Time Out New York: Travel Issue

Day Trips: Amusement Parks Worth the Admission

"Hersheypark; Hershey, PA
Travel time: Three hours from NYC by car
Disneyland meets Candy Land at this kitschy theme park, a celebration of all things Hershey’s chocolate. But it’s not all sweetness: A trio of roller coasters—Fahrenheit, Great Bear and Storm Runner—provide adult thrills by dropping you 97 degrees, dangling you below the track or launching you from 0 to 72mph in two seconds (and straight up 18 stories), respectively. When you need to relax, head to the Boardwalk to lazily float along the Intercoastal Waterway or hit several other water rides. The 1933 Hotel Hershey (thehotelhershey.com) offers choc-inspired treatments in its on-site spa. hersheypark.com"

Read the rest of the article at Time Out.

Time Out New York: How to Find a Deal on a NYC Apartment

How to Find a Deal

An article with tips on finding cheap apartments in New York City

"Make direct contact
The easiest way to save money is to avoid paying a broker’s fee. 'Look for a building with a rental office directly on site,' suggests architect Hayes Slade, whose Slade Architecture firm knows something about affordable housing (it won an award for its design of a Brooklyn housing project in 2010). 'That way you can negotiate directly with the landlord and skip a real-estate agent fee.' In order to ditch online searches, Slade recommends walking the streets of your desired neighborhood and looking for offices and for rent signs. That’s how investment banker Jessica Gutierrez found a studio she loves in Battery Park City. 'Ask doorman,' she says.'“I would first ask if this a condo or is there a leasing office. If it was a condo, I would ask if they had a list of owners renting out their apartments. At the ones that did, I would leave my business card, and I got a lot of callbacks from owners renting their apartments themselves.' Victoria Hagman, president of the Brooklyn-focused agency Realty Collective, hit the pavement too. 'When I was looking for an apartment,' she says, 'I would go to moving sales every weekend and ask, "Has your landlord found someone to take your apartment yet? Can I see it?”' For more tips, look for Realty Collective’s new apartment-hunting classes at the Brooklyn Brainery (brooklynbrainery.com; next class May 16, $10)."

Read the rest of the article--including a final thought from The Rent Is Too Damn High's Jimmy McMillan--at newyork.timeout.com.

May Issue: Summer Movie Preview

Summer Cinema

A preview of summer movies.

"July Superhero of the Month:
Captain America: The First Avenger (July 22)

Captain America is a superhero in that he has super strength and speed, but he still can only do things that humans can do. (No flying, no regeneration, no invisibility, no godlike powers, and no talking to fish.) All around, he’s a more accessible comic-book character, and this film shows his origins as a wannabe WWII soldier. Perhaps what’s most relatable about him is his youthful ideals.

Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)
The title says it all. There are cowboys. They cross paths with aliens. It’s sci-fi mixed with the Wild West, and Han Solo himself—excuse us, we mean Harrison Ford—is in charge of saving Earth from invasion. It sounds just like our kind of hootenanny.

Also Consider: The only thing that trumps cowboys and aliens on the summer-movie spectrum is a brigade of awesome robots, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (7/1) can get you your fix. If you’ve been too cooped up inside your office to see any movies, live vicariously through the stars of Horrible Bosses (7/8), who hatch a plan to murder their, well, horrible bosses. Speaking of offices, if you can’t fathom what Steve Carell will do outside of The Office, try his new movie Crazy, Stupid, Love (7/29), directed by the team that did I Love You, Phillip Morris last year. Clutch your tissues: the Harry Potter saga will finally come to close forever with the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two (7/15). If you need something kinder and gentler to get you over the loss of Harry Potter, Disney is releasing a new feature-length installment in the life of Winnie the Pooh (7/15)."

Please click on the above link to read the rest of the article.

Thor photo by Zade Rosenthal/Marvel Studios © 2011 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2011 Marvel; Bridesmaids photo by Suzanne Hanover. © 2011 Universal Studios; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides photo by Peter Mountain ©Disney Enterprises, Inc.; Tree of Life Photo by Merie Wallace; Green Lantern photo by Francois Duhamel. TM & © DC Comics

May Issue: Mother's Day

Love, Mom

An article about places to take Mom for Mother's Day

"We’ve all done the spa gift certificates, the fancy brunches, the standard items of jewelry. Ho-hum. Ditch those gifts in favor of something that Mom doesn’t expect—but really wants. Bonus: these gifts don’t require dusting, and don’t take up space on a shelf or in a closet. This Mother’s Day—May 8 if you’re a horrible child and don’t know that already—give your mom…

…a chance to bond with children—that aren’t hers. Don’t get jealous—we’re talking about baby animals. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture (914-366-6200; stonebarnscenter.org) offers a 'Mothers and Babies' tour where Mom can admire the adorable chicks and piglets. There’s also always a good chance to spot baby animals at Muscoot Farm (914-864-7282; muscootfarm.org), which will be holding its annual sheep-shearing day."

Please click on the above link to read the rest of the article.

Blu-Ray Review: AI

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

"Since its release, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence has been much like its protagonist, David. Both are considered replacements for something that looks far rosier in memory. And, as a result, both have been scorned and have to work harder to find love in this world.

Much of this has to do with the history of A.I. The story finds its origins with 'Supertoys Last All Summer Long', a 1969 short story by Brian Aldiss. Stanley Kubrick first started adapting this story for film, but unfortunately died before he could see it through to completion. As an homage to his friend, Steven Spielberg picked up the project and finished it based on both his conversations with Kubrick and using Kubrick’s copious notes and illustrations.

How much this actually changed Kubrick’s intent for A.I., the film version, will never be known, but the switch from Kubrick to Spielberg forms the basis for almost every criticism of the film. In 'Creating A.I.', one of the features on the new Blu-Ray edition of the film, Spielberg insists that it was Kubrick’s intention to have Spielberg direct from very early in the process. Whether that fact is forgotten, intentionally ignored, or disbelieved, it hasn’t stopped the wave of complaints: Spielberg is too treacly and sentimental for the material, Kubrick would have made it darker, the final film is too close to Spielberg’s other movies (Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial in particular) and, most emphatically, the ending was a tacked-on mistake to give the whole thing a happier ending.

Whether or not those arguments have merit—and, concerning the last one, Spielberg often claims in interviews that he only delivered on Kubrick’s blueprint for an ending—so much about A.I. has to be ignored to have those criticisms create the lasting impression of the film."

Read the rest of the review at PopMatters.com.

DVD Review: All Good Things

Things Are All Too Real in 'All Good Things'

"Many directors fudge true stories by introducing made-up or re-imagined material for effect; Jarecki fudges his fictional work by basically making it as true and accurate as possible. The director is lucky that he found a story that doesn’t need much fictionalizing to still be so engrossing.

In a way, however, this attention to detail might account for the movie’s biggest flaw. The film is framed by courtroom scenes that, if anything, detract from the tension set up by the true-life events. It seems that these scenes exist to provide an excuse to do a voice-over and have a lawyer come out and point-blank ask Marks to explain his motivations for certain events. A DVD feature later reveals that the transcripts from that trial—2,000 pages worth—provided much of the source material for the film. The movie doesn’t need these direct explanations, and Jarecki should have trusted the story to shine through without them."

Read the rest of the review at PopMatters.com.

April Issue: Catch That Snitch!

Catch That Snitch

A Q&A with the two moderators of a high school Quidditch club: "If you’re not a member of the wizarding world, you can be forgiven for not knowing about Quidditch. In the Harry Potter series, Quidditch is a magical sport played by wizards who fly around on broomsticks, dodging hazards and scoring points by either knocking balls into a goal or catching the elusive golden 'snitch.' One enterprising athlete from Middlebury College painstakingly adapted the rules for an on-the-ground version of the game. (Yes, he kept the broomsticks.) While at first it was just a sport for college fantasy geeks, Quidditch is now one of the fastest growing club sports, and it’s even trickled down into some high schools—including the Ursuline School in New Rochelle. The Ursuline Koalas were one of 46 teams that took the field at the sport’s biggest tournament, the Quidditch World Cup, in the fall. (The tournament drew 20,000 spectators.) We caught up with Urusuline American History teacher Jackie Geller and Italian teacher Francesca LaGumina—the club’s moderators—to ask them about the road to the cup."

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

April Issue: Malled or Mauled?

Malled or Mauled?

A Q&A with a writer who, after getting laid off from a prestigious newspaper, found a retail job in the mall, then wrote a book about it: "Many retail employees don’t receive any training. Kelly reports that, due to low wages and few opportunities for advancement, 50 percent of retail workers leave every three months, leading to 100-percent turnover every year—and companies often conclude that it’s not worth putting in the time and expense to train. 'If you ask where something is and the associate doesn’t immediately know, it’s probably not because she’s stupid or lazy,' she says. 'Now that I understand that, I try to be nicer.'”

Read the rest of the Q&A here.

April: Earth Day--The Right Way


Earth Day--The Right Way

An article on local ways to participate in Earth Day: "Here, it’s cool to be green. Our buildings use renewable energy. Our fine restaurant menus are chock full of ingredients from local family farms. Our boutiques are filled with handmade items constructed from recycled or sustainable materials. So, when you think of Earth Day, are you still picturing hippies in tie-dye and love beads sitting around in a drum circle? You shouldn’t be. This Earth Day, Westchester goes back to its roots—its roots in the soil, that is—at events that’ll connect people with the land they live on, with nary a VW bus in sight."

Read the rest of the article here.

Photo credit: Mark Jordan/Jordanstudio.com