Thursday, May 12, 2011

Will Smith's Movie Trailer in New York City

Happy spring, blog buddies. I am posting an ABC News segment from this morning about Will Smith's large trailer parked in New York City's SoHo neighborhood where he is filming Men in Black 3. Some of the areas residents filed complaints about the size of his trailer and the city has decided to make him move it. From this interview, some say it harms the environment in the neighborhood, while others say it adds excitement to the day and is part of life in the city. One man even adds that this is what Smith needs in order to make his movies (in addition to another nearby trailer he uses as a gym).

So, I turn to you, blog readers. What do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sammy Hagar: Van Halen Reunion a "Horror Fest"

Sammy Hagar, rock star even at a book signing.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar says the group's reunion in 2004 wasn't what he wanted or expected it to be.

"The Van Halen reunion was a disappointment for me," Hagar said Tuesday night at the Borders in Columbus Circle. "I was just hoping it was going to be great and everybody was going to be happy and a big love fest and just go at it again but it wasn't like that at all. It was the complete opposite. It was a horror fest."

Hagar, also known as the "Red Rocker," said even with all the ups and downs in his life, he has no regrets.

"The past is done and there's no reason to mess with that," Hagar said. "I'm in a really good place right now and very happy with my life."

He added, "I wouldn't want to mess with this moment either because I'm living the dream. This is more than anyone could ever hope or dream for. I just hope that I can keep doing this thing exactly the way it is now. I don't want to fix anything and I have no regrets."

He released his book, "Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock," yesterday, which chronicles his experiences from childhood to becoming a headlining rock star. Hagar says that even though some of the book gets graphic, he will allow his four children to read it.

"My sons are one thing... but my little daughters I'm nervous about it still," Hagar said. "I may make them read the Keith Richards book first and then they're going to say 'My pops is like the funny papers.'"

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Suze Orman: "The American Dream is Dead"

Photo of Suze Orman courtesy of Getty Images


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Financial expert Suze Orman proclaimed to a crowd at Barnes and Noble in Union Square last night that the American Dream is dead.

"The old American Dream is dead -- the dream where bigger, better, and more was the goal," Orman said Thursday night. "Those days are dead for the majority of America and I think that's great because it's a waste. It's a waste of energy. It's a waste of space. It's a waste of money that you were earning."

She added, "We have now entered what I'm calling 'the New American Dream,' which is a dream where you value who you are over what you have. You value your money more than the things your money can buy."

She released her 10th book, "The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream," this week and said its major theme is "to stand in your truth in every action, every word and every thought that you think."

"If you always do what is true all the time, I promise you will attract more love to you than you will ever have any idea what to do with," Orman said.

Orman answers viewers' questions about money and investments as the host of her CNBC program "The Suze Orman Show," as well as on segments of the "Today" show, but says her new book will give readers the financial education they need to have.

"You have got to read this book and take notes," Orman said. "When you open it up, the class is in session and it's going to be a class you won't want to miss."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Author Discusses Women on Wall Street

Nina Godiwalla spoke about her new book at Borders.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Author Nina Godiwalla worked on Wall Street and revealed last night what inspired her to write the book "Suits: A Woman on Wall Street," which gives insight to what it's like to be a female investment banker.

"I wrote the book because I want people to learn and see what my experience was like," Godiwalla said Wednesday night at the Columbus Circle Borders. "When you can look at it and see what someone else did, I think it just helps you with your own career."

She explained that she believes the environment in that industry would improve if they started embracing differences more instead of discouraging them.

"The area I worked in was, in my opinion, a little more on the homogeneous side," Godiwalla said. "I found it was a little more challenging to be different. I felt like the culture was more like, you need to assimilate to what we are as opposed to let's be open and we all have different ideas. The hardest part for me was not having a voice or my own opinion."

After all of her experiences on the exchange floor, both positive and negative, Godiwalla says she doesn't discourage anyone from taking a job on Wall Street.

"If anyone can do it better than I can, more power to them," Godiwalla said. "The reality is, I felt like I made so many mistakes. I look back at the experience and I find it almost embarrassing."

Godiwalla is currently the CEO of MindWorks, a company she founded to train business professionals in stress management and meditation. She said she's going to spend some time focused on her company before starting on her next book.

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Inside the Jackie Robinson Foundation Awards Gala

Audry Quock and Russell Simmons on the red carpet before the awards gala.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer
The Jackie Robinson Foundation held its annual awards gala Monday night at the Waldorf Astoria in Midtown. The group paid tribute to Sean "Diddy" Combs, Ingrid Saunders Jones, and Joseph R. Parella for their humanitarian ideals. Check out the photo gallery I created from the red carpet for NBCNewYork.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fashion Expert Stacy London Advises to Just Be Yourself

Photo of Stacy London courtesy of Getty Images

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Fashionista Stacy London told a crowd at 92nd Street Y in the Upper East Side last night that the expectations put on women by the fashion industry to look a certain way sends out the wrong message.

"One of the things we need to remember is the impossible standard that's being set up before us," London said. "Aspiring to that standard denies us the opportunity to realize and experience how unique we all are."

She added, "There is nobody comparable to you. Not on any level really. You can never be somebody else. You can try your hardest -- gain weight, lose weight, cut your hair, change your lipstick -- I don't care. You're still going to be you and that's who you should be."

London is the co-host of the styling reality show "What Not To Wear," alongside Clinton Kelly, and said they live by the rule that trends are not the most important.

"You don't have to worry about the trends because trends are going to come and go," London said. "As long as you are dressing yourself in the best shapes and styles for your body, you're always going to look good."

While most people pass judgement on others, based on appearances, within the first three seconds of meeting and also judge their own appearance, London says she likes to have a different approach.

"My sister taught this to me -- don't judge, just notice," London said. "Judging is not what I want you to do with your body. I want you to notice and I want you to be really honest with yourself about what you like and don't like because then you can decide what you want to highlight and what you want to camouflage."

She also advised all women to remember to embrace who they are and dress for their bodies, not an unrealistic model walking down a fashion runway.

"If we don't aspire to what's realistic, we'll always have a sense of failure," London said. "If you are busy comparing yourself to an unrealistic standard of beauty, what hope do you have of actually dressing yourself?"

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Meredith Baxter: "I Would Drink All the Way Home from the Family Ties Studio"

Meredith Baxter photo courtesy of Getty Images.


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Meredith Baxter, best known for her role as Elyse Keaton on the '80s sitcom "Family Ties," revealed Wednesday night that she used to drink at least a tumbler full of wine driving home from the studio every day because of her unhappy marriage.

"I would drink all the way home from the Family Ties studio," Baxter said at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. "I didn't stop drinking until the marriage [to actor David Birney] was over. Drinking had started to serve a purpose for me because I was so unhappy and had no place to put it."

In her new book, "Untied: A Memoir of Family, Fame, and Floundering," Baxter discusses her family life, battles with alcoholism and breast cancer, as well as coming out as a lesbian on the "Today" show in 2009.

"I knew that it was a woman that I would find myself," Baxter said. "I felt a safety and a music in a way that I hadn't before."

Baxter was married three times before coming out and meeting her current partner, Nancy Locke, and compares discovering her true sexual orientation to finding the right religion.

"I can only relate it to people who have been looking for a kind of religion in their life," Baxter said. "They try out Presbyterianism and then they check out the Methodists and they go to a couple temples and they listen to a few rabbis and then they find Buddhism and they say, 'Okay, I like their tenets here ... and this is where I want to be.' That's pretty much how it was for me."

When asked how it compared to beating breast cancer, Baxter said there was no contest.

"Breast cancer was a piece of cake," Baxter said. "I never really was present for the breast cancer because other stuff was going on, but coming out was more important. It was a choice."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bourdain Says Chefs Love Gabrielle Hamilton's Memoir

Gabrielle Hamilton and Anthony Bourdain at Barnes & Noble Union Square.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Gabrielle Hamilton, the head chef of Prune in the East Village, says her favorite dish at her restaurant is something she eats on a daily basis.

"I probably eat a dozen radishes with butter and kosher salt every day of my life," Hamilton said. "I probably have a can of boneless, skinless sardines every day too."

Hamilton released her new memoir, "Blood, Bones, and Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef," and spoke about it with Anthony Bourdain Tuesday night at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square.

Bourdain, who hosts "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations" on the Travel Channel, said the book is popular not only with Hamilton's fans, but among their fellow chefs as well.

"They've all read it, and I'm talking about chefs that read one or two books every five years," Bourdain told Hamilton. "They all read the book and they all love it."

Hamilton sold the rights to this book five years ago and said that, even though it was just released on Tuesday, she only started working on it about a year ago.

"It took a long time," Hamilton said. "It's like asking how long it took you to finish college if you went to night school part-time. I have a full time job as the chef of a restaurant and the owner. At the time I sold the book I had a baby and another one coming out. Everything I wanted in the whole world happened all at once, so it took a little while."

The memoir has prompted her family and friends to ask when it will be coming to the big screen, but Hamilton has another goal she wants to achieve first.

"I just want to move to a bigger apartment," Hamilton said. "I live in a one-bedroom East Village apartment with my two sons and every time I take a shower, I'm stepping on Legos. ... If this book is successful, that would be great. That's success for me."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Museum of the Moving Image Salutes Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin on the red carpet at Cipriani.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
The Museum of the Moving Image saluted Alec Baldwin Monday night for his years of acting in film and television.

"I'm very honored to be here," Baldwin said as he walked the red carpet at Cipriani in Midtown. "I've been doing this for a while and when you start to get old like I am, they start giving you these awards. I've got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame now too. I'm getting old."

For many years, Baldwin mainly took on film roles, but now is in his fifth season alongside Tina Fey on the hit NBC series "30 Rock."

He revealed his secret to Niteside of how to be a successful comedic actor.

"I had an opportunity to do a TV show and most comedy involves one central thing -- you have to make an ass of yourself," Baldwin said. "It's not about looking good. You're not playing James Bond. I would love to be James Bond, but I'm not James Bond. They hired somebody else for that, so I make an ass of myself on the show and we've had a lot of fun."

With his experience in both film and television, Baldwin said being a part of "30 Rock" has been one of the best things for him.

"Sometimes the hardest thing to get in movies is an audience, but TV people stay with you," Baldwin said. "They like the show and they watch it every week and we have a great response with our show."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Jimmy Fallon Shares His Best Alec Baldwin Memory With Niteside

Jimmy Fallon came to support his SNL friend Alec Baldwin.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer
By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Jimmy Fallon has worked with Alec Baldwin on "Saturday Night Live" and so he was on hand to celebrate the Museum of the Moving Image salute to Baldwin Monday night.

Fallon explained to Niteside why he was instructed to call his family immediately after meeting Baldwin for the first time.

"I remember when I first started on 'Saturday Night Live,' he said, 'What's your name, new guy?' I said, 'It's Jimmy Fallon' and he goes, 'Jimmy Fallon I'm going to say your name more than anyone has ever said your name on television tonight. So tell your parents to watch and all your friends.'"

Fallon added, "I counted six times he said my name that night and I was just freaking out. My parents and everyone was calling the next day. It's a big deal when you're first starting out. I'll never forget that."

There was no question that Fallon appreciates Baldwin, not only as an actor, but also as a friend.

"He's the greatest guy in the world," Fallon said. "He's a gentleman and a great guy."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Actress Amy Ryan Hopes to Return to Broadway

"The Office" star Amy Ryan at Cipriani in Midtown.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Amy Ryan came out to support her friend and fellow actor Alec Baldwin last night at the Museum of the Moving Image's Salute to Alec Baldwin, where she revealed to Niteside that she would like to return to her acting roots on the stage.

"I would like to do a play again before I forget how," Ryan said on the red carpet at the Cipriani in Midtown. "I want to stay home in New York. I've been traveling a lot so if I could find a job here that would be fantastic."

She was nominated twice in 2000 for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Play for her role in the Broadway show "Uncle Vanya" and again in 2005 for her role in "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Ryan has a film called "Win Win" due out later this month, which she stars opposite Paul Giamatti. She can now be seen opposite Steve Carell on "The Office" and said she just returned from shooting her final episode on the show.

"I am very sad to leave it," Ryan said. "But all good things must come to an end, I suppose."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Stars Salute Alec Baldwin

Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin share a laugh on the red carpet.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

The Museum of the Moving Image Salute to Alec Baldwin was held at the Cipriani in midtown Monday night, honoring him for his work in films and television - including his roles in It's Complicated, 30 Rock, Saturday Night Live, and Along Came Polly. Baldwin is the 26th Honoree of this award.

What an evening. I met Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, Amy Ryan, Jimmy Fallon, Ben Stiller, Richard Gere, Bob Balaban and many others. Check out the photo gallery I created from the night for NBCNewYork.

Bob Balaban Thinks Alec Baldwin Would Make A Great Philanthropist

Actor Bob Balaban on the red carpet.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Alec Baldwin has hinted that after his contract expires with "30 Rock," he will be pursuing something new, and actor Bob Balaban told Niteside what he thinks that should be.

"He could just sit back and be a philanthropist," Balaban said Monday night at Cirpriani in Midtown. "He's really interested in his community ... and he puts his heart where his mouth is. He shows up for every good thing that he cares about and supports it."

Balaban added, "I could think he could he could happily make his life by doing something kind of political but really by supporting the causes he cares about because he's very tuned into that."

Balaban worked alongside Baldwin in the 1990 film "Alice" and came to support Baldwin on the night the Museum of the Moving Image honored him with a Salute, which Balaban said is well deserved.

"I love him -- we've done a lot of things together," Balaban said. "The idea that he figured out to be this handsome leading man who did movies where he was so serious you thought you would die or he would kill you or something bad would happen, it turns out to be that he's just the funniest person."

Balaban said that Baldwin's role as Jack Donaghy on the TV series "30 Rock" is very fitting for him.

"He loves being funny," Balaban said. "I think it makes him happy. I think the idea that he spends his time doing comedies now, it's lighting up his whole life."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Inside the Ladies-Only Casino Night at the Empire State Building

Photo by Brooke Niemeyer


Urban Girl Squad, a ladies-only social networking group, held a casino cocktail party at the Empire Room inside the Empire State Building Thursday night. The women enjoyed a night of socializing, gaming and cocktails at Caesar's Palace in Atlantic City brought in some of their tables and game dealers for the evening. Check out the NBCNewYork photo gallery I created from the evening.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Whoopi Goldberg Says Working With Barbara Walters is "Amazing"

Whoopi Goldberg and Barbara Walters
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Whoopi Goldberg is known for her standout performances in films like "Ghost," "The Color Purple," and "Sister Act," and now as a television host. She began her current role as co-host and moderator of the daytime talk show "The View" in 2007 and revealed to Niteside last night that, even after all this time on the show, she still gets awe-struck sitting across the table from Barbara Walters.

"I sometimes sit across from her and think, 'Wow, am I really hanging out with you?'" Goldberg said. "The most amazing thing is that, you think back to what she did and you kind of get blown away by it, because she really was the first. You don't get to meet many firsts in your life, so it's kind of amazing."

Goldberg has her own status as one of the rare recipients of all four major performance awards - an Emmy, an Oscar, a Grammy, and a Tony. Her name was recently left off a list of past black Oscar winners published in The New York Times, despite her win in 1991 for her role in "Ghost," and she has not hidden her disgust for this omission.

"Oh no, I don't think you read about me there," Goldberg said, rolling her eyes, at the mention of the article during a talk at the 92nd Street Y in the Upper East Side.

The New York Times released a statement on Monday responding to Goldberg's upset, saying that the "point of the piece was not to name every black actor or actress who has been awarded an Oscar" but instead to compare the number of winners prior to those who have won since.

Goldberg produced "Sister Act: The Musical," which will open on Broadway this March. The show originally began in London in 2008, which forced Goldberg to travel abroad - something she doesn't typically do since she doesn't like to fly.

"I didn't fly for 15 years - I have my bus," Goldberg said. "But Tom [Leonardis] says to me, off the cuff, 'We're going to London next month for the show' and I said, 'We're going to have to get an anesthesiologist."

Now that her fears are somewhat under control, thanks in part to modern medicine, Goldberg announced Thursday that she will be heading back overseas in the coming months for a royal interview.

"I'm being interviewed by Prince Edward at Windsor Castle," Goldberg said. "I know him, so it's a comfortable situation for me, and for him too."

As for if she'll return to England again for the upcoming nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton -- don't count on it.

"I'm not going to the wedding," Goldberg said. "I don't want to go -- no hot dogs."

As a well-known activist for equality and gay rights, Goldberg has participated in many LGBT rallies and also helped with the launch of Cyndi Laupers "Give a Damn Campaign," and says she doesn't understand those who oppose any marriage.

"I don't understand this idea that you have to separate it and it can't be called marriage," Goldberg said. "My feeling is, if you don't like gay marriage, don't marry a gay person."

A version of this story also ran on NBCNewYork.com's Niteside.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nora Ephron: "I Get Credit for Writing ‘I’ll Have What She’s Having,’ But I Didn’t"

Photo of Nora Ephron courtesy of Getty Images
By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Nora Ephron is best known for writing and directing hit romantic comedies like "When Harry Met Sally," "Sleepless in Seattle" and, most recently, "Julie and Julia." She revealed Wednesday night that the idea for one of the most iconic scenes in "When Harry Met Sally" wasn't actually even hers at all.

"I get credit for writing 'I'll have what she's having,' but I didn't," Ephron said, referring to the extremely famous line in the movie. "We had a reading with Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan and at the end of the reading, Meg said 'I think this scene would be funnier if it took place in a restaurant.' ... Billy said that one of the customers could say, 'I'll have what she's having.' And that was it."

While speaking at the Jewish Community Center on the Upper East Side, she said that she could write all the comedic scenes she wants, but the actors are the ones who give them life.

"The actors who know how to be funny know how to take your single and make it into a triple," Ephron said. "They look at a line and they know where the word is that is funny. They look at a scene and they know what prop they have to use to make the laugh work."

Ephron, 69, has worked with a long list of great actors, including Crystal, Ryan, and Meryl Streep, and hopes to keep adding to that list. She said she has never had a problem admitting her age but has found that it sometimes alarms her.

"I remember I was directing 'Sleepless in Seattle' and we were in rehearsal and I was the oldest person in the room," Ephron said. "It was one of those moments that is always a shock."

In her latest book, "I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections," Ephron writes about her life, memories, and getting older. She said that she has found that people sugarcoat what comes with age, but she's not having any of that.

"My theory is that anyone who says that the best sex is in your 60s and 70s has not had sex until their 60s or 70s."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Author Brian Greene Rules Out Sarah Palin Presidency Even in Other Universes

Photo of Brian Greene courtesy of Getty Images

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
New York City native at theoretical physicist Brian Greene recently released his latest tome "The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos," which is all about the possibility of multiple universes.

Greene compared the universe to a deck of cards and said that, at some point, elements of our world must repeat. Multiple universes are also known as a "multiverse."

"If you shuffle [a deck of cards] infinitely many times, sooner or later the order of the cards has to repeat," Green said at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square Tuesday night. "Similarly, if space goes on infinitely far, then the configuration of particles region by region has to ultimately repeat too."

He added, "Some people have asked me, does that mean that there is a place out there where Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sarah Palin are president?" Green said. "The only thing I can say to that is, is that compatible with the laws of physics?"

Greene has appeared on many talk shows, including "The Colbert Report" and "The Late Show With David Letterman," not only because of his vast knowledge on the subject, but also because of the "plain English" manner in which he speaks about scientific theories like this one.

Greene, also a professor at Columbia University, said that, despite his best efforts against it, writing this book consumed every aspect of his life.

"I tried diligently to protect my family from the time that I spent writing the book and I thought I had done a pretty good job of it," Greene said. "Until about three weeks ago, I was holding my little three-year-old daughter and saying, 'I love you more than anything in the entire universe' and she said, 'universe or multiverse?'"

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

NiteTalk: Lucie Arnaz Talks About Her Mother, Acting and Joining Cast Party

Photo of Lucie Arnaz courtesy of Getty Images.

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Lucie Arnaz, the daughter of legendary "I Love Lucy" actors Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, has followed her parent's footsteps into the entertainment industry. She is not only an actress, but a singer and producer as well. She recently sat down with Niteside to give us insight into her exciting life, including her upcoming performance in The Best of Jim Caruso's Cast Party to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, happing at Town Hall this Thursday night. 


I know you have performed at a few Cast Party shows in the past. What made you want to do this show in particular?
I just adore [Jim Caruso]. He's one of the funniest people on the planet and one of the nicest and the smartest. He called and said, "I'm just hoping, hoping, hoping that you're not doing something that day because you just need to be here and to be a part of it." It is like being part of a very exclusive club when Jimmy puts something together that's special. This is a unique Cast Party experience. It's not like the normal Cast Party. I was flattered to be asked and really happy that I wasn't somewhere else. He caught me in between arriving and leaving for something else. It's going to be great fun and it's for such a great cause. There's very rarely a time that I say no to something concerning Broadway Cares.

What do you look forward to the most when you're performing?
Just the fact of doing it. I love what I do. I love getting out there and picking a great story and singing it. They're stories and you go out and you do your little piece and hopefully you transport the audience in one way or another and you get off stage. It's a great feeling. The doing of it is everything - not the response or where it gets you. It doesn't get you essentially anywhere but in the now and the now of doing it is spectacular. You get addicted to the doing.

Do you ever get nervous?
I do. David Freedman used to always remind me, don't confuse excitement with nervousness. That's a great thing to remember because they feel exactly the same. When you get nervous and you start to make up thoughts about it, like 'I don't know what I'm doing, they're not going to like me, or I'm going to screw up,' you have to say, whoa, whoa, whoa - what if you were standing in line, waiting to walk onto the stage to accept your diploma for graduating from college, having accomplished all of that, you'd be feeling the same way but you'd be really excited. It's the same thing. It's just a matter of how you think about it. Now that I know that, what the nerves, the butterflies, the excitement isn't there, I get really concerned. It's like, why are you not connected on that level today? It's an electric charge and you want to plug into it.

You've starred in many movies and Broadway shows. Out of all the roles you've had, what was your favorite? 
I don't think I have one. They are all the best ones when you're doing them. I loved being in "The Jazz Singer" just because it was my first real film and I was working with such amazing people. I loved sitting in the dressing room with Neil Diamond and listening to him create songs.

Is there anyone you'd like to work with in the future?
Jeffery Rush, Colin Firth, George Clooney! (laughs) I wish I had a chance to work with people like Katherine Hepburn. I'd love to do a film with some of those really great female performers - there's so many of them, it's ridiculous - Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon. I have a tremendous admiration for good actors.

Your mother was certainly one of those good actors and you worked with her in "Here's Lucy" and "The Lucy Show." What did you learn acting with her?
Oh my god, that's a book. I could write a book called "What did I learn acting with mom." Someday I'll dedicate a large part of anything I ever write to that question, I'm sure.

In a nutshell, she did not suffer fools easily. She was a consummate professional, always prepared. She taught me show up on time, know your stuff, don't lose heart when things don't come out exactly the way you think they're going to - keep on truckin', don't let the steam out of the seam. Just be the person that the crew likes to work with because things get done faster and there's less stress.

I just automatically behaved like that as a teenager because the people on the set did, like my mother and various co-stars. You watched them and you go to to see the difference between what happens when people behave properly and come prepared and act professional and then it doesn't go so swell when the other people come on with their egos and they aren't prepared, they're rude, they have serious attitude and the whole week just comes to a painful halt. I learned that's not the way to work. And that's something that no matter how many colleges or acting schools you go to, you don't ever get that because you don't know until you're in it and doing it with the real guys. I appreciate having the opportunity having learned from that angle.

You directed and co-wrote a one-woman show with Suzanne LaRusch called "An Evening With Lucille Ball - Thank You for Asking!" about her.
Yes. They always say if you're going to go into something you haven't done before, stick with things you know, write about things you know, film things you know, and that's certainly something I thought I knew. I gave it my best shot and it turned out great. ...[LaRusch] is probably the only person on the planet who can perform the Lucille Ball character as well as do they Lucy Ricardo stuff flawlessly.

Do you think your mom would've liked it?
She would have been floored. She would have loved it. She always said there was nobody who could do me, meaning the Lucille Ball person as opposed to the character Lucy Ricardo. As a matter of fact, in a sense I'm pretty sure she's had a lot to do with this having the success that it's had. It's too hard to pull these things off with a little extra help from the people upstairs. I think if she didn't like it, we'd be having fires.

Do you ever watch the "I Love Lucy" reruns?
I used to be able to turn the TV on any time of day and trip over it and say, "Oh, there they are." And of course, I watch it whenever I can, but it's not on anymore. They've hidden it somewhere and I'm still trying to find it.

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Friday, February 11, 2011

DJ Stretch Armstrong: "Nas was Always Bone-Chillingly Spectacular"

Adrian Bartos, also known as DJ Stretch Armstrong.
Photo courtesy of: Getty Images


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
New York City's legendary late-night radio duo, Adrian 'Stretch Armstrong' Bartos and Robert 'Bobbito' Garcia, reunited last night to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their radio show. Bartos revealed to Niteside that while they have a long list of great guests that came on their show, Nas is undeniably his favorite.

"Nas was always bone-chillingly spectacular," Bartos said at the le Poisson Rouge club in the East Village last night. "When he was on, even before he was signed, you just got the sense that something really important was going on."

Many of the artists the pair had on, including Nas and Fat Joe, were unknown at the time but are now famous hip-hop stars. Bartos said it has been interesting to watch them change and progress over the years.

"I know them as broke, struggling artists," Bartos said. "Some of them have a policy of positivity, but it's very superficial as part of their strategy of being successful. Whereas some of them are just genuine and haven't changed and they'll see me on the street and practically tackle me."

Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito's show ran on Columbia University's WKCR 88.9FM throughout the 1990s and catered to an insomniac crowd, airing from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. every Thursday. Doing a live show outside of the DJ booth was a first for them, and Bartos said it was an entirely different experience.

"The crazy thing about doing radio is you're isolated in a room and you know you've got many more listeners than if you were in a club, but you don't see them," Bartos said. "I think that's part of the magic of the show we had, is we didn't act like anyone was listening."

Bartos pointed out that they had their show before the days of podcasts, online streaming, and social media, so people were listening live on their stereos and calling in. But now, they've discovered a whole new age for radio with the Internet.

"When we did the show before, we weren't in the digital age yet, so we didn't have that immediate feedback," Bartos said. "But after doing one now, we were a trending topic on Twitter nationally and the live streams were getting shut down from too many listeners. We wanted to feel more of that and so we decided to take it to a live venue and see how it goes."

Live appearances may become a regular thing for the Stretch Armstrong and Bobbito show.

"Maybe [we will] do it again in the spring time at a bigger venue," Bartos said. "Possibly a tour too. We'll see what happens."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oscar Predictions at the 92Y

Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer
By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
According to New York's film elite, "The King's Speech" is the movie to beat.

A panel including some of the city's top film critics discussed the top Oscar contenders at the 92nd Street Y last night. Guests watched clips of nominated films and panelists predicted the winners.

Panelists included New York Times film critic A.O. Scott, film publicist Amanda Lundberg, Entertainment Weekly contributor Mark Harris, and author and film critic Molly Haskell.

While all the panelists agreed that "The Kings Speech" and "The Social Network" both deserved a nomination for best picture, they all agree the award will go to the former.

"A month ago I would've said 'The Social Network' seemed to have the momentum and al the finger on the pulse of the times," Harris said. "But I find it a little more cautious and a little more usual than 'The Kings Speech.'"

The panel also addressed the fact that comedies never get nominated -- despite the expansion of best picture nominees from five movies to 10.

While comedies like "The Hangover" or "Easy A" don't get Oscar nods, Lundberg said it doesn't mean they aren't filled with good performances.

"What's interesting is that the films are nominated by members of the Academy who are in the business and know how hard it is to make a good comedy," Lundberg said. "Just because they're silly doesn't mean they're not well done."

Coming off her Golden Globe win, Natalie Portman is favored to win the Oscar for best actress for her role in Black Swan -- although not everyone thought she deserves it.

"I did not like [the film] and I did not like her in it," Haskell said. "But I think that it's something to have her up there and pregnant with this divine man she'll be married to. But of course, look at what happened to Sandra Bullock last year. She won the award and she lost her guy."

Panelists pointed to the dreaded Oscar curse: Bullock, Reese Witherspoon, and Halle Berry all split with their husbands after winning the Oscar for best actress.

The Oscars will be held on Feb 27.

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Party at BlackFinn

Sarah, one of the bartenders at BlackFinn, pouring a stack of shots.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

The Green Bay Packers beat out the Pittsburgh Stealers, 31 - 25 in the Super Bowl. Check out my NBC photo gallery showing how fans of both teams celebrated the game at a midtown sports bar. Go Packers!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Brooke Burke's Favorite Celeb: Mrs. Brady

Before signing her new book at Borders.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Brooke Burke, the co-host of "Dancing With the Stars," revealed last night that out of all the celebrities she has met during her career, Florence Henderson is the one who has inspired her the most.

"She's an amazing woman who is timeless and still sexy," Burke said. "She taught me an invaluable lesson. She said to me that you have to put yourself first in life. It's not just about the kids. She's really affected me."

Burke, who started out as a contestant -- and eventual winner -- in the seventh season of the dance-off show, said that it is one of the few places she has found that presents a chance to really get to know celebrities.

"'Dancing With the Stars' is interesting because that's an opportunity to see people without their entourage," Burke said. "You really see people for who they are on that show."

She also spoke about her new book, "The Naked Mom," at the Borders in Columbus Circle last night. She said she devoted all of her free time over the past year to writing it.

"I worked on it in a dressing room, in my car, at night, in the morning, every free moment I had," Burke said. "I wondered if I was telling too much or not telling enough, or if things were relevant or if anyone was going to care about this or if people are going to judge me. But I decided I'm just going to do it and I'm going to do it honestly. It was a crazy, therapeutic experience."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blogger Ree Drummond Talks Casting for "The Pioneer Woman"

Author and blogger Ree Drummond
photo courtesy of Getty Images
By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Ree Drummond, the popular blogger, The Pioneer Woman, has a movie coming out based on her book. And she knows exactly who should play her.

"I would love to have Elle Macpherson," Drummond joked last night at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. "I mean, Reese Witherspoon is cute and all but if you're going for body type, abs, and legs... I think it's only fitting."

Witherspoon is rumored to be taking on the role. The movie, due out sometime next year, will be based on Drummond's book, "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels -- A Love Story," but will be named after her blog -- "The Pioneer Woman."

The book is structured like a fiction novel, but Drummond said all the experiences came from her real life.

"All the scenes are as they actually happened," Drummond said. " I probably wasn't perfect with the timeline. Probably the conversations aren't word-for-word... but all the conversations and circumstances all happened."

In 2009, Drummond released "The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl," a cookbook including some of her favorite recipes. She says that while this book was well received, she doesn't think of herself as an expert in the kitchen.

"I'm not a trained chef, I'm just a home cook," Drummond said. "But I'm a home cook that has been cooking at home for 15 years, so I think anything you do that long becomes second nature."

Now that she has a cookbook and novel under her belt, Drummond plans to release a children's book next.

"In about three months, I have a little Charlie children's book coming out," Drummond said. "After that, it'll be about a year before cookbook number two comes out."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The New York City Snowpocalypse of 2011

Hello loyal blog readers,

As you may have heard, New York City had a bold reminder this week that it is still winter. Some areas of the city had around 20 inches of snow fall in 24 hours and we ended up with about 19 inches where I live.
The snow went all the way up to the park benches even after being walked on.

The snow up to the fence in Union Square Park.

To those of you who are in Utah, this doesn't seem like much compared to what we're used to, but NYC rarely gets this much snow at one time, so it's a mighty big deal around here.
Snow covering Union Square Park - 
taken Thursday afternoon from my living room window.

My work event was canceled Wednesday night due to the storm, so I just watched the snowfall from my warm apartment. The snow was pretty much all I could see because my view of the city was blocked out by the clouds and the wind was blowing pretty hard so the snow was creating blizzard-like conditions.
My stormy view Wednesday night.

My usual view (how could anyone not love this city?!)

The storm stopped late Thursday morning and the sun came out for a little bit. I went out to the park by my place (Union Square Park) and took some photos. Schools were closed city-wide, so kids were out enjoying the snow. Most of them had never seen this much snow at one time so they were having a blast.
I loved this little girl all bundled up in her pink coat and boots. This was so me as a kid!

There's just something great about making snow angels and snowmen after a huge storm. Plus, if it's going to snow, I much prefer it to do something like this than just little skiffs of snow that don't amount to much.

This man built up a snow-home. The closest item is a "flat screen TV" and the one in the back
is a chair, complete with leg rest and a drink on the chair arm.  (click on the photo to enlarge)

I hope you enjoy the photos. And just click on "comments" below to leave any feedback you may have. Thanks! :)

All photos copyright Brooke Niemeyer. You may not reuse, republish, or reproduce without photographers written permission.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Former Aide to Tony Blair: GOP Presidential Nominee "Won't Be Expected"

Jonathan Powell, the former aide to Tony Blair.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
America will be surprised by who the Republican Party nominates for the presidential election in 2012, the former chief of staff to Tony Blair predicted last night.

"I have no clue who it will be," Jonathan Powell said at an event at the 92nd Street Y in the Upper East Side. "But it won't be the expected candidate. It will be someone who isn't big yet - not [Sarah] Palin or [Mitt] Romney."

With the upcoming nuptials between Prince William and Kate Middleton, Powell explained what his top concerns as chief of staff would be for a royal wedding.

"First of all, I'd be worried about a terrorist attack," Powell said.

After safety concerns were addressed, Powell said that making the wedding marketable would also be a priority.

"I would try to get popularity on the back of it," Powell said. "But lucky for them, this royal wedding seems to have done that on its own, especially with Americans."

Powell recently released his second book, "The New Machiavelli: How to Wield Power in the Modern World," and believes the Italian philosopher would certainly have an opinion about Wikileaks if he were around today.

"Surely he wouldn't approve of it," Powell said.

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ladies-Only Social Club Shows How To Do Hair Right


Last night, I attended the Urban Girl Squad's hair styling event at Aveda where hair stylists gave women tips, hand and back massages, and everyone went away with a gift bag of styling products. I took some photos and created this NBC gallery. Check it out!

Monday, January 24, 2011

NiteTalk: Showbiz Boss Jim Caruso Dishes to Niteside


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Showbiz boss Jim Caruso is the host of his own show, Cast Party, the Monday night soiree at Birdland, just steps away from the Broadway lights. But his involvement in the entertainment biz doesn't stop there. He toured with the legendary Liza Minnelli and performed at the President Clinton's first state dinner. He released a new studio album this month, which is currently in the top 100 Vocal Jazz albums on Amazon. Caruso gave a glimpse into his world when he sat down with Niteside this weekend. 

What was your favorite part of creating your latest album, "The Swing Set?"
Having it finished and in my very hands. (laughs) No, the choosing of the music was exciting. I've never done a studio recording before. I've done live CDs, so this was really a whole new experience. I wanted it to certainly have a jazz feel with the great American standards but some quirky songs too because I think that's what people, if they think of me at all, think of me doing. They think of me with kind of unique material and funny things, so we found some of those. ... It's kind of like what we do at Cast Party - it's a lot of friends entertaining each other at the piano and that's kind of the feeling I want on this album.

Let's talk about Cast Party. You've had some legendary guests, but who would you label as your favorite?
There have been some really historic moments there. The lyricist Betty Comden, from Comden and Green, made her last public appearance there I think. She came and she was all in black and diamonds and she still looked fantastic. She motioned to Billy Stritch, who was at the piano that night, and said 'Do you think it would be okay if I sang a song?' And of course we fainted. We got her right up and she sang a song called 'One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man' from a show that she wrote with her partners. She remembered every word and she was hilarious and got every laugh. She died maybe within the next year. That was something I'll never forget. And of course every time Liza comes, it's pandemonium. People freak out and she sings her head off. That's a woman that can stop a room.

Is there anyone you'd like to come perform that hasn't yet?
I do have a short list of people that I'm desperate to get in to Cast Party. I could say that they are my heroes growing up - Dick Van Dyke, Carol Burnett - I just know they'd love it. I have a feeling that Ricky Martin would really be into it. He has show business in his blood. He gets it and loves it. Kathy Griffin is somebody that I know pretty well. She'd never come in but I know she would think it would be hilarious.

Tell me about working with Liza Minnelli.
Oh Liza Minnelli... I could talk about her forever. I was on the road for three years with Liza in the show that became 'Liza's at the Palace,' which won the Tony. Nobody has been kinder and more supportive of me and my career than that lady. She's extraordinary. If you have her as a friend, you've got a friend.

What's next for you?
We are doing a very special Cast Party at Town Hall on February 17. It's going to be a benefit for Broadway Cares. That's going to be crazy great. Billy Stritch and I are also going to do Cast Party in Los Angeles in March and that's one of my favorite things to do. I love taking Cast Party on the road and celebrating local talent, which can be Carol Channing or it can be a songwriter that you've never heard of that blows you away. That's really exciting to me to be able to celebrate fabulous talent and to get to know these shockingly talented people all over the country. It's like my own Ed Sullivan show.

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Financial Expert: 2011 is the Year For Change

Author Ryan Mack during a discussion in Columbus Circle.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Financial guru and author Ryan Mack says that even though this country is currently facing a bad economy, this is the year for everyone to take responsibility for their finances and make changes. 

"As far as I'm concerned, 2010 was the year that everybody was waiting on their ship to come in," Mack said during a discussion at the Borders in Columbus Circle last night. "But 2011 is the year we have got to swim out to it."

Mack released his new financial self-help book this month, "Living in the Village: Build Your Financial Future and Strengthen Your Community." He says it provides a road map on ways to have financial well being, but also strongly promotes activism.

"We provide the principles in the book," Mack said. "But a principle is only as good as the person who receives it and is able to implement it."

He adds, "I wrote this because I wanted to make sure that we all understand that we have a responsibility. I don't want to point the finger anymore. I'm tired of looking at other people and seeing what they're not doing. It's time to ask, 'what am I doing?'"

Greed is one of the problems Mack sites for the downward spiral of the economy, but says that if people work together to embrace change, there will be positive results. 

"If you mix greed with capitalism, then you've got some problems," Mack said. "But if you use love in a capitalistic system, you create jobs and a stronger economy."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Want to Learn About NYC? Avoid the Internet.

Kenneth T. Jackson speaking in Union Square.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
New York City is one of the most fascinating and culturally rich cities in the world. With all the details and history of this vibrant metropolis, Kenneth T. Jackson feels it is essential to have a compilation of credible information about the city for people to reference. So he helped create one, "The Encyclopedia of New York City."

Jackson edited the book's second edition, which was released last month.

"The Internet, whether it's Wikipedia or Google, has killed reference books around the country," Jackson said last night at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square. "Even the Encyclopedia Britannica is no longer in physical form. But with this, you can turn to any page and learn things you didn't know about New York City and know it's all true. You can't do that with the Internet."

The second edition has over 5,000 entries and 700 illustrations. Jackson says that even though it is called an encyclopedia, it should be on coffee tables in homes, not just on a shelf in a library.

"The idea is to reach a general public with this book," Jackson said. "Not just to reach a specialized library reference audience."

Jackson, who is also a professor at Columbia University, was part of the team that released the original edition of it in 1995. He says the editors saw that New York City has changed in many ways since then, from the World Trade Center no longer being a part of the city skyline to the implementing of the E-Z subway pass, all of which are reflected in the second edition.

"I think there's more information about one city between the two covers of this book than any book on any other city in the history of the world," Jackson said.

With all the information Jackson learned about New York City during his research, he says there was one thing that surprised him the most.

"I was surprised that New York was the oyster capital," Jackson said. "I found out that half of all oysters in the world are brought in from the New York Harbor. I think that's surprising."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

'The New Yorker' Editor: "I Think Obama Will Be Re-Elected"

Editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick
Photo courtesy of Getty Images


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
David Remnick, the editor of "The New Yorker," revealed his prediction of who will win the presidential election in 2012.

"I think that Obama will be re-elected," Remnick said during an event at the 92nd Street Y in the Upper East Side last night. "Right now, with nine percent unemployment, he still has a popularity rating of now high 40s and I don't see him losing."

He also listed a few candidates for the Republican nomination, but said he doesn't expect any of them to be able to beat Obama.

"I can't see Mitt Romney doing it," Remnick said. "And as many nightmares as I've had in my life, I can't see Sarah Palin either."

Remnick, who wrote the 2010 biography, "The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama," said he doesn't find fault with Obama for not having any CEO's in his first cabinet.

"I have to say that the people who feel underrepresented in the economic policy-making of the United States do not seem, to me, to be investment bankers and CEO's," Remnick said. "I think those interests are pretty well taken care of. Those people were rescued."

"I think the people in America who are underrepresented, who are angry and who are suffering, are the unemployed, the people who are graduating from college and are taking on jobs that they never could have imagined, the people who had their houses foreclosed. I find this so-called rage among the CEO's and business class, who feel somehow ignored and betrayed, to be comical."

Remnick said the constant news cycle changed the media, but that there's no point in reflecting on a time when we didn't have it.

"You can't wish away technology," Remnick said. "There's crap on the Internet and there's very good things on there too. It just is what it is."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Fashion Guru Diane von Furstenberg: My Fans Are "Better Than Botox"

Fashion legend Diane von Furstenberg


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, who is best known for the iconic wrap dress she designed in the 1970s, said that her loyal fans and clientele are the ones keeping her young.

"The older I get, the younger my fan base is and that's very flattering," von Furstenberg said at the 92nd Street Y last night. "It's better than Botox."

Von Furstenberg is keeping busy with designing, but has also been working on a new retrospective happening in Beijing this April called "Journey of a Dress."

"It's a retrospective of my work in fashion, but it's also art," von Furstenberg said. "There are four vignettes with clothes, clothes, clothes. They are the four sides of the woman that I've been: one is American Dream, another is Studio 54, the third is Luxe, and the fourth one is Working Girl."

She says she's in her "second career," which started after her re-launch of DVF in the late '90s.

"The first time around I did everything by instinct," von Furstenberg said. "Now I do everything by experience, but I know my instincts were right."

Even though her line has expanded past fashion and into handbags and luggage, don't expect her to branch into creating anything for men's wardrobes any time soon.

"My mission in life is really to empower women," she said, "and to make us confident and sexy with clothes."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Author Brad Meltzer: Bush 41 Helped With New Book

Author Brad Meltzer's new book was released this week.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Presidential tradition dictates that an outgoing Commander-in-Chief leaves a letter for the incoming president, and the letter remains confidential between these leaders. But political author Brad Meltzer revealed last night that during research for his latest book, he received a copy of the message George H.W. Bush wrote to Bill Clinton.

"He sent this letter to me and told me that no one had ever seen this before," Meltzer said during a discussion at the Union Square Barnes & Noble. "I love that he trusted me with it."

The Brooklyn native's latest conspiracy novel, "The Inner Circle," was released yesterday. It's the story of a political archivist discovering secret stories and documents in the White House and solving political mysteries.

His discussion Tuesday night didn't just focus on politics. Meltzer, who also hosts "Brad Meltzer's Decoded" on the History Channel, also discussed how he feels the Facebook phenomenon is changing our culture.

"With Facebook, you are immediately confronted with your past," Meltzer said. "It's like someone is confronted with their own history and it makes you ask that question, which to me is the whole question of what the book is, is 'what has your life become?' I'm fascinated with that."

To answer that question, Meltzer said that even with all of his recognition he's had for his books and TV show, he has a different way of measuring success.

"No one is known in life for the famous things that they did," Meltzer said. "Thomas Jefferson never took credit for writing [The Declaration of Independence] while he was alive. IT wasn't until people read his obituary that they knew he was the author. That kind of humility, I think, is what makes a person. That is how I think you know when you have made it."

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Author Rachel Machacek Hopes to Turn New Book Into a Movie

Rachel Machacek reads an excerpt from her new book.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer

By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Author Rachel Machacek released her tome, "The Science of Single: One Woman's Grand Experiment in Modern Dating, Creating Chemistry, and Finding Love," this week and revealed last night that she is open to turning it into a movie.

"I have a friend in Los Angeles who is bugging me to turn this into a screen play," Machacek said last night at the Borders in Murray Hill. "I don't have any immediate plans, but I'd like to."

The book chronicles her dating experiences over a year and says she went on approximately 150 dates with around 60 different men during that time.

Machacek, 37, said her original idea for the book was to tell stories from dates where she implemented tips from romance self-help books, but her plans changed.

"I decided that was too boring," Machacek said. "Instead I decided to write about the science of the dating process" -- and this is where she got the title of her book.

Machacek lives in Washington D.C., a place she considers a "serious city," and says this doesn't make dating for an introvert easy. Because of this, she turned to technology, including online dating. She now says it's one of her preferred dating methods.

"It's the easiest way," Machacek said. "You just go online, click on people, put them in your shopping cart, you wink at them, or you hotlist them, or you flag them. It's just easy."


This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Former White Zombie Bassist Sean Yseult: "I Just Started a New Band"

Sean Yseult speaking at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble.
Photo by: Brooke Niemeyer


By: BROOKE NIEMEYER
Sean Yseult, the former bassist for the 90’s heavy-metal band White Zombie, revealed last night that she is returning to music, but this time with another group.

“I just started a new band, with some very good friends, called Star and Dagger,” Yseult said last night. “It’s kind of been dubbed Anita Pallenberg fronting Black Sabbath. It’s heavy with these very beautiful vocals.”

Instead of touring with a band right now, Yseult is out promoting her book “I’m in the Band: Backstage Notes From the Chick in White Zombie.” While at the Tribeca Barnes & Noble last night, Yseult said that going through her old boxes of band and touring memorabilia a few years ago is what prompted her to put together the book.

“The photo albums I had were filled with backstage parties and the tour diaries I kept were the biggest surprise,” Yseult said. “These were written diligently each night before I fell asleep, even though half the time I was half-past drunk.

The book is a compilation of photos and ticket stubs, as well as anecdotes from her years with the band.

“Most of the things I do remember play back like a movie in my head,” Yseult said. “Like riding in the Ramones van from gig to gig while we were on tour together or getting busted in a New Orleans graveyard with Lux [Interior] and [Poison] Ivy of The Cramps.”

With all the musicians she’s worked (and partied) with, she says without a doubt her favorite is Pantera.

“Those guys were like my big brothers,” Yseult said. While you’re on stage, just constant pranks and offstage too. They made passing 23 hours a day [on tour] an art form.”

This story ran on NBCNewYork.com's NiteSide.