Before we get to my personal Best of Syracuse list, a heartfelt congratulations to Sean Kirst of the Post-Standard. Sean was named “Best Columnist” as voted on by Syracuse New Times readers.
I’ve known Sean for years, and I consider him a friend. I’ve long admired his work. Far from being bitter about my 2nd-place finish, I was thrilled just to be nominated in the same contest.
But seriously: Another fucking award for Sean Kirst? How cutting edge of New Times readers. It’s like voting a pumpkin the “Most Festive Autumnal Gourd”. We get it! He’s good.
Awards are stupid anyway. Here are mine:
Best Bite of the Big Apple
Syracuse rarely bests New York City in anything. When it happens we should shout it from the rooftops – and maybe air out our bedding while we’re there. On Orkin’s prestigious listing of Top Bedbug Cities in the U.S., Syracuse leapfrogged the Big Apple in 2013, advancing from 21st Place to 14th while NYC dropped from 10th Place to 17th. If you can scratch it here, you’ll scratch it anywhere.
Best Gift idea for Wife From An Egomaniac Zillionaire
Reading the boastful, name-dropping Facebook posts of Skaneateles scrap metal mogul Adam Weitsman’s can make even the most virile and successful of men feel like shrinky-dinked specs of pig iron. Yet here’s a surprisingly practical gift idea from Adam we can all borrow:
“Really wanted to do something special for the wife’s birthday today and really didn’t want to give her a material object this year and wanted instead to think of something more romantic (with work lately I’m sucking out in the romance department) so I called in a hugeeeee favor and had my friend who is the director of the Whitney museum and the leading authority on Kim’s favorite artist, Jeff Koons, to open the museum early in NYC to give her a private tour for her of the artist’s major show that just opened there.
I actually for once pulled something cool off and it might have been happiest day of our 15 year relationship.”
OK, guys — you’re up. The number for the Whitney is (212) 570-3600.
Best Use of Short-Term Planning
Just two years ago SU unveiled its emerald bikeway on University Avenue, the most visible feature of banished Chancellor Nancy Cantor’s $48 million Connective Corridor obsession. Try riding it now. Due to construction of the new campus bookstore, cyclists are routed off the path and onto the road — toward oncoming traffic if they’re pedaling uphill. One long block later the path resumes, requiring the busy street to be re-crossed. Hats off to the school and city for seamlessly leading us toward a greener tomorrow — and a collision with a bus.
Best Free Feel-Up
Most middle-aged heterosexual men would cringe at the thought of being touched all over by hairy underpaid guys in uniform. Not me. I embrace it. Since my knee replacement last year, I’m automatically pat down at the Syracuse airport, which has yet to install Equal Humiliation Naked Machines. The logic of extra scrutiny for passengers with joint implants eludes me. Why would a terrorist flag himself to security as having a metal knee? Wouldn’t it make more sense for the TSA guys to just wave a metal detector over my person and pat down only the parts that beep? Oh, well. Truth is, I’ve come to cherish these special latex glove moments. Sometimes agents assigned to grope me are familiar with my column so we chat about that or about SU sports and how hot Juli Boehiem is. Guy stuff. So far it has stayed casual but it would be nice if one of them would buy me drinks and dinner at the Gateway Cafe sometime. OK, I’m easy. I’ll settle for a breakfast burrito.
Best Creative Use of Statistics
In hyping this past weekend’s football game between SU and Notre Dame, SU boasted that the two schools have combined for 12 national championships. Of the dozen, SU has one.
Best DMV Ever
Western Lights. Not sure why but there was no charge to replace my defective “E” license plates last week, despite official statements earlier that motorists would have to pick up the tab. Was it something I wrote?