"Working nine hours a day, food-cart vendors like Zamir take home as little as $400 to $500 for a six-day week. Many are new immigrants hoping to start new lives. During a brief lull in lunch service, Zamir, 22, told me he served as a translator for U.S. troops in Afghanistan before he was wounded and then awarded a visa to settle here. A generation ago, after a few years of hard work and saving, Zamir could have become his own boss. Sidewalk vending was long an option for immigrants eager to improve their lives. That’s no longer the case. Today’s mobile food vending business is one of day laborers and shift workers who, despite hustling all week long, may not earn minimum wage." - Inside the underground economy propping up New York City's food carts By Jeff Koyen
Arno the socialite stayed at the Ritz-Carlton until dawn, keeping Frazier company, and was captured in photos holding her hand while the 17-year-old looks utterly exhausted by the event. (She was.) Five nights earlier, Arno the satirist and his friends—publisher Condé Nast and George Balanchine among them—held a well-publicized debut at the nightclub Chez Firehouse for Miss Wilma Baard. A fashion model, Baard had spent much of her childhood on a Hoboken tugboat captained by her father, so reporters at the event dubbed it the debut of “Tugboat Minnie.” “I think most debutantes are dopes,” she told reporters. While Arno and his friends worked the receiving line in shifts, she stood there for hours, saying only of society that it made “my feet hurt.” - The Double Life of Peter Arno, The New Yorker's Most Influental Cartoonist by Ben Schwartz (NSFW warning: butts)
"I found this collection of outtakes in my archive. I shot these interviews on the streets of New York in the late 70s when I was doing a documentary on the coming of the information age." - Man on the street interviews with New Yorkers in 1979 about science, technology, corporate influence, computers, and paperwork. (SLYT 5:45)
"Liquid Sky is one of the most visually ambitious films ever made about fashion, heroin, New Wave clubs, UFO saucers, ordering Chinese food and having them put it on your tab, the Empire State Building, androgyny, neon and tin foil. The 1982 cult classic may be the perfect embodiment of camp. " The Awl talks to the director of the film about his plans for a sequel.
An amateur film shot in 1939 by French tourist Jean Vivier documents a trip to New York City, in color.
New York State Congressman Anthony Weiner (D) did an IAMA (I Am A Democrat Who Fights) Q and A on reddit last week. While he answered many questions, he responded to the top five most popular questions questions in video form. [more inside]
The stately James Farley Post Office on 8th Ave in Manhattan is being converted into the long-awaited Moynihan Train Station. Almost the entire block-long building has been emptied to prepare for the conversion and Mefi's own nycscout (previously, previously, previously) was there to take pictures. [via mefi projects]