Women Get Chopped on Chopped

Women comprise more than 50 percent of the food service industry, but you wouldn’t know this from watching Chopped. That’s because The Food Network show does NOT like to cast women for this show.

The Food Network show, which is on its 11th season, pits competing chefs against one another in order to win 10 grand. The last chef standing after dessert, “takes the $10,000 cake.” This last chef, interestingly enough, has been a man 70 percent of the time.

But this glaring one-sidedness owes not to the inabilities of women’s culinary prowess, but the fact that The Food Network continually casted much more men than women since the show’s inception.

The composition of the episodes, meaning the amount of male and female contestants, is even more intriguing. Chopped always starts with four contestants. The trend during the first nine seasons has been predominantly three men and one woman. In the first nine seasons there has never been a one man, three women show.

My stats are derived from the first 89 episodes since 2009 and arranged in sweet, yet primitive info-graphic. Since then, I omitted “Celebrity Chef” episodes and episodes where a chef appeared on the show for the second time.

Out-of-Towners in Giant Numbers at the Parade

Over 1 million fans descended upon lower Manhattan for the second Giants’ ticker-tape parade in the past four years, just days after the Giants won Super Bowl 46. The city estimated that almost half of the million were not local. Whatever the reason, Giants fans swarmed Broadway not unlike Big Blue’s defense.

Lovin’ Lin

The economy of Jeremy Lin’s game has outreached the basketball court. Since the unlikely hero came to the forefront, there have been some unintended, yet beneficial consequences for New York economics. The stock price for MSG, New York Knick TV provider, has skyrocketed. The Knicks are selling out games. Average ticket prices has jumped up more than $100, since before Lin came to town; and, Lin’s jersey is flying off store shelves. Will this economic boon that is Jeremy Lin continue? Some analysts and New Yorkers would like to think so.

Bill Power, Rubik’s Master

I secretly filmed this guy whipping through a Rubik’s cube on my iPhone. He did it so quickly with his eyes closed. I approached him and told him he got lucky, and challenged him to do it again. In no time at all he rearranged the cube perfectly, eyes shut while he joked around about it strengthening his broken hand. He went on to tell me his story. His name is Bill Power. He’s 40-years old and he was laid off from his construction job today. He’s optimistic, however. Power said the construction industry has improved in the past few years and will continue to improve. He’s currently studying to become a locksmith. He’s a liberal and an atheist, and for this reason he said, he would never be able to hold political office. He knows more about history and politics and religion than most. He supported the Occupy movement, but also sympathized with Wall Streeters. They’re being unfairly victimized, he said, by those who don’t truly understand what is going on with the economy and America. Needless to say, it was inspiring to see that great men still exist in America. I found a hero on the train tonight.

Here’s some unedited video of our conversation…


Hi, I am a freelance multi-media journalist. I recently graduated from City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, with a concentration in business and economic reporting.

Eat Bugs

Ask your neighbor or local grocer if he or she has ever eaten an insect and you will receive unsettling glares and incredulous glances, but travel outside the boundaries of the Western world and about 80 percent of Earth’s population consumes insects on a regular basis.


The Ice Sculptor

The annual Winter’s Eve Festival at Lincoln Square  celebrated its twelfth year on Monday. Just days before the Rockefeller Center lighting commences Christmas season in New York, this less known festival kicked off the holiday season with a tree lighting of its own.

From Lincoln Square to Columbus circle the festival incorporated live bands, ice sculpting and food tents, which sold everything from hot-chocolate to spicy crunchy tuna rolls.

Among the performers was Ben Grasso, sculpting a giant nut-cracker. Grasso, 27, studied painting at CUNY Hunter before he began a five-year stint carving ice. He acknowledged the difficulty of his trade, but said he would rather create something expressive. Or at least something more intricate than a nutcracker.  Nevertheless, Grasso is a quality craftsman who wields a motorized ice-pick with exactitude and precision.

How To Carve a Pumpkin



One Shrimp-ring to rule them all, One Shrimp-ring to find them                                                                                                                         One Shrimp-ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

Pinball at Le Chèile

This past december I ventured to Le Chèile, a Washington Heights bar, for their first annual pinball tournament. Unsurprisingly, I encountered some hardcore gamers; pinballers that have been keeping their game alive since the early ’80s. I shot some video there for a broadcast assignment, but I also took pictures and threw together a slideshow.

–Note: The most enjoyable way to view the above show is to have The Who’s “Pinball Wizard” spinning in the background.–