Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What The Frommer's?!!?

So I'm doing this little feature for Gawker soon (foreshadow), and for it I was checking out Frommer's NYC online to get a reference. And I start reading the first section in the introduction, Frommer's Favorite Experiences, and I felt compelled to post two of the more disputable entries here.

First, here's one I didn't have a problem with:

Visiting the Empire State Building Observatory at Dusk: Like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, once again the tallest building in New York, is one of the city's definitive icons. Arrive at dusk and watch the lights of the city come on. It's pure magic.

WTF?!!? - Perhaps not edgy enough for for hardcore bloggers and blog-readers like you and me, but ok, fine, it's a guide book and I'll accept it.

But these two I have a problem with:

Taking the subway to Yankee Stadium for a Yankee game:
It doesn't sound very intriguing, does it? Good or bad, there's nothing like being crammed into a subway car packed with rabid Yankee fans. And it's an experience you'll not soon forget.

WTF?!!?: Ok, can I answer the first question please? What's that Fromm, you say it was rhetorical? Well, can I just say that I don't know the formula for measuring the "Intrigue Factor," but I know the coefficient for intrigue on taking the subway must be ZERO. So something like [(0)x + 0 = Subway Intrigue] seems appropriate. Second, I don't think there's any moral ambiguity when it comes to being "crammed" in a "subway" with "rabid Yankees fans" Even rabid yankee fans would deem this "hellish" at best. Imagine looking into a guide book and seeing, "good or bad, being raped and then eaten alive by a pack of wolves is an experience you'll not soon forget." Same thing basically. For those of you coming to NYC, the subway is not a spa.

Walking 125th Street: Take a walk across this famous Harlem boulevard and your senses will be assaulted from the music, the variety of stores, the restaurants, the impromptu stalls selling everything from homemade CDs to fresh bean pies, the street prophets and musicians; the energy on this street is relentless.

WTF?!!?: First of all, don't even try to act like we didn't see you unnecessarily slipping in the word "assaulted" into something about Harlem. That's class action right there. Ain't no one trying to be assaulted by music. And what the f is an "impromptu stall." Vendors or street vendors will do fine. Of course both of those pale in comparison to "street prophets." Like the n-word, some people can use a term like "street prophets" and not sound like a racist asshole. Nas comes to mind. But not you Frommie. Let's try and be evenhanded with this tourist info going forward. Thanks.


  1. Throwing in "assaulted," then acting all innocent, like that wasn't a dig on purpose, I agree, TAN: uncool.

    However, I just don't see the term "street prophet" involving race at all.

  2. bert - you might be right. it's not an on-the-nose race thing. But it feels like someone getting a little too earnest in trying to convey the harlem mystique.

  3. You gotta call bullshit when bullshit presents itself. Good on ya, TAN.

  4. [i raise my glass in respect] keep it movin' kid!!

  5. Anonymous11/09/2006

    I've been stuck on the sub. w. Yankees fans- they were all stocky, potbellied banker-y dudes. Zero entertainment value there...

  6. I would pay some serious cash to see some tourists from Nebraska in fanny packs walking along 125th St looking to catch a show at the Apollo.

  7. I was in Harlem by the Apollo the other day. I didn't see any obviously Nebraskan types, but I did see a couple of French tourists. I was so excited I almost stopped them just to talk, but I was already almost an hour late for a job interview so I figured that I should hustle. This may be why I'm unemployed.

  8. If there ever is a time to stop and smell the roses or play with the French tourists it's when y'all are "already almost an hour late for a job interview..."

  9. Anonymous11/21/2006

    "the energy on this street is relentless"

    Cool. At this point, I can just see the burnt-out intern throwing up their hands and going "Ah, screw this..."


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