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So I was eating brunch on Wednesday with my friend and long-time show contributor Jordi Lippe at one of my favorite restaurants in the city, the West Village’s Monument Lane.

Sorry but I need to pause this story for a second: a colleague gave me grief when I was telling him this because apparently “brunch” is only a weekend thing. My definition of brunch is breakfast food between 11 am and 3 pm, regardless of the day. Monument Lane has excellent everything and their Breakfast Bowl with poached eggs, barley, squash, red onion, radish and parsley-garlic pesto hit the spot.

Anyways, I look up from my coffee and I see a familiar face strolling down the street, just kind of looking around and smiling; taking it all in.

It was Andy Cohen! He was walking his dog. We made eye-contact, offered a quick nod of the head, and continued about with our business.

What struck me the most about this “celebrity sighting” (which by the way, despite my profession, I am terrible at in the city), is just how happy Cohen looked. Granted it was a relatively nice day outside; I’ll take 40 degrees and clear any day of the week in January. But still, it was nice to see a public figure enjoying a rather normal activity with no one bugging him.

Of course, I took to Twitter after Jordi and I parted ways to post, “I want to feel as happy today as @Andy looked when I saw him walking his dog just now.”

Cohen responded: “my moment of zen!”

And if Cohen, who juggles his reality TV empire at Bravo, his talk show, his satellite radio station and numerous other ventures, can make time for that moment then so can we.

It definitely came as no surprise to long-time fans of One Direction and long-time listeners of my radio show that Niall Horan is a “massive” fan of President Barack Obama. Horan revealed his admiration for the First Family during a chat on my show back in 2012; the aforementioned quote attributed to the singer became a popular Tumblr meme (only second to the GIF-able moment when Louis Tomlinson decided to crash our interview).


“I’m a big fan of their dad,” Horan told me as we talked about Malia and Sasha Obama, the President’s daughters, who at the time had recently just hung out with One Direction at a concert in Fairfax, Virginia. “They were sitting on the side of the stage, so I was waving at them.

“They’re just regular kids,” he continued. “They got to have a childhood and then they became ‘the President’s daughters.’”

Fans of Horan retweeted a clip of the interview that I had posted after the Irishman posted a message to Twitter about the Obama’s on Wednesday.

“Don’t get me started but I’m going to miss the obamas (sic),” he said online. “The nicest family on earth.”

Horan and his bandmates connected with Malia and Sasha at the Kids Choice Awards that year. The First Family said that if One Direction couldn’t make it to the White House, then the kids could go to one of their shows. So with Secret Service in tow, the daughters traveled out to the Patriot Center where they hung out with the guys backstage.

“We just had a conversation about everything,” Horan said. “It went from food to roller coasters to life to them having loads of security all the time.”

Which at least on some level, One Direction could relate to, although even Horan was taken aback by the Secret Service detail – which at the time struck me as one of the more surprising moments of our interview.


Actress, model and comedian Arielle Vandenberg called in to chat about her new web series, “Car Star,” which is available starting Monday (10/31) on Verizon’s Go90 app. Vandenberg hosts the episodes, which pair user-submitted karaoke videos with stars like Pentatonix, MAGIC! and Lindsey Stirling.
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Vandenberg, who has over 2 million Vine followers, also talked about Twitter’s announcement this past week that Vine would be discontinued.

When I signed off the radio Friday night, I felt like I was in a bit of a funk. Why? Well, nothing really of significance bothered me; I think I was yearning to just unwind for a few days. For the weekend, I thought the perfect way to accomplish this would be by “unplugging” – staying off of my phone and social networks for 48 hours, beginning at Saturday morning at midnight.

The only exception I made was to periodically check the networks (only Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) for direct messages, in case something was urgent. I did monitor email on my laptop but didn’t respond to anything. Of course, I also turned on my phone occasionally to see if I had any voicemails or text messages, Heaven forbid there be an emergency.

Thankfully, there was not. The plan worked flawlessly and here are 10 things that happened directly because of my absence from social media and text messaging this weekend.

– I ran seven miles.

Now from one perspective, I have to admit that I probably would have run seven miles anyways. But on the other hand, I definitely enjoyed running outside in the park a little more because it was one of the few times I escaped my apartment this weekend. Also, I ran Sunday evening despite a late start, one that could have been prolonged even more had I fallen in to a hole on one of the various social networks.

– I felt less stressed.

There was less clutter in my brain, and I think this contributed to my stress level lowering. Especially with Twitter, I have a tendency to become caught up in every moment, whether that is needed from me or not. It was nice to just watch a sporting event and not feel the need to also watch it along with everyone who has a Smartphone. And contrary to what you may believe, managing personal or brand social networks can be both difficult and time consuming, so it was nice to relieve myself of that stress for the weekend.

– I valued human interaction more.

I broke the “no phone rule” once when I called my buddy Dan because there was a timely piece of information I needed to tell him. Technically the rule stayed intact because I called from my Google number on my laptop but regardless, the 48 hours from my social networks and phone gave me a new appreciation for talking and texting with my friends.

– I prepped my taxes.

This is always on the to-do list after the first of the year, and I finally completed it this weekend, in part because I was distraction free. It was a big undertaking but I’m all-set for my Tuesday appointment at good ‘ole H&R Block.

– I grocery shopped.

First of all, you need to understand that I love grocery shopping. Second of all, you should also know that on Saturday I grabbed items from all three places in the city that I normally use for food: Fairway because of its organic section and snacks, Westside Market which has the best hummus in the city and Amazon Prime Now for water, almond milk and other produce items.
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– I cooked!

And while this follows grocery shopping, I actually did not use anything I bought Saturday for the meal I cooked Sunday; rather I had purchased some penne weeks ago and had a lovely red sauce from Marconi Hot Pots on the Upper East Side that I finally threw in a pan. My stove normally serves as the countertop for my Keurig because… single bachelor.
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– I barely drank.

This was a big one, especially after last weekend. I made a Bloody Mary while watching Syracuse Saturday, had a few beers while putting my tax materials together that evening and had a glass of wine with Sunday dinner. That’s it. No whiskey. No bar tabs. No late nights of drinking only to be followed by order a copious amount of gluttonous food from my bodega.

– I cleaned my apartment.

A person’s living space is definitely a reflection of their head space. And now that my taxes are prepped, the stray receipts on the coffee table and dresser are to a bare minimum, the clothes are folded and put away and the garbage is outside. Namaste.

– I played a fair amount of Playstation 4.

And I can finally beat the computer in NHL ’16 when playing on the pro level. I’m sure you were reading this whole article just for that piece of information.

– I didn’t miss it.

As I type this, I’m going on 50 hours of not checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. I haven’t texted a soul and sans one person, haven’t called anyone.

Am I curious to see why I have 50 notifications on Twitter? Do I have an urge to respond to some of the text messages I’ve received? Not really. It has nothing to do with the importance of those interactions, but rather the realization that sometimes there is more in life than refreshing Twitter every 2 minutes.

Besides, you should have seen the amount of clean laundry that piled up on my bed…

Even when Taylor Swift is wrong, she eventually gets it right.

The pop star is no stranger to controversy, deservedly or not. But we’ve grown accustomed to Swift not only entering the fray on her own terms: penning a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, removing her music from Spotify, opining to Apple Music via Tumblr – but also entering in order to right a perceived wrong. Swift set out to correct a few misnomers with her latest album, one of which was that albums still have value.

“I’ve always been very optimistic about music sales and album sales, and to have that optimism kind of rewarded with people going out and buying the album; I was so happy about it,” Swift told me last October, the week she released 1989. “Yunno, I would look a little ridiculous if I was just going out for the last two years going, ‘No, people still care about albums!’ And then my album comes out and everybody’s like, ‘Well we don’t care about yours.’”

Over five million albums sold later, it’s clear they care. The LP has also spawned a few GRAMMY nominations, a slew of hardware at May’s Billboard Music Awards and now nine MTV Video Music Award nods. All but one of Swift’s nominations are for the “Bad Blood” music video, which premiered at the start of the aforementioned BBMAs and features Kendrick Lamar a slew of celebrities/Swift’s “squad.” The piece broke Vevo’s 24-hour view record, previously held by Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” video.

But unlike “Bad Blood,” Minaj’s video didn’t receive a “Video Of The Year” look. Enter, controversy.

Minaj took to Twitter and voiced her displeasure over the snub, noting that when “’other’ girls drop a video that breaks records” and it “celebrates women with very slim bodies,” you receive a VOTY nomination.

Swift perceived the tweets as a direct jab and responded by reminding Minaj that she’s done “nothing but love and support” her, and that it’s unlike the rapper “to pit women against each other.” The “Shake It Off” singer later tweeted that she would want Minaj to join her on stage if “Bad Blood” wins.

However for once, Swift was wrong. Minaj didn’t care about “Bad Blood” and probably isn’t overly concerned with winning another Moonman. The emcee was speaking to the racial and social injustices that still exist in the music industry.

“I just think we need to have both images for girls,” Minaj told “Good Morning America” Friday. “We can’t have only one type of body being glorified in the media because it just makes girls even more insecure than we already are.”

And if anyone gets that, it’s Swift, who is about as a good of a role model as you’ll find in the public for young women. According to Minaj, the two singers spoke on the phone and cleared the air. Swift also apologized on Twitter.
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“I thought I was being called out. I missed the point, I misunderstood, then misspoke,” she wrote. “I’m sorry, Nicki.”

Taylor was right. Again.

Lady Gaga and Adam Levine have fired up their respective fan bases with tweets seemingly aimed at each other about the music they create and what it should be classified as. Levine allegedly started it all by saying, “Ugh..recycling old art for a younger generation doesn’t make you an artist. It makes you an art teacher.”


Mother Monster wasn’t having any of it, tweeting the next day, “uh oh guys the art police is here.”


The two then volleyed subtweets at each other about pop music, song lyrics, and other forms of police. Neither pulled a Chris Brown and deleted anything from their timeline so feel free to click back if you’re curious.

The argument between the two is interesting on multiple levels. First, both Gaga and Maroon 5 are under the same record label umbrella, that which is Interscope/Geffen/A&M. This wouldn’t be Gaga’s first feud with a label mate – remember those leaked Lana Del Rey songs in which the “Summertime Sadness” singer bashed her fellow New York songstress?

But that leads us to the second point: financial interests. Gaga has a new album due out in November. Levine is currently ramping up for another season of NBC’s “The Voice.” By the way if you’re keeping score at home, “Summertime Sadness” is currently the second biggest song at pop radio.

Finally, there’s this: a clip of Levine from February, in which I broke the news to him that Gaga cancelled the remainder of the “Born This Way Ball” due to an injury.

“Sh-t… oh, man,” Levine responded. “See that breaks my heart because I don’t know her but I know that clearly she loves to perform.”

Granted this was long before “Applause” or any other material from the forthcoming ARTPOP but after her second album, some detractors had already criticized Gaga for recycling from pop’s past. In this instance, there may be more than what tweets the eye.

Some could say that it was a “good, good night” for the Republican Party on Tuesday at its national convention. Black Eyed Peas lead emcee Will.I.Am wouldn’t be one of those people. The Renaissance man took to Twitter last night and acknowledged that the GOP used The Peas’ anthem “I Gotta Feeling” during its convention in Tampa.


“The #RNC just played #igottafeeling,” tweeted Will. “I gotta feeling there ganna adopt #yeswecan next…united states not divided states #reachforthestars (sic).”

The artist supported President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign and has long used his platform to push agendas that transcend music, ranging from education to the economy. But despite the message of unity in his initial comment about the Republican Party, Will followed up with a tweet to me, further explaining his stance on the song’s use.


“I didnt allow it, republicans do what ever they want…they used it without permission,” he said in an at reply to my username, “ralphieaversa.” “#igottafeeling they’re having a G.O.P.”

Will made no further comments on Twitter about the song. The artist adds his name to a seemingly ever-growing list of liberal musicians whose music is used by Republicans without permission. Earlier this year, the indie rock outfit Silversun Pickups issued a cease and desist letter to Mitt Romney’s campaign after he played the track, “Panic Switch” at a rally.

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When I first discovered the “RIGirlProblems” Twitter account, it was pushing 2,000 followers. Now renamed “RIProbz” – the page highlighting various “issues” in the smallest state has quite a large following, to the tune of over 13,000 people.

The creators of the account, a guy and girl from Barrington, RI who are trying to keep their identity a secret from their friends, joined “The Ralphie Radio Show” anonymously to talk about the popular Twitter account and some of the more re-tweeted “probz” in the Ocean State.

Another debate over the use of the “n-word” has erupted, and this time it started with a tweet from actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who took in a Jay-Z/Kanye West show in Paris.


Paltrow watched the show with producer The Dream, who initially took the heat for the… tweet, but later recanted to MTV News. Still he, along with Russell Simmons and others, have defended Paltrow’s words. The actress herself has also said she was simply stating the name of the popular Watch the Throne track, and meant no harm.

Being a middle-class white guy, I’m not about to talk in an authoritative manner about the use of a word that has had no effect what-so-ever on my life. That stated, I never use the word, in any circumstance, because to me it just doesn’t feel right.

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He’s not the first to say it, but is probably one of the youngest and may be the most suprising person to speak out given what social media has meant to his career. In a recent interview with The Source, rapper Drake claimed that Twitter and Tumblr are ruining his generation.

Kevin Evanetski was certainly surprised and taken aback by the comments, accusing the emcee of coming off as both pompous and hypocritcal in his comments.

Evanetski founded Social Yeah, a boutique social media strategy firm based in Buffalo, NY.