Try Walking to Work; Subway Fares Rise

The temperatures are dropping, but I’m still glad I can walk to work. Good luck to everybody else. The board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted today to raise subway, bus, and commuter rail prices for the third time in three years. After all the changes and service cuts this past summer, you’d think the MTA would give riders a break, but the fare increases passed in the board vote 12-2. The MTA plans to see a 7.5% increase in revenue from the fare hikes. From The Times:

“The unlimited 7-day and 30-day MetroCards for the city’s subway and bus system will remain unlimited, as the board rejected a proposal to cap the number of rides they are valid for. But the price of the passes will jump significantly. On Dec. 30, when the increases take effect, a 30-day unlimited card will cost $104, up from $89, a 17 percent increase, while an unlimited weekly pass will cost $29, up from $27. Single rides will rise 25 cents to $2.50.”

The MTA is like most of our city, struggling with budget shortfalls and funding shortages. Looks like commuters are going to start facing their own budget shortfalls come soon.

Austin Dispatch: Thursday, October 7th at 12:26 PM (Texas Time)

Opened up this morning in a Austin, Texas Clarion (by Choice Hotels) Hotel. Thought it’d be a good time for the bad things/good things, a day before Austin City Limits kicks things off.

1. Good: Hotel was booked solid, the desk clerk said, but my girlfriend and I locked down a room on the inside over looking the pool with not a soul in sight.

2. Bad: Smoking room, two twins. Smells like an intoxicated Aunt craving breakfast.

3. Good: Counted 8 pillows in total, all surprisingly soft and comfortable.

4. Bad: The twin bed facing the mirror has clearly been used as the sex palace of thousands of others before us. The comforter has an Italy-shaped stain smack in the middle and we found hair in the sheets.

5. Good: The microwave works, enabling us to enjoy Austin favorite Stouffer’s Mac & Cheese.

6. Bad: It took 18 minutes to properly warm up.

7. Good: TV remote is satisfyingly responsive. No need for leaning to far to change from HGTV to CNN.

8. Bad: Says they have HBO, lies to our face.

9. Good: No bed bugs, so far, despite the fear.

10. Bad: Unidentifiable bugs in the bath tub, sent packing with the morning shower.

Weekly Bar & Restaurant Round Up

It’s Thursday which means it’s time for the round up of recent bar/restaurant openings. This week brings more sushi (times two), a cozy coffee shop, a new cocktail spot, a whiskey bar complete with an elevated stripper pole (clearly necessary), and the last addition isn’t super new, but was recently put into our listings: a double-decker Mexican restuarant with a mechanical bull if you’re so inclined to take a ride.

Akariba: An oyster and sake bar spin-off of Williamsburg’s Zenkichi located in their former garden/courtyard.

Dram: Cozy new cocktail spot that serves carefully crafted drinks and fancified versions of bar snack favorites.

House Of Small Wonder: Coffee shop offering espresso drinks, homemade pastries, sandwiches, and freshly squeezed juices.

Momo Sushi Shack: Japanese food & sushi in Bushwick opened by the owners of Bozu.

The Whiskey Brooklyn: Beer, whiskey, fried food, a stripper pole, and arcade games can all be found here.

Viva El Toro: Sub-par Mexican food and a mechanical bull.

Music Video: Die Antwoord "Evil Boy"

I waited to post this to make sure that nobody would be at work while watching. But I think now Die Antwoord’s video for “Evil Boy” has gone from being not safe for work to being just plain nightmare-inducing, and maybe not safe for anywhere.

From The Brooklyn Star To Best Pizza

c/o Eater

Eight months ago a terrible fire forced one of our favorite eateries The Brooklyn Star to shut down. Today we’re excited to report that the space is being re-opened as “Best Pizza”, and is being backed by The Brooklyn Star and Roberta’s. Initial tastings of the pizza have been highly positive. Eater has the full lowdown on the new spot.

Best Pizza, a new slice joint and sit down pizzeria that will open in the old Brooklyn Star space any day now (tipsters and locals have already tried the pies during some dry runs) is a joint venture between the teams at Brooklyn Star and Bushwick pizzeria/restaurant/farm/radio station/hipster hang Roberta’s. Baca tells Eater that he and the folks over at Roberta’s are backing the venture but that pizzaolo Frank Pinello is the man in charge of running the place and creating the pies.

Expect more on the place when it opens, but until then, here’s our tipster’s take on the pie:

I just had a 20 inch garlic and anchovy pizza from “Best Pizza” in the old Brooklyn Star space…the crust and sauce smacked of Roberta’s but the pizza was in a more old school NY pizzaria style. They serve pizza by the slice in that grand old oven and will start delivering soon. It was amazing by the way.

We’ll have more details on Best Pizza once it’s officially open.

Ticket Giveaway: Gorillaz at MSG with Lou Reed, Mos def, De la Soul, etc.

That’s a pretty stacked lineup. So if you want to see Gorillaz with a bunch of other legendary dudes, you might want to comment below for your chance to win a pair. Just sayin’…

Tom Scharpling and Jon Wurster take on Williamsburg bloggers

While trying to introduce The New Pornographers at Matador 21 in Vegas this weekend, Tom Scharpling (host of The Best Show on WFMU) was joined on stage by comedy partner Jon Wurster, appearing as a cynical music blogger for the site shovel.com (Get it?). In the short repartee the two refer to Williamsburg as “the biggest college campus in the world,” reference Das Racist and talk about bouncy castle teams. So overall…pretty accurate I guess?

Full disclosure: I am typing this from my iPhone while playing kickball right now.

Gayngs played Music Hall of Williamsburg

I never went to prom. But if I had thought for even a second that it would resemble Gayngs’ show at Music Hall of Williamsburg last night, I might’ve reconsidered. It was like a packed house of the people who nobody realized were cool until we took off our glasses and let our hair down. Just  getting together for an hour of slow dancing and nobody even got shoved in a locker! The band had made their New York City debut the night before at Bowery Ballroom, and you could tell they felt warmed up and comfortable in front of the Brooklyn crowd.

Gayngs took the stage looking like a crew of the smoothest dudes you’ve ever seen. Bow ties and starched white shirts and dinosaur hoodies and so many sunglasses at night. That’s smooth. They began with Relayted album-opener “The Gaudy Side of Town,” and from that moment I realized that this band was going to be spot on all night.

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