Author Archive

Ticked Off Travellers

September 27th, 2010 by Claudia Acevdeo

The MTA budget cuts and track repairs have affected commuters all over the city. Normal schedules are disrupted and lines are either cancelled or re-routed. Results range from over crowding on platforms and lengthened trips.

Four New Yorkers share their experiences of riding the subway in their daily routines.

Tuan Nguyen, age 29, from Manhattan NY. Regularly takes: 1 train.
1010 by caclaudiaacevedo

Ichi Vazquez, age 22, from Brooklyn NY. Regularly takes: A and C trains.
Ichi by caclaudiaacevedo

Chase Lindsay Rosen, age 22 from Manhattan NY. Regularly takes: B and D trains.
chase by caclaudiaacevedo

Claudia Acevedo, age 22 from Queens NY. Regularly takes: R and M trains.
Claudia by caclaudiaacevedo

Coffee and Cigarettes

September 27th, 2010 by Claudia Acevdeo

Gone are those days when you could sit at a bar and have a beer and a cigarette. Now there’s no lighting up after a big, satisfying dinner without leaving the premises. No puffing away your midday stress at a cafe. No early morning nicotine high at the diner. Mayor Bloomberg made sure to snatch those moments from you back in 2002, when he began his anti-tobacco campaign in the city of New York. It took some adjusting to, but everyone dealt with it.

What does the future of smoking look like? Eight years have passed and it looks like parks and beaches are the next setting for the war on cigarettes.

Bloomberg, an ex-smoker, wants to lower the percentage of smokers in the city to 12 percent by 2012, and forbidding people to open fire in public places is a step toward attaining this goal. His tactics have worked in the past. After the 2002 smoking ban for restaurants and bars, the percentage of New Yorkers who smoked went from 21.5 percent to 16.9 percent in five years.

While the effects of smoking and second-hand smoke are known to everyone who buys a pack, hardcore puffers are set on their ways and, for the most part, offended by the impending ban. It is hard enough for them to find a place outside an office building without a no-smoking sign. Ashtrays and smoking poles are now fewer and farther between. People feel forced to take their breaks out on the street, and much to the bemusement and chagrin of passersby.

What was once a common pastime and social facilitator is now a cause for shame and civil strife. But one of the serious setbacks for smokers is the pricing hike that took place this past June. A pack of cigarettes in Midtown Manhattan can cost you a whopping $14.50. That’s $174.00 a month if you buy three packs a week. That’s almost the equivalent of two unlimited MetroCards. You could also buy a one-way ticket to Puerto Rico with that kind of money. It’s enough to make you want to quit. Many people already want to.

It looks like there will be healthier people roaming our streets over the next couple of years, which means that there will be happier people too. Is this still the East Coast?

courtesy of The New York Times

Amazing Maize Maze

September 20th, 2010 by Claudia Acevdeo

This is the opening weekend of the Amazing Maize Maze, a 3-acre interactive corn maze in the Queens County Farm Museum that will run until November. Visitors have to find clues and complete puzzles in order to make their way out of the maze. The farm, which dates back to 1697, aims at educating visitors in sustainable agriculture.

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Jets Under Scrutiny Over Harassment Claim

September 14th, 2010 by Claudia Acevdeo

Ines Sainz, a beauty-queen-turned-sports-reporter for TV Azteca, is at the center of a sexual harassment investigation against the New York Jets. On September 11, the Mexican journalist was waiting to interview Mark Sanchez in the team’s locker room, surrounded by half-naked players (after she had balls thrown at her during practice). Ines was unpleasantly surprised and taken aback by the jeers and comments the men made about her appearance. She even wrote on her Twitter (in Spanish) that she was “dying of embarrassment” in the presence of “too much masculine hormone.”

After the incident, Sainz headed over to security to inform them of what happened and show video evidence. On Sunday, an NFL board member spoke to Jets manager Mike Tannenbaum about the allegations. By September 13, the issue had been taken on by the NFL. They are currently investigating players and coaches to determine whether or not there will be consequences. So far, Jets coach Rex Ryan and assistant coach Dennis Thurman look like they’re under scrutiny.

Shortly after the harassment claim was made, Ines was unexpectedly appeased with a simple apology by Jets’ owner Woody Johnson. On Monday, she told Spanish-language sport program DeporTV that she never felt offended or at risk while she was at the practice, even though she acknowledged the behavior was out of line.

Sainz, who is no stranger to the spotlight, has also been taking a media beating due to the clothes she decided to wear to the practice. Publications such as the New York Post have made it a point to show provocative pictures of the reporter at work. Commentators are appalled by her fashion choices to the extent of deeming her responsible for the harassment. She tried to defend herself against such accusations by tweeting a picture of the “appropriate” attire she wore on Saturday. It didn’t help that the picture featured revealing skin-tight jeans, an undersized white shirt, and high-heeled boots.

Carrie Bradshaw and the Disease of the “Modern Woman”

September 13th, 2010 by Claudia Acevdeo

My cousin has a Sex and the City quote application on her Facebook page. It gives her a different pearl of wisdom straight from the illustrious pen of Carrie Bradshaw each day of the week. The passage that is currently on her page says something about relationships living in glass houses and people refusing to settle for anything less than “BUTTERFLIES,” followed by an ellipsis.

While I love her very much and am all for not settling, “I can’t help but wonder” whether my cousin is my least favorite kind of New Yorker—the one suffering from the Golightly/Bradshaw syndrome.

After reading an inspired book review of Sam Wasson’s Fifth Avenue, 5 a.m.,I got to thinking” about a large group of women’s fascination with the “single, fabulous, promiscuous” type and how the false promise of a whimsy, sexy New York life attracts people like my cousin to this city.

Young girls and older girls flock to tours offering pre-paid cosmos and squeeze their way into crazy shoes in the show’s name. They have passion parties and swear by little black dresses. The truth is Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a sad novella. Sex in the city is a problem. Cosmos make you fat.

These fictional women are probably more hollow (and insensitive) than their social stature and taste suggest. Their actions have few or no repercussions. No matter how independent and interesting they might claim to be, they need a man’s validation. Also, “in a city like New York,” Carrie Bradshaw’s writing skills would never be celebrated.

It’s time for a new kind of heroine. Preferably one whose only achievement is not going to the deli in a bra.