In June of 2015, amid the grit and grime of the New York City subway system, one man wanted to bring some fun and compassion to harried commuters.
This man, Thomas Knox, 28, decided to set up a small table and chairs and invite random strangers to sit down for a chat or a game while they waited for their train.
Knox called it "Date While You Wait," but finding a date was not his objective. "I am not looking for love through this particular venue; I just wanted a simple way for people to have a positive social interaction outside of traditional media.
People need to communicate more face to face." Knox says.
The setup also included a flower in a soda bottle. "It brings beauty and nature into what is a normally dark, dreary space," says Knox.
The location for the project always remained a secret until Knox sent out which subway station he'll be set up at using Instagram and Facebook. Guests are then invited to share their experience using the hashtag #datewhileyouwait.
"I wanted to have a conversation. I just wanted people to talk to me; I wanted them to tell me a little bit about themselves, tell me how their day went; I feel like I've had some amazing connections, one on one." Knox says.
Within a few months of his little experiment, "Date While You Wait" exploded on social media and then onto the mainstream media. Every news outlet in the world was reaching out to Thomas, including the New York Times, CBS, BBC, NBC, NPR, Timeout Magazine, The Philadelphia Enquirer, and everything in between.
He was then hired to travel around the world speaking to kids and spreading his "Don't be afraid to try new things" mantra. He also sells a unique line of bow ties that continue to preach his gospel. They say things like "BE GREAT" and "YOU CAN DO IT."
Now, with all his success, Thomas will get a bigger soapbox in which to speak and be seen. Knox has signed with the Emmy-Award winning production company, David Harris Katz Entertainment. Together they will allow viewers to peer into Knox's conversations and listen to the intimate details that made Knox New York's underground therapist. A full season is now available for licensing.
"I am not looking for love through this
particular venue, I just wanted a simple way for people to have a positive social interaction outside of traditional social media, people need to communicate more face to face."
Ferrara Bakery & Cafe
America's First Espresso Bar Ferrara Bakery and Cafe was established in 1892 by Antonio Ferrara and is America's first espresso bar. It is located in the heart of Little Italy and offers a variety of Italian delicacies that include: cakes, cookies, pastries, desserts, and gourmet specialty items. Ferrara has remained a family owned business since its inception and is operated at its original location on Grand Street in New York City borough of Manhattan by the family's fifth generation of bakers.
McSorley’s Old Ale House
Oldest Irish Bar in the U.S. From it’s humble origins as an Irish working man’s saloon — cheese and crackers on the house-beer for pennies to its rediscovery by the mainstream in a 1940’s NEW YORKER magazine profile. McSorley’s is steeped in a cultural cacophony of Americana. Presidents, residents, authors and thieves — the lot of humanity have sat and shared, all abiding by McSorley’s golden rule “Be Good or Be Gone”. What follows is a chronological history — some oral, some visual — some fact, some fancy…
Out of the Rain The Emmy Award-winning Chris Cimino served as the broadcast meteorologist for WNBC’s morning show “Today In New York” for nearly 24 years. While there, he also served as a fill-in weather anchor for Al Roker on NBC’s Today Show as well as a regular weekend weather anchor. Chris covered many significant weather events in his broadcasting career, including crippling blizzards, severe weather, tropical storms, and Superstorm Sandy, as they impacted the largest TV market in the country, New York City and the Tri-State region. Before his long career at NBC in New York, Chris was also a broadcast meteorologist at WROC in Rochester, WNEP in Scranton, WLWT in Cincinnati, and WTXF in Philadelphia. Chris also served as a broadcast meteorologist for private weather services, “Metro Weather” & “Compu-Weather.” There, Chris delivered daily weathercasts to over 100 radio stations throughout North America. Chris supports many educational endeavors. He has lectured and worked with thousands of individuals across the United States over most of his career. In all age groups ranging from 1st graders to college graduates to senior citizens. Over the past 30 years, Chris has been honored for his philanthropic work to help support many organizations, including the Long Island branch of United Cerebral Palsy and the New York Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis Society. He is also the recipient of three Emmy Awards for his work with WNBC. And Chris has received the prestigious Findley Award and Townsend Harris Medals from his alma mater City College of New York.
Nuts 4 Nuts
Alejandro Rad Honey-roasted nuts came to New York City by way of Buenos Aires , Argentina in 1984. Known in B.A. as Mani Garripanada, the sweet-smelling concoction can actually trace its roots to the 1920’s, when the French brought honey-roasted pralines to Argentina and first started experimenting with peanuts (“mani”). The carts’ signature copper bowl enables the even and rapid distribution of heat required to get the sugar to envelop the nut with a crunchy, sweet exterior. The Nuts4Nuts brand was started in New York in 1993 by Alejandro Rad. Mr. Rad, born in Mendoza, Argentina and now an American citizen, started out as a honey-roasted nuts vendor in 1989. He began with one pushcart and grew steadily. Today, the company he owns in partnership with Bronx native Cliff Stanton – United Snacks, Inc. – supplies nearly 100 pushcarts throughout the city.
Ghostbuster I originally moved to New York from the Midwest in 2006, with a brief stint in Los Angeles for a couple of years. I’ve been a performing musician since my teenage years with an album available on iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify. I’m also an actor/improviser when not dealing with repercussions of a global pandemic. I’ve spent the last year getting back in to movie prop replication, starting a Marvel Cinematic Universe focused podcast, and spending time with my rescue dog, Albert. Twitter: @matthewsturm Instagram: @matthewsturm Facebook.com/matthewsturmmusic
New York Comedy Club
New York Comedy Club has been serving up the best comedy in the city to the Gramercy neighborhood and all of Manhattan since 1989. The classic brick wall behind the stage, candlelit showroom and traditional drink menu all pay tribute to its legacy. Under new ownership since 2014, NYCC still features the best comedians in the city 7 nights a week, plus an updated front bar with pre- and post-show drink specials and whole new fun, anything-can-happen vibe.
Subway Book Author John E. Morris has been fascinated by transit systems since he rode underground lines, streetcars and elevated trains as a child visiting Vienna, Paris and London. When he moved to New York in 1993, he couldn’t find the book about the subway that he wanted to own, and he sketched the outline of the book he thought the system deserved. Twenty-five years later, he began the research that led to that book, Subway: The Curiosities, Secrets, and Unofficial History of the New York City Transit System, which was published in 2020. It’s both a history, with a great deal of original research, and a celebration of the subway itself, the city and society around it, including the movies, TV, music and literature the subway spawned. What also makes it unique is its 200 photos, cartoons, maps and other images, many of which have never been published before. When he is not writing books, he has had a career as a financial and business journalist, working most recently for Bloomberg News and Dow Jones, and as a freelance writer. John is also the co-author of the best-selling King of Capital: The Remarkable Rise, Fall, and Rise Again of Steve Schwarzman and Blackstone, a history of Blackstone Group and the private equity industry.
Music Producer Vinny was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn but now makes Staten Island his home. Honing his craft he was influenced by the work of Giorgio Moroder, Omar Santana, Lenny Dee & Frankie Bones. Although squarely in the EDM realm these days Vinny actually started out his recording career in the world of Hip Hop. Vinny spent the beginning of his career in Washington Heights in the recording studio paying his dues and learning from every experience and opportunity. He created tracks for him to rap over and at the same time was spinning vinyl as a DJ. Vinny took every opportunity afforded to him to perform as well both here in New York and also at his brothers club in Miami. He was given the name Vinny Venom by a friend because of his fascination with reptiles and venomous snakes in particular. He was held 7 of the world’s most venomous snakes and this Scorpio has a 6 foot giant lizard named Miami as a pet! Vinny’s Favorite recording of all time is Giorgio Moroder’s “The Chase.” Vinny’s favorite movie is The Godfather 2. The scenes of old world Italy that told the story of the Italian immigration to America was both informing and spoke of his background as a proud Italian American. The most pivotal moment of Vinny’s life was the recent passing of his Mom. It brought him to his knees and almost stopped his creativity. His mom was super supportive of Vinny’s career and dream of having his music find success on a global level. Vinny realized that he could honor his Mom by pushing forward and living the life she would want him to have. These two tracks have in their mix names her initials “GL” as they were inspired by and in tribute to his Mom. His faith is strong and he believes that she has now transitioned into a guardian angel who will look over him for the rest of his life. Love is eternal and Vinny pours his heart and soul into all he does. No half stepping here, Vinny is ALL in ALL the time and fully focused on a career in music. He wants Beatcutterz music to not only showcase his production talent but also to nurture the talent of others. Vinny started his own music label that everyone in the music industry has gotten to know Beatcutterz music and also now his own Beatcutterz Music line of apparel and working on many projects new Music Songs Every day. That are getting played every day on radio stations here and overseas https://open.spotify.com/artist/5i3KNw0D5KVuQA3mitXHu1?si=x3AjP3iHRY2NfTC65iFr-Q https://music.apple.com/us/artist/vinny-venom/5991242 http://twitter.com/VinnyVenom http://instagram.com/vinnyvenom170 https://www.facebook.com/ https://rhythm1059fm.com/
Coffee Table Book Roy Schneider, a Long Island boy by birth born in Freeport in 1964, he grew up in Ormond Beach, FL, and Houston, TX. Roy and his lovely wife, Dorothy, moved to Port Washington in the spring of 1996. They have remained here ever since, along with the new addition of their Pomeranian Chihuahua mix, Fiona. Roy is a masterful visual storyteller with thirty-four years' experience as a Video Producer, Director, Editor, and Photographer. Not adverse to whimsy, Roy was a Senior Editor at Sesame Street for four years and still speaks fondly of his Muppet friends. Roy received the Beacon Award for Community Service, the Beacon Award for Education, the Golden Cine Award, and the Houston Press Music Award for "Best Music Video." Roy has deservedly won ten Emmy Awards (and has received multiple more nominations). Roy's stills evoke powerful emotions with the simple silhouette of a fisherman surrounded by the setting sun, the calming repetition of empty Adirondack chairs looking out over the silent Manhasset Bay, or the hazy morning mist sitting above the pastel Baxters Pond. Also, a wine consultant and a darn good cook, Roy believes that every picture tells a story and every story creates a picture in one's mind's eye. Roy's beautiful and expressive photographs bring joy to his viewers' hearts. He helps us escape whatever may be troubling us. These are the feelings he is looking to achieve in his artistry. Turn the pages slowly, and enjoy.
Comedian Tony V started his stand-up comedy career in 1982 after attending several shows at Boston’s prestigious Comedy Connection. He wandered in one night, quite by accident, looking for a little stress relief from a high pressure job as a case worker at the Somerville Mental Health Center. Tony was working his way toward a Masters degree in social work having graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a B. S. in Psychology. It was not long after that he took to the stage himself. Tony’s street wise humor tempered with a genuine feel for the human condition quickly propelled him to headliner status on the national comedy club circuit. In 1986 Tony V was named “Funniest Person in Massachusetts” by Showtime television. He followed this achievement with several performances on HBO, the Arts and Entertainment Network, Comedy Central and MTV. From 1987 through 1992 Tony V became the “spokesperson” for American Tourister Luggage. Remember the suit case smashing gorilla? It was Tony that gave the ape it’s distinct voice and temperament. Touring extensively in and out of his high tech forty-five thousand dollar yak hair gorilla suit, both Tony and his alter ego had many interesting adventures. If you get a chance ask Tony about a meeting between The Gorilla, Spuds MacKenzie and Ronald McDonald. You won’t believe your mind. Network television was next on list for this Boston native. Spending time in New York and L. A. paid off with multiple highly acclaimed appearances on Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien, Comedy Central’s Tough Crowd w/ Colin Quinn and several sit-coms including Seinfeld, Boston Common, The Single Guy and Dr. Katz Professional Therapist. Having proven himself a solid comic actor Tony then tackled dramatic roles on television working with such notable actors as Eric Roberts, Ice T and James McDaniels from NYPD Blue. Tony’s big screen outings include State and Main, Celtic Pride, Housesitter, One Crazy Summer and Shakes the Clown as well as the independently produced By the Sea and Abracadabra. Tony has also produced and written on several shows for network and production companies. He is no stranger to benefits and fund raisers performing at functions for The American Cancer Society, Children's Hospital, The Boston Food Bank and many other charitable organizations. His corporate shows include Citizens Bank, The North East Lumber Association, Stop & Shop, American Express Corp. and Staples. Along with being a popular headliner at clubs and colleges all over the free world, Tony V has worked with Jay Leno, Dennis Miller, Bobcat Goldthwait, Steven Wright, Adam Sandler and countless other friends and nationally known acts. Tony has opened for Kenny Rogers, The Temptations, Billy Ray Cyrus, The Beach Boys and Joan Jett. Tony also really believes that this is enough of a Bio and if you’re not convinced or impressed by now nothing is going to change your mind. So thanks for reading this far and good luck in all you endeavors.
A Conversation Can Change the World! Donald Stevens is a 34 year old resident of White Plains, NY. He has been serving the special needs community as a Music Therapist for over 10 years in Westchester County New York. Music has always been a driving force in Donald's life growing up, and he continues to use his talent to serve others around the world. Just recently Donald appeared on the show "Date While You Wait", and was given the opportunity to write and produce a song called "You Can Change The World", that was inspired by his experience on the show. This opportunity has catapulted Donald into songwriting and producing more songs about hope and encouraging people all around the world. Facebook: @MrDonald Instagram: @musicwithmrdonald You Tube: @MusicwithMrDonald Linkedin: Donald Stevens
Dr. Laser Holographic Studios operates the world’s oldest gallery of holography, located in the heart of New York City in midtown Manhattan. We produce our holograms below the gallery in our subterranean laser laboratories. Whether you need a single custom made hologram or a large run of mass produced holograms we can help you.
Indie-folk Bluesgrass Band Sunshine Nights is a Brooklyn based Americana-roots songwriting partnership between Amy Priya and Stephen Sunshine. Their songs evoke a charming union of styles, a dichotomy of the old and new, indie-folk sentiment blended with old time blues, bluegrass and a tinge of traditional jazz. Their music is nostalgic in process and vision but finds a uniqueness in the context of bustling New York life far removed from the origins of the music they love.
Sneaker Head Since the acting industry has come to a bit of a stand still, actor Leon Morgan has decided to use this down time to educate his peers on sneakers. "Lee and His Sneaks," is a you youtube channel where Leon educates you about the sneakers in his collection and the personal connection he has to each. New episodes will be added weekly. You can also find out what’s on Leon’s feet on the "Lee and His Sneaks" Instagram page.
Coney Island Sideshow
Narrative Game Play Hadley Whittemore is a "Pro DM" or "Dungeon Master", who specializes in narrative driven game play. Through the format of Dungeons & Dragons and his own adapted "2d6" role playing format he guides players as they collectively create heroic adventures with a seemingly limitless array of settings and characters. For those who are interested in learning how to run games or develop their creative writing he hosts an educational series called "Dungeons & Dice" with a virtual "Day Camp" for teens age 13-17 and an "After Dark" program for adults.
All About Words Natalie Nascenzi is a copywriter, poet, and author from Rhode Island. Now residing in New York City, you can find her every morning on the East River capturing the sun peeping over the horizon. The rest of her day is spent wandering the city, chasing the sun, and writing wherever she can. Writing is both her career and passion. Her love for the art of word play and rhyming has led her to a career in marketing and in her life as a poet. She has made an impression on New York City's open mic community with her infectious personality and a unique writing style. Her desire to let her words be known has inspired the creation of her debut book called "Out of Chaos," released in March 2020. From ‘Out of Chaos’ to now, Natalie has spread her message of hope and transformation; and is excited to continue the journey with readers. Her upcoming poetic novella, “The Aftermath of Unrest” is being released in November 2020. Her goal is to inspire others, promote hope, and deliver the message: No matter what you go through, you are not alone. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel and a shoulder to lean on. Believe in yourself and all else will follow. www.natalienascenzi.com Instagram: @nncenzi
Subway Records Andrew Rallo (Founder of Subway Records Inc and Mondegreen Management): In 2004 Rallo created the first online platform for subway musicians in the United States www.SubwayRecords.com. On behalf of his artists, Andrew has negotiated and secured hundreds of public and private performances including in Madison Square Garden and Lincoln Center. Rallo has been featured in WSJ, CRAINS Magazine , Time Out NY, CNBC, ABC and NIPPON TV, Tokyo. In 2019 to align with Subway Records created Mondegreen Management and signed Nashville recording artist www.RobinsonTreacher.com
My Intent Card Segment Beth Brown has appeared in both film and theatre productions. She has played Essie in You Can’t Take It With You and Rosalie in The Children’s Hour. Additionally, she has taken on roles in independent film and theater productions, including a community theater production in France. Brown’s versatility as a comedic & dramatic actress is due to her discernment of human emotions and her openness to exploring situations from different perspectives. Currently, she is studying acting with Marc John Jefferies at MJJ Acting Academy. A native of Sidney, NY, Brown now resides in Brooklyn. Aside from acting, she is an educator, the owner of Babs Photography LLC, as well as the founder & CEO of the small business directory The Big Black Book NYC. You can connect with her through IG @babsisluminous
Let's Talk About Health Christina D. Eskridge is a performing artist, teaching artist and public health professional, holding a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley. For the past decade, Christina has worked to fuse her two passions of health and theater through performance, her teaching artistry and her extensive work in health care at Kaiser Permanente. From performances specifically for children on the autism spectrum, to facilitating workshops using drama-based techniques in the corporate environment, Christina believes live theater is a healing tool, ripe with opportunity. The time is now to bring these two fields together and create: Elevate, Theater for Health.
Positive Vibes Korla Camille Roberts is originally from Compton, California now residing in Brooklyn, New York. She is the creator of The House Of Camille, a retail, home decor and vintage resell business. In addition, she is the founder of The House Of Character, LLC, a leadership and life skills development and curriculum driven organization that provides volunteer and teambuilding facilitated opportunities to High School youth, non-profits and college institutions. Korla is a creative entrepreneur and creative visual director, spoken word artist but most of all, a children’s advocate and change agent. For future opportunities or just to say hello, my Instagram is @thehouseofcamille
Drawn on the Way A former opera singer, Sarah Nisbett is a self-taught live sketch artist and illustrator. Sarah learned how to draw by sketching her fellow passengers during her commute on the NYC subways. This led her to create Drawn On the Way, a collection of daily sketches drawn live, in the moment, which celebrate the people, moments and objects often overlooked in the rush of our day-to-day lives Through these intimate and often incomplete portraits of strangers Sarah hopes her work inspires people to see the world through a lens of appreciation and acceptance, leading them to view themselves and those around them as living works of art. After years of drawing strangers underground, aboveground and on the way, she hopes her art can help others learn what it has taught her: You are a work of art, and you’re sitting next to a masterpiece.
Four in a Row My name is Temisanren Ofuya. I’m Nigerian photographer and videography based in New York, New York who specializes in the art of creations. The camera is a tool that allows me to become a storyteller. My creative journey began in middle school when i took a photography class. I was fortunate to have a teacher who saw my potential and pressed me to explore my creative. This would be the catalyst to explore the art of creation. After studying sociology at the illustrious City College of New York, My Life took a turn for the worst. 6 years after i graduated, i found myself lost and confused about where my life was headed. I had conversation with mentor who told me re-examining my creativity and to start creating for myself. What started as a way to heal from my struggles, ended up being my salvation. Giving me a opportunity to rediscover myself and what value truly means.
Broadway at the Drive-in Jeremy Shepard has worked extensively in the event services industry for nearly twenty years. Formerly the appointed lighting consultant for Cipriani 42nd Street, Jeremy has also served as designer, shop manager and chief electrician for countless events. Having founded his company, Stark Production Group in 2001, Jeremy has built it into one of New York City's premier event production companies, handling more than 250 events annually. In addition to being the owner and president of Stark Production Group, Jeremy also owns and operates Robert Stark Lighting, partners in the arts with NYC schools, The Marlborough House, a charming event venue located in a small, New Hampshire town, LandMark Fete which works to restore churches in the city and his newest adventure is owning Radial Park, Broadway at the Drive-in, where he is acting Executive Producer.
Four in a Row Lamarr Womble is a motivational speaker, lifecoach and podcast host that helps students, professionals and new executives in accessing a more fulfilled life by helping them discover it’s not just about what you do but who you want to be.