Friday was a busy day. Continued with my Oscar viewing blitz: 'An Education,' followed by 'Inglorious Basterds,' with a little MoMA and Gabriel Orozco sandwiched in. 'An Education' is a really good movie - they would do right to hand Carey Mulligan the Best Actress award. 'Inglorious,' was a different matter. It felt good and cathartic at the time - Jews kick Nazi tail - but there were so many holes in the film, and it felt so 'B-movie' in its ambitions that I'm inclined to think Tarantino's tittering over his many nominations.
... is not some hot Broadway production, nor the latest offering from the Met Opera. This past weekend, at least, it was the Bollywood blockbuster 'My Name is Khan,' starring Shahrukh Khan. This is meant to be the definitive non-Hollywood take on 9/11 and its aftermath, and the buildup to the film's release around the world has been intense (Shahrukh made a big worldwide stink when he was detained at Newark airport, last year -- great advance hype). It showed at just 120 theaters in the US, but earned more than $2 million over the 3-day weekend, making its per-screen average of $16,158 the highest of any release.
Is it worth signing up for Notify NYC? That would be the city service that sends out email and text-message alerts (and Tweets!) whenever an emergency's afoot. It might be a public health alert, a nearby fire, or something decidedly mundane, like no street cleaning. I signed up a few weeks ago, after covering an event at which the Dept of Education announced the system would extend to school-related alerts.
Having worked in the Indian media, I know how hard it can be to get hard data on smaller populations in the US. There's a lot about newer immigrant groups that stays at the anecdotal level - regarding health issues, social problems, political preferences - which have been quantified and updated for decades in the broader population.
A couple days ago I went to Long Island City and dropped by the offices of the Fortune Society, which helps former prison inmates re-enter society. Being an ex-con is hard enough at any time, but at this moment, with high unemployment, it's particularly tough. Even if you have friends or family, there's a good chance that some of them are out of work, too, and don't have the time or inclination to get your life back on track.
As I was saying on the Financial 411 today, anyone who's been around Mayor Bloomberg over the last month or so might've heard him make this bold and provocative claim about Wall Street incomes:
'Keep in mind, the average person that works in finance in New York City makes $70 thousand a year.'
Purple Pam rocks... literally, she's a screamin, cussin', bad ass performance banshee. Not that I've seen her in action, but I was struck by the aubergine color scheme, down to the fuzzy earmuffs. Apparently she's had a purple fetish since she was a little girl. Here's her site.
What media do New Yorkers consume? How about immigrants in this city – to what extent are they consuming news and entertainment in Urdu, Spanish or Tagalog (so-called ethnic media) versus from mainstream newspapers, news programs and sitcoms? My plan is to find one person – hopefully every few weeks – and interrogate them about their media habits.
Encountered a most unfortunate sight today. An old lady making her way home through the rain held her umbrella overhead, despite the fact it had completely been destroyed by the wind. I'd say the yellow cloth covered about 20 % of the spine of the umbrella. Most of it just flopped down over over the poor woman''s face as she soldiered on.