03.20.14

There’s Actually Something At The Barclays Center Less Popular Than The Boomer & Carton Kitchen

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York, Real Estate, Religion, The Marketplace at 11:23 pm by

(pic swiped from the Atlantic Yards Report)

While Forest City Ratner has yet to deliver affordable housing the immediate area surrounding Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, they did manage to build what is surely the only open-to-the-public meditation room in an NBA arena.  Though the New York Times’ Andrew Keh claims the room has few, if any visitors, he credits it’s existential existence to the Reverend Herbert Daugherty, “a Brooklyn pastor who has long been one of Atlantic Yards’ most ardent supporters.”

“Life is more than stone and steel and stuff,” said Mr. Daughtry, who heads the House of the Lord Pentecostal Church. “It’s about values, decency, fairness, trying to teach people that there’s more to life than materialism.”

Mr. Daughtry’s opponents argue that he has been co-opted by Forest City, and they point to the group he founded, the Downtown Brooklyn Neighborhood Alliance, which was seeded with $50,000 from the developer. Mr. Daughtry’s family members oversee other programs that the developer funds to benefit the community. One of Mr. Daughtry’s daughters is in charge of distributing dozens of free tickets for each Nets game. Another daughter will run the arena’s community events program. His wife picked out the meditation room’s furnishings.

Mr. Daughtry said he was used to being criticized as “a sellout,” but he has taken a pragmatic approach. “Can you imagine all this is happening three or four blocks from my church, and all I had done was criticize from the side?” he said. “And my members and children are asking: ‘Can we get tickets? What happened? Why aren’t you involved?’ ”

A fan wearing a Nets shirt said he had seen a sign on the concourse for the meditation room but had never bothered to see what it was. The fan, who gave his name only as Sayani, said he did not think he ever would. 

“The only time I would have used it was the game we blew to Toronto, when Deron Williams made that stupid pass into the backcourt,” said the fan, a manager at a nearby P. C. Richard & Son store. “Then I would have needed to meditate.”

MLB’s Licensing Division Has Accomplished The Near Impossible :

Posted in Baseball, The Marketplace at 4:59 pm by

…they’ve made future visits to Guitar Center even shittier.

03.19.14

Gimp My Ride : W*A*S*P Guitarist Has A Used Car For Sale, Does Not Advise Driving Like A Beast

Posted in Automobiles, Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 2:13 pm by

Unless and until Blackie Lawless’ Segway hits the auction block, Chris Holmes’ 1987 Firebird might the ultimate item to complete your W*A*S*P-related methods-of-transportation memorabilia collection. Snap it up now, before some wealthy W*A*S*P fan drops it in the parking lot of the Experience Music Project.

03.10.14

Civilization 1, Sub-Pizza Hut Garbage-On-Crust, ZERO

Posted in Food, The Marketplace at 1:56 pm by

(this entire post is just a lousy cheap excuse to post the above video…again)

CNNMoney’s Chris Isidore reports that purveyors of toxic, pseudo-Italian grub SBARRO are well and truly fucked. If you were here right now, I’d high five you so fucking hard you’d need a mechanical claw to place your next pizza order.

In a statement Monday the chain said the bankruptcy filing is a pre-packaged plan, which means that it has already agreed on a reorganization plan with creditors that hold 98% of the company’s debt. That should allow it to quickly shed an estimated $140 million in debt, and emerge from bankruptcy as a healthier company.In February, the company announced it was closing 155 company-owned restaurants in the United States, effective immediately. That left it with 220 U.S. locations and more than 600 other locations owned by franchise operators in 40 different countries.

Sbarro is best known for locations in airports, malls, train stations and highway rest stops — high traffic locations with limited direct competition from other pizza chains.

 

03.08.14

SXSW’s Boost To The Austin Economy, Vividly Illustrated

Posted in Austin, South By Suck Off, The Marketplace at 7:53 pm by

Why should jello shot emporiums that don’t lift a finger to support interesting live music 51 weeks a year be the only ones to cash in on SXSW? Depending on how much you can bench press, here’s your big chance, too.

03.05.14

(New Yorkers) DoingThe Wrong Thing : Jeremiah Moss On The Villification Of Spike Lee

Posted in New York, New York, Racism Corner, Real Estate, The Marketplace at 7:27 pm by

Film director/Knicks superfan Spike Lee is certainly not above reproach ; if you paid an admission price of any sort for “Girl 6″, you know what I’m talking about. But if seems that Lee’s wealth and celebrity status have caused some to sneer at his recent diatribe against the creeping Vice-ification of his beloved Brooklyn (“we had the crystal ball, motherfuckin’ Do the Right Thing with John Savage’s character, when he rolled his bike over Buggin’ Out’s sneaker. I wrote that script in 1988. He was the first one. How you walking around Brooklyn with a Larry Bird jersey on? You can’t do that. Not in Bed Stuy”).

Noting the rather aggressive backlash to Lee’s comments, Jeremiah Moss of the fantastic Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York cannot help but recall his own blog once fielded a comment as pithy as “NYC was gross back then. The natives nearly destroyed the city. Now, thanks to the influx of cleaner people, the city is glamorous again!”

People didn’t like that Lee was angry and had used the word “fuck” several times in what was now being called his “rant.” They called him “arrogant,” a word that has “uppity” as one of its synonyms. They didn’t like that he, like television’s George and Louise Jefferson before him, had “moved on up” to the East Side, to a deluxe apartment in the sky, as the song goes. He was a wealthy hypocrite, people argued. He had too many multi-million-dollar properties. He had abandoned Brooklyn, and didn’t deserve to defend it. In an op-ed for the Daily News, Errol Louis made some good points about Spike’s own role in the gentrification of Fort Greene, including his flipping of several properties and the marketing of a rather tacky “Absolut Brooklyn” vodka. There were definitely some conflicts there that Spike did not address, and should have; however, that omission does not fully explain the violent backlash he received, and the fierce pro-gentrification cries that swirled around him. After all, plenty of other financially successful New York artists have railed against gentrification—David Byrne of Talking Heads, whose net worth is $45 million, even used the word “fuck” in his rant against the rich–and they didn’t get such backlash. But they weren’t black people expressing anger about white people.

As the online comment threads about Spike Lee lengthened, growing more contentious, the conversation began to crack. The neoliberal façade that hides the true face of today’s brand of gentrification fell away like a veil. Several people began to make statements like (I’m paraphrasing here): “I’m white and I helped make the neighborhood nicer,” and “White people were here first,” and “Black people pushed out the white people and now the whites are just coming back,” as well as, “I’m white and I’ll live wherever I want.” Said another (not paraphrasing), “Making a neighborhood that was once nice, nice again is not gentrification. It’s restoration.”

03.04.14

In Defense Of Travel Wisconsin’s Advertising Agency…

Posted in Basketball, Cinema, The Marketplace at 10:09 pm by

…it must’ve been far too difficult to find a way to shoehorn the line, “do you like gladiator movies?” into the above commercial’s script.

03.02.14

Hangin’ On The Telephone : Inspire Pro Brings Back The Hotline

Posted in Professional Wrestling, The Marketplace at 11:12 pm by

Who amongst us doesn’t remember the pre-internet / before-we’d-heard-of-dirtsheets era in which Mean Gene Okerlund was greatly enriched by 1-900 lines that didn’t exactly reveal the greatest scoops of all-time?  Of course not, you’re not 100 years old! The good news is that Austin, TX based Inspire Pro Wrestling remember these days of insane phone bills and intense salesmanship, and they’ve dragged an otherwise moribund medium into the modern era :

02.09.14

Bruce Ratner Cancels Speaking Appearance (After Determining Bruce Ratner Is A Security Risk)

Posted in Basketball, New York, New York, Real Estate, The Marketplace at 5:44 pm by

LandlordsNY, sadly not a Gotham tribute to wonderful members of the Happy Flowers family tree, but instead a property owners/managers organization, has been forced to ditch plans for a symposium at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The venue pulled the plug after learning public protests were planned over the event’s chosen keynote speaker…who just happens to be the guy who built the building. From The Real Deal’s Katherine Clarke :


“Barclays Center has called to let us know they can no longer host our event due to threats by one or two tenant related groups protesting Mr. Bruce Ratner, whom was slated to be our keynote speaker,” said J’Nell Simmons, executive director of LandlordsNY, in the note. “They are concerned of the negative press it will bring them and Mr. Ratner, and thus feel they can no longer host the property management symposium.”

Tenant groups including the Fifth Avenue Committee, Make the Road and Met Council on Housing were slated to protest outside the Barclay’s Center on the day of the event, Fifth Avenue Committee director of organizing and advocacy Jackie Del Valle told The Real Deal.

“The building of [Atlantic Yards] has caused extreme displacement and rising rents in the neighborhoods around it,” Del Valle said. “There’s been a ton of public money given to this but no government oversight and the promised affordable housing has not been built.”

“He’s going to be teaching best practices when it seems like the best practices have been going into communities, pushing out long-term tenants and building luxury condos? New York City has become like the homeless capital of the world in the last few years and we needed to get out the word that tenants aren’t happy. We needed to school landlords on these facts of displacement.”

02.08.14

RFTC To Disfigured Fans : TAT’S ALL FOLKS

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 4:27 pm by

Perhaps you’ve heard the story about how Rocket From The Crypt famously pledged free admission to anyone willing to sacrifice burial in a Jewish cemetery by tattooing the band’s logo somewhere on their person? The Wall Street Journal’s Ryan Dezember reports that with RFTC’s reunion dates a hot/expensive ticket, the band cannot make good on this lifetime commitment.

37-year-old Graham Fahey of Brooklyn waited too long to buy tickets for a pair of sold-out New York concerts scheduled for April. He thought he had a trick up his sleeve to get in: a rocket tattoo on his left forearm. Alas, when he reached the band’s management to ask, he learned he would need a ticket—tattooed or not.

John Reis, Rocket from the Crypt’s lead singer and songwriter, says the band, which combines blaring horns with densely layered guitars, is both befuddled and flattered by the number of fans who have its tattoo. Though the band wasn’t pushing fans to get tattoos just to get into shows, “we kinda created this thing where we don’t want to renege on what people think the deal is,” he says.

“It got a little out of hand,” says Mike Stobbe, a San Diego tattoo artist who inked the band members. Mr. Stobbe estimates he has tattooed “a couple hundred” fans, and still fields the occasional request. “It’s hard to have a guest list of that magnitude,” he says.

As it prepared last year for its first shows in eight years, the band was preoccupied with other matters. Its saxophone player needed a saxophone, for instance. “We really didn’t think about it,” says Mr. Reis, 44. “We were more surprised that we were playing again.”

02.04.14

When It’s Time For Canada’s Oil Industry To Smear Neil Young, It Doesn’t Get Much Worse Than Ezra

Posted in non-sporting journalism, Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace, We Aren't The World at 1:04 pm by

That Ezra Levant is an unabashed shill for the Canadian oil industry is well established ; the lawyer/lobbyist turned TV pundit authored 2010′s “Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada’s Oil Sands”, essentially a 260 page love letter to, uh, the Canadian oil industry.   So with that history in mind, it should come as little surprise Levant spends nearly 17 minutes on an extensive character obliteration of oil sands development opponent Neil Young.

01.19.14

History’s Most Cumbersome eBay Auctions, Pt XXV

Posted in Football, The Marketplace at 9:51 pm by

Brightlightsea Regent of England’s non-league Thurlow Nunn Premier Division recently addressed fan capacity issues by erecting a used stand purchased earlier in the week on eBay. Said stand made it’s debut at yesterday’s FA Vase victory over Bodmin Town While Regent used turnstiles purchased from the old Walthamstow Stadium (as seen on the cover Blur’s ‘Parklife’), club chairman Terry Doherty tells the BBC the new seating structure had been on eBay for over two years. Not as tough to sell as the 10-foot Steve Nash guitar, but almost as difficult.

The stand, purchased from an Isle of Wight seller for £5,500, has been taken apart and will be brought on a truck to the town, 10 miles south of Colchester, and put up on Friday in time for the weekend’s game, which is being billed as the biggest in the club’s history.

Brightlingsea, who attract more than 100 spectators a game, were promoted to the Eastern Counties League Premier Division, the ninth tier, last season.

Their North Road ground has a 50-seat stand, but the club need to increase that to 100 by the end of March to meet league requirements.

The new stand takes their seating capacity to 157, which will also satisfy the standards of the league above, should the R’s, who are currently sixth in the table, win promotion again.

01.16.14

Barely Used Chevy Impala For Sale (Interior W/ Minimal Dog Hair)

Posted in Dogs, Gridiron, The Marketplace at 1:23 pm by

Philly Mag’s Dan McQuade is careful to stress the above vehicle is almost certainly not Michael Vick’s personal ride. I’m not sure what the exact tip-off was, but perhaps the absence of  an “I’d Rather Be Slaughtering Innocent Creatures” bumper sticker  made it a little too obvious.

01.10.14

The Greatest Minneapolis Garage Sale Since…

Posted in Sports Journalism, Sports Radio, The Marketplace at 7:45 pm by

…Michael Beasley peddled his collection of designer handbags! Twin Cities Business’ Kevin Mahoney reports venerable Minneapolis scribe/commentator Sid Hartman, 93, is holding an estate sale this Saturday and Sunday.

Best known for his many “close, personal friends” in the sports community, Hartman has been a fixture of Minnesota sports journalism for nearly 70 years. According to Estate Sales, he will attend Saturday’s sale at 10 a.m. for about two hours to sign autographs for those who make purchases.

Hartman is selling clothes such as suits, shirts, pants, and shoes. He’ll also be selling autographed copies of books he authored and bobblehead dolls, according to Estate Sales Minnesota.

Dana Arvidson, owner of Estate Sales Minnesota, told Twin Cities Business that estate sales usually take place when a family member has died or someone is moving into a smaller home or apartment. However, she said Hartman’s sale is designed simply to unload his excess clothing and he isn’t planning a move.

01.03.14

History’s Least Intriguing eBay Auctions Pt. XXIV : Because So Many CSTB Readers Are Musicians

Posted in Rock Und Roll, The Marketplace at 5:52 pm by

(ebay image/link via John Schooley)

I have a dean Mississippi Queen guitar single pickup set neck super nice guitar ;low action ,like new Great christmas present .Randy

12.16.13

There’s 12 People In Seattle Very Happy Eli Manning’s Playing Out The String

Posted in Gridiron, The Marketplace at 3:29 pm by

Giants QB Eli Manning tossed 5 INT’s in yesterday’s 23-0 shutout loss to Seattle, the first time New York’s been blanked at home in 18 years. Perhaps it was with that recent history in mind that a Federal Way, WA Chevy dealership promised $35K each to raffle winners if the Seahawks could hold the Giants scoreless. From the Tacoma News’ Alexis Krell :

Those who bought a car (roughly 20 were sold during the promotion) got 100 entries. About 12 others had single walk-in entries – anyone was allowed to give it a try.

Jet Chevrolet co-owner Jim Johnson said he wasn’t expecting the shutout, but he’s glad it happened.

Of course he was rooting for the Hawks, he said. He has been a season-ticket holder “since day one.”

The dealership had insurance for the promotion, Johnson said. He still had to figure out the details with the company but expected the drawing to happen Monday.

11.26.13

The Ultimate Gift For Persons Obsessed With Groundskeeping-At-Indoor-Baseball-Stadiums

Posted in Baseball, Gridiron, The Marketplace at 5:37 pm by

While the State of Minnesota has successfully auctioned off the old Metrodome baggie, the ballpark’s tarp(s) are still available.  If that tarp could talk, could you imagine what it might say?  “I always regretted never having a chance to assault Vince Coleman.”   “They told me I might get to meet Playboy Buddy Rose.”

11.23.13

Chess’ Would-Be Dana White Is Deeply Encouraged By The Success Of Boring Games

Posted in Chess, The Marketplace at 10:28 pm by

Roughly a year ago, former tech exec Andrew Paulson acquired the global licensing and marketing rights to FIDE aka the World Chess Federation, and has rather bold plans to turn the game into a mass market sensation via a number of nu-media initiatives.   The New York Times’ Matt Richtel patiently considers Paulson’s life story, but still likens his spiel to “a guy selling beachfront property in Nebraska.”

“Do you realize there are more people in America who play chess than tennis and golf combined?” Mr. Paulson said minutes into our first conversation, in an enthusiastic burst that made it seem irrelevant whether chess is, in fact, more popular. “Who would’ve thought people would be watching golf on TV, and, yet, they are. And all of India is watching cricket on TV. The only thing more boring than cricket is golf!”

Mr. Paulson, who lives in London, has a good idea of what India is watching because he parked himself there for several months in advance of the chess world championship, which was decided on Friday in Chennai. The victor was Magnus Carlsen, a handsome and personable 22-year-old from Norway who made a Cosmopolitan magazine list of the sexiest men of 2013. To Mr. Paulson, Mr. Carlsen is “a sea change in the history of chess, who gives us the opportunity to reveal the individual of chess players rather than their introverted inscrutability.”

The thing is, although people are listening to Mr. Paulson — and it’s hard not to — they aren’t yet doing much buying. In fact, he turned to India in part because his initial efforts in Europe to gain corporate sponsorship didn’t take. He faces many obstacles, like a governing chess body widely considered to be strange (putting it kindly), some top chess players who think that his efforts to popularize the sport are lowbrow, and the fact that he is promoting slow-motion entertainment in a world of short attention spans.

11.19.13

Marshawn Lynch : 2013′s Most Effective Commercial Pitchman

Posted in Gridiron, The Marketplace at 11:17 pm by

(link courtesy Tim Cook). Your move, Baron Von Raschke.

For Sale : Ambulance With 70K Miles, Needs New Paint Job (Badly)

Posted in Automobiles, Gridiron, The Marketplace at 11:12 pm by

DC Sports Bog’s Sarah Kogod reports a Redskins “fanbulance” (profiled in a 2011 WaPo item by Dan Steinberg) is currently being peddled by an unhappy owner :

“For Sale- Redskins Fanbulance. 70,000 miles, runs great, 4 new tires, keg tap on side, great stereo, 2 TV’s, new rims, all new floor & great paint job but with a horrible team. $38,000.”

One Steelers fan offered $22k for it if Korody was willing to paint it black and gold first. I have no idea what the Blue Book value on a 1992 converted ambulance is, but that seems fair.

11.18.13

Yao Ming : Joining Geoff Tate, Dan Ackroyd In The Pantheon Of Spec’s Liqours Autograph Session Stardom

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace, Wine at 11:47 pm by

Lest you think there’s something dubious about Yao Family Wines, no less an authority than The Wine Advocate’s Robert Parker claims “the two Cabernets are actually brilliant, and the Reserve bottling ranks alongside just about anything made in Napa.”

Of course, until Vin Baker has published a review, it’s still early days for the former Rockets center’s vineyard.

11.16.13

It Took A Nationwide Manhunt, But Tom Hoffarth Finally Found Someone Who Thought The Clippers Should Change Their Name

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 6:45 pm by

(how did Clipper Darryl escape the rebranding discussion?)

While there’s no shortage of voices suggesting Daniel Snyder abandon the Redskins name, the LA Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth is, I believe, the first person to advise Donald Sterling to change the name of the Los Angeles Clippers.  Calling the franchise, “a dysfunctional collection of Gilligans on the SS Minnow, from Benoit Benjamin to Wang ZhiZhi, with every other Olowokandi, Korolev and Closs in between,” Hoffarth proceeds to poll a number of NBA luminaries (including but not limited to Ralph Lawler, Reggie Miller and Charles Barkley) all of whom think, well, it’s a stupid idea.  Eventually, however, Hoffarth found a great mind that thought alike in the skull of David E. Johnson, CEO of “crisis communications” experts, Strategic Vision.

“People will always think of the Clippers of the past, as the poor stepchild (next to the Lakers), because it’s too embedded in the public perception,” Johnson said.

“If I was giving them advice, I say make a clean break from that stereotype and re-introduce yourself. Establish your own brand DNA. Establish a new story to tell, a new vision of who you are, where you’re going. Sell your new rationale.

“Start by giving fans ownership of a new name by polling them. Find a local artist, or have a contest with kids, to develop a new logo. Even if they’re not fans of the team, they’ll get excited with this creative rebirth and rebranding process.

“We’ve seen this with tech companies, lifestyle companies. It’s working already in New Orleans. You sell it to ownership by showing how this is also a great way of merchandising, and you’ll see a great return on your investment. Put it in brisk terms.”

Hoffarth then points out that Johnson’s company has — what’s the nice way of putting it? —- zero credibility whatsoever.  NEVER MIND.

11.05.13

Sandomir On The Mets’ (Most Recent) Relationship With A White Collar Criminal

Posted in Baseball, The Law, The Marketplace at 7:26 pm by

Lest anyone believe that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz’ 2012 settlement with Bernie Madoff trustee Irving Picard was the last we’d hear of Mets ownership’s ties to a sneaky wheeler-dealer, think again.  On Monday, Mets minority investor Steve Cohen‘s SAC Capital Advisors plead guilty to federal insider trading charges and agreed to pay a record $1.8 billion in fines. Cohen, who invested $20 million in the Mets last year, in unlikely to leave the ownership group in the near future writes the New York Times’ Richard Sandomir :

Should Wilpon and Katz — or Major League Baseball — push Cohen to sell his sliver of the Mets? Fay Vincent, a former baseball commissioner who is a securities lawyer, said of Cohen: “Don’t forget, there’s a big difference between the company being charged criminally and he being charged. At this moment, he hasn’t been nicked.”

But, he added: “Generally speaking, people in these situations come forward and say to the company: ‘What do you want me to do? I don’t want to embarrass you. You’ve got plenty of troubles as it is.’ And many times, the individual will leave.”

That may not be so easy at Citi Field. The limited partners have agreed not to sell their shares for three years — or until around March 2015 — and to offer them to existing partners first. Given the debt-filled recent history of the Mets, it is unlikely that Wilpon has $20 million lying around to return to Cohen as the team seeks, in the weeks ahead, to sign some free agents with the money now coming off its payroll. Other minority partners, like the comedian Bill Maher, may not be willing to finance Cohen’s exit.

And if his stake were then offered to outside bidders, how many people these days want to invest tens of millions in the Mets?

11.04.13

History’s Most Obvious Parody eBay Auctions, Pt. XXIII : Paging Billy Corgan

Posted in Professional Wrestling, The Marketplace at 3:20 pm by

…and if he’s busy, maybe Mets minority owner Steven Cohen would like to take a shot at the sports-entertainment business. It might take his mind off other problems.

10.30.13

Adam SIlver’s Big Opportunity : Become The NBA’s First EDM Commisioner

Posted in Basketball, The Marketplace at 10:02 pm by

“Imagine if the National Basketball Association partnered with EDM DJ/producers to create a next level marketing platform for the music, culture and progressive mainstream marketability of not just the league, but EDM culture and the longevity of the producers themselves?” That’s the horrifying fascinating hypothesis outlined by Do Androids Dance?’s Marcus Dowling, who while quick to note Rony Seikaly’s second act as a deep house DJ, argues, “the interplay between music and the NBA has existed but been not capitalized upon in a commercially beneficial and progressive manner.”

In this ideal scenario I have hand-picked franchises that have always or are currently showing an eye towards progressive ideologies, or, are located in cities wherein the tie between progressive idealism and electronic dance music is at a fever pitch. The DJ/producers involved? Even simpler. It’s a mix of top and rising names who are not currently affiliated with any one label in particular, and as well are closely affiliated with/grew up in that city, or are from within a 250 mile radius. The teams and producers that in my estimation would be incredible in the inaugural two-year run of the ideal scenario are as follows:

Miami Heat – GTA
Chicago Bulls – Flosstradamus (above)
Toronto Raptors – Wondagurl
Brooklyn Nets – Cousin Cole
New York Knicks – Baauer
Dallas Mavericks – Peligrosa
Los Angeles Clippers – TOKiMONSTA
Golden State Warriors – Nanosaur
Phoenix Suns – AZ Gunslingaz
Washington Wizards – Alex Young