Sunday, November 30, 2008


Every day, thousands of people are losing their jobs in a struggling economy. By all accounts, we're in a recession. I'm a victim of it. Just under a year ago, I was downsized by Citadel Communications, the owners of WABC radio and hundreds of other radio stations around the country. I was part of the first round of budget cuts. Executives were the next to get the heave ho. Broadcasting isn't the only industry feeling the pinch.

DHL, the European overnight delivery company is slashing thousands of American jobs and shutting most of its U.S. hubs. CitiBank just announced the layoffs of more than 50,000 workers across the country, primarily in their investment and wealth building departments. Across the country, companies large and small are laying off workers and many are shuttering. When people don't have money to spend, businesses don't make money. But, this got me thinking. Are there any jobs that are recession proof. The short answer is yes, but they're not totally immune. Here's the list.

1) Credit counselors: Many of these firms charge customers to help them consolidate or eliminate their debt with creditors. This business will flourish as people try to dig themselves out of debt.

2) Collection agents: What a fun job. Hound people who are broke. I just got a letter in the mail from an agency trying to collect on a 20-year old debt. I thought this had already been put to rest, since I counter sued the bank and the bank dropped its case against me. They couldn't prove I owed any money. They lost the records.

3) Elected officials: While governments cut jobs to reduce deficits, legislators, mayors, councilmen, treasurers, sheriff's, and judges can keep their jobs until term limits remove them from office. Their jobs are safe.

4) NetFlix employees: Going to a movie or a Broadway show are now considered luxuries many people can't afford, so I predict the online and mail-order movie business will flourish.

5) Scooter salesmen: Can't afford the cost of keeping a car, buy a scooter. You see more and more of these little machines tooling around New York City every day.

6) Fast Food worker: Fine dining establishments will suffer, as Americans penny pinch. More people will cook for themselves and those that don't know how will snatch up dollar meals at the fast food chains.

7) Headhunters and Recruiters: Now that so many people, including executives are out of work, headhunters will make a fortune finding jobs for the skilled and unemployed.

8) Bartenders: When people are down and out and depressed, they turn to alcohol. This is a good thing for the tavern industry. I see no slowing down of liquor sales at bars.

9) Garbage Collectors: Sounds crazy, right? But, you know something, all of your trash has to go somewhere and unless you're prepared to haul it away yourself, you'll still need the sanitation people to pick up where you left off.

10) Oilman: Whether you're pumping gas, drilling oil or maintaining natural gas pipelines, you're job is safe. People will always need energy to keep their homes and cars running.

So, if those are some of the recession proof jobs, what jobs are not? Here are a few:

Professional escorts/hookers, Fine dining jobs, construction jobs, luxury car sales, electronic stores, Broadway theater, personal services like dog walkers and housekeepers, print media, car services and taxi drivers and struggling artists will be struggling more than ever.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


You see them everyday, but for the first time I actually saw the beauty in bikes, in all of their different shapes, sizes, forms and colors. On just one block of Smith street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, I spotted no less than five of the two-wheelers or in some cases, three-wheelers and no-wheelers. Take a look for yourself.

This is your basic two-wheeler, locked to a pole and belonging to a local deliveryboy.

This three-wheeler is perfect for the family with two kids. One can ride in the back and the other can be strapped into the handle bar seat. This little gem was parked in front of the Amazon cafe, a trendy little Smith street bistro.

Two's a crowd. Must be a popular place. Two bikes, two poles.

I'm not sure if the bike had its wheels stolen, or the owner decided to take the wheels off himself, so no one could ride away with it.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Once again, Dachshunds have been snubbed at another one of those big dog shows. As many of you know, I've owned two dachshunds, Romer and Noodles, so I love the breed. Now, don't get me wrong, neither of those dogs would have had a chance in hell of winning any dog show, let alone a Halloween costume contest.

But, I think these Kennel Clubs have some sort of bias against the hot dog shaped pups. How could they? The hot dog is an American tradition, eaten along side the American pastime, baseball.

This year at the National Dog Show in Philadelphia, a pointer with a really stupid name won the Best Of Show. "Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry" of Vermont won the competition. Who would ever name their dog "Cookieland Seasyde Hollyberry"? I much prefer the winner of the hound group, a Basset Hound named, are you ready, NOODLES!

I'm not sure if a Dachshund has ever won the top spot at the National Dog Show, but never in the over 100 year history of the Westminster Kennel Club, has a dachshund won Best Of Show at the group's big New York competition. Oh well, maybe next year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Just wanted to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. It's one of my favorite holidays. Sure, I like to eat, but I love hanging out with the family this time of year. This year, however, I'll be spending Thanksgiving in New York City, because I'm working.

For all of those who won't be spending time with their families this Thanksgiving and even those who will, I present to you an old clip of Comedian Adam Sandler performing his wacky "Thanksgiving Song."

I wanted to find a Thanksgiving poem to share with you, but couldn't find any I liked, from ADULTS. So I present to you a couple from a little kid named Karl Fuchs.

A Child's Thanksgiving Thanks

I’m thankful for the many things
That help us live as well as kings,
For all the food that makes us drool,
And another holiday from school.

Thanksgiving Thoughts

Mom is in the kitchen,
And when I take a look,
I’m glad I’m not a turkey
That’s she's about to cook!

Countdown To Thanksgiving

One two three,
A turkey in a tree;
Four five six,
That turkey’s in a fix;
Seven eight nine,
It always tastes so fine;
When we get to ten
It's Thanksgiving once again.

Hooray For Thanksgiving

It’s Thanksgiving dinner;
Let’s not be late;
There’s lots of good food,
So fill your plate.
With pie at the end,
It can’t be beat;
Hooray for Thanksgiving,
There’s so much to eat!


The Ashley Madison Agency is at it again. A new ad campaign has been launched by the online dating service and once again it's raising eyebrows. Billboards and radio ads promote, "Life is short. Have an affair." The website encourages people to cheat on their spouses, calling the experience, "an affair to remember."

The company boasts 2.7 million users. Most of them are men. Most are in their 30's and 40's and most have been married between five and ten years. AshleyMadison.com presumes your sex life sucks and that an affair is the answer. If their numbers are accurate, than millions of Americans are in this rut.

It's nice to know, though, that not every media outlet is as immoral as the folks at Ashley Madison. The NFL refused to take the ads for their football games. The city of New York had one of the dating agency's billboards taken down from Times Square last summer and a Philadelphia radio station refused to air the ads.

Perhaps, what company CEO Noel Biderman may not be aware of is that in many states adultery is illegal. Although rarely enforced, Massachusetts, for instance bans sexual affairs outside of wedlock. Wouldn't that make Biderman an accessory to the crime? Couldn't he face 2.7 million counts of adultery for each one of his members who has been cheating? Unfortunately, that's not how the law works and simply providing a means to hook up doesn't mean Biderman has done anything illegal. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


A) Walk up the steps and make a left.

B) Walk up the steps and turn 180 degrees.

C) Go behind the stairs and make a left.

D) Make a left where you are and jump onto the tracks.

E) Stay on the platform and turn around. Go back the other way.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I've known Tony Crichlow (TC) for a few years now. He likes his Miller High-life and he loves playing pool. But, we really don't know most of the people we see every week or every day. We often know the present, but not the past. We know how they act and we get a sense of their personality. Tony never really talked much about his Dad, not until he brought a book into the bar the other night. I knew him mostly as TC, but never really knew what the C stood for.

It was a book about his Dad's life. You see, Tony's dad was Ernest Crichlow, one of America's most prolific African-American Renaissance artists. Born in 1914, Mr. Crichlow emerged in the 1930's as one of the foremost activists for equal rights. Well before the civil rights movement, Crichlow painted "Lovers," a 1938 piece showing a Ku Klux Klansman sexually assaulting a black woman in her bedroom.

Born in Brooklyn, Crichlow taught art in New York City public schools, he was a college professor and he illustrated many children's books. His collections are on display at the Brooklyn Museum and they are part of the Hewitt Collection. He died in 2005 at the age of 91. I seem to recall Tony mentioning that a few years back, but he never really shared much about his father, which is why his visit the other night was so unusual. He shared two books, one that was a historical piece and the other a book featuring some of his more noteworthy art. I could tell Tony was proud

Sunday, November 23, 2008


They hit the big time! Okay, it was only two minutes and 53 seconds, but hell, Randy Cordeiro and Super Diamond were on national television. They were the musical guests on Thursday's "Late Show with David Letterman". Here's a clip of their performance courtesy of World Wide Pants.


When you think of rough and tumble bars, gay bars don't often come to mind. But, police sources are telling me Manhattan's most troublesome bar is a gay club called
Escuelita (translated that means small school.)

Escuelita is a sprawling gay club on West 39th Street catering to primarily Latin and Black men.(homothugs, as they call themselves) According to it's website, the club features drag queen shows and shirtless Latin dancers.

Most of the trouble, police say, is outside the bar where club goers congregate ---often when the club closes at 4 in the morning. Midtown South cops say most of the trouble occurs on the weekend and that it can range from fights, stabbings, robberies, public drinking and general rowdiness.

The cop sources say the patrons consider themselves on the down low or DL for short. That means in their neighborhoods they're identified as perfectly straight and macho, but on the down low, they're gay. So, in essence, they grew up on the tough streets of New York, but just happen to be gay.

The club is such a problem, the cops I spoke to really couldn't name any other bar that they would consider a problem in Manhattan. The city is renowned for padlocking trouble spots, but for years (and perhaps beginning with the legendary police confrontation at Stonewall in 1969, the event that started the gay rights movement) there's been somewhat of a hands off attitude toward gay clubs.

The city, it seems, doesn't want it to appear as if they're picking on the gay community. That's the theory, at least, of some police officers.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Congress has 700-billion dollars of your money to play with. First, they pump cash into the ailing bank and insurance industries. Now, the auto industry is knocking on the door, looking for a government handout. What's next the textile industry, toy makers, grocery stores, hospitals, lawyers? Here's a plan that will instantaneously pump money back into the economy, get people out of debt and create a savings plan for every American.

It's not really my brilliant idea. My friend Bill came up with it. His plan would only require 700-million dollars. That's considerably less, as you know, then 700-billion dollars. No major industry would get a dime, under Bill's plan. Instead, every American, about 300-million of them, would get a check.....a $2,500,000 check. This one time infusion of cash would make every American an instant millionaire. They'd be able to pay off their mortgage or get one. They'd be able to buy furniture, appliances, even luxury items like cruises and wide screen T.V's.

They'd buy bigger cars and drive more. Gas prices would once again get up to $4.00 a gallon because the oil industry would no longer fear people couldn't afford to travel by car as much. The auto industry would rebound. Banks would flourish as millions of Americans open new savings and IRA accounts. Many of these people would start their own small businesses, providing even more jobs in the retail and service sector.

To put this in perspective, this plan would cost less than one billion dollars and every American would be rich. If Congress were to keep their original bailout plan, they would have 699 billion dollars left to help all of those struggling industries, but why? Hell, instead of giving each of us a $2,500,000 why not send out $10,000,000 checks to all 300-million Americans. That would cost the U.S. government just 3.5 billion dollars and guess what, there's still just over 696 billion dollars left to restore the economy. But, why? Now, each of us have $10,000,000 in our bank accounts. Is this too simplistic or is just as simple as it sounds. Oh....and one more benefit. Never again would we think Congress is made up of a bunch of do nothing political hacks. For once, polls showing a 60-percent or higher disapproval rating would plummet to next to nothing, insuring them re-election.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Jimmy McMillan is a one issue candidate for Mayor of New York City in 2009. The issue: Rent is too damn high. That's actually the name of the party he founded and the ticket he's running on when he goes up against Mayor Bloomberg in another year. Don't laugh him off yet. In 2005, he garnered over 4000 votes. That paled in comparison to Michael Bloomberg's 753,000 votes. But, nonetheless, some 4000 souls in the Big Apple thought rising rent prices were a big deal.

McMillan doesn't have a shot in hell of winning the election, but I suspect he'll get even more supporters this time around. You know why? Because, rent is too damn high.
In my neighborhood, you can't walk into a one bedroom for less than $2000 and we don't even have a Starbucks close by.

The 61 year old McMillan is quite the radical. A few years back, he scaled a cable on the Brooklyn Bridge to display a banner promoting his run for Mayor. At 61, McMillan says if he loses in 2009, he probably won't take another crack at Mayoral life. Let's face it, Bloomberg plans to spend millions of his own cash to win a third term in office.

I think McMillan knows he won't win, but people like him have an underlying reason for running for office. They think their effort will spark debate or better yet, real change.He's probably right. I wrote about him.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


My friend Randy Cordeiro and his 15-year old band "Super Diamond" perform this Thursday night on the "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS Television. "Super Diamond",a San Francisco-based Neil Diamond tribute band, will be Letterman's musical guest on November 20th. They'll perform one song, as part of Letterman's week long tribute to legendary bands and artists. Also this week, Purple Reign does Prince, The Cold Hard Cash tributes Johnny Cash, Mr. Brownstone is a Guns N' Roses tribute band and the Allstarz mimic James Brown.

Randy and the gang usually get to New York City a few times a year. They normally sell out their two night stands at Irving Plaza. Whether you like Neil Diamond or not, you'll love "Super Diamond." The band rocks out the traditional Diamond tunes and they put on a visually exciting stage show. Just as fun is watching the crowd, generally in their 20's and 30's, gyrating on the dance floor. Some of the women swoon for the Diamond sound-alike by tossing flowers or sometimes even more intimate items on stage.

Congratulations, Randy on the big T.V gig.

Monday, November 17, 2008


This dude just doesn't like paying the parking meter, does he? He's got quite the collection of the bright orange New York City parking tickets accumulating above the dashboard and some fresh ones on his windshield. This little gem was snapped on 33rd Street between 6th and 7th avenues in Manhattan.


There would be riots in the streets. I really believe that. For the first time in modern history, thousands of people, many of them young, took to the streets on election night when it was announced that Barack Obama was the projected winner.
They were mainly well behaved. They pumped their fists into the air and chanted, "O-Bama, O-Bama." Some popped champagne bottles. Others stopped traffic to express their excitement. Many were black. Most were white.

But, to understand my thinking on this, you have to go back a few hours or even a few months. A hostility toward anyone supporting John McCain was building. There were arguments. Friendships ended and tensions escalated when one person would announce to another that John McCain was the better candidate. Inside Brooklyn's Angry Wades bar, where hundreds of people were watching the election results, playful rough housing ensued, beers were spilled by the drunk ones and when one person was asked, "Who did you vote for," the young man's reply drew angry disdain from the nearby crowd. I thought they were going to lynch the kid.

During the night I heard the muffled mutterings of unfinished statements like, "If Obama doesn't win, I'll....." I'm thinking, "I'll, What?" Burn down a building? Break windows? Throw bottles at police? The climate was ripe for a riot.
While most Obama supporters aren't crazy fringe people, many are. They're way left liberals who really feared a McCain win. They had convinced themselves that life as we know it would end and our world would be reduced to radioactive ash.

I've never quite felt the tensions as high as they were during this Presidential campaign. One guy actually told me a few months back that he never wanted to talk to me again, after I told him I'd probably vote for McCain.
I'm not saying there aren't fringe folks on the right, but it seems the fringe liberal bunch outnumbered them 10-to-1. You see, crazy people do crazy things and these left-leaning radicals, I believe, were ready to implode, if Obama lost the election. Tears would turn to anger and the next day's nightly news would feature scenes from cities large and small of "hipster" types running wild on the streets, burning down buildings in protest of a John McCain presidency.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Talk about a cool idea. The folks at Mars, who make M&M's, can now put your face or any photo, for that matter, on an M&M. I was watching some TV show recently and they profiled the new service from the candy maker. It's quite the elaborate set up.

You can personalize the M&M's by going to their website. You simply upload your images, write a message and Presto, you've got a face on the bite size candies. But, here's the they get you. Mars offers several ways of packaging your personalized
M&M's. They range from little gift bags to fancy boxes with bows and ribbons.


"I am doing all I can do to put an end to Negroes in America. They simply must go."

"Negroes"? "They must go"? Doesn't sound very nice. It isn't, because those comments come from one of the bloggers on the website of StormFront, the white nationalist organization.

Racist websites are full of this sort of stuff. Proud whites, as they call themselves, can't figure out how Amerika (their spelling) has voted to put a black man in the White House. What really disturbs them is that "White America" did this. Imagine that, their own white people elected a black President. At the "White Power" website of the Aryan Nation, I found this little ditty.

"Well I must admit, I've seen much change in the last 24 hours since stupid Whitey put Obama in the White House! We've been receiving non-stop phone calls and e-mails from concerned Whites from across the nation here at ANHQ. These are proud Aryans that haven't been dumbed down by this multicultural cesspool system but needed a bit of fire under their arses to get involved in Pro-White activism again."

Back at the StormFront website, another writer shows his true colors, but essentially throws his hands up in defeat.

"I'm sorry guys but this was a disaster. Whites won't be able to turn this around in America. Now that a negro is President, it will encourage lots more race mixing in America. All is lost. We should be working on saving Europe now, the last stronghold of White civilization there is."

Recently, federal authorities arrested several young white men in a pair of plots to assassinate Barack Obama. Even in a secret document leaked to a news organization, they admit, America's first black President proves quite the security challenge. Even before Obama was elected President, his Secret Service detail was as large as the sitting President, George Bush.

Granted, the number of people who hate blacks so much, they'd contemplate killing the President is small. But, the fact that these groups are so poorly organized means, it's a little more difficult to infiltrate hatemongers before they strike. Authorities have done it at least twice, but those arrests came even before Obama was elected President.

Racists aren't hard to find. They'll tell you exactly what they think and they're proud of it. But, now many in the "White Power" movement are going stealth, trying to sound kinder and gentler to the millions of "non-believers." Don't call them cross burnings anymore. The KKK now refers to that practice as a "cross lighting."
At the Stormfront website, one poster explains the need to re-tool.

"Our public image needs to be improved for many reasons. It removes the red neck image, and hater images. It destroys their propaganda campaigns or makes them far less effective. Most important it creates fear, yes they fear those of us they can not read or intimidate. We need a new image."