From Internet speeds to TV Politics East Side Encounters

| 21 Mar 2016 | 02:31

    Not so fast: Verizon spokesman Ricky Gervais lauds Verizon’s “#1 for consistently fast speeds.” With all due respect, Mr. Gervais is not describing the Verizon internet access or telephone service provided to its Park Avenue residential and business customers in east midtown Manhattan. For months on end, Verizon businesses and residences in the 57th Street area have been victims of interrupted or no service for hours or days at a time. Talk to Verizon and they tell you about tangled wires, twisted cables, too much copper, not enough copper. All while billing you as though you were getting bona fide phone and internet services. No 911 in an emergency. No 311. No 511. No friends, family, relatives. No business calls coming in or going out. Nothing. An Our Town reader with five business and phone lines in her Park Ave. residence has been complaining that all five lines have been inaccessible 24/7 or with burps in between when calls can be made or received and the internet works. Seems Verizon’s told Ricky only half the story - that they are the “#1 network” when their network’s working - which is not 24/7 or even close. If Verizon wants to be the #1 network and enhance their credibility by using Ricky Gervais, then untangle the wires, untwist the cables, get the right copper and be honorable and don’t make customers pay for services they are not getting. Trust me, having to give credit for non service will lead to phones and internet working fast and furious. Really fast.

    Brazilian babes @ B&N: Late Saturday morning at B&N on East 86th. Down escalator to the Starbucks Cafe. A 20-something female working at her laptop. Wearing a mock turtleneck tee shirt ringed with the words, “I’m not sorry.” Passing by, a 20-something male noticed a postcard alongside the lady’s laptop bearing the words “Brazilian Babes,” with a sketch graphic of the lower anatomy of a female dazzled with stones. The smiling young man caught the eye of the lady at the laptop, directed his eyes to the tee shirt and glanced over at the postcard and said “I’m not sorry” either. They smiled, winked and waved at each other. Life’s too short for sorry.

    Millennial meal making: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Whole Foods may be the next venue for Blue Apron, Plated, Fresh Direct type dining on its Mezzanine floor (on 87th/3rd) for those who are not eating at home. These delivery services provide the makings/ingredients to be assembled and prepared at home. An unintended consequence is that some folks are now shopping at Whole Foods, purchasing the makings/ingredients - not from the self service buffet on the main floor - but from the meat, fish and produce departments, and making and delivering the meal to themselves. On several recent visits to Whole Foods I saw it right before my eyes. Whole Foods shopping bag in hand, a man proceeded to unpack the fresh ingredients - from fish and poultry to veggies and fruit. He removed cellophane wrapping, salted and peppered the food, placed it in a bowl with water and maybe another liquid, added parsley and mint leaves, and marched over to the microwave. It took many a trip back and forth before even one item was done. It’s not home dining. It’s not home delivery but it’s another option for the millennial generation. And it doesn’t require a monthly fee - but a willingness to shop, prepare and serve yourself. A matter of taste and time.

    Cold comfort: At home with pneumonia for over a week. Doctor’s orders. And so it was that I was landlocked as the Republican primary season raged on. Clicking the remotes is my first act when I open the door to my home. White noise, sometimes. Otherwise, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News. Different talking heads. Sometimes the same. Doesn’t matter. I want to see/hear it all on TV when I’m home. Or so it was. No more. As the Republican field whittled down. As the venom fired up. As the media hyped the protests, there had to be another way for me to stay at home and still have the TV on. Books, newspapers, yes. But the visual, how do I manage that? Comfort foods not an option. Ah, comfort from the TV. Never thought about that. What to watch? The perennials - Food Network favorites like Chopped, Unique Eats. Law and Order whatever channel. What could be more comforting than old time reruns of the 90’s show? Sam Waterston’s Asst DA Jack McCoy. Steven Hill’s DA, Adam Schiff, S. Epatha Merkerson’s NYPD Lieutenant Anita Van Buren. Predictable. Not always the ending you wanted. But it made sense. Same for Food Network’s Chopped show where working chefs compete. Their food is judged by world-class chefs like Geoffrey Zakarian, Scott Conan, Amanda Freitag. They like what they like and tell you why. And why they don’t. Makes sense. Not so Bernie’s revolution or Donald’s walls, or Ted’s endorsements. The doctor told me to stay in and I’d get better. If there’s a next time, I’ll have to ask for an over-the-counter prescription for TV watching or I’ll never get better.