We’ve told you before how New York State could upend the Comcast-Time Warner merger all on its own. Now we’re seeing how the Empire State could leverage its power.
30 Rock, the iconic New York City building that has spent the last 50 years emblazoned with corporate initials — RCA, then GE — is about to get a new brand: Big, glowing neon lights that will shout “COMCAST” to the Big Apple sky.
This is funny for two reasons.
Eater alerts us to an interview with Stephen Starr on Grub Street. In it, Starr talks about El Vez NYC and his future plans for New York, including a potential collaboration with Peter Serpico, who Starr first brought from New York to Philadelphia.
Serpico was David Chang’s right hand man and the former chef at Momofuku Ko in New York where he won a James Beard Award. He then partnered with Stephen Starr to open his own restaurant last year on South Street in Philadelphia.
The pair are still shopping for New York real estate so any Serpico NYC is still a ways off.
Stephen Starr on El Vez and the Cutthroat World of Restaurant Real Estate [Grub Street via Eater]
On Friday, April 25th, Stephen Starr is opening his New York City version of El Vez. The 190-seat bar and restaurant is opening at 259 Vesey Street, in the Battery Park City neighborhood. The menu has been developed by executive chef David LaForce, who also has worked at the Philadelphia location of El Vez and a Starr task force that includes James Tracey, the culinary director for STARR Restaurants and chef Dionicio Jimenez of Starr’s El Rey.
I’d only lived in Philadelphia for about three years when The New York Times published the article everyone is still pissed about. Yes, the one that, despite its largely positive portrayal of Philly as an attractive urban destination, contained the phrase “sixth borough.”
I’ll take a brief pause here to allow you to dust off your pitchforks and light your torches.
That piece came out in 2005 and it’s still brought up in casual conversation, usually preceded or abutted by some half-muttered, bile-filled variation on “FUCK NEW YORK.” Though I’m of the mind that the statute of limitations on such traced-back hostility should probably be shorter than a near-decade, I understand why. Without using the R-word, it’s a byproduct of that locally cultivated chip on our shoulders, the same geographically granted spirit that motivates us to wear shirts like this and post that Coach Kelly clip on Facebook.
Philadelphia’s well-documented inferiorty complex regarding New York City can often manifest itself as simple imitation. Stop-and-frisk, bike share, elevated train park: These are all ideas that got started — or were popularized — in the Big Apple that later got traction here.
So the ascension of Bill de Blasio to the NYC mayor’s office could be a big deal for Philly — and soon.
De Blasio, you see, isn’t just a Democrat: He’s a real-live liberal, the kind who might actually deserve the “socialist” slur when it’s applied to him. And he’s so determined to fight poverty and income inequality in his city that he should be able to provide a rough guide to Philadelphia and other big cities on what works, what doesn’t, and what’s worth the cost.
“Left unsaid was an ever-so-slight inferiority complex: The Keystone State is grand, but the Empire State, grander.” This is an actual sentence penned by the New York Times’ Trip Gabriel in an article about Pennsylvanians and Philadelphians going to New York, which, as Simon Van Zuylen-Wood notes, perpetuates rather tired stereotypes that all we want for Christmas is a trip (Trip!) to Barneys in the Big City.
Additionally, Gabriel misquotes his own newspaper when he says, “If Pennsylvanians were inclined to feel a little like a sixth borough when contemplating New York City…” The article to which he refers was not about the state as a sixth borough, which would be the largest borough in known history, but the city of Philadelphia as a sixth borough. And its point, actually, was that New Yorkers were moving to Philadelphia because it was more affordable and manageable than New York is. It had nothing to do with inferiority.
And there’s more…
Hybird, the fried chicken collaboration between Stephen Starr and Questlove located at the Chelsea Market in New York has closed. The fried chicken stand received plenty of buzz but a Questlove post on Facebook hints there were poor sales and maybe some other factors at play.