Posts Tagged ‘Culture

Pat’s more like it: In The Papers goes national

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To many New Yorkers getting ready for work, the New York One channel is as important as their early morning cup of coffee or that first cigarette. Sure, it mainly just broadcasts weather reports 24/7 but that’s part of its charm.

The best part of NY1 however is not the never-ending weather and traffic bulletins – it’s actually the morning “In the Papers” segment read by the caustic and loveable Pat Kiernan. So what if all he does is read out the best stories from the New York Times, Post and News? It saves us the trouble.

Now Kiernan has gone national with his new website PatsPapers.Com. Working with part-time editors in  New York and Europe and a producer in New York, he will publish an e-mail digest and a webcast during the downtime in his NY1 shift.


Written by Jim McMillan

April 13, 2009 at 8:20 pm

Posted in Culture, News, TV

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Usual Suspect wants unusual centre for New York’s Irish

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Homesick New York-based actor Gabriel Byrne wants to keep a little piece of Ireland with him …by persuading the Irish government to fund a cultural centre for his countrymen in the Big Apple. Though he has lived in New York for over 20 years and now holds US citizenship, Byrne just can’t let go of his Irish roots and is campaigning to set up the “Irish Centre” in Manhattan, a place where “Irishness in all its forms can be nurtured.”

“Usually, culture has some kind of a center, a building, some place that you can go,” explains Byrne, 58, who is enjoying a second wind as an actor with his critically-acclaimed US telly show In Treatment. Even the British have managed to do that here with Soho house, a big building in the center of the city where you can meet people and operate on a business, social and cultural level. There is no place like that for Irish people. So I started to think, well, wouldn’t it be great if we had a place where people could go, where people could connect, where that thing that defines Irish American culture could be seen and begin to grow. Of course it’s a sensitive time economically to be asking for money. But this is the best time to invest, not just in this notion of an Irish identity and culture, but in the brand of Ireland.”

Byrne, who owns a sprawling mansion in Brooklyn, first talked about the project with Bertie Ahern and arts minister John O’Donoghue four years ago.

Now he says, “I’m reporting to (Taoiseach) Brian Cowen. It just needs a commitment from the Irish government to support this. The government is behind it, in theory. It just needs that final push to make it happen. You really have to envision it as a temple on the hill. We would have to make a place of welcome, not just for Irish Americans. It would reach out to all cultures, a place of light and welcome.”

Written by Jim McMillan

August 31, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Posted in Culture, Irish, News

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So much for truth in advertising: real Mad Men are sad men

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The super-cool and sharp-suited executives portrayed in the critically-acclaimed television drama Mad Men are nothing like their twenty first century counterparts, you won’t be surprised to learn. In the AMC drama, the male chauvinists of Madison Avenue work hard and play hard and enjoy three-martini mid-morning lunches while they’re at it.

These days though, most of the execs have left Madison and the ones still there have yoga mats rolled up under their desks. And forget about those smart grey flannel suits. As the boss of Drogba5 tells the New York Times, “Agency people dress like well-paid teenagers.”

Meanwhile, at Madison Avenue’s Young & Rubicam, digital art director Andrew Stevens, adds: “I only wear a tie because I don’t have to.”

Written by Jim McMillan

August 11, 2008 at 6:30 pm

High anxiety: Trapped in New York, but the view is nice

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Hundreds of tourists who paid to go up the Empire State Building yesterday night found themselves trapped there for hours when five elevators lost power. At least though, the holidaymakers were left stuck in the 86th floor observation tower, which affords the best view of the city.

Several dozen other tourists weren’t nearly as lucky – their only view for up to a half hour was the walls of their elevators. “We had to open the door and jump out of the elevator onto the floor below,” said Martene Dinwiddie, from Valencia, Calif., who was traveling with eight relatives.

Fire officials told the New York Post electricians working in the building caused the outage.

Written by Jim McMillan

August 10, 2008 at 12:34 pm

Posted in Culture, News, Weird World

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Forget about the Statue of Liberty: where’s the super loo?

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While there are many things for tourists to see in the Big Apple, you wouldn’t think a public lavatory would be one of them. But the city’s new space-age, self-cleaning toilet at Madison Square Park is attracting hundreds of gawkers each day.

Whether the gleaming silver automated loo continues to pull in the crowds, really depends on whether they keep it there. As the New York Times points out: “In Seattle, a similar experiment in luxury flushing ended last month after the toilets were colonized by drug dealers and prostitutes.”

Nonetheless, New York officials have pledged to go forward, saying they are “confident that we can avoid the pitfalls of Seattle.”

Written by Jim McMillan

August 10, 2008 at 12:02 pm