Sunday, May 18, 2008

Jon the Godfather???

On Saturday I attended the First Communion celebration for a friend’s daughter and while at the Church, another friend asked me to be the Godfather of his son. I immediately thought that it would be cool to be someone’s “Godfather,” but then I started to think about it and realized I know very little about what it really means to be a Godfather.

I am going to talk to some good friends who are from Mexico and grew up in the Catholic church to get their insight before I make a final decision.

I told my friend and his wife that I felt honored to be asked, and wasn’t sure if I was qualified. Later in the day they refereed to me as “Padrino Jon” which in English is “Godather Jon” so I know they like the idea, but I gotta find out a little bit more for myself.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

If you See Something, Say Something and be prepared to WAIT!

9:00ish – Walking in the corridor towards the 7 train from A train at Port Authority I passed a screaming preacher, except he was walking next to me and others around me following us and literally screaming until the steps to go down to the 7 train platform.

9:10 – I walk back through the corridor to three transit police officers who I saw earlier to make a complaint against the preacher. They appear to be busy with another civillian and tell me they’ll look into it, even though they didn’t have any information like, who, where, etc.

9:20 – Unhappy with the response from the three police officers and doubtful they will do anything because #1 they don’t know who I am talking about and #2 where the inciddent occurred, I got the dispatch office of the 7 train. I am told they can’t call a police officer, and I need to go tell a token booth operator who can call for police.

9:30 – I go to booth near West 42nd and 7th avenue part of the subway station. The attendant Robin is helpful and says she will call for an officer if Im willing to wait.

10:00 No officer and the attendent says that according to MTA policy, she can call if an officer hasn’t arrived within 30 minutes. I tell her that I’m willing to wait and to please call again.

10:12 (almost 45 mintues after the original call) I see three officers walking past us from a distance. I motion to the token booth attendant who opens the door to her booth and yells at the officers to come over and explains how I have been waiting “for an hour.”

10:15 Officers listen to what happened and say they will talk with the guy.

Later in the day I call the New York City Transit Customer Service Line (718-330-3322) to compliment the attendant and complain about the “No Response” from the police. The operator tells me I need to call the Transit Police (718-694-3640) to discuss the lack of response.

Later in the afternoon I call the Transit Police and speak with a helpful officer who answers the phone “Transit Wheel” and says that a 20-25 minute wait is normal, but 45 minutes is unacceptable. She said that maybe the attendant did not report the complaint. Each token booth is assigned a number and I told the officer the number of the booth I went to and she was able to use the number to locate the Call for Service. It was dispatched at 9:48 and closed at 10:51. The call was for a “religious person in station harrasing customer,” but it failed to mention that a citizen was waiting at the token booth to speak with an officer. No one is going to wait 45 minutes to speak to an officer about this, and that’s why it continues unchecked. I asked that they please improve communication between their dispatch staff and the token booth attendants and improved trianing for the token booth attendants in reporting citizen requests for an officer.

Everyone I interacted with was courteous and kind, but a 45 minute wait is unacceptable and must be improved. I saw something today and said something, but next time I’m tempted to just close my eyes and cover my ears!

If you want to help improve the response time of the transit police, join the force by clicking here:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Puta Power!

While Spitzer begins to looks for new hobbies, let me take a moment to recommend a great move about whores or as they are known in Spanish as “putas.”

The Railroad All-Stars (Estrellas de La Línea), a documentary released in 2006, takes place along “La Linea” a crime-filled part of Guatemala City along the railroad tracks where the destitute hookers earn a couple dollars per act. With the $$$ that Elliot spends on putas, he could have had all of the Guatemalan hookers he wanted. None of this $5,000 for an hour. Anyway, the putas form a soccer team to raise awareness and equality for all putas. After they got kicked out of soccer league after people found out their profession, they took to the road challenging teams throughout the country and actually played pretty well. It’s a sincere portrayal of their lives, at times sad and at times funny. Especially funny when the grandma puta’s (since retired) glass eye falls out.

And yes, it has English subtitles for my friends and family who don’t speak Spanish.

Here are some definitions I looked up as I wrote this post:

1. a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money; prostitute; harlot; strumpet.
–verb (used without object)

–noun 1. a woman who engages in sexual intercourse for money; whore; harlot.
2. a man who engages in sexual acts for money.
3. a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money.
–verb (used with object)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Forget Barak, Hillary and McCain

The race for the White House is heating up here in neighborhood…wait did I say the White House? Oops… I mean the Presidential Palace…the one in the Dominican Republic. Yes, flags are flying, people are passing out leaflets and one of the candidates has set up in office on my block! Yup, current president Leonel Fernández of the Dominican Liberation Party has an office two buildings away. You know where he grew up? Yes, New York City.

You gotta love the Heights… Election Day is coming up on May 16th!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


It’s raining a lot today and pretty hard at times. I’ve cleaned the entire apartment and catching up on some reading. I’m in the living room with the window open a bit and everytime it starts to rain again, you hear people yelling as they try to escape it. Good day to stay inside.
In a few months, the Central Park Dance Skaters will start up again...some Saturday fun and as you can see in the pic from last summer, skates are not required. I was walking by, but couldn't resist the urge to jump in and join them. Give them a call at 212-777-3232.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tamale Tuesday

As many people know, I love a good tamale. Last week I told a few friends at work that I would be hosting a “Tamale Tuesday” and bring in homemade tamales from the tamale lady for a $1 a piece. I was honored with an aware at a staff meeting last week and a similar event that I created (Taco Tuesday) was mentioned so I took the opportunity to invite the entire office to today’s Tamale Tuesday. I worked from home in the morning and then picked up a special order of 40 tamales from the tamale lady's apartment. I expected to only go through 10-15, but went through over 30! I sold them at cost for a $1 because the whole purpose of the event was to get people out of their offices and spend a few minutes socializing. The tamale interest is there, now we just have to work on the socializing. It’s tough in corporate America, but I’ll keep trying.
Note: This is not a picture from the Midtown office, but actually from someone in Texas.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Family Time

I’m going down to DC to see my new niece this weekend. I can’t wait to see her. She’s three weeks old! I’m taking Monday off and the weekend to relax and enjoy the fam. I’m the uncle of six!