High Line, New York (New York City)

October 9, 2012 by · Comments Off on High Line, New York (New York City) 

High Line, New York (New York City), The High Line is a 1-mile (1.6 km) New York City linear park built on a 1.45-mile (2.33 km) section of the former elevated New York Central Railroad spur called the West Side Line, which runs along the lower west side of Manhattan; it has been redesigned and planted as an aerial greenway.

The High Line Park currently runs from Gansevoort Street, three blocks below West 14th Street, in the Meatpacking District, up to 30th Street, through the neighborhood of Chelsea to the West Side Yard, near the Javits Convention Center.

The recycling of the railway into an urban park has spurred real estate development in the neighborhoods which lie along the line.

In 1847, the City of New York authorized street-level railroad tracks down Manhattan’s West Side. For safety, the railroads hired men – the “West Side Cowboys” – to ride horses and wave flags in front of the trains. Yet so many accidents occurred between freight trains and other traffic that 10th Avenue became known as “Death Avenue”.
After years of public debate about the hazard, in 1929 the city and the state of New York and the New York Central Railroad agreed on the West Side Improvement Project, which included the High Line. The 13-mile (21 km) project eliminated 105 street-level railroad crossings and added 32 acres (13 ha) to Riverside Park. It cost over $150 million, about $2 billion in 2009 dollars.

The High Line opened to trains in 1934. It originally ran from 34th Street to St. John’s Park Terminal, at Spring Street. It was designed to go through the center of blocks, rather than over the avenue, to avoid the drawbacks of elevated trains. It connected directly to factories and warehouses, allowing trains to roll right inside buildings. Milk, meat, produce, and raw and manufactured goods could be transported and unloaded without disturbing traffic on the streets.

The train also passed underneath the Western Electric complex at Washington Street. This section has survived until today and is not connected with the rest of the developed park.

What’s popular in America?

January 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on What’s popular in America? 

What's popular in America?What’s popular in America?, A few of our favorite things

Americans have no problem picking favorites. From rants on Facebook to “American Idol” voting, we know what we love and hate, and we’ll tell anyone who wants to listen. As a result, it’s pretty easy for researchers to get a good idea of the things America goes for….

Popularity is a funny thing. Fads pop in and out of style, but some of our biggest treasures are those that have survived the test of time. Consistency, quality and longevity are the keys to our hearts.

Most popular person in America

It’s hard to stay in the public’s good graces. Just ask Tiger Woods or Charlie Sheen.

But many models have truly stood the test of time to become the most popular people in America….

Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are in the top five, showing that while recent presidents get mixed reviews, the ones who helped shape our country are adored. Jesus is also one of the most beloved figures in America, of course.

Only one sports figure made it into the top five, as measured by polling firm Public Policy Polling. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers led his team to a spectacular season, and was rewarded by becoming a favorite of Americans.

Most popular smartphone

It’s hard to stay a favorite in the fast-changing world of smartphones. The BlackBerry line by Research In Motion (RIMM) has plunged in popularity over the last couple of years, while phones running on Google’s (GOOG) Android platform have surged….

Users of Apple (AAPL) iPhones swear their devices are better than chocolate, rainbows and puppies — combined. And the EVO 4G from HTC has won rave reviews for its two cameras, decent 4G connection speeds and crystal-clear screen.

Users also gush over the sleek Motorola Droid 3, with its slide-out keyboard, as well as the social networking powerhouse Samsung Intensity II.

But the most popular smartphone in America comes down to the iPhone or the HTC EVO 4G.

Most popular stock

You can use several standards for most popular stock, but let’s consult hedge funds, which often invest big bucks for large institutions, such as university endowments, pension funds and foundations. Hedge-fund managers are paid extremely well and must be absolutely on top of their game….

It’s a little surprising, then, that the most popular stock picks at these funds are the same ones the average investor might pick. They are well-known names with strong businesses built to survive recessions.

The fundies love three technology companies in particular: Microsoft (MSFT) (see financial performance), Google (GOOG) (see financial performance) and Apple (AAPL) (see financial performance). (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

They’re also highly invested in one pharmaceutical company: Pfizer (PFE), which makes the popular Lipitor, Zithromax and Viagra drugs. And while many investors are staying far away from banks, hedge funds favor JPMorgan Chase (JPM).

Most popular pizza topping

We take our pizza seriously. Every man, woman and child in America eats an average of 46 slices a year, according to the Agriculture Council of America.

But not many of those slices have anchovies. That’s the least-favorite pizza topping of them all….

What we do like are the basics. Pepperoni. Cheese. Tomato. Onions and mushrooms are also in the top five, according to a survey of some 235 pizza joints by Technomic’s MenuMonitor.

Most popular summer vacation spot

Now that the holidays are over, doesn’t it seem like summer vacation should be here already? Baseball games, bike rides and fruity drinks can’t arrive fast enough.

Americans love to visit big cities during summer break. People flock to Chicago in the summer, lured by the city’s great shopping and stunning architecture….

And who can resist a good deep-dish pizza or a hot dog with all the trimmings?

Don’t forget the siren call of Orlando when temperatures rise. The city (and its surrounding area) is home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort and a number of other theme parks. Rounding out the top five cities based on hotel occupancy are New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.

Most popular dog

Americans love their dogs. There are an estimated 78 million pooches in America, and 39% of U.S. households own at least one.

Different cities have their own preferred breeds, however. Boston and Los Angeles are fans of the bulldog. Detroit likes the Rottweiler, and Honolulu favors the shiba inu….

But nationwide, the most popular pups are the friendly, happy breeds that get along well with children and other animals. That means the retrievers — golden and Labrador — are particularly loved. And the loyal, intelligent German shepherd ranks in the top five as well, according to the American Kennel Club. The Yorkshire terrier and beagle are also favorites.

In the end, two breeds topped the list: The Labrador retriever and the German shepherd.

Most popular celebrity

It seems like we’re up on celebrities’ every move, thanks to the always-there paparazzi and the spread of gossip sites. We know more than we ever wanted to about Britney Spears’ parenting skills, Mel Gibson’s tirades and Ashton Kutcher’s private life….

As a result, it’s tough for many stars to maintain the public image that icons of the past so carefully crafted. But a few celebrities have won our affection over the years, mainly by being extraordinarily talented and rising above the Hollywood scene.

We love the handsome intelligence of Denzel Washington, the down-to-earth allure of Sandra Bullock and the timeless effervescence of Betty White. Rounding out the top five are Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks, two masters of their craft.

Most popular state

Excluding your current state, which state would you most like to live in? Polling company Harris Interactive asked Americans that question in October and, not surprisingly, the balmy regions with beautiful beaches topped the list….

California and Hawaii were favorites — too bad it costs a fortune to live in either place. Florida, a favorite of retirees, came in third, with its beautiful coastlines and low tax rates. Texas and Colorado rounded out the top five.

By the way, Harris also asked which city was least desirable to live in. The top answer was New York City, followed by Detroit and Los Angeles.

From left: Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant; Five Guys Burgers and Fries / © M. Spencer Green/AP; Richard Levine/Alamy
Most popular fast-food chain

Let’s just get one thing out of the way. McDonald’s (MCD), the largest fast-food chain in the country, doesn’t even make the top five here. You won’t see Burger King or Taco Bell on Zagat’s list, either….

But a company that McDonald’s was once a huge investor in — Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) — came in third. Chipotle is one of several chains on the list that focus on fresh ingredients and good quality, a combination that Americans can’t seem to get enough of.

Chick-fil-A (try one near you) and In-N-Out Burger were also in the top five. Both are rising in popularity as they expand to more parts of the country.

Two chains vied for the title of most popular. Five Guys (find a location near you) has been nothing short of a phenomenon, drawing packed crowds wherever it opens. And Panera Bread (PNRA) has become one of the fastest-growing chains in the country.

Most popular prescription drug

Prescription drug use is skyrocketing. In any given month from 2005 to 2008, about 47.2% of Americans used a prescription drug, according to government statistics. That’s up from 39.1% in the period from 1988 to 1994….

But times are changing for the pharmaceutical industry. Last year, for the first time, the 10 most popular prescription drugs were generics, according to IMS Health.

And they aren’t all painkillers, believe it or not. The only painkiller on the list of the top five drugs is hydrocodone (Vicodin).

Doctors also love to prescribe the cholesterol drug simvastatin (Zocor). Two others on the list are used to treat high blood pressure and related ailments: lisinopril (Prinivil) and amlodipine besylate (Norvasc). And then there’s levothyroxine sodium (Synthroid) for hypothyroidism.
Most popular job

Ah, if only there were more openings for chocolate tasters, waterslide testers or Victoria’s Secret photographers. Unfortunately, those jobs are few and far between….

The most popular positions in America involve interacting with people, usually customers or patients.

Cashiers at supermarkets, gas stations and other stores are among the most common jobs, as is the related position of retail salesperson. And there’s always a need for office clerks and food preparation or food service workers.

One job that is in increasingly high demand is a registered nurse. The number of nurses 23 to 26 years old hit 165,000 in 2009, up from 102,000 seven years earlier, The Los Angeles Times reports.

Most popular dessert

Dessert choices in America keep getting more interesting and complex. Take the chai latte cupcakes at Sprinkles Cupcakes, for example, or the lemoncello cream torte at The Cheesecake Factory….

But even with all the options, dessert eaters tend to stick with the basics. Chocolate cake (check out these recipes) is a timeless winner, and chefs keep it popular with dozens of delicious variations. The same goes for apple pie (make your own). And Americans love to top desserts with ice cream or enjoy a scoop all by itself.

Also in the top five are Jell-O, made by Kraft Foods, and cheesecake. Are you drooling yet?

New York City Marathon Results

November 8, 2010 by · Comments Off on New York City Marathon Results 

New York City Marathon Results, The race is over and the celebrities who have crossed the finish line in 2010 New York Marathon. Whether running for the rights of charity or bragging each of the runners have a lot to be proud!

How famous runners in the 2010 New York Marathon to do?

The best news of the day is that celebrities who have come to declare their participation and to draw attention to the race all cross the finish line. Here is the list of celebrities who ran and how they did in the race:

1. Ryan Sutter of The Bachelorette – 3 hours, 20 minutes, 39 seconds
2. Dr. Andrew Baldwin of The Bachelor – 3 hours, 40 minutes, 47 seconds
3. Bobby Flay, Celebrity Chef – 4 hours, 1 minute, 37 second
4. Survivor: Africawinner / cancer survivor Ethan Zohn – 4 hours, 16 minutes, 20 seconds
5. Anthony Edwards from ER – 4 hours, 4 minutes, 45 seconds
6. Jared Fogle, Subway spokesman – 5 hours, 13 minutes, 28 seconds
7. Edison Pena, Chilean miner – 5 hours, 40 minutes, 51 seconds
8. Meredith Viera, Today show host, 5 hours, 59 minutes
9. Robin Quivers, The Howard Stern Show – 6 hours, 9 minutes
10. Al Roker, Today show weatherman – 7 hours, 9 minutes, 44 seconds

Obama takes digs at birthers, GOP, his advisers

May 2, 2010 by · Comments Off on Obama takes digs at birthers, GOP, his advisers 

Obama takes digs at birthers, GOP, his advisersObama takes digs at birthers, GOP, his advisers:WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama shared some words of wisdom on Saturday, saying there a few things in life harder to find and more important to keep than love.

“Well, love and a birth certificate,” Obama quipped at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, poking fun at those who question his place of birth. “I happen to know that my approval ratings are still very high in the country of my birth.” Obama was born in Hawaii, but birthers question whether he was born overseas.

Obama also jabbed Jay Leno, the comedian headlining the dinner. Obama dinged Leno as “the only person whose ratings fell more than mine.”

He said he was glad he spoke before the television host, “because we have all seen what happens when somebody takes the time slot after Leno.” Comic Conan O’Brien left NBC after his stint hosting “The Tonight Show” following Leno didn’t work out.

He took aim at his own administration too, cracking jokes about Vice President Joe Biden and his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Republicans were also the victims of many Obama punch lines. The president noted Sen. John McCain’s claim this year that he was not identified as a maverick. “We all know what happens in Arizona when you don’t have ID. … Adios amigos,” Obama quipped, referring to a new law in the state that targets illegal immigration.

He wasn’t hesitant to mention the attention-hungry couple who crashed his state dinner last fall. “Odds are that the Salahis are here. There haven’t been people that were more unwelcome at a party since Charlie Crist,” he said about the Florida governor who decided to defect from the Republican party.

Although his poll numbers are down, Obama said he hears he’s popular on Twitter and Facebook. “Or as Sarah Palin call it, the socialized media,” he said.

Leno picked up on this joke to take a dig at Obama, saying the president isn’t as aloof as some critics say he is. “He loves to socialize – health care, car companies,” Leno said, naming a few industries where the Obama administration has intervened.

Obama also acknowledged the problems facing the Gulf coast after the disastrous BP oil spill. He plans to go to the Gulf Coast Sunday for a firsthand assessment on efforts to contain the massive oil spill from an offshore drilling rig.

Among the 3,000 guests on hand included Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, comedian Chevy Chase, actor Alec Baldwin, comedian Bill Maher, actress Michelle Pfeiffer, actor Dennis Quaid, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, GOP Chairman Michael Steele, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, White House senior adviser David Axelrod, the Jonas brothers and pop star Justin Bieber.

Hollywood heavyweights Michael Douglas and Steven Spielberg were seen chatting with Emanuel.

At the dinner, the White House Correspondents’ Association introduced students who received college scholarships.

Honored at the dinner were several journalists:

-Ben Feller of The Associated Press and Jake Tapper of ABC News, for winning the Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure. Feller won for his coverage of Obama’s unexpected late-night visit to Dover Air Force Base to honor fallen soldiers. Tapper won for his story that revealed tax problems of former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D.

-Mark Knoller, of CBS News, for winning the Aldo Beckman award for sustained excellence in White House coverage. Knoller won for his work covering the White House for more than 35 years and in using multiple platforms to report.

-Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman, of the Contra Costa (Calif.) Times, for winning the Edgar A. Poe Award for excellence in coverage of news of national or regional significance. They were cited for a four-part series entitled, “Shortened Lives: Where You Live Matters.”

The White House Correspondents’ Association was formed in 1914 as a liaison between the press and the president. Every president since Calvin Coolidge has attended the dinner.

Eds: SUBS 12th graf to CORRECT spelling of Emanuel and Michael Douglas. Minor edits. Moving on general news and entertainment services.