Category Archives: daybook

BoCoCa bleeds shades of blue

“Hillary! Hillary!” shouted a Clinton supporter to a neighbor wearing an Obama pin as she approached the Bethel Baptist Church this morning to cast her vote in New York’s presidential primary.

The unassuming place of worship on Bergen Street in Boerum Hill opened its doors at 6 a.m. to voters from Brooklyn’s community district six who predominantly and historically vote Democrat. However, the choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama proved divisive despite these neighborhoods’ agreement on political party.

Supporters of Clinton cited her personal strength and depth of experience as the driving catalyst behind their vote.

“This country is in crisis,” said Prima Jose, a Haitian immigrant living in Park Slope. “Hillary Clinton is the best candidate to end this crisis. I voted for her experience.”

Clinton’s depth of background in policy, economics and the world situation swayed the vote of Thomasina Webb of Cobble Hill. “Hillary has showed herself to be a really strong, clear-headed person. She is the best candidate,” said Webb. “She’s seasoned.”

Voters casting their ballot for Obama expressed a desire for a candidate free from the tentacles of Washington politics who is willing to challenge the status quo.

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Filed under Brooklyn, daybook, democracy, election '08, news, story

Esto es Nueva York.

Floor to ceiling video screens flashed iconic scenes of New York at NASDAQ headquarters in Times Square on Wednesday, as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC & Company debuted a $30 million global marketing campaign focused on attracting international tourists.

The multi-lingual, multimedia campaign, “This is New York City,” which includes television, print, online and outdoor advertising components, aims to attract 50 million tourists a year to New York by 2015. In 2006, 43.8 million tourists visited New York, of which 7.3 million were international tourists.

“We need tourism in this city. If Times Square is not crowded, that is a very big problem,” said Bloomberg.
Last year, tourists visiting New York supported 350,000 jobs and spent nearly $25 billion.

The crux of the campaign, a television spot with 30 and 60 second versions, highlights the food, fashion and culture of New York, and will air in Spain, Ireland, France and the United Kingdom, as well in domestic markets. A remixed version of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Take the A Train,” provides the background to the spot’s partially animated, at times surreal, depictions of New York.

As international tourism to the United States decreased by 17 percent since 2000, international tourism to New York increased 9 percent in the same time frame. A major goal of “This is New York City” is to continue this upward trend in international tourists for New York.

“The international traveler stays longer and spends more money,” said NYC & Company Board Chairman Jonathan M. Tisch.

The increasing value of the euro and the British pound, in comparison to the declining U.S. dollar, proves an enticing incentive for international tourists to visit New York.

In addition to the television spot, the campaign will run outdoor advertising on bus shelters in Brazil, Portugal, Italy and Spain, and domestically in Philadelphia, Boston, Miami and San Antonio. Print advertisements will run in newspapers and magazines in the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, Germany, Boston and Philadelphia.

Interactive banner ads featuring the “This is New York City” campaign posters will run on Google, YouTube, and Expedia to attract visitors to, NYC & Company’s revamped website is another major effort to attract international tourists in the “This is New York City” campaign. The website allows users to create a personalized trip to New York City, including hotel, dining, shopping, culture, event and nightlife options, complete with an interactive map.

“The website aims to reduce the bewilderment quotient for visitors. If we solve the problem of New York being big and complex, more tourists will come,” said Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff.

This interactive, international marketing campaign hopes to ensure New York as a premiere global tourist destination.

“Globally we have gained the reputation of fortress America,” said Tisch. “We want to show the world we have secure borders, but open doors.”

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Filed under daybook, Manhattan, new media

80 million years old and still beautiful

My last AP Daybook assignment brought me to the American Museum of Natural History for the unveiling of  the latest addition to their collection, the radiantly colored fossil of an ancient ammonite. These ammonites, known as ammolites and found only in a specific mine in Alberta, Canada, look like this:


 My point and shoot Kodak EasyShare C663, and my much wanting photography skills, refused to produce any non-blurred, close-up of this 80 million year old sea creature.

   Deep in the heart of Canada a miner unearthed the remains of a fossilized sea creature that accessorized Helen Mirren’s 2006 Primetime Emmy Awards’ outfit. Today the creature made its appearance in New York.
An 80-million-year-old iridescent shell reflecting the colors of the rainbow and spanning two feet in diameter brightened the 77th Street Grand Gallery of the American Museum of National History (AMNH).
Ammonites, sea creatures dated to the Upper Cretaceous period, help determine the age of rocks, as well as pinpoint the location of ancient seas. “Ammonites help scientists piece together the history of the world,” said Neil H. Landman, Curator-in-Charge of Fossil Invertebrates in the Division of Paleontology for the AMNH in New York.
The ancient snail-like creatures, whether colorful or not, serve as specimens for study by scientists like Landen. However, the colorful material culled from ammonites, and known as the gemstone ammolite, is fit for the jewelry, and wallets, of Hollywood celebrities.
Ammolite gemstones cost the same as diamonds; Mirren’s Emmy’s jewelry was priced between $2,000 and $5,000 apiece. However, the scientific value of these ancient marine animals brought one of the largest ammonite specimens for display in New York.
Korite International, a Canadian mining company that owns 90 percent of the world’s ammolite deposit, donated the fossil. Korite International, and its sister company Canada Fossil Ltd. mine the Canadian province of Alberta for ammonite, as well as other fossils and gems.
After millions of year, and the effects of high pressure and temperatures, the shell of an ammonite, a creamy-pearl color in its natural state, changes to an iridescent coloration, which then sells as a gemstone. The ammolite gemstone is one of three gemstones, along with pearls and amber, produced by living organisms.
“Ammolite is the sleeping beauty of the gem world,” said Oschipok.
Along with Helen Mirren, celebrities James Gandolfini, Debra Messing and Howie Mandel, each received a piece of ammolite at the Emmy Awards. “Ammolite is considered the rarest gemstone in the world. This is for the woman that thinks she has everything, and wants something new,” said Oschipok as he turned his ammolite ring, which he valued at $3,000, on his finger.



 Why shouldn’t one post the gratuitous PR photo? Look, even cute little boys were enjoying looking at the colorful ammonite!

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