shanoff_big.jpgThe Basics
Age and occupation. How long have you lived here, where did you come from, and where do you live now?
31, sports columnist ('s "Daily Quickie"). Lived in NYC since '97, with a two-year hiatus to go to Harvard Business School (yes, just like Kwame from "The Apprentice"; no, I don't know anyone who knows him). Have lived in Midwood/Flatbush; Brooklyn Heights; the West Village and, currently, cachet-free Columbus Circle.

Three Strikes
1. I reviewed your "What's Hot, What's Not" piece written at the beginning of the college hoops season and you did pretty good. I'm not sure about those bicep sweatbands but you picked two of the Final Four. So now, 4+ months later - with only three games to go - what's hot/not? (If you can't say "hot" because of ESPN contractual obligations, please substitute with "really fuckin' warm.")

RFW: Saying you've been on the Oklahoma State bandwagon all along.
*Not* RFW: Embracing UConn as a "New York (region) team".

RFW: Entering a "Final Four-only" office pool.
*Not* RFW: Your first office-pool bracket, which was a complete disaster from Game 1.

RFW: Dreadlocks (watch Georgia Tech's Clarence Moore)
*Not* RFW: Bicep sweatbands, apparently.

2. You really don't like Alex Rodriguez. Why is that?
250 million reasons. For a guy who professes to be all about the winning, he sure didn't have a problem signing that monster quarter-billion-dollar contract with Texas, which effectively crippled the team from signing any other good players.

But truthfully? He's growing on me, because after wallowing in Texas, he seems so thrilled to be in New York (but wait until those Page Six blind items start flowing).

3. Please back me up on this because I'm a NASCAR fan. When the New York metro area gets a Nextel Series ready-made track the sport is gonna be bigger than the tips at Scores after a Yankee playoff win, right?
Right on! Why is the city wasting billions on a Jets stadium no one wants when what New York could really use is a badass NASCAR track, say right around Battery Park?

In the meantime, let's start with this: NASCAR could simply use a driver with some NYC bonafides -- I'm saying that there's a T&LC driver out there ready to make the leap, and there's the capital in town to make it happen.

Proust-Krucoff Questionnaire
Time travel question: What era, day or event in New York's history would you like to re-live?
October 3, 1951: The day Bobby Thomsen hit the "Shot Heard 'Round the World" in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the New York Giants over the Brooklyn Dodgers.

9pm, Wednesday night - what are you doing?
For the last month, chucking up an unconscionable number of shots in the basketball league for my winless squad. (At least they're good-spirited about it; in the lawyers' league, I'd be dead already.)

What's your New York motto?
Whatever is in my most recent fortune cookie. For example, last night: "Good to begin well; better to end well." (Whatever...where are those Lucky Numbers?)

Best celebrity sighting in New York, or personal experience with one if you're that type.
One Sunday a few years ago I was walking in the West Village in the early morning -- no one else on the street but me... and I suddenly walked past Kristen Davis and I could have sworn that we enjoyed L.E.S. (Lingering Eye Sex). Then again, perhaps it was just her E.M.W. (Eyeing Me Warily).

Describe that low, low moment when you thought you just might have to leave NYC for good.
I had been basically exiled out of the apartment I had been living in with my then-girlfriend, and I landed in this complete dump on 8th Ave in the 50s... above this dingy Mexican restaurant and just about the foulest place I ever imagined I could live. And it was '99 so the rent was astronomical. Every day was painful, and I ended up on a binge of "road games" that had less to do with hooking up than having a more satisfying apartment to come home to. Come to think of it, that's when I applied to business schools out of NYC.

What's the most expensive thing in your wardrobe?
Absolutely: A tuxedo I bought at the start of b-school for all the absurdly formal functions. (But compared to the many tux rentals of my 20s, it's a bargain.)

Pound for pound: A pair of Air Jordan XIIs, still in the box, that I'm too ashamed to taint with my sorry game.

Finish one of the four following sentences:
3) "I hate computers for replacing the card catalog in the New York Public Library and I hate the way..."
The MTA reinstated my beloved old "D" line to Brooklyn with a new letter: the unnatural-sounding "B."

Where do you summer?
Central, Battery, Prospect and Marine Parks.

Who do you consider to be the greatest New Yorker of all-time? (Name up to three if you must.)
1. New York Times publisher Punch Sulzberger
2. Former Knicks coach Red Holzman
3. Woody Allen/Spike Lee (tie)

What was your best dining experience in NYC?
The night I got engaged last fall: Sitting in our midtown apartment, I surprised my g/f with an import of Charlie Mom -- our favorite West Village Chinese restaurant -- oh, and a ring. Fancy engagement-night dinners are highly overrated.

Just how much do you really love New York?
Enough to spend my free time during the day wandering neighborhoods and never get sick of it.

What happened the last time you went to L.A.?
My alma mater, Northwestern, was in the Rose Bowl. One of the most fun days of my life. For that, I can't hold any bitterness or hostility toward LA.

Medication: What and how much do you take?
I mainline Allegra in the fall. Otherwise, a "Kirkland Signature" multi-vitamin. (Why is there no Midtown-to-Costco shuttle?)

Of all the movies made about (or highly associated with) New York, what role would you have liked to be cast in?
"The Natural." I would have wanted to be the sketchy sportswriter character "Max Mercy" played by Robert Duvall.

If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?
Subway-station platforms in the summer.

The End of The World is finally happening. Be it the Rapture, War of Armageddon, reversal of the Sun's magnetic field, or the Red Sox win the World Series. What are you going to do with your last 24 hours in NYC?
See, the problem with this hypothetical is that the Red Sox have a really good chance of winning the World Series this year....

Full disclosure: That's a seven-foot basket in Dan's picture.