What I Pledge Allegiance To. "I am a black Mississippian. I am a black American. I pledge to never be passive, patriotic, or grateful in the face of American abuse. I pledge to always thoughtfully bite the self-righteous American hand that thinks it’s feeding us. I pledge to perpetually reckon with the possibility that there will never be any liberty, peace, and justice for all unless we accept that America, like Mississippi, is not clean. Nor is it great. Nor is it innocent." -- Author Kiese Laymon, Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi [more inside]
Wandering New York is a blog where amateur photographer Joseph Raskin posts new photos of various New York City neighborhoods every night.
Siddhartha Mukherjee's latest New Yorker article "Same but different: How epigenetics can blur the line between nature and nurture" has attracted searing criticism from heavyweight researchers in the field. Mukherjee responds but doesn't retract...
Queer Theatre at La MaMa (1962-1980): This exhibit, which was created by Pooja Desai, a student in NYU’s Program in Archives/Public history, looks at theatrical experiments from La MaMa’s early years (1962-1980) through a queer lens. Using objects from La MaMa’s Archives, Desai reconstructs a history of the plays, production companies, playwrights, and directors who presented work on La MaMa’s stages that either reflected a “queer sensibility” or were relevant to queer/trans/LGBTQA audiences.
The New York Public Library has digitized the diary of one Elizabeth De Hart Bleecker as part of their Early American Manuscripts Project. Bleecker wrote about her life in New York City for seven years, beginning in 1799 when she was eighteen years old and ending in 1806.
The BBC teams up with the Orkestra Obsolete on the anniversary of New Order's Blue Monday to find out what it would sound like played on a diddley bow, hammered dulcimer, harmonium, zither, musical saw, and singing glasses.
Starting on March 24, 2016, long-running historic house restoration public television show This Old House will begin a 10-episode arc with something completely new -- a brand new pre-constructed, energy-efficient house modeled after other Massachusetts North Shore houses from the late 1700s. A video preview of the project [2m5s]
A few weeks earlier, the male elders of their caste had decreed that village women working at nearby meat-processing factories should leave their jobs. The reason they gave was that women at home would be better protected from the sexual advances of outside men. A bigger issue lay beneath the surface: The women’s earnings had begun to undermine the old order. It came as a surprise when seven of the women, who had come to rely on the daily wage of 200 rupees, about $3, refused to stop. The women would have to, the men said, blocking the lane with their bodies. They did not expect the women to go to the police. (SLNYTimes). [more inside]
Gay City News profiles Robert Woodworth, on his retirement after thirty-two years at New York’s LGBT Community Center.
Time writer Jessica Lamb-Shapiro warns that New Year's resolutions are a bad idea. The statistics are bleak: only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them, and those who don’t usually abandon them after just one week. Unrealistic resolutions are fated to fail. And it is unrealistic to think that you can immediately overcome a habit you have spent years establishing. But is this necessarily harmful? There’s a good chance that it is. [more inside]
Hip Hop is evolving, take a look at Raury he's 18 and his work so far draws on on Gospel, Hip Hop, alt folk, Rap and Freakfolk Raury is a free-spirited singer, rapper, guitarist, songwriter, and producer who was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, roughly 20 miles outside Atlanta. He mixes alternative folk, rap, and electronic music while counting the diverse likes of Chance the Rapper, King Krule, and Lorde as contemporaries. He's a trippy kid who has sort of a "new age poor swamp people" optimistic view on life. It's sort of contagious. Check out this companion track to Devil's Whisper, God's Whisper. it's Beck, The Flaming Lips, Violent Femmes, Kanye, and a little bit Rocky Horror Picture Show! How does it translate to live performance? Check him out on Late Night With Colbert and check out the fun and weird bit on Sway In The Morning as Raury freestyles over Outkast's "Elevators" He's also made some straight out of the 80's stealing from the 70's feel good pop with Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine
A family of bears descends upon a human family's pool in New Jersey. Ok, long time listener...first time poster. Please be kind. This is an eleven minute video of a bear family swimming in an above-ground pool. While the video is great...it is really the audio of the human family, filming from a second floor bedroom,that really makes this special.
Alberto Nisman accused Iran and Argentina of colluding to bury a terrorist attack. Did it get him killed? [more inside]
In May, the New York City Council passed the "School Diversity Accountability Act", which requires the city to "provide detailed demographic data & steps it is taking to advance diversity in NYC schools" and Resolution 453, which calls on the NYC Department of Education to establish diversity as a priority in admissions, zoning, and other decision-making processes. Education advocates are re-drawing district maps, and creating experiments which "range from developing specific diversity quotas for individual schools to redrawing school district lines to better reflect racial and economic diversity." [more inside]
Fred Perry Subculture Films - A series of short films documenting the evolution of street style, music and counter culture over the last 60 years. [more inside]
Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman, recently reported on the state of women in comics. A few comics insiders, such as Ms. Marvel writer and Leia Calderon, took issue with Lepore's claims.
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]
Hozier is plugged into the big thing that connects us all. This is smoking hot. A unique and intelligent singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist who cites James Joyce's Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, Leonard Cohen, John Lee Hooker, and community choral singing among his influences, Hozier (his stage and performing name) was born Andrew Hozier-Byrne on March 17, 1990 in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. [more inside]
When Kirby came to the neighborhood in 1979 she was a community organizer trying to save buildings from abandonment or neglect. Part of her job was begging businesses to re-occupy the empty storefronts along Bedford Avenue, where Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks now pay premium rents. At the end of a long day, Teddy's was her local bar. When dinner time rolled around, Mary and Teddy would lock the door and say, "Watch the place." They'd be back in ten minutes with white bread and bologna for sandwiches.
Porters, Bouncers, and Bartenders, third installment of the amazing Terminal Bar film series. For ten years, Sheldon Nadelman took thousands of black and white photographs while bartending at the Terminal Bar, Times Square's most notorious watering hole of the 1970s. Murray Goldman, the bar's owner since 1957 was Sheldon's father-in-law as well as the filmmaker's grandfather. The Terminal Bar was featured in Martin Scorsese's film Taxi Driver. [more inside]
In less than a decade, The New Deal changed the face of America and laid the foundation for success in World War II and the prosperity of the postwar era – the greatest and fairest epoch in American history. The Living New Deal project inventories, maps and publicizes the achievements of the New Deal and its public works in all 50 states and outlying territories. [more inside]
Meet the people hanging out in Times Square late at night. Over 330,000 people pass through Times Square every day. Here you can see the Times Square eccentrics in the 90s before the corporations took over.
Last week, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project uploaded a YouTube video of Laverne Cox reading a letter written by a New York State inmate named Synthia China Blast, who described living in solitary confinement for the last decade. However, that video has since, at Cox's request, been taken down. (TW: descriptions of murder, sexual violence) [more inside]
808 State is an English electronic group that formed in 1987, and take their name from the Roland TR-808 drum machine and their shared state of mind. As a trio, they produced their iconic track, Pacific, which fused influences of house music, jazz fusion and exotica. The group changed membership a bit over the years, but one way or another 808 State have released six albums* to date, and a number of singles, EPs, and promotional discs. 808state.com has a ton of information, including an extensive visual discography, a list of other productions and remixes, and over a gig of demos, live tracks, and other non-album audio to download. Given the group's 27 year-long history, there's a lot more to see and hear. [more inside]
The New York Times came out today endorsing marijuana legalization. The New York Times’ editorial board on Saturday called on the federal government to legalize marijuana. Citing alcohol prohibition, social costs and states’ movements, the board argued “after a great deal of discussion” that “the balance falls squarely on the side of national legalization.”
Slate's article on the photojournalist Brenda Ann Kenneally's Upstate Girls project article sparks huge internet backlash. Brenda spent ten years documenting the lives of five women in Troy through photography. Slate published an article about the project and then the Facebook comments rolled in. For perspective, take a look at the interview with Brenda about the project and New York Times original showcase of the project.
BBC re-reports: Fifa is facing fresh allegations of corruption over its controversial decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. The Sunday Times has obtained millions of secret documents - emails, letters and bank transfers - which it alleges are proof that the disgraced Qatari football official Mohamed Bin Hammam made payments totalling US$5m (£3m) to football officials in return for their support for the Qatar bid.
No Your City In a city of over 8 million people, it is impossible to walk the streets without running into interesting New Yorkers with unique relationships to the city. Whether it is Don Ward, the best shoe-shiner in Manhattan or Te'Devan the 6'7" Nomadic-Jewish-Healing-Freestyler. Everyone has a story that is worth hearing, but unfortunately most of them go unheard. New York City is the busiest place on earth and it is rare for someone to take a few minutes out of their schedule to stop and chat with a fellow New Yorker. No Your City is an 8-part documentary series that offers a glimpse into the lives of these extraordinary New York City inhabitants. [more inside]
The American Museum of Natural History will unlock thousands of old photos from their vault, they announced this week. The new online image database (officially launching on Monday the 28th) will take you behind the curtain, delivering images that span the 145-year history of the Museum. The collection features over 7,000 images—many never before seen by the public—and includes photos, rare book illustrations, drawings, notes, letters, art, and Museum memorabilia. They say "it’s like stepping into a time machine and seeing a long ago NYC or just catching glimpses of ghosts from a forgotten world now seen only by researchers and Museum staff." Previously. [more inside]
Up Close on Baseball's Borders is a detailed, zoomable interactive map which uses data from Facebook to present the team preferences of baseball fandom in the United States. Around the end of March, Facebook had released a map using the same data which despite being touted as most accurate ever, had significant problems. The most notable of these issues was a colorshift introduced as the main graphic went viral, rendering the map illegible. [more inside]
New York once had a concentration of type foundries near City Hall. "What did they find so vital about this one neighborhood?"
Editta Sherman was a portrait photographer who shot celebrities from Elvis Presley to the young Angela Lansbury to Andy Warhol to Joe DiMaggio to Tilda Swinton. [more inside]
Visiting the Big Apple? "Don't ask a pedestrian where a certain street is. He is usually too busy to stop, and if polite enough to stop, won't know. No New Yorker knows anything about New York." And another kind reminder: "Don't gape at women smoking cigarettes in restaurants. They are harmless and respectable, notwithstanding and nevertheless. They are also smart." Advice from Valentine’s City of New York: A Guide Book, published in 1920. [more inside]
For many students in New York, the approach of spring means getting ready for standardized test season. However, many parents, with the encouragement of their children's teachers and administrators, are opting out. [more inside]
How Silicon Valley Became The Man The Harvard Business Review's Justin Fox interviews Stanford historian Fred Turner about how the New Communalists molded the Valley in their image.
A Speck in the Sea [NYTimes.com]: John Aldridge fell overboard in the middle of the night, 40 miles from shore, and the Coast Guard was looking in the wrong place.
Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
Most Friday nights at 10 PM EST, the guitarist of the New York Dolls hosts a "Rampage of Songs" on the band's Facebook page [more inside]
In 2012 alone, keas were responsible for $425 million in damages and 5 deaths. And while it’s true those statistics aren’t based on real data and that I just made them up, they are nonetheless startling.
Bad Jelly. Trying retro recipes so you don't have to. (Some images involving fruit may be NSFW. )
Robert is a little known artist and long time resident of Franklin New York. In the late nineties, Robert began constructing fantastic stone castles and keeps from native stone, in his small backyard. He has since created amazingly unique works at the homes of several Franklin residents. But, Robert's artistic interests and instincts go way beyond his stonework in ways that are surprising and very enlightening.
The Talk Shop is the world's first conversation salon. An artist opened up a space in Manhattan where patrons spin a conversation wheel to talk with total strangers.