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January 30, 2008

Congestion pricing benefiting the poor?

The Metro newspaper ( found inside the lobby of my college) has a little article in it's Voices section that I thought was thorough and competent. Melissa Mark-Viverito suggests that the current plan by Michael Bloomberg and Co. to charge drivers to enter Manhattan would noly affect the upper classes.".. 5 percent of commuters in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx travel to Manhattan by private car. People who drives cars to work also earn 30 percetn more per year than those of us who use mass transit." mrs. Viverito also goes on to explain how the extra income generated from the new tolls, will go towards improving the subway and Bus systems.

If all of the author's facts are true then i can see myself becoming a proponent for congestion pricing rather than my initial reaction to oppose any additional fees placed upon the middle class. the proposed price to enter Manhattan is approximately $8.00 per trip. Figure 5 times per week = $40.00 weekly. My prediction is that the $40.00 extra wont deter anyone of affluence. However, the majority of that upper 5% of people driving into Manhattan may not be able to afford such a toll. The sum of the tolls over a years time is a significant $2080.00.

perhaps if the city would work with the drivers and create an E-Z Pass discounted system or something similar to the system in place fro commuters who use monthly metrocards.

But what about taxi cabs? Wont this $8.00 fee hurt them the most out of everyone? Will it hurt yes, is it going to kill the industry or make rides into the city significantly more expensive? No, I'm sure there will be a loophole or exemption for livery cabs.

Thanks for reading,

We Light Up Queens

The Anthropology of a Guido

Hello everyone, this is Anthropology 101. We will be discussing the anatomy of many different creatures, from extinct to endangered, from simple to complex, through their evolutions. Last week I believed we left off during a discussion of the of progression of what we are today, homo-sapien.

To refresh your memory, it all started off with Homo-ergaster, predominantly in Africa. Homo-ergaster evolved into homo-erectus who lived in Asia, and homo-antecessor who lived in Africa as well as Europe. From Homo-antecessor came Homo-rhodesiensis. These evolved into what we know as neanderthals, and what we know as homo-sapiens, or humans.

Are you taking notes? This is alot of information. Anyway, this is where we left off. Homo-sapien is not the final step evolution. Yes, many homo-sapiens still live today, but there is a fairly new species that lives among us.

From homo-sapien, a species that lives in the major 6 continents, we can derive a new species known as Homo-blowoutus. Homo-blowoutus (unlike the other prior species that aided in human progression and helped humans live in whatever situation they were faced, whether it be snow, extreme heat or starvation) is a fairly new, all male and, for lack of a better word, a dead-end species. Homo-blowoutus reside mostly in Northeastern United States (especially upepr-class urban parts of New York and New Jersey).

They are a pest to their fellow Homo-sapien. They take up space at places where homo-sapien enjoy to build their strength, and they create turmoil by making loud noises and excreting (along with sweat) a gooey substance from the hair atop their head (we will talk about their peculiar hair later in the lesson).

Homo-blowoutus breeding grounds, predominately locations known as "clubs" and "Armani Exchange" which are taking up precious space where homo-sapien could be adding to the value of land, by creating purposeful businesses and medical centers. While homo-sapien are every day helping out society, these pests are clogging up space.

Their massive egos eat up a large portion of bandwith, especially on websites known as "Myspace" "Youtube" or "Facebook." Anti-homo-blowoutus websites do exist but are dangerous, because they contain pictures and sometimes rare-footage of the homo-blowoutus, which is of course, wasted bandwith. And in turn the whole website ironically only aids their cause: attracting attention.

As I mentioned before, the peculiar spikes perched atop their heads, what they call "hair," attracts unwanted attention from homo-sapien. There have been many incidents of the clashing of sapien and blowoutus. Fortunately for the sapien, blowoutus' blaring weakness is their hair. When touched, they become paniced and full of rage. This rage, in turn, creates havoc and eventually more touching of the hair. They withdraw immediately to restore their "hair" to its prior state, usually returning back to its home nest or den. It is unknown why the hair is so important and what pain is caused to blowoutus when hair is touched, but extensive research is being conducted.
Oddly enough, these spikes lose their potency only a few years after the blowoutus has been erected. The spikes begin to recede and eventually diminish to the point of complete annihilation of the member of the species. Once the blowoutus tries to once again mingle with the sapien, it is ostracized.

Homo-blowoutus has been existent for almost half a decade, and its existence is finally being targeted. Younger members of the species are being instructed to turn back their ways and try to be sapien once again. Some have been saved, others have not.

Luckily for the sapien population, blowoutus are unable to reproduce with sapien. For reasons we are unsure of, their genitals are not only significantly smaller, but are not able to produce enzymes that aid in reproduction. Once again, for lack of a better word, they are sterile. It has been hypothesized that blowoutus has tried to reproduce with each other, and there is much evidence pointing in that direction.

The existent of blowoutus has remained at a steady number, but sooner or later these numbers will fall. If not, sapien will have to deal with a neighbor that it will never be accustomed to. If the blowoutus does not become extinct, some predict a war.

That's all the time we have for today, ladies and gentlemen. Get home safe.


January 29, 2008

Off Track Betting closing down?

According to the Flushing Times a/k/a The Times Ledger:
The city's Off-Track Betting Corporation last week set up a plan to close its operations, which includes 20 locations in Queens, by mid-June should it not get state funding it says it needs to continue running, according to a published report.
"Mayor Michael Bloomberg suggested back in November that OTB draft a proposal to shut down, when he said the city would not increase funding to the corporation because of "the difficult economic times facing the city."
Another good move by Michael Bloomberg ( I have been on the bandwagon) not increasing fundings on such recreational activities, when things like public transportation could use additional funding. I am surprised that OTB would be in hole. After all, it is a common sight on for the OTB on Northern Boulevard and 160th Street in Flushing to be packed. I am anticipating another restaurant, church or cell phone store to come in its place.

Do you want Bloomberg to run for office?

Basically any time anyone mentions the possibility and/or the benefit of having Michael Bloomberg in office I can never see down side. If you agree with me and would like to see Mayor Bloomberg run; sign the petition here. I would like to see if he can really live up to all the promises and goals he has already made for the city of New York and Queens especially.

The four reasons I think Bloomberg will made a good president:

1. He can not be bought or bribed, ( if you don't think that current president Bush and Vice President Cheney are following such practices then you should catch up with Google or to get a dose of reality)

2. He would be able to fix the economy, a very important factor considering we are going into a recession. Apparently a very bright man who attended Harvard Business School and John Hopkins University.

3. He is a philanthropist, however unlike current and past governments his history of funding is all based on New York and the United States.

4. Political Stance: He is a liberal when it comes to things like Illegal Immigration, gay marriage, and the womans right to choose. However, economically he is a moderate which should keep taxes down.

January 28, 2008

Bloomberg: Big Plans For Queens?

According to the Queens Tribune, Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to Queens for a second time in the past week. In his State of the City address, Bloomberg proposes a new public pool and Ice Skating Rink for Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The Mayor also announced a new system that would allow complainants to track their complaints to 311. Proposals for changes for Queens Boulevard are also in the works.

The New York population is growing older and the mayor said the city will begin to address the challenge with traffic engineering improvements at high-accident areas including some in Flushing and hopefully Queens Boulevard, locally tagged as the Boulevard of Death.

Something that caught my eye was a declaration that Willets Point will become more industrialized with the addition of funding for infrastructure.

“We’ll also rezone Willets Point, a stone’s throw from here, the first step in what will be one of the most significant environmental reclamation projects of our time,” Bloomberg said.

Missing from the Mayor’s speech was where the money and political backing was going to come from for his plans. Gov. Eliot Spitzer spent most of speech on these issues when he delivered his 2008-09 Executive Budget address Tuesday.

However he does not further explain what is going to happen to its current residents. Another issue I see with his proposal for Willets Point is not so much about the "Iron Triangle" but rather its surrounding area. The local street around Willets Point need to be taken into consideration, Roosevelt Avenue for example is only two lanes and during a baseball game would make life very difficult for the proposed population living in Willets Point's housing complex. However I am very much in favor of improving Willets Point, whether it is done with its current businesses or an Eminent Domain powered wipe out. Either way something has to happen. With Citi Field opening up in 2009, it would be nice if it did not opposite a junk yard. it would be beneficial to the area if instead it was a hotel, restaurants, bars and shopping areas. Community Board 7 will eventually decide, or have Bloomberg decide for them. However, what do I know? I'm just a resident of Flushing who comes into contact with the Iron Triangle more than one would speculate. But before I get hammered with critique let me ask you, what does Willets Point in its current state do for the community as a whole? It provides jobs, industrial services and provides the means for other local businesses to get by. Hypothetically peaking couldn't it do the same for a whole new larger range of businesses?

Let me know what you think,


January 26, 2008

We Light Up Queens: Meteor Strikes Blog

According the recent reports, the Flushing/Bayside, Queens based blog has been struck by a Meteor shower. Thankfully, no one was injured in this accident except for some html coding. No other Blogs are known to have been affected by this cosmic occurrence. Click here to watch a video of this horrific event.

No financial aid will be needed to get the blog back on its feet, however a link on your site will be greatly appreciated.


We Light Up Queens

January 25, 2008

Santa Endorses Smoking?

After my maiden voyage surfing StumbleUpon I came across this remarkable and humorous collection of old ads. It is amazing how times have changed. Definitely something that a "TRUTH" commercial would be criticizing.

Check it out at 10 Creepiest Old Ads

Thanks for reading,


Something Only Guys Could Relate To

Heres some light humor for your Friday.

I found this on

January 23, 2008

Heath Ledger found dead at age 28.

I was listening to 1010wins for a traffic update, on my way to work I hear that Heath Ledger has passed away. My first reaction was, who is this guy? The name sounded familiar so I Googled him, then realizing that he was the same actor who was in many of my favorite movies such as "10 Things I Hate About You" , "A Knight's Tale", and "The Patriot". For a list of his full Filmography click here Filmography. My heart goes out to his family and friends because he was only 28 which is way too young for anyone to die.

May he rest in Peace.

January 21, 2008

The Cherry Valley Experience

Cherry Valley: Deli and Grill 12-29 150th Street, Whitestone New York 11357 Telephone: (718) 767-1937

Cherry Valley Deli and Grill, not to be confused with Cherry Valley Long Island, Cherry Valley in Upstate New York or Cherry Valley, Illinois. When I was first asked to go to Cherry Valley my mind was obviously in the gutter and I couldn't imagine where my friends were taking me. It did not look too special from the outside or on the inside however their food is phenomenal. Cherry Valley is the go to place when your craving a nice hero or something along those lines. For most of Queens, Cherry Valley is a nice ride on the Long Island Expressway/Cross Island or down Francis Lewis Boulevard, but trust me it is worth the trip. The sandwiches there average about 7 bucks but its price is justified by its taste. If you are on a strict diet, and refuse to at least try something pretty greasy, stop here this is not for you.Cherry Valley has 208 different meals available 24 hours a day in addition to a 24 hour Breakfast menu.

You can even check out their page for more information on their epic sandwiches.

Now the big question is which sandwich do I choose? This is probably the most controversial and most heavily debated topic among Cherry Valley lovers. My personal favorite is a "Beast" on a hero. ( Chicken cutlet with Bacon, Swiss, Onion Rings and Brown Gravy). The "TCS" is usually the beginners sandwich of choice (chicken cutlet with Brown Gravy and American cheese). Others swear by the "Bushman" ( Chicken cutlet with Bacon, Brown Gravy and American cheese), the "Corona" (chicken cutlet with Bacon, cheddar, Onion rings and BBQ sauce). "The Bomb" is also one of the highest regarded sandwiches at Cherry Valley. It is basically a Beast with grilled steak rather than a chicken cutlet. If you are a big fan of Roast Beef, then a "Fatboy" is for you. ( As you can already see there is a pattern here, and most of the sandwiches are a variations of each other.

Cherry Valley has been awarded many honors, check out their Testimonial page which is more like a Trophy case.

There are only a few downsides to Cherry Valley. First of all there is no eating area ( seats or tables), it truly is a deli settings where you have to resort to eating in your car or at home. 2nd is whether you are there at 2:00 in the afternoon or 2:00 in the morning there is always a line. Parking can be an issue sometimes too but usually isn't too bad. My advice to you is order ahead of time, it will save you 15 to 20 minutes.

The also have an email address you can reach a representative at

Here is a quick link to Mapquest to aid you on your journey Mapquest Directions.

Whitestone Menu

There are also other debates between whether the West Hempstead location is better than the Whitestone. Another big debate this Cherry Valley versus Cristina's which is across the street from the Whitestone location.
(I wasn't impressed, but they do have places to sit down.)

Cherry Valley Deli & Grill in Queens

January 18, 2008

Queens Community Boards Go Online!

According to the Queens Tribune, community boards 1 through 14 can now access their respective community boards.

You can access the community board website at:

“You can go directly to your local board to access all you need to know about your neighborhood,” Borough President Helen Marshall said during her State of the Borough Address, where the new Web site was unveiled.
Dan Andrews, spokesman for the borough president, said the president had wanted to bring the community boards to a broader audience.

I Think that this is a huge step in the right direction, since there are more people who have opinions and ideas and suggestions for their neighborhood than were regularly attending meetings. The website is still in its "beta" stage as I could not find any content concerning my community board (7). The format of the website also has a few kinks that I hope will be resolved shortly. I encourage you all to get involved since they are making it more viable for the full-time worker as well as the stay at home mom to make our needs heard. The boards are open once a month so make sure to keep up to date for the next meeting.

If you have any questions about you can call (718) 286-2900 for additional information.

If you are unsure of which Community Board district you live in here is a direct link to the list for your convenience.

Find Out Which Community Board District You Live In

Thanks for reading,

Mike, We Light Up Queens

January 10, 2008

Holiday Pet Attire: Tis the Season to be tortured?

Torture?, perhaps torture is too harsh a word. Although by definition torture can described by "intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain" - (Dictionary .com) which is fairly applicable. So what is this animal cruelty that I speak of? It's the act dressing up your pet, not for purpose but for your own amusement and entertainment. I agree that right about now that this could strike a sore spot with all animal lovers and owners who choose to "spoil" their pet with designer fashion, but sometimes you just have to think of the pet for a minute. If your pets looks something like "this" then maybe its not something for them. I do know of pets that do not mind the clothing, but c'mon people some owners are just blind to their own infliction of discomfort on their pets. If you are dressing up your pet because your house is cold or you are going to take them out of a walk on a cold or chilly day, that is a some what reasonable. Dressing up your pet thinking it will keep your house hair free during the shedding season you have mistaken. If you think dressing up your pet is going to keep them cleaner you have also mistaken. These clothes usually fit either very tight, or very loose on the pets. Think about it you had to wear a XXL Sweat Suit or a size double zero pair a jeans, I don't think you would be too happy for someone else's amusement. (unless that is your normal size) I have seen it with my own eyes, some pets could barely move in their outfits as well as seeing pets that look absolutely miserable with clothes on. I can't say that I am against all pet clothing, just please for the sake of your pets use some common sense, and avoid the apparent spread of the "Paris Hilton syndrome".

Below is my Top 10 List for signs that you should not be dressing up your pet anymore.

10. Your pet has a permanent "sad puppy dog face".

9. After wearing its Santa suit your pet now spends its time barking at and attacking Christmas decorations.

8. Your pets hair stands up after running across a carpeted room.

7. Your dog's sudden displeasure in being seen in public.

6. Your pet has changed colors.

5. Your dog waddles in its Halloween costume.

4. Your pet looks like this when you pull out a new outfit.

3. Your pet dresses better than you!

2. Your Yorkie now barks at higher pitch.

1. Your cat now looks like a Lawl or LOL Cat.

Please do not ask me for permission to use the posted images as I do not own the copywrite to them.

January 8, 2008

Could January be the best time to shop for new Christmas lights?

Could January be the bets time to shop for new Christmas lights?

Because it sure is clearance time!

Well I know most of you who are reading this probably have not taken down their current Christmas decorations, however if you ran short or chose not to decorate this year because you didn’t get around to buying lights with the mad rush of Christmas presents for your friends and family, now is the time to buy. After searching for a mere 30 seconds I have found a website which seems to have everything on clearance. Although I do not know the quality of the lights, I can sure say that the prices look awfully good.Please remember I am not affiliated with any of the websites or stores that I mention in this post.

Over at they are having a “monster sale”. I took a quick peak at some LED lights I was interested in buying this season and the price has dropped from $16.50 to $5.78.

If you feel more comfortable with a well known store, one that you can physically visit, Home Depot is the place to go. HomeDepot Although when most think of Home Depot they cringe at the idea of spending hundreds of dollars on supplies and tools for home renovations as well as a mix of having what ever you are looking for being “out of stock” and the usually poor customer service. I certainly know I think of all those things as well as walking out of the store in a frantic race to get out of there, anywhere safe from all the items that are almost what you were looking for and oblivious customers pushing carts loaded everything from power tools to 2 X 4’s. Anyways I’m getting off topic here aren’t I?

Most of the people who I have come into contact with, prefer Lowes over Home Depot. But unfortunately there are no clearance sales that could be easily found on there website.

Good ole Sears has all your basic decorations for Christmas time on sale. ( Just like everyone else because they are already making room for Easter stuff.) The lights did not appear to be that great of a deal to be honest but all that other stuff that Mom loves such as Bath towels and wash cloths etc. Also for all you craft sale people, this could also be a good time to stock up on decorations and other household d├ęcor that could make great gifts once put into gift baskets. Myself only knowing this because my aunt has made a nice chunk change buying low and selling cheap however in large quantities could be a good business idea for any household mom who is looking for something to do that’s time consuming, relatively cheap to start up and there is no rush to complete your goal as you have another 11 or so months until the Christmas season gets back in full swing and Bam! What cost you roughly $10.00 to put together and 15 minutes of your time just paid itself back at a minimum double what you spent because next season the stuff will be back at full price.

Walmart, the conqueror of the retail industry has already sold out of most of its online stock. However if you have a Walmart in your local area its worth the trip. (Like you weren’t going to go anyway.J) at first glance did not appear to have any great deals, after a few revised searches I was destined to find something. Most of the stuff you may see they’re really not your traditional lights; but hey there is always a chance to stand out in the neighborhood by having something no one else has.

Kmart the Faux Pax of retail actually has some good supplies you could use next Christmas season. From my own experiences, the suction cups work nicely when hanging wreaths and the shingle clips and similar models make the possibilities where you can string along lights endless.

Kohls, surprisingly was a major flop. I have a local one in the Fresh Meadows area over on 188th Street and Horace Harding right off the LIE. If you get off at Utopia. They were certainly lackluster when it came to holiday clearance supplies. Yes I know it is more of a clothing store, but they do sell the occasional decorations. (I bought a group of snowmen for a co-worker there, relatively cheap to boot.)

Even Macy’s is having a 50% off sale on its holiday items. The real kicker with this one is that even at 50% off they still make 200% profit if not more. Anyways that is besides that the fact and if you like more expensive “higher quality” stuff (then you probably would not be reading my Blog in the first place) then Macy’s may be the place for you.

Well all my resources that I could think of off the top my head are spent, hopefully I have saved you some time and energy by reminding you to prepare for Christmas early can always alleviate stress later on. If you are not satisfied with my links, please email me and let me know or if you have another great site for cheap decorations. We appreciate all those who write comments on our Posts, both local and distant please feel free to do so.

Very truly yours,


January 6, 2008

Top 10 Reasons To Take Down Your Tree

You all know as well as I that taking down Christmas decorations may be tedious, so most of you put off this horrible Saturday-killer as much as possible. There are many reasons to get rid of your tree, but we thought that these are the top 10 reasons to do so:

10. You all of a sudden hate Pine-sol.
9. Waking up hastily to shattering Christmas ornaments falling off dead branches.
8. You thought you saw a squirrel in there 3 weeks ago.
7. Slipping over those damn needles every time you run to the toilet.
6. Having to go down to the basement and reset the circuit breakers every time you attempt to turn the air conditioner on.
5. The smell of rotting pine is not the most welcoming thing for guests.
4. Your wife might attempt to permanently move that ugly statue next to the TV because the tree is taking its spot.
3. Your other half’s suspicions of the “coincidental” correlation between your mother in law’s allergies to pine trees, and your refusal to take down the tree.
2. Pine cones hurt when you step on them.
1. Well jeez; it’s just embarrassing to have pine needles in your beach bag!