October 27, 2016

To Vote is to Exist

Milton Glaser is one of America’s most famous graphic and poster designers. While his name may not be familiar, his work will be. Among his designs are I ♥ NY, the cover art for Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits album, and the Brooklyn Brewery’s logo. He has also designed restaurants, newspapers, and supermarkets. One of his most recognizable works is the I Heart New York logo. In the 1970s, New York City's crime rate was sky high, it was considered too dangerous to walk around safely in many neighborhoods, and the city stood on the verge of bankruptcy. Ad agency Wells Rich Greene and Milton Glaser were selected to design a logo to be used in a campaign which would hopefully increase tourism and morale.
October 13, 2016

The Little Mints Making Big Noise

Tic Tacs. In recent days, thanks to newly surfaced comments made ten years ago on a hot mic by controversial GOP candidate Donald Trump, they have been front page news. First produced in 1969 with a less catchy name, Tic Tacs were rebranded just a year after being on the market. They are named after the distinctive sound produced when they rattle in their hard plastic container.
September 29, 2016

I’ll Have What He’s Having – An Arnold Palmer?

When Arnold Palmer died on Sunday at the age of 87, he left behind a rich legacy. He was a successful golfer, a charismatic ambassador of the sport, and a pioneer in the field of sports marketing and endorsements, a man with an eponymous drink. Fellow golfers called him the King. From 1958 to 1964, he was an incredibly dominant player, and the face of golf in the US. He won seven majors and had 62 total victories on the PGA tour. His good looks, charming personality, and success on the course grew the game’s popularity immensely in that time. He was locked in a three way rivalry with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player in most of that era, but tended to have the crowds supporting him. The legions were called Arnie’s Army.
September 15, 2016

Hair Apparent: Image is Everything

The Open Era in tennis refers to a period that began in 1968, when Grand Slam tournaments allowed professional players to compete alongside amateurs. I think of it as the phenomenal two week stretch in late August, when my TV viewing focuses almost exclusively on watching tennis at the US Open. Matches air from morning well past midnight, taking place just a few miles from midtown Manhattan. The US Open, the fourth and final tennis Grand Slam of the year and the only one played in the United States, takes place at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens.
September 1, 2016

The (Baseball) Boys of Summer

August 26th of this year marked the 77th anniversary of the first televised major league baseball game. The game aired on W2XBS, which became WNBC-TV. Called by announcer Red Barber, the matchup featured the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. According to History.com only an estimated 400 people in the New York area had access to a TV at the time. But the broadcast coincided with the 1939 World’s Fair, taking place in nearby Flushing Meadows (now home of the USTA National Tennis Center and the US Open). At the event, RCA introduced TVs to American consumers. And with the telecast of the Reds vs Dodgers, NBC’s broadcasting business began.
August 18, 2016

Behind the Covers at the Olympics

We have celebrated Team USA medals across a range of sports and margins of victory during the Olympics. Some Olympians were household names before they won, some will be in our homes for weeks to come thanks to Special K cereal boxes. I have noticed that most of the medal winners were born well before the cover songs used in so many Olympic spots were released. One of the first spots to grab my attention used a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors.”
August 4, 2016

Right Here, Right Now

Last weekend, I cued “My Hometown” on my Sony Walkman and headed to Greenwich, Connecticut for my high school reunion. Also playing in my head were Jesus Jones’ “Right Here, Right Now” and Scorpions’ “Winds of Change,” two songs inspired by world events of the era. In the weeks leading up to the reunion, I thought about what had changed, and what remained the same. A lot stayed the same. After all, we were going to a restaurant we used to go to then, still owned by a classmate’s father. Would the same people be playing the Breakfast Club roles of criminal, athlete, basket case, princess, and brain? Had external forces that happened in high school, college, and the decades that followed changed us?
July 21, 2016

O Canada, Where Most Hockey Dreams Die

I spent some time in Canada last week. En route, I was thrilled to see the Air Canada plane had seat-back TVs. I was looking forward to turning our flight delay into a productive binge of shows I had missed. Upon scanning the TV offerings and finding not a single show that we have here in the States, I realized I would not be able to do so. A man across the aisle noticed my frustration and said it had to do with rights issues. I noticed he was watching, very closely and with great animation, an old hockey game. At least I think it was an old game, since it’s July. I, too, chose the hockey game, but I nodded off.
July 7, 2016

To Be Frank, the Best Food Weekend of the Year

The July Fourth weekend is a three-day explosion of apple pie, fireworks, and backyard barbecues. Carnivores relish this weekend. There is arguably no better weekend of the year to grill meat. But the top dog on July Fourth? The hot dog. The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council estimated Americans would eat 150 million hot dogs this July Fourth. Lay those dogs end to end and it would stretch from DC to LA more than five times. We love our hot dogs.