100 Things, 100 Days, 100 Posts: The List!

Sheeps Meadow BayFinally! My list of summer activities is complete! For those of you that don’t already know, I’m on a quest to accomplish a myriad of different things in New York City, and in my haste, I am going to accomplish 100 of them this summer!

From Memorial Day Sunday to Labor Day Monday constitutes the New York City summer, and in those 100 days (exactly) I will accomplish 100 Things. I’m already behind the pace, because on Sunday, I went to a barbeque, which wasn’t on my list, instead of hosting a barbeque, which was on my list.

That being said, I don’t know how wonderful my list actually is. I don’t have a ton of awesome cultural experiences, or those things that only New Yorkers know about. In my defense, I have lived in New York City for 9 years, and I have done a lot of those things, and I wanted this list to be about trying new things. So, my list includes hitting up a lot of restaurants and bars I have yet to frequent, along with trying out a lot of silly things I have always wanted to do but never gave the time of day.

Anyway, I will stop rambling. You can find my list of Summer Activities at the preceding hyperlink. I don’t plan on making any “real” changes to the list, but I might change a venue or two based on further reviews, information or costs.

You can also check out my blog posts about the personal growth I hope to achieve this summer. While the activities will give me a lot to talk about, I still need keep my head right and work on getting to where I want to go in life. This blog post lays out the agenda for the summer in that regard.

Let me know if you like the list and if there are any recommendations you have for me. I would prefer recommendations on the best times to hit some of these places up, but if you have additional activities that coincide with what you see on the list, certainly let me know and I’ll add those to the bonus section. So please, please, please, post your recommendations in the comment section below!

Also, here’s the list below, as well as the link my list of things to do:

  1. Hudson Terracehttp://uzonyc.com/KW
  2. Lucky’s Burgerhttp://uzonyc.com/Gp
  3. Black Iron Burgerhttp://uzonyc.com/zR
  4. Molly’s Buffalo Burger
  5. The Intrepid Museumhttp://uzonyc.com/r7
  6. Fontana’shttp://uzonyc.com/HX, http://4sq.com/ihpZiG
  7. Miss Favelahttp://uzonyc.com/ck, http://4sq.com/pDdPAO
  8. Whiskey Tavern
  9. Trump Soho Hotel – http://4sq.com/mU4TFP
  10. Rare View on a Thursday Evening
  11. Tribeca Grand Hotel
  12. Qihttp://uzonyc.com/LV
  13. Madison Square Park BBQ Block Partyhttp://uzonyc.com/wj, http://4sq.com/mUgtvV
  14. Macondohttp://uzonyc.com/rQ
  15. Habana Outposthttp://uzonyc.com/nj, http://4sq.com/nStH3t
  16. Fort Greene Parkhttp://uzonyc.com/aU, http://4sq.com/pTZDmj
  17. International African Arts Festivalhttp://uzonyc.com/ZY, http://4sq.com/qVEekY
  18. Hudson River Cafehttp://bit.ly/nfEYsx, http://4sq.com/odauar
  19. Bistro Ten 18 – http://4sq.com/onDpae
  20. Mets Game – http://4sq.com/o9BSSu
  21. Chow down at Red Hook Ball Fields
  22. New Museum Block Party
  23. Murray’s Bagels
  24. Crumbs Bakery
  25. Terrace in the Sky
  26. Vamos All You Can Eat
  27. Porchetta
  28. The Meatball Shop

Uzo’s Personal Summer To-Do List

The official start to my New York City rampage is here. As you all know, I will attempt to have one of the best summers of my adulthood this year, and all of it will be documented in my “100 Days, 100 Things, 100 Posts” series I’m doing here on my blog.

However, I think I need to do more than just have a summer predicated around doing things in New York; I also need to have a summer predicated around doing things for me!

Not to be narcissistic, but who should I rather throw myself at; this merciless city or myself? I think the answer is clear.

Thus, I have come up with several non-summer/non-New York things to do by Labor Day that you won’t find on my list of summer things to do, which I will unleash later on today.

Anyway, here is my personal summer achievement list:

Save Money…$1,000 to be Exact
One of the things I want to get better at, and one of the things this nation has to get better at, is saving money. I’m not talking about making more money, because that’s something Americans know how to “pursue” very well. I’m talking about legitimately saving money.

I was reading a blog post about saving money on mint.com, where it was suggesting that its readers become $1,000 richer by the unofficial end to summer, Labor Day. That’s all fine and dandy, but that’s not difficult enough for most people who make above a certain level of income. The real challenge is simply spending less. So instead of going about the Mint challenge by seeing if my net worth is $1,000 higher than it is today, I’m going to see if I can essentially save $10 a day during my 100-day summer. This will be hard, especially since it looks like I’ll be piling up the extra charges in an attempt to accomplish 100 things this summer. In case you’re wondering, my 100 activities do trump this particular goal, but I will do my best to achieve them both.

Read Two Fiction Novels
I am not a big reader of novels anymore. During my younger years, I certainly was, and I ready many a book that didn’t have much to do about anything in real life. But since being jaded by the capitalistic society we now live in, I have turned to news and “how to” books as my primary sources of active reading. So while I read a lot of news and stay alert on the latest in technology, media and how to win friends and influence idiots, I can’t partake in a conversation about the latest New York Times best selling fiction novel. So I will indeed try to get some fictional reading in this summer—hopefully, some travel time will allow me to do so.

Finish Two Scripts
I have been working on two projects for way too long. One is my independent movie, which I plan to have financed by the end of this summer. The other is my television show, which I want to pitch this fall. Obviously, if I want to achieve those two milestones, I have to have a damn script. So it was written, so it shall be done…by Labor Day!

Get to 230 Pounds
To be honest with you, I don’t even know what I weight right now, but I know two things. One, whatever I weigh, it’s not healthy. And two, I certainly don’t compare well to the Old Spice deodorant guy. So, I’m making it my mission to get down to 230 pounds! I always felt good around that 220 to 225 mark. I don’t know what the hell I weigh right now (my guess is 250), so I don’t want to make the goal too unreachable by going with anything more than 20 pounds away.

Get My Jump Shot Right
Last but not least, I have to feel athletic again. Since college, I definitely have that post-athlete-traumatic-disorder syndrome. When you’re playing meaning sports for the majority of your life, you don’t get as hyped up about playing pick-up games are balling at the Y. There’s a certain rush to playing with teammates, referees, coaches and people’s whose heads you just want to rip off. Unfortunately, I will probably never be in that position again-but dammed if I don’t give it some sort of try. I’m sure I’ll never be noticed by an NBA scout, but if I can just get my jumper back this summer, I should be able to feel like an athlete again, instead of the aging veteran I feel like now as I trot up and down the basketball court during New York Urban League games.

Bonus: I’m thinking about training for a triathlon. Not an iron man or anything, but either the “sprint” or “Olympic” triathlon races. I’ll keep you updated, New York City!

Bonus #2: I thought of another thing to accomplish this summer after publishing this post. I have to be more friendly. I’m a bit of a loner and I am not always the most inviting person in the room. I need to work on that, so as a part of my 100 things to do this summer, I am trying to do them all with a group of people. So I am including a column in my summer activities spreadsheet that tracks whether I did the activity alone or not. Partaking in an activity with my girlfriend, obviously, won’t count as doing so with a group, but I will track that accordingly. My goal is do at least 50 of these activities in groups, so we’ll see how that goes!

Summer is Here!

new york city summerSay what you will about New York City weather, when summer is here, there are few places I’d rather be. Of my favorite cities, New York City trumps them all during the summer time.

Miami I love, but in the summer, it’s entirely too hot. Los Angeles is actually pretty nice in the summer too, but the city as a whole doesn’t get ramped up for the summer season because it’s warm just about all of the time. My hometown, Austin, is awesome, but that’s another city that gets really hot this time of year. And Chicago is another great summer city, but it’s just a scaled down version of New York without the escape to the many nearby summer locales.

In New York City, summer is like no other season here. Gone are the weather excuses, the busy work schedules, the sporting events and the entertainment hot season. They say New York City never sleeps, but when summer rolls around, in comparison to other New York City seasons, we’re about as dormant as can be.

There are Summer Fridays for most offices. Those that don’t have them have tons of vacation time in the summer. So much of our entertainment industry shuts down for the summer, sending regulars and freelancers on wanted/unwanted hiatuses for 2 and 3 months at a time. Wall Street slows down as everyone sells their stock on Friday afternoons and takes off to the Hamptons for the weekend. And of course there is the fact that the city pushes out street fairs, park events, beer gardens and even opens a damn island just for this time of year.

So as we sit here on the first weekend of the summer season, throw that drink back and think of what’s to come. Whether you’re lucky enough to grace the Hamptons, or social enough to have an after work event 4 our 5 nights of the week, summer in New York City has something for everyone, so make sure you get yours.

Uzo’s Summer in NYC: 100 Days, 100 Things, 100 Posts

Summer in New York CityDespite the constant rain, fluctuating temperatures, and everyday need for a jacket, believe it or not, summer is just about here. Even though summer weather isn’t consistent until the end of June, Memorial Day weekend is known as New York City’s unofficial start to the summer season. This summer, there are exactly 100 days when you count from Memorial Day Sunday to Labor Day Monday.

This summer, I plan to make those 100 days as unbelievably entertaining as possible. In fact, I plan to have about as fun a summer, day for day, as one can possibly have and still actually have some semblance of responsibility.

Thus, during these 100 days of summer I, Uzo Ometu, will do 100 things!

And when I say things, I’m talking about just about every New York City or summer activity you can think of—well, at least 100 of the ones you can think of.

So, I suppose there are two questions that come to mind when you hear a proclamation like that: what and why?

I’ll answer “what” part first. Essentially, I have compiled a list of almost 200 worthwhile things to do in New York City during the summer. I have perused countless online blogs, websites and directories. I looked at all kinds of travel guides. I’ve watched television and even listened to the radio to get the details on planned evens and summer activities in New York City. And of course, I’ve tapped some of my friends for their knowledge and experience having lived in New York City for just as long, if not longer, than me.

So what’s on this list, that I still have a week to narrow down? Well, being the fatty—I mean foodie that I am, there are plenty of restaurants on the list. However, I’m trying to combat the number of spots that restaurants and bars take up on the list by combining them into individual achievements. For example, instead of making each of the burger spots that I have failed to eat a single “to do” on my list, I made that one activity itself: Fourteen burgers in Fourteen Weeks, which is the number of weeks there are this summer.

Outside of food, there are a plethora of activities. I won’t go into too much detail now, because the list still has to be narrowed down and cultivated for diversity, but to give you an idea of some things, I intend on kayaking, boating, running extremely long distances, playing ping pong in weird places, wiling out in the Hamptons, frequenting rooftop parties, crashing parties, scavenger hunting, hitting up Broadway, watching movies on rooftops, barbequing in the park and venturing out to Governor’s Island—just to name a few.

Now to your next question, “why am I doing this?” There are a number of reasons. One, I don’t think I have ever fully embraced Summer in NYC! Sure, I’ve been here for nine years, but when you’re going to school here, learning the ways, trying to make a living for the first time in your life and using the summer as one of the best times to leave New York City, sometimes, you really fail to experience everything that summer has to offer. For example, I never even made it to Shea Stadium before they took it down, despite being here for about 7 years before they did. Another thing I haven’t done is visit the Bronx Zoo. And I still haven’t played softball in Central Park, despite having supposed to have been on several different teams.

Besides filling out my list of New York City To-Dos, I also just want to enjoy the city before I’m too old to do so. If you watch “How I Met Your Mother,” there is the one episode about things you can’t do once you’re over the age of 30. I’m quickly approaching that milestone, and I want to have done the things I would like to do before I’m too old to do them.

So here’s to my 2011 Summer in New York City! I’ve got 100 days to do 100 things. I can already tell you that I won’t do one thing every day, and that some weekends I might get five or six things done. But it is my goal to do all 100 things, and hopefully luck and finances will be on my side so I can do just that!

I will fill you all in at the start of the summer with my finalized list of 100 things, which will probably also include 10 bonus summer activities! See you in the summer!

Over the Weekend: Hooping It Up In NYC

This past Saturday I played basketball for a couple of hours out in New York City’s Chrystie’s fields. It’s not the meanest place in Manhattan, but there certainly were a lot of young men out there taking advantage of the first nice day in the city in a while.

I don’t get a chance to play basketball all that much any more. Between working at work, working at home, tutoring and coaching on the weekends and working some more, it’s hard enough to get in the gym, never mind dedicate a couple of hours, plus the necessary recover time, to playing basketball.

But I was out there. Several friends from work and I are joining a basketball league, and we thought we would try to get a sense of our talent level by getting in a couple of games. We played four-on-four half court four several hours, avoiding the ever-likely chance that a full-court game would destroy our 20-something year old bodies, no matter how young our birth certificates suggest we are.

My game was a little rusty, and the explosion I once had from playing basketball day in and day out and training in the weight room is no longer there. Of course, the cheeseburgers and Sunday pizzas probably didn’t help either. But the talent level is the same. The shot eventually felt a little bit more natural, and the post-up game is a live and well. My handle with the rock isn’t what it used to be with my left hand, but I think that will come back to me if I focus on that aspect of my game whenever we are practicing.

But you don’t want to hear about my game, my friends’ games or the how well we did out there in the mean streets of the Lower East Side. So I want to tell you any of that.

What I will do is paint a picture. Paint a picture of a spectacle that is oft-covered by still underrated. Basketball in New York City is big. It may be cold as hell out here for most of the year, but there is a dedication to this sport from its residents that is second to none.

Coming from Texas, we played basketball outside all year long. For as much credit as football gets, basketball is still a much easier game to set up and pretend as if you are a professional player on your home court. That said, my athlete friends and I were a little special. We played basketball outside for about a month straight during a terrible Heat Wave in 1998. I remember dribbling my basketball for 3 to 4 miles just to get to the court at 1 or 2pm in the afternoon under the blazing Texas sun.

New Yorkers, of course, don’t have to worry about heat—it’s the cold that’s a bitch. But this part Saturday, the weather finally bent. And like that first day of reasonable warm weather in the city in which every young lady in Manhattan comes out in a sun dress, this day of moderately warm weather had everybody with a basketball at the courts. It was only 50 degrees, windy and humid, but if you didn’t get out and play basketball on that day, you just didn’t want to play.

People were out in swarms, with big time games going down on some courts and friendly pick-ups going down on others, it was not-so-beautiful, beautiful day for basketball.

As for the picture I said I’d paint, perhaps I was a little over zealous. Unless guys talking trash, barking at each other, swinging to the hoop, setting picks and shooting the shit seems like the mental picture you want to set yourself in, perhaps this day of basketball in New York City isn’t for you. But it was perfect for me and the hundreds, if not thousands, of Lower East Siders, that played or watched basketball over the weekend. And if you want to know what that feeling was like, and you’ve never had your taste of New York City hoops, maybe, just maybe, I’ll see you on the court one Saturday in the future.

Gormandism: The Spotted Pig Has Spots

I went to The Spotted Pig a couple of weeks ago, expecting to have one of the better cheeseburgers of my lifetime. I went with friends from work, all of whom have a tremendous love for all things on a bun, and they too were expecting a whole lot of beefy goodness for the $17 they were about to invest in America’s most basic meal.

When we got there, the place was overrun with burger hopefuls. Granted, we already knew that would be the case. We were hoping that a Thursday night would be slightly different from a crazy Friday, the day of choice we had tried to go the week before. Instead, Thursday was about crazy as I could ever imagine the place, and the wait of 2 hours was all too familiar to the weekend wait times we had seen on yelp.com.

OF course, it didn’t help that we had rolled seven deep in this bar/restaurant, and it doesn’t help that this place doesn’t except reservations either. However, being the blood-sucking, money-vulturing, capitalistic restaurateurs that they are, they “kindly” recommended that we eat while standing up at the overcrowded, upstairs bar; thereby, guaranteeing that they wouldn’t lose us during the two-hour wait, and would still give them the same amount of revenue while providing us the service of a walk-thru McDonald’s drive in. Needless to say, we took the bait. Who the hell was going to wait two hours for a food item specifically designed for ease and quickness?

We got upstairs and we talked and we mingled. It was a fun group, so the wait wasn’t much of an issue. It probably took us a good 30 minutes just to get beers, and we literally had to fight for elbow room at various junctions of the bar just so we could talk to one another. Nonetheless, the burgers eventually came, one after the other, usually about 6-10 minutes apart. Knowing that was the case, we encouraged our first eaters not to wait for the rest of us, so they dug in. The reviews were good on the burger. My friends remarked positively on the bun, the preparedness of the beef and interesting taste that blue cheese gave this cheeseburger. I didn’t have to wait for their reaction to the fries though, as those were open season and I dug into them like nobodies business. The fries were indeed good—incredibly salty—but good.

My burger was one of the last, if not the last, burger to come out of the kitchen. Mind you, we were standing while eating these burgers, so I had to carve out some space on the edges of a platform that stuck out from a column in the middle of the bar space. I took my first bite of the burger, as a waitress excused herself past me on her way to the cash register, which was also conveniently located by my column, and I was overcome by the taste and aroma of blue cheese. To put it simply, blue cheese, in my opinion, does not go very well with salty foods. I couldn’t tell if it was the burger, this particular type of blue cheese, or the overly salted French fries, but that first bite of the burger was way too salty, and salt and cheese don’t exactly make for a dinner party in my mouth—know what I mean?

Of course, my ravenous appetite and “gluttoness” eyeballs weren’t going to allow me not to finish that burger. I downed it pretty quickly, staying away from the fries as best as possible, as the salt only added to the discomfort I had while eating the burger. Don’t get me wrong, it was very edible and I wouldn’t exactly throw it off my table if someone brought me one for free. But for whatever reason (cheapness), a $17 burger doesn’t taste that good when the beef is lacking flavor, the cheese is overly pungent and it feels as if salt is being poured onto your tongue while eating it. Perhaps that’s just me though.

So in rating the burger at the Spotted Pig, my firm, one-word review is “Overhyped.” That’s right, in the infamous words of Chuck D, don’t believe the hype. The Spotted Pig gets rave reviews, is crowded beyond belief each and every day, and in pictures, looks like one of the best burgers to ever grace the fine streets of the West Village. However, just getting to this burger, a food that by design is meant to be made quickly and easily, is far too painstaking to even be remotely worth the price of admission. Beyond that, the flavor is forgettable, the bun is too big, and the novelty of blue cheese is overdone and nixed by the overrun of salt surrounding the entire platter.

That being said, if you haven’t had it, I recommend you try it. While no one I know ever has any intentions of going back there, the place was and is always crowded, so I assume some people like it. Don’t’ go there trying to ask for it without the blue cheese or the salt mounds known as French fries, they simply don’t accept substitutions. Enjoy!

Over the Weekend: Teaching and Being “Teached“

Several weekends ago, I went through some preliminary training for the Achievement First tutoring program. Achievement First is a network of 19 public charter schools in New Haven, Bridgeport and Brooklyn. Like most charter schools, they have a unique approach to teaching their children. While I have only had the opportunity to see their teaching methods on video, the ones that I have seen are very forward-thinking. And of course, the children are absolutely out of this world.

This past weekend was my actual first tutoring session. While I certainly would never dare call my unqualified behind a teacher, I certainly felt like more of a teacher than a tutor on that first day.

After my 1.5-hour trek out to Brooklyn, the day started off with me arriving at the school and quickly realizing that I was 100% responsible for putting together the materials for the lesson I had planned. Not that I expected anyone else to do it for me, I just figured that everything I needed would be in one book, and that certainly wasn’t the case. So after I was finished going through dozens of math books, I went down to meet my scholars, which is what they are called in place of “students.” However, just my luck, none of my scholars for the first session showed up.

After seeing that I had no one to teach for the first 45-minute session, the head man in charge let me know that one of my scholars lived down the street and that he was going to make sure he got him to the school. The head man in charge, the principal, is definitely a strict, let’s get it done type of person, and low-and-behold, he had that kid in my assigned classroom with at least 25 minutes to spare.

To start the session, I tried talking the kid up a little. He was probably a lot more comfortable talking to me than I was talking to him. He was also a lot smarter than me, too, or at least a lot smarter than me at what I was supposed to be teaching him. First of all, in trying to teach him the communitive and distributive properties, which I had just re-learned the night before, this kid not only knew the stuff better than me, but when I tried to write a problem on the board, he took the marker and made the problem more representative of what I was trying to teach him. Secondly, at the tender age of 11, this kid already knows where he wants to go to school, and it isn’t to the local basketball power-house. This kid has his eyes set on Yale, a school I wouldn’t have even heard of prior to applying to college had it not been for that episode of “Save by the Bell,” when a bunch of colleges visited the school and offered Zach Morris a scholarship.

While I envied the brains and the forward-thinking of that kid, I was 100% thankful that he already knew what I was teaching him. That meant I just had to avoid messing him up, and I definitely avoided that—even though my questions seemed to be a little to easy for him.

During my next session, I wouldn’t have it so easy. I had two kids this session, both of which had issues with the order of operations. They were good to go on my other two focal points of the day, multiplication tables and inverse operations, but the order of operations weren’t their forte, which meant I really had to bring it. All and all, I think I did a good job of communicating everything to them. We worked out problems on the board, I let them do a little assessment at the end of class, and they asked all the right questions. Plus, teaching “Please excuse my dear aunt Sally,” is always fun, and they really loved working with that age-old acronym.

At the end of the day, we had pizza and wings with the kids, after the principal, who the kids love by the way, pressed their minds even more with some interesting questions in the cafeteria, where we ate. Al and all, I think I did an okay job. During my next tutoring session, I certainly hope to run a much smoother class and make sure I have problems that are challenging and most representative of what the scholars are used to seeing in class. However, I’m glad I did take a moment to get to know the kids that were in my class and talk with them a little bit. I think that will make things easier going forward if they know where I’m coming from and understand that, in a lot of ways, I was a lot like them growing up. If I can achieve that, teach them the material and demonstrate to them how all of this stuff will help them in real life, I really think that I can be pretty good at this tutoring/teaching thing….at least on Saturday mornings anyway.

The Big City Apartment Search

I’m not one for clichés, but if ever there were a cliché that accurately described an everyday occurrence, it would be an old favorite, “finding a needle in a haystack.” Because that is exactly how most New Yorkers, without a rich daddy or Goldman Sach’s performance bonus, would describe the process of finding a great apartment in New York City at a great price.

In the very last months of 2006, I became extremely interested in real estate. Actually, something many people don’t know about me is that I was a licensed real estate agent. I never wound up going into practice, because I got what was then a “dream job” (a purposeful use of a cliché there) at magazine here in Manhattan. Despite not ever going into real estate full-time, I did help out in the practice of it, and I also fell in love with all shows related to real estate. Continue reading “The Big City Apartment Search”

New Year, Same Old January

Non-crowded-GymIt’s my first post of the New Year, and I waited until the second week of 2011 to do it. Why? Because I was in too horrible of a mood to write during the first week of the New Year, just as I am every opening week of each and every New Year.

It wasn’t always like this. As someone who has always appreciated the joys of New Year’s Eve (it is my favorite holiday), I cannot help but be utterly disgusted by the days that follow. The first couple of weeks of the New Year are about as painful as any week there is during the year. From recognizing you’re overweight after all those holiday cookies, to feeling the financial burden of buying everyone gifts, January of each new year comes with unmitigated pain.

But what things bug me more than anything else?

For starters, I hate the fact that the gym fills up like the lunch line at McDonalds. Thanks to the grand tradition of New Year’s resolutions, people flood into the gym on January 1st as if there were a nuclear attack and gyms across America were the only structures built to survive the aftermath. It’s ridiculous. The locker room is usually overcrowded. All of a sudden, there is a line for the treadmills. And forget trying to use the bench press, there’s a line so far around the corner you’d make more progress doing push-ups for the next hour than you would trying to wait for that bench press. Worst of all, the people who are now turning your favorite gym into mad house are paying less than you are for it. Forget your physical prudence for signing up for a gym membership when you recognized you needed and not when there was some big country-wide promise, the people getting the best deals on gym memberships are the ones that sign up in January. Of course, it’s no coincidence that with these low prices, these new members have an attrition rate that is beyond belief. They gym is almost back to normal by February, and is well underway by March; thus, I await a better day, when bench presses aren’t an hour wait, and my time spent waiting for a treadmill does not eclipse the time I spend on one.

My other pet-peeve during January is the prolonging of “Happy New Year!” For God’s sake, that was cool at midnight, it was expected on the 1/1/11, and it was welcomed during that first week that most people go back to work. But I don’t need to hear “Happy New Year” in the second week of January. The year is already underway, buddy, move on! This shouldn’t make me come across as a Grinch. After all, I played along all Christmas long, and I celebrate NYE like no other. But I am not going to sit here and pretend like I’m okay with saying “Happy New Year” all the way until summer. There has to be an official cut-off point, and “No!” The end of January is not an acceptable termination date. There should be no more “Happy New Year” greeting after January 7th. If you go the last week of last year and the first week of this year, without saying “Happy New Year” to someone, the fact is that you really don’t care about those for whom you did not say it to. Obviously, there may be exceptions to the rule, but me, and the one or two of you out there who agree with me, don’t want or need to hear “Happy New Year” after the 8th of January. You here that my New York City friends? Spare me!

Lastly, it gets pretty damn cold in January here in New York City. I was walking to the store earlier; nothing but a t-shirt and my typical jacket on. As soon as I got outside, I regretted my decision. It suffices to say, I’m not the warmest dresser. I have one “winter” jacket, and if I’m not dressing up, I prefer t-shirts. That mindset does not equate to a warm body in most cases during January, making this a cold month for me, even when compared to “colder” months, like February, when I have probably have had time to adjust my way of dressing.

As for the rest of January, I suppose it has its perks. Companies too cash-strapped to throw holiday parties in December have them this month, and I will manage to sneak into a few. January is also a very good time to see a Broadway show of some sort. Still, I await February like an out-of-shape person awaits the treadmill at my gym after New Year’s. Hopefully, I will be able post another entry before the end of this gruesomely long month, but I can’t promise that, since I will likely spend a lot of my time waiting for a leg press machine.

Why don’t we have internet access in the subway yet?

iPad in NYC Subway stationWhy don’t we have internet access in the subway yet?

Wait! Before you answer that question, New York City, let me cover myself in case that actually exists by asking, “do we have internet access in the subway?” Because I find it so unbelievable that New York City hasn’t put internet access in the subway, that I have convinced myself that it exist and I just don’t know about it.

After all, we are in the freaking 21st century! It’s damn near 2011 and I don’t even have the capacity to check my email during one of my trips from Harlem to Brooklyn on the 2-3 train? For God’s sake, do you know the amount of information that goes through my 27 different email accounts during that time?

I truly don’t understand this. Especially since one would think that selling internet access in the subway would be as lucrative as all hell.

Seriously, even if you only spend 25 minutes a day riding the subway, how much do you think you’re willing to pay to make sure you can send out that funny tweet, receive that crazy email or finish sending that random naked picture through MMS?

As it has been well-documented on this blog, I’m the biggest cheapskate there is, and I would pay for it. I wouldn’t pay a whole lot, but $4.99/month is the most the MTA could ever get away with charging for that mess, and I know I would pay that much to carry on a phone-call from Skype on my iPhone just to stick it to the folks at AT&T!

Engineers, feel free to speak up, but I don’t see how this isn’t technologically possible. You put a couple of wireless routers in the subway cars, tunnels and those deep staircases/stairwells too, and in the words of John Madden, “BOOM,” you have internet!

I wonder what the issue is. Is it an infrastructure (i.e. MONEY) thing? Like I said before, this game plan of mine should make money for the cash-grubbing, money-flushing operation that is the MTA. Perhaps I’m oversold on just how many people would buy subway internet access, especially since richer people are less likely to ride the subway for extended periods of time.

But I’ll be damned if I don’t see more than my fair share of iPad users standing on the subway platform. And if they find enough time to pull out that overprized tablet PC and start watching movies and playing battleship, then they surely wouldn’t mind forking up a couple of bucks per month to keep that Wi-Fi access going while they are underground. Hell, you’d think AT&T would be all over providing this service in partnership with the MTA…then again; maybe I just gave them an idea.

Going back to my original point, I don’t think you all realize how crazy it is that we don’t have internet access on the subway. Literally, millions of people spend over an hour under the ground, each and every day in New York City, and they can’t access THE NET! We are probably the only city in the industrialized world where millions of people voluntarily forfeit being wired for that many hours a week. Don’t get me wrong, I know we keep ourselves busy with digital music, Brickbreaker, solitaire, the New York Times app and boy do I love my Dan LeBatard Show podcast. But I really hate it when I want to download the latest podcast episode, NYTimes article or a song that just came to mind and I couldn’t do it. And there’s no reason I shouldn’t be. Nobody in Austin, TX is deprived of that ability at anytime during their average workday—why am I?

Marketers! What are you all doing? Think of all the beautiful, engaging ads you all could be running right now if internet was available on the subway. You could do live promotions in subway cars at certain points in the city. You could tell me to text you a message from seat on the 4 train. I could check in on Foursquare at each subway stop on my way home and earn some type of “tunnel rat” badge that’s good for a free mouse exterminator consultation. Whatever it may be, the opportunity is there, and being underground without internet is failing us.

But back to my insecurities.

Is there internet access available on the subways in New York City? Is it just me that’s missing out? Are only rich people provided with this service as a means to get them to pay for the monthly metro card?

Seriously, I see some people on their phones and they look as if they are typing 8-page memorandums. In my introspective mind, I think I’m listening to a week old podcast because I forgot to sync my iPhone, while they are over there having an engaging conversation as they tweet or sext their way all the way back home.

Unfortunately, as someone who has demonstrated a diminutive amount of knowledge when it comes to the digital space, I don’t think that’s the case. There is no internet on the subway, and those fools typing away are probably writing up an email that they won’t send until 11 stops later on the D train. It’s a shame that in the media capitol of the world, anyone not rich enough to avoid the subway has to let go of live media for what probably amounts to an average of an hour a day. They say this is the city that never sleeps, but if you walk onto a subway with a mini-netbook hoping to reply to a day’s worth of emails, you’re better off putting your computer to sleep until the subway reaches your stop.