I opened my weekly email from the Village Voice with their lefty-biased and highly eclectic list of things to do, and was quite surprised to see this!
Don't be alarmed if the beautiful 104-year-old, 430-acre Belmont Park looks a little like something out of Pirates of the Caribbean today. Promising parrots and an inflatable Skull Island, Belmont is attracting a new crowd on Sunday afternoons with the wacky-themed Family Fun Days, featuring activities and games such as pony rides, a petting zoo, face painting, giant inflatables, and, apparently, swashbuckling. The activities are free, with a $1 charitable donation for the pony rides—practically horse feed. A day at the races was never like this. For information on other Family Fun themes and directions to Belmont (there is a shuttle service from the Queens Village LIRR station), check their website, nyra.com. Polly want a winner!Belmont regulars know that NYRA has been hosting these family days for many years now....but presented in the Voice alongside events such as the Air Sex World Championships and an appearance this weekend by Bill Callahan of Smog, it takes on a whole different feeling. Presuming that the listing is a result of marketing efforts by NYRA, then excellent job there.
I don't know if there will be clowns at Belmont on Sunday, but presumably this guy won't be amongst them if they are. He was sent to Albany by the New York Post yesterday to, quite appropriately, symbolize what's going on in the state capitol. At one point, the Possible Senate President Pro-Tem Pedro Espada was reported to have snapped “get that clown away from me.” But he could have been referring to any number of people.
Even perhaps his Democratic coup colleague Senator Hiram Monserrate, who put the kibosh on the Republican plan to convene yesterday afternoon. The indicted girlfriend slasher spent the day in meetings with both sides, and is apparently under intense pressure from his constituents in the overwhelmingly Democratic district he purports to represent....as well as by the Rev Al Sharpton and Working Families Party....to come back into the fold (which would leave the chamber effectively in a 31-31 tie).
“Hiram is driving the train. God help us all,” said one lawmaker who asked not to be identified. [Buffalo News]Newsday reports that Monserrate, having lost a committee chairmanship when the charges were filed against him, is seeking a plum post....and it's also reported that he wants Malcolm Smith out (and in that he's not alone). And then there are those pesky legal bills he faces...
The events are unfolding as I write this, too quickly for me to keep up (though not for those being paid to do so full-time....I'm jealous!). Smith is in court this morning seeking a temporary injunction to "prevent Senate Republicans from conducting illegitimate business under the pretense of the Senate majority." [Times Union] Elizabeth Benjamin reports that that could be tricky given the whole separation of powers thing that generally makes the courts leery of interfering in legislative power struggles.
And Eliot Spitzer sees all of this as a good thing. At least he's one clown who's not involved.