Smith doesn’t really have an hour to spare tonight. He and his bandmates are scrambling through what might be their only rehearsal for their first US headlining tour, which launches later this week. The goal is to road-test new material for the follow-up to DIIV’s 2012 debut album, Oshin, an underground breakout hit that marked them as one of indie rock’s most promising bands on the rise.
Tomorrow he has to take care of countless logistical matters for the tour such as picking up borrowed gear and buying a van, which would be stressful enough for a random Tuesday. But tomorrow is also the 22nd birthday of Smith’s girlfriend, the model and acclaimed pop singer Sky Ferreira, and he needs to make it special after spending much of her 21st birthday stressing out about an impending European tour. “Last year I blew it,” Smith says. “She was so upset.” On top of all that, he’s also supposed to meet with his probation officer upstate, one of many unpleasant consequences of being arrested for heroin possession and other crimes last September in upstate Saugerties, New York.
posted by josher71
on Jul 28, 2014 -
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."
posted by moonmilk
on Feb 7, 2014 -
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]
posted by zarq
on Jan 29, 2014 -
Because the film is a period piece, The Godfather actually presents a fascinating record of what 1940s-era New York City locations still existed in the early-1970s. Sadly, many of them are now gone. What still remains? Let’s take a closer look.
posted by timshel
on Jan 27, 2014 -
In the history of roads, pedestrians have long been the dominant user class. In the early 20th century, the use of automobiles was increasing, and with it, the conflicts between cars and people on foot. This conflict came to a head in 1923 in Cincinnati
, when people were outraged about the number of children killed by autos, and a there was a petition that "would have required all vehicles in the city to be fitted with speed governors limiting them to 25 miles per hour." In response, the young automotive companies organized and started a move to give dominance to cars in the streets. The petition failed, and pedestrians had lost. This was a key moment, marked with the invention of jaywalking
. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Jan 26, 2014 -
In January 1978, a then unknown, and still very much undiscovered photographer by the name of Dinanda H. Nooney began documenting Brooklynites in their homes. She gained access to the private lives of hundreds of perfect strangers, who showed her around, introduced her to their families and became part of a collection
of over 500 largely unseen gelatin silver prints, known as The Nooney Brooklyn Photographs
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Jan 8, 2014 -
Never Forever is Prince Rama's new 18-minute rock epic
"I think music videos will evolve to a point where they are embedded holographically within the songs themselves, so that as your brain is translating the music as auditory information, it will simultaneously be reading it as visual material as well, projecting a unique holographic map of imagery onto the brain that is tailored to the memories and desires of the listener himself." [more inside]
posted by hereticfig
on Dec 12, 2013 -
The number of homeless New Yorkers in shelters has risen by more than 69 percent since 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg took office. Each night as many as 60,000
people -- including more than 22,000 children, the highest number since the Great Depression, -- experience homelessness in NYC, and during the course of each year, more than 111,000 different homeless New Yorkers, including more than 40,000 children, will sleep in the city's municipal shelter system. Meet Dasani, one of the city's 'invisible children.' [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Dec 9, 2013 -
Dead Horse Bay
was the site of a 19th-century horse rendering plant on the far edge of Brooklyn. It was also a massive landfill that was capped in the 1930s. In the 1950s, the cap burst. The organic debris rotted away, but the remaining glass, ceramic, and metal spilled onto the beach. At low tide, the sand is covered with a dense layer of bottles, broken dishes, and other hundred-year-old detritus. More is washed free every day. [more inside]
posted by nonasuch
on Aug 26, 2013 -
Movin' On Up:
A skewed history of New York City as depicted by the opening themes of 1970s TV shows
posted by scody
on Aug 23, 2013 -
"Consider some iconic acre of Brooklyn vacant lot. You could grow food on it—or you could throw up a 30-story apartment complex housing 600 people. That’s 600 people who won’t be settling in low-density exurbs where they would be smeared across 60 acres of subdivision; in turn, those 60 acres of vacant exurb could remain farmland or forest. Using communal laundromats and lacking basements to put junk in, those new Brooklynites would lead lives of anti-consumerism. And because they would use mass transit instead of driving everywhere, their carbon footprints would be roughly a third as large as the average American’s. That fundamental land-use equation is the key to understanding how cities promote global sustainability. By concentrating high-density housing, business and lifestyles inside its borders, New York lifts enormous burdens from the ecosystem outside its borders, but that potential is squandered when we consign pristine brownfields to low-density crop-growing. We may root for the community gardeners in their eternal battle with real-estate developers, but it’s the developers who are, despite themselves, the better environmentalists." -- The case against locavorism and or urban farming
posted by MartinWisse
on Aug 10, 2013 -
The folks at Mellow Pages
, a community-run library/salon
in Brooklyn (recently profiled in the NYT
), have put together a how-to guide for building a similar kind of space in your neighborhood: short version here
, long version (and Google Doc) here
posted by Cash4Lead
on May 27, 2013 -
Of Ministers and Merchants, Sinners and Saints.
The writer moved from Manhattan to same street in Brooklyn where his grandmother grew up. This prompts him to delve into his family history, where he discovers a cast of characters that includes Ulpianus Van Sinderen, a Dutch Reformed Minister who came to Brooklyn in 1747, prosperous merchants, tenant housing reformer Alfred Tredway White, and an embezzler. Brief appearances by Jacob Riis and Truman Capote.
posted by marxchivist
on Feb 28, 2013 -
Once the home of the Weckquaesgeek tribe
, and more recently, William Shatner
, Hastings-on-Hudson might sound like the next village over from Downton Abbey, but according to the New York Times, it's "a village, in a Wittgensteinian sort of way
" seeing an influx of ex-Brooklynites fleeing to the suburbs in the face of creeping real estate prices. Sure, these new hipsturbanites may miss the creative density of urban New York, but at least the river setting matches their Filson/woolrich heritage-brand aesthetic
. Read on
if you set your cultural compass to the Brooklyn Flea, or your NYT Style section appreciation to ironic twee.
posted by deludingmyself
on Feb 18, 2013 -
In an article titled "So You're From Brooklyn," Brooklyn is declared a "bourgeois borough" full of "baby carriages, rubber plants, gold fish and green grocers.” The author warns that "Your average Manhattanite's conception of that great unexplored area beyond the three bridges is at once as naive as a child's idea of Alice's mythical Wonderland and as weird as a futurist artist's impression of Heaven."
magazine (1926-1930) rediscovered
posted by griphus
on Feb 14, 2013 -
[Joseph] McElroy's sense of original and authentic contemporaneity makes him the most important novelist now writing in America, the artist who has most consistently combined the mastering capabilities of systems perspectives and an art of excess. Women and Men is the capstone of his career and, I believe, the most significant American novel published since
Gravity's Rainbow. - Tom LeClair [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Dec 4, 2012 -
The Jumper Squad.
"Each year, the New York City Police Department receives hundreds of 911 calls for so-called jumper jobs, or reports of people on bridges and rooftops threatening to jump. The department’s Emergency Service Unit responds to those calls. Roughly 300 officers in the unit are specially trained in suicide rescue, the delicate art of saving people from themselves; they know just what to say and, perhaps more important, what not to say."
posted by zarq
on Oct 9, 2012 -