Bobby Scotto, a fourth grader at the Children’s Workshop School on 12th Street in the East Village, wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up, and he is already off to a good start. In the past few months he has excavated dozens of old coins, a toy watch and other artifacts, all from an unlikely dig site: his classroom’s closet.
One World Trade Center's new Observatory (Go Pro/YouTube) (SLYT)
But as the city transformed into an exceedingly safe and exceedingly expensive place to live over the past two decades, it’s not only the crime and the pervasive decay that have fallen away, but the close proximity, creating a social commute that echoes and exacerbates a work commute that, at more than six hours a week, is the longest in the nation. People have always traveled to see their friends, of course, but rarely has it been so frequent or far to qualify as a commuteThe Social Commute: How the Big Schlep Is Changing the Way New Yorkers Live
"To all these ends, the third- , fourth- , and fifth-graders at Lower were to be divided once a week for five weeks into small groups according to their race. In 45-minute sessions, children would talk about what it was like to be a member of that race; they would discuss what they had in common with each other and how they were different, how other people perceived them, rightly or wrongly, based on appearance. Disinhibited by the company of racially different peers, the children would, the school hoped, feel free to raise questions and make observations that in mixed company might be considered impolite. The bigger goal was to initiate a cultural upheaval, one that would finally give students of color a sense of equal ownership in the community. Once the smaller race groups had broken up, the children would gather in a mixed-race setting to share, and discuss, the insights they had gained."
The story of one private school's attempt to teach children about race and the reactions of the parents and children involved in the pilot year.
The story of one private school's attempt to teach children about race and the reactions of the parents and children involved in the pilot year.
Building the Moroccan Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art [slyt, 17m44s] "In 2011, The Metropolitan Museum of Art opened the New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, which house the Museum's renowned collection of Islamic art. A vital part of the installation was the Patti Cadby Birch Court, a Moroccan court built by a team of experts—from curators and historians to designers and craftsmen—over many months.... This video documents a marvelous journey from Fez to New York, and the creation of a twenty-first-century court using traditional fifteenth-century methods."
Eavesdropping on the population has revealed many saying “I’m not doing anything wrong so who cares if the NSA tracks what I say and do?”[more inside]
Citizens don’t seem to mind this monitoring, so we’re hiding recorders in public places in hopes of gathering information to help win the war on terror. We've started with NYC as a pilot program, but hope to roll the initiative out all across The Homeland.
"With jukeboxes now Internet-enabled and app-accessible to vast song libraries, it’s possible to create a visual map of the tunes New Yorkers seek out, by location."
"They don’t know — here he lowers his voice — that even if they get the money and they left, they could always come back. They don’t know that part. And it’s so scary sometimes because they could come up in the middle of construction and say, “It’s my property, I didn’t understand what I was signing, and I want to come back.” -- DW Gibson interviews a Brooklyn landlord about how they push poor black residents out in favor of affluent whites.
Museum Bot tweets a random high-res Open Access image from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, four times a day. From the fertile mind of Darius Kazemi.
It's common to frame ecology as a science that gets practiced in wild, untraveled areas. But cities have an ecology all their own, and the design of a given city contributes to the diversity of animals that make their homes there. Rats are particularly good at navigating cities, but other species might have a tougher time getting around.
"In some quarters, the scorn that New Yorkers once piled on Los Angeles is now sounding like envy." (SLNYT) "Indeed, Los Angeles has seemingly become the flight fantasy of choice for the likes of Ms. Turner, who insists that anything good she was giving up in overpriced, overstressed Brooklyn is already in place on the booming east side of Los Angeles: the in-season Zambian coffee outposts, the galleries, the vintage clothing boutiques."
The 1964 NYC World's Fair. Period photos. Then and now. What remains. Video of the Futurama II ride. Stock footage at the Fair. NBC's ' A World's Fair Diary'.
A New Whitney It has been interesting to watch the High Line progress from nothing more than a dream to its current wonderful reality mixing green, gleam and grit. Jason's early unauthorized foray introduced many around these parts to the High Line. Now the Whitney moves in.
Journalist Felix Salmon brings us up to speed on the increasingly strange and complicated saga of The Cooper Union School For The Advancement Of Science And Art, one of the last historically free schools in the US for Art, Architecture and Engineering, which may be brought down by shameless trustees, incompetent management, the State Attorney General, or pure greed. (Cooper Union charging tuition previously. Cooper Union students occupying the president's office previously)
On February 1, 1968, the Penn Central railroad was created by the merger of the two largest railroads in the eastern United States, the Pennsylvania Railroad, long lauded as the "Standard Railroad of the World", and the New York Central Railroad, long famous for its passenger trains such as the 20th Century Limited, with its Dreyfuss-designed Hudson locomotives. [more inside]
The Ghost Of Grindr "On Wednesday Michael Musto has an item in his column that reads “We’ve all met someone online with attractive photos who then shows up at your door looking like something from Night of the Living Dead, but rumors are growing amongst app-happy gays of a real life ‘ghost trick’ who shows up at your apartment via Grindr, then vanishes into thin air (shady!). I don’t know what to think of this urban legend-y tale, but shaken witnesses are sticking by their stories, and police have been involved in a few incidents, so be careful out there, boys (and ghouls).”
A Guinness World Record Diary: Dr. Strangeline, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying About the Amateur New York Subway Riding Committee and Love the MTA
Twenty Questions for Women in Construction was a series of blog posts about female construction workers in NYC which ran on Huffington Post in 2013. Kicking off the series was the article A Day in the Life of a Woman in Construction by Ana Taveras. Many of the respondents to the Twenty Questions series are graduates of Nontraditional Employment for Women. [more inside]
Why Do Severed Goat Heads Keep Turning Up in Brooklyn? (Some may find the pictures at this link disturbing.) [more inside]
When the late Lauren Bacall's long time apartment at the Dakota was listed for $26 million in November, the photos accompanying the listing were drab, showing the apartment after it had been stripped of nearly all of the actress's possessions - new photos from the upcoming Bonham's auction show how the three bedroom apartment looked during the 50-odd years Bacall lived there.
Odd Drinks To Be Had.
Here, from the December 26, 1893, issue of the New York Sun, is an article about the various drinking establishments of Lower Manhattan, from the Battery up to about 28th Street. Be aware, some of the ethnic attitudes expressed in this piece are very much of their time. You’ll also note peculiarities of style and spelling; those are all in the original.
The Urban Institute has released (PDF) the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter.
Essentially two-hand-touch taken to bloodsport level, with two 25-minute halves, a mostly running clock, and referees to nominally control the mayhem, it's the closest these weekend warriors will come to professional sport, though many are high-caliber athletes.
What Does the Internet Look Like? The Gothamist takes artist and writer Ingrid Burrington's field guide to New York City's internet infrastructure, which you too can go out and buy for that special someone in your life.
Writer John Reed remembers growing up as a kid in New York in the 1970s, when his mother, artist Judy Rifka, was friends with queer artists like Keith Haring, Jean Michel Basquiat and David Wojnarowicz, under the lurking presence of AIDS.
"The global elite is basically looking for a safe-deposit box." Last July, NYMag published a lengthy piece on rich foreigners hiding hard-to-track money in NYC Real Estate (prev) This weekend, the NYTimes began publishing on "Towers of Secrecy" with the first in several deeply-researched pieces on the very rich, very shady figures buying high-end real estate in Manhattan: Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate. [more inside]
The Kiss of Desperation: A Disgusting Practice Vanishes With the Token/A Lewis Grizzard take on the subject from 1991
"All in all he "shot over 1,900 hours of tape over a period of seven years, capturing himself and his friends in the glossy façade of Manhattan's downtown life... He sought to tape all of New York's citizens, including its outcasts, striving to candidly capture their lives. He taped anything and everything that interested him—outrageous performances in bars and clubs, swinging house parties, chaotic gallery openings, park and street festivals, late-night ruminations of his friends, absurd conversations with taxi drivers, prosaic sunset walks with his dog on the then-still-existing west side piers." Sullivan died of a heart attack in 1989, just as he was preparing to produce his own cable television show." -- Nelson Sullivan's New York City.
The much esteemed eight-part history of New York City "New York: A Documentary Film" is available. (approximate length 17 hrs. 30 min.) [more inside]
Imagine leaning out of an open door of a helicopter 7,500 feet over New York City on a very dark and chilly night... (making of)
Restaurant Review: Kappo Masa on the Upper East Side: The cost of eating at Kappo Masa is so brutally, illogically, relentlessly high, and so out of proportion to any pleasure you may get, that large numbers start to seem like uninvited and poorly behaved guests at the table. [more inside]
43 ways NYC changed under Mayor de Blaiso (nymag.com)
Len Berk, 84 years young, is The Last Jewish Lox Slicer at Zabar's.
The Founding Fathers [1hr25min] "unsung DJ's who contributed to the foundational principals of the music known today as Hip Hop. This documentary transports you to a journey back to the early underground disco days of the streets and parks throughout New York City." Narrated by Chuck D, with plenty of primary interviews and slammin' beats.
This past Sunday, Café Edison, affectionately known as the Polish Tea Room, served its last bowl of matzos ball soup and shuttered. [more inside]
For the first time since 2011, two NYPD officers have been killed in the line of duty; PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos were shot, execution style, while sitting in their patrol car yesterday afternoon in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The suspect, who shot himself at a subway station nearby, had allegedly shot his girlfriend in Maryland yesterday morning, before posting on social media that he was going to kill cops in retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Pat Lynch, the president of the largest police union in New York City — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has blamed Mayor de Blasio for the murders, and the New York City police officers, already angry with the mayor for his comments about police violence, last night turned their backs on the mayor as he entered the police press conference to address the shooting deaths of two officers in Brooklyn.
Inside Seguine Mansion, Staten Island's Eccentric Historic Home Burke lives in the Seguine Mansion on the southern tip of Staten Island, and unlike most [Historic Home caretakers] he has full access to the mansion, which is filled with his own collection of antique art and furniture. He throws three lavish parties each year: an all-white Spring garden party, a period-costume Fall BBQ, and a black tie Christmas party. His best friend, a doberman named Rusty, can sit on any piece of furniture he wants, from a 19th century French wingback sofa to the Chippendale dining set. Why can Burke do all that? The short answer: it’s his house. Or at least, it kind of is.
One Year Lease is an 11 minute film that was featured at the Tribeca Film Festival documenting almost entirely through voice mail messages, One Year Lease documents the travails of Brian, Thomas, and Casper as they endure a year-long sentence with Rita, the cat-loving landlady. "
From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
Last night, a 28 year old man named Akai Gurley was shot to death in a stairwell by an NYPD officer who was patrolling the Pink Houses in East New York. Gurley and his girlfriend had decided to take the stairs because the elevator was taking too long. Police Commissioner Bratton said today that the victim was “a total innocent” and called the shooting "an unfortunate accident." [more inside]
In a broad sense, you could call it the NYC rock revival, or resurgence, or early-’00s rock boom, or something. At the time, garage-rock revival, retro-rock revival, post-punk revival, and dance-punk were all monikers used liberally, and all were things that fell under the larger umbrella of the movement. As you’ll see from the list below, there were permutations within this, but generally speaking, music history remembers this in some broader terms: a youthful, stylish brand of rock music, with a carefully manicured sense of brooding, and musical touchstones that could basically be summed up by the Velvet Underground and Joy Division and the Ramones and a few other names, primarily from the late ’70s and early ’80s. There was, of course, sometimes much more to it than that, and sometimes not. In a more cynical approach, you could look at this era as the time when a few rich kids co-opted alternative cultures of the past and brought them to masses in a slightly sleeker box.
Hollaback and Why Everyone Needs Better Research Methods (And Why All Data Needs Theory), by Zeynep Tufekci:
I’ve taught "introduction to research methods" to undergraduate students for many years, and they would sometimes ask me why they should care about all this "method stuff", besides having a required class for a sociology major out of the way. I would always tell them, without understanding research methods, you cannot understand how to judge what you see.[more inside]
The Hollaback video shows us exactly why.
How many rats are there in New York? A new study reports the number may not be the previously estimated twice as many rats as people . Where did the wildly inflated numbers come from? Snopes has the scoop. Don't worry, you can still enjoy the Interactive NYC Rat Map.
So wait, there's a band with Jim Jarmusch on keys and a bunch of experimental Horror film directors that released a record in the early 80s of spooky surf-funk and you're NOT listening to it today? Get on it y'all. It's the story of The Del-Byzanteens. [more inside]