Friday, August 28, 2009

Filmed in Astoria

Julie and Julia is filmed around here. Their apartment is by the powerplant on the river. And there are a touching number of Astoria location shots including the fish store by the 30th Ave subway stop and K&T Butcher.

Sure, they throw in some 7 trains shots to pretend they're in Long Island City proper, but we know it's all on this side of Queensbridge, baby. The movie itself is nice. Very chick flick. But Maryl Streep is outstanding as Julia Child.

For what it's worth, I once ran into Julie at Vine, the liquor store down there by the McGuinness Highway Bridge. I'm very happy for her.

Alas, I never ran into Julia. And this even though I lived in Cambridge not far from her, shopped at the same grocery store, and didn't know anybody who *didn't* have a Julia sighting.

Don't Vote Democratic

At least not for mayor.

I never thought I'd say that. I've never voted anything but Democratic. All my life. With just one exception. I did vote for Bloomberg (luckily he runs on two tickets so I can vote for him and still say I've never voted for a Republican).

Shame on the Democratic candidates for pledging to dump Sadik-Khan.

I do kind of understand the "bring in your own team" argument. But to come out again bike lanes and other improvements? To talk about re-opening Broadway to cars? I thought populism in New York City was supposed to be progressive? Isn't that why I we here? When did local Democrats become car-loving idiots?

I'm voting for Bloomberg.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bike Chicago

I'm in Chicago, where I grew up. It's so beautiful here. Biking around here, I get that same feeling of wondering why I live in ugly-ass Astoria as when I venture to, say, Brooklyn.

And what a biking city Chicago is! There were no bike lanes till Hizzhonor decided that Chicago would be a biking town. There are bike racks everywhere. And a lot of people biking. Gives me hope for NYC.

And regardless of will, Chicago is blessed with wide straight streets and traffic that doesn't drive too crazy. And it's flat here. Damn flat. It all makes for a good biking town.

Last night I biked to a bar about 9 miles away from my Wicker Park/Bucktown home base. That's a long ride in New York. But here it was a breeze. You just peddle and peddle and admire the trees and pretty homes and next thing you know, you're there. It's a very peaceful ride. I never feel that way in New York. Coming back home? Different route. Just as nice.

And the weather is even beautiful in Chicago. Well, except for those five months of winter.

[Update: Though I did have a very nice late-night ride on the lake front, biking west on North Ave I saw 1) a car get rear ended at a red light, and 2) a woman, the driver, puking out her car door. I'm sure they were plenty sober and no risk at all to me. While I guess I didn't have to ride on North Ave (in hindsight Armitage would have been the way to go), on this Saturday night, Chicago looked just as big and bad as NYC.]