Miley Cyrus Draws Crazy Crowd in Bryant Park

Teenagers, tweenagers and aspiring grade schoolers lined up early for a free concert by Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, in Manhattan's Bryant Park. Producer Ian Chillag wades into the sea of pink for a live report.

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(Soundbite of song "Ghostbusters")

MIKE PESCA, host:

Yes, it was 1984, and Ray Parker, Jr. asked and answered the musical question, "Who you gonna call?" And Dan, what did he tell us was the answer to that question?

DAN PASHMAN: I think he was going to call Dr. Phil, wasn't he?

PESCA: No, you've just been contradicted.

PATRICIA MCKINNEY: Hannah Montana.

PESCA: All right, he stole this song from Huey Lewis, from what I understand, from watching him from "Behind the Music."

PASHMAN: Really?

PESCA: Yeah.

PASHMAN: It's like you watched "Behind the Music: Huey Lewis," or Behind the Music: Ray Parker, Jr."

PESCA: "Behind the Music: Stolen Songs."

PASHMAN: Oh.

PESCA: Yeah, no, I think it was a Huey Lewis, and it was a very disappointing "Behind the Music," because Huey is, like, so normal. But this is from "I Want a New Drug." It's the same exactly if you listen to them both side by side.

PASHMAN: I'll do that later.

PESCA: Anyway, I haven't said welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News, online all the time at npr.org/bryantpark. And I guess I've been filibustering, because I know when I introduce the next segment it has its own music. I don't want the joy to end, but I'll have to say it. Ladies and gentleman, my last Most.

(Soundbite of music)

PESCA: So, here's a collection of all the stories that are bandied about the Internet. And Trish, do you want to start us off?

MCKINNEY: Sure, I'd love to. I have one the most-read stories at USA Today. It's Starbucks - it's now official, Starbucks has named all 600 of their company-owned stores that they are going to close. They had released a shortlist of 50 stores earlier, but now we've got the whole 600. So, I immediately clicked on the little PDF that came with the article to see, fingers crossed, will the Starbucks that I go to every day in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the one with the drive-thru, will it still be open?

PESCA: And? And?

MCKINNEY: It's still open.

PASHMAN: It survived the cut.

MCKINNEY: I'm a happy person.

PESCA: Otherwise you would have to go to the one right across the street.

PASHMAN: Do they say - by the way, out of the 600 that are being cut, how many does that leave?

MCKINNEY: I think it leaves 4,792,000. No, I don't know. That's not including the Starbucks inside the Starbucks.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PASHMAN: Yeah, seriously.

MCKINNEY: But from store number 9,684 in Birmingham, Alabama, to store 11,213 in Triadelphia, West Virginia, I've got the whole list here.

PESCA: Wait, there are 11,000 stores in West Virginia?

MCKINNEY: No, no, no, that's just the store number.

PESCA: Oh, OK, yeah. And of course, you say, yeah, so you're closing. And they're like, no, no, no, not closing, venti. I hate it when they do that. Mark.

MARK GARRISON: I've got a most-emailed from Yahoo! News. A new survey, San Francisco is the most walkable (ph) U.S. city. Here in New York, we're number two. Boston is number three. The survey comes from walkscore.com. It's a little different, because usually a walking survey is about how pretty it is, or what the weather is like. This is like a straight up Google Map/GIS kind of thing, where basically, can you walk to what you need? How close is the grocery, the restaurant, the doctor?

They actually break down neighborhoods in midtown, where we are. It's 99 out of 100, technically making it a, quote, "walker's paradise." That's their term. And I can see that's the thing. But in practice, I find it debatable, because if you try and go get your lunch, you have to dodge all these sandwich-board hawkers, and unexplained steam, and puddles when it hasn't rained, and stop-and-go tourists. So, I don't feel it's a walker's paradise.

PESCA: Twelve thousand Miley Cyrus fans.

GARRISON: Yeah.

PESCA: Yeah. I've been spending most of my life living in a walker's paradise, and it ain't no paradise. You are right about that.

GARRISON: Word.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PESCA: Word. And no way, he's back from the Miley fans.

PASHMAN: Oh, my God, look at that!

PESCA: He ran into the studio.

PASHMAN: Hey, Ian.

IAN CHILLAG: Hey.

PASHMAN: It's that same guy from the phone.

PESCA: You know what it's like. It's like an M. Night Shyamalan movie where your whole life you didn't know why you spent so much time running, and this is where it pays off at the end. It just saved your life. You have a Most, Ian?

CHILLAG: Yes, I do. This is a most-popular from the Charles...

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: Excuse me, the Charleston Daily Mail.

PASHMAN: Aren't you a marathon runner? Didn't you just come up in the elevator? Why are you out of breath?

GARRISON: Take the stairs.

CHILLAG: I had to hurdle 12 year olds. It was like the steeplechase. It was horrible.

(Soundbite of laughter)

CHILLAG: Yeah. So, my hometown, Charleston, West Virginia, there's a big scam going on, an organization that calls itself the West Virginia Food Service Compliance Center.

PESCA: Sounds nefarious already.

CHILLAG: Sounds official. It's fake. They've been warning businesses around the state that they are required to post signs that tell employees to wash their hands. No such law exists. So, they then sell posters that tell employees to wash their hands to businesses. They make a cut. I looked around a little bit. It turns out this is actually kind of a nationwide scam. There are - there's a Michigan Food Service Compliance Center.

PASHMAN: Well, I happen to be the president of the United States Food Service Deliciousness Center. And I'm going to be conducting some random tests all around midtown the next few weeks. And people are just going to have to hand over the most expensive items on their menu for my inspection.

PESCA: I always thought employees must wash hands, it was for us, the customers, and not for the employees.

CHILLAG: Yeah, I always thought so, too.

PESCA: To assure us. All right. I've got the most-emailed from the Washington Post. "Terrorism funds may let brass fly in style." And this is a story about the Air Force decided to kind of gin up its planes so that when top generals and civilian politicians fly in Air Force planes, they fly in luxury. An Air Force document specified that the capsule's seats are to swivel such that, quote, "the longitudinal axis of the seat is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft."

They want it to go better than the classiest airline. And so they came out with these really swivel-ly, cushy seats. And there was some debate, should we divert the funds from fighting terrorists? And turns out that John Murtha and others objected to that. But there's some question about where these funds for the cushy Air Force seats are coming from. Dan.

PASHMAN: Hey, how are you, Mike? Got a most-emailed from Yahoo! News. "North Korea's 'Hotel of Doom' wakes from its coma." Esquire Magazine dubbed this structure as the worst building in the history of mankind. It's the 105-story Ryugyong Hotel. And it's back under construction after a 16-year lull. North Korea started building it back when South Korea was about to host the Olympics, because the North was getting a little bit jealous. It's a massive structure, pyramid shaped, and they ran out of money.

So, it's sitting half-completed for 16 years. There are serious concerns over whether it's even safe. They estimate it would cost two billion dollars to finish construction and make it safe. And apparently they have started building it again. An Egyptian company is back in there. And they are refurbishing the top floors, and there is work going on at the Hotel of Doom, as it was dubbed.

PESCA: All right. And that is your Most, my last Most. Links to these Mostly Mostified stories are on your site at npr.org/bryantpark.

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