Wednesday, June 29, 2005



Need a beast? Why not make your own.

Gotta see this site to believe it!

Things are starting to fall into place...

Things are starting to fall into place for me for the next school year. I have cheaper rent for next year lined up because of a move to a new apartment. I also was told that all the paperwork for my move to Sheepshead Bay High School had been completed and the computer work should be done by July 6th. I also picked up my work visa from the Department of Education's lawyer yesterday.

So now really all I have to do is rent out the current apartment. With about one showing a day that shouldn't be that hard. Hopefully something will happen soon on this front so I can enjoy the rest of my summer.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

New York City Photos

New York City

So I have been a little behind in uploading photos to my main website's scrapbook. I apologize. I am now slowly weeding through a folder of some New York City photos deleting some and moving others into my New York City picture collection on my website. It is tedious work, but I am enjoying playing photo editor. Just don't expect much with the primative tools and skills I have, nothing too spectacular.

A lot of the photos will be familiar to you in the New York City section and some won't. That is because I tend to select pictures from the folder of recent photos taken in order to tell about the adventures in this here weblog. Those photos are then left in a folder to be sorted out later. Well, over the next few days "later" will finally happen and my scrapbook of pictures of New York City will be slowly updated! So stay tuned!

Friday, June 24, 2005

It's Not All Mary Poppins

It's Not All Mary Poppins

In my blog hopping I have done over the past week, I came accross the above titled blog. I have been watching this blog closely for a little while as the person who writes continously makes everyday daycare operations into fun and humourous situations. Well worth the read. Best part of this blog: IT IS UPDATED MORE THAN ONCE A DAY!

Thursday, June 23, 2005

In the News....

From the June 23rd edition of AM New York:

Chimp outsells Warhol

Monkey business proved to be lucrative this week when paintings by Congo the chipmanzee sold at auction for more than $25,000. The three abstract tempera paintings were auctioned at Bohams of London alongside works by impressionist master Renoir and pop art provacateur Andy Warhol. An American bidder named Howard Hong purshcesd the lot of paintings for $26,352.


Is this the start of a downfall of the art world? Just wondering.



MSNBC, via an Associated Press report, points out that the Chicago White Sox are the best team in Major League Baseball. Yet, the White Sox lack the attendance in comparison to the Chicago Cubs. This may not seem funny until you realize that the Chicago Cubs are playing near 500 baseball and have drawn 1,354,376 fans so far this season while the White Sox have drawn 885,906 fans this year.

Something in Chicago doesn't make sense with the city's baseball fans.

Just another weird day of observations in the news.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Is MA Bell hosing you again? - Phone rental fee paid for 25 years

According to this letter writer, his mother had been paying a $6.95 a month fee to Bell Canada in order to rent a phone set for her phone line. Last time I checked the handsets in stores now are maybe $30.00 for a cheap handset in Canada (not that I have been looking). This would easily be paid off in less than a year.

So double check your bills to see if there is any way you can save money.

Another example is my cell phone company added a $2.00 fee a month for text messaging. I thought to myself, "do I really need text messaging?" No was the answer, I would rather have a coffee at Starbucks with this money instead of a service I don't use. This was especially important that I noticed the text messaging add on because the cellular phone company adds on extra charges for taxes and the such on top of the advertised rate. So be sure to go through with someone at the cellular phone line by line on your first bill to see what each charge is there for. This may end up saving you a small amount or large amount of money. Remember to only pay for the service you use! Because, like me, you might have ended up paying for a service (e.g. text messaging, etc.) that you may have no use for.

Also re-look at your bills on a yearly basis to see if there is an alternative service you can use that would provide the same or even better level of service. For example, cable companies are coming out with phones that are cheaper on long distance for a single low monthly rate. The cable companies are even providing discounts to their customers if you add further services. For example, if you already have cable with your cable company, the monthly rates for internet and/or phone through your cable company are cheaper. Consider cable companies like McDonald's, your packaged combo deals are much cheaper than if the food/cable services were packaged seperately.

So beware what your paying for because, in the case above, you don't want to have your "Bell" rung later on when it finally hits you that you have been paying for 25 years for something that you could have saved a huge chunk of change on!

Rick Mercer's Blog

Rick Mercer's Blog

Just when you thought blogging couldn't get any better, Rick Mercer has started his own blog this week. Rick Mercer, in case your mind is a little foggy, is a Canadian comedic actor who made his name big (at least in Canada) from appearing on "This Hour has 22 Minutes" and, more recently "Monday Report."

His blog is quite the interesting read I must say. Mercer, perhaps trying to get a lift for the blog as well as his show, "Monday Report", announced that his show will be moved to Tuesdays.

The CBC's braintrust (aka the faithful leaders around the boardroom table) decided to move his show to Tuesdays? What are they thinking. Mercer points out that his show is "Monday Report" for a reason, because it happens on Monday nights. Add to this the fact that Mercer's "Monday Report" is the highest rated comedy on Monday nights, then you have to wonder "what were the CBC execs thinking?"

Anyway, enjoy his blog.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Who do you trust?

Here is my conundrum:

City of New York says I need to take three tests and seven courses over the two years. With them I figure I might as well throw in the towel teaching in New York City because of all the courses as well as the tests would mean I wouldn't sleep during my time over two years.

But I get in the mail a listing from New York State saying all I need is one course. The course the State checked off, the city didn't even include in their list of courses saying I am required to take. The state also said I needed the three tests. So if I go by what the State says, I think I might stay in New York City if everything goes right.

So whose right, the city or the state? That is the confusing question.

Thank goodness for Ontario where the Ontario College of Teachers only deems who is a certified teacher and who is not.

So my task on Wednesday, go figure out who is right the City or the State?

Sunday, June 19, 2005

More Street fairs

This is a "continuance" from an earlier post on street fairs in New York City.

I went out to Lexington Avenue and 42nd Street (Grand Central Station area) to visit the Lexington Avenue Street fair. I've noticed, after going to a couple of New York City Street fairs in both Manhattan and Brooklyn that there are some common elements to all New York City street fairs:

1. Quite a few lemonade stands.
2. At least one massage area.
3. Always hot dogs, shish kabob and other flame cooked food being sold.

Anyway, here is a look at the Lexington Avenue Street festival that took place on Lexington Avenue between 34th & 42nd streets:
A look down Lexington Avenue from 42nd Steet at the Lexington Avenue Street fair.

A look down Lexington Avenue from 41st Street

A look up Lexington Avenue from 34th Street

Saturday, June 18, 2005

I'm a Moron...

So I procrstinated on my Father's Day shopping again. I'm quite used to putting off my holiday shopping till the last minute (except Christmas for some unexplained weird reason). This usually isn't so bad usually.

However, since I have moved to New York City, this habit of procrastinating on gift giving has been a little rough since I must also ship the gifts now by mail. So the gifts have been getting there weeks after the day I should have them there (i.e. on the day of the event!).

How do people get the gifts there on the exact day they should be (i.e. on the day of the event)? That I will never know. I promise to try better next time (wait, didn't I say that last time?).

Is it safe to fly in a helicopter in New York City?

On Friday there was yet another helicopter crash landing into the East River. This time the Sikorsky helicopter took off from a helioport near the United Nations (near 42nd Street on the East Side) and crash landed into the East River. There were two pilots and six passengers on board at the time. All were rescued. The helicopter was being leased by MBNA of North America (I could go on and on about these guys...but I won't).

I walked the Brooklyn Promenade today and came across the wreckage of the Sikorsky (the 2nd heliocopter that crashed). The 1st helicopter that crashed has been removed from this pier on Thursday to a NTSB facility to be further inspected. Here are the pictures I took:

A view of the scene of Pier 2 in Brooklyn of the 2nd hellicopter to crash into the East River.

A close up look of the scene at Pier 2.

A look at the press conference just outside the gates of Pier 2 on Furman Street in Brooklyn.

A close up on the press conference outside the gates of Pier 2 on Furman Street in Brooklyn.

Street Fairs in NYC

One thing New York City is not very well known is its numerous street fairs. Aurora, Ontario, Canada may be home to the World's Longest Street fair in the world, but New York City has the highest number of street fairs in the world. You should check out the calender of street fairs to see what I mean. There are at least two or three street fairs in the city every weekend from beginning of may to end of August.

I did a quick walk through of the street fair in Brooklyn Heights today on Court Street between Atlantic Avenue and Montague Streets. Perhaps the biggest problem with this street fair is there are too many "French Crepe" production stalls as well as massages. This street fair is only really 5 blocks long and I was offered massages at least once every block. Apparently the people in this section of Brooklyn are really up tight!

Anyway, here are the pictures I took of the Brooklyn Heights Street fair:

Brooklyn Heights Street Fair

Brooklyn Heights Street Fair.

Brooklyn Heights Street Fair

Metal-bashing at the TTC - Metal-bashing at the TTC

A blacksmith working for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)? What for? Aren't all the horse drawn streetcars off the road a long time ago?

This interesting Toronto Star article explains.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Ringo Starr at Bryant Park

Went out this morning for a 7 A.M. concert at Bryant Park. Who would be playing that would get me out of bed at 6 A.M. for a free concert? None other than one of the "Fab 4's" Ringo Starr.

Ringo Starr was promoting his new album, "Choose Love," on ABC's Good Morning America at Bryant Park as well as reconnecting with American fans. There were groups from Texas, Virginia and Indiana.

Of course I had my camera with me to catch some of the action:

The scene of the Ringo Star concert in Bryant Park for ABC's Good Morning America.

A close up of the Ringo Starr's concert stage.

Ringo Starr at the microphone!

Ringo Starr rocking out to "Yellow Submarine."

Ringo doing the weather with ABC's Tony Perkins.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Simply Put: Innovative stupid warning signs

Simply Put: Innovative stupid warning signs

A great set of pictures of warning signs that make you go hmmm?

Seems to me the municipal governments in Canada (and the United States if you remember this post) are making sure things are safe for their citizenry no matter how stupid they are.

I love the "use at your own risk" thing on the signs in the "Simply Put" blog entry. The Town of Aurora has been using these on their signs as well for parks and trails. I guess this is to absolve them of any legal problems because the town lawyer's can just point to the sign and say "we told you to use it at your own risk!"

Until then, remember it is a $75.00 fine to walk on water in Ottawa.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Aurora Arboretum

Aurora Arboretum website

I came accross this website from an interesting article in the local newspaper's online edition. The article basically outlines the goals of a community organization who, ten years ago, came together on an idea creating a natural landscape in Aurora along the Holland River valley.

The group hopes to renaturalize a lot of the area in order to one provide the bustling urban Aurora area with a natural oasis that people can visit and learn about what the area may have looked like one hundred, two hundred or even three hundred years before.

The arboretum's website is well worth the visit to see what the dream is for this area, and what is already in place to enjoy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Helicopter Crash into the East River.

Was out on an adventure today when I heard that a helicopter crashed into the East River. I had my camera with me, so I clicked a few pictures.

According to CBS Channel 2 News, the helicopter was on a sightseeing trip of the New York City area when it was attempting to land and ended up crashing into the water off the end of Pier 11, which is located at the eastern end of Wall Street. All six tourists are in hospital with one in a coma. As luck would have it, according to CBS 2, there was a NYPD diving team doing drills nearby that quickly responded to the crash scene.

Here are the pictures I took:

The scene on the East River viewed from the Brooklyn Promenade after a hellicopter crashed. The hellicopter crashed into the East River near Pier 11 (at the end of Wall Street).

A look at the foot of Pier 11 with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg arriving (first white shirt from your right).

Fox 5 News crew arriving for Mayor's press conference on the crash. Mayor seems to be having a press conference whenever he can these days. Is it because this is a Mayoral election year? Who knows?

The US Army's crane ship getting ready to lift the hellicopter wreckage from the East River. This picture taken from the shore of Manhattan.

A look at the scene of the plane crash with the US Army ship heading toward Pier 2 in Brooklyn to offload the helicopter. The black boat to the left is a US Coast Guard ship. Picture taken from the Brooklyn Promenade.

Prepping Brooklyn's Pier 2 for the arrival of the US Army ship and the crashed helicopter. NYFD, NYPD and the Port Authority Police responded.

US Army ship with crashed helicopter arriving at Brooklyn's Pier 2. Picture taken from Brooklyn Promenade.

US Army ship getting ready to lift the helcopter as NYPD, NYFD and Port Authority Police prepare Brooklyn's Pier 2 for offloading of the crashed helicopter.

Helicopter on Pier 2 in Brooklyn with fire and police officials investigating the wreckage.

NYPD helicopter flying over the East River area watching the helicopter crash scene.

Broadway Under the Stars

Broadway Under the Stars occurred last night in Bryant Park. Bryant Park is located between 42nd and 40th Streets with 6th Avenue running along its western end. The park is like the backyard for the Humanities and Social Sciences Libary of the New York City Public Libary system.

The lawn of the park quickly filled up for the 8:30 P.M. concert start time and overall an estimated 15,000 people attended the 4th annual event. Perhaps the best known actor in the show was Tom Wopat of Dukes of Hazard fame.

The show will be broadcast on local channel CBS 2 in New York City this Saturday at 7 P.M.

I didn't have good seats, so my pictures of the stage are quite far away. But, nonetheless here are the pictures I took:

The crowd in Bryant Park waiting for the concert to start.

another look at the crowd at Bryant Park waiting for Broadway Under the Stars to begin.

Bryant Park crowd waiting for the Broadway Under the Stars concert to start.

The fountain at Bryant Park and the crowd waiting for Broadway Under the Stars to start.

One last look at the estimated 15,000 people in attendance for Broadway Under the Stars at Bryant Park on Monday, July 13, 2005.

Empire State Building overlooking Bryant Park at dusk.

Empire State Building overlooking Bryant Park at night.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Will He or Won't He? That is the Question

Gilles Duceppe is calling a press conference in Ottawa for Monday. This press conference is expected to outline his political moves for the future. With the resignation of Parti Quebecois leader Bernard Landry, Duceppe has the possibility of leaving the leadership of the Bloc Quebecois in Ottawa.

However there is a slight problem, there is the constant threat of a federal election because of the Liberal minority government is trying desperately to hold onto power. A simple vote of non-confidence would most likely send Canadians to the polls for a federal election. Thus, the Bloc Quebecois, with any hope of staying popular in Quebec would need a seasoned leader to lead the election charge. Also, without Duceppe, the party would have to hold a leadership convention before heading to the polls, if that situation were to occur. So if Duceppe were to leave Ottawa, the Bloc Quebecois would have their fingers crossed that the Liberal government could hold on.

So the question is will he or won't he leave for Quebec City on Monday.

The CBC's Chief Political Correspondent, Keith Boag, believes that Duceppe will remain in Ottawa. Boag believes that if Duceppe was going to put in a bid at the leadership of the Parti Quebecois, Duceppe would have scheduled the press conference for Quebec City and not Ottawa.

The Toronto Star's Quebec Bureau Chief, Miro Cernetig, lays out the promise of Duceppe leading the Parti Quebecois in the future. There are two areas that need highlighting from Cernetig’s article. The first is the possibilty of winning the next Quebec provincial election over Jean Charest. Jean Charest's Liberal government's popularity is at an all time low in Quebec political history. Charest will need to raise the popularity of his party in order to win the next general election. Lets say Duceppe and the Parti Quebecois will take the next Quebec provincial election and become Premier.

Now for the second area that needs highlighting. According to the Toronto Star article, the Quebec seperatists must hold a provincial separation referendum within the first five years of power if the new PQ government follows party policy. So with that in mind there will be a referendum soon after the election of a PQ government. This is especially important if Quebecers continue to be angered over the federal sponsorship scandal and take it out on the federal Liberals via a Quebec Referendum. Right now there is winning conditions for a Quebec Referendum because of the sponsorship scandal. Add to the winning conditions a popular leader, Gilles Duceppe, at the helm of the "Yes" side, things only continue to look worse for Canadian federalists (i.e. those who support the "No" side).

These two main highlights are what Duceppe has apparently thought about and come to a resolution over. Duceppe will let us know on Monday what his decision will be.

Footnote: Anybody else find it interesting that Bernard Landry says he resigned because he didn't have enough support with 76.2 percent of the vote; yet Landry has insisted, in the past, that all that is required to break up a country is fifty percent plus one vote? Talk about double standards.

 Works Cited

Boag, Keith. Interview. The National. CBC Television. Ottawa. 10 June 2005.

Cernetig, Miro. “The heir apparent?” Toronto Star. 11 June 2005. Online. Internet. 12 June 2005. Available:

Saturday, June 11, 2005

South Street Seaport

I went out this afternoon to check out the children's day activities at South Street Seaport. I know it was for children, but Gordon from Sesame Street was there and I just had to see him!

I must have been the only person there without someone under three feet tall this afternoon at the Seaport (a.ka. stroller hell!).

Here is what I saw:

I was walking north on South Street (who woulda thunk it!) and noticed a New York City Police Department museum exhibit of old police cars.

Perhaps the most well known police car in Gotham: Yup! The real Batmobile from the old television series. Who would have thunk this car would have been here? You never know what you'll stumble upon in NYC!

The purple dinasaur himself, Barney! Live at the South Street Seaport Children's day Center Stage. Complete with song and dance. I couldn't get a good shot of Sesame Street's famous "Gordon" on stage because of all the children on parents' shoulders and umbrellas. So I stalked him! He is the one walking away from me in the white cap and white and blue hawaiian shirt. I am now unofficially a member of the paparazzi!

A look at the crowd watching Center Stage at the South Street Seaport Children's day.

On the Bridge....

The picture below was taken some time ago. However, I finally dug it out of my roomates photo collection for my own computer and thought it was still worth posting:

Me on the Brooklyn Bridge in April 2005. My roomate's friends came to visit. My roomate's friend had a cool camera that took long timed exposures. So we played around with it one night on the Brooklyn Bridge. Here is a sample of what turned out.

Adventure up Museum Mile

I arrived at 68th Street and Fifth Avenue (at Central Park) around 10:00 A.M. this morning. I took my camera with me as well as the Fodor's Guide my aunt gave me for Christmas last year (THANKS!). I took some pictures as I went. If you are looking for pictures of the major museums, see some of my previous posts for the Guggenheim. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exterior is currently under construction and is not worth photographing.

Nonetheless, here is what I saw:

Andrew Carnegie Mansion. Home of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. The Mansion, a 64 room house was built in 1901 and is located on fifth avenue (accross from Central Park) at 91st Street in Manhatten. Quite the site to see!

Fountain in the Conservatory Garden in Central Park. The gardens are in Central Park near the intersection of 5th Avenue and 104th Street.

Rose Bushes of the Conservatory Garden in Central Park.

Friday, June 10, 2005

What Canadians Think About Everything

What Canadians Think About Everything --

Think you are a Canucklehead? See how well you do. My roomate and I tried this quiz out together and got a 14/20.

Best of luck!

A night at the movies that wasn't

I went out last night with one of my roomates to see the advance premier of Mr. & Mrs. Smith at the Loews Theatre at 32nd Street and 2nd Avenue. We got there for 5:45 P.M. for a movie that started at 7:00 P.M. The movie was advertised in the New York Post as a free deal for the readers. There were no advanced tickets, all you had to do was line up.

We were told our chances of getting in were quite good considering the theatre held 673 people and was the largest theatre the movie house had.

Between 6:00 P.M. there were quite a few people who showed up and got in line in front of us because "they knew them". I would say these people cost us a spot in the that theatre. These people cost us a spot even though we showed upo more than an hour before the theatre opened and they simply "knew" someone in line.

I also blame the theatre for not pre-distributing tickets to those that showed up. Say at 5:00 P.M. they should have started handing out tickets to those in line who showed up. This guarentees the people that stayed in line for a long time would know they were guarenteed to be in the theatre. Also, this would have let the people waiting in line, like myself, what the chances were of getting into the theatre.

This would have also helped out the movie theatre who, after running out of tickets, would probably have had some of the crowd go and see other movies and pay and admission.

Not only did the movie theatre not do the above, the movie theatre didn't even let others see another movie. All of this despite one worker who said our chances of getting in were very good.

I feel cheated by the movie theatre on this.

Others also felt cheated as well. Twentieth Century Fox, the production company of the movie, handed out free passes to a lot of its workers and clients to see the show. These clients were told they had free passes to see the movie. Therefore, these people thought they were guarenteed to see the movie. Despite that, these same people had to line up with all of us with the newspaper advertisements. This despite, as one person in line told me, they were promised advanced tickets with this pass to get in for a job well done. Yet she didn't end up seeing the movie either.

To Loews Theatre, the New York Post, and 20th Century Fox: A BIG THUMBS DOWN on this one!

I do hope the companies got their pictures of the crowd lined up for their promotional pictures.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Yesterday's pics at Virgin Records by Bill's demand.

So my friend Bill commented on a previous post that he wanted to see the pictures anyway. So here they are my friends (and enemies):

The scene at Virgin Records in Times Square before Shakira's arrival.

Another view of the scene at Virgin Records before Shakira's arrival. She was there to promote the record advetised in the top left of the picture.

Shakira's van arrives!

Shakira getting out of the van. At close look you can actually see her head. It is a little blurry, but she is there. Didn't notice her at first when I downloaded the pictures, but on closer look there she is!

The crowd outside the store as Shakira heads inside.

The assembled "legitimate" paperacy (aka media) throng before Shakira's arrival.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Shakira at Virgin Records in Times Square

Went with my roomate to Penn Station today so she could take the Long Island Railroad train then I went for a walk. I decided to go up 7th Avenue to Times Square. Why? I am not sure as I thought I might cruise over to 6th Avenue and walk that street since I hadn't really been on 6th.
Anyway, there was a crowd on both sides of the street at Virgin Records and I thought "hey why not check this out". All I could see, after waiting 45 minutes was a crowd swarming the van and two five second views of Shakira's face outside the van and in front of the store. Everytime I tried to take her picture from my vantage point, the crowd swarmed her with their cameras. So the pictures I do have aren't worth putting up here.

It was fun to be part of a Times Square event. I am glad I went for a wanderance. You never know what your gonna find when you just wander around the "World's Capital", New York City.

A night at the museums...

Last night, Museum Mile (the stretch of musuems on fifth avenue next to Central Park) was having a "Museum Mile Festival" where the participating museums (both large and small) provided free admission to some of their galleries as well as closing 5th Avenue to traffic.

The following are some of the places I was at:

The Grand Hall entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Vincent van Gogh's "Cypresses" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Vincent van Gogh "Sunflowers" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Vincent van Gogh "Oleanders" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Vincent van Gogh "Olive Orchard" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Claude Monet's "The Four Trees" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Claude Monet "Haystacks" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Claude Monet "The Valley of the Nervia" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Claude Monet "Water Lilies" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Pierre August-Renoir "The Daughters of Catulle Rendes" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Paul Cezanne "The Fishermen"

Metropolitan Museum of Art's European Sculpture Gallery.

The Guggenheim Museum of Art from the corner of 88th Street & 5th Avenue in Manhatten.

The glass ceiling of the main rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum of Art.

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