The city is a fountain that never stops: it generates its energy from the human interactions that take place in it. Unfortunately, we’re getting to a point where many of New York’s citizens have been excluded from this equation for too long. David Byrne comments on New York's hospitability to creative types.
On September 20, 1956, just before the bars closed at 3 a.m., a single-engine plane landed on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street in northern Manhattan. Behind the stick was 26-year-old Tommy Fiztpatrick, who pulled off the no-lights, no-radio "feat of aeronautics" while (allegedly) drunk to (allegedly) win a bar bet. Two years later, when a fellow patron called his story into question, Fitzpatrick did it again.
"I've been described as being a pioneer. Am I a pioneer? ... Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. I don't mind one way or the other." Saul Leiter was born in 1923 in Pittsburgh; at 23 he left theology school and headed to New York to become an artist. He worked in both painting and photography, finding early support for his black-and-white photos in an 1953 MoMA show. He settled into an East Village apartment and did fashion photography to support himself. But on his own time, on the sidewalks of NYC, he developed a lyrical and painterly personal style of color street photography that's now seen as both masterly and very ahead of its time. In his twilight years he saw a new appreciation for his work, with books and a new documentary film, which had its New York debut on Nov. 16. Saul Leiter passed away last night in New York City at age 89. (Previously on Mefi.)
Numerous "Stranger's Guides" written for 19th Century tourists can be found on the Internet Archive. A sample: New York (1828). Boston (1857). Washington DC (1884). Montreal (1872). London (1828). Paris (1822). United States and Canada (1838).
My Life as a Young Thug (Mike Tyson, for New York magazine)
It's the ultimate gamble. If the young man is successful, he comes home a hero, and becomes important. His life has meaning and purpose. But in order to succeed, he must first completely open up his soul to the consequences of failure, knowing there may be no way back out. This, above all else, is the hardest thing to do. 20 Minutes at Rucker Park.
Last Saturday this guy was selling canvases of "spray art" from a Central Park sidewalk stall for 60 bucks each. He sold seven of them. [more inside]
NY 41×41 is a very cool Infinite Zoom Illusion Video of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue created by Paul Trillo. [via] [more inside]
"In a bizarre case involving threats of kidnapping, beatings and physical torture — including the use of an electric cattle prod— two rabbis were charged in New Jersey on Wednesday in a scheme to force men to grant their wives religious divorces." [more inside]
Johnny T’s NYC Tourist Tips (slyt)
Last week, Improv Everywhere set up the ACJW Ensemble Orchestra (of Carnegie Hall and The Juilliard School) in Herald Square in New York City and placed an empty podium in front of the musicians with a sign that read, "Conduct Us." [more inside]
Bill de Blasio’s win in New York’s Democratic primary isn’t a local story. It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.
The story of Frederick Law Olmsted's 'Greensward Plan' for New York's Central Park. "From the NASA space shuttle, Central Park is visible to the naked eye as a bright emerald bar on the fat knuckle of Manhattan... If an astronaut were to plunge by re-entry capsule into the heart of the park, she could never be more than around 400 metres from the urban roar of a city of more than 8 million people densely packed. And yet, wandering the labyrinthine paths of the Ramble, surrounded by thick woodland, rocky headlands, rivulets and little stone bridges that cross ravines, she would neither hear nor see the metropolis. This is a miracle."
How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
British market-research firm Ipsos Mori has released the results of "The largest ever global study of the best city to do business in, live in, and visit." Interactive data here, more info here.
By now, the story is well known. A man sits in the backseat of a cab, sketching on a notepad as night falls over a crumbling city. He scribbles the letter I. He draws a heart. And then an N, and then a Y. Right away he knows he’s got something. This is it, he thinks. This is the campaign. The man was a designer named Milton Glaser. The city was New York. The year was 1977. [more inside]
As Thomas Pynchon's new novel Bleeding Edge's Sept. 17th release date approaches, New York Magazine's Vulture blog offers a capsule biography of the man. (SLVulture) [more inside]
Movin' On Up: A skewed history of New York City as depicted by the opening themes of 1970s TV shows
"Growing up in New York City has a lesser known side effect for those of us who were raised here. We grew up in a tourist attraction... [When] you’re from New York, the city is never a faraway place filled with Woody Allens and Notorious BIGs. It’s simply... here. But that here is increasingly there."
NYC Grid is hosting a neat photo-series which lets you slide back and forth between images of New York today and a similar shot from the early 20th century. [via]
How a Swath of 20-Somethings Have Tuned In to 1920s Pop. New Hot Jazz Is Warming Up(audio link). Looking to catch some live? Check out the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island this weekend, or the New York Hot Jazz Fest on August 25th. [more inside]
Men Who Want AIDS—and How It Improved Their Lives Some homeless people find that having AIDS entitles them to assistance that will allow them to get off the streets. Some are desperate enough to deliberately get infected as they see no other way to get the help they need.
Droning around New York's Cooper Union (a free-tuition school since 1859 - until this year) on OpenStreetMap, I discovered that it really ties the room together. Nearby are the offices of Village Voice news, Kristal's CBGB site, the Anthology Film Archives, Washington Square, Union Square and ... Antonin Dvorak?? Why's a Czech composer a site in Lower Manhattan? Lets do the James Burke ... [more inside]
Looking around the room, the producers were thinking the same thing. Belolo grabbed a napkin and jotted down: “Indian, Construction Worker, Leatherman, Cowboy, Cop, Sailor.” Morali walked over to the Indian (Rose was, in fact, Lakota) who’d enticed them into the bar. He wasn’t shy. “Hey you, Indian—you want to be in a group?” (SLTheBeliever)[more inside]
"Founded in 1912 as a farm colony of Brooklyn State Hospital, the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens [New York] became, by mid-century, a world unto itself. At its peak, it housed some 7,000 patients. They tended gardens and raised livestock on the hospital’s grounds. The hospital contained gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a theater, a television studio, and giant kitchens and laundries where patients were put to work. Today, Creedmoor, still run by the New York State Office of Mental Health, has only a few hundred patients" and houses The Living Museum, an 'art asylum within an asylum' where patients can create and exhibit their art. But what is life like inside the institution itself? In 2010, Katherine B. Olsen spent weeks interviewing staff and patients. Her essay, published this week, 'Something More Wrong' takes us inside Creedmoor's women's ward. [more inside]
After gossip site The Dirty posted explicit Facebook chats between NYC Mayoral frontrunner Anthony Weiner (previously) and a young Democratic organizer who initially wrote to castigate him for his original scandal, he was forced to acknowledge that "his habit of sending racy messages to women had persisted long after his resignation." The New York Times has called for him to drop out. So has the Wall Street Journal. So have his opponents, somewhat predictably, for obcuring the issues with "a never-ending sideshow." His support is dwindling, but a lingering question is: will (and should) voters even care?
Through the use of Photoshop, Swiss photographer Gus Petro shows us what it would look like if Manhattan was dropped into the middle of the Grand Canyon.
On July 1, 1913, a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials established the Lincoln Highway Association "to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all description without toll charges," and to be a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Highway efforts started about three years before the first federal road act would provide funding to states to improve the broad network of roads. Never officially finished, the first transcontinental highway eventually became renumbered as various interstate and US routes. To celebrate its centennial, there was a cross-country tour in June. [more inside]
Darius McCollum was recently arrested in New York for stealing a Trailways bus. Evidently he drove the bus to a Manhattan hotel where he picked up a flight crew and drove them to JFK Airport. On the way back to a New Jersey bus depot, he was pulled over by the cops. This wasn't the first time Mr. McCollum was arrested while (unlawfully) transporting the public. In fact, it was the 29th time. [more inside]
In 2002, now-disgraced stock analyst Jack Grubman (previously) was the central figure in a preschool-placement scandal in New York's famously Wall Street connected 92nd Street Y.
The Price Of Perfection
The Price Of Perfection
Mark Holman was a severely disabled teenager who had been living in an institution since his mother became ill. Upon her death, her lawyer petitioned for his guardianship before Judge Kristen Booth Glen, who asked a simple question: when did you last see Mark? "I haven't seen him since he was eight or nine," responded the lawyer. "His mother used to bring him to our office with his brother, just to show him my face and so forth and so on, so I haven't seen him probably since 1995 or 1996." Appalled by both the poor standard of care in Mark's case and the breathtaking lack of regulations compelling anything better, Judge Glen set about writing an opinion that would change the way trusts for people with disabilities are managed in New York State in very, very significant ways.
"For 400 years, New York has embraced, spurned, ignored, harnessed, and feared the water that made its greatness possible. Now our relationship must get even more complex." [more inside]
A New York woman turned 100 recently and she only has one thing on her mind. (NSFW)
Filling the East River. Filling the HUDSON River. Building a dome over Midtown. Borderline crazy proposed infrastructure projects for New York City.
Chris Pace (some images NSFW) creates 8-bit portraits of people on New York City's subways.
If New York Were A Blank Slate, How Would You Fill It In? is a piece on Becky Cooper's book Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers both famous and not. Cooper's Map Your Memories tumblr. Found from Brain Pickings, which has much more. [more inside]
The New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery offers over 870,000 historical images related to the 'city that never sleeps,' including maps as well as video and audio recordings. A selection of 53 images from the collection can be seen at In Focus. [more inside]
The Self-Transcendence race starts today. It's a run around the block, 5,649 times around the block. Runners cover 3,100 miles, running 6 am to midnight over 52 days, at least 60 miles a day over concrete. The best runners average 75 miles a day. All the runners seem to have the same mantra. The first race was in 1997, “The first couple years, the kids threw things at us.”
PUNK: Chaos To Couture is an exhibit running at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Reactions have been mixed. [more inside]
Are coders worth it? We call ourselves web developers, software engineers, builders, entrepreneurs, innovators. We’re celebrated, we capture a lot of wealth and attention and talent. We’ve become a vortex on a par with Wall Street for precocious college grads. But we’re not making the self-driving car. We’re not making a smarter pill bottle. Most of what we’re doing, in fact, is putting boxes on a page. Users put words and pictures into one box; we store that stuff in a database; and then out it comes into another box.
"My name is Chris Murray, and I'm an artist and I'm very talented... And I’m a dairy stocker at the Edge of the Woods organic grocery store in New Haven, Connecticut." [more inside]
An amateur film shot in 1939 by French tourist Jean Vivier documents a trip to New York City, in color.
In April, French cartoonist Boulet (previous, more previous) was invited to go on tour in the US, courtesy of the French embassy in New York. As a good 'webcomic', he kept a diary of his impressions of New York, the language barrier and going to the MoCCaFest, and also had a book to sell, a reworked edition of his 2012 24-hours comic Darkness (previous).
The Night Heron (SL NYTimes), an invitation-only club held in an abandoned water tower in Chelsea for 8 weekends in March, April and May.