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Tim Cook and Other Apple Execs at Fifth Avenue Grand Reopening

Today, some of Apple’s top brass (Tim Cook, Phil Schiller, Greg Joswiak and Deirdre O’Brien) were on-hand for the grand reopening of the Apple Fifth Avenue store in New York City.  It’s also the launch day of the iPhone 11. I’ve never seen Schiller and Joswiak at an East Coast Apple Store so this was a rare appearance. They spoke briefly with reporters before entering the store via one of the two new side entranceways.  I never saw them again.

Tim Cook greeted people in line.  He was super-friendly and charismatic.  He and Deirdre opened the doors when the phone went on sale at 8am.  I later saw him in the store posing for selfies and having conversations with fans/customers.

Deirdre was in the store speaking with customers all day.  She genuinely cares about the retail operations.  And apparently she likes dogs (see below).

The new store is beautiful.  There are hypoallergenic trees which each originated from the same tree (an employee told me).  Off to the side is an Experience Room.  It’s one of only three in the world.  It simulates a room in your home so you can hear accurate acoustics. You sit on couches positioned in front of HomePod speakers and a flat screen television.

When I left, there was still a long line.  I haven’t seen a line this long for a product launch in years.  Later that afternoon, I went to the Grand Central store.  Equally long line.

The photos and video below are available to media outlets for purchase.  Contact us via the link on the side.

 

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Marcal Paper Plant Fire Elmwood Park, New Jersey

The iconic Marcal paper plant in Elmwood Park, New Jersey caught fire this evening.

 

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Beastie Boys Live in New York City

On Monday, I had the privilege of seeing Adam Horovitz and Michael Diamond (Ad-Rock and Mike D) of the Beastie Boys at Town Hall in New York City.  They were promoting their new book, Beastie Boys Book.

Earlier that day, I arrived to see merchandise and their books being delivered.  I also saw set pieces being unloaded.

After being let into Town Hall, the line for exclusive merchandise filled the entire venue.  I went upstairs to check out the Beastie Boys exhibit.  There were display cases full of rare items.  It overwhelmed the senses.  The Sonos company had records that were sampled on the Beastie Boys albums that people could play.  Sonos also had a complementary Beastie Boys playlist poster.

In the audience was their family, Jimmy Fallon, Murray Hill, Champagne Jerry, a member of Twenty One Pilots and the crew from MCA Day.

It was a great, well-produced show.  It consisted of readings from the book, Adam and Mike riffing back-and-forth, photos and videos, as well as the awesome Mixmaster Mike spinning classics in-between.

It was funny, deep and emotional.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I’m so glad I was there.

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Bees Shut Down 43rd Street Times Square

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RIP WWF’S NIKOLAI VOLKOFF

WWF wrestling legend, Nikolai Volkoff, passed away this weekend.  He was 70.

Here are photos I took in 1985 and 1986 at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

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Toys R Us Corporate Campus Drive Through and Liquidation Sale

Greedy, evil financiers took out a $5 billion loan to purchase the best toy store that ever was and ever will be, Toys R Us.  There was no way Toys R Us would be able to repay this loan.  It was designed to fail and it did.

At present, they are liquidating everything in their Wayne, New Jersey corporate campus.  I decided to take a drive through the campus. The place is massive and beautiful.  It’s located on a lake and is an animal sanctuary of sorts.  The building is so big that there are maps inside so people don’t get lost.

The company they hired to liquidate has been clearing out offices as people leave the company.  They keep finding stuff in closets and whatnot.  Mostly junk.  I saw them trying to sell a pair of boots someone left under their desk.  No bargains.

Must have been a neat place to work with all those toys around.

Employees from around the world have been taking road trips to possibly obtain any keepsake of the company to which they dedicated their lives.

The liquidation was supposed to be finished by the end of June, but it has been extended into July.

Here is video of the drive through, as well as some photos from the sale.  The sale actually takes place in the cafeteria.

As a Toys R Us kid, this is absolutely heartbreaking.  I hope they don’t build condos.

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Vote for Kid Kelly #WIN5000VOTEKID

I started listening to Kid Kelly on Z-100 when I was in High School.

His show was fantastic.  It was a big party.  Little did I know that it was just Kid Kelly and one other guy (Tom) in a tiny studio in the swamps of Secaucus, New Jersey.

I called in every night to request a song for the nightly countdown.  He must have liked me because he used me night after night.  He actually had me change my name and location so people wouldn’t realize it was this same kid again.

He made me want to become a Disc Jockey.  He quickly corrected me.  “Anyone can be a disc jockey. I’m an air personality.”  Kid was right.  There was no one out there like him.

Kid was the number one show in New York City.  He was the highest paid air personality in New York City…the number one market.  

He was the hardest working man in radio. 

Kid soon had a syndicated radio show Backtrax USA which could be heard around the world.  He explained to me that he put “USA” because other countries love American entertainment.

I never went into radio.  Never became an Air Personality.  We’ve kept in touch over the years.  He’s a nice guy and always willing to offer advice.

Kid Kelly has been nominated for the Radio Hall of Fame.  Voting starts June 4th.  It’s a fan vote so let’s all vote.

To sweeten the pot he’s offering a $5k prize.

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Murr of Impractical Jokers at Red Lobster

James Murray from Impractical Jokers was at Red Lobster in Times Square today.  Murr was hired by the company to promote their Lobsterfest.  He gave away gift cards, jokers bobble heads, action figures, his book and stickers.  In addition, he took selfies with anyone that wanted one. If you had gotten there early and were seated, Red Lobster comp’d your meal.  He was there for 3 hours.

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NJ Transit Needs to be Gutted

100 mins on broken train with no AC, no seat, darkness, poor communication devices used by mechanics.  And AT&T has no coverage in the tunnels.

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Apple Store Opens in Downtown Brooklyn

At 10am this morning, Apple opened it’s second Brooklyn location.  ‘Downtown Brooklyn’ is located directly next to the Barclays center.  The place is beautiful.  There were 50 people on line at 8am, but by 10am the line was around the block.

Didn’t notice any upper management Apple employees on hand.  Whereas, Angela Ahrendts was at the World Trade Center Oculus opening.

The usual private security firm was there.  They’ve been using the same company for as long as I can remember.  I recognize the faces.

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