Author Archive

Greenwich Village Orchestra’s Annual Family Concert

December 13th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

The Greenwich Village Orchestra gave yesterday its annual Family concert at the Washington Irving High School. Contrary to other concerts of classical music, children and even babies were warmly welcome in the theater. For one hour, Music Director Barbara Yahr made an educational presentation of all the different instruments, as GVO played Benjamin Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. From the violin to the piccolo to the trombone, all of them where introduced to the children.

She explains the purpose of this annual event.

The orchestra was founded in 1986 by a group of musicians from the New York Metropolitan area. What is remarkable about it is that professional players and amateurs share the same stage. Some talented young can also be part of the concert, as teenager Angela Wee, 12, winner of GVO’s Young Artist Competition who was invited as soloist in the finale of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

The families who were there really appreciated being able to go to a concert all together, and are ready to come again next year.

And the museum became a dancefloor

December 6th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

On the first Saturday of each month, the Brooklyn Museum hosts live music, performances and workshops from 5pm to 11pm. Everyone is welcome and everything is free (except food and drinks). Last Saturday was Ladies Night at the Brooklyn Museum’s Target First Saturday: a celebration of women’s stories from around the world inspired by the exhibition Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958–1968.

This is how it looked like:

Joe Long, a long time music retailer in Bed-Stuy

November 29th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

Joe Long, the owner of Birdell’s, an independent record store on Nostrand Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Brooklyn), began working at the store in 1957. That is why he talks about this neighborhood like no one.

Shooting in BedStudy

November 22nd, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

Reporting a crime story with google map allows to have the big picture of it. It is easier to understand what happened where, and also helpful to circumscribe the field of research for the reporter.

With the map, we see that in this case, the shooting, the hospital where the first victim was transported and the place of the arrest are very close to each other. Thus, the field of research was not too wide for the reporter.

In order to have a better understanding of the map, view it in larger

View crime story in a larger map

Rainy day in New York

November 14th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

Create your own video slideshow at

Odors are not a pest in New York

November 8th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

According to a survey, a majority of J-school students don’t consider odors as a pest of New York City. When asked, 73% of them said that odors are one of the most pleasant features of New York City. Even among those who answered the contrary, they were not more than 18% to consider that it should be considered as a public issue.

However, everybody already had a very bad experience with odor in NYC. According to the survey, garbage in the street and the metro are the places that smell the worst. They gathered both 45% of the students who answered. 10% answered that the street was the place that smelled the worst.

A popular hand game in Brooklyn

October 17th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

Let’s talk about Handball. American Handball. This game is quite popular in Brooklyn, where we can find children playing it almost every day after class in one of the numerous outdoor fields of the borough. James, Diana, Kary and Thomas were playing last Friday evening at the Fish playground park, between Saratoga Ave and Fulton Steet in Brooklyn.

Diana, 29, is a matron who takes care of special needs persons. She lives a few blocks away, and come here quite often to teach the rules to children who want to improve their skills.

Diana (rules) by edemareschal

Thomas, 14, plays handball almost every day.

Thomas Harris (challenge) by edemareschal

He came with Kary, his niece. She is only 7, but she is already addicted to handball.

Kary by edemareschal

James is one of Thomas friends. He explains some tricks about the game.

James (the killer) by edemareschal

If these people were playing for fun, tournaments of American Handball exist, as well as a United State Handball Association, which counts 8,500 members. A low figure which shows that American Handball’s hearing is still confidential.

Do you want to have a drink or a conversation?

October 4th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

Friday night, the weekend is finally here, you are planning to have a good time with your friends. You meet somewhere in the town, open the door of a bar or a restaurant… And a noisy sound of music and crowd assails your ears. At this point, the only solutions to communicate with your friends are either to shout at their face, to make silly signs to mime what you cannot say, or to laugh loudly, pretending that you understood what was just said. The night is going to be long…

Here are three reasons why music should definitely not be loud in bars and restaurants of New York:

1-    Bars and restaurants are made to drink and speak (sometimes loudly, depending on the degree of alcoholization of the group), not to have to endure the same annoyances than during the week. According to the New York City Environmental Protection, “Noise complaints continue to be the number one quality of life issue for New York City residents”. To report any kind of noise annoyance in your neighborhood, the 311 can be useful, even for barking dogs.

2-    Sometime, music they play is really bad. Two minutes of Lady Gaga can turn out in torture if we HAVE to listen to it. Really.

3-    Asking the waiters to order become very challenging.

4-    Loud music cut conversation. After 30 minutes of communication attempts, people get fed up with speaking for them selves. So they shut up. And everybody look into their glass of bear, pretending to enjoy the music.

Three ways to come back home without metro in the Weekend

September 27th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

In France, when subways don’t run, it is usually because of strikes. But here in New York, travelers fear something even worst: The weekly subway maintenance. This weekend was no exception to the rule. A survey by the the Permanent Citizens Advisory Comittee to the MTA in 2010 acknowledged that “periodic weekend subway service changes are a major source of anxiety for New York City Transit riders”.

So here is the question: How to enjoy a weekend party in the city that never sleeps when we can’t rely on the subway?

First solution, to be informed. We have to be fair and admit that at least, MTA tries his best to inform users. Every Friday, you should therefore check the Planned Service Changes tab of the MTA website. For people who really want to be informed on live of the traffic, MTA is on Facebook and Twitter. And if you can’t stand MTA anymore at the point that the simple idea of going to their website gives you pimples, check

Then, there is still the solution of taking the taxi. Sometimes, it is ten times faster than the subway and not that expensive, provided that you share the costs with your friends. But you be aware of their rates, because it tend to be extensible for inexperienced people.

Another idea could come from Paris, where bike sharing has been a great success for three years now, despite the cost of maintenance. They are useful in any kind of situation : French ride Velib’ to avoid subway strikes , New Yorkers could use it to avoid Subway maintenance. This solution could be possible pretty soon.

Last tip: If none of these solutions fit you, you can still go back home by walk. Good luck.

Remember the waiter

September 20th, 2010 by Edouard de Mareschal

Tourists sometime don’t know about common practice of tipping the waiters in New York, or don’t want to hear about it because it is not part of their culture. Tips,  though are often a precious source of income for service people.