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.
"'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]
New Zealand legalises same-sex marriage, becoming the first country in the Asia-Pacific region and the 13th country to do so. The bill was passed with a wide majority, with 77 votes in favour and 44 against. "In our society, the meaning of marriage is universal - it's a declaration of love and commitment to a special person," said Labour MP Louisa Wall. The declaration of the vote was followed by a waiata.
Glenn Greenwald thinks so. Noted atheist Sam Harris recently made some inflammatory comments about Islam and Muslims in his twitter feed. This is not a new development. Is this a defining characteristic of New Atheism?
Recalling 1993 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.
Brad Pitt's Make It Right foundation has committed millions to try and revitalize New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward by building 150 affordable, green, storm-resistant homes from designs by the likes of Gehry Partners, Morphosis, Kieran Timberlake, and McDonough + Partners. Thing is, the ward doesn't have enough residents to attract stores and services, so no one wants to live there. Meanwhile, the city continues to follow through on millions in commitments to rebuild roads on streets where no one now lives, and to erect police stations and schools for a lonely, "barren moonscape" of a neighborhood. About 90 households, primarily elderly people, are living in futuristic homes that most Americans would covet, and yet there’s not a supermarket--or even a fast food restaurant--for miles.
It might strike you as a sick Internet joke, but Gareth Morgan isn't kidding. The prominent New Zealand economist and environmentalist wants his country 100 percent cat-free and he's willing to go extraordinary lengths to make it a reality.
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]
Hurricane Sandy's proximity to Election Day means that the response to it is highly politicized. [more inside]
Lake Street Dive ("DIVE not DRIVE!") is a band from Brooklyn, NY. Maybe you've already heard of them but in case you haven't, they do infectious covers and some originals too. They'll also do an impromptu web cast in someone's basement if their outdoor gig gets rained out.
Dr. Ruth, Shmuley Boteach, Mayim Bialik, Shalom Auslander, and 23 more on ensuring a meaningful year. [more inside]
The State of New Jersey of recently passed a law requiring that your pets to wear seat belts while driving in the car. Pet owners will have to purchase a seat belt extension harness for their dog. The maximum fine for not having a seat belt on your dog is $1,000.00. Meanwhile, the maximum fine in NJ for not having a seat belt on your child is $46.00