Overlooked New York: Federal Hall National Memorial

Popular tourist destinations in Downtown Manhattan include the 911 Memorial, City Hall and Wall Street. 20140213_094318Even though many tourists stand in front of Federal Hall National Memorial, and take pictures of the statue of Washington on the steps, only a few actually go inside the historic site.20150217_105641This is odd because it’s not only free, but also quite warm.20150217_105302

20150217_104723There’s interesting things to learn. 20150217_104910 20150217_104938 20150217_105043And best of all – no guns are allowed.20150217_105447

Overlooked New York: The Cunard Building

20150223_073850_resizedBuilt in 1921, the Cunard Building stands at 25 Broadway, above Bowling Green, at the foot of Manhattan. 20150223_073944_resized20150217_10320220150217_103231Best known for housing the Cunard Shipping Lines, which built famed ships, including The Lusitania, Mauritania, Queen Mary & Queen Elizabeth. 20150223_074018_resized20150202_081419The building is also cited by Daisy Buchanan in The Great GatsbyThere’s a bird on the lawn that must be a nightingale come over on the Cunard or White Star Lines.daisy buchananPerhaps Mrs. Buchanan, if she were here today, would have even visited the Cunard Building for an afternoon meal.
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Sex: Lust at Heart

Espousing virtue when it comes to desire is a tenuous thing. This is not just because sex is often considered dirty by those proclaiming a purity of heart but more so that the self-same go incognito in pursuit of their own lust.Through the blindsThe internet provides the opportunity to delve into erotic fantasies, case and point being this blog, which had a surge of thousands of hits over the past few days from searches for “Jade Elizabeth Bachelor Playboy”. PornlandiaThis virtual world of sex amounts to a reported $14 billion annually, which means that porn, as shadowy as so many claim it to be, is a reality for the silent majority. nyuAnd so what of it? Can it not be left at that? Must there be shame attached to sexual desire? Why must there be some self-damning awareness for craving nakednesss?Screenshot (932)

Surely no one can claim anything wrong with the impulse, nothing out of the natural order. It would seem to be one of the great things about being alive.foam-party-a9l2However the lectures on decency and propriety always follow, inspiring schizophrenia in the listener, who must fight a natural impulse. Indeed, trying to be good and pure isn’t just difficult; it’s impossible.

The most common route – and most damaging – is to find shame in the desire and target the object of lust for this urge.party witchThis violent demonization of sexual imagery, turning women into disposable objects, is founded upon a system where men seek to control women through mysogenic messaging.perfumeIt’s a lame-brain rouse that has dragged on for thousands of years (Yes, literally thousands.).a-scantily-clad-pamela-anderson-starred-in-this-ad-which-was-banned-in-montreal-because-it-was-sexist

The issue is skewed, everything muddled between the left and right brain, just because of the premise that there might be something wrong with desire.

statuesA sensible route would be to simply exit these sanctums gated by moral doctrine, therefore rejecting the shame that judgement wields.naked parkour

And then the object of desire is no longer the issue, and instead it is only a matter of understanding and accepting the passion in oneself…and then clicking a button to see what’s thereScreenshot (928)

Bachelorette Jade Elizabeth: Condemned for Sex

I feed my guilty pleasure for The Bachelor not because I want to see anyone find “true love” nor participate in a drinking game based on the amount of times a character says, “This is amazing!”, but rather to witness the humorous and pathetic decline of American civilization. The Bachelor season 15Last night’s episode (Week 8 of Season 19) was no exception. Viewers witnessed Jade Elizabeth reveal pictures from her Playboy shoot to Bachelor Chris Soules on her computer. JadeshowsnudesConfused between arousal and indignation, Chris bumbled through a proclamation that he would stand behind Jade if he were to choose her as his intended…and then went on to dump her the next day. Jade criesThe Bachelor offers that unique hybrid of American television which attempts to straddle the impossible: trashy titillation and a wholesome Christian story. bachelor bikini girlsGirls get drunk, do various stunts in bikinis, act with spite and scorn toward one another and then reflect thoughtfully on their Christian values and what it is to love. vancouver bachelor girlAs amusing as all of this might be, I do find myself getting irritated at the hypocrisy when it is so foully-craft as the broadcast last nightbachelor-newmexico-1Forgetting the fact that Chris, while promoted as true and pure, has at the very least indulged in porn-surfing and attended a strip club or two, no matter what he, his family, town or state might think of making money (or just expressing oneself) through nude modelling, it is inane to judge anyone on these standards. Bachelor JadeAs it states in the Constitution of the United States, a document fervently cited by Republicans, Democrats, libertarians and capitalists alike, it is everyone’s right to exercise “the blessings of liberty to ourselves.”

An issue to consider instead might be the presence of guns in the household of potential mates. Indeed, what if it turned out that one of the contestants had a relative who had a treasure trove of assault weaponry in the home? Would the music turn ominous? Would the bachelorette scowl and flee? Or would she be forced to don her bikini and let her rip? girls shoooting it upAs for Jade, I hope that the producers of The Bachelor have the wherewithal  to select her for next season’s Bachelorette so that we can watch all the eager boys shrug off her so-called past “for all the right reasons.”california-bonafide-163

The Proliferation of “The Last Supper”

While in New Orleans, I was intrigued by a poster called The Last Session.

Joshua Walshs "The Last Session" features Louis Armstrong as the Christ figure.

Joshua Walsh’s “The Last Session” features Louis Armstrong as the Christ figure.

In trying to research who each of the figures of betrayal were in the work, I was quick to learn that parodies of Leonardo Da Vinci’s 1498 iconic work are common as thieves. 
SuperSuppercroppedwonderland-last-supper-1038x57620140124_170146-copylast-supper Marithe-Francois-Girbaudthe-last-supper-03 copyBetterLastSupper the-last-sessionlast-supper-mash041009_supper_3 VICE_SUPPER_BBD_Online_RGB_INTL-1The proliferation of this icon, re-branded and spun, is confusing to say the least, an image that everyone seems to know and yet no one understand. ht-funphotos207Yes, just like getting a tattoo.

How to Solve The Five Big Problems for the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have sunk into a terrible morass from which there seems to be little escape. The players are adrift, the coach at a loss, while the media metes out blame and the fans cry in dismay. B9G9hrkCUAAU-WoRather than plunge into some sort of Robespierre frenzy, I suggest the following:

Problem #5: Vitriolic Toronto Sports Media. The Toronto sports media, as eager to deify as they are to condemn, is comprised of knee-jerk simpletons who make as many bad judgements as they do unintelligible puns. B2yA4mcIEAANrAz.jpg-largeThese clown are stupid enough to seriously suggest that Kessel be traded – Are they nuts?!? Solution: Change the channel and watch highlights of the 1993 Playoffs instead.

4. Ineffective Coaching. Ron Wilson (2008-12) and Randy Carlyle (2012-15) provided no direction for the players, beyond yelling and making snide remarks. wilson-preachWhile Horachek struggles to implement a system, it appears that his time will also be limited behind the bench. Solution: Mike Babcock needs to be hired, and Brendan Shanahan is the man to do that.

3. Infantile Fan Base. Sports fans are not known for a generosity of spirit nor intelligent analysis. For a market like the Leafs, where hockey is religion, it is all the worse. The symbolic throwing of team jerseys is emblematic of these childish reactions. imageSolution: Encourage your neighbor to give his jersey to a kid and maybe yell at the Flyers/Canadiens/Bruins/Rangers instead.

2. Lack of Team Leadership. Being captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs is a heavy burden to bear. It is not as much a matter of talent as it is of a confident, under-stated personality such as Dave Keon, Wendel Clark and Mats Sundin all had. 12822218153230Dion Phaneuf is not like these men. As skilled as he might be, he talks too much, often out of turn. Solution: Trade Dion Phaneuf and appoint a new captain in the off-season. James Van Reimsdyk is a good option to consider.

1. Team Management in Disarray. The ownership is weighed down by a bureaucratic board of governors, focused on making too much money, burdened by a history of poor management practice. 940-ballard-8colThis problem is the trickiest of the lot. Hopefully these suits can be swayed by Brian Burke’s wisdom: “They’ll name a street after whoever brings the Stanley Cup to Toronto.” Solution: Remind the board that they hired Brendan Shanahan to be president, and to let him do just that.

BAM Marathon: The Iceman Exhausteth

The Brooklyn Academy of Music is currently staging Eugene O’Neil’s marathon play, The Iceman Cometh. icemancometh_1At just under five hours (!!!), the play delivers its message in the form of a blunt object (“the pipe dream”) ad nauseum, inducing an uneasy drowsiness for actors and audience alike.nathanlaneWhile the acting of Nathan Lane, Brian Denehy et al is solid, as are some tableau moments, the trauma of this painfully slow drama begs the services of a certain tool. wood_chainsaw2The highlight of the evening was in fact the relief of it being over and then getting on the NBA All-Star subway train home.NBAtrain1Although even this moment of reprieve became painfully slow.NBAtrain4