Met Opera Set to Open

According to the Huffington Post, the 2016-2017 Metropolitan Opera House lineup promises to be an exciting one. In all, the season will include 225 operatic performances including six operas that have never been seen on the Metropolitan Opera House’s stage, according to the Huffington Post.

The first show of the year will take to the stage on Monday September 26 with the opening night of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan Und Isolde.” This show is conducted by Sir Simon Rattle and features performances by Nina Stemme promises to be very exciting. Performances will run through October 17.

Opera goers will then hear the velvety smooth tones of Gerald Finley as he takes to the stage for rare performances of Gioachino Rossini’s “ Guillaume Tell.’ This French Grand opera is co-produced by members of the Dutch National Opera Company. This exciting show will run through November 12.

After premiering at the Salzburg Festival, Robert LaPage once again graces the Met’s stage in Kaija Saariaho’s “L’Amour de Loin.” This ephemeral love story with a very fluidly structured score can be seen from December 1 through December 29. It will dazzle crowds with its unique LED lighting running the length of the entire stage.

New Year’s Eve promises to be very exciting as Diana Damrau and Vittorio Grigolo come to the met in their production of the much-loved ‘Romeo and Juliette.’ This Charles Gounod arrangement of the story will have audiences buzzing because of the beautiful costuming. This show will run through March 18.

Renée Fleming has announced that she will close out her exciting career at the Mets. This time she will star in Richard Strauss’ grand comedy “Der Rosenkavalier” directed by Robert Carsen. Those needing comedic relief can catch this show starting March 2.

This is the 50th anniversary of the Met at Lincoln Center. On May 7, a gala party will be held with dinner available ahead of the one-time performances of songs from “Porgy and Bess,” ”Samson et Dalila,” ” Les Troyens,” “I Lombardi.” Making the evening even more special, selections from “Antony and Cleopatra” will be heard from the Met stage for the very first time.




New York City’s Mayor Is Cracking Down On Parking Placard Abusers

Mayor Bill De Blasio is not happy about the parking debacle in his city. It’s a well-known fact that the city has strict rules about parking. Parking on a street in New York is sure to end costing more than the meter fee. Parking fines are as common as the soft pretzels and hot dogs sold on city street corners. But there are people in the city that are privileged parkers. They have placards that give them the right to park in “no parking areas.” The police, school teachers, and other city workers sometimes use placards the wrong way. The mayor is cracking down on those civil servants with the wrath of a tyrant. Bill de Blasio promised to punish any civil worker who unlawfully uses city streets, bus stops, fire hydrants, and sidewalks as legal parking places.



Mayor De Blasio said the city would enforce parking rules the same way for everyone, and that means treating parking spots around police precincts and schools the same way other no-parking areas are treated. Placard abuse has to stop, according to the mayor. He recently told an audience in the Bronx that “Public employees don’t get to be above the law.” He also said using placards the wrong way was an insult to the people of New York City.



New York City issues more than 150,000 official placards. But there are fake cards and labor unions pass out unofficial placards in some parts of the city. The union placards are not that special because they don’t give people exclusive parking privileges. But the NYPD rarely gives those people tickets even though they are parked illegally. The mayor plans to retrain police officers so they issue parking tickets to placard abusers.



De Blasio also said the police department will create a dedicated enforcement unit, and 100 new agents will be responsible for citing offending vehicles along with the agents who are already working to correct the placard abuse issue. The mayor is also creating a $100 special fine for placard abuse. That fine will be added to the cost of the parking violation.



The city will have computerized license-plate scanners in three years. The scanners are capable of electronically sweeping the streets, and they will identify who’s parked legally and who isn’t. Mayor De Blasio will be able to sleep a little better when those scanners become a reality.


Yankees Dealing with Attendance Decline

The New York Yankees are the most successful baseball team in Major League History. The team has by far the most World Series championships, playoff berths, and Hall of Fame players. Historically, this has also translated into higher attendance, ticket sales, and suite revenue. However, it appears that this historical trend is beginning to change (


Over the past few years, the New York Yankees have continued to see a drop in attendance and ticket revenues. It was recently reported that while it was clear that there were less people in the crowds, the level of the decline is very staggering. Over the past few seasons, the annual amount that the team has lost, compared to the 2009 season, is $166 million. At the same time, the average attendance at Yankees games is down more than 4,000 fans per game. In fact, the Yanks recently had a game against the Toronto Blue Jays that drew only 25,000 fans, which is the lowest amount in over a decade.


The reason for this decline is still not completely clear, but there are a lot of different factors at work. First, the team is still recovering from losing several star players to retirement. Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, and Alex Rodriguez all played their last games in the last two years, which has left the team without a marquee star player.


Another reason for the decline in attendance has been a decline in performance. In 2015 and 2016 the Yankees looked far less like the teams of the past, but they still had some success by finishing over .500 each year. While the decline in performance did affect the team and attendance, it appears that it could be coming to an end. Through the first two months of the regular season in 2017, the Yankees are once again looking like a team loaded with talent. They are currently 27 and 17, which is food for first place in their division. Furthermore, the team is loaded with young talent, which is helping to build more interest in the next iteration of the franchise. Despite the increased talent, fans have not yet returned to the stadium.



Corporate Sponsors Continue to Pull out of Puerto Rican Day Parade Citing Controversial Honoree

More corporate sponsors have pulled their support of New York’s annual Puerto Rican Day Parade, following a declaration by parade organizers to honor Oscar Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist with ties to terrorism.


Lopez Rivera is best known as a member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation, more commonly referenced by its Spanish initials F.A.L.N. The group has ties to over 120 bombings. Lopez Rivera served a term of over 35 years in prison before his sentence was commuted by President Obama last January.


Parade organizers announced that they would honor Lopez Rivera with a National Freedom Hero award, an honor that has never before been bestowed. Lopez Rivera himself will lead the parade himself.


“I do not have blood on my hands,” Lopez Rivera said after being released from prison last week. “All colonized people have a right to struggle for its independence using all methods within reach, including force. That is a right.”


AT&T is the latest sponsor to pull funding from the parade, while other groups have said they will continue to fund scholarship programs associated with the celebration, but will not fund the parade itself. Such organizations include Coca-Cola, the New York Yankees, Goya Foods, and JetBlue.


“We did not make this decision lightly and hope all sides will come together to engage in a dialogue about the parade’s role in unifying the community at a time when Puerto Rico needs it most,” said JetBlue in a recent statement concerning the event.


New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has stated that he will still march in the parade, and that the selection of Lopez Rivera would not change his stance.


“Whether you agree with that choice or not, it’s still the Puerto Rican parade,” said de Blasio, “and my point is, I will be there to honor the Puerto Rican people.”


Meanwhile, several New York City-based police organizations have stated that they will not participate in the day’s festivities. Among those groups is the Hispanic Society, which represents the largest contingent of New York’s Hispanic police officers.


Combating Lifestyle Diseases though Exercise and Diet

Today, lifestyle related illnesses are a leading contributor to deaths in the world. New York City has been on the forefront to educate and inform people on the best ways to combat these kinds of illnesses. Several media outlets continue to increase their contribution to the awareness program. There are several do’s and don’ts when it comes to feeding habits that each and every individual should follow. Despite watching our diets, doing regular exercise is every bit as important. Exercise gets associated with several benefits including


Benefits for Dementia

According to an article published in The New York Times taking a one hour walk, three days a week provides a lot of health benefits to the memory. Walking, which is the most preferred exercise may boost the brain function and improve the thinking capabilities of people with dementia. Besides keeping the person fit, walking contributes to altering the trajectory of the disease. The most common form of this disease occurs when some of the blood vessels taking blood to the brain get damaged. When blood no longer flows to the brain, an individual may lose part of their memories. Damage to these veins often gets attributed to lifestyle diseases like diabetes that increase the blood pressure. Additionally, defects of the heart may also contribute to the rupture of the veins. However, walking is not considered as a medicine or answer to the disease. Therefore, patients should continue taking medications as exercising helps to reduce the symptoms and improve their thinking capability.

While exercising is important, feeding habits are necessary if the war against lifestyle diseases is to be won.


Effects of Diet on Knee Arthritis

Among the do’s include adding a high fiber diet to everyday meals. Fiber has positive effects on the reduction of knee arthritis symptoms. For healthy individuals, a high fiber diet reduces the risk of having knee arthritis. The disease gets characterized by a lot of pain in the kneecaps, and it affects a larger population of the elderly. Studies conducted indicate that with every increase of fiber in the diet, it led to a decreased prevalence of the disease. Tests conducted showed that fiber reduced inflammation and contributed to regulating the body mass. Therefore, patient and healthy individuals got instructed to include at least 25-30 grams of fiber in their diet. The research also indicated that adding fiber to our daily meals is the most economical way of reducing knee arthritis. Additionally, fiber has additional benefits like maintaining the heart healthy and reducing weight.


Puerto Rican Day Parade Changes

Sponsors Dip Out of Puerto Rican Day Parade


The Puerto Rican Day Parade is one of the many annual festivals that takes over the streets of New York every year. This year’s parade, however, may be short some notable features, namely sponsors.


As of Tuesday, there is a list of growing sponsors and companies who have all decided to pull their support away from the 2017 Puerto Rican Day Parade. The reasoning for doing so is tied to Oscar López Rivera, a known Puerto Rican nationalist who is supposed to be honored at the event. Some of the companies involved in this are AT&T, Coca-Cola, JetBlue Airways and even the New York Yankees.


These four companies, along with Goya Foods, all released statements saying they would not participate this year with the reasoning being a “business decision.” Several New York City police groups have also joined the list in those organizations deciding not to participate this year, which is scheduled for June 11th in Manhattan.


When asked about the sponsors, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade’s board of directors expressed their sadness and disappointment for the sponsors who would not participate but at the same time respected their views and right to make the decision. The board also respected the Parade’s mission and commitment to being an inclusive event and bearing the responsibility of representing all the voices that make up the Puerto Rican community. Oddly enough, Coca-Cola, the Yankees and JetBlue have still decided to give their financial support to the scholarships launched by the parade. The Yankees organization stated they would keep the financial support in order to protect the best interests of students who wanted their education to continue.


Regarding the parade itself, a special honor was to be given Oscar López Rivera, who was widely recognized as Puerto Rico’s first “National Freedom Hero.” Rivera was originally a member of the Armed Forces of National Liberation and spent more than 35 years in prison, until former President Barack Obama commuted his sentence. Just last week, Rivera was greeted to a hero’s welcome in Chicago, after being credited as a major player in Puerto Rico’s fight for independence during the 1970s and 1980s.


New York City’s MTA Will Pay People $1 Million If They Can Help Fix The Subway Debacle

The subway in New York is the lifeblood of the city. Without the subway, the congested streets of the city would be impassable. Traffic has always been a problem, and the subway system helps alleviate some commuting issues for New York residents. But the subway system is not a smooth running machine. The subway system has a basket full of problems, and city officials don’t know how to fix those issues. The system needs upgrades and repairs, and city officials say it could take 40 years to complete all the current repairs. By that time the subway system will be overcrowded, obsolete, and an endless money pit.



Governor Cuomo recently introduced a plan that gets the people involved in upgrading the subway system. Cuomo ordered the MTA to hold a “Genius Award” contest to find the best ways to fix the almost unfixable subway system. The aging fleet of subway cars, the broken signals, and the lack of Wi-Fi and cellular service in the tunnels, and on trains are driving New Yorkers batty, and city officials are grasping at straws in their attempt to come with feasible solutions. Common service delays are the result of the city’s inattentive attitude to the subway’s infrastructure.



The consensus is, Cuomo doesn’t believe the city can fix the subway debacle, so he is asking New Yorkers and people around the world for help. Some city officials say the contest is a half-baked idea, but other people think the governor is doing the right thing.



The contest is broken down by category. Anyone that comes up with an idea to fix the subway car issue will win a $1 million. And anyone who can solve the signal issue gets another $1 million. And if someone can find a way to make the subway system more tech friendly, they would get $1 million. Cuomo knows it is only a matter of time before the system breaks down and accidents become the norm. Putting a contest in place is the catalyst the city needs to solve an issue that could paralyze the city in the blink of an eye. New Yorkers like the contest idea. The Mass Transit Authority is already getting responses even though the contest just started.


Trump’s Budget Proposal Will Hurt New York City’s Schools And Housing

The initial reaction to President Trump’s budget is alarming. Once again, Trump is serving up a heavy dose of political fiction, and he expects Congress to swallow it. Congress has digestive issues, and this new budget is more than the members on both sides of the House can manage. Congress is not going to take the political bait, and cities like New York are not going to take it either. Yep, Trump’s hometown will lose $850 million in Federal funding if Trump’s budget goes through both Houses as it written. That’s not going to happen, but the damage from the thought of Trump cutting programs that fund city housing, schools, healthcare, and other programs has already made Trump look like the buffoon he is.



The 2018 budget would cut $108 million in grants for city schools and $21 million in after-school programs for low-income students. The budget also eliminates the program to develop housing for low-income families, and that will cost the city $12 million. And the energy assistance program that helps New Yorkers heat their homes will also go away. That will cost the city another $23 million. The budget would also cut $48 million in rental assistance, and $68 million for senior centers, domestic violence, and other protective services. The government’s contribution to NYCHA would be cut by 20 percent, and that amounts to $168 million. Public housing capital funds would also be cut, and that will cost the city another $200 million a year.



The message Trump is sending the people is clear. His political plan is to say one thing and do another. The campaign promises were not promises. They were empty words from a man who has a hidden agenda. The cost of protecting Trump, and his family, when they are in New York City is $1 million a day. The people of New York think that is ridiculous. Even though the Secret Service is paid by the government to protect the family, New York law enforcement has to assist the agents when it comes to controlling the movements of the public.



Trump is costing New York City more than just money. His words and actions shine a negative light on the city, and New Yorkers are sick about that.


Great New Burger On The Menu At New York’s Cafe Altro Paradiso

New York City continues to be a mecca for food lovers everywhere. It remains a major foodie destination for people who enjoy sampling some of the finest in regional and national cuisine. Chefs here are constantly looking for new ways to please their customers. One such chef is Ignacio Mattos. He and his fellow chef at Cafe Altro Paradiso have a new offering for their diners. In order to celebrate the extension of their new lunch service to five days a week, they are now showcasing an entirely new burger that many are hailing as one of the city’s very best.


Heady Flavors


The new burger on the menu is all about creating a varied flavor profile that is familiar to New Yorkers. Many area residents are also familiar with burgers made with unusual flavors. Several cuts of beef are mixed together including short rib and skirt steak to create a base for the burger that is similar in taste to many other area burgers. Once the mixture gets a nice crust on it, it is then finished on a plancha. New Yorkers are known to embrace many kinds of cuisines from all over the world and this one takes that into account. The burger is further seasoned with chile oil, fish sauce and fresh rosemary. The fish sauce gives the entire burger an international flair that fits right in with this part of the city where international flavors are the order of the day.


Other Elements


Other elements are added to the burger to create a full bodied burger. They use Gorgonzola cheese on a bun made from brioche topped with mayonnaise. The burger is then topped with picked onions and a sprinkling of caper berries. The entire burger is finished off with a mostarda, a mustard fruit sauce that is popular in Italy where it serves as a bridge between the sweet and the savory. The sauce is cooked for four hours until is it can serve as the ideal topping for the entire sandwich. Sweetness marries very well with the other elements of the dish, allowing for a special experience. The result is a burger that is fully worthy of the title of one of New York’s best burgers.


Two Special Elections In New York Show A Change Is Coming Faster Than Expected

On May 23, 2017, two New York special legislative elections prove the Democrats may be down, but they are not out. Democrat, Christine Pellegrino, defeated her Republican opponent in the Ninth Assembly District on Long Island by 16 percentage points. Pellegrino got 58 percent to Tom Gargiulo’s 42 percent in a district that is heavily Republican. Trump won the same district with 60 percent of the vote.



Political pundits are paying close attention to special elections in every state in the nation. The same sort of Democratic power statement may happen in the midterm elections in 2018. Christine Pellegrino is the new poster child for a Democratic comeback, according to some political activists. If she can be that impressive in Trump territory, other Democrats who support bold moves, and put the working people before the privileged, can win in 2018 the same way she did in 2017.



The reason for the comeback is simple. Donald Trump is an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party. People are watching as Trump tries to take away their health care and their rights. Democrats like George Soros and Hilary Clinton are working behind the scenes, and they are using money and their celebrity to run the Trump train off the tracks.



Bernie Sanders is working relentlessly to expose the real Donald Trump. The Sanders message is eroding Trump’s support base. Christine Pellegrino, a schoolteacher and union activist, was a 2016 Sanders delegate. Republicans continue to distant themselves from Trump. It’s only a matter of time before Trump shoots himself in his size 12 Johnson and Murphy lace-up brogues and the whole chaotic mess implodes on him.



The other special election in New York was for the State Senate seat in Harlem. Democrat, Brian Benjamin won that election. A Republican alliance has been in control of that chamber for some time and electing Benjamin is the first step in breaking up that alliance.



Other state races are confirming the message. The Democrats are back. But in order to be back, the Democratic Party must embrace the wishes of the people. Democrats must listen to the message of Bernie Sanders, and other political leaders who have the interest of the people in their hearts and actions.