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]
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.”
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]
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]
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]
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
"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment." Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons."
Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside]
"Them and Them." "Rockland County, New York's East Ramapo school district is a taxpayer-funded system fighting financial insolvency. It is also bitterly divided between the mostly black and Hispanic children and families who use the schools and the Hasidic and ultra-Orthodox Jewish majority who run the Board of Education and send their children to private, religious schools."
Also see: A District Divided
. [more inside]
lets you "Step back twenty years into New York City's past. Call from any NYC pay phone to hear what was happening on that block in 1993." Other notable public history
projects include the History Pin app
and Shimon Attie's installations
in Berlin and Rome.
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
's proximity to Election Day means that the response to it is highly politicized. [more inside]
and some of his friends have hacked a classic 1980's Frogger
arcade game - with real cars.
The Titanic Guide to New York City.
An exploration of traces of the disaster, revealing history still written on the landscape.
In 1783, John Jacob Astor
set out for the United States with $25 and five flutes. Upon his death in 1848, he was the wealthiest person in the US, having amassed a fortune of at least $20,000,000, making him the third wealthiest person in American history (measuring wealth as a fraction of GDP)
. [more inside]
Life as an Italian American Sikh Female Taxi Driver
Maria Provenzano Singh is an ordinary Italian American woman who married a Sikh man and became a taxi driver.
HappeningRightNow-Filter: New York's Wordless Music Orchestra
is premiering an orchestral arrangement of William Basinki's Disintegration Loops
live from The Temple Of Dendur.
New York based Google engineer decides to go 'a little bit over the top' and propose to his girlfriend via Google maps and a treasure hunt
. Awww....geek love. [Via]
Hipsters on the Hudson.
The NYTimes is at it again, reporting on "Hipster Sprawl" (??).. yes, I made up that term.
Norman Mailer's apartment
. Available now.
Portrait of an Immigrant Detainee as a Young Man.
Meet New York bike-scene fixture Pablo Airaldi. He made friends with everyone—except ICE officials.
Pizza! Slice Harvester
is one man's quest to taste and review every pizza slice offered by NYC's pizzerias. His mission statement reads, "...I'm going by neighborhood, starting in Manhattan, getting a plain slice at every place. I am f***ing sick of the current trend in Pizza Journalism that's all about f***ing artichoke guacamole tahini pizza on rice dough. That s*** isn't pizza. Sorry."
The comic series Ex Machina [PDF preview]
was started in 2004, created by Y: The Last Man
writer Brian K. Vaughn
and artist Tony Harris
. The main character, Mitchell Hundred
, is an ex-superhero who hangs up his jetpack and successfully runs for mayor of New York City in an alternate post-9/11 timeline. The last issue (#50
), released this week, concluded the series with a harsh yet wonderfully written view of Hundred's political fate. BKV talks about the final issue with IGN [Spoilers]
New York's MTA has a YouTube channel
that features some pretty great historical videos from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. [more inside]
The New York Times
has compiled a list of the 50 words
which are most frequently queried in their stories. Mirabile dictu (no. 19) that it's redoutable (no. 17)!
One arm was bigger than the other in many remains—a suggestion that the men were gladiators who trained from a young age with a weapon in one hand. Archaeologists discover
the world's best-preserved Roman gladiator cemetery
in York, England. [more inside]
A day in the life of New York City, in miniature.
By Sam O'Hare
, beloved caricaturist for several publications, but most notably for the New York Review of Books
last Tuesday at age 83 due to complications of prostate cancer. Since 1963, he contributed over 3,800 caricatures for the magazine, which prominently featured his drawings in promotional material. You can look at over 2,500 of his drawings here
, review his website featuring his painting here
, and see him interviewed here
Toward the end of his life, his vision failed due to macular degeneration and his relationship with the magazine became somewhat strained
. Upon his death, the magazine noted that he was, simply, "the greatest caricaturist of his time." [more inside]
Don't you want to watch a critically acclaimed chef get drunk and shout about the wonders of ham
? (video is NSFW, due to cursing) [more inside]
Jim Carroll has died.
Avant-garde writer, punk rocker, doped-up downtown scenester, never-made-it schoolyard hoop-dreamer. He couldn't have expected to live to see a master's thesis in English at San Diego State
written about his journal/novel The Basketball Diaries, or to be interviewed by Jon Stewart
about being played by Leo DiCaprio in the movie of his (early) life. [more inside]