Wednesday, June 11, 2008

No one is apparently approving the reader recommendations at

How do I know this? Because I went to the site yesterday and started making stupid nightlife recommendations as part of the NYC & Company's "Just Ask The Locals" campaign. (According to the press release, "The site provides an expanded list of celebrity and local insider tips and top five recommendations, organized by Shopping, Dining, Arts & Entertainment and Nightlife. Visitors to the site also will be able to provide their own tips and ideas on how to navigate and experience the City.")

Why did I have such a mean-spirited high-school moment? Part of it was just wishful thinking. I wish that the Cedar Tavern didn't become a condo, for instance. Plus, I was actually curious if anyone was paying attention and patrolling the comments. More important, though, I'm tired of seeing these "Just Ask the Locals" ads everywhere. Seems as if I can't even walk to the bodega on my corner without seeing an ad with Mr. Mickey telling me about the lobby bar at the Bowery Hotel.

I don't mind real locals offering some advice to out-of-towners at the site, as we're invited to do. (Well, I mind a little bit...particularly when it's awful advice.) But! The site also features input from real celebrities! Say I'm from out of town looking for a place to go for a drink. Hmm, Sean "Diddy" Combs suggests a cocktail at the Mandarin Oriental. Perfect! Alan Cumming suggests the Box on the LES. Coltrane Curtis suggests the Beatrice Inn! Go the site and you'll see nuggests like this:

"If you are into clubs, I’d check out Butter, Marquee or 1 Oak." -- Sean "Diddy" Combs

All places that even tourists might know about, and likely couldn't get into unless they were really wealthy and dressed the right way. Here's the thing, the campaign (and site) only caters to an upper-class demographic. (For example, the site lists the most popular hotels, shops and restaurants based on user page views. The top three hotels? The Waldorf, the Bowery Hotel and the W.) This is the sanitized, condofied city our leaders apparently want us to be. All nice and glossy and...

Oh, and there's a whole Sex and the City section on the site:

This is the Life.
This is New York City.™ This is home to Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda. This is a city known for its cutting-edge dining, shopping, entertainment, nightlife and culture. It’s where lines wrap around the block for a cupcake; where cosmos are sipped over conversation and where energy, excitement and style are found on every street. It’s classic and modern all at once with iconic landmarks that never lose their allure and new hotspots are constantly emerging. So whether you want to try the places made famous by Sex and the City or discover you own favorite locales—this is where it’s done. This is New York City.

Related: Et Tu, Debbie? (Flaming Pablum)

By the way, I don't have an approval system for this site. Yet.


Unknown said...

You should have also posted to tell the doormen you're from Ohio, and they'll whisk you to the VIP section with comp table service.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, there were a lot of things I wish I had added afterwards...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jill said...

So many comments, so little time!

Best NY Pizza - Sbarros

Get a taste of old NY at Katz's Delicatessen on Houston St. but be sure to dress properly, this old fashioned restaurant has a jacket and tie policy.

Go where the stars go and have a fine steak at Tad's Steaks, close to Penn Station!

I could go on... but I won't. Thanks for that, it made me laugh out loud.

Anonymous said...

Ha! Excellent, Jill. We could have some fun with this, huh?