Right Or Wrong, Knicks Go Ahead With Game And Nyc Returns To Normal For A While

But on a Friday night in midtown Manhattan, an oasis of relative normalcy in a region devastated by Hurricane Sandy, there was nothing wrong with taking three hours or so and playing a game.

To those like the Heat’s Dwyane Wade, who thought playing the game would’ve somehow overinflated the importance of basketball in the face of such loss and destruction, Knicks vs. Heat actually served the opposite purpose. Canceling the game is what would’ve assigned an inappropriate level of meaning to a sporting event. Playing the game, in front of what turned out to be a stunningly sold-out house, seemed to put things in their proper place for a while.

“You really didn’t know how many people were going to be here,” Wade said after the Knicks stunned the Heat 104-84 Friday night. “No one knew. But it was great. … It was an emotional kind of game for certain people and for this city. And it was a tough one for us to try to come in and get.”

A day earlier, while the team bus was navigating three hours of snarled traffic from Newark Airport to Manhattan, Wade had tweeted about how silly it was to be playing a game in the middle of this. At shootaround Friday morning, he put his money where his tweets were, saying that he would donate his game check to storm relief efforts.

Afterward?

“The energy in the arena was amazing, and you’ve got the champs coming in as well,” Wade said. “And that was a great time to let the community, let the fans and the families kind of forget about things for 2 ½, three hours. So it was great for us as an organization to be part of it.”

What the outcome meant — a dominant, locked-in performance from Anthony (30 points, 10 rebounds), a surprising defensive effort that held Miami to only 84 points and a mind-boggling 19-for-36 shooting performance from the Knicks at the 3-point line — nobody knows for sure. Maybe the Heat got caught in the buzz-saw of emotion and big-event nature of their surroundings. Maybe, this strange brew of Anthony — referred to now on the scoreboard and by the P.A. announcer as “Melo Anthony” — and this collection of graybeard veterans will wind up being a legitimate challenge to Miami down the road. Again, nobody knows.

What we did know at the end of Friday night’s festivities, given the recovery efforts underway for miles around, was that an important basketball game at the Garden remains as it should be: an event like almost no other in sports.

“You’re talking about the best place, one of the best arenas in the country,” said 39-year-old Jason Kidd, who has played in every one of them. “And with the storm and the aftermath, for people to come for two hours and relax and feel good about their home team, that was the biggest thing we tried to do tonight.”

Nobody knew what to expect. After the Knicks’ previously scheduled season opener in Brooklyn Thursday night was postponed because hardly anyone would’ve been able to get there on the city’s savaged mass-transit system, Kidd thought maybe he’d see a crowd like he once played in front of on Christmas Day after a blizzard — 5,000 or so, as he recalls. But as the players emerged from their respective locker rooms to warm up, the seats in even the most remote corners of the redesigned Garden began to fill up. Every single one of them. It was a sellout; 19,033 to be exact.

“Just to see the fans come out and support this game in the wake of everything that’s been happening, that just does a lot to show you and tell you about this city,” Anthony said.

There were warmups, and then a moment of silence for lives lost and families affected by the storm. Then, this new guy named Melo Anthony grabbed the mic and thanked everyone for coming.

“They switched it up,” Anthony said of his apparent name change. “That’s something that was new. New York has always got something new up under their sleeve, so I guess we’ll stick with it. I guess the one name, Melo. We’ll see.”

And then the Knicks somehow ran the defending champs out of the place, sending Wade and LeBron James to the bench to watch the final 4 ½ minutes of a 20-point blowout.

“We’re clearly much better than this,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

Raymond Felton (14 points, nine assists) picked up right where he left off the last time he was a Knick, which is to say the last time he was an effective NBA player. J.R. Smith had six assists. Anthony was brilliant, scoring 16 of his 30 points in the first quarter and looking engaged and hungry on the boards and on the defensive end of the floor, as well.

“I just feel super focused right now,” Anthony said. “I know what I have on this team. I’ve got to believe in the guys who are on this team, and those guys believe in me. They’ve seen all the work that I put in in the offseason, all the work I put in in practice. So I’m totally focused in, focused in on basketball.”

Scary thought, if it lasts.

How sweetly strange and surprising was this night, this game that might not have happened if the decision to play had gone the other way? A few reporters were treated to something as rare as a Loch Ness Monster sighting, something I would’ve told you was less likely than famously reclusive author J.D. Salinger rising from the dead and sauntering into the Garden and dictating his memoir over the P.A. system.

James L. Dolan, the hermit-like chairman of Madison Square Garden, mystically appeared outside the Knicks’ locker room before the game and engaged in approximately a one-minute conversation with a handful of reporters who were stunned into a dumbfounded state that rendered them almost incapable of doing their jobs.

After briefly exchanging storm stories and small talk, Dolan, for the record, answered a question. Granted, the question was “How are you doing?” But this meant that his five-plus year streak of not answering a single question from the media was technically over.

“It’s a big game,” Dolan said. “It’s good for New York. … A lot of people told me they were either coming or watching on TV. It will give people something to cheer about and take their mind off things for a couple of hours.”

I never thought I’d write words in quotation marks set off by the words, “Dolan said,” on this night, but you know what? He was right.

Can’t Afford A Vacation? Try Homeswapping

This summer, many Americans are reviewing their budgets and concluding that they cannot afford a vacation. When you add up plane fare, hotel accomodations, and renting a car, there may not be enough money left to eat while you are traveling, much less to pay for entrance fees to museums or amusement parks. Some New Jerseyans, however, have turned their state’s “close to everything” location into an opportunity to take a frugal vacation. Residents of Trenton, Egg Harbor, and North Bergen are saving money on hotel rooms and restaurants by offering their homes to homeswappers from other states and countries. The key is to first declutter your home, putting family heirlooms, valuables, and important files into a New Jersey self storage unit. Then you not only have a clean home — you have a home that can be traded for a few days or weeks to an-other family.

Why would a homeswapping family want to come to New Jersey? New Jersey is one of the United States’ best kept secrets. It makes an ideal summer or fall vacation destination, giving a traveler access to bucolic rural areas and bustling urban envi-ronments. New Jersey also gives cash-strapped vacationers alternatives to renting a car, with its extensive bus and rail sys-tems and ferry lines. Trenton is a particularly good location for homeswapping because it gives your vacationing guests ac-cess to two additional metropolitan areas: New York City and Philadelphia. But Egg Harbor, North Bergen, and Parlin make good destinations too. You can find families interested in homeswapping at homeswapping websites such as HomeLink In-ternational, HomeExchange.com, HomeforSwap.com, and SwapYourVacationHome.com. If you are a medical professional, you might want to check out the recently formed DoctorsHomeSwap.com, which accepts only doctors.

To prepare your home for a homeswap, clean and declutter just as you would if you were putting your home on the market. In both situations, you are inviting strangers to enter your home.

~ Put valuable items, family heirlooms, important papers and files, and computers and electronic equipment into a cli-mate-controlled Trenton self storage unit, or an individually-alarmed North Bergen self storage facility. Find some place that meets all your needs for self storage, giving you plenty of space, a reliable security system, and climate control if you need it.
~ Clean out closets, bookshelves, and drawers, getting rid of clutter and leaving space for a vacationing family to hang clothes in your closets. Make sure that you leave out linens for the beds, towels and washcloths, hangars, toilet paper, and other such items. Put the excess into the self storage unit that you rented for your valuables, or into an attic or crawl space.
~ Keep operating manuals for appliances in your home out, placing them on the kitchen counter or in some other equally visible location. Next to the appliance operating manuals, leave a list of emergency phone numbers, including the police, fire department, local hospitals, and other basic service providers. Include your own name and cell phone number so that you can be reached in the event of a home emergency.
~ Make sure that your homeowners’ insurance is up-to-date.
~ When you agree to an exchange, use a written agreement to clarify the terms. You may also want to arrange for a family member or friend to stop by to meet your homeswappers and answer any questions that they might have.

Asics Debuts 2012 Ad Campaign At Ing New York City Marathon

NEW YORK, Oct 26, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — ASICS, an official sponsor of the 2011 ING New York City Marathon, will debut the first part of its 2012 national advertising campaign during race week, starting October 31st. Featuring the brand’s evocative new mantra “Stop at Never,” the campaign will evoke the passionate pursuit of athletic achievement that lives at the core of the ASICS brand, its products and its athletes.

“Stop at Never” is more than just words, it is an instinct and an experience that will connect with athletes of every level to go further, run faster and perform better. ASICS understands that each goal achieved motivates and encourages athletes to reach for the next one. To demonstrate this real and honest insight, the ING New York City Marathon campaign will feature photographs of real runners, in real marathons around the world, set against a bold, inspiring visual theme.

ASICS’ athlete and Olympic Marathoner Ryan Hall will be the face of “Stop at Never” through videos of his training for the 2012 Olympics. Look for the campaign on the CNN digital board in Times Square, on 50-foot banners hanging in the Time Warner Center, and on bus wraps across the city. Overall, the brand’s new look will reach 537 million advertising impressions.
Anima Sana In Corpore Sano, meaning “A Sound Mind in a Sound Body,” is an old Latin phrase from which ASICS is derived and the fundamental platform on which the brand still stands. The company was founded more than 60 years ago by Kihachiro Onitsuka and is now a leading designer and manufacturer of running shoes, as well as, other athletic footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, visit www.runnerstation.net.

Central Park – A Recreational Hangout Amidst The Urban Bustle

Your New York tour would be incomplete without spending time with your family and friends in the first urban landscaped park of United States – Central Park. You probably might not be able to cover the entire park that spans across 843 acres of land and boasts a stunning diversity in its landscaping. It houses several lakes, theaters, ice rinks, fountains, tennis courts, baseball fields, many playgrounds and other facilities. It is also a home to the Central Park Zoo and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Here are some quick facts that talk about the park’s history, conception, and creation.

* The terrain for the Central park was bought by the City of New York in 1853, which was then remotely located from the main civilization of the city. The area contained sheds from colonists, quarries, pig farms and swamps.

* In 1857, the city of New York organized a competition for the design of this new park, to compete with standards of the famous city parks located in London and Paris. A design by Frederic Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, named ‘the Greensward Plan’ was chosen, which featured an English inspired landscape with large meadows, several lakes, hills, winding pedestrian roads separated from main roads, and a huge number of trees which ensured that the city’s buildings were not visible from within the park.

* Several hundred thousand trees were planted; roads and bridges were constructed to transform the swampy area into the park which the designers had envisioned.

* It took more than 15 years and 20,000 workers to complete the entire park, which became a popular hangout of all the New Yorkers and attracted millions of visitors each year.

* The initial intent behind designing the park was to create a place where people could relax and meditate. Gradually the focus of the park shifted from relaxation to recreation with playgrounds and sports facilities springing within the park.

* In 1970’s the park started losing its luster by inviting graffiti, garbage, an increase of crime in it vicinity, thus becoming a symbol of New York City’s decline

* A 50 million dollar renovation project was initiated to restore and conserve the park by the Central Park Conservancy, which was started by a group of citizens in 1980. The restoration efforts resulted in a cleaner and safer park which till date remains one of the most popularly visited places in Big Apple and one of the favorite hotspots while touring New York City.

Most New York vacation packages and travel bus tours include a visit to this charming jewel situated in the heart of Manhattan which hosts approximately twenty-five million visitors each year. Don’t miss out on the lush green landscapes and the breathtaking scenery exuded by this recreational haven for people belonging to all age groups, one of the treasured weekend hangouts of all New Yorkers, and undoubtedly the pride of Big Apple – Central Park.

Follow That Bus

Large Scale Lead Generation Is As Easy As Following The Right Bus In Traffic.

I can picture it now, just like a scene from a movie. I’m in New York City, I jump into a taxi and shout, ‘follow that bus”. The taxi screeches off as I as tell the driver how much I’ll pay him to stay behind that bus. As author Jim Collins wrote in his book Good to Great, the bus represents a company who could have the right or wrong people on the bus.

As we know, the direction of the bus is less important than having the right people on the bus. Great companies can always change direction with the right people on the bus. When it comes to internet marketing and lead generation, if you follow the right buses, your campaigns will be heading in the right direction.

How do you find the right buses? Well, when it comes to internet traffic, it’s easy. If you do great research, you will find the right buses. My point is that there are so many great companies on the net with massive traffic; you don’t need to work too hard to find them. Do you Yahoo? Follow that bus. Now I’m not here to tell you whether or not Yahoo is a great bus in the same sense Jim Collins would relate.

I can tell you Yahoo has massive traffic, if you want to deliver your message in front of massive traffic, step up. Now, if you can’t bank roll a Yahoo insertion order just yet, try a smaller ad network or publisher.

Which is better, a massive email list or massive traffic? Or Both? Well, yes, I say from experience, it is good to have both. However, what if you have neither? Sure, budding Internet marketers can reach Maven’s status by leveraging effective web 2.0 strategies with social media. It’s also no doubt; the right joint venture strategies could make your site buzz with traffic, if your offers get out to the right lists. Although, JV list deals where you mail mine and I’ll mail yours tend to be the most sought after deals, these leave out any would be Mavens who have no list. Performance based list mailing on a JV basis can be a very low risk venture for more traffic.

The issue to consider is; are you willing to build your list with massive cross over to every JV partner offer you mail to your list? In part, their list becomes your list and likewise. The beauty of joint venturing your way to Maven status is, your marketing successes can become totally push button simple. Although, keep in mind, when there is massive cross over on a marketer’s list, who only promotes through JV deals, the marketer has a bigger issue on their hands. Your marketing campaigns will always need to factor in the overhead cost of affiliates.

Now, I’m all for affiliate marketing, in fact, I love it. Just for a moment though, consider this, how would your numbers look if you didn’t shave 50% off the top of your gross? Could you launch a product by putting your message in front of a massive amount of targeted traffic? Sure you could, most definitely if you took the correct steps in research, planning, testing, and optimization. My suggestion is purely to provoke a different kind of thought track. You don’t need a massive budget or a massive list to have huge success. You can work your way of to having both by buying targeted traffic. The upside potential of scaling a campaign through buying targeted traffic is totally approachable by everyday internet marketers. Find the bus and follow it.