Fuck Snow!!!

So here we are again,

on the verge of another snow storm that threatens to blanket NYC in it’s angelic reminder of all that’s EVIL. Another day prior of worrying about how many inches will actually land and stick, subtracted from that which actually falls. We cross our hearts that we’re not Westchester, New Jersey or Long Island, but envy them for having drive-ways and garages and not having to truly dig their ways out of any thing in order to drive.

Regardless of what happens this week, you can believe that the news and weather media will do their best to try and scare the bejeezus out of us with warnings, advisories and special Mayoral addresses. I mean, what kind of city are we living in when the official news provider has journalists telling you NOT to go outside if you can help it.

More importantly, what kind of weather is this?

What the hell is snow? Whereas rainfall serves an actual purpose and balances out ecosystems, snow is just a granular form of precipitation made of crystalline water-ice particles. Sure, water can be extrapolated from the snow, but snow tends to fall within months and areas where there is little to no life around in need of it. Bears are hibernating, most trees are deciduous, most animals and insects are tucked away, living off of what they stored, and humans are just plain bothered and in perpetual avoidance of it.

Sure, some of you pretend it’s fun at first, and so damn beautiful when it’s falling down, but most of you haven’t lived in the rotten apple all of your lives and had to endure the painstaking task of navigating through it, sloshing through it, having it slow down your commute, envying other cities that shut down everything at the first inch of accumulation, and then watching it fester for weeks at a time-turning a delightful New York City yellow, brown, gray and ultimately Black. It’s like a personal ugly Autumn of crap, only followed by the final insult of turning into giant puddles that we get sploshed on us, or inevitably splosh in, despite our best efforts to dodge them. Similar to how people view and approach bringing life into the world; they romanticize the baby part and the beauty of the infancy, but don’t factor in the aftermath and the headache and heartache that comes with adolescence and teenage years. Snow is that. Headache and Heartache.

Having all of this said, I ask…Why do we put up with this as New Yorkers??! I’ve lived in NYC as an adult for 5 years now and upon the third year, I began to ask myself, why the FUCK have I put up with this shit so long?? Is it because this is THEE NEW YORK CITY? The hub of everything that matters? The city that never sleeps? The place where if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere? The most expensive city in the West, and quite possibly the GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD???

Is this why we get up and accept having our fingertips freeze off at 6 a.m. as we shovel our vehicles out of snowpiles that we can almost hear laughing at us? Is this why we go to work through 7-inch trudgery on the ground beneath us? Why we accept crazy looks from our bosses who got to work before us because they live in one of the aforementioned places above and got there before us because they drove the highway that was definitely cleared before they even woke up and didn’t have to deal with 20 minute train delays and wet socks? Why we accept dirty coats and jackets attacked by pasty white residue that just won’t rub off, and all of the acidic damage of salt? Is it why we accept weather temperatures that match the ages of our children for 4 months??

At it’s most insulting, snow is just a physical reminder of how horrible New York weather is. We have the worst elevation, air and climate system ever! Our summers are unbearable, and our Winters kick our ass. Why we don’t all migrate to Florida and California, I don’t understand. We put on our happy faces and make ourselves believe that we like it, or that we can deal with it, because we want to be here so bad. As Frank Sinatra Iconically stated, we “want to be apart of it”. That IT is everything. It’s what allows us to accept these small-ass apartments and extremely high cost of living. It’s why we don’t protest when the MTA raises fares on us every 6 months for reasons we still can’t figure out. It’s because of this place…The aura, the appeal. But I’m jaded to the appeal. I’ve been here forever and I’ve got my eye on having a winter home for these cold months. Fuck a summer home.

And FUCK SNOW!

-The End

New York to Smokers; Kill Yourself By yourself!

You know the feeling well if you’ve ever walked down a busy city street and had that busy corporate chic, or that loud ghetto person, or the Euro-centric hipster blow back their cancer-stick smoke, bitch-slapping you in the face. Ahh…Metropolitan living…

For the life of me, I can’t understand what would drive someone in this day and age in American society to put a cigarette in their mouth. Maybe if this wasn’t the decade after 2 previous decades of startling revelations about Big Tobacco and very thought-provoking anti-smoking ads. It’s almost like picking up a crack pipe after the early 90’s. And we all know “Crack Is Wack!”.

Still and all, as evidenced by the overabundance of marijuana blowers out there, people just really LOVE inhaling carcinogens and bullying their lungs. Either that, or the majority of folks out there just have an oral fixation (no wonder so many chics I meet love giving head since the turn of the century).

It blows my mind how many smokers out there tell me that after a while, what they crave is the actual social motor function of pulling something in and out of their mouths more so than the actual nicotine addiction. That would be more psychological than physiological. Some are addicted to the calm that it brings them, albeit a calm that they never felt or knew existed prior to picking up that first stog. And even after. I’ve heard that that calming effect is not a guaranteed by-product of cigarettes, rather one that develops after becoming a full-out smoker and the nicotine has caused an habitual bodily response.

I say all of this because New York is taking great strides to eradicate the fumes from the public gathering areas and confine smoking to an at-home space in the long-run. Basically, a if you’re gonna kill yourself slowly, do it in your own place kind of campaign.

Last week, Great Neck, NY saw the passing of the toughest smoking ban yet in the country. The new law prohibits smoking on sidewalks, in front of commercial buildings and the park. It relegates smokers to light up only at home, in their cars or less open areas like parking lots. Offenders would see themselves fined up to $1,000 or even locked up.

This comes on the heels of Mayor Bloomberg‘s 2010 announcement of plans to extend New York City‘s smoking ban to include outdoor plazas, Parks, board walks and beaches across the 5 boros (yeah, I know how I spelled it. I like my way better…just like Iam, Tho and Thoro). If such an extension occurs, then smokers can say bye-bye to taking a drag at their favorite recreational refuge.

Without a doubt, the smokers have come out fighting and in an uproar, even garnering support from non-smokers who simply consider themselves liberal and see such bans as a violation of rights. Well let’s at least consider the health implications here, which is the basis of these legal actions in the first place. Remember my example of having the smoke blown in your face at the beginning of the post. I even know smokers who hate that! Now let’s factor in the secondhand smoke. According to a CBSnews post on the issue by Aina Hunter, “the city’s health department says 57 percent of nonsmoking New Yorkers have elevated levels of cotitine, a byproduct of nicotine, in their blood. That means they were likely recently exposed to secondhand smoke in concentrations high enough to leave behind residue in the body.”

So, if it’s not obvious, I’m all for it. My boy woke up on his birthday unable to breathe last month only to hear the doctor tell him he HAS to quit smoking…And he’s under 30! The quality of a smoker’s life is not more important than the quality of life in general. I think of my mom who’s been smoking most of her life, and picture her getting a ticket and being outraged, and me smiling…

Get a new habit New Yorkers. BlowPops are supposed to be cancerous too, but they’ll satisfy your oral fixation, they taste a hell of a lot better and are a hundred times cheaper! Aren’t packs like $12 now?? That’s gas money fools. At least pollute the air for a purpose.

NYC Transit Ads get Bloody and Pissy for your Health!!

If any of you are NY Transit strap-hangers like I have become within the last year, you might notice a string of new Bold public service ads appearing around Train stations and bus stops.

This Year, the New York State Health Department is targeting Binge Drinking and excessive alcohol consumption during the holiday season, and the approach is in-your-face. 2 ads have surfaced, one showing a man bruised up from what’s alluded to be a fight that occured as a result of reckless drinking. The other depicts a woman so far gone that she’s slumped over a rail after what seems to be a wild night of partying.

Anyone who knows me knows of the paradoxical life I lead as a bartender by day who absolutely hates alcohol and what it does. I personally believe that it is thee WORST drug out there and leads to so much destructive activity, to self, and others. What makes it so dangerous is that it is so much apart of metropolitan and American culture, and so woven into socialization and readily available that it’s nature and effects tend to get downplayed. Watching Drunk people around me made me never want to get drunk. Think of all the times you’ve passed your limit and the stupid stuff you’ve done and the horrible way your body felt afterward. All for what?

Keep that in mind this season as you roll past these ads on your commute and on your way to that party for that fun night. These ads talk to New Yorkers the way New Yorkers are so supposed to be talked to; Direct, Blunt and Vivid. What do you guys think of them?

Salud! And Be Safe this year…