Updates from July, 2007 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ted Mann 5:21 pm on July 30, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Ana Mann, badass lobster wrangler 

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    Over the 4th of July week, inbetween weddings in Philly (Parisa & Mike) and Jersey (Kim & Dennis), we took a trip up to Maine. The first few days Ana and I spent on our own, exploring Portland, Kennebunkport, and, of course, Freeport — aka Outlet Town USA. After that, we met up with the Mann clan in York Harbor, where we stayed for about four days, chowing on lobster, visiting the beach, and suffering near hypothermia from merely dipping our toes in the frigid Maine water. Here are just a few pics from our Summer ’07 vaca:

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    The Gordon’s fisherman.

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    Didi and Philly Ball Game on the 4th.

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    Winifred waves her princess wand.

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    Owen dons stylish new shades at the Red Hook factory in Portsmouth.

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    A foggy morning on the way to the beach.

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    Philip helps Francesca build a sand castle.

     
  • Ted Mann 5:40 pm on May 28, 2007 Permalink | Reply  

    Long time no see 

    Poor TurkeyMonkey. I’ve been a very bad caretaker of this beloved crossbreed mascot name. But fear not: I’m not about to let the domain registration slip. And I plan to get back to my regularly scheduled blogging any day now.

    Why, you might ask, have I been MIA for so long? Have I gone rogue?

    The short answer is, yes. I have gone rogue. But I’ve also been working diligently on two other websites lately, Suburbarazzi and Fix Hartsdale Parking. And as any blogger or webmaster knows, one only has enough attention span to run two websites at any given time. Alas, TurkeyMonkey and Plugs have suffered. I don’t know if it’s too late to salvage the latter, but I’m not about to leave TM all abandoned. After all, those are my initials and all, so that would be like abandoning myself, or my cyberself, which is an existential crisis I’m not yet prepared for.

    Getting back to what I’ve been doing. … It’s been a busy few months. I’ll do my best to recap the top 10 busy-making things I’ve been up to below:

    img_6815.JPG1. Meeting Bill Murray. Actually, this just happened last night, at the opening of a new Yonkers restaurant called X20. I’m still completely giddy over the whole thing. It all eminated from a story I wrote about how the restaurant’s chef, Peter Kelly, faced off against Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. Not only did Kelly win, but he beat Flay in a battle of the grill (Flay’s specialty). Anyway, last night was the show’s debut and Murray sat down right next to me and we got to hang for most of the night. I’ll post more details later, with pictures. But I just couldn’t resist sharing that right off the bat.

    suburbarazzi.jpeg2. Suburbarazzi: Speaking of celebrities, last fall I started up a blog devoted to the famous residents of the Lower Hudson Valley with my colleagues at InTown and The Journal News. Since then, Suburbarazzi has snowballed into something bigger than I ever imagined. The blog gets, on average, about 40,000 hits a month, and has been linked to from Gawker, Slate, and dozens of other sites. There’s also a celebrity stalker map on the site (an idea we blatantly ripped off from Gawker), photo galleries of recent celebrity sighting, and even a MySpace page. We’ve broken exclusives about DMX’s multiple arrests, the Rosie O’Donnell feuds, and the “sextortionist” who attempted to extort $125,000 from a Pepsi exec.

    A daily (or weekly) newspaper column may be coming soon. And we also now film a weekly TV segment for a local newscast on RNN based on the blog. Here’s the latest one, from last week:

    RNN clip

    3. St. Maarten: In mid-March, my whole family went down to St. Maarten for a week-long vacation and celebration of my dad’s bday. We spent most of the trip mixing guavaberry daiquiris, visiting a beach on the French side of the island (we stayed on the Dutch side), and chasing after either baby Phillip or baby Austin or Owen or Francesca or Winifred. It was great fun, though. Here are some of my favorite pics:

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    4. LoHud Blogs: Besides Suburbarazzi, I’ve also asserted myself as a leader in our company’s effort to build up its blogging presence. At The Journal News, I helped form a group of “Power Users” to (a) make the blogs better and (b) make them profitable. As for (a), we’re still working on it, but he have managed to get video and audio up, improve the look of the blogs, and make them viewable on mobile phones. As for (b), I got us plugged into Google AdSense program, which hasn’t exactly yielded big bucks yet, but it’s more than the zero dollars we were getting before.

    bilde-2.jpg5. Flight School: For the May issue of Rockland Magazine, I went to flight school. It was a bit unnerving since I had no idea that I would actually be manning the yoke during takeoff, but thankfully we all survived. I’d love to enroll in the school for more than just a few classes, maybe even take the time to earn my license, but I’ll need a lot more spare time and money than I’ve got right now. Anyway, here’s the story: “Winging It.”

    bilde.jpg6. Iron Chef America: As I mentioned before, I wrote an article about Peter Kelly taking down Bobby Flay on Iron Chef. What I really liked about this story, “Diary of an Iron Chef,” was that it was completely written from the POV of the profile subject. I wanted the byline to say, “By Peter Kelly, as told to Ted Mann” to reinforce the idea that it was an actual memoirish retelling of Kelly’s preparations for the battle. In reality, the story came about through a series of lengthy interviews I did with Kelly, but I really hope and think it comes across as his voice.

    img_5786.JPG7. Vegas Baby: For Mike Garrett’s bachelor party, I headed to Vegas with Craig, Gabe, and Mike’s best man, Jeff. We stayed at the Luxor, made a killing at the craps table, lost a killing at the craps table, and learned the do’s and don’ts of night-club line-hopping. Above all, I learned that Gabe (or perhaps an actor named Ryan that looks an awful lot like Gabe — Ryan Phillipe? Ryan Gossling? Ryan O’Neil?) is a babe magnet in the great state of Nevada. Outstanding.

    8. Neha got married … and I may or may not have lost a certain bet: We ventured down to NJ for Neha and Justin’s Indian wedding ceremony, which was a blast. The sight of Justin riding in on a drugged, pimped out mule through a Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot instantly became one of my top 5 favorite wedding moments. As for the question of whether or not Neha actually got formally married before her 30th birthday — let’s just say, I’m not pressing for any sort of confirmation one way or the other.

    9. Newpaper nonsense: In addition to blogging and TV, my job also took me into another (almost) entirely new medium: newpaper writing. I wasn’t exactly handling a beat or anything, but I did begin writing some stories for the paper this year, including one about FBI mole Robert Hanssen (timed to come out with the movie “Breach”) and another about Rosie O’Donnell leaving “The View.”

    10. Fix Hartsdale Parking: Last but not least: my crusade to reform Hartsdale’s antiquated parking system. It all started last December, when the hamlet’s ban on overnight winter parking kicked in. During the period from Dec. 1 to Mar. 15, we have absolutely nowhere to park our cars. The Hobson’s choice we’re forced to make is parking in the municipal lot behind an IHOP, where we have to feed meters 24 hours a day. It’s insane. This is the friggin suburbs!

    Apologies to anyone who has already heard this rant from me before, but I just couldn’t understand why a town as densly populated as this one wouldn’t have adequate parking for its residents. A simple solution, I figured, would be to simply abolish the ban on overnight parking (which is supposed to allow for plowing, even though the plows never operate during the midnight-6am ban), and instead institute some sort of snow emergency evacuation policy (like most cities have).

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    To help advance this agenda, I created a website — initially called Fix East Hartsdale Avenue Parking, and later shortened to just Fix Hartsdale Parking — using an open-source publishing software called Joomla. It was really easy to set up, yet nowhere near as easy as WordPress to customize. The good news is that hundreds of local residents found their way to the site and signed my petition. We even got articles in the local paper, editorials endorsing the plan, and we formed a committee to help lobby for parking reform in the town. The bad news is that this committe has thus far accomplished jack squat.

    The police chief came out against me, even going so far as to attack me at town hall meetings. Even though we had legislation written and backed by hundreds of people, I learned a sad fact of suburban life: The police chiefs control the local government here, not the elected officials. Not one of the town council people have yet challenged the police chief to date. I’ve still got my fingers crossed that we’ll accomplish something, but

    I’m not holding my breath anymore. The real solution, it seems, is to simply move out of Hartsdale. A lack of parking may seem like a trivial thing if you’ve never experienced it firsthand, but trust me, I’d take the crime in Philadelphia or the high rents in New York any day over the God awful parking situation here. Anyway, I’m cutting back on the parking crusade and getting back to important things: like blogging here.

    The parking reform movement’s loss is TurkeyMonkey’s gain.

     
    • James 11:14 pm on January 6, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Man. I just came upon your blog searching “Parking Hartsdale, NY”. Parking is crazy there. I’m seeing a woman there, or I should say, I’m not seeing a woman there because of their overnight parking ban. Greenburgh is off-the-chain crazy! I REFUSE to pay for those 24 hour meters behind IHOP out of principle.
      signed,
      a frustrated Yonkers man

    • Ted 1:08 am on January 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Couldn’t agree more, James. Parking ultimately was the reason we moved out of Hartsdale. It was infuriating. I feel your pain.

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