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Friday, October 31, 2014

Goodbye October

 


 

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Classic Scenes That Explain How Horror Movies Work

13 Classic Scenes
That Explain
How Horror Movies Work

by Todd VanDerWerff  - Oct. 24, 2014

During Halloween season, horror movies are everywhere — on cable, in theaters, and in endless marathons you curate for yourself at home. But what makes scary movies tick? What sort of techniques do directors use to make you scream? Here is a broad overview of those techniques, using 13 classic horror-movie scenes


LIGHT  and  DARK

Nosferatu (1922)
The grandfather of horror


Any discussion of how horror movies work must begin in one place — the battle between light and darkness. And if we're beginning there, then there are few better places to dig in than German Expressionism, a movement that arose in post-World War I Berlin that depicted complex emotions through the use of heavily visual language and symbols. Take, for instance, F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu, a film that's basically a bald-faced ripoff of Dracula. This vampire, though he's made up to be a horrifying ghoul, connects to the monstrous side of our own sensuality, the part of us that feels as if it could do anything when out of control with longing. Notice how Murnau balances light and darkness throughout. It's not what we might be accustomed to in the modern era (when we can film in very low-light situations fairly easily), since this vampire story seems to be set in broad daylight, but the most famous sequence — the creature ascending the stairs to assault a young woman in her bed — is all about the interplay of light and dark. There is a great, big beam of light, and in the center of it, pure black malevolence. There's not a better single shot to explain what the horror movie is.




The Exorcist (1973)
Crossing the threshold to evil


This list focuses mostly on directorial techniques, but it's important to toss in some literary techniques as well, ones that horror movies took from the literature of the weird throughout the ages. One of the most important is the idea of crossing the threshold — of entering a place that cannot be exited. You leave behind reality and cross into the realm of the monstrous, or even the evil. There are few better examples of this than The Exorcist, wherein the threshold is the door to a little girl's bedroom. The film spends almost its entire running time wearing down your arguments against demonic possession, so that it may finally unleash this assault upon the senses. It's not terribly subtle, but it doesn't have to be. The priests choosing to exorcise this demon made the choice when they entered that room. (Keep an eye out for the demon's true face toward the end of the clip.)





THE  REVEAL


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
How to reveal your villain


So much of horror is about the reveal, the moment when the characters realize they've stumbled into a very, very bad situation. That reveal can take a movie that seems to be in another genre into the realm of horror, or it can take an already scary movie to another level. For my money, the best single reveal in horror history is the moment when one poor guy gets his first look at Leatherface, the killer at the center of Tobe Hooper's masterful Texas Chainsaw Massacre. What's so brilliant about this scene is the way that it perfectly sets us up for the usual slow creep into a dangerous place. We know this house out in the country is bad news, through cues both subtle — the way the camera keeps its distance — and not so — that tooth that the poor kid finds. But just when things should slow down even more, as he enters the house, Hooper speeds up the pace, and we're suddenly lost in a world of disconcerting choices, as the kid runs toward a back room filled with skulls and meets his doom. And once Leatherface is done with him, he slams the door shut. What started out on familiar ground has become something very, very sick and wrong.







Halloween (1978)
The monstrous intruding on the ordinary


Another great monster reveal comes in director John Carpenter's classic, which essentially codified the rules of the "slasher" subgenre, wherein a bunch of horny, substance-addled teenagers are stalked by some primal force of death. The sub-genre eventually devolved into goofiness. But the original remains one of the best, purest horror movies ever made, if only because of just how long it takes for it to have the villain — murderer Michael Myers — start killing people after a short prologue. Carpenter's technique is in full force here, as hero Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) finds her descent into terror beginning with a single thing wrong: her bedroom window open. Notice how a cut to her reaction after seeing a strange figure standing in her backyard allows Carpenter to suggest that Michael Myers didn't just walk away. He literally disappeared.




The Shining (1980)
Long takes expertly build dread


A lot of horror derives from anticipation, the dread that we feel when we're certain something bad is about to come. And that necessitates the use of the long take, an uninterrupted camera shot that we're waiting to see disrupted by something horrific. Any discussion of long takes is best served by The Shining, Stanley Kubrick's ode to one man's madness. Kubrick took one of Stephen King's best novels and turned it into something entirely different, yet very much of a piece with the book's icy heart. Ironically, this scene doesn't use as long of takes as some of the others in the film, but it still exemplifies how Kubrick allows the horrors of the Overlook Hotel to punctuate the movie's otherwise stately pace. Young boy Danny pedals around the Overlook on his Big Wheel, the camera keeping a remove, almost like a leisurely stalker. And then he turns the corner and sees ... two girls who shouldn't be there. Just when the eeriness of that settles in, Kubrick punctuates the long shots with brief jump cuts to unimaginable brutality, and the stakes for the film are heightened.






Paranormal Activity 3 (2011)
Using long takes in first-person horror


A recent, major trend in horror is the idea of the "found footage" film, wherein the movie is made up of clips taken from "source" footage, usually shot by some enterprising would-be documentarian who stumbles into a bad situation. The purest — and possibly still best — example of this is The Blair Witch Project. But this film, the best in the Paranormal Activity series, isn't far behind. The great thing about found footage is that it necessitates the use of long, long takes, which means directors really get to play with what Kubrick was doing above. Here, in a technique the film scholar Scott Eric Kaufman calls "third person objective," we literally become the camera as it rotates on a fan's base, looking between two rooms. The subtle imbalance between a human presence in one room and nothing in the other becomes more and more pronounced, as we wait for something to fill the other room. And then it does. This clip doubles as a great primer on the use of physical space in horror films.




Psycho (1960)
Actually, maybe quick cuts are better?


Of course, the opposite is true as well. There is occasionally an argument to be made for cutting around the terror, for suggesting what's happening more than actually depicting it. And when it comes to that technique, there's no better place to start than with the master, Alfred Hitchcock, and the famous shower scene from Psycho. The scene is one of the most well-known in film history for all it accomplishes in such a short time, from the killing off the heroine midway through the movie to getting the audience to shift its sympathies to a brutal killer simply by understanding basic rules of storytelling. But it's also famous for how it suggests the brutality of Marion's death. You never actually see the knife plunge into her skin, but Hitchcock's jump cuts and Bernard Herrmann's shrieking strings suggest it so well that you think you do. And that's enough.







THE   CHASE

Alien (1979)
Show the monster as little as possible


At their heart, many horror films are long chases, where the heroes run and run and run, trying to escape the monsters. They never truly can, though, because the monsters are somehow all around them. There's good reason for this — fear of being pursued by an unstoppable force is an incredibly common nightmare to have, and scary movies are always pushing to tap into our deepest fears. What's brilliant about this chase is both how it upends everything you think you know about Alien and how it uses another dimension than we're used to. Tom Skerritt's character Dallas, up until this point, seems like the film's hero, so when he ventures into the monster's lair, we expect him to at least get one up on the beast. What he doesn't count on is the added dimension of height, of the fact that the monster is stalking him from, literally, below. (Down, of course, has tons of subconscious associations with evil in our minds.) Notice how director Ridley Scott cuts immediately from Dallas's death to the face of Sigourney Weaver's Ripley. Here's the film's true hero, hiding in plain sight.




The Host (2006)
Actually, maybe show the monster a ton


Alien keeps the monster chasing the hero offscreen. The Host manages the arguably even trickier feat of having the creature onscreen all of the time. It almost has to, since the film is such a political work that needs the audience to continuously contemplate the consequences of South Korea's relationship with the United States, humanity's failure to care for the environment, and all other manner of things. That means a constant assault of images of the film's central fish monster. But this works because director Bong Joon-Ho speeds things up, ratcheting past your natural suspicions to tap directly into the part of your brain that has had the dream where you are being chased by a relentless force. He also makes excellent use of laughter, punctuating this scene — the monster's initial appearance — with lots of great shock scares that have the rhythm of comedy bits.




The Devil's Backbone (2001)
The chase can be slow and relentless, too


Here's another chase; this one slower-paced. It's from Guillermo del Toro's great ghost story, which situates the tale of the specter of a young boy against the background of the Spanish Civil War. There's much of the logic of the zombie film here. The young ghost moves slowly but is relentless, constantly closing in on the film's protagonist (also a child), but unlike in zombie films, del Toro wants the audience to feel real sympathy for the ghost, who died before his time. Indeed, though he's a spooky figure throughout the film, all he wants — in the classic ghost story sense — is to put some unfinished business to rest. This scene is a great example of how to keep a chase going even when the pace is slow. It's also an excellent example of how to build a kind of inherent sympathy for the monster, while also keeping things scary.









USING  SOUND  TO  SCARE


The Innocents (1961)
Finding terror in silence


Clearly, images are central in horror films, but sound is just as important, whether it's dead silence punctuated by something eerie or a constantly ascending cacophony. This great British ghost story aims for the former, as our hero — a governess untangling the mysteries of an old estate and the children who live there (or maybe just a woman going mad) — hears strange, unearthly noises throughout the house in the middle of the night. What's brilliant about the sound design here is the way that it gradually flips. The sounds of reality are overmixed at the beginning, with the ghostly noises sounding faint and far-off. But as the scene goes on, the ghosts become more prominent, and reality swirls into nothingness. It neatly pulls us into the protagonist's headspace.






Freaks (1932)
Finding terror in the noisy din


Here's an example of the relentless onslaught technique, which also doubles as a lesson in the audience's own prejudices. Tod Browning's early ‘30s film wasn't made very long into the sound era, yet the director's technique relies on sound. Much of Freaks up until this point has played off the viewer's own innate lack of comfort with people who do not conform to the usual standards of human shapes and sizes. It plays off our tendency to stare, in other words. And as the film's titular sideshow attractions begin to chant "Gooble gobble" at a wedding feast, welcoming an unfaithful, beautiful bride who has married her groom solely for his money into their ranks, the sound design becomes all encompassing, and it's not hard to sympathize with the woman as she snaps and yells horrifying things at them. But that's the film's point — she is the true villain, and the freaks are the true family, the true caring ones. By prejudging them, we side with her, and who wants to be that person?



 
PULLING  IT  ALL  TOGETHER

The Descent (2006)

Everything all at once

Here, in director Neil Marshall's terrific 2006 film about a spelunking expedition that goes very wrong, we see all of the above techniques brought together masterfully. Despite the lack of murderous, supernatural beasties in this scene, it's still scary as hell, using the image of our heroine getting stuck in a tight tunnel deep beneath the earth to play off our very common fears of claustrophobia. This scene has it all. It's got light piercing the darkness just barely. It's got long, long shots of the woman struggling to get free. It's got the distinct sense that something is coming, even if it's just a cave-in. And it's got some masterful use of sound. Even better: this scene sets up almost every major conflict in the movie to follow. Just masterful stuff.






 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

All About That Bass

All About That Bass
http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/147/4/f/bass_ic_notes_of_music_by_webwhammy-d66qwri.gif
The Band:
Kate Davis - vocals and upright bass
Dave Tedeschi - drums
Scott Bradlee - piano




So, this one is pretty self-explainatory. 
The incredibly talented young performer you are watching is Kate Davis, and she’s the real deal. Not only does she possess the kind of voice that will take you back to the days of Billie Holiday, but she can also shred on the upright bass. 

"All About That Bass"

Because you know
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass

Yeah, it's pretty clear, I ain't no size two
But I can shake it, shake it
Like I'm supposed to do
'Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase
And all the right junk in all the right places

I see the magazine workin' that Photoshop
We know that stuff ain't real
C'mon now, make it stop
If you got beauty, beauty, just raise 'em up
'Cause every inch of you is perfect
From the bottom to the top

Yeah, my mama she told me don't worry about your size
She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night."
You know I won't be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that's what you're into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I'm
All about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass
Hey!

I'm bringing booty back
Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that
No I'm just playing. I know you think you're fat
But I'm here to tell ya
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top

Yeah my mama she told me don't worry about your size
She says, "Boys like a little more booty to hold at night."
You know I won't be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll
So if that's what you're into then go ahead and move along

Because you know I'm
All about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass

Because you know I'm
All about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass

Because you know I'm
All about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all about that bass
'Bout that bass
'Bout that bass, 'bout that bass
Hey, hey, ooh
You know you like this bass


You know what to do, internet - let’s make her famous, because she deserves it. 

Find her on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/katedavismusic 


The Band:
Kate Davis - vocals and upright bass http://www.twitter.com/katedavismusic
Dave Tedeschi - drums http://davetedeschi.com
Scott Bradlee - piano http://www.instagram.com/scottbradlee

PMJ on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/postmodernju...

Get this song on our new album: http://msclvr.co/F8WmMC
Postmodern Jukebox Tour Tix: http://tickets.turnupgroup.com/postmo...
 
My Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scottbradlee

http://fc00.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/147/4/f/bass_ic_notes_of_music_by_webwhammy-d66qwri.gif

All About That Bass Parody = I Like To Be The Boss

I LIKE TO BE THE BOSS

It's All About That Bass Parody



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I Like To Be The Boss LYRICS

Because you all know
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss

Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no stepford wife
I like to speak up
My skirts a little tight
Cause I got that fiestyness, my hubby seems to like
And all the right moves to keeping my body tight

I see the magazines, teaching you how to cook
But if you want a man
Then you don’t need no book
If you got brains & beauty, just raise-em up
Cause its more attractive when
You make it to the top

Yeah, my mama told me don’t worry bout his pocket size
She says you work on yourself
So you’ll always be alright
You know I won’t be no puppet that sits there and bats her eyes
So if that’s what your into you might as well not even try

Because
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss

I’m bringing bossy back
Go ahead tell submissive wifeys that
No I’m just playing, I know you think I’m whack
But I’m here to tell you that your opinion’s always perfect

And men like a little sass.

Yeah, my mama told me don’t worry bout his pocket size
She says you work on yourself
So you’ll always be alright
You know I won’t be no puppet that sits there and bats her eyes
So if that’s what your into you might as well not even try

Because you know
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss

Because you know
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss

Because you know
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss, don’t argue
I like to be the boss
Be the boss


Directed and Edited by: Matt Yoakum
Produced by: Rebecca Zamolo
Song written by: Rebecca Zamolo
Vocals by: Ana Free
Choreography by: Katie Taylor
BTS: Megan Butler
Photography By: Kelly Lee
http://www.mulberrytreedesign.com


https://38.media.tumblr.com/979f9769fcfe78d2b2310e76f3f79866/tumblr_ngl18uaybC1sqsyybo3_250.gif

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

All About That Bass Parody = "I Just Need Some Space"

https://33.media.tumblr.com/efa4c6716f72373c47e73694f2e0ef66/tumblr_ngl18uaybC1sqsyybo5_400.gif 
 "I Just Need Some Space"
All About That Bass Parody


 

Here are the lyrics:

Because you know I just need some space
Need some space, you’re in trouble
Get off the bookcase, bookcase your in trouble
What’s that on your face, on your face you’re in trouble
I just need some space, need some space

Yeah it’s pretty clear, I got these two
But I can’t take it, take it, like I’m supposed to do
Got same problems that all the moms face
All of their junk all over my spaces

Just want to read a magazine, rock my muffintop
Are these kids for real
Come on now make it stop
If you got little cuties, just give it up
‘Cause every inch of you is covered
From the bottom to the top

I am your mama I told you to go outside
(Oooo bop bop, shadoo bop bop)
I really need to find a better place to hide
(Not in the closet, not in the closet)
No I can’t find your teddy or Legos or Barbie doll
(Oooo bop bop, shadoo bop bop)
So excuse me I’m going pee
Now go ahead and move along

Because you know I just need some space, need some space
You’re in trouble
Get your foot out of my face, out my face
You’re in trouble
That’s my pillowcase, pillowcase
You’re in trouble
I just need some space, need some space

I said put it back
You don’t listen to a word I say
I know you’re playing but it’s time for bath
I’m here to tell you
Every inch of you is covered from the bottom to the top

I am your mama I told you to come inside
Don’t make me yell cause I’m feelin’ freakin’ fried
(Freakin’ fried, freakin’ fried)
No I can’t read that book for the fifteen millionth time
(Ooo bop bop, shadoo bop bop)
So just put down the glitter glue
And go ahead and move along

Because you know I just need some space, need some space
You’re in trouble
Can’t keep up this pace, up this pace
I’m in trouble
Use the staircase, staircase
You’re in trouble
I just need some space, need some space

Because you know I just need some space
Need some space
You’re in trouble
Get out of the fireplace, fireplace
You’re in trouble
You just broke my vase, broke my vase
You’re in trouble
I just need some space, need some space

Because you know I just need some space, need some space
You’re in trouble
Get out of the suitcase, suitcase
You’re in trouble
I just need some space, need some space
You’re in trouble
I just need some space, need some space

Hey, hey hey
Woo hoo
You know, you know I do
Hey
https://38.media.tumblr.com/70d3387552b67bb06e72dd804b94a693/tumblr_ngl18uaybC1sqsyybo4_250.gif

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

All About That Bass Parody = Bitch in Business

Bitch in Business
All About That Bass Parody



x

Act like a man, get called a bitch. A love letter to all the badass bitches who aren’t afraid to be themselves in the business world #BiB

Made by Columbia Business School students. You can download the track here:

Lyrics:
“She's really talented, but she comes on too strong and should be less abrasive.”
“C'mon sweetheart, but a smile on that face!”
“People find your tone a little off-putting, you should try to be warmer and more nurturing.”
“Man, the way she wouldn't budge on that part of the contract, she was being a real…”
“BITCH”

Because c'mon
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch, in business
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch, in business
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch, in business
You know that I'm a bitch
Bitch in Charge

Yeah, it's pretty clear, that I'm not a dude
And I'm told acting like one
Isn't what ladies do
But I'm tough as nails and I'll fight for my side
Gettin’ called bitch means I'm doing something right

I'm getting those returns, and making fat stacks
Making these suits look good
While I close the wage gap
But here is some fair warning, you should know that
I'm a viper in the boardroom
And a tiger in the sack

Yeah, my mama, she told me, that boys prefer girls who smile
Don't worry about brains, just twerk those feminine wiles
You know I won't be no soft-spoken timid doormat cliché
Because the harder I work, then the harder I get to play

Because c'mon
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch bottle poppin
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch, briefs droppin
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch, in business
You know that I'm a bitch
Bitch In Charge
*slaps an ass*

Glass ceiling's gonna fall
Because I'm a goddamn human wrecking ball
Don't make me mute you on this conference call
My time is money and
Bitch I won't be resting until my name is on the wall

Yeah I don't have a dick but that doesn't make me a fool
See girls acing their classes at med law and b-schools
But you old boys who are worried women might challenge your throne
You should know you are making your chromosome look small on'yur own

BOASTFUL RAP:
Let me take a moment to clarify what I'm sayin'
I'm a dope ass bitch and in business I'm stayin'
Well qualified but I don't get respected
Maybe they're just jealous cuz my nuts are well protected
You say "Babies are for girls! Business is for boys!"
Try telling THAT to my stay-at-home fuck toy
No time to worry about having it all, cuz
I'm a bitch in business just swingin’ my balls

Made of sugar and spice and everything nice
And gun powder and cubans, and burbon no ice
When we pitch a business get a fraction of the cash
But I'll launch half the startups and kick all the ass
To those who fear a female with authority
Guess I don't need a hand-mirror to look at a pussy
All hail the queen and keep your hands off of my crown
Cuz a piss is the only thing that I'll take sitting down

Because c'mon
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch, deal slingin’
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch, eggs freezin’
You know that I'm a bitch
I'm a bitch in business.
You know that I'm a bitch
Bitch in charge
Bad bitch in charge
Hey, hey, ooh
You know you love this bitch.

vvv

Feminist 'All About That Bass' Parody 
"Bitch In Business"
 Might Be Better Than The Original
 
By Alanna Vagianos

While Meghan Trainor's hit "All About That Bass" celebrates body confidence, a new feminist parody takes more of an intellectual approach to equality.

Created by three Columbia Business School students, "Bitch In Business" puts a feminist manifesto to the tune of Trainor's "All About That Bass." The students, who are part of a group called the CBS Follies, describe the video as "a love letter to all the badass bitches who aren’t afraid to be themselves in the business world."

The video itself is a bit sharper than Trainor's pastel-filled, hip-shaking video, and even includes a few slightly NSFW lines, such as: "You say 'Babies are for girls! Business is for boys!'/Try telling THAT to my stay-at-home fuck toy." Other amazing one-liners include, "Making these suits look good while I close the wage gap," and "Gettin’ called bitch means I'm doing something right." Preach.

It's no secret that sexism is alive and well in the business world (along with many, many other industries). If a woman is viewed as too "abrasive" or too "pushy" she runs the risk of being labelled a bitch, but those same qualities in a man might brand him as a strong leader. Everyday sexism at its finest.

We still suggest you play this before any and every upcoming interview.


xxxx

Saturday, October 25, 2014

The 10 Best Bagel Shops In NYC

The 10 Best Bagel Shops
In NYC
https://31.media.tumblr.com/dc3f4eafcda7101515ca24a55abe4ee1/tumblr_ne0b2k4mIZ1smcc9to9_r1_1280.gif

This isn't the first time Gothamist has rounded up the best of this city's myriad bagel offerings, but last year's Bagel Power Ranking caused so much controversy we decided we needed to come back and settle this once and for all. So gather your pitchforks and torches: what follows are our favorite bagel joints in the city—leave your recommendations and your requests to send us back to Montana (we are not from there, FYI) or wherever in the comments.


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ABSOLUTE BAGELS
With fellow bagel standby H&H Bagels long gone, this uptown joint is the new neighborhood king, selling crispy-skinned, light and chewy bagels to the hordes of Upper West Siders and hungover Columbia students that line up outside on weekend mornings. Individual bagels run about $1, and you can pair them with an assortment of standard cream cheeses, meats and spreads; do note that while the bagels are delectable, they don't hold up to snuff after a few hours, so it's best to consume them ASAP. Cash only.

Absolute Bagels is located at 2788 Broadway between 107th and 108th Street in Manhattan Valley (212-932-2052, absolutebagels.com).


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THE BAGEL HOLE
Mayor de Blasio once proclaimed Bagel Hole the best in the city, and while #forkgate didn't do much to bolster his cred among NYC foodiots, he managed to get this one right. Bagel Hole's goods are always fresh, dense and chewy, enveloped by the necessary salty, crispy skin. And though they get some flack for being on the small side, that's how bagels are supposed to be, a truth that has gotten lost somewhere among the massive dough balls which lesser bagelries have been churning out in recent years. Eat with cream cheese, whitefish, lox or nothing, dream of flocks of angels crowned by bagel halos all night long.

The Bagel Hole is located at 400 Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Street in Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-788-4014, bagelhole.net).


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TERRACE BAGELS: 
Though the jury's still out on Terrace Bagels' highly controversial recent redesign, this Windsor Terrace spot continues to produce some of the most solid bagels in all of Kings County...and therefore the WORLD. These ever-fresh fluffy offerings are best when doused with a healthy serving of house-made flavored cream cheese or sandwiching sliced turkey and mustard. Plus, there's no need to get them toasted; just slap on a spread and head out to nearby Prospect Park with your breakfast/lunch/midday snack, assuming the sky has stopped winter-crying.

Terrace Bagels is located at 224 Prospect Park West between 16th Street and Windsor Place in Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn (718-768-3943).



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ESS-A-BAGEL: 
Like Bagel Hole, there's been some controversy over the size of Ess-A-Bagel's dough halos. Some claim Ess-A-Bagel's offerings are too big. We beg to differ, and will continue to indulge in a crispy, colossal everything bagel loaded with scallion cream cheese, lox and tomato. We will then breathe in your face on the 4 train, our dispelled carbon monoxide pungent with pure satisfaction and the noxious fumes of fish and onion. Suck it, haters.

Ess-A-Bagel has two locations in Manhattan: 359 1st Ave at 21st Street in Gramercy (212-260-2252, ess-a-bagel.com) and at 831 3rd Ave between 50th and 51st Street in Midtown East (212-980-1010, ess-a-bagel.com).




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DAVID'S BAGELS:
The Gramercy/East Village/Stuy Town dwellers have long since fought over whether David's or Ess-A-Bagel boils a better bagel. And while Ess-A is one of the best bagelries in town (see above), David's is some pretty solid competition, boasting tasty, chewy bagels that somehow manage to stay hot all day. You can't go wrong with a basic bagel-and-cream cheese type deal, but we've been told their egg-and-cheese concoctions are superior to all other egg-and-cheeses in the city; with that information in hand, do what you will.

David's Bagels is located at 273 1st Ave between 16th and 17th Street in Gramercy (212- 780-2308, davidsbagelsnyc.com).




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MURRAY'S BAGELS: 
I don't have a particularly great bagel place in my neighborhood, which is probably a good thing, lest I turn into a giant sesame seed. But whenever I'm gripped with the urge to sink my teeth into something dense and carby (usually after a night out at one of these guys), I will make the pilgrimage out to this Greenwich Village spot, still holding strong after nearly 20 years in service. Though some turn their noses up at Murray's' no-toast policy, fresh bagels should never be toasted; that charring is reserved for day-old bread and those horrible faux-bagels packaged in plastic and sold in suburban supermarkets. Get a damn non-toasted everything bagel with lox spread; you're in the BIG LEAGUES now.

Murray's Bagels is located at 500 6th Ave between 12th and 13th Streets in Greenwich Village (212-462-2830, murraysbagels.com).




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BAGEL OASIS
 Brooklyn might boast a more notable bagel rep, but this Queens joint will give Kings County and its "famed" bagel water a run for its money. Bagels here come thickly spread with homemade cream cheeses, and though they do toast their goods (FOR SHAME!) they won't reduce your cinnamon raisin pick to a charred, tasteless mess. Bonus points: Bagel Oasis is open 24/7, so if you happen to have a hankering for some late-night grub and you're nowhere near one of these places, you can still get your hands on a stellar bagel-and-turkey deal.

Bagel Oasis is located at 18312 Horace Harding Expressway in Fresh Meadows, Queens (718-359-9245, bageloasis.com).




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KOSSAR'S BIALYS
 This LES institution may be famed for its namesake bialys, but the 90 cent bagels here are nothing to sneer at, either. Like H&H—forever a curse on you, Verizon Wireless—Kossar's does not bother with trifling things like condiments and cream cheese. If you want a bagel, buy a bagel, and if you want cream cheese, they sell tubs of Philadelphia at the Key Foods near the Williamsburg Bridge (they sell tubs of cream cheese in-store, but it's cheaper to buy your own preferred brand).

Of course, if you're feeling "adventurous" you can't go wrong with a bialy—a pillowy round thing that looks a little bit like a bagel but will SURPRISE YOU when you bite into it and are overcome by the taste of onion—or try the "pletzel," a savory, foccacia-esque flatbread.

Kossar's Bialys is located at 367 Grand Street between Essex and Norfolk Streets on the Lower East Side (212-473-4810, kossarsbialys.com).




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BERGEN BAGELS:  
An anonymous Gothamist staffer who is enraptured by this Prospect Heights bagelry describes its offerings as "normal bagels that got dipped in superpowers." While the bagels themselves are fairly standard fare for NY and NJ (yes, there are good bagels in NJ), when it comes to the spreads, Bergen Bagels hits the mark. The Bergen Street location boasts everything from dill cream cheese to feta pesto cream cheese to Japanese tuna spread to Chipotle-lime chicken, and just about everything you ask them to put on your bagel will be delicious and fresh.

Bergen Bagels is located at 473 Bergen Street between 5th and 6th Aves in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-789-7600, bergenbagel.com). There are two other locations in Brooklyn, but this one is the best.




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BROOKLYN BAGEL & COFFEE COMPANY: 
Ironically, Brooklyn Bagel does not have a location in Brooklyn. It does, however, have three locations in Astoria and one in Chelsea, and every one of them sells spectacular hand-rolled doughy bagels, appropriately crispy-skinned and accompanied by what seems like thousands of spreads and proteins. They have a flavor-of-the-week cream cheese that has, at times, been cannoli cream, red velvet, spinach and white chocolate raspberry. Expect long lines in Astoria on weekday mornings, but your breakfast will be worth the wait.

Brooklyn Bagel has three locations in Queens and one in Manhattan; visit their website for details.


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5 Best Bagel Shops
in the United States

Ah, bagels. I know many (myself included) that will travel far and wide for the best bagel. There are infinite reasons as to why I think bagels are supreme, but getting into that would take up this entire article. Anyway, if you’re looking for the best places around the U.S. to get bagels, here are some that can definitely help you find your bagel fix. While you’re visiting one of these locations, feel free to pick me up an everything with cream cheese, alright?

1. H&H Bagels Midtown Bagels East
 – New York, NY
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 If you’ve searched for the best bagel in NYC, this is probably where many will lead you. This spot has made cameos in Seinfeld, and also serve as the “sympathy bagels” Carrie brings Miranda in Sex and the City  after not being able to help her when she threw out her back. It has recently closed, but has plans of renovating and reopening under new ownership. A review on Yelp said it best: “My first bite of an H&H bagel resulted in a complete paradigm shift, in which I finally understood why NYC is known for its bagels. I didn’t know that bagels could reach such heights as this.”
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2. Sam’s Bagels 
– Los Angeles, CA
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For more than 35 years, this location has been serving up some of the best bagels in LA. The spot has a reputation of having a long wait, but it’s well worth their perfect bagels. Their garlic bagels are what they’ve gotten the best reviews for, as well as having fresh lox.

3. BB’s Bagels 
– Alpharetta, GA
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BB’s is about thirty miles north of Atlanta, but is still one of the most popular bagel places in the country. From friends who have experienced their bagels firsthand, they all describe them as “revolutionary to the bagel game.”  The bagels are hand-rolled and kettle-boiled, and they have fresh bialys on the weekends.


4.  New England Bagel 
– Manchester, NH
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New England Bagel is known for its fresh bagels and its breakfast sandwiches. Getting a bacon, egg and cheese outside of the NYC area is usually against all my principles, but this is definitely a place where I know I can get one of the best in the states.


5. The Bagel Man
 – Phoenix, AZ
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This spot makes its own cream cheeses, which is highly recommended by those who frequent this spot. Everything is fresh and made to to order, and they’re known for having a friendly staff.


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Where do you buy the best bagels?
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