Archive for new york city

Tibetans Invade Westminster

Posted in cute, funny faces, midtown, New York, winter with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2013 by Qritiq

Congratulations to Tibetan Mastiff Sierras’ Sasha-Yakone Nanuk, winner of Best In Breed at the 2013 Westminster Kennel Club show that took place in February at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Owners Jim Butler and Ricardo Gallegos.

2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: Tibetan...

2013 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show: Tibetan Mastiff (Photo credit:

One of the largest breeds in dogdom, these giants average 180 [see Jim Butler’s comment below] pounds.


Over 2700 dogs entered the 2013 show – a record-breaker.

2009 contestant

Fluffy tails are more than just for show – they can curl over the nose and allow for warmer air to breathe while sleeping in cold climes. Sturdy legs and big foot pads help maneuver over snowy landscapes.


Tibetan Mastiff

Photo credit: Henry Chen

“Adios!… Bloomberg out.”

Posted in politics, reality check, tacky with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2013 by Qritiq


from N.Y.Times:

Bloomberg Builds His Own British Empire

Michael R. Bloomberg, imagining life after City Hall, is exporting vast quantities of financial, social and political capital to London, where he has long yearned for influence.



Photo credit: @Doug88888


more from the story…

It is the biggest development in this city’s buzzing financial district, and even Olympics-jaded Londoners call it grandiose: two bronze-and-stone towers, connected by sky-bridges atop the ruins of a 2,000-year-old Roman temple.

Bloomberg Place, roughly the size of a Manhattan city block, is the future home of Michael R. Bloomberg’s company… only one piece of the mayor’s growing British empire.

He is underwriting a major expansion of one of England’s most prestigious galleries.

He has the ear of London’s mayor, who dispatches aides to City Hall in New York.

Bloomberg and his aides court the London’s elite, holding expensive dinners for Downing Street officials. Bloomberg — an Anglophile with a taste for English Regency style — is exporting his vast quantities of financial, social, and political capital to this city, where he has long yearned for influence.

Bermuda is a weekend escape, but no place has captured the mayor like London


IMF Chief Arrested For Sexual Assault

Posted in crime, politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by Qritiq
IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (...

Image via Wikipedia

The head of the International Monetary Fund and French presidential hopeful, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, 62, has been arrested in New York City, for the violent sexual assault of an African 32-year-old Sofitel hotel housekeeper.

The victim had been instructed to clean Strauss-Kahn’s $3000-a-night suite, which she thought was unoccupied, since no-one came to the door when she knocked. NYPD said the victim said that Strauss-Kahn came from out of the bathroom naked, chased her down the hallway, forced her into a bedroom, and sexually assaulted her.  She said she fought, but then he dragged her into the bathroom, where he forced her to perform oral sex on him and he tried to take her underwear off.  He tried to lock her into the hotel room, but she was able to escape (hotel video cameras show her running from the room) and call her boss. 911 was called by hotel staff.

Detectives  arrived, but found that Strauss-Kahn had already fled, leaving personal items behind in his rush. (His driver has been heard to say that Strauss-Kahn seemed agitated and could not get to the airport fast enough.) The NYPD notified Port Authority police who arrested Strauss-Kahn on an Air France flight about to leave the gate, as he was trying to quickly leave the country.  Witnesses on the airline reported that before the police arrived, Strauss-Kahn had shouted “What a great ass!” after the stewardess. Strauss-Kahn always sits in First Class on Air France flights. It is reported that DNA evidence was collected at the scene of the crime and that the police collected bloody sheets. Strauss-Kahn’s criminal defense attorney has also represented Jacob the Jeweler and Sean “Puffy” Combs.

Strauss-Kahn faces a possible sentence of 15 to 20 years, along with a potential sentence of up to five years for unlawful imprisonment. NYPD says Strauss-Kahn does not have diplomatic immunity. He was handed over to the Special Victims Unit. Strauss-Kahn’s alibi is that he was having lunch with his daughter Camille, a Columbia University political science grad student, at the time of the attack.

The maid was taken by EMS to the hospital to treat her injuries. A hotel worker described the victim as well-mannered and quiet.  She was also described as a “sweet lady”, and a “good person” who is friendly and has a family. A neighbor described her as “good people” who never causes problems and is “nice”. The manager of the Sofitel said “We want to stress that our employee has been working with Sofitel New York for three years and we have been completely satisfied with the quality of her work and behavior.”  The victim makes $23,000 a year; Strauss-Kahn makes in excess of $500,000 a year.

Strauss-Kahn was known to have had an extra-marital affair with a subordinate, in recent years. He is still married.  The subordinate’s husband reported the affair, but even then, Strauss-Kahn was not let go by the IMF.  Strauss-Kahn is unpopular with many ethnic New Yorkers due to recent actions of the IMF in Europe.

Strauss-Kahn may well be a flight risk: The French refuse to extradite Roman Polanski, who fled to France before his trial for the rape of an American 13-year-old. The girl, now a woman, says the incident ruined her life.

A young journalist, Tristane Banon (Strauss-Kahn’s second wife’s goddaughter), said that Strauss-Kahn had tried to rape her when she was 21 in an empty apartment in Paris after she had asked him for an interview. “He wanted to grab my hand while answering my questions, and then my arm. We ended up fighting, since I said clearly, ‘No, no.’ We fought on the floor, I kicked him, he undid my bra, he tried to remove my jeans,” she said. She said that she later went to a lawyer who said he had “a pile of files on Mr. Strauss-Kahn.” Banon said she was afraid to file charges due to Strauss-Kahn’s political power.

Banon’s mother later asked Strauss-Kahn why he had attacked her daughter. She said that his answer was: “I don’t know what happened, I went crazy.”

French politician Aurelie Filipetti has said that she has been groped by Strauss-Kahn and is careful now to never be alone in a room with him.  The Times of London reports that a female reporter for a European paper said that in November Strauss-Kahn offered her an exclusive interview, “but I had to go and spend the weekend with him in Paris or somewhere.” “He was incredibly insistent . . . He made it almost explicit that I had to sleep with him for the interview.”  A former collaborator of Strauss-Kahn wrote that Strauss-Kahn sexually assaulted a domestic worker in Mexico, while he was there on official business.

Strauss-Kahn’s third and current wife, Anne Sinclair, clearly supports his past behavior. Of the affair she wrote, “These things happen in the life of any couple.” Of the current assault charges she says “I don’t believe for a second the accusations leveled against my husband.”

UPDATE: Strauss-Kahn was picked out of a lineup on Sunday, by the victim.  He is now being held at Riker’s without bail, since he is a flight risk. Strauss-Kahn has 7 charges against him, including anal sexual conduct with another person by forcible compulsion. The hospital the victim was taken to performed a standard rape exam, and a Manhattan ADA on the case said they reported that their findings were consistent with the victim’s account.  An acting managing director of the IMF has been named.

UPDATE 5/17: Strauss-Kahn has now changed his story. Instead of sticking with his original story that he was having lunch with his daughter at the time of the attack, he now says that he did have sex with the maid, but that she wanted it.

-some info from: AP,, Reuters,,,,, TODAY Show

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Posted in crisis, death with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2009 by Qritiq


Rumor has it that a Morningside Heights public elementary school student has died from swine flu.  The child was apparently known to be in critical condition for days before the mayor finally decided to close the school.  If the city and the media continue the news blackout on swine flu deaths, the rumors will continue to fly.

The Post has finally identified one of the dead as Danita Lee, 55, of Queens, who attended the FEGS career placement center in the Bronx.

City Councilman John C. Liu of Queens says the Bloomberg administration has failed to disclose enough information. “The cloak of secrecy is not alleviating anyone’s fears, whether they’re real or perceived,” he said.

Murder In Midtown

Posted in midtown with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by Qritiq

A 29-year-old pregnant SUNY New Paltz alumna was killed Friday by Keston “Cory” Brown, 27 of 946 Leggett Avenue in the Bronx.  Brown has prior arrests.

Brown is a Gristedes/Red Apple Group employee. He plowed his 2-ton Gristedes van into two women on East 37th Street just as the pregnant Ysemny “Semy” Ramos, who was planning to celebrate her third wedding anniversary that night, and co-worker Tassia Katsiambanis were leaving work.  The van held Brown and his male passenger, Yusuf Rodriguez, age 30.  According to witnesses, Brown pulled up alongside the women and began slowly following them.  The men harassed and yelled at the women, according to witnesses.  When the women ignored the men, the van slammed into the women, pinning Katsiambanis.  Brown accelerated with such force that the van toppled a parking meter, a signpost and a bollard meant to protect the parking meter.

Katsiambanis begged passersby rushing to her aid to help Ramos instead.  “My friend is pregnant. Please help her!” witnesses heard Katsiambanis scream. It was too late; Brown’s actions had cut the pregnant woman in half.

“She was full of love,” Renaldo Ramos said of his wife. “She refused to see the glass half-empty. She always filled up my cup when I saw it empty.”  According to Renaldo, there is no punishment great enough for his wife’s killer.  Semy described herself on her myspace page as a “devoted wife”.  Semy, a graphic designer, had just begun working at Israel Berger & Associates two months ago after being a stay-at-home mom.  Her family said she was “ecstatic” about being pregnant with a little girl.

The driver, Keston “Cory” Brown, fled the scene, but was quickly caught by police.  Police investigators found no mechanical problems with the vehicle.  Also, police searched, but found no skid marks at the scene.  (The presence of skid marks would indicate that the driver tried to brake, but none were found.)
Keston Brown.  Witnesses say Brown was ogling Mrs. Ramos and became angry after she rebuffed him.

A bit about Keston Brown’s employer:

John Catsimatidis owns the Gristedes grocery chain.  He is also in oil refining and owns gas stations.  He is planning to build oceanfront condos in Coney Island and is involved in corporate takeovers.  His motto is “We’re all salesmen.”  He is against regulation for businesses and plans to make a mayoral run.

Gristedes has declined comment.


Tassia has been released from the hospital.  She says, “I don’t know how to put the pieces back together”.  Of the friend she has lost, she says “I’m blessed to have known her.  I’m lost over the fact she’s gone.”

Semy’s family has now talked to the press.  They have made it very clear that they want justice for Semy, but the Manhattan D.A. refuses to try her killer for murder.  The D.A. may be contacted at 212-335-9000.  The address is:
Manhattan D.A.’s Main Office
One Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013 

Semy Ramos 1980-2009
Semy Ramos 1980-2009


midtown  Alex Binyaminov Cory Brown curb E. 37th St. East 37th Street Gristede’s Israel Berger & Associates jumped the curb Kastin Brown Kestin Brown Keston Brown manhattan sidewalk accident Marlon Contreras Marion Contreras Kenston Brown midtown crash new york new york city Semi Ramos Ray Ramos Reynaldo Ramos Rayray Ramos Red Apple Group manslaughter Semy Ramos

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Breaking news; semicolon used correctly.

Posted in education with tags , , , on February 18, 2008 by Qritiq

Stop the presses; Roberts’ scoop is also shocking in that he has uncovered a creative writing major who is gainfully employed.

brawl        .

By SAM ROBERTS for                    Rob Dunlavey Illustration

It was nearly hidden on a New York City Transit public service placard exhorting subway riders not to leave their newspaper behind when they get off the train.

“Please put it in a trash can,” riders are reminded. After which Neil Neches, an erudite writer in the transit agency’s marketing and service information department, inserted a semicolon. The rest of the sentence reads, “that’s good news for everyone.”

Semicolon sightings in the city are unusual, period, much less in exhortations drafted by committees of civil servants. In literature and journalism, not to mention in advertising, the semicolon has been largely jettisoned as a pretentious anachronism.

Americans, in particular, prefer shorter sentences without, as style books advise, that distinct division between statements that are closely related but require a separation more prolonged than a conjunction and more emphatic than a comma.

“When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life,” KurtVonnegut once said. “Old age is more like a semicolon.”

In terms of punctuation, semicolons signal something New Yorkers rarely do. Frank McCourt, the writer and former English teacher at Stuyvesant High School, describes the semicolon as the yellow traffic light of a “New York sentence.” In response, most New Yorkers accelerate; they don’t pause to contemplate.

Semicolons are supposed to be introduced into the curriculum of the New York City public schools in the third grade. That is where Mr. Neches, the 55-year-old New York City Transit marketing manager, learned them, before graduating from Tilden High School and Brooklyn College, where he majored in English and later received a master’s degree in creative writing.

But, whatever one’s personal feelings about semicolons, some people don’t use them because they never learned how.

In fact, when Mr. Neches was informed by a supervisor that a reporter was inquiring about who was responsible for the semicolon, he was concerned.

“I thought at first somebody was complaining,” he said.

One of the school system’s most notorious graduates,David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam serial killer who taunted police and the press with rambling handwritten notes, was, as the columnist Jimmy Breslin wrote, the only murderer he ever encountered who could wield a semicolon just as well as a revolver. (Mr. Berkowitz, by the way, is now serving an even longer sentence.)

But the rules of grammar are routinely violated on both sides of the law.

People have lost fortunes and even been put to death because of imprecise punctuation involving semicolons in legal papers. In 2004, a court in San Francisco rejected a conservative group’s challenge to a statute allowing gay marriage because the operative phrases were separated incorrectly by a semicolon instead of by the proper conjunction.

Louis Menand, an English professor at Harvard and a staff writer at The New Yorker, pronounced the subway poster’s use of the semicolon to be “impeccable.”

Lynne Truss, author of “Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation,” called it a “lovely example” of proper punctuation.

Geoffrey Nunberg, a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, praised the “burgeoning of punctuational literacy in unlikely places.”

Allan M. Siegal, a longtime arbiter of New York Times style before retiring, opined, “The semicolon is correct, though I’d have used a colon, which I think would be a bit more sophisticated in that sentence.”

New York City Transit’s unintended agenda notwithstanding, e-mail messages and text-messaging may jeopardize the last vestiges of semicolons. They still live on, though, in emoticons, those graphic emblems of our grins, grimaces and other facial expressions.

The semicolon, befittingly, symbolizes a wink.