Ratings and Review: The 2017 Lincoln Continental isn’t the best full-size luxury sedan, but it might be the coolest

Full Car Details More Reviews It seems 2017 is the year of reinvention. Whether it’s small New Years resolutions like going to the gym more (or at all), or reimagining what we thought was possible in politics (ugh), the times are a-changin’ far and wide. Car companies seem to be chief among those seeking to reinvent themselves too, with everyone from Cadillac to Volvo staging a comeback… or at least attempting to. Jaguar is making SUVs for the first time, Hyundai has finally spun off Genesis into its own brand, and Alfa Romeo is back in the U.S. for the first time since the (first) Bush administration. Right in the middle of this finding-yourself foray is Lincoln, long the recipient of rebadged and leather-clad Fords with slightly chromier styling and a few added features, but as luxury customers’ tastes became more sophisticated (and more German), American metal fell by the wayside. But letting the Germans run rampant isn’t the American way, now is it? Hell no, it ain’t! And right on schedule, Lincoln’s thrown their best designers and engineers at every new product slated to come out between now and the next election (God help us). The first fruit of their labor isn’t an all-new idea or way of thinking, it’s a return to their roots with the resurrection of one of the most iconic names in American automobiles: Continental, so I borrowed a fully-loaded Black Label edition to find out if the transformation is complete, or if there’s still a long way to go. Design: 8.0 Rating When I asked around, opinions on the styling of the new Continental ranged from very lukewarm to hot, hot, hot. I fall firmly on the side of the latter, and while there are a few issues with this new Lincoln’s sheet metal, there’s quite a lot to fawn over, too. Throwing out seemingly all pretentions of Continue Reading

LORDS OF THE RING. The Big Apple Circus is the city’s mane family event

True to its name, the Big Apple Circus likes to think big. Not big in terms of size; the cozy, one-ring tent show, ensconced anew in Lincoln Center, is like a music box, the lid lifted on a series of personal performance delights. No, Big Apple impresses with the scope of its ambition, striving to move beyond sheer spectacle to an actual theme. That stirring goal was fabulously realized by last season's four-star laughfest, "Grandma Goes to Hollywood." By that standard, Big Apple's latest ­offering, "Step Right Up!", actually represents an overall step down. Here, artistic director Paul Binder and company try to evoke the sense of wonder of the seminal ­Columbian Exposition of 1893, a world's fair that arguably gave rise to the American leisure industry. My boater's off to Binder and writers Michael Christensen and Steve Smith to even attempt such a thing, but you have to remind yourself often of the show's intent. JOY IN MUTTVILLE This edition of the circus does hark back to life's simple pleasures, ­surely an echo of the 1890s. ­Francesco the clown makes his entrance with nothing more complicated than a circular toss of a boom­erang; ­Johnny Peers and his Muttville ­Comix ­revel in the exuberance of 15 cavorting canines, and Yasmine Smart ­parades around a small herd of dignified horses. Dinner plates are flung through the air like Frisbees just for the fun of it. Exotic appeal is supplied by ­China's Zhengzhou Troupe, innovative acrobats who roll about in circular frames, to stunning effect when illuminated in black light. Irina and Andrey Perfilyev add romantic grace on trapeze, and the Liazeed Trio contributes a striking tableau of a three-person handstand, all supported by one member's arms. Justin Case pads a skilled bicycle act with a stream of forgettable patter. Filling the role of the ringmaster - sort of - and straight man is versatile barker Joel Jeske. Austin K. Sanderson's Continue Reading


Not long ago, actor Tony Denison was rethinking his career. For several years, Denison, 56, who broke in on the critically acclaimed drama "Crime Story" in 1986, found roles tough to come by. "I couldn't understand it," he said. "You start to question your confidence. But, through it all, I just kept saying other people have gone through this. " He thought about returning to carpentry and construction, something he did before getting into acting, or something else. "I tried to make the most of my downtime," he said. "I did lots of reading, history books, spiritual books. " He never gave up on acting, though. And slowly the work came back. First, he starred in the 2003 ESPN series "Playmakers. " That show was canceled after a season, but he was back in the game in a big way. This season he's appeared on "Boston Legal" and has landed two good roles, as a recurring character on Fox' "Prison Break" and as a cast member on TNT's "The Closer. " "To say I'm appreciative and grateful, somehow, is not enough," Denison said. "It happens to some actors," he said. "When the work comes back, you say, 'Hey, it's great. I really missed it. You wind up with a different outlook. " It's not that Denison disappeared. But rather than having a steady gig, he had a string of guest appearances and TV movie roles. Along the way, he's played such folks as John Gotti and Joey Buttafuoco. "If I wind up for the rest of my life playing cops and gangsters, so be it," he said. "The challenge is to make each guy different. It's easy to play a gangster and be mean and loud. I've got to find the subtleties. " He's feeling good about his career these days. "The Closer" is shot near his home and the production schedules of that show and "Prison Break" allow him to work on both. "It's like a dream come true," he said of "The Closer. " "People say, 'Are you on the way to work? ' I say, no, 'I'm on the way to play. ' It's like a big barbecue part or something. Continue Reading


TRENTON - No matter how far Lincoln advances in the upcoming PSAL playoffs, it is unlikely to face a team with as much talent as the one the Railsplitters played yesterday at the PrimeTime Shootout. Montverde, Fla., had a 6-5 guard headed to Wake Forest (L.D. Williams), a 6-7 forward headed to Virginia Commonwealth (Franck Ndongo) and a 7-2 center (Solomon Alibi) who is still a junior. In its final tune-up before the PSAL playoffs, Lincoln beat the very talented - and very tall - Montverde team, 53-37. The Railsplitters held each of the aforementioned players to single digits in points. Nick Leon and Kevin Menner each scored 14 points to lead Lincoln. Menner scored all of his in the fourth quarter, after he broke a bone in his nonshooting hand. He helped fuel a 17-4 fourth-quarter run when the Railsplitters pulled away. "I was ignoring it," Menner said. "I was just thinking about winning the game." On Thursday, Lincoln beat neighborhood rival Grady to lock up the second seed in the Brooklyn borough tournament, which begins on Tuesday. Railsplitters coach Dwayne Morton said he was happy to play against a team like Montverde because it gave Lincoln a chance to raise the bar higher than it likely will need to in order to win the city championship. "That was a big team," Morton said. "This was another test that will help us out." Despite the impressive win, none of the Railsplitters was ready to claim the city title before the playoffs even begin. After all, they lost to Grady earlier in the season and have yet to play the team that many think will win the whole thing - Wings Academy, the No. 1 team in the Bronx. "Anything can happen," Leon said. "We can't underestimate anyone." Morton said he thinks this season's team could be his best ever, even superior to the one led by Sebastian Telfair, which won three straight titles from 2002 to 2004. "I like this team because it's so versatile," Morton said. "We can be big and if we want to we can go Continue Reading


LINCOLN HAS WON three of the last four PSAL titles and has played a difficult nonleague schedule this season that will continue tomorrow with a game in the PrimeTime Shootout against a Montverde (Fla.) team that features a 7-2 center. Still, coach Dwayne Morton is not exactly sure of what to expect of the Railsplitters as they head into the postseason, which begins with the Brooklyn borough tournament next week. That is one of the reasons Morton was so impressed with his team's 79-76 win at neighborhood rival Grady yesterday. The Railsplitters were playing in a hostile environment, missed 23 of their 41 free throw attempts, coughed up a 13-point lead and still found a way to escape with a share of the Brooklyn I-A division championship. "It was an excellent test," Morton said. Freshman Lance Stephenson scored 26 points, Kevin Menner had 17, Nick Leon added 14 and Devon Peterson chipped in with 12 for Lincoln (20-3, 15-1). For Grady (22-3, 15-1), which won at Lincoln earlier this season, Angelo LaRoche scored 15 points, Randy Burns had 12 before fouling out and Wayne Turned added 10. Though Lincoln won consecutive city championships from 2002-04 and played in the title game last year, many of the most important players on this year's team have little experience in big games. Morton was convinced that contributed to the yesterday's foul line woes. Still, he said, pulling through despite the nerves is a good sign for the Railsplitters. "It was huge," Morton said. "We want to feel good going into the playoffs." Grady coach Mark Seltzberg feels his team is ready to make a run at its first championship since 2001. "It would have been nice to win (the division) outright," Seltzberg said. "But I think this is going to make the kids hungrier. We'll take something positive out of this." Seltzberg will get a chance to see what he can take out of it when the game airs Sunday at 9 a.m. on MSG. SHOOTING STAR: A documentary about former Lincoln star Sebastian Continue Reading


GLENS FALLS - Lincoln will have to settle for the title of best team in the city. The state belongs to Mount Vernon. The Railsplitters' attempt to win their second Federation championship in four years ended last night with a 62-60 loss to Mount Vernon at the Civic Center. Lincoln led by 11 points early in the fourth quarter but couldn't hold on - literally. The Railsplitters had their chances but turned the ball over too much during crunch time. Their two most costly mistakes came with just seconds left. After Mount Vernon's Mike Coburn missed two free throws with :08 to go, Lincoln had a chance to tie it or take the lead, but freshman Lance Stephenson threw a wild outlet pass, pulling teammate Nick Leon out of bounds. After two more missed free throws by Mount Vernon, Kevin Menner had a chance to hit the tying or winning shot, but he lost his grip on the ball just beyond the three-point arc. The ball was rolling on the court as the final buzzer sounded. "Their defense was killing us," Menner said. "We couldn't get the ball down the court." Menner finished with 20 points, Leon had 12 and Devon Peterson finished with 10. Stephenson, who many feel will follow in the footsteps of former Lincoln guards Sebastian Telfair and Stephon Marbury, had just five points. The state's Mr. Basketball, Jonathan Mitchell, scored 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Mount Vernon, which won its second state title in three years. Coburn also had 16 points, including 13 in the second half. David Clark scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Lincoln had advanced to the title game by beating CHSAA city champion Rice in Friday's semifinal and appeared headed to a championship through most of last night's game. The Railsplitters trailed 15-13 after the first quarter but led 31-23 at the half. Menner started the third quarter with a thunderous dunk that put Lincoln up by 10. Lincoln was up 49-39 going into the fourth quarter, but Mount Vernon quickly got Continue Reading

Lincoln Awards military honors broadcast will have a Brian Williams retreat; Taylor Swift vid sets record

Here’s another military site where Brian Williams won’t be seen: the Lincoln Awards Friday night on PBS. The longtime “NBC Nightly News Anchor” hosted January’s live taping of the awards, which honor people who help military veterans and their families, before NBC socked him with a six-month suspension for lying about his experiences in war zones. When the awards air at 9 p.m., Williams will be edited out and replaced with a taped introduction from First Lady Michelle Obama. Cappy McGarr, co-founder of the awards, said Williams voluntarily bowed out because he didn’t want to be a distraction. That may have been especially hard for him because the honorees include Bruce Springsteen, of whom Williams is a monster fan. The show was taped a month before Williams became the center of a media scandal for allegedly misrepresenting several situations on which he reported. Among other things, he said he came under combat fire when he did not. NBC has not said what will happen when Williams’ unpaid suspension ends. Lester Holt has been filling in as “Nightly News” anchor and remains locked in a tight ratings race with David Muir’s “World News Tonight” on ABC. Other stars to appear on the Lincoln Awards include Nick Jonas, Gavin DeGraw and Jerry Lewis. ‘BAD BLOOD’ IN BIG CIRCULATION Well, that sure was swift. Taylor Swift set a world record for the most views of a video on Vevo in 24 hours, after her star-filled action-movie-inspired clip for “Bad Blood” was seen 20.1 million times after it hit the streaming site. Meanwhile, the singer performed in Bossier, La., as part of her “1989” tour on Wednesday. JAKE’S CANNES-DO SPIRIT Not even the Cannes Film Festival came between Jake Gyllenhaal and his Calvins. We’re told that “Jake was surrounded by beautiful women all night at the Calvin Klein Celebrates Continue Reading

Seton Hall falls to Marquette in Big East Tournament, 78-56

Once the city’s best schoolboy player, Seton Hall freshman Isaiah Whitehead sat inside a Garden locker room after his Pirates lost to Marquette by 22 points in the Big East tourney’s opening round Wednesday night. He leaned his head back. “They just jumped out on us,” Whitehead said. No. 9 Marquette (13-18) ran all over No. 8 Seton Hall (16-15), too. If it wasn’t Golden Eagles guard Matt Carlino knocking down eight 3-pointers then it was center Luke Fischer pounding the Pirates inside. Carlino finished with 26 points as he curled off screens and leaned into shots, leaving the Pirates looking for ways to better track him. Inside Seton Hall’s locker room, there was one note that doubled as an epitaph for the 78-56 defeat scrawled on the grease board: “3’s.” “That was about as well as we can play,” Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “It’s the healthiest we’ve been.” Whitehead, a McDonald’s All-American at Lincoln High last year, looked far from comfortable in the white home jersey, playing for a team counting the minutes until season’s end. He led the Pirates with 12 points, but they came in the final humiliation of a stretch that saw the Pirates’ ship go from smooth sailing with a 12-2 start to nearly capsizing. Included in the rough waters was guard Jaren Sina’s leaving the team and Sterling Gibbs’ suspension for striking a Villanova point guard. “We just kind of took success for granted,” Whitehead said. “We got ahead of ourselves, started feeling ourselves.” Marquette will have a quick turnaround with top-seeded Villanova up next at noon Thursday. Golden Eagles fans chanted, “We Want Nova!” in the final minutes. “We’ve got 15 hours,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s gonna be a darned good 15 hours.” Whitehead and Continue Reading


THE MATCHUP between Lincoln's Lance Stephenson and Demetrius Walker of Fontana, Calif., High was supposed to be one of the marquee events of the Basketball City Shootout at Iona College last night. Ball Firm, Inc., which organized the tournament and paid thousands of dollars to fly Fontana in, printed flyers promoting Walker as the No. 1 freshman in the country and Stephenson as No. 2. Only one thing was missing: Walker. He sat out last night's game with a pulled hamstring and Lincoln won easily, 71-42. Stephenson held up his end of the deal, scoring 16 points on 8-for-10 shooting in just 21 minutes. Lincoln coach Dwayne Morton was disappointed to see Walker sitting on the bench in jeans and a multiteam NBA jacket. "That's terrible," said Morton, who did not appear to be enjoying himself during the rout. "The tournament should have found out earlier and replaced them." Fontana coach Mark Soderberg said he told tournament organizers that Walker wouldn't be able to play early last week. Soderberg - who called his team "very average" without Walker - even offered to back out of the tournament but was told it was too late. Stephenson, touted as the next big thing from Lincoln, the school that produced Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair, was disappointed, too. "I wanted to play against him," Stephenson said. "I heard he's really good." RICE 72, SOUTH OAK CLIFF (Tex.) 55: Edgar Sosa led Rice with 23 points and Curtis Kelly scored 17. Darrell Arthur, considered one of the best unsigned seniors in the country, scored 25 points for South Oak Cliff, Dennis Rodman's old school. IONA PREP 52, SCARSDALE 48: Tom McGrath and Franklyn Dunn each scored 12 points to lead the Gaels. WHITE PLAINS 55, ALL HALLOWS 53: Rishawn Crawford led White Plains with 12 points, Sean Kilpatrick scored 11 and David Boykin added 10. Beijon Warrington paced All Hallows with 14 points. NIAGARA FALLS 84, NEW ROCHELLE 59: The defending state champs were led by Jonathan Flynn, Continue Reading

Eats Beat: Cheers NY will showcase the state’s beer, wine and spirits; watch for the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

New to the scene. . . This fall, get ready to go local. The Daily News has exclusively learned that the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and the Empire State Development’s Taste NY will launch a weekend-long celebration of the state’s wine, beer, spirits and cider. “Cheers NY” will come to Industry City in Sunset Park on Oct. 2-4. At the two-day festival, open to the public, visitors will sample wares from the growing ranks of local producers, as well as regions across the state, including the Finger Lakes and Long Island. Still in the planning stages, the event likely will be include nominal fees for sampling drinks and locally-made food. To coincide with the festival, the Brooklyn chamber will promote the borough, which now has about 40 local beverage producers. In the works: guides to Brooklyn wine-and-spirits trails. Union Square’s Breads Bakery is growing. They just opened a kiosk at Bryant Park, open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day. For sale: babka, rugelach, olive sticks & baguettes, as well as sandwiches and salads. This fall, Breads Bakery plans to open another shop at 1890 Broadway, across from Lincoln Center. There’s a new reason to visit the popular Happiest Hour bar and restaurant in the West Village. Slowly Shirley (121 W. 10th St.) has just opened in the basement, serving cocktails in an Art Deco space designed to evoke Hollywood’s Golden Age. The bar menu will focus on variations of classic cocktails, like the old-fashioned, martini and Manhattan, and show how they’ve spawned other variations over the years. Slowly Shirley will serve some dishes from The Happiest Hour upstairs, but also additional bar fare like charcuterie plates. Tic Tac has taken a page from the Willy Wonka playbook and developed flavor-changing Mixers ($1.39). Two flavors will hit store shelves in late June: a peach that transitions Continue Reading