Friday, March 1, 2013

fashions-night-out-2011-tote-profile1Its official! It’s lights out for ‘Fashion Night Out’, as the annual shopping celebration will go on hiatus in NYC this year, according to its website. Night Out was launched in 2009 as a way to boost retail sales during the height of the recession, and gave fans the opportunity to mix n’ mingle with their favorite designers and celebrities. But event organizer, Steven Kolb, CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers, says some retail participants complained that the event cost more money to put on than it took in from sales. Other officials like Bob Gormley, District Manager of Community Board 2 in SoHo says the venue had grown out of control and needed a time-out! Still, yet another sponsor of the event, Councilwoman Margaret Chin (D-Soho) said that the event was at times marred by “violence and shockingly disturbing behaviour”. Well, all I know is, we may need to revisit this sudden decision to cancel FNO if the sequestered cuts prove to be too much for NYC retailers to handle on their own–once again. Stay tuned …♦

jay-z-netsSince its opening to the public on September 21, 2012, the  still fresh Barclays Center, the multi-purpose indoor arena in Fort Greene, Brooklynis doing what its suppose to do. Conceived by real estate developer Bruce Ratner, it’s the first new entertainment arena to open in NYC  since 1968, holding its own against other big name coliseums in the metropolitan area like, Madison Square Garden in ManhattanNassau Coliseum in UniondalePrudential Center in Newark, and Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
It held its first event ever with a Jay-Z concert on September 28, 2012. So now you may ask “Why is JayZ’s name so inexplicably tied to the giant entertainment complex?”
Well, I’m glad you asked!

Facts You MayOr May Not Have Known About JayZ’s Ties to The Barclay Center 

  • When developer Bruce Ratner set out to buy the New Jersey Nets and build an arena for them in Brooklyn, he recruited Jay-Z, the hip-hop superstar who grew up in public housing a couple of miles from the site, to join his group of investors.
  • Jay-Z owns a small financial stake in the company, although his contributions have dwarfed the $1 million he invested nine years ago. His influence on the project has been wildly disproportionate to his ownership stake — a scant one-fifteenth of one percent of the team.
  • But he’s also been a creative diva: Jay-Z helped design the logo for the Brooklyn Nets and the Nets gear on sale (featuring a stark, urban black and white feel).
  • He is owner of the 40-40 Club chain, one of which is in the arena.
  • It was also his aesthetic force that helped define the half-million dollar Vault suite seating areas.
  • He counseled arena executives on what kind of music to play during games. (“Less Jersey,” he urged, pushing niche artists like Santigold over old favorites like Bon Jovi.)
  • And, Jay-Z played a week of opening concerts when the Barclay Center finally opened its doors,  recycled as an album marking the occasion of the arrival of Brooklyn in the world of big commercial entertainment venues.
  • Sponsorship salespeople for the Barclay trumpet how “hip and cool” JayZ and his wife, Beyoncé, have made  the arena, and he along with the Nets basketball team have rewritten the rules on how to effectively deploy a strategic celebrity investor. h/t

Good money is well invested smart money.

And, speaking of Mrs. Carter…

The OWN network has released a 30-second clip from the upcoming Beyonce interview on Oprah’s Next Chapter.
During the sit-down chat, Lady O asks Beyonce about everything … from Bey’s HBO documentary, her miscarriage, firing her dad as manager and the birth of Blue Ivy.
The 31-year-old entertainer is also asked whether she and hubby Jay-Z will have more kids.
Beyonce’s new documentary Life Is But A Dream premieres Saturday on HBO. ♦ h/t X17

Bible miniseries -burnetteThe Guru of reality TV, Mark Burnette (Survivor, Shark Tank) and wife, Roma Downey (‘Touched By An Angel’ star.) have produced, what they are calling, the first reality show-styled depiction of  the Scriptures entitled, ‘The Bible’ for The History Channel. Their approach was a depiction of the Bible in a more straightforward interpretation, rather than as an investigation or mystery. Touted  as a project that will re-introduce The Good Book to a whole new generation, the five-part, 10-hour docu-drama will have live-action and state-of-the-art CGI.  Airs March 3. ♦


Later pilgrims…


Amy Conton is a freelance writer and graphic designer living in New York, USA.