Westchester women are so fickle

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Looks more like a Bloomingdales than a pickup bar, but what do I know?

Greenwich Time claims that the meat bar scene, which has been moving slowly east from La Scala to J, has now migrated to Stamford’s south end at harbor Point, where the ladies are clustering at a new place called Harlan Social.

I wouldn’t want to find a date here (though perhaps second dates aren’t on the menu) nor, judging from the description of the fare, would I eat here either. Here’s what the owner/chef’s done to the hamburger:

Harlan Burger. At first blush: the old American Classic. But bite in, and the world spins. It’s not a burger as much as a delivery system for a mélange of contrapuntal tastes, textures and international flavors.

Steven starts with a half pound patty of brisket, short rib and chuck blended at LaFrieda’s meatery in Manhattan (one of Harlan’s many New York City purveyors). The burger is grilled and brushed with homemade Worcestershire sauce carrying subtle notes of Asian soy and hoisin. Over that Lewandowski spreads a sauce of a pepper jack and cheddar cheese in mushroom stock with garlic, shallots, mustard, cream and Six Point  Ale from Red Hook. But wait there’s more: a layer of sweet jam comprised of onions caramelized in bacon fat and studded with Italian pancetta. All this sits atop a Portuguese Muffin, which is sweeter than its English cousin, and less nook and cranied.  Brooklyn meets Beijing meets Lisbon.

Ugh on both counts.


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Walt’s upset about this


Swift justice

Thief’s arm ripped off after attempted robbery.

A 17-year-old robber’s arm was severed in Brooklyn after he held up a man at gunpoint for a pair of pricey sneakers, police sources said.

Zachary Sam and seller Philippe Pierre, 39, had arranged to meet up at 1 p.m. Friday in Canarsie, sources said.

But when Pierre showed up, asking $490 for a pair of Air Jordan 8 Retro sneakers, the teen crook pulled out a gun and demanded the kicks for free inside Pierre’s gray Honda Pilot, police sources said.

Pierre stepped on the gas pedal, but Sam, who lives nearby, jumped out of his car at the intersection of East 86th Street and Avenue M, sources said.

Instead of speeding off, Pierre turned his car around and drove after Sam, crashing into him in front of a fence.

The alleged robber’s arm was ripped off when he was pinned against the fence.

Pierre was arrested and charged with attempted murder, sources said.

Cops charged Sam with robbery and criminal possession of a weapon.

Walt thinks Sharia law should have been applied to Sam I Am, and Lucky Pierre should have been awarded a medal, but I disagree: we aren’t an Islam nation, yet. Pierre was out of danger and could have kept going, but instead he turned around and ran over the stupid bastard. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on, under our laws.


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Yale’s Paul Rudolph and his execrable designs


Goshen city hall

Just as Goering was supposed to have said (but probably didn’t*), “When I hear the word culture, I reach for my gun”, when I hear the term “Yale Architect” I reach for the vomit bag. This 2007 article from the blog Invisible Hand” explains why, by examining the work of Yale’s School of Architecture during the 60s, in “Paul Rudolph’s Designs of Doom”.

OK, let’s just say it. Paul Rudolph may have been the worst architect in America (which, of course, includes the world).

And as if to second the nomination, The New York Times has published two fawning articles recently about his dark genius and the fact that everyone wants to demolish his unsightly work.

On Friday the Times ran a long and profusely illustrated article by some sap who took a road trip to see as many Rudolph buildings as he could in a weekend. Sadly, there are many still standing.

The writer, a Times apparatchik named Fred Bernstein, marvels at the ploddingly dismal insanity that characterizes Rudolph’s buildings.

In describing one monstrosity, Bernstein writes admiringly that “a trip from one room to another can take you up and down six different stairways.” At another he writes, “Some of the exterior features – like stairs to nowhere – are confounding, but a Rudolph wouldn’t be a Rudolph without puzzle pieces that don’t quite fit.” If I owned such a defective puzzle I would throw it away. Unfortunately, Rudolph worked in raw poured concrete and throwing away one of his buildings would involve explosive force measured in megatons and a dozen landfills.

Rudolph’s modernist credentials, like his buildings, are bulletproof. He studied with Gropius at Harvard. He was Dean of the Yale School of Architecture and famously designed the bunker which houses the School. It’s notable that before the concrete had cured on their new home, the students attempted to burn the building down. They failed although you can hardly tell by looking at the place.

Funny how Rudolph buildings are always in danger of destruction by popular demand.

Perhaps the most perfect expression of Rudolph’s dreary brilliance is the sprawling Boston Government Service Center (BGSC), a mental health facility that is part of Boston’s dispiriting Government Center.

Say what you want about Boston’s brutalist City Hall (and I have), but that craptacular pile of concrete never killed anyone. BGSC has.

According to Metropolis magazine, Rudolph wanted to express mental illness in his building and so paid special attention to dank corridors and stairs leading to blank walls. As a result, Rudolph created a mental hospital that actually inflames patients’ emotional disorder. “The building programs disabled behavior,” says wrote Matthew Dumont, a Boston psychiatrist and author of the book, Treating the Poor. The building’s “chapel” was sealed shut after a patient ignited himself there and a catwalk over the lobby had to be glazed over after it invited too many suicide attempts.

At the Orange County Government Center, which vandalizes the otherwise charming town of Goshen, New York, we meet Edward Diana, the County Executive who marvels at the building’s 87 separate roofs . . . “all of which leak.”

Is the building highly valued? “If I took a poll in town,” Diana says, “it would be demolished tomorrow.”


U Mass Dartmouth library

boston rudolph


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PETA cancels “greased pig” protest

Ingrid Newkirk, PETA

PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk: “Never mind!”

They were geared up and ready to go until finally convinced that a man on skates in a pig costume was the object of their hysterical compassion.

Quoting her organization’s motto, PETA spokesman Ingrid Newkirk said, “A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy” – obviously, however, an adult male is none of those, and may be treated as an insensate object: “fuck ’em”,  Newkirk told FWIW..


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Connecticut: where all the teachers are not only above average, they’re exemplary!


“Well, we never said we were advocates for children”

98% of Connecticut public school teachers are rated “proficient” or “excellent”.

Public schools throughout the state — even urban districts like Bridgeport, New Haven and Danbury — are flush with great teachers.

That’s the most prominent finding in the state teacher evaluations this year — the first time student performance was factored into the review.

Results show that 98 percent of teachers were rated as proficient or exemplary. That’s out of 38,913 evaluations, across the state for the 2013-14 school year.

To some that outcome was no surprise. To others, it signals that the new system may actually hurt — not help— their ability to get rid of bad teachers.

“If you are focused on student learning outcomes, it can sometimes mask actual practice,” Bridgeport Interim Schools Superintendent Fran Rabinowitz said.

Rabinowitz said she can tell by observation if a teacher isn’t up to par.

But if student performance goes up anyway, the new system can leave the teacher with a higher rating and their job.

“When all is said and done, I think the state has to take a step back and look at it,” Rabinowitz said. “(Statewide) we still have 98 percent of teachers either proficient or exemplary — so what have you gained by doing this?”

In Bridgeport, where 13 teachers were deemed below standard, Rabinowitz was not able to say with certainty what became of them.

Imagine how truly awful those 13 teachers rated sub-par are, and pity their students. For that matter, pity all slum children, regardless of their teachers’ ratings.


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I don’t know what happened to the common law doctrine of an “easement by necessity” over in England, but here’s an object lesson in the importance of researching your title before buying

Keith King

Mr. Keith King, retired, lottery winner, grasper

New home owner being held to ransom by neighbor who owns the strip of land between owner’s driveway and the street.

That neighbor, a Mr. Keith King, didn’t know he owned the strip until recently, but instead of doing the neighborly thing and, say, giving his neighbor a license to use it, he rubbed his hands in glee and prepared to cash in:

Mr King, 62, said Mr Kisacikoglu had offered him £2,000 for the crucial strip, but he rejected the offer as ‘derisory’ and wants a lot more.

‘The discovery I owned the land was like finding a rare painting in the loft,’ said Mr King.

Mr King, a retired sound engineer, said: ‘I did not know about the ransom strip until after I paid off the mortgage and received the title deeds.

I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. I approached Mr Kisacikoglu when he bought the house. Yet he offered me £2,000. I’m not seeking millions of pounds but want a fair amount.

The cobbles owned by Mr King are known as a ‘ransom strip’ – a small but crucial piece of land which is needed to access a property, commonly a development site.

Planning experts say the ransom strip could be worth around £500,000.

There’s a reason back lots on a shared driveway trade at a discount, and there’s a reason why your lawyer – and your lender, if you have one – insist on a  thorough title search. Both the discount and the requirement for a title search stem from the same objective fact: some people are assholes.


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Over in Europe, there’s a feminist brain meltdown going on

German feminists refugees

“Blame men, not immigrants!” Really?

What to do, what to do? On the one hand, as true progressives, they must side with the refugees who, after all, represent post-Colonilism white man repression (or something), but these refugees are mostly – 70% – men, and we all know how evil that creature is.

Carrie Lukas: “Of course, there’s a way out for feminists: Refocus on the core principle of defending women’s equal rights and fair treatment. This requires recognizing that the West — including Western men — have actually come a long way in protecting women from physical harm and enabling their full participation in the public sphere.”

Glenn Reynolds: When you yammer about a nonexistent “rape culture” at home, and then import millions from a genuine rape culture, it’s not likely to go well. And you can’t acknowledge anything good about Western men, or that would defeat the entire purpose of feminism, which is to cow and silence Western men.


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