"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Category: Chyll Will

Probably Of Some Note…

Greg BirdIt’s early and all, but this will probably be of some note to some of us Banterers in the coming Spring. according to tweets by both NY Post’s Joel Sherman and LoHuds’ Chad Jennings (contained in the linked article) Greg Bird will be out for the entire 2016 season, due to shoulder surgery.  Apparently the Yanks have been hip to this since last May when the injury was first incurred, but doctors said he wouldn’t require any surgery… until now, with a recent recurrence of the injury.  *Sigh*, well, at least Cashman’s been making moves all winter to shore up the depth in the minors as that seems to be about to be put to good use, but dang this sure came out of left field for the rest of us.  Not that he was slated to start in the majors; in fact all indications were that Bird was to start off 2016 in SWB until need be, but crap.  Alex better get his 1B glove on, because he might have to put in some work there soon enough.

Meanwhile, get well soon, dude; see ya next year we hope.

Gone Fishin’

Abe_Vigoda_Fish_Barney_Miller_1977The time has come to say goodbye to a New York treasure, a man who embodied the well-traveled and experienced New Yorker of old, the one who seemingly knew every nook and cranny of the city and who occupied them and touched everyone he encountered with a bit of grump, a bit of wit and a bit of sage advice to keep them moving from one corner to the next throughout the day. And Preparation H.  That’s the impression I always got when looking at his face. How it just carried a whole lot of everything behind it, processed it and gave you back a little piece of New York.

Born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrant parents, began a long and notable acting career as a teenager, appeared on Broadway quite a few times, including in one of my personal favorite plays (Marat/Sade, which I also acted in while in college), landed the role of a lifetime in an open call in L.A., made an even bigger impression a few years later with a role he’s become synonymous with, and lived life as sort of the unofficial ambassador of Fiorello LaGuardia’s New York, by his very presence able to link that era with the Wagners and Lindseys and Beames and Koches that followed.

By the time Michael Bloomberg ascended to the throne, we looked back at all of this and remembered fondly the ugliness that New Yorkers endured to this point like a rich man who had climbed out of Hell’s Kitchen to dominate the skylines, and in the back of our minds we always wanted to know how Abe Vigoda was doing, and when you get home you’d go and look for that Timex you still have for some strange reason. Everyone was doing it.

I suppose you never know when you might need it.  Well played, Mr. Vigoda, thanks for everything.

 

Hall of Fame Ballot Open Thread

imageApparently the baseball world waits with bated breath as we see who gets in for the Class of 2016… as well as which idiot refused to have Ken Griffey, Jr. go in as possibly the first unanimous selection in HoF voting history.

Yet, with the new streamline process that removes legacy voters who haven’t written about or even mentioned baseball within the last ten years, there is a slightly better chance that it could happen. On top of that, there’s a better chance than that in which players like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell; guys who have been suspected of PED usage over the years, can possibly make it in this time, as well as guys like Barry and Roger and Gary Sheffield getting much closer, if not in.

Time changes a lot of things, perhaps, but it did nothing for Pete Rose, who was denied re-entry into MLB, with the HoF following suit. One can argue that the Hall is not an MLB property and should not be beholden to the whims or decrees of the league, and you’re certainly welcome to do so here.

As far as this writer is concerned, the HoF is an incomplete record and repository of baseball lore and references and in the age of the Internet there is plenty of room for improvement, but that’s not my call and therefore not of much interest to me. It’s not about me though (words to live by if you are a voter), it’s Hall of Fame Vote Day, so let’s hop on our pins and needles and wait for the dust to settle, shall we?

(Note: perennial Banter favorite Tim Raines also stands a good chance of getting the vote this year. Will update when final vote is announced.)

Where & When: Special Request (Night Shift)

Some more free time means fulfilling another request (sort of); this one for our fellows way out East and for the insomniacs and late comers in our group, here ya go:

Where & When Request 4 2015Continuing with our theme of no extra clues/plenty of trivia, let us try to find out Where this is and When it was built, and for a bonus, why. I’m about to have dinner myself, so you guys can keep the stakes for yourselves.  Have fun!

Photo Credit: The Brownstoner

Where & When: Special Request 3

What, another one? Hmmm…

Where & When Request 3 2015This was obviously somewhere in the middle of some big-picture thinking, but this humble view belies a rich chapter in the city’s history.  No extra clues necessary for this one, either, but there will be a certain amount of guessing here; guess right or closest and you’ll win today’s prize of a big mug of cold root beer (because the weather is wonky this Christmas season) and perhaps a small pizza roll as a bonus for each bit of trivia you bring to the conversation.  So, the idea is Where this picture was taken (approximately) and When (approximately).  I won’t say too much to spoil the fun, but I hope you’ll keep the conversation going with the trivia.  Have fun, folks!

Photo Credit: Andy Blair

Where & When: Special Request 2

I have a little time on my hands, so you know what that means: HOT CHOCOLATE WITH WHIPPED CREAM!!!

Oh, and this:

Where & When Request 2 2015This one fits my stringent criteria of being interesting and providing enough clues for you to determine Where & When it is; it also helps that it comes with some interesting history or trivia attached to it.  It should take too long to figure this one out, so I’m not offering clues, but I will encourage you to also post some bonus trivia attached to this picture based on what you find during your search.  As implied above, the winner will earn a hot mug of cocoa with whipped cream; the winner being the first person to answer both questions of Where this picture was taken (full name and address) and When (year and more if you are clever), and the bonus will earn you a big, warm brownie.  All the rest of us players will settle for a half pint of chocolate milk and half a brownie if the bonus comes to fruition.

As always, play fair, don’t peek at the credits and if you come across any interesting sites or photos, send me a message and I’ll see if we can showcase it in the next game.  Have fun everyone!

Photo Credit: Shorpy

One @#$%ing Run

captain-eo-starring-michael-jackson-00Yeah, that’s about the size of it; Yanks have been playing a lot of games this season where they win or lose by (or annoyingly only scoring) one run. Not surprisingly, this was shaping up to be one of those shit-end-of-the-stick one run games; low scoring and other pitcher is lights out. Surprisingly, the team usually scores a lot of runs for The Composer (yunnow, Eovaldi, Vivaldi, ahh nervermind) , surprisingly his gem did not go to waste as Girardi and the batters themselves have a habit of pissing away these kind of efforts with “plays” or notebook strategies or just plain bad at-bats, but no.

Somehow, they managed to get on the good side of karma as the last inning saw them load the bases with none out and Beltran, known more for blown opportunities without even moving rather than good luck, managed to sky the ball enough to let Happy Nutheryearonearth boy Brett Gardner dash in with the winning @#$%ing run in the bottom of the night. Surprise, surprise, Yanks did not lose in extra innings (another annoying habit of late) and beat a surprisingly (if you are playing the Drinking Game with the word surprise, you are a lush) beating-the-league-like-they-owe-you-money Astros club by the score of @#$%ing 1-0.

It’s not that I hate low scoring games. It’s just that I hate having to go to bed in the middle of one with a summer cold and then wake up and write this before an early call. Oh well, enjoy your day and remember: @#$%!

Where & When: Game 70 (Bulldog Edition)

Hey, anybody here? It’s late night at Where & When! Why, you ask? Well, we do have quite a few fans from far flung places who unfortunately don’t get a chance to play during the time I normally posts these thanks to the Earth’s rotation and all, so I’m posting this as a special request for our super fans on the planet Krypton (well, it might as well be!) to give them a chance to enjoy the challenge. By the way, this is not limited to one country or region; anyone around the world is welcome to submit a request to highlight any region of the globe that interests you and I’ll run a special challenge for you during your normal hours of operation :) In the meantime:

Where & When Game 70Nice! Urban architecture seems to have a universal style much of the time (and era), this could easily be anywhere in New York… but it’s not.  That’s my only clue for tonight; I’m sure you guys can get the rest from the pic.  Same rules apply as always, and same rewards as well.  Show your math to how you arrived at your answers. I don’t know what to offer as a bonus, so I’ll just leave it up to anyone who wishes to share some stories or tidbits about the location to share with the rest of us.  I’ll check back later in the evening or sometime in the morning, but in the meantime have fun! And, yunnow… no peeking!

Photo Credit: Old Tokyo

Where & When: Game 69

Welcome back for yet another challenge from Where & When! This one was a challnge in itself to find, which I will explain in a little bit (and I have to wonder if it’s worth the trouble to find it for what I intended to set up with it…) Well, for now:

Where & When Game 69 Okay, so here we are in one of our favorite places to look for vintage architecture and associated stories.  There is another picture floating around that faces the front side of these buildings and contains the subject of our two-part bonus.  For now, let’s you and me figure out where we are and when this took place.  Plenty of clues to help you here, so I don’t need to add anything, you’ll figure it out relatively quickly if I know you folks >;)

Now for the bonuses…

The first bonus relates to a particular business and resource that happens to be one of the best friends of this feature.  Sure, they’re not around anymore, but they have provided an enormous wealth of records about this city’s past as well as other cities; all of which officially reside in a very important place (very important if you’re into copyright law, in fact).

The second, which is the cause of my angst for the past few days (you can say I was trying to be cunning), relates to the title of this post. There is a place that exists off-screen at this location today. If you know the location, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.  The timing is perfect, and with what Fearless Leader has been sharing with us of late on the Banter, it can’t be more appropriate.  What’s on you’re mind, sir? >;)  (Feel free to roll your eyes when you find the answer, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity for such an elaborate reference, even if it is sophomoric.)

You know the drill, find the answers, explain your math, root beer float  or hot chocolate depending on the weather for the winner, cream soda or tea for the rest of us, slice of Motorino Pizza or a great cupcake for the bonuses (I just threw those last two in there since I’m in such a “giving” mood).  Gotta go to work (you might spy me under an aerial lift near Grammercy Park this evening); I hope this was worth the effort.  Enjoy!

And no peeking at this: Photo Credit: Skycraper City

Where & When: Season 2 Game 13

Welcome back for another intermittent game of Where & When.  We hope that the winter hasn’t gotten you too bogged down in slush and cold; if it has, we can try to warm you up with this little challenge:

Where & When S2 Game 13

What I like about this picture is that it’s taken in front of a significant building and a significant landmark, yet we see what surrounds those features, giving a full sense of character to the neighborhood as it was at the time.  I believe you’ll be surprised by the location, especially compared to what exists today (clue).  I’m not going to give too much on this because those with good wit will be able to find this almost immediately, but again you’ll have to put on your work gloves and your thinking cap for this one (which is always my goal, thus he long intermission between games >;)

So have at it; A large mug of cocoa for the winner (location/date) and rum chocolate candy for the rest.  Bonus for identifying the two significant landmarks I mentioned earlier (as they were at the time the picture was taken), double bonus for those whom can identify what buildings are standing in place of the ones pictured here.  Hope it doesn’t take you too long to figure out, but also hope you enjoy the journey.  Talk with you later, have fun and no peeking at the credit!

Photo Credit: Ephemeral New York

Where & When: Season 2 Game 12

Welcome back to another exciting round of Where & When! Let’s pick up where we left off with the interest from our last post as we continue to stir the cocoa on the hot stove. What other kind of ordinary moves will Cashman spring upon the Yankee faithful? Meh, not our issue here...

Where & When S2 Game 12This is another place where I’ve worked in or near in the last few years.  Of course it doesn’t have this kind of style anymore, but what goes on indoors is obviously something else entirely. All we need to decide here is where this place is and when this picture was taken.  As a bonus, perhaps you’ll know what does go on inside at that time and now.  So you know the rules, have at it. Hot chocolate for the winner, rum candy for the rest (and maybe a shot of bourbon for the bonus).  See you later!

Photo Credit: Once Upon A Town

Where & When: Season 2 Game 11

Happy New Year! Welcome back to another round of Where & When; where distinction knows no clock or calendar.  Nevertheless, I know some of you have been waiting patiently for the next game to pop up randomly; to that end you can thank Mr. Alex Belth for his fervent support for the game by referring a new source to me to pick from.  Already I can tell I can find some worthy places to highlight; to wit, here is the latest post for the newest year:

Where & When S2 Game 11 When I was a temp, I worked “up the block” from this address. There is a lot of history not only to this particular region, but the address in general; especially within my current career field.  What can I add to this particular post? How about a hint: no bull.

So you know the deal, figure out where this is and when the picture was taken, and bonus brownies if you can give us any particular information about the building featured as to why it is a standout feature among other buildings in the region.  First person with correct or nearly correct (as the case may be) will get a large and steamy mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream, and the rest of us who play will share a piece of rum-infused chocolate to keep us warm.  Have fun, folks, no peeking at the link (but if you come across it during your research, it’s okay).  See you again at or after the HoF announcement!

Photo Credit: Once Upon A Town

Where & When: S2 Game 10

Happy Holiday Season and welcome once again t0 Where & When! Our random scheduling has swung around to catch us up in its web (random vacation time), so I have time to post a new one for you to look over and talk about.  So here goes!

Where & When S2 Game 10a

I was trying to decide between two pictures for this location because both were interesting and historic, but this one won because I didn’t have to manipulate it to make it presentable and it’s a little more of a challenge. I ask you all to figure out where this picture was taken and when; the challenge is more in the when because the clues in the picture indicate a somewhat historic event. Plane aficionados will likely get the reference and of course the bonus questions of what kind of plane that is and who it belonged to, which would certainly indicate when this picture was taken (wowzers, a hint! It was for the second occurrence of the use of this plane connected with this location.)

So there you go; a big warm mug of hot chocolate with whipped cream for the winner and a half-pint carton of chilled chocolate milk to share with the rest for the stragglers.  And how about a warm plate of brownies for the bonus questions? That might help us welcome in the official start of winter (yesterday), and keep the hot stove season hot (I’m intrigued so far), so you know how the game goes and have fun.  Happy Holidays!

Photo Credit: Geocitiessites (pend.)

Where & When: S2 Game 9

Hello again, welcome back to Where & When! As we return to our regularly scheduled mayhem after the holiday, we adjust our pictures to take a peek into the past and ponder this photo as it unfolds:

Where & When S2 Game 9

A relatively easy one to figure out; obvious clues and all. Perhaps we can find out the name and address of the edifice above, as well as the date this photo was taken, then the first person to correctly deduce both will get a nice barrel of root beer to enjoy throughout the week.  The bonus of course would be to tell us both the history of this building and what, if anything, stands in its place now; that will garner you a sundae of your choice.  All the rest of us will receive a complimentary glass of cold cream soda.

So, you probably know the rules at this point so don’t let us down; enjoy and we’ll see you back in the afternoon.  Cheers!

Photo Credit: Shorpy

When & Where: S2 Game 8

Hey, here we are with another challenge from Where & When!  Yesterday was pretty easy, so I promised to give an interesting (read: toughie) locale that is also relative to certain recent events.  As far as things go, this mention was well earned:

Where & When S2 Game 8

I really like this one; plenty of intriguing details. I don’t have to provide any clues on this one, but not because I find it particularly easy (it will fool a lot of you for a while), but because the picture basically tells on itself the way I like. What I’d particularly like for you to do is figure out the name of a couple of these buildings, the general address and locale and a good idea when this picture was taken.  The first person with the exact answers, or the closest to the right answers will win the jug of cold root beer today.  As usual, all participants will get a chalice of cold cream soda for their efforts.  And I’m giving out a tray of brownies to the person who figures out why I chose this picture today.  (and if you do, I’ll be happy to explain myself).

You know the rules… yunnow, I have to just type them up and set them up as a reference page somewhere so I don’t have to repeat myself each time… well, have fun with this one (which I know you will) and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.  Take care all, and… well, you know the deal.

Photo Credit: Shorpy

Where & When: S2 Game 7

Here we go again with another round of Where & When! I’m just going to jump right in with this one, because it’s fairly easy and I spent hours trying to find something like it, so I want to go to bed now…

Where & When S2 Game 7Some might look at this right away and know exactly what it is, some might just blink twice and wait for the experts to chime in.  But it’s a nice photo regardless, and that’s always a big part of why the game exists, no? So you know the drill by now; tell us where and when this photo was taken (show your math of course), and feel free to kick in any ancillary information about this photo or location; i.e. history, current conditions, future events and/or any interesting trivia associated.  Cold root beer for the first person to get the correct answers, and cream sodas for all participants.

I’m going to bed (Sunday night as I write), see you all later!

Photo Credit: Shorpy

Where & When: S2 Game 6

Hey there, got time for another game of Where & When? Well so do I; I was so busy with early and long calls last week that I couldn’t get a post in edge-wise. But the holidays are approaching and the weather is starting to get a bit frightful (or annoyingly inconsistent if you’re in the east like me), so why don’t we take advantage of this little smattering of downtime and press our luck on this:

Where & When S2 Game 6Another easy one, so I won’t offer any clues.  What I would like you to do is figure out the location of this photo and when it was likely taken, plus give us at least five modern landmarks that obviously don’t appear in this picture when it was taken (they could also be in the general vicinity if not exactly within the range of the photo).  As a bonus question, name one landmark that was fairly recently replaced by another, in or within range of the picture (tough one for you non-Noo Yawkuz out there!) Here’s a hint for that: “whatever it is I think I see…”

So have at it, people.  In respect to the weather, I think I’ll substitute a bowl of chicken noodle soup for the first person to get all the answers I seek, and a bottle of cold root beer for the bonus.  Everyone else gets a fortune cookie… don’t ask me why, I’m just playing it by ear today because of the weather.

Have fun, show your math and complete answers for credit.  Don’t peek at the photo credit and I’ll chat with you later!

Photo credit: NYC Past

Where & When: S2 Game 5

Well now, how about another round of Where & When? We’ve had a pretty good week with some interesting challenges, and I certainly would like to keep that run going.  So everyone grab their root beer mugs and their cream soda flutes and follow me:

Where & When S2 Game 5Plenty of clues in this one and definitely a set year this photo was taken.  So what I’d like for you to find out are the names and locations of the low building in the foreground and the tall building in the background as well as the name of the general area, plus the evident year this photo was taken.  As usual, a cold mug of root beer to the first person to give us all the answers and how they determined them, and a tall glass of cream for the rest of us.  I’ll be checking in throughout.  I think this is a pretty easy one, so no bonus today unless you come up with something really interesting about something in the pic or some event that occurred in the general region at that time.

Have fun and don’t peek at the credits!

Photo credit: Wired New York

Where & When: S2 Game 4

Hello again, welcome back to Where & When.  Yesterday’s game was a bit too easy for my tastes (though it was a very nice pic I couldn’t pass up), so I thought I’d track down another tough one and throw it at you.  This one is tough not so much for the location, but for the time. Here, you take a look:

Where & When S2 Game 4As you can see, there are a lot of clues about the location, but not too many about the time.  I suppose if you’re a history buff you can pinpoint the year by certain visual evidence and deduction… the resource I have doesn’t have a conclusion, so it’s up to us to gather where and when this was taken.

A cold barrel of root beer of choice for the one who can actually get the answers with specific references supporting both answers, a cream soda for everyone who plays.  I’ll throw in a scoop of french vanilla for anyone who might get my inside reasoning for possibly choosing this photo (and I know, it’s not fair but keep it to yourself and use any specific term or phrase I’ve often used if you get it).

Have fun, folks and I’ll be back again soon.  Show your path to enlightenment and don’t peek at the credits!

Photo credit: New York City Black & White

Where & When: S.2 Game 3

Welcome back to Where & When; our third episode of the new season.  Let’s keep the ball rolling along with a new stumper; I loved how you guys all teamed up with your clues on the last game, so lets put our noggins together on this little brainteaser:

Where & When S2 Game 3This shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, since it’s fairly distinctive and there are very strong clues all over.  Figure out the location and time period of this photo and you’ll get the usual first prize of a thought of cold root beer swishing around in a frosty mug approaching your mouth.  All of our contestants will get to pacify themselves with cool thoughts of a sweet cream soda doing the same thing.  As usual, I’ll check in when I have time throughout the day to cajole you if necessary and maybe even declare a winner. So as always, have fun, feel free to share your stories and don’t peek at the phot credit!

Photo credit: NYC Past

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