A Guide to New York City in the Summertime

By Zach

Hey there, Gator acolytes. I’m sorry to have abandoned you for these summer months, but I am not without valid reasons. Foremost on a list that includes items like “drank beer in bed and watched Batman instead of writing” lies a legitimate excuse: I live in New York. Look past the cooking street garbage and knife-wielding psychopaths — it’s the center of world urbanity! There are things to do here.

Let’s go over seven of them.

1) Go to Prospect Park and watch the sports players

Prospect Park on a nice Saturday is more littered with wholesome family goodness than an episode of the Cosby Show. Young parents holding hands, puppies cuddling with toddlers in strollers, all that shit. But it also serves as a venue for sports games played by people who enjoy playing sports.

Volleyball is one of my favorites. It’s played by two subsets of people, the first being guys who played volleyball in high school and the second being friends of that guy who he coaxed off of their picnic blankets. It is the least egalitarian of pickup sports – lots of people have played basketball and soccer before, so you generally see more parity on New York’s asphalt courts and turf fields. By contrast, volleyball draws a mix of Kerri Walsh wannabes and overweight, ponderous 5’8″ men. Lots of mismatches lead to lots of misplaced intensity on one side of the net and lots of apathy on the other. Trust me, very entertaining.

Cricket is also fun if only for its exoticism. I wasn’t exactly sprinting out to recess in elementary school to bowl a few wickets, and I’ve never played it or watched it on TV, but I enjoy watching the West Indians (?) play in the park. There are a number of older guys, probably in their 60s at least, who join in. Either West Indians aren’t ageist, or they’re just trying to emulate the Knicks.

2) Drink on a roof

My mountain-climbing, wood-chopping, forest-dwelling 2009 self pities the 2012 me that gets excited to receive a text containing the words “roof party in Crown Heights.”

3) Hang out with the mole people

Recently, my friend and I were sitting on a bench in Cooper Square, deservedly one of Manhattan’s less-known public plazas, when we noticed some hubbub to our left.

Now, as a good journalist, I’m always on the lookout for hubbub. I swiftly investigated. The commotion came from a drum circle comprising several hobos, a number of trash bags filled with their belongings, what looked like a campfire, and a sleeping, possibly dead dog. (RIP Union Square pit bull.)

I’ve lived in New York long enough to know my grades of hobo. First you have your basic homeless people, not yet indoctrinated on street decorum. They’re on the streets because they’re down on their luck and don’t have a support system (Democratic view) or because they’re lazy food stamp-pilfering drug addicts (Republican view).

Then you have the bums – hobos who just don’t care. They’ll poop on a subway platform during rush hour, for all you and your horrified children care.

Finally, you have your mole people, who literally live in the sewers. I strongly suspect that in Cooper Square, we were watching such persons. And that brings me to my disgusting sub-anecdote: three of them were leaving and stopped right near the bench where my friend and I sat. One forgot something and put his bag down a couple feet from ours while he ran to fetch whatever it was. Another bent down to pick up the bag, and the third mole person cautioned: “Don’t touch that. He’s got body lice.”


4) Play soccer in a park

New York’s soccer subculture is shockingly resilient throughout the winter months, but everyone comes out to play in the summer. Beware several dangers, though: one, there’s a Hispanic family barbecuing right behind the goalmouth; two, there’s a plump man in a wife-beater who’s kicking everybody; and three, turf-induced staph infections.

Note also that with field space at a premium, New York is not the most welcoming city when it comes to pickup soccer. New people and late arrivals are treated like Mitt Romney at a rap concert. Expect plenty of staring followed by awkward avoidance of eye contact.

5) See a movie

New York, while not legendary for its cinematic tradition, offers what my pig-farming uncle might say is a shit-ton of movie theaters. Yeah, prices aren’t cheap, but I’d opine that Christian Bale raspily barking “Justice” is worth 14 dollars alone. Same goes for Andy Samberg and Rashida Jones pretending to masturbate a chapstick tube.

6) Go buy new suits

Guys, it’s hot out there. There’s no reason to sit at home, crank the A/C and rack up your electricity bill when you can just go rack up someone else’s.

If you’re not in the movie mood, and/or you’d like something tangible to show for your money, why not go buy new suits? I don’t know about you, but it’s the only thing that gets me more excited than buying an orange mocha frappuccino. So that’s what I did yesterday.

What I discovered: Suits are expensive. You have to drop at least four or five hundred dollars if you don’t want the other wedding guests congratulating you on your successful parole hearing. There’s lots of options, too – cummerbund or no cummerbund is the greatest style question of our time. Then you have to decide on your vest style, measure your calves to ensure the ideal fit for your garters, and determine the appropriate level of garishness for your pocket square. Decisions decisions.

I didn’t buy a new suit. But I’m still planning on it once that shifty Men’s Wearhouse salesman guarantees me that his product will make me look the way I’ve long suspected it will.

7) Go to a German beer hall

A German beer hall just opened on the end of my block in Brooklyn. Alcoholism awaits.

Disappointingly, the bartenders aren’t German, nor are the barmaids particularly busty. And they do not seem to appreciate wiener schnitzel jokes or fake German accents to quite the same degree that I do. Those sad creatures.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

London Olympic Games 2012

Instead of the usual coverage of the Olympic games, you know, documenting the humanity of rigorously trained inhuman athletes — and the humans that got them there — I’d like to take on a different approach. Maybe Zach and I will liveblog the liveblogging of an event. Unitl then, here’s some cool artwork from Banksy celebrating the Olympic games in his own hometown.

The pole vaulting completion takes on new stakes




The javelin now has alternate consequences


Tagged , , , ,

A Man’s Guide to Texting, Volume I: The Opener

By Anthony (with a few interjections by Zach)

So it’s Friday night and you have nothing to do. Maybe you’re desperate. Maybe you’re just bored. Your greatest tool on any night like this is usually in your pocket. Your cell phone.

In your hands, though, it’s also a dagger, and you have a propensity to use it for self-infliction. Were this Romeo and Juliet, that image might be romantic. Instead, it’s the year 2012, romance is dead, you’re looking for a hookup and the only poison you’ll be consuming is intentional. Your tool / dagger isn’t between your legs. Well, maybe it is, but that’s a totally different post. It’s your cell phone, with an unlimited text messaging plan, of course.

Go ahead, text that rando from the bar last weekend. Or maybe your old hookup from college who posted on Facebook that she’d be around this weekend, even though it wasn’t even remotely directed at you. You can even try that one girl you met who also happens to live across the hall but obviously has better plans that probably involve a yacht, Kanye, or a helicopter. Let’s face it, nine times out of ten beautiful girls have way better things to do than shoot pool with you down at Joe’s Pub for Fine Hops and Spirits. But it’s worth it to try and lure em’ anyways. Here’s a couple notes to live by when attempting a Trojan-style siege of some female nether regions.

Note from Zach: Having witnessed Anthony’s texting game firsthand, I thought it’d be only fair to offer some supplementary advice for any of our impressionable young male readers, so as to not leave them sweaty-palming their mother’s Victoria’s Secret catalog upon their lonely return home. 

Nothing matters. The most important thing is to remember is that not trying won’t get you anywhere and most guys out there aren’t trying nearly hard enough. So go ahead young pilgrim, text away. Score something for the little guy. Or the big guy. Or whatever it is you call yourself when you step on the scale in the morning. Lesson one is simple — just do it.

Zach’s take: Absolutely correct in this instance – there’s nothing young Griselda looks forward to more than a wax-sealed manuscript from her handsome Smedley. The only amendment I’d make to Anthony’s texting constitution (thus far) is to make sure you’re spreading your seed far and wide. Figuratively. The first time I met my girlfriend, even as I was talking to her I was texting a baker’s dozen other lasses, ranging from sorority queens to a chick I met at the local dump. Spread those tentacles while you can, gents. Before long these nubile specimens will be pregnant or carted off to a nunnery.

How do I make the first text pop? Remember, the first text is always the most important. It’s your opener. You never get a second chance to send the first text again. I always try simple stuff, but nothing too basic like, “Hey.” That’ll get ya nothing but a “hey” back and a lonely night playing Call of Duty and trying to find porn on Netflix, which, FYI, is nearly impossible. Instead, try something like, “Hi there.” It works well because it’s simple, casual AND friendly all at the same time. It’s not intimidating or standoffish and it’s not like you’re trying to be ‘too cool’ either. It really hits the trifecta. But this is important: don’t pigeonhole yourself here. While the classics work well, you need to be prepared with a carefully rehearsed arsenal to greet any potential babe (or mystery girl if you prefer.) You never know where your texts are headed, or at least never precisely. Once they’re out, they’re out.

Zach’s take: “Hi there” works; it’s a bit more playful than the Texan “Howdy” or faux-urban “Yo.” But it’s on the unoriginal side. I usually skip the greetings and just go straight to “Wanna frolick?” or “Mating would be fun.” But I understand that these aren’t always solid first-time opening lines.

Sometimes you’ve got to open with something exotic like, “Hola amiga.” This shows that you’re obviously brilliant because you possess deep working knowledge of the Spanish language. It also throws em off. Sometimes, in mid-summer, girls don’t know if you’re Spanish or not because you’ve been at the beach every weekend drinking Coronas with your boys while playing shirtless Frisbee. This kind of stuff keeps ’em guessing, interested and, most importantly, coming back for another text message.

Zach’s take: C’mon Anthony. They know you don’t speak Spanish.

Try starting with simplicity and class by using a compliment to lighten the mood and get her ready for some serious finger banging … on her flip out keyboard! Your mom might tell you to start by saying something about her shoes, like, “Hey, I really liked those shoes you had on at the mall today. Were those Hush Puppies or Skechers?” Screw that, you’re not trying to pick up your mom. Turn that shit on its head by still giving a nod to first vagina you ever penetrated (in reverse fashion.) Again, the tempo here is surprise so I recommend something edgy. You have a beautiful name. It was my mother’s name, too.” You can lie here, it’s okay. The likelihood of this runaway ever meeting your mother are about as good as your mother ever acknowledging your existence at her weekly bridge games.  (Bonus tip: if you’re shooting to leap the age demographic, tell them it was Granny’s name. Trust me)

Zach’s take: Yikes on that vagina penetration line. And I daresay Freud would have issues with the entire preceding paragraph. But the real issue here, ignoring the irony of preaching about class and using the words “finger banging” in the same paragraph, is that girls don’t necessarily like classy dudes. Look at you: you’re successful with women, and you hang out at Brighton Beach on weekends sipping spritzers of grape juice and codeine you selected out of a guy’s shopping cart in an alley. Girls like a little grit. 

Or go with something super affectionate if it’s a long shot and you’ve got nothing to lose. “Hey there beautiful angel,” or “Hi [name] baby,” are both good examples of making the first text a pleasant surprise. The only thing to remember here: go for broke but keep it classy and funny. If they get the wrong idea, you’re toast. This is best left for the most self-confident. You want whoever is at the other end of the invisible / digital / magic post office to understand what you’re saying. Which is: I like you and am attracted to you enough to make a move like this, but you’re not the only person who I’m texting right now.

Zach’s take: I wouldn’t go the angelic route, and I always thought it was creepy that guys call girls “baby.” But yeah, some flattery doesn’t hurt. I often send my girlfriend texts calling her things like “My saucy little pork dumpling” or “you freaky, nasty, God-estranged mynx.” Usually elicits a positive reaction. Get creative here, men. If there’s one thing girls enjoy, it’s being compared to Chinese appetizers.

Lastly, pitch a Hail Mary. Tell ’em the basics. Remember in fifth grade when you started “analyzing” chapter books? You’d need to do a book report on the ol’ five-finger-overview. Well now you can use those five fingers for something else (if you know what I mean) and  just give them the Who, What, Where, When and HowJust make sure your address is baller, like 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, that your name is ambiguously famous (say, Sir Anthony West), and that you have a good excuse ready for why the limo didn’t show up outside her apartment.

Zach’s take: Couldn’t agree more. Details are important. Most of my texts to girls just say things like “Your place. Bacon bits,” or “that underpass in Prospect Park. Bath salts.” An informative invitation with alluring undertones: that’s what every text you send to a girl should be. 

Okay, gents, with these tested, tried-and-true one line magic makers, you can’t go wrong. You’re ready to start making some first moves and dipping your toes in the water. Just remember, this texting game is a wild ride and as dangerous as it exciting. Be sure to catch the next installment, Volume II: Emoticons and You, When to Use Em and When to Lose Em.

Tagged ,

The Hipster Avengers: A Screenplay


A Gator Don’t Play No Shit Production

Written by Zach and inspired by Taylor’s drunken sermons


Slow zoom on a lonely warehouse rooftop, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in the background. A masked figure materializes in the shot, crouched at the building’s edge, gazing over the city streets. As the camera draws nearer, we see that he’s shrouded in tight, form-fitting flannel. Closer. We see a moustache. Then, his purple Tye-dye t-shirt, adorned with several wolves howling at the moon. In the distance, we hear a woman scream.

Unnamed Superhero

Huskily, he utters four words.

“Justice will be allotted.”

With that, he leaps onto a unicycle, pedaling furiously and popping into the air over the next roof. Before he disappears, his plaid-caped figure and aluminum, one-wheeled steed are framed against the sunset. He drops from sight.


Credits roll with a random indie-pop song in the background (lute and ukulele will be prominent). Cue hazy 30mm footage of several normal children playing in a variety of settings, only to demonstrate a unique superpower. For one child, this will be knitting 50 scarves in under a minute. For another, writing half of a screenplay for a preschool puppet show, only to decide that they’d rather focus on fingerpainting for the time being. For another, preternatural graphic design abilities.


A young woman wearing jorts and a beret has just exited a coffee shop tearfully. She’s talking on the phone, and we learn that she’d left after arguing with her boyfriend, who discovered that the Korean characters inside the heart-shaped tattoo on her back stand for “Bobby,” her ex. Her boyfriend comes out yelling that he just unfollowed her on Instagram, and then he hops on his electric moped and zips off.

Suddenly, two men walk around the corner. One’s wearing a DARE T-shirt, the other a wife-beater and corduroy pants. They grin wickedly.

Evil Hipster #1 (DARE shirt)

“Hey there purrty. Your tongue piercing sure fires MY kiln.”

Evil Hipster #2 (corduroy shorts)

“Could be the High Life talking, but I’d like to climb YOUR hills on my fixed-gear bike.”

They reach for her.

Helpless female hipster


We hear a rattling, and the trio glance up at the warehouse rooftops. There are shadows everywhere – we see the flash of a wheel between two alleys, hear the whoosh of a cape. Then, a can of Four Loko comes flying out of nowhere, knocking the first evil hipster out but leaving the helpless female hipster unscathed. The second one, realizing his peril, makes for his bike, but the pedals are five feet off the ground and he struggles to mount.

Unnamed Superhero

Off-camera, huskily: “That’s not a bike lane.”

Our caped crusader unicycles into frame, leaping off. In one motion he throws a fanny pack, which wraps itself around the evil hipster’s neck, and he and his bicycle careen over the curb and through the window of a nearby gastropub. The electric celloist inside the establishment continues his music, all the more audible now. Our superhero goes over to the stricken damsel, offering her his flannel cape to wipe away the tears.

Helpless female hipster

“Who ARE you?”

Unnamed Superhero

Twirls moustache, looks coolly into the distance. Huskily:

“You’ve probably never heard of me.”

Hops on unicycle, flies away. 


A note from Zach:

I know that making jokes about hipsters is about as fresh as making jokes about people who make jokes about hating Nickelback, but I couldn’t resist this one. I was pondering taking it in a different direction, where our hero can’t be bothered to rescue people who are in mainstream predicaments (Timmy fell down a well at a Black Eyed Peas concert!), but perhaps we’ll save that for a new Avenger in our next installment.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Theorems by Gator, Volume II

By Anthony,

I’m following Zach’s trend here. Or highjacking it, whatever you prefer to call it. One man’s treasure is another’s trash, right? Here’s a couple random notes to keep you hungry readers satiated until the next big thing.


WordPress offered this quote to me when I published my last post:

“I am a drinker with writing problems.”
-Brendan Behan

They always drop in a comment when I make a post. Perhaps it’s supposed to be inspirational. This one stood out to me. Take it as you will.


I was trying to change the font colors on our humble site here when, to my utter dismay, I found that WordPress charges you $30.00 A YEAR for the option of “customizing.” While there are a number of tools that are unlocked with this rather expensive key, the ability to change font colors is also locked in. This is a small gripe, but one worth expressing. Why does a freeware blog site, touting its customization options, not allow us such a basic right? I’m pretty sure I’m protected by the third amendment here. Or maybe it’s the fourth; I’m not sure. But I know it had something to do with online sites and font colors — for sure.


I’ve noticed recently that our site views are climbing, sometimes rapidly, and also that one of our more seldom writers (I won’t mention names but it starts with an “R” and ends with an “uairi”) is the most viewed contributor. With the available tools, I can see which post is most viewed. Unsurprisingly, it’s the one about marrying Kate Upton. Who knew that hot chicks drove internet traffic? Oh wait, everyone in the model / acting / porn industry. Pretty much the damn everything industry. Makes total sense. So now I’m going to hijack Ruairi’s trend, too.


I know I’m a little late, but I just wanted to wish everyone a  Happy Fourth of July. What’s a better way to send my best than with a beautiful lady in an America bikini? I can’t think of any. Enjoy my current love interest: Ashley Sky.

If you're reading this, you're missing a really great .gif. Sorry charlie

Ashley Sky for America

Tagged , , , , , , ,

I Ran a Newsroom Once

By Anthony

For a brief time, I had a back office with shutters that rattled if the door was ever slammed shut and a desk where I could pound my fist if I were ever angry. But none of these things ever happened. I was never as much of a blowhard as the anchorman leading the new show about news (He was formerly  a dog groomer with intellectual shortcomings and later a cop who Keanu Reeves just couldn’t save, remember?)

More like “The Boozeroom”

I’m speaking about Jeff Daniels, the actor and principle character in Aaron Sorkin’s new show, Newsroom on HBO. You’ll know Sorkin  from the West Wing and more recently The Social Network as well as several other successful and well-written movies and shows. He’s a prolific screenwriter with several accolades to his name but I’ll let you look him up on your own.

This is about the Newsroom and all the dramatic yelling and big words peppered in to make the commentary seem witty and intelligent even as it accuses us, the viewer, of being dull and ignorant.

Jeff Daniels, or Will McAvoy (his character) or Sorkin (the writer) begins the show by telling us that America is not the greatest nation in the world anymore. However, after their inspiring diatribe (Is that an oxymoron?), they offer that it can be again. The program forges onward to beat us over the head with pragmatic calls to morality and good old-fashioned calls to the American ego.

The dialogue favors quick wit, literary and political references, and point vs. counterpoint fencing-style dramatics. Conversations essentially become chess matches. All this is set over an impossible amount of inner office romance. We’ve seen enough of that already and it was only one episode.

The show can be exciting, particularly when one is swept up in the first big news story that the crack news team slowly uncovers. You’ll feel empowered because if you weren’t occupied clubbing baby seals in Alaska, you already witnessed the event firsthand. Think recent man-made natural disasters. The show apparently takes place in the recent past, covering all sorts of large news events that actually happened.

McAvoy, in one of his verbal sword fights, actually accuses the American populace of being uninformed. Perhaps the show tackles these “major” events to ensure that we didn’t miss anything the first time. I hear calls to returning journalism to its once formal glory, too. Names like Cronkite, Woodward and Bernstein, who once delivered great justices, are now impossible aspirations for McAvoy. And we’re supposed to believe all this while brooding and budding romances fuel fencing matches between producers.  This has all the makings of mixing my senior honors project in journalism (now wasting away in my memory) with a night at the local watering hole. My professors would shake their heads.

The New Yorker review put it aptly when it described Sorkin’s work:  “His shows are the type that people who never watch TV are always claiming are better than anything else on TV.”

The intelligent banter is artificial and the context is wrong. The stands these characters make are too high and too mighty, and the subtext is also probably too old. But maybe, just maybe at the very least, it will offer us ignorant Americans some new insights on the major events this time around. Or maybe they’ll just beat us over the head some more and feed us a constant stream of sexual tension layered with wordy speeches and slamming office doors.

Look for me comparing my newsroom with Sorkin’s — they’re both similarly fictionalized.

More as the story develops.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

A Mr. Rogers Remix

By Anthony

I actually really enjoy this video. It’s a cool remix and nostalgia inducing enough to make one get back into Season 5 of Sesame Street. Plus it’s the best use of autotune I’ve heard since before T Pain started crooning on boats.

Enjoy at your own leisure.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Gator’s Unofficial Season Two Premier

By Anthony

Spurred to action, kind of like Rob Stark* when his father’s head was forcibly removed from his shoulders, I ride back into the interwebs wielding my almighty pen and preaching stories about things that I do drunk, observations that I’ve had the pleasure of observing and run-on sentences that I’ve had the pleasure of concocting. I bring to you now the first official Season Two Premier of Gator’s No Shit Playing.**

It’s tough to start a post with an asterisk at the end of the first sentence. It’s a bad sign when one must declare something with one of those mysterious grammar functions you only see in textbooks and prescription drug ads.

But anyway, like so many posts here on Gator, I’ve begun by digressing. Has anyone else noticed a common theme, in at least my own ramblings, that it’s easier to start somewhere completely different and then abruptly shift back into the intended post with an eye jarring fragment like: “but I digress.”

Just a thought, but I digress.

Seriously though, if you’re keeping score at home and holding us to the promises we make in our posts, you’re likely going to be let down 9 times out of then. Which are at least better odds then a lion fighting a tuna in the mid-Atlantic. However, I’m happy to report on one small victory today. I’d like to say this is the reason for radio silence, but that’s not true. Our writers went on strike when they realized we were serious when we told them they would be paid in wheat grass seeds. What? I thought everyone knew holistic anything seeds were an accepted form of currency in Williamsburg and Bushwick these days? Didn’t you?

Now if you’ll harken back to the olden days, when Gator was just a young startup, full of spit and vigor, hustling on the street corner of the internet known as .wordpress.com – and not the multibillion dollar IPO it is today – then you’ll remember four odd months ago when I mentioned the 500lb motorcycle I had in my apartment.

It wasn’t very hard to get it in there and even easier getting it out, especially in pieces. But we’ve taken all those pieces to a shop – along with Cindy’s Christmas tree to try and get that goddam light to finally light up. A little bit of elbow grease, some sandpaper, several hundred kilowatts of grinding metal and least a thousand or so PSI of sandblasting has turned a corroded, rusted old hull of a former hulk into something not quite so hideous.

To bring back the luster of a fresh start. To reuse, recycle, rebuild. To give credibility you can’t buy with all the flax seeds in Green Point. I love the effect of a surface half finished. Here’s the latest:

*Yeah, I’ve been watching a lot of Game of Thrones. It’s brilliant.
**While this is not the official Season Two Premiere, Zach beat me by a day or two, I already had the working graph and didn’t want to change it. Too bad. Temporal intelligence is an afterthought here at Gator. Obviously Gator don’t play that.

Tagged , , , , , ,

A Fittingly Desultory Return to Posting

By Zach

I’m feeling short on creativity tonight but I wanted to post something, so here’s some jumbled thoughts:


Twitter is really growing on me. I like how you can tailor it to your interests, which for me is an intersection of news, humor and sports. It’s also far more intellectual platform than Facebook, which strikes me as a tad vapid. OK, they’re both extremely vapid, but Twitter’s a bit more centered around the quality and conciseness of your writing. Needless to say, I need practice. Sign up, follow me, and it’ll be a learning experience for all involved parties.


– Euro 2012 has been fantastic so far. It’s been the one thing that makes me appreciative that I’m in a cubicle with a high-speed internet connection all summer. Simply put, the inspiration these players give me is profound. To be a bit clearer, they give me a lot of ideas for stuff I shouldn’t be doing. Andrea Pirlo has convinced me that I, too, can launch a 50-yard inch-perfect crossfield pass and hit a winger in stride. Andres Iniesta is the reason I embark on ill-fated dribbles out of triple teams. Still they’re brilliant, and still I believe.

This actually leads me to the crux of these two paragraphs: my theory that soccer on TV has decreased the team play at your everyday pickup game. I play a lot of pickup in New York, and you constantly see average players forgo the easy pass to try to dribble past five guys. Failed nutmeg attempts, shanked heel passes, skied thirty yard shots. The blame falls on ESPN and its damn World Cup rights.


Which brings me here: I’m finishing up Those Guys Have All The Fun, the tell-all oral history of ESPN. The major takeaway: ESPN is really male-dominated, and of those men about 90 percent have massive, massive egos.


Team Drake, all the way. More confrontations in my life need to involve bottle throwing. Realistic examples:

Editor angry at me for an error-filled wedding announcement? *Hucks Ciroc

Pregnant woman on crutches giving me the evil eye for staying seated on the subway? *Flings Grey Goose

Girlfriend testy about my open admiration for Catherine Zeta Jones’ age-defiant bosom? *Lobs Patron


Improbably, right now I’m listening to Trey Songz croon “I only came forrrrrrrr…THE BITCHES AND THE DRANKS, THE BITCHES AND THE DRANKS.” Somewhere, all my female role models are shaking their heads. 

Tagged , , , ,

A Night At The Garden

By Zach

As a newly transplanted New Yorker and NBA fan, it’s been hugely entertaining for me to watch the Knicks this year. This is probably much more so the case because I don’t actually root for them (I’m a Celtics fan), so I was able to watch dispassionately as their season descended into a macrocosm of exciting, dysfunctional uncertainty. Even at the height of Linsanity, when Lin dropped 38 on Kobe and his two under-utilized stooges, questions abounded. No one in New York knew if the Knicks would even make the playoffs; no one in New York knew if Lin’s transcendence would last until April.

It didn’t. The Knicks entered the playoffs without Lin, lost in late March to a bothersome torn meniscus. Without Lin, the offense devolved into a predictably iso-heavy, Melo-centric barrage of contested jumpers. Valuable seconds were wasted, of the shot clock and of legitimate basketball fans’ lives.

So naturally, for game 3 of the Knicks-Heat series, my girlfriend and I decided to join the craziness for a couple hours, in person as opposed to the tacky Mexican restaurant and dive bar with a projector we’d frequented for games 1 and 2. Game 3 would be better, we surmised — it was at the Garden and the crowd would be going nuts. Amare and his disinterested defense had been extinguished. Bosh went home to watch his egg hatch (a cruel joke, yeah, but Gator never filters itself in the name of kindness).

Even though, by game time, we knew that only the first two assumptions would prove prescient, there was reason for optimism. 7th Avenue was buzzing outside the Garden. Melo shirts abounded, interspersed with the occasional Lin or Stoudemire or I’ve-made-a-huge-mistake-in-purchasing-this Fields jersey. The Knicks dancers were performing in the main entryway, much to the delight of all hairspray and spandex enthusiasts present. Beer still hovered around 10 dollars, but it was flowing!

(On a side note: If I ever own a sports team, I’m definitely lowering the price of beer for the playoffs. With 2 dollar beers, a decent team with home court advantage would ROMP its way to a championship. There’s an undeniable effect that drunk, rowdy fans have on both sets of players and, yes, the referees. Someone should do statistical analysis of that effect sometime. The point is: a trophy should take precedence over profit margins, a few black eyes and some vomit cleanup detail expenses.)

Back to the Garden. One of the best parts of seeing a sporting event live is the pre-game action. The warmups, for starters, can sometimes be pretty illuminating in regards to players’ personalities and team dynamics. Of course, I focused on LeBron, whose physical characteristics are obviously much more easily defined than his personal traits. It’s clear that he’s a specimen (all the more so when you see him in person), but I was interested to see how he acted before the game.

The answer? Kind of insecure, just like you might expect. He insisted on viciously dunking a disproportionate amount of his layup line attempts (missing two in a row at one point), and kept doing this stupid little dance while he waited in line. It was like watching a white middle schooler Dougie.  I’m sure it was his attempt to tell the crowd, “Look at me, I’m relaxed,” but to me it just seemed contrived. But then again I’m a completely biased Celtics fan, and I can’t defend five positions in the NBA.

Everyone in the Garden expected at least a tight game, and they got it. It was ugly. We hadn’t seen offensive sloppiness like this from LeBron, Wade, and Melo in a while, and the offensively sloppy play we’d come to expect from guys like J.R. Smith and Landry Fields hadn’t abated.

That said, the Knicks led at halftime and kept it close until the fourth quarter. We all know how the fourth turned out. I’ll spare you the disaster-GIFs of cats falling out of windows or fat ladies tumbling down stairs. Here are my takeaways:

1) Melo, not LeBron, should have been looking to team up with a superstar these past two seasons. It’s not just that he needs good players surrounding him — he needs good players who bring with them a culture of ball movement and teamwork and who will tell him to buck up, reduce his shot attempts, and get his teammates involved. Iso doesn’t win championships, and when your best three scorers are three players who LOVE to iso in Melo, Amare and J.R. Smith, you’re going absolutely nowhere. We all know it, but I thought I’d reiterate.

2) If the Knicks ever become good, MSG will be absolutely insane during the playoffs. The atmosphere was great even though they were down 2-0 in the series and hobbled. I can’t imagine what it’ll be like if they’re ever a Finals favorite. Of course, this might be in 2019 when Melo’s long gone, they’re built around a Lin-Shumpert backcourt and they have Anthony Davis anchoring the paint following a TV special announcing his decision to take his talents to Broadway.

3) The Heat are eminently beatable this year, but only in the Finals. The Pacers can take a couple games off them, as can the Celtics/Bulls/Hawks in the Eastern Conference Finals, but they’re not losing four times in a series before June.

Tagged , , , , , ,