Friday, June 29, 2012

Just The Flax

Our reporter, Squire Tuck, spent a day in the city. Here's what he had to say:

* Walking up the stairs from the train platform into Grand Central Terminal, a voice from my left, "Great suit." A college-age young lady wearing a white cap with a navy H, backwards. The blue/white seersucker, of course: always gets a comment, a smile or a nod. BTW, did you think that you could only wear a solid shirt with that striped seersucker? The whole world is in flux; what's with the caution? You can wear a soft check or stripe. Choosing a tie? The solid navy knit, made in Italy! What else?

** Socks with suits! Time to put away those merino wool socks with your sweaters, in boxes with cedar bars or balls. Also, the summer sock sale is on. Brooks Brothers & Others may call them "hose." We buy them now, on sale,  so that we do not get hosed later, actually. Buy 3-4 new cotton pairs for warm weather and 2-3 merino wool for next season (trust me: just do it). Why do we do this now? We save 40% at Brooks Brothers buying six pair! Like AmazonBrothers at these prices. Get thee.

Summer Whites
The salesman at BBs told me that most people wear the wool socks all year round as if that was written in some style catechism. Wrong! Worsted wool suits, if not too finely woven, breathe well in summer. Socks, crushed between your feet and leather shoes, do not. Your feet get too warm. Get good cotton ones, which will hold the dye well and not fade in the laundry for at least two seasons.

Shoes are the most important element in a business wardrobe, because even a bespoke suit cannot overcome the discomfort of wearing the wrong shoes. Your shoes want to sit next to cotton in summer the same way you want to sit next to the girl in the cotton dress on the train, bus, plane, boat in summer.

*** Beautiful June day in the city. Getting a little tired of walking, or your D-width Prada oxfords, bought long ago on a lunchtime whim, squeezing your E-width feet? You can still enjoy the sunny day: take the #3 Madison Avenue bus uptown, instead of the Lex subway.

Just The Flax, Please
Tip: you'll need to know a little trick about paying the fare with your Metrocard. The picture of that card on the fare boxes of all NYC buses shows the yellow side with black strip up. Actually, you must put your card in the slot UPSIDE DOWN with the black strip to the right. Legions of tourists and many New Yorkers have been at the mercy of impatient drivers, since people do as the photo seems to indicate. Wrongo.

Always been that way, always will. In New York we say, "If it's broken, we'll find a way around it." And do. Every time. We tend to rollover things, rather than fix them through the long corridors and paper trails of city agencies, committees, community boards, councils, union offices, etc.

**** A word on those summer linen wrinkles. Flax. This natural fibre likes to bend, crease, and generally look unregulated. Let it be. Otherwise, you'll be standing around on breezeless evenings, sweltering in that wool blazer looking stiff, which is different from neat . Wrinkles are neat. Just reporting the flax.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tennis Shorts

The Fred
* Scary Moment: Play at Wimbledon was suddenly halted Monday on Court 7, when one player rushed the net and hit a volley. The umpire and line-persons were stunned; the opponent was offended. Nobody had seen a volley at net in years and officials were not sure if it was a legal shot. Several spectators had to be treated for a form of vertigo. Play continued, with the offender promising to stay at the baseline.

At last report, the net had fully recovered from its close exposure to a player.

* Ch-Ch-Ch-Chattered. ESPN was generous in its coverage of actual play on The Championship's first day with nearly 20% of coverage devoted to match action. ESPN has limited court-side chatter among its 45 announcers to 50% of coverage time, with the remaining 30% reserved for commercials.

ESPN is experimenting with allowing announcers to narrate while points are being played, including having the announcers predict a player's shot before they actually make it.

Ann Hayden Jones

* Royal Rumors... are flying about the Queen's possible attendance at Centre Court in her Diamond Jubilee year. Usually, the Queen leaves this royal role to lesser immortals. Apparently, She Who Really Must Be Obeyed is keen on the idea as long as a British player makes it to the finals. Reportedly, she wanted to know Bobby Wilson's and Ann Jones's chances this year.

* Terrible Twenty-Twos. American player, Donald Young, was defeated in his first round match. This was his twelfth loss in a row on the tour.

When asked if it was time for the 22 year-old Young to hire a new coach to replace his parents, perhaps former coach Patrick McEnroe, his mother responded: "McEnroe constantly forgot Donald's feeding times and refused to carry his racquets for him. Enough said on that subject. It's just a phase."

Young could not be reached for comment. He was napping.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Then, I'm Sixty-Four

"Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?"
-Lennon & McCartney
And then, you really are sixty-four!

Way back when I turned sixty, I created a personal slogan, which went like this:

                  “Sixty. Twice as good as thirty.”

Even I almost believed it. Another version, for potential employers was, “ It’s like hiring two thirty-year olds!” They didn’t buy that one. Yet.

One of the reasons that you’re reading this is that editors looking for “content,” as they call essays, reporting, and stories these days, never ask my age. Sometimes they can tell by the content that I’m a Boomer, but, frankly, they don’t give a damn. They just need a good story, amusing content (hopefully, in my case) to lure readers towards the advertising, which barely pays their rent, if not mine. Yet.

Loyal readers of my blog know that I begin each day with a zen-like exercise, walking a small white dog on a red leash. Some monks like to sweep or rake, others sit on cushions. I like the illusion of walking the dog; illusion, since, from the dog’s point of view, she could just as easily be walking me, tethered to her red collar.

On days when the ideas are freely flowing and I cannot wait to get to pen and paper or keyboard, she tends to take a long walk, lingering over every blade of grass, every whiff of Chien No. 5 along the hill on which we now live. Naturally, she is speedy on days when I have no clue, 

Either way, a lesson of sorts learned, and there’s still time to sweep the stairs or rake whatever. Leaf-blowers are the agents of the devil.

Where were we? Sixty-four.

It’s an underappreciated age, of course, being situated between the magical sixty and the former traditional retirement age of sixty-five.

Former, since many now will not go gently into that particular night, out of preference, necessity or both; and, for all practical purposes, ninety-eight percent of us will now recognize retirement age as being anywhere from seventy-five to eighty, if you’re into that kind of thing at all.

I have heard certain citizens rail for years against “entitlements,” then be first in line on the day they become eligible for senior citizen train fares, shoving their proof between the bars at the ticket office like one who has just made bail. Who among those brave protectors of individualism chooses to deny themselves Social Security or Medicare benefits, despite proclaiming every which way that both systems are heinous crimes against fiscal and actuarial sanity? Few. Well, okay, none. But this is not for me to decide. Yet.

At sixty-four, one avoids any trauma associated with milestone birthdays. Its cousins were good ages as well: four, sixteen, thrity-two. All of those were easier than five, eighteen, and thirty, since there was far less of a sense of expectation. 

In my day, we began school, kindergarten (PS 101), at five. At eighteen, we a) registered for the draft and then b) went out and had a legal beer, although it was far from our first. At thirty, we considered ourselves to be hopelessly old and began to accept the fact that we were getting remarkably more like our parents every day; and, what was even stranger, as we did this our parents began to look so much better than we had thought! I do not think my own kids have suffered that fate. Yet.

I recently came across a Middle-Eastern saying, “First yourself, then the universe.”

I’m putting that one on my wall. Selfish, you say? Not in the sense in which I received the message: take care of your own business, before you manage everyone else’s. I’d say tend your own garden, but that’s a sore subject around home, ever since I took a pitchfork to the common sprinkler system, while planting, which I do once every decade to remind myself why I prefer digging with a pen.

Sir Paul McCartney himself was on the telly the other night singing for my birthday; the Queen happened to be there too. He didn’t sing When I’m Sixty-Four, but, Paul being Paul, he had some excellent lyrical advice for anyone at any age.

“Let it be.”


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Did You Know!

* That there is a U.S. Presidential election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012, which will decide the country's leadership through at least 2016, one of the most critical periods in our history; and, that there are actually two candidates already campaigning all around the country putting forward their own best ideas and demonstrating their own well-honed leadership skills?

No, we didn't either. But, here's a convenient synopsis of that campaign so far:

 44: Forward!

"45:" Back!

 44: Keep Talking.

"45:" Pound Them Now.

 44: Better Schools!

"45:"No Free Lunch!

 44: Save the Euro.

"45:" Moussaka this.

 44: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

"45:" Apple Bobber!

 44: Buffet.

"45:" Diet.

 44: Debt.

"45:" Equity!

 44: Health!

"45:" Wealth!

 44: BYO.

"45:" BYU. 

 44: Public.

"45:" Private.

 44: Unions.

"45:" Marriages!

44: Let me finish.

"45:" Please!

 44: O!

"45:" Oh Boy!


Saturday, June 16, 2012

June Gloom? No. A Few Really Good Things!

Or, Keds
* June. Early morning. Not a cloud anywhere.

Junes gone by. Saturday morning. Brand new white canvas US Keds at the bottom of my bed, maybe PF Flyers, depending on the year.  The end of the long school year in sight. I'd turn off the big radio on the table above my head, hot from the vacuum tubes being left on all night, since I'd listened to the Giants' game and then short wave. I'd  throw back my Navajo blanket, leap up, landing perfectly in my new sneakers (in my dream/memory) and had them tied before you could say Snap, Crackle, and Pop!

Is there anything better than a clear sunny June morning? True love, you say? What's true love without June!

* The talking heads and remaining newspapers have many of us all aflutter about the Euro and Sunday's vote in Greece, the cradle of democracy. Maybe we should make that sanitarium of democracy. Poor Greeks: what a choice. Rule by dreary economists and clubby bankers or new friends waiting in the wings, Raz-Putin's Russia and Iran, pocketbooks and oil in hand. 

Left with that choice, I'll take June!

* With all the ruckus about all the things that have gone bad in our world, let's take time to point out some things that are just as good or better than ever. Not kidding.

1. Cars. Yes, Detroit had three and a half flats and Toyota had the yips. But, remember those clunkers your parents had back when you wore those canvas sneakers? Having a tire (tyre for some of you) puncture every vacation trip. Fan belts always breaking. Embarrassing overheated radiators in traffic! Even a modestly priced vehicle today, especially a modestly priced one,  goes 100,000 miles with few problems. My '97 Jeep (knock on wood), owned by Chrysler at the time (Chrysler!), is still a gem. Be thankful.

2. Weber Grills. My newish kettle was a present from a friend. Yes, we know about gas grills. Yes we've had a hibachi phase. The Weber kettle is affordable and perfect. Steve Jobs could have made it.
I use a mix of lump hardwood charcoal, preferably imported from Argentina/Uruguay, and regular briquets. Get your napkins.

3. Local Food/Grocery Stores. Your great-grandparents may have had produce this good, because they lived near a farm, but just about anyone can walk to a superior market these days. As we speak, there's a Farmer's Market just down the hill. Variety, freshness, organics, even the cereal packaging is getting smarter/greener. Three brands of non-fat of Greek yogurt, everywhere! Grass-fed rib-eyes. Lobster at five bucks a pound. Local Truck-food: Tandoori take-away, Dave's Dogs, a creperie. Smile.
Get the chutney.

* In the interest of fairness, let's remember a few things that have been adequately replaced, but are missed:

1. Typewriters. They have been making a comeback recently and eBay is filled with bids for Olivettis, Hermeses, Underwoods (we have our own Remington Noiseless). Using MS Word or Apple Pages is convenient, but the best thing about typing don't need a stinky printer! The page and carbon copies are right (write?) there in your hand, white-out and all.

2. Transistor Radios: Ipods/iphones? Sure thing. I sometimes listen to Giants games on the MLB app. But, more often, I take my LL Bean Eton transistor radio to the beach, where I listen without headphones. 1959 all over again. Actually, better. Giants are better too, but no Mays, McCovey, Marichal.

* June. Camp soon. No parents. Letters, in the real mail. Maybe. Come, take me home. No, don't.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Dis N Dat


* A friend of mine lent me his copy of Meyer Berger's New York. "Mike" Berger was a New York Times columnist in the Fifties, who made the big city seem more like a small town, only better. Here's a timely and fascinating sample:

"Nowadays (1953) the major lower-city banks burn billions of dollars worth of matured bonds each year and...few are aware that fortunes are undergoing cremation...Big banks have cremations on average of twice week...Some banks have put as much as $750,000,000 through within a twelvemonth."

Hah! If he were alive today, Berger might be surprised to know that today's "banks" like MF Global or JPM Chase don't even wait until maturity, and sometimes burn-up $2-3 Billion or more in bonds in a day or two. Even more. Turn them into dust.
Talk about productivity gain!

* How much do I love baseball? Enough to board a 1:57pm Acela Express in Stamford for a ride to Penn Station, Baltimore on a rain-threatened day to watch the Orioles take on their 1971 and 1979 World Series opponent, the Pittsburg Pirates, who won both in seven games? Well, yes. 

My friend and host Dave and I arrived in that dingy, unkept (by Grand Central Station standards) station before 5pm and then boarded the Light Rail for Camden Yards. Camden was the first of the "friendly" type ballparks, based on Wrigley and Fenway. That formula has been overdone, and, with the introduction this year of the Miami Marlins new stadium statement, run its course. But, Camden, the original throw-back, is still magnificent.

Along the way, our rail attendant highly recommended Mo's Fisherman's Wharf Seafood Restaurant. So, we knew we could not lose, even if the game was rained out.

As it happened, the skies cleared and we sat practically on first base, in the first row, courtesy of the owner of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, co-owned by one Cal Ripken, who is somewhat known in the area. From that venue we could see that baseball is a whole lot harder and faster than that game we see on the little TV screen. Think of it as the difference between seeing a snapshot of Giselle Bundchen and actually siting next to Giselle in the dugout, live. Substantial.

A Fan, Live. Swear.

Since we had to catch the 9:28 back to Penn Station, NY, we left before the fifth inning, with the Orioles ahead. Eventually the two teams would blast 25 hits, 5 of them homers, and the O's would win 9-6. How much do I love baseball? Enough to take the slow Amtrak train home, hop a taxi, get the 1:15am local and arrive home just after 2am: a twelve hour round trip to see two hours max of live baseball? Indeed. Worth it too.

* The entire staff here has been working on a little book for a major publisher (RareBurghers Press). The book takes some well known sayings and, there is no polite way to say this, makes minced-meat out of them, with illustrations (as soon as we find an illustrator). Here are a few samples:

                                               A walk is as good as a hit?
                                               Certainly not.
                                               Not even close. Not even a bunt.
                                               A walk is a stale bun without the dog.

                                                Living well is the best revenge?
                                                Vengeance always gets in the way of living truly well.              
                                                 Poetry Updated:

                                                 1) There was no frigate like a book.
                                                 2) Two roads diverged in a wood one day,
                                                      But, luckily, I wasn't in the woods,
                                                      when it happened.


Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Style: Dos, Don'ts, Don't Even Think Abouts

G.B. Shaw famously said, "Youth is wasted on the young." My general advice is to prove him wrong every day. BTW, Shaw lived to be ninety-four. A colossal waste of his time, one presumes. You'll do much better, I'm sure, and with style.

With the passing of Memorial Day Weekend, unofficial summer has begun. This brings to mind several seasonal style tips:

* Fashion statement? If you think it’s making a statement, leave it at home. Style becomes you; statements are a distraction.

* Guys, thinking of wearing a tee shirt under your polo? Think again. A collared, short-sleeved polo shirt can appropriately replace the formality of a dress shirt and the total informality of a tee shirt. Not only is there no need to wear both a polo and a tee, doing so makes you look silly, at best, and, worse,  may indicate questionable bathing habits. Drop the tee, please.

* Since it's June, we can safely wear our tan poplin, linen, or blended (we do not mean poly)-fabric suits. If you've been looking at menswear ads or GQ editorial pages and the like, you might be tempted to wear a white shirt with the tan suit. Do not do it. Wear a solid light blue or a stripe, or another color that "suits" you. Save whitey for the seersuckers. 

* You don't have one seersucker suit for summer? Shame. Get one or two. As a rule, the narrower the stripes and the puffier the cloth, the more expensive the suit may be. But, as long as you stick with 100% cotton, you'll find a good one. Wear the jacket as an extra sport coat with solid light-weight trouser or shorts. Just don’t do that in the city.

* While we’re on the subject of dressing for the city. Unless you are a fashion model, a recently retired stud-hockey player, a major upside participant in the Facebook IPO, or are attending a script meeting do not even think about wearing one of those short-panted suits without socks to a job or anywhere else. You will look ridiculous, especially if you wear those thick brogues. The men’s designer, Thom Browne, started the whole thing a few years ago to make a splash. Splash made. Now that we're all dried-off and grown up, let's dress like it.

* If a lady you know happens to slip and ask you to carry her cosmetics in your jacket pocket for her, perhaps even a single small tube, just tell her your pockets have holes in them. If she questions the veracity of that, tell her you’ve decided to leave your jacket at home and drape a light sweater, merino will or cotton/silk will do, around your shoulders. If she persists, and if she's really THE one, you'll have to tell her that it's simply not possible for you to do this and retain her true respect. Gentlemen do not carry cosmetics for ladies, at least without a really good fight. And, Ladies shouldn’t ask.

* Men, if a woman you know begins a sentence, "Does this dress make me look...," you might try a) falling  on the floor with sudden convulsions; b) telling the truth, whatever the consequences; c) lying, whatever the consequences; d) agreeing, gulp, to carry her lipstick, if you don't have to answer; e) trying to recall how Lincoln handled this in the TV ads; f) Thinking, "Youth is wasted on the young."

* Headed for the city wearing shorts? No, you are not. Do you want to be mistaken for someone visiting from Peoria, IL or Raleigh, NC?  Of course not. Those are fine places where people can wear shorts anywhere and eat 3,000-calorie lunches and drink sweet tea. Gentlemen of any age do not wear shorts in the city (Manhattan), unless they are playing tennis in Riverside or Central Parks, exercising outside for short periods, or attending a baseball game or US Open in the Bronx or Queens, which, technically, are on Long Island and more or less upstate.

* Our summers are much warmer on average than they used to be just a few years ago. In order to keep your face covered, it’s a good idea to wear a hat while walking the city streets. A “cap” is not a hat, and a baseball style “hat” is definitely a cap. We are talking about a straw hat of some kind with a brim wide enough to shade your face, but not so wide as to give you the “farmer-gone-to-town” look. Choose a natural straw model whose weave leaves room for some air to circulate. Too tightly-woven straws do for your head what polyester socks do for your feet. Burn Baby, Burn. If you can, buy two hats, because you’re going to leave one on the train, same as your umbrella.

* A serious message for young men and women. Why do you think they are called gym shorts?

Ed Note: Lady Burghers, tired of having to leave your mules home when attending an outdoor party so you won't sink into the lawn, take a tumble, and generally embarrass yourself or worse? You have been rescued!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

American Tennis: Bringing Back The Love

French Open
The French Open at Roland Garros in Paris has always been an enigma of sorts to American players. For decades, this was mostly due to its being played on very slow red clay, the only major tournament not played on grass. American players (and fans) preferred faster surfaces, which rewarded serve and volley play.

Corporate sponsors, players, tennis academies and the international tennis federations have now conspired to homogenize all surfaces so that even Wimbledon's "grass" and Roland Garros's "clay" are high-bounce shadows of their formal softer selves. As for for the painted parking lots used at Flushing and Melbourne, the best that can be said for them is that they are relatively cheap to maintain. So, Americans will need to find another reason for the French Open continuing to be an enigma. the only thing that has changed is that every major seems to have become enigmatic for them, especially for the men.

Not a single American male player made it into the Third Round in Paris. How bad is that? A Canadian player made it. Repeat: a Canadian. He probably learned to play on skates! And, only two American men were seeded out of thirty-two seeds. Neither of them ( Roddick/Isner) had any serious chance of winning the tournament.

In contrast, three American women made the Third Round, and, amazingly, none of them were named Williams: Sloane Stephens, Christina McHale, and Vavara Lepchenko ( became a US citizen in 2011). The unseeded Stephens* and Lepchenko are now in the Fourth Round, a major achievement for these women and American tennis.

Yesterday, I watched some of Caroline Wozniacki's (9) match against Kaia Kanepi, which Kanepi won. The players looked like mirror images of themselves, using the same exact backhand and forehand strokes from the baseline, from which they seldom strayed.

In fact, with very few exceptions, all the players in both singles draws play exactly the same on all surfaces, as if they all had attended the same tennis academies or been groomed by a single national tennis association. There is very little creativity on the court these days, beyond the top three men and the Williamses, who are beyond their primes. Instead,  there is more pure athleticism than ever before. But, have you ever head a true tennis fan exclaim, "Hey, let's buy some tickets and go see some athleticism!" Not exactly. Save that for the NBA.

Eastern Europeans have made great strides in professional tennis, particularly the women, while American tennis seems to have become a distant fiddle to any number of other more popular sports. And, as with other sports, Americans tend to play collegiate tennis, unlike many of their global counterparts. By the time they graduate, it's far too late to play at the top international level.

Even at private clubs, tennis' popularity has fallen far. Courts which used to be filled at every hour on weekends, now go begging, and boys and girls are too busy playing organized team sports or golf and squash, anything to get a leg up at the best colleges.

The USTA's efforts to revive the sport have, to put it mildly, failed. What's more, by making a well-intentioned effort to bring the game to "inner city" boys and girls, they have entirely forsaken club tennis.

The seats and boxes at the US Open are mostly filled by corporate sponsors, whose guests want to see and be seen at an "event." America's best tournament has become a kind of corporate outing and the quality of players and play has become a sideshow. Everyone wants to see Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Sharapova and Anna Wintour.

Standardized Stuff
What a sad turn of events from the glory days of American professional tennis. John McEnroe is in the TV booth. Agassi? Sampras? Connors? Ashe? Pancho Gonzales! Evert? BJK? All gone. Poof.

One thing is for sure, expecting the USTA to revive tennis is like asking Verizon and AT&T to invent  the iPhone. It's going to take some renegade thinking, some radical approach, and the suits at USTA are clearly not up to it.

We've democratized, homogenized and monetized the game so much, we forgot to Americanize it. How will we convince people to play tennis again at all levels?

We may not know the answer, but, unlike the suits at the USTA, at least we know it's the question.

* Ed Note: Stephens was defeated in her fourth round match. The NY Times covered the French Open on page seven of Monday Sports, choosing to cover golf/Tiger Woods, the Egyptian soccer team, and a jockey's agent on page one. This is a monumental waste of their excellent tennis writer's, Christopher Clarey, talent. It is, however, a good indication of tennis' place in the American sports editors'/fans' minds, such as they may be.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

More Rules: Inspired By Mayor Bloomie!

Croton Reservoir
New York City Mayor Bloomberg has come up with a controversial idea to disallow sale of any sugary drink in containers larger than 16 ounces. Initial reaction indicates that he has about as much chance getting this through as Governor Cuomo has of putting up a new convention center at Aqueduct and making gambling casinos the dead-end job engine of the state.

We'd like to take this opportunity to propose some of our own ideas:
1. Implement a minimum walking speed for tourists in Manhattan, so that residents do not have to slowdown or waste time dodging visitors, especially "strolling" Europeans. Don't they know they have a crisis on their hands? Time to wake up! Violators removed to the subways.

2. Temperatures in city grocery stores have plummeted so far, so fast, that patrons have begun wearing parkas to shop or leaving a heavy sweater in their re-usable grocery bags. Trying to buy milk or yogurt may result in frostbite. Summonses for violators. Bring back moderate grocery temps.

3. Far too much "conventional" produce and packaged goods at Manhattan Whole Foods shops. What's the point of the Whole Foods thing, if you have the same stuff as the other guys. Unhealthy. Stop already with this. Immediate confiscation of all conventionals.

4. Institue penalties for waiters asking New Yorkers "if they prefer bottled or tap water." Hello! Just because all of these wait-people migrated here from the midwest and other remote areas of the country, doesn't mean they have to treat locals like idiots. Everyone knows we have great tap water, so stop asking. Big summons for this offense.
5.Make it a law that mayors have to take a salary paid by citizen taxpayers. Even certain wealthy mayors, possibly even billionaires, maybe especially even billionaire mayors should have to take a paycheck. If they want to donate the whole thing, fine. But, citizens deserve the right to say that the mayor works for them, not for just himself. They should not be allowed to refuse the salary or to take something really insulting like $1. Fine for refusing to pass Go and take salary: $500,000 a month.
6. Regulate hot dog prices at Yankee Stadium and CitiField. A hot dog should cost no more than twice the the highest cost on the street, or $4. Tops. Also, give summonses to busybodies who try to tell hot dog customers that hot dogs are not good them. Hot dogs, at a price that does not insult real New Yorkers, are good for the soul. Some might go so far as to say that they, along with bagels and a slice of pizza are the soul of New York, not "Poland Spring or gelato!"

7. Remove all containers of juice that are not pure cranberry from the shelves! Finding just plain cranberry juice is nearly impossible to do in less than 45 minutes, because there are so many ridiculous flavors: strawberry-cran, apple-cran, grape cran, diet-grape cran. Cram those crans! We're all going blind trying to find the real thing. Make a rule to provide a whole aisle in every store with just plain old cranberry juice. No silly flavors!
This is a good start.