Note: The first episodes shown during the First Quarter 2014 were a rerun of #335 on December 23, 2013, and #650 on December 30, 2013.
Episode #656: We've Survived
First Broadcast: 1/6/14
Bill de Blasio is now the 109th Mayor of New York City, and I think he gave a nice speech after his ceremonial inauguration on New Year's Day. Additionally, William Bratton is now once again the Commissioner of the NYPD, and I wonder if this is de Blasio's "Nixon in China" strategy to use a PBA-friendly face to fix the unconstitutional parts of "stop-and-frisk" in ways in which the previous Mayor and Commissioner refused to do. Any Mayor who gives a shout out to Jacob Riis in a speech gives me hope.
Episode #657: Science Fiction Weather
First Broadcast: 1/13/14
After discussing the sub-freezing temperatures caused by the polar vortex this past week (and, despite what a certain right-wing talk show host might think, that wasn't a term made up only this year), I remark on some vivid memories of the homeless in the city in the 1980s, and some unpleasant similarities they share with a certain type of convention-goer. After that, we congratulate Colorado on being the first state in the union to allow the legal sale of marijuana for non-medicinal use, and hope that this will be the final proof other states need that pot legalization is a much better path than pot prohibition. (Let's hope that banks and the federal government also get the message, while we're at it.)
Episode #658: Could It Be Toast?
First Broadcast: 1/20/14
The restaurant 7A is closing in less than a week! Toast is now a hip (or hipster?) menu item! Tourists need to learn how to walk (and do a lot of other things) in the city! And the NYPD settled a lawsuit with the NYCLU, paying $18 million (including attorneys fees) to hundreds of people who were wrongly arrested during the Republican National Convention in 2004! The year is off to a hell of a start!
Episode #659: Green Light
First Broadcast: 1/27/14
Repeated: 5/5/14; 3/2/15
The newly-legalized marijuana industry has been so successful in Colorado this year that High Times magazine is establishing an investment fund that will dole out up to $100 million dollars of capital to help cannabis businesses grow there. (Maybe this was enough to push Attorney General Eric Holder into finally creating some rules under which banks could do business with marijuana sellers without violating laws against money laundering.) We also recap on how one of the last acts of the Bloomberg administration was to ban the purchase (but not the usage) of cigarettes by people under age 21 in New York City. Will New York eventually follow Colorado's lead? Only time will tell, I guess.
Episode #660: Easier Than The J Train
First Broadcast: 2/10/14
I'm sick of the snow, sleet, and slush that's been plaguing New York City this winter. It's not as bad as the cold in The Jungle, and certainly not as deadly as some heat waves of the 19th Century, but it's enough to make you feel like you live in an icebox for the time being. We also chat about the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base for a bit, and how it's still being leased from Cuba (even if they aren't accepting the United States' checks), and somehow H. P. Lovecraft makes an appearance. How do these all tie together? I don't remember, but if you watch you can find out.
Episode #661: BOOTS
First Broadcast: 2/17/14
I reiterate: I'm sick of this winter. After debating boots for a while, we then wonder: Where have all the black sitcoms gone? I talk up Earthquake when I get the chance, and we commiserate over the impending loss of Surprise! Surprise!, the housewares store that has been supplying East Villagers with truly apartment-sized household goods since the 1980s. Can't we ever keep anything nice around here?
Episode #662: A Lot of Nuances
First Broadcast: 3/3/14
The late Harold Ramis, Trading Places, and its screenwriter Herschel Weingrod occupy our thoughts this week. And Ghostbusters, of course.
Episode #663: This Is A Shame
First Broadcast: 3/10/14
Tonight, we continue discussing the late Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters, the various stores that have died around here, how J&R is on its way out, how DVDs are still selling, and the store (although what Google has is a link to its old location) where I finally found the Ghostbusters DVD that I was looking for. P.S.: This is the actor whose name I couldn't remember. What would I do now without Wikipedia?