Madonna, Mitt Romney & One World Trade Center in One Post

It’s been a little while since my last post and some very interesting things have happened since then. So, here’s my take on a few subjects that piqued my interest.



Madonna’s New Music Video, “Turn Up The Radio,” Came Out

Because I am a Madonna fan extraordinaire, it is only natural that I blog about her latest work. “Turn Up The Radio,” the third music video and single from her 12th and most recent studio album, MDNA, debuted on VEVO on Monday. In it, we see the Queen of Pop trying to get away from the paparazzi (while channelling a sort of updated ’60s go-go dancer look). The theme may be a bit cliché (escaping life’s troubles through music), but the video itself is different…in a good way. Throughout the video, Madonna embraces different kinds of people, from hipsters to a transgender woman, while riding through the Italian countryside in an old school car (not a car person – don’t know the model 😛 ). No matter who you are, turn up the radio until the speakers blow 😉



How Do You Solve A Problem Like Mitt Romney? Lie!

This election cycle wouldn’t be complete without some good ‘ole fashioned manipulation and outright lying. The Republican candidate for President, Mitt Romney, has many problems, one of which is his venture capital firm, Bain Capital. Under his supervision, thousands lost their jobs and had their lives ruined…but not according to Mitt Romney. He claims he left Bain in 1999 (before they effed up American workers’ lives by sending jobs overseas). There’s a big problem with that version of the story; It’s literally not true. Company documents show Romney in charge of Bain years after he supposedly left.

Then there’s his most recent distortion of reality, this time involving a campaign speech by President Obama. Romney claims the President told small business owners that they did not build their companies, that others are completely responsible for building their businesses. Outrageous, right? Wrong…here’s what President Obama actually said (in context):

“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help.  There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.  Somebody invested in roads and bridges.  If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that [public infrastructure].  Somebody else made that happen.  The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.  Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.”

Leave it to someone like Mitt Romney to turn a message of the goodness of public investments into one of something horrible. Way to go, Mitt.



One World Trade Center Update

One World Trade Center is expected to top out within the next few weeks. The steel structure has already made it to the top floor, 104 stories above Lower Manhattan. Concrete flooring is being installed above the 93rd floor and the beautiful glass facade that encapsulates the building has risen above the 80th floor. The tower is also 55 percent leased, which is a promising sign since two of the towers in the complex were stalled due to a lack of tenants. It should be noted that the federal government pushed the leased space to 55 percent – it has agreed to occupy six floors, or 270,000 square feet. The Vantone China Center (cultural/business center – 190,000 square feet) and Conde Nast (publisher – 1.2 million square feet) will also call the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere home.

incredible photo of One World Trade Center at sunset – July 2012

One World Trade Center Keeps Moving Forward

In my last post about One World Trade Center, I wrote about how the entire World Trade Center project was facing a number of roadblocks, from a bigger price tag to delays in construction. It seemed like the phoenix was in danger of stalling out at 93 floors.

As a matter of fact, One World Trade Center was always rising. According to the building’s designers, floors 94 through 99 technically don’t exist. The building’s 13 ft. ceilings, 186 ft. uninhabited base and a few mechanical and service floors with ceilings over 13 feet account for this. With a planned height of 1,368 ft (1,776 with the pinnacle), the final floor count will be 104…somehow. 😉 In a matter of weeks, One World Trade Center will top out.

One World Trade Center is up to 100 floors now and stands high at 1,244 ft. It is only six feet away from overtaking the Empire State Building as the tallest building in New York City and third tallest building in the United States. Upon its completion, it will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and third tallest building in the world.

Four World Trade Center is also on schedule to top out later this month at 975 feet and 72 stories.

While the picture currently looks grim for both Two and Three World Trade Center, due to a lack of confirmed tenants, things could get better soon. One World Trade Center is the poster child for an effort to revitalize downtown Manhattan, in much the same way the original World Trade Center did in the 1970s. One World Trade Center is 60 percent leased and with the official logo that was recently released, it should be up to 100 percent very soon, bringing more tenants to the rest of the complex as well.

Official Logo for One World Trade Center

NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams did a special on the building’s construction. When William’s asked veteran journalist Harry Smith if he would work in One World Trade Center, Smith quickly responded…

In a heartbeat…you see it now, you go in it and realize, especially talking to the guys who work there how, literally, safe it is…People are saying, ‘We’re not going to let the other guys win. We’re going in. We’re moving in. We’re going to work there.'”

It should also be noted that One World Trade Center will be one of the safest buildings in the world, both structurally and security-wise, as well as one of the most environmentally friendly. By the time the building opens next year, it will be more than ready to face the 21st century and beyond. The Phoenix continues to rise.

The World Trade Center - April 11, 2012

The iconic Empire State Building, as seen from one of the floors of One World Trade Center. Photo credit: John Makely, MSNBC (4/11/12)

What To Expect In 2012 (My Two Cents)

I’m going to take that crystal ball out of storage, polish it up and gaze into the future…..ok, so I’m just going to guess what I think the following year will bring based on what’s happening as this year comes to a close.

  1. One World Trade Center will be completed in 2012. The 1,776-ft. tower is on schedule to be completed by late next year. Opening to the public is scheduled for early 2013. The world (and this blog) is loving the amazing progress at the new World Trade Center site.
  2. Iran’s nuclear ambitions may cause a steep rise in gas prices. As Iran continues to invest in nuclear weapons, it faces the threat of economic sanctions from the United States and the European Union. So, Iran has threatened to close off the Strait of Hormuz (at the base of the Persian Gulf) from all oil exports if the US and EU go through with the sanctions. If this were to happen, a large chunk of the world’s oil supply coming from the Middle East would go nowhere and the price of gas would skyrocket. Let’s hope a deal is reached…
  3. Donald Trump may still try to enter the 2012 Presidential Election…as an Independent. Mr. Trump recently left the Republican Party (that’s a very good thing for the GOP) and re-registered as an independent. The infamous media whore and chronic attention-seeker has indicated he may still run. Sarah Palin has also flirted with running as an independent. If either or both of them decided to run, they would split the GOP vote, which would definitely give the President a second term.
  4. The crazy GOP field of candidates will hand a second term to President Obama. Michelle Bachmann. Rick Perry. Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich. Ron Paul. Mitt Romney. Rick Santorum. If you need any more explanation, you have been living under a rock the past 12 months. The GOP can’t decide on a candidate, each candidate keeps saying insane, insulting things, the economy is improving, and, as mentioned in my previous prediction, Trump and/or Palin may still enter the presidential race. These things combined equal a second term for President Obama. The crazy, far-right crop of GOP candidates is a sad reflection on American politics today….but it’s also incredibly entertaining. 😉
  5. Madonna’s 12th studio album will come out! I cannot wait for Madonna’s new album. Her new single, “Give Me all Your Luvin'” will feature Nicki Minaj and M.I.A. and is set to be released in late January. She will sing it live, along with a few Madonna classics, at the Super Bowl on February 5th. If the new single is anything like the demo that leaked a couple of months ago (entitled “Give Me All Your Love”), it will be an incredible album (Benny Benassi and William Orbit are co-producers). A world tour is expected to start in late 2012.
  6. Democratic revolution will continue to rock the Arab world. Many Middle Eastern dictators were ousted and one (Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi) was killed in the midst of revolution. Young people all over the Arab world are overthrowing the regimes of old in favor of democracy. The revolutions continue to rage; In Egypt, there’s an uprising against the military-led government…the military that took power after Hosni Mubarak was thrown out earlier this year.

The Phoenix Rises (Last 2011 Update)

Day by day, beam by beam, panel by panel, One World Trade Center continues its journey into dominion over the New York sky. As of December 2, the tower’s steel structure towers 90 stories, 1,132 feet into the troposphere. Concrete flooring has been installed up to the 82nd floor and the sleek, glass-paneled facade covers 65 floors. Already, the tower is the third tallest building in New York (behind the iconic Empire State Building and Bank of America Tower).

In approximately one year (December 2012), One World Trade Center will be completed. The 1,776-ft-tall skyscraper will be opened to the public in early 2013, about 11 and a half years after the 9/11 attacks. One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, third tallest in the world (after the 2,723-ft-tall Burj Khalifa and the 1,972-ft-tall Abraj Al Bait) and a source of national pride for the United States.

Stay tuned for the next update, in January 2012, when One World Trade Center is around 93 floors high.

The World Trade Center - November 18, 2011 *credit: AP*

The Phoenix Rises (November 2011 Edition)

Over ten years ago, the worst terrorist attack in American history took thousands of lives and two American icons. For the past decade, Lower Manhattan had a large scar that, for a while, seemed like it would never heal. Progress for future development of Ground Zero was painfully slow as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation agonized over what exactly would become of what was once the World Trade Center.

Construction of what was originally named “Freedom Tower” was slow. Construction started in 2006 and a completion date was set: The 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 attack on September 11, 2011. However, after bureaucratic disputes and redesigns of the Freedom Tower, now called One World Trade Center, progress was stalled further. New Yorkers and Americans wondered; Would the site ever be completed?

Early construction was slow. But when the hurdles were removed, construction crews worked quickly. As of November 1, 2011, One World Trade Center towers 88 stories into the Manhattan sky. Concrete flooring has been laid up to the 78th floor and the sleek, modern glass paneling has risen to cover 62 floors. The tower is expected to be 90 stories by mid November. The Port Authority has estimated completion to be at some point in 2013, when One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and third tallest in the world – a symbolic 1,776 feet to the top of the antenna and 1,368 feet to the roof, the same height as the roof of Tower One of the original World Trade Center.

One World Trade Center - October 28, 2011 - source: "Joe.My.God." blog

Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero

The Science Channel (owned by the Discovery Channel) is showing a mini-series documentary called “Rising: Rebuilding Ground Zero” all day today (September 11, 2011). If you’re able to, I hightly recommend that you tune in, even if just for moments.

In Memory of those who perished:
9/11 Memorial In Pictures & Video:
I Will Never Forget:
Reflections of a Millennial on September 11:

The Phoenix Rises (July 2011 Edition)

The new World Trade Center is rapidly taking shape in Lower Manhattan. One World Trade Center (formerly “Freedom Tower”) now towers 74 floors (105 when completed) into the sky and the rest of the complex, including Four World Trade Center (which has risen to 37 floors), is finally coming together. One World Trade Center is scheduled for completion in November of 2013. It will be the tallest building in the United States, soaring a patriotic 1,776 ft. Opening is scheduled for January 2014.

Below are a few stunning pictures, captured by the British tabloid Daily Mail, that show the progress of the World Trade Center site.

WTC as seen from the 70th floor of One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center as seen from the bottom of one of the memorial reflecting pools

Four World Trade Center rises

The New World Trade Center 2014

The Daily Mail story

Official World Trade Center Website

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey WTC Progress Website