The New York Times is reporting that Speaker of the New York State Legislature Sheldon Silver has been arrested on federal corruption charges related to income received from a NYC legal firm specializing in real estate. New York has background on the investigation and charges. [more inside]
They Say Art Is Dead in New York. They're Wrong. – Alan Feuer, NYT (December 2014):
Somehow, in the last few years, it has become an article of faith that New York has lost its artistic spirit, that the city's long run as a capital of culture is over. After all (or so the argument goes), foreign oligarchs and hedge-fund traders have bought up all the real estate, chased away the artists and turned the bohemia that once ran east from Chumley's clear across the Williamsburg Bridge into a soulless playground of money.
Last year, the foremost proponent of this doomsday theory was the rock star David Byrne, who complained in The Guardian that artists, as a species, had been priced out of New York. This year, others joined him. The novelist Zadie Smith lamented in October, in The New York Review of Books, that the city's avant-garde had all but disappeared. The musician Moby wrote a comparable essay in February, describing how creative types are fleeing New York and referring to his former home, accurately but narrowly, as "the city of money." Just a couple of weeks ago, Robert Elmes, the founder of the Galápagos Art Space in Brooklyn, declared the indigenous "creative ecosystem" was in crisis — so, naturally, he was moving to Detroit.
“I think what we are doing differently is we never try to force emotional turns or aim to shock anyone. If you feel for Abbi and Ilana, it’s because they remind you of people you know.” - Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson talk about Broad City, which returns tonight with a new season.
Despite the claims of reformers like Judge Lippman, [Human Trafficking Intervention Courts] are as controlling as any other court. Prostitutes might be called victims, but they're still arrested, still handcuffed, and still held in cages. The only difference is that they're now in a system that doesn't distinguish between workers and trafficked people. To the courts, anyone who's been arrested for sex work is raw material, incapable of making his or her own choices. Those like Love, who did sex work out of financial necessity, before leaving of her own volition, might as well not exist.Molly Crabapple: Special Prostitution Courts and the Myth of 'Rescuing' Sex Workers.
The same day that his son, Andrew, was inaugurated as the second term governor of New York, Mario Cuomo died yesterday at the age of 82. [more inside]
The Partisan Review, a critical magazine founded by William Phillips and Philip Rahv (and Kenneth Fearing) and originally created as an arm of the American Communist Party was 'more a literary event than a literary magazine,' that lost its purpose after perestroika: The Death of a Literary Magazine. But even in death, the archives are not 'down the memory hole', but rather digitized and available online. [more inside]
105 miles of steam pipes (NYT video) run beneath the streets of New York, delivering steam to 2,000 buildings for heating, cooling, and other purposes. The system is maintained by Con Edison (1 2 3). [more inside]
New York vs. Los Angeles. As the two American population and media centers on opposing coasts, New York City and Los Angeles are prone to endless imperfect comparison. [more inside]
Following Hook Creek past ghost towns and discarded highways to the lost waterways of New York City. - By Nathan Kensinger
From the rather common "skate punk into alternative music" origins to a bedroom producer who signed with Ninja Tune, Bonobo, the stage name for Simon Green, has continued to change musically. From the lone musician who made sample-based music, he has expanded into working with field recordings, studio musicians, and live shows where the band took a four bar drum break transformed it into a seven minute epic drum-sax solo battle, to which the crowd tried to clap along. You can see him live tomorrow at the Alexandra Palace in London in a special Boiler Room session, but until then, there's plenty more to see, hear and read. [more inside]
The Governor of New York Owes an Apology to a Bunch of Meteorologists Governor Cuomo’s attempt to scapegoat the National Weather Service for an inaccurate forecast in advance is not only completely in error–the NWS did an outstanding job–but is a disservice to the public and to the hard-working staff of this federal agency.
"When I began thinking about my own transition in 2008, I worried what people would think of me, and how they would see me," photographer Rhys Harper recently explained of being transgender and photographing trans subjects. "As a photographer ... I wanted to photograph people in a way that challenged the assumptions people make about transgender people, and gender non-conforming people." Cosmopolitan (!) showcases 14 photos from the show. [Trans 101 from GLAAD; Trans 101 from T-VOX]
Hollaback and Why Everyone Needs Better Research Methods (And Why All Data Needs Theory), by Zeynep Tufekci:
I’ve taught "introduction to research methods" to undergraduate students for many years, and they would sometimes ask me why they should care about all this "method stuff", besides having a required class for a sociology major out of the way. I would always tell them, without understanding research methods, you cannot understand how to judge what you see.[more inside]
The Hollaback video shows us exactly why.
In an unmarked grave in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx lies the five-foot-seven-inch body of a man responsible for bringing untold amounts of sunshine to New York City’s youth. During his eighteen-year tenure as Superintendent of School Buildings for the New York City Board of Education, Snyder built public schools with windows that made up nearly sixty percent of the buildings’ facades, much of the remaining space covered in lavish ornamentation. “There is not a dark corner in the whole structure,” social reformer Jacob Riis wrote of Snyder’s design in his seminal 1902 text "The Battle With the Slum." “Literally, he found barracks where he is leaving palaces to the people...I cannot see how it is possible to come nearer perfection in the building of a public school.”
So wait, there's a band with Jim Jarmusch on keys and a bunch of experimental Horror film directors that released a record in the early 80s of spooky surf-funk and you're NOT listening to it today? Get on it y'all. It's the story of The Del-Byzanteens. [more inside]
After seven years of litigation, the New York Civil Liberties Union has announced a settlement in Hurrell-Harring v. New York, which will reform the way in which low income criminal defendants are represented in court. [more inside]
Last Week, Buzzfeed posted "110 Reasons Why You Should Never Leave New York City," which is somehow even more vapid than you'd expect it to be. Today, Brooklyn Magazine reviewed the list, and offered some feedback.
Earlier this year, Chris Whong made a FOIL request to the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, receiving fare and trip data for all licensed cabs in New York in 2013. (previously) The data was anonymised, but as Vijay Pandurangan realised, only partially. [more inside]
Adelle Waldman, author of The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., was a lonely aspiring writer in New York, generally unhappy. Then she moved to Brooklyn and found that community made all the difference.
The Public Advocate for the City of New York has released an interactive map, The NYC Landord Watchlist, which maps the city's most poorly managed buildings. The map uses data from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to list over 6,800 buildings across New York. You can search the map by address and by borough. If you select a property listed on the map you can view the number and type of violations it has received. [via]
Why They Called It the Manhattan Project By nature, code names and cover stories are meant to give no indication of the secrets concealed. “Magic” was the name for intelligence gleaned from Japanese ciphers in World War II, and “Overlord” stood for the Allied plan to invade Europe.
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]
How one developer is attracting the 'right kind of people' to new locales with, among others things, dance parties.
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]
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.
Balls to the Wall: Inside New York City's Thriving Lacrosse Culture
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) (via) [more inside]
Artist William Puck creates a set of LOTR-inspired notices for the New York Subway. [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