.

42. Jackie Robinson.

43. Ed Whitson.

44. I think you know the answer.

45. Bob Gibson.

46. Lumbering pitcher. Hard Thrower. Closer.

47. Lanky left-handed reliever. Throws over-the-top. 8th inning guy.

48. Similar to 36 but older and more overweight.

49. Left-handed fireball, ace of the staff. However, if he’s a righty, he’s a knuckleballer.

50. Big tall right-handed really pitcher from the south. Wears glasses. Bad attitude.

Trouble in Mind

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Feels more than sorta necessary for the Royals to win tonight if they stand a chance in the Serious.

Let’s Go Base-ball!

[Photo Credit: James Reick via This Isn't Happiness]

Afternoon Art

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Photograph by Alistair Taylor-Young. 

Picture This

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“Park Ave. 1989″ by Matt Weber.  Man, this is moody.

Taster’s Cherce

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Today’s apple-a-day is: Calville blanc d’hiver.

It’s tart with some sweetness. Not cloyingly sweet though. Almost too tart for my taste, at least as an eating apple (as opposed to a baking one).

And it’s beyond crisp. It’s dense and hard and crunchy.

What Becomes a Legend Most?

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Ben Bradlee died yesterday. He was 93.

[Photo Credit: Mike Lien/The New York Times]

The Whirled Serious

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Pulling for the Royals though I think the Giants will win it all.

Hope I’m wrong. And hope it goes 7.

Let’s Go Base-ball!

[Photo Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP via It's a Long Season]

Afternoon Art

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“The Mosquito Net” By John Singer Sargent (1911)

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver