February 2013 Archives

Democratic Mayoral Forum Hosted Uptown (Full Video)

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Several weeks ago the democratic candidates for mayor made their way uptown to speak to voters about why they believe they are the best pick. The January 31st event was held in the former Audubon Ballroom, now the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial & Educational Center.

The forum organizers that booked the event's above venue was comprised of a group of local democratic clubs & leaders:

The Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan, the Northern Manhattan Democrats for Change, State Senator Adriano Espaillat (31st), New York City Council Members Robert Jackson (7th) & Ydanis Rodriguez (10th), New York State Assembly Member Gabriela Rosa (72nd), and Democratic District Leader Mark Levine (71st) were behind coordinating the participation of each candidate, and reaching out to the press panel that moderated the event.

District Leader Mark Levine was unable to attend the forum because his father had passed away shortly before it. State Senator Espaillat offered a moment of silence as the event began, in remembrance of Levine's father. (Which sequentially is where the videos below begin.)

And a point worth noting, former Mayor Ed Koch passed away several hours after this candidate forum, in the hospital across the street. Despite Mayor Koch's sudden readmission to the hospital (which alone was breaking news during the forum), there was no indication of the severity of his condition by any (panel/speakers/audience) in attendence.

Below is the full video of elected officials and forum speakers. (Running time is approximately three hours! Get some popcorn, it's well worth watching.):

The Lego Palace Theater

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The United Palace Theater on 175th Street & Broadway opened in 1930 as a combo vaudeville/move theater. 

On March 1st Lego will begin selling a new set for their modular building series called "Palace Cinema." The set, which will retail for $149.99, is incredibly detailed. The roof has overtones of L.A.'s TCL (Mann's) Chinese Theater, and the mini figures, limo, and decor all create a nostalgic view of what a 1930s movie theater might look like from a 21st century perspective. 

According to Astrid Graabæk, a lead designer on the project, "When we designed this building we had the Hollywood of the 1930s in mind." And west coast theater architecture of the 1920s/1930s made its way to the east coast as well, in theaters like the United Palace and Zigfeld.

One of the United Palace's most awe inspiring characteristics is the interior's detailed plaster work, which in addition to making one braingasm upon trying to make sense of every intricate element, greatly enhances its acoustics. The Lego Palace Cinema is molded plastic, not plaster, so the acoustics are not the same. But both buildings are built with bricks, and this Lego Palace is definitely a head turner, reminiscent to the Washington Heights Palace.

If you buy it, have fun building. The set contains over 2,000 pieces.