For five years, Kenneth Creighton was held in jail
, suspected of involvement in the killing of a bystander outside a bodega in the Bronx. In 2012, the charges were dropped. Mr. Creighton was released from Rikers Island. He has since filed a lawsuit against New York City for false arrest and malicious prosecution, and has sought the name of his accuser — a man who told the police that he had seen Mr. Creighton hand a gun to his brother, Dior, who was charged in the shooting.
The New York Review of Books recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding (previously
), growing out of an alliance between Harpers editor Robert Silvers and writer Elizabeth Hardwick to find a place for what she called "the unusual, the difficult, the lengthy, the intransigent, and above all, the interesting."
Known as the New York Review or the NYRB, it is also known to fans as the best magazine in the world. Next Monday, HBO will air The 50-Year Argument
, a documentary by Martin Scorsese about the history of the magazine and what makes it special. [more inside]
There once was a time when your working knowledge of, say, Junot Diaz or Radiohead was all you needed to show some conversational with-it-ness. Now, though? Restaurants - the currency of the young and cash-strapped - are the key to the cultural kingdom.
Lou Reed's New York
LP hit the quarter-century mark earlier this year. "Meant to be listened to in one 58-minute sitting as though it were a book or a movie," New York
couples an unusually accessible rock style with some of most topical lyrics of Lou's career. "Protesting, elegizing, carping, waxing sarcastic, forcing jokes, stating facts, garbling what he just read in the Times, free-associating to doomsday, Lou carries on a New York conversation--all that's missing is a disquisition on real estate." - Robert Christgau
Get caught between the twisted stars, the plotted lines, the faulty map that brought Columbus to New York. [more inside]
Jonathan Novick gives us a bit of his background and shows us a day in his life
as an achondroplastic dwarf
living in New York City.
I have one great party trick. Anytime someone asks me if I’ve ever come across something really cool while working in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab, I tell them about the time we had what looked like footage of a Boy Scout camp and then the Boy Scouts raised a Nazi flag along with the red, white, and blue.
Audrey Amidon, of the (US) National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab, tells the story of that time they found 1937 film footage of an upstate New York nazi youth summer camp
Bill de Blasio has reduced the use of stop-and-frisk, but he still supports the kind of policing that led to Eric Garner’s death.
New York City cops are fuming. On Tuesday, union officials gathered to publicly denounce
“police haters” and defend the conduct of police officers involved in the apprehension of Eric Garner
, a Staten Island man who was killed while being placed under arrest for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes. Last week, the state medical examiner’s office said
Garner died as a result of being put in a chokehold — a tactic banned by the New York Police Department. [more inside]
Full Doc - 1:16:27 - slyt:
"Paris Is Burning is a 1990 documentary film directed by Jennie Livingston. Filmed in the mid-to-late 1980s, it chronicles the ball culture of New York City and the African American, Latino, gay and transgender communities involved in it. Many members of the ball culture community consider Paris Is Burning to be an invaluable documentary of the end of the "Golden Age" of New York City drag balls, as well as a thoughtful exploration of race, class, and gender in America."
"When anything had to be changed or repaired, it appeared to pain him physically. For twenty years the bar sagged in the middle like a plough mule’s back. A carpenter warned him repeatedly that it was about to collapse; finally, in 1933, he told the carpenter to go ahead and prop it up. While the work was in progress he sat at a table in the back room with his head in his hands and got so upset he could not eat for several days." A history of McSorley's Old Ale House
from the 1940 issue of The New Yorker.
Keen to win the contract to supply The State of New York with office supplies, Staples offered to supply many expensive items at one cent apiece, on the theory that profits on the sales of full-priced items would cover the losses on the one cent stuff. Um...not exactly.
A "pulled-back subpoena was the most flagrant example of how the commission, established with great ceremony by Mr. Cuomo in July 2013, was hobbled almost from the outset by demands from the governor’s office.
" (SLNYT, ~6800 words)
NPR's Planet Money
explains the history of the sales tax in the United States by tracing what kinds of sandwiches get taxed and why: How the Burrito Became a Sandwich
. Bonus: In-N-Out Burger history in the podcast.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has called for changing the admissions criteria of NYC's elite high schools
, arguing that relying solely on a single exam (the SHSAT
) "creates a “rich-get-richer” dynamic that benefits the wealthy, who can afford expensive test prep. However, the reality is just the opposite. It’s not affluent whites, but rather the city’s burgeoning population of Asian-American immigrants — a group that, despite its successes, remains disproportionately poor and working-class — whose children have aced the exam in overwhelming numbers." [more inside]
All the Buildings in New York.
James Gulliver Hancock, an Australian illustrator living in Astoria, draws buildings in New York City. Lots and lots of buildings
. (NYTimes interview
-- more press
) [more inside]
The expensive consequences of New York City’s heavy-handed approach to policing protest have been on display lately. In December, the city finally settled most of the lawsuits stemming from its mass arrest of protesters during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Earlier this month, falsely arrested Occupy Wall Street protesters announced the largest settlement yet between participants and the powers that be, with the city poised to shell out nearly $600,000 in damages. NYC already paid $350,000 last year to settle a suit over its destruction of media equipment and Occupy’s library during the 2011 eviction of Zuccotti Park, $82,500 this past December to settle an Occupier’s suit claiming that police beat him up across the span of three arrests, and $50,000 the month before to settle a suit by people arrested on suspicion that they might later attend a protest.
Nick Pinto reports on the consequences for New York of the heavy handed police approach to e.g. the Occupy Wallstreet movement
"[S]tock jobbers[,]... confidence men,... an impecunious transportation entity", politicos, judges, scoundrels and Jackie O.: the near-death of Grand Central Terminal, and how it foretold the 2008 financial crisis
. [sl Harper's]
The other night I was on the train
coming home and there was this young girl with three young children, and she had a container of milk, and I heard the middle child of the three ask, "Mom, can I have some milk?" and the mother said, "No, you know we need it for the baby." And I remembered feeling like that.
Designer Adam Chang
rode New York's trains for 20 hours, using 9 swipes to visit 118 stations, to bring you the NY Train Project.
Amos Barshad of Grantland talks to
Darcy Frey and the basketball players
featured in the classic book The Last Shot
20 years after the book's release.
Memories of a Bette Midler Message Board Childhood
: Reminiscences from the early days of talking to strangers online.
The New York City Rescue Mission set up a social experiment with a hidden camera to see if people would notice their loved ones posing as homeless people
as they walked past. [more inside]
The US is a little closer to a popular vote for president. Governor Cuomo added New York State
to the National Popular Vote
interstate compact. [more inside]
What does the yellow light mean?"
"What... does... the... yellow... light... mean?"
"Whaaaaaat... dooooeeees... theeeee... yeeeelllllllllllooowwww... liiiiight... meeeeeeaaaaan?"
"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat…." [more inside]
Increasing the accessibility
of cultural capital
: "In New York, a place whose cultural institutions attract people from around the world, there are residents who not only have never visited those institutions but also some who have never even been uptown."
The Jon Spenser Blues Explosion was (is) a groundbreaking rock and roll band
(not a blues band) well known for its live performances. Not much video footage
of their concerts
is extant, but this performance on an Australian TV show in 1994 is pretty typical
, if the word "typical" is suitable for someone trying to incite a riot. [more inside]
Ten years ago, photographers James and Karla Murray
released the book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York."
In it, they documented the facades of the rapidly disappearing mom-and-pop businesses of New York City. Now they've revisited some of the same spots.
A Complete Guide to New York City Pizza Styles
Although New York City has long had a clearly defined and ubiquitous style of pizza, the city's appetite for the dish knows no bounds. While New Yorkers can certainly be parochial and protective of their home slice, they can also be open and accepting of different pizza points of view. Here is a look at the predominant forms of pizza found in New York City with information about how they developed over the years, and a glimpse at some of the more eclectic and disparate variations on the theme.
The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free
, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page
and downloaded through their Map Warper
. (Via) [more inside]
"In the early 1970s, arson became a spectacular growth industry. Buildings throughout the borough were burned intentionally in an effort to recoup much of their lost value. In 1976 Roger Starr, city housing commissioner, later New York Times urban affairs editor, proposed a plan he called “Planned Shrinkage.” The city, he said, is divided into neighborhoods that were “productive” and others that were “unproductive,” a drag on the tax base. We have to eliminate the unproductive. This meant to “stop the Puerto Ricans and rural blacks from living in the city.” If we turn off water, electricity, sanitation, and stop making repairs when systems break, we can drive the unproductive out. In the past, the urban system took “ the peasant . . . and [turned him] into an industrial worker.” But now “there are no industrial jobs,” and it is our task to “keep [this man] a peasant.” We must “reverse the role of the city” as a world-historical force. " -- Marxist philosopher and lifelong Bronx resident Marshall Berman, who sadly passed away last year talks about the attempted urbicide of the South Bronx and how it rose up again from it
in his last public lecture at the City College of New York
I've seen a lot of great bands play public transportation, and TOO MANY ZOOZ is the cream of the crop.
"Liquid Sky is one of the most visually ambitious films ever made about fashion, heroin, New Wave clubs, UFO saucers, ordering Chinese food and having them put it on your tab, the Empire State Building, androgyny, neon and tin foil. The 1982 cult classic may be the perfect embodiment of camp. "
The Awl talks to the director of the film about his plans for a sequel.
In 1975, Mel Brooks was riding high on the back-to-back successes of Blazing Saddles
and Young Frankenstein,
and he became the first person to be interviewed twice by Playboy Magazine
"I’ve been thinking about the art of looking. The importance of focusing and what we see. This past March I bought a pair of Giorgio Armani frames in Geneva, classic per usual, and I decided to put them in front of the frame. To see what I see. To show you a day in New York through my lens…" [more inside]
How an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway.
"The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel was sealed in 1861, shortly after Brooklyn banned steam locomotives within city limits. Legend has it that the tunnel was reopened in the 1920s when it was used for mushroom growing and bootlegging, and in the 1940s when the FBI opened it looking for Nazis. But soon after, it was lost. In the 1950s two historians attempted to find it and failed."