Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society at Finnerty's

In January 2017 I went to a meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society, a group of fans of the baseball team that moved from the Polo Grounds to San Francisco in 1958.  I found out about this group from Gary Mintz, the son of NYPL legend Lou Mintz whom I knew when I worked there in the 1980s. Last night the group held a meeting at Finnerty's, a tavern described as a home away from home for San Francisco Giants Fans.

The featured speaker was Lincoln A. Mitchell, a political analyst, pundit, and writer affiliated with Columbia University who spoke about his new book:

Mitchell, L. A. (2018). Baseball goes west: The Dodgers, the Giants, and the shaping of the major leagues

He spoke about the book for about 1 hour and then fielded questions from the audience which was much larger than I anticipated.  There were about 40 SF/NY Giant fans and his colleagues and acquaintances from Columbia University.  He spoke on how the move of baseball to the west coast affected the culture of baseball in the decades that followed.  I bought the book and read about 10 pages on the subway ride home.  Now, I have to find time to read it as I have several magazines and a Bob Dylan book on my reading list,  I have always been a Met fan but am quite interested in the history of baseball.
Lincoln Mitchell signing copies of his book

This sign from Candlestick Park and was
acquired by the owners of Finnerty's

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Random Thoughts on a Rainy Tuesday Morning

Every day I read about problems on New Jersey Transit and am grateful that I no longer have to ride that railroad.  Some of the issues are caused by mismanagement while others are the result of a crumbling infrastructure.  There was a major delay this morning on the Montclair-Boonton line caused by a trespasser fatality.  I can't blame the agency for this, but I wonder if this and similar incidents are suicides.

I still get emails from the MTA about problems on the #7 subway line.  Every day there are signal problems.  Maybe in my lifetime, the antiquated signaling system will be updated.  In the past year, I only encountered one major delay as the train was delayed for about 15 minutes getting out of the Flushing station.  I still ride the subway, but not nearly as often as I did while I was working.

I just completed a project for SABR's Baseball Index where I indexed about 1000 articles from the Games Project.  I will take a break for a few days and then index about 200 more article that was done over the last 3 months.

Tonight I am going to a meeting of the New York Giants Preservation Society at Finnerty's in Manhattan.  I'll report on this tomorrow.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Today's Trip to the Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn

Lee in front of a #7 Red Bird
at the Transit Museum

The announcement about a new exhibit titled Navigating New York enticed us to visit the Transit Museum for the first time since June 2017.  This exhibit features maps highlight the story of New York’s growth through the increasingly connected transportation system.  There were historical maps of the 3 systems that were eventually consolidated to become today's subway system:

  • IRT - Interborough Rapid Transit (the numbered subway lines)
  • IND - Independent Line
  • BMT - Brooklyn Manhattan Transit
There was another exhibit titled Underground Heroes: New York Transit In Comics.

We also went downstairs to see the vintage cars.  Lee always liked the Red Birds that were used on the #7 train for many years.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

2018 Oldies Meet and Greet Featuring Lunch with Ken Dashow Talking About the Beatles

The Oldies Meet and Greet has come a long way since the mid-1990s when a few of us from the WCBS-FM folder on AOL met for lunch.  It evolved into a group protesting the dreadful format change at the station and then into a group of enthusiasts of Saturday Night Oldies on WABC.  Today's gathering of 38 including people who have come for years and some newcomers.  Some of the oldtimers included:

  • Linda Cohen
  • Terri Du
  • Bill Dillane
  • Jon Binstock
  • Alan Ross
  • Bobby Backman
The first-timers included:
  • Tom Natoli who used to win all the time on Tuesday Night Trivia on WCBS-FM
  • Charlie Menut
Most of the events featured radio personalities or musical performers.  Today's guest was Ken Dashow of Q-104.3 who also appeared in 2015.  After he ate lunch with us he spoke about the Beatles and answered questions about the greatest musical group in history.

I can't wait until next November for the next event.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fall 2018 Visit to the Jewish Museum

According to this journal, the last time I visited the Jewish Museum on 92nd Street was 8 months ago in March.  All the exhibits today were different:

  • Martha Rosler: Irrespective - She is a contemporary artist considered one of the strongest and most resolute artistic voices of this generation.  Her themes include war, gender roles, gentrification, inequality, and labor.  The exhibit featured several photomontages that represent those themes.
  • Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922 -  traces the fascinating post-revolutionary years when the history of art was shaped in Vitebsk.  The output of those three artists is shown.
  • Scenes from the collection - focusing on the Jewish experience.  The curators of the museum rotate the holdings.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Some Political Comments

I consider myself a non-political person so here goes:

  • There were more people than usual at my polling place at PS 214 in Flushing.  I am glad to see that people are interested in participating in the electoral process.
  • In my district, Democratic Congresswoman Grace Meng was re-elected with minimal opposition from the Green Party.  Likewise, Senator Kristen Gillibrand was re-elected in a landslide.
  • The Democrats won control of the House of Representatives, but the Republicans retained control of the Senate.  A commentator on NBC News said that the Democrats won the popular vote while the Republicans won the Electoral College.  This was an interesting metaphorical comment.
  • With a majority in the Senate, any presidential appointed should easily be confirmed.  It is a shame that so much voting on issues is done strictly on party lines.
  • With a majority in the House, there is a temptation to start impeachment proceedings.  Likely, if this happened it would be a futile effort since even if the president was impeached, it would take a two-thirds vote in the Senate to remove him from office.
  • The presidential campaign for 2020 starts today.  Several potential candidates will form exploratory committees and begin to raise funds.  My prediction is that Michael Bloomberg will be the Democratic nominee in 2020 as he can use his own money in his campaign. One issue is that he will be 78 years old in 2020.  We shall see.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Election Year Rag by Steve Goodman - Classic Rock Song of the day

I heard this song for the very first time today on the Deep Tracks Channel on SiriusXM.  Sadly, Steve passed away in 1984, but this is the "Song of the Day."

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Statistics on Anti-Semitism in New York City are Sad

I am quoting from an article in the Big City Column in today's New York Times written by Ginia Bellafante.  The Police Department reports half the hate crimes reported in NYC are anti-semitic incidents.  The 142 such incidents are 4 times the number reported against Blacks and 20 times the number of hate crimes against transgendered people.  It is quite sad.

About 20 years ago in my neighborhood, someone stopped his car and shouted to me "Hey you f* Kike.  Hitler didn't finish the job."  The tragedy in Pittsburgh should be a wake-up call for all of us.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Bob Dylan More Blood More Tracks Arrived Today

I am pleased to report that delivered this to me on its day of release.  I bought the deluxe version with 6 CDs and a book of photographs.  It is Volume 14 is the Bootleg Series.  There are Dylan enthusiasts like me who must have every legitimate release.  Blood on the Tracks, originally released in 1974, was critically acclaimed back then and is very popular with many Dylan Fans.  I enjoyed it, but prefer the albums released in the mid to late 1960s.

This boxed set includes alternative version remixed and remastered from the original session tapes.  Listening to it will keep me busy for a while.
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