So as March comes to a sad end New York City, the entire metro-region, is closed. The grim forecast is close to a thousand bars and restaurants won’t reopen at the end of April when restrictions are supposed to be lifted. Many other businesses won’t survive. Your favorite non-profit museums may also feel the pain. Some of you may be losing sleep wondering how you’ll keep it all together because you’re essentially jobless at the moment. Some of you may have already given all you can at this point, donating to many great causes. If you’re still doing well not worried where the next dollar is coming from consider helping those places you enjoy. Gift cards from restaurants, cafes or bars you like.
I’m a paying member of the New York Transit Museum. Fact is I had hoped to cover some of their stuff by now. Then shelter in place happened. The museum is doing its best to make the online experience more robust. They are also asking that folks Make a Gift, frankly a lot of revenue is being lost and no one wants to lose the museum.
So, if you can find something in the city you love that needs a little love, write that check.
Manhattan, the entire city, the entire metropolitan area of NY is a playground, a land of wonder. The purpose of my blog is to cover all that is great by day in NYC, like a great lunch or cup of coffee. A great event at a museum or park. Maybe the latest buzz worthy film release. Because of Covid-19 literally everything I'd blog about is effectively canceled or banned until further notice. So for the time being I won't have much to say here. I'll keep my Thinking Cap on for subject matter that will allow me to stay in touch. In the meantime take care of yourselves and your loved ones.
Keep Calm, Carry On,
Mustang Harry's, 352 7th Ave, New York, NY, 10001.
I walk in wondering if I had been here before, something feels familiar. Sharon greets me with a smile then eagerly shows me to my table. I look around, it's feels the same but something looks different. Then it dawns on me, American Whiskey around the corner down the street! Is a lunch at Mustang Harry's a copy and paste experience? Sure and that isn't bad at all. So let's give Mustang Harry's it's due.
I looked over the signature cocktails finding the Barrel Aged Boulevardier. Ingredients are listed on the menu along with a helpful flavor profile description. When sipping the boulevardier expect it to be spirit forward, bitter sweet, aromatic and complex, as per the menu. Sharon took the time to ask if I'd had one before, explained how many others described it before sending the cocktail back. We had a nice little back and forth, I knew I was in good hands. Feeling properly warned and clear of what to expect I ordered my BAB. The Starters a.k.a. appetizers list is interesting devoid of the diner standards of most joints. The To Share menu is where you'll find familiar favorites, like Disco Fries "Jersey Style". The Charred Lamb Lollipops on chimichurri sauce piqued my curiosity. Sharon confirmed wise choice. My cocktail arrived, I ripped open a Trip Wipes to relax Covid-19 free and take in the rest.
You get a single laminated page menu and printed daily specials. Yes, one of those interesting menus with something for everyone yet not overburdened with options, so ordering decisions should go quickly. Sharon recommended the ribs or the porkchop special. I wanted the Prime Hanger Steak Frites with garlicky greens, cowboy butter and fries. I expressed desire for the Smoky Mac & Cheese because I like smoked gouda and bacon crumbs, Sharon helped me save $9 by ditching the fries. Deep into my Barrel Aged Boulevardier the cough medicine vibe is long gone and I had been enjoying something different. Time for a fresh drink Sharon waves me off the Caribbean Old Fashioned assuring me Mustang Harry's take on the classic will be satisfying and it does meet expectations.
The Lamb Lollipops arrived and were heavenly. Ordered medium they were so tender, full of flavor. You get three per plate, for $5 more they'll serve you a forth one. I could eat these like wings. Don't get crazy with the chimichurri sauce the lamb doesn't need it. I gnawed on the bones like junkyard dog.
The place gets little loud as the Happy Hour crowd comes in. If there is music I'm not hearing it. The flat panels are broadcasting ESPN and FOX Sports on mute. A conversation can be had just speak up a little.
Hanger steak and a Malbec-Syrah blend arrive then every moment is great. My steak frites are medium-rare, each bite has a slight bulgogi note and that's good! The garlicky greens are flavor packed and even welcome a sip of wine. My side dish of adult macaroni and cheese are also 4 stars. Mustang Harry's quickly gets on the Visit Again List. While the hanger steak is near perfection it will cool quickly, so quit yapping and eat!
I finished with a Bourbon Walnut brownie topped with Vanilla ice cream, also a nice cup of joe. MSRP on this meal was $110, this included two cocktails and a glass of wine. Great service from Sharon with an assist from Collen, we all joked about social distancing. A pleasurable meal in everyway. I look forward to coming back and I was thanked quite a bit for coming out. I think the restaurant scene worries about a city-wide closing. That would be a shame.
The film and television landscape has shifted in two huge ways. Streaming and Disney's buying spree. The content providers that haven't been bought by Disney need their own streaming service and big franchises to compete. It now appears that NBC Universal is going to fully tap the potential of the Battlestar Galactica franchise. With lofty goals of having an MCU and Star Wars mega profit center? Why not? It wouldn't be the first time.
In 1978 Battlestar Galactica was created to tap into the cultural phenomenon that was Star Wars. Originally conceived as a mini-series with TV movies to follow. The ABC television network liked what they were seeing and pressed for a full TV series. Nearly 70 million people tuned in to the premier 3 hour episode. While Battlestar Galactica couldn't maintain 70 million tuning in weekly it's viewership numbers were good enough to guarantee a second season. Then something surprising happened, ABC canceled it after one season. The show didn't have the typical budget. The FX, sets, costumes and ensemble cast were expensive. A letter writing campaign would spawn the retooled and much unloved Galactica 1980 it was canceled after 10 episodes. An edited version of the premier episode was shown in movie theaters in 1979. The episodes of the show were edited together shown as tele-movies in various markets of North America and Europe. Tie in toys, books, model kits, comic books, trading cards, lunch boxes and glasses from Burger King were everywhere. The fun characters and rich universe of Battlestar Galactica were all the rage while we waited for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Throughout the 1990s there were rumors of Battlestar Galactica returning in some form, be it big screen or small. No one got Universal to open the check book.
At the turn of the century the biggest names in Hollywood were Bryan Singer and Tom DeSanto. The FOX TV network gave the greenlight to Tom DeSanto's Battlestar Galactica with Bryan Singer to direct the first few hours. Richard Hatch and Dirk Benedict of the original show would return with young new actors starring as the hot-shot Viper pilots. FOX wanted to market the show as directed by Bryan Singer. When the September 11th attacks happened travel came to a stand still. Singer's small window to direct the first episode had quickly closed. While interior sets of the Galactica and two full size Viper mock-ups had been built FOX pulled the plug, uninterested in moving forward without Bryan Singer.
Universal's television division still wanted to develop the property and had it's own network the Sci-Fi Channel to air it on. Star Trek veteran writer Ron Moore and television producer David Eick were brought on to develop the 2003 Battlestar Galactica mini-series that would serve as a backdoor pilot for a full series. The 2004-2009 Battlestar Galactica was a consistent critic's favorite through out it's run. It upended the structure and narrative of the television space opera attracting viewers who normally eschew the science fiction genre. The Ron Moore show still has an impassioned fanbase that purchases new show related merchandise today.
Several years ago Universal announced a Battlestar Galactica film for cinemas after having acquired the film rights from the estate of Glen A Larson, the Battlestar Galactica universe creator. Over the years various producers and writers had been attached to the project. Only for nothing to actually happen. September of 2019 Peacock was announced. This new streaming service from NBC Universal would dust off old titles it owns and mine them for new content. Sam Esmail was announced to produce a new Battlestar Galactica for Peacock. A few days later in a tweet Esmail said his show was not a reboot but will be a story in the Ron Moore universe. In the flurry of articles and blog posts covering the news occasionally some writer would mention the Battlestar Galactica film in development. I took this to be the result of lazy writers not exercising due diligence. Then DJ Rivera at We Got This Covered comes along clearly stating the Battlestar Galactica movie is still on. Not just rehashing old news but that producers are currently casting the roles of Adama and Starbuck.
Back in the day a property was television or film but usually not both at the same time. The Marvel Cinematic Universe has changed all that. The MCU has the biggest budget films breaking box office records while others Marvel characters are engaging on the small screens at home. Star Wars films continue while the Mandalorian is off to great success on TV. Star Trek has had a long history co-existing with film and television productions at the same time. For all the accolades the 2004 Battlestar Galactica achieved it was never hugely popular. It ran on a smaller TV network with less reach. It suffered from Toxic Fandom, with fans of the original show and the new at each others throats. Executives had a hard time determining value of those binge-watching the show on iTunes. Streaming was at it's infancy. Universal always wanted a bigger audience. If Sam Esmail is going to base his story on some other element of the Ron Moore universe. Then it's likely to be TV-MA and not likely a story happening on a battlestar named Galactica. This leaves room for a big budget film rebooting the Galactica story to a wider PG-13 audience. Lunching a new sci-fi action franchise, with all the merch that comes with it.
I've long had doubts a movie will happen but DJ Rivera apparently has sources that have been right before. Will it be successful? Way to early to say. One thing for sure Andrew Fullen won't be pleased.