A Day with A Dude in New York City

Mary in Manhattan

While The Ultimate Girls’ Getaway to NYC has been written, it’s time to pay attention to the dudes. I’ve decided to bring the men to Brooklyn first, where it’s all about wide open spaces, whiskey, meats and hot sauce in a very simplistic format. Then, on to Manhattan for the evening to experience a FAB comedy show, a bar with a bunch of distractions and a place that serves up the best food I’ve ever eaten. Note: All the activities below have been tried and tested.

dudes

  1. King’s County Whiskey Distillery
  2. Fette Sau – BBQ
  3. Heatonist – hot sauce tasting
  4. Coffee Break at Diviera Drive
  5. Comedy Cellar
  6. Fat Cat
  7. Quality Eats

2:00 p.m. – King’s County Whiskey Distillery: When the first stop on the list includes whiskey tasting, you know it’s going to be a good day. Check out my latest post about what to expect on the tour and how…

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MTA Metro-North, LIRR log strong ridership gains in 2015

Annual ridership on MTA Metro-North Railroad reached an all-time record of 86.1 million last year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced yesterday.

The figure marks a 1.6 percent increase over 2014, MTA officials said in a press release.

Passengers on board an MTA commuter train
Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Additionally, the number of passengers commuting to work on Metro-North nudged up 1 percent, while non-commuter ridership rose 2.3 percent.

Meanwhile, MTA Long Island Rail Road‘s (LIRR) ridership rose by 2.1 percent to 87.6 million in 2015. The railroad remained the busiest regional railroad in the nation, MTA officials said.

The number of commuters riding LIRR trains increased by 2.1 percent to 50.4 million, while the number of non-commuters bumped up 2 percent to 37.3 million.

Each railroad surpassed previous ridership records set in 2008, when gasoline prices were high, said MTA Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Prendergast, noting that the trend in ridership continues even as gas prices have dropped.

“We are seeing the confluence a strengthening regional economy, healthier downtowns around the region, a new generation of millennials who values public transportation, and greater productivity on board our trains through the proliferation of smartphones, tablets and laptops,” Prendergast said.

Riders also are responding to improvements the MTA has made, such as more frequent trains, better on-time performance, a fleet of modern electric cars, expanding availability of real-time information and more channels for customer communication, Prendergast added.

Investments included in MTA’s 2015-19 Capital Program are aimed at positioning the commuter railroads for further growth in the years ahead. The program includes funding for the construction of four new Metro-North stations in the Bronx, the expansion of Metro-North’s New Haven Line to Penn Station, and adding a third track to LIRR’s Main Line between Floral Park and Hicksville.

The capex program also provides funds for the construction of new LIRR stations in the Queens neighborhoods of Elmhurst and Sunnyside.

World Trade Center’s Oculus set to open Thursday

The World Trade Center rail hub “Oculus” will officially open in Lower Manhattan on Thursday, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) announced late last week.

The opening will provide 100,000 riders that use the PATH rail facility daily with below-ground access to a new entrance on the corner of Liberty and Church streets, a few blocks from Wall Street.

A rendering of the Oculus.
PANYNJ

The hub replaces the World Trade Center terminal that was destroyed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York City. Although PATH trains have been using the new hub since May 2015, the facility has not been fully operational.

Over the next few weeks, the eastern entrance to the Oculus will open, providing PATH riders with direct access to Church Street and to the Fulton Street Transit Center. In late spring, the new access from the Oculus to the corner of Vesey and Church streets will open, PANYNJ officials said.

The hub’s centerpiece is a soaring wing-shaped steel structure designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.

“Lower Manhattan soon will have an architecturally visionary 21st century rail station, combined with world-class retail shops, that will be a focal point for downtown commerce,” said PANYNJ Vice Chairman Scott Rechler in a press release.

The main transit hall is 365 feet, 90 feet longer than Grand Central Terminal’s main concourse.

Know Your Craft: Barleywine, another cold weather companion

My last column highlighted the “chicken-soup effect” a Russian Imperial Stout can have on a bleak winter day.

Another favorite — and potentially mood enhancing — cold weather go-to is the barleywine. Not actually a wine, it takes its name from being a strong beer with wine-like gravity (i.e. alcohol content).

This beer is another great sipper, and its big hop character combined with a deep, amber-red-brown maltiness can brighten up almost any dark day.

Generally between 8 to 12 percent ABV for a nice impression of warmth, it also has big malt sweetness balanced by moderate to heavy hoppiness.

Similar to, yet stronger than, an Old Ale, the barleywine is another English style represented by many great versions on each side of the Atlantic.

According to Dave Carpenter of Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine, an English barleywine “exhibits a chewy, complex malt body that evokes plums and toffee and leaves residual sweetness in the final product.”

The American version also presents a warming effect from the high alcohol as well as dark fruitiness, but tends to be hoppier (brewed with northwest U.S. hops, which give it distinctive citrus and pine traits), more bitter and stronger.

This style improves with time, so cellaring a good barleywine from six months to 10 years or more will allow it to evolve into a beer that is remarkably similar to a nice port.

For a classic English barleywine, seek out Fuller’s “Golden Pride” from London, or Anchor’s “Old Foghorn” from San Francisco (brewed in the British tradition).

One of the original American barleywines, Sierra Nevada’s “Bigfoot” is a bittersweet craft beer classic that should definitely be on your craft beer bucket list.

For something a little bit different in the category, check out a Spanish interpretation of the barleywine with La Sagra’s “Bohio,” a bottle-conditioned English-style barleywine at 10.4% ABV, with notes of chocolate, caramel and apple.

The British have influenced America so much so that our cultures still mirror each other’s in many ways.

But, while I enjoy an occasional cup of green tea, tea time never quite stuck here in the states.

Fortunately, the tradition of English barleywine did, making an indelible mark on American craft beer culture that is undoubtedly here to stay.

This week’s recommendation: La Sagra “Bohio,” a English-style barleywine with malt fruitiness, moderate hop bitterness, and big alcohol presence. 10.4% ABV. Numancia de la Sagra, Spain.

Colin Hubbell is co-owner of The Green Onion Pub and the Hop & Goblet in South Utica. His column appears weekly.

Cornel West: “Sister Hillary Clinton Is the Milli Vanilli of American Politics”

West accused Hillary Clinton of only gave “lip service” to social justice policies and compared her with the German music duo Milli Vanilli.

 

he U.S. philosopher Cornel West accused Hillary Clinton of only giving “lip service” to social justice policies, comparing her to German duo Milli Vanilli, whose Grammy award was revoked after it was revealed that the pair had not actually sung their songs, but lipsynched to other singers.

“Sister Hillary Clinton is the Milli Vanilli of American politics … She lip-syncs, she gives lip service. But when it comes to policy, who supported the crime bill? Who supported, not just the deregulating of banks, but also pulled the rug from under welfare?” West said in an interview on CNN.

West, a Sanders supporter who is also a prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America, said last week that the Vermont senator is “better for black people” than his Democratic rival Clinton. He officially endorsed Sanders in August and has given speeches on his behalf at historically black colleges and universities.

COMETS 1 @ BEARS 5

The Utica Comets could not complete the weekend three-in-three sweep and were dropped by the Hershey Bears 5-1 on at the GIANT Center Sunday night.

Alexandre Grenier (1-0-1) scored on the power-play, for the Comets only goal of the evening, while Richard Bachman made 29  saves in the loss. Ronalds Kenins collected an assist on the Comets goal to extend his point-scoring streak to five games, and has run his point total to 11 points in his last nine games.

It took almost 19 minutes, 18 combined shots, and several highlight-reel worthy saves from Richard Bachman before the game’s first goal to be scored. The Bears were the ones to strike first when Nathan Walker scored his 13th goal of the year after he emerged from the corner with the puck.

The Bears doubled down on their lead when Travis Boyd tapped in a back door, cross-crease pass, from Jakub Vrana just 52 seconds into the second period. Chris Bourque picked up a secondary assist to become the first player to 60 points this season.

A little over the halfway mark of the game Grenier found his 10th goal of the season, and second goal in as many nights. Kenins streaked across the top of circles and ripped a wrist shot on net after he received a pass from Taylor Fedun. Grenier, as he battled with two Bears defenders, redirected the shot under the arm of Dan Ellis for the power-play goal.

51 seconds later the Bears re-established their two goal lead thanks to Riley Barber. For the third time this evening, a Bears forward capitalized on a back door pass after Walker connected with Barber. The lead was stretched to 4-1 when the American Hockey League’s leading point-scorer slipped a shot past Bachman for his 24th goal of the season.

Zach Sill scored 10:45 into the third period for the Bears to cap off the game’s scoring.

With the loss the Comets record drops to 27-19-5-3 on the season, and 0-3-0-0 against the Hershey Bears.

The Comets are off until Friday night when the league-leading Toronto Marlies visit The AUD. Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm.

More Fun With Foreign Outsourcing

wanted to ask (this  EDI Group), if anyone had a contact at Home Depot who could assist me in getting connected to Home Depot via either AS2 or FTP.
Since moving their EDI Support to India, the “support” portion seems to have been lost. It is next to impossible to get anything resolved and.  Our company has been trading with Home Depot for years, but our volume has exploded and the VAN costs are through the roof.  It is my understanding that while there EDI support was still here in the good ol’ USA, Home Depot did AS2.  However, when I try to communicate to HD India about switching to AS2 or FTP, I am told that because we are a “new supplier” we cannot.  I have tried to explain on several occasions that we are a long established supplier.  Then I get the reply “well, you are new to AS2” therefore you cannot do AS2.  How is that?  You can only do AS2 if you do AS2, but you cannot do AS2 if you are not doing AS2.  How does one break into this “elite club”?

I Endorse Bernie Sanders for President of the United States

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Facebook Page

I

endorse Bernie Sanders for President of the United States. He’s leading a movement to reclaim America for the many, not the few. And such a political mobilization – a “political revolution,” as he puts it — is the only means by which we can get the nation back from the moneyed interests that now control so much of our economy and democracy.

This extraordinary concentration of income, wealth, and political power at the very top imperils all else – our economy, our democracy, the revival of the American middle class, the prospects for the poor and for people of color, the necessity of slowing and reversing climate change, and a sensible foreign policy not influenced by the “military-industrial complex,” as President Dwight Eisenhower once called it. It is the fundamental prerequisite: We have little hope of achieving positive change on any front unless the American people are once again in control.

I have the deepest respect and admiration for Hillary Clinton, and if she wins the Democratic primary I’ll work my heart out to help her become president. But I believe Bernie Sanders is the agent of change this nation so desperately needs.

With Donald Trump Looming, Should Dems Take a Huge Electability Gamble by Nominating Hillary Clinton?

Many Democrats will tell you that there has rarely, if ever, been a more menacing or evil presidential candidate than Donald Trump. “Trump is the most dangerous major candidate for president in memory,” pronounced Vox’s Ezra Klein two weeks ago. With a consensus now emerging that the real estate mogul is the likely GOP nominee, it would stand to reason that the most important factor for many Democrats in choosing their own nominee is electability: meaning, who has the best chance of defeating the GOP Satan in the general election? In light of that, can Democrats really afford to take such a risky gamble by nominating Hillary Clinton?

In virtually every poll, her rival, Bernie Sanders, does better, often much better, in head-to-head match-ups against every possible GOP candidate. Here, for instance, is a compilation of how Clinton does against Ted Cruz in recent polls: She trails the Texas senator in all but one poll, and in the one poll she leads, it is by a paltry 2 points:

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

By stark contrast, Sanders leads Cruz in every poll, including by substantial margins in some:

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

A similar story is seen in their match-ups against Trump. Although they both end up ahead in most polls, Sanders’ margin over Trump is generally very comfortable, while Clinton’s is smaller. Clinton’s average lead over Trump is just 2.8 percent, while Sanders’ lead is a full 6 points:

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Then there’s the data about how each candidate is perceived. Put simply, Hillary Clinton is an extremely unpopular political figure. By contrast, even after enduring months of attacks from the Clinton camp and its large number of media surrogates, Sanders remains a popular figure.

A Gallup poll released this week reported that “29 percent of Americans offer a positive observation about Clinton while 51 percent express something negative.” As Gallup rather starkly put it: “Unfortunately for Clinton, the negative associations currently outnumber the positive ones by a sizable margin, and even among Democrats, the negatives are fairly high.” Sanders is, of course, a more unknown quantity, but “the public’s comments about Sanders can be summarized as 26 percent positive and 20 percent negative, with the rest categorized as neutral, other or no opinion.”

In fact, the more the public gets to see of both candidates, the more popular Sanders becomes, and the more unpopular Clinton becomes. Here’s Quinnipiac explaining that dynamic in one graph just a few days ago:

This Huffington Post chart, compiling recent polls, shows not only that Clinton is deeply unpopular among the electorate, but becomes increasingly unpopular the more the public is exposed to her during this campaign:

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Polling data. (photo: The Intercept)

Or look at the same metric for critical states. In Ohio, for example, Sanders’ favorability rating is +3 (44-41 percent), while Clinton’s is negative 20 (37-57 percent).

Then there’s the particular climate of the electorate. While it’s undoubtedly true that racism and ethno-nationalism are significant factors in Trump’s appeal, also quite significant is a pervasive, long-standing contempt for the political establishment, combined with enduring rage at Wall Street and corporate America, which — along with the bipartisan agenda of globalization and free trade — have spawned intense economic suffering and deprivation among a huge number of Americans. This article by the conservative writer Michael Brendan Dougherty is the best I’ve read explaining the sustained success of Trump’s candidacy, and it very convincingly documents those factors: “There are a number of Americans who are losers from a process of economic globalization that enriches a transnational global elite.”

In this type of climate, why would anyone assume that a candidate who is the very embodiment of Globalist Establishment Power (see her new, shiny endorsement from Tony Blair), who is virtually drowning both personally and politically in Wall Street cash, has “electability” in her favor? Maybe one can find reasons to support a candidate like that. But in this environment, “electability” is most certainly not one of them. Has anyone made a convincing case why someone with those attributes would be a strong candidate in 2016?

Despite this mountain of data, the pundit consensus — which has been wrong about essentially everything — is that Hillary Clinton is electable and Bernie Sanders is not. There’s virtually no data to support this assertion. All of the relevant data compels the opposite conclusion. Rather than data, the assertion relies on highly speculative, evidence-free claims: Sanders will also become unpopular once he’s the target of GOP attacks; nobody who self-identifies as a “socialist” can win a national election; he’s too old or too ethnic to win, etc. The very same supporters of Hillary Clinton were saying very similar things just eight years ago about an unknown African-American first-term senator with the name Barack Hussein Obama.

Perhaps those claims are true this time. But given the stakes we’re being told are at play if Trump is nominated, wouldn’t one want to base one’s assessment in empirical evidence rather than pundit assertions, no matter how authoritative the tone used to express them?

It’s possible to argue that electability should not be the primary factor. That’s certainly reasonable: Elections often are and should be about aspirations, ideology, and opinion-changing leaders. But given the lurking possibility of a Trump presidency, is now really the time to gamble on such a risky general election candidate as Hillary Clinton?

 

By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept