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Author Frank Mastropolo

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, here are 10 tips to help you survive a natural disaster that you won’t hear from local officials. 1. At the first sign of trouble, get to the liquor store before it closes. Stock up. You’ll prefer sitting in the dark drunk. 2. Next, clean out the local bodega of vital supplies like bottled water. Make multiple trips. If the shopkeeper raises the issue of, oh, hoarding, become outraged and tell him you work at an orphanage. 3. Forget flashlights, they burn through batteries too fast. Get candles. In fact, make them votive candles…

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New York City’s small neighborhood groceries of the 1950s, while run by friendly shopkeepers named “Pop,” were cramped affairs with wilted vegetables, bruised fruit and dusty, dented canned foods. Though he had a good run, Pop couldn’t compete with the arrival of supermarkets from the suburbs – their brightly lit, expansive aisles brimming with choices. At its grand opening in my neighborhood, A&P gave kids free banks that looked like bags of their freshly ground coffees: Eight O’Clock, Red Circle and the scary Bokar; with each purchase, moms earned sheets of Plaid Stamps, an alien form of currency that, when…

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Bruce Springsteen surprised fans in 2010 when he joined local band Timepiece at a Farmingdale, New Jersey club for a rousing rendition of Wilson Pickett’s Mustang Sally. Not that Bruce covering that song should be any great surprise:  In the history of music has there been another song played more often by more bands (at least in bars) than “that Mustang Sally song?”  Probably not. 2012 marks the 45th anniversary of the release of The Wicked Pickett’s classic, so Rock Cellar Magazine tracked down a couple of the musicians who helped make Mustang Sally a classic – Sir Mack Rice…

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Dogs & cats make their way into the average Internet user’s mind every 0.4 seconds. Okay, we made that statistic up, but it DOES seem realistic, doesn’t it? It’s hard to go for more than 5 minutes on the Web without seeing an irresistible cat video or a shot of a mischievous dog tearing up a couch. As a tribute, we gathered 11 of our favorite songs about cats and dogs from over the years – yes, we’re including both, so even the most discerning cat fanatics can see if they’re moved by any of these pooch-related tunes. These are…

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Farewell, Hollywood. Original, creative storylines, plots, and movie concepts have gone the way of the View-Master – replaced by flashy, style-over-substance monstrosities about CGI transforming-robot battles, cartoonish critters dancing to contemporary hip-hop songs, and vapid remakes of movies that didn’t need remakes in the first place. The latest trend of the conglomerate movie machine? Turning our beloved board games, which we all spent years playing with when we were kids, into movies. Yes, Battleship is a real thing. Sure, it might be “loosely based” on the classic game, but it is still produced by Hasbro. The company has already recouped…

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