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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the Short Life of the Moreland Commission

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)
posted by Chutzler on Jul 23, 2014 - 33 comments

How the burrito became a sandwich

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.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 22, 2014 - 154 comments

NYC's push to change elite high school admissions

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]
posted by gemutlichkeit on Jul 20, 2014 - 73 comments

Drawing all the buildings in New York City.

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]
posted by Ufez Jones on Jul 10, 2014 - 7 comments

One subway to rule them all

Artist William Puck creates a set of LOTR-inspired notices for the New York Subway. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Jul 10, 2014 - 30 comments

Police testilying costs the Big Apple millions

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
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 5, 2014 - 37 comments

Stash Pad

Why New York real estate is the best place to hide your millions.
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 2, 2014 - 87 comments

Anything that has to be laid straight, she asks someone else to do.

Melissa Leo's fabulous house, built with Constant van Hoeven.
posted by xowie on Jun 28, 2014 - 11 comments

A Photographic Look at the Birth of Gay Pride

A Photographic Look at the Birth of Gay Pride
posted by scody on Jun 26, 2014 - 9 comments

Lou Reed Lou Reed

Lou Reed Lou Reed [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight on Jun 21, 2014 - 21 comments

The Near-Death of Grand Central Terminal

"[S]tock jobbers[,]... confidence men,... an impecunious transportation entity", politicos, judges, scoundrels and Jackie O.: the near-death of Grand Central Terminal, and how it foretold the 2008 financial crisis. [sl Harper's]
posted by killdevil on Jun 19, 2014 - 5 comments

What Happens When Low Wage Workers Suddenly Get a Living Wage?

The other night I was on the train coming home and there was this young girl with three young children, and she had a container of milk, and I heard the middle child of the three ask, "Mom, can I have some milk?" and the mother said, "No, you know we need it for the baby." And I remembered feeling like that.
posted by the young rope-rider on Jun 6, 2014 - 215 comments

the life and daily struggle of a 72-year-old can collector

surviving in new york city, 5 cents at a time
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jun 5, 2014 - 29 comments

Infused with the personality of the neighborhood

Designer Adam Chang rode New York's trains for 20 hours, using 9 swipes to visit 118 stations, to bring you the NY Train Project.
posted by Joe in Australia on May 27, 2014 - 11 comments

The Last Shot, 20 Years On

Amos Barshad of Grantland talks to Darcy Frey and the basketball players featured in the classic book The Last Shot 20 years after the book's release.
posted by reenum on May 15, 2014 - 1 comment

For those who remember Prodigy, CompuServe, AOL

Memories of a Bette Midler Message Board Childhood: Reminiscences from the early days of talking to strangers online.
posted by mudpuppie on May 12, 2014 - 30 comments

It's only supposed to be 30% of your income

In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class. Here's What $800 in Rent Gets You in 11 Major Cities [more inside]
posted by desjardins on May 10, 2014 - 293 comments

Make Them Visible

The New York City Rescue Mission set up a social experiment with a hidden camera to see if people would notice their loved ones posing as homeless people as they walked past. [more inside]
posted by gman on Apr 24, 2014 - 27 comments

New York joins the National Popular Vote

The US is a little closer to a popular vote for president. Governor Cuomo added New York State to the National Popular Vote interstate compact. [more inside]
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? on Apr 18, 2014 - 61 comments

Life Rolls On

"Pssssttt! What does the yellow light mean?"
"Slow down."
"What... does... the... yellow... light... mean?"
"Slow down!"
"Whaaaaaat... dooooeeees... theeeee... yeeeelllllllllllooowwww... liiiiight... meeeeeeaaaaan?"
"Slow down!!!"
"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat…." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 11, 2014 - 56 comments

Why Don't More Poor Kids Get to See Art?

Increasing the accessibility of cultural capital: "In New York, a place whose cultural institutions attract people from around the world, there are residents who not only have never visited those institutions but also some who have never even been uptown."
posted by gemutlichkeit on Apr 6, 2014 - 41 comments

Turn that camera OFF

The Jon Spenser Blues Explosion was (is) a groundbreaking rock and roll band (not a blues band) well known for its live performances. Not much video footage of their concerts is extant, but this performance on an Australian TV show in 1994 is pretty typical, if the word "typical" is suitable for someone trying to incite a riot. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Apr 6, 2014 - 39 comments

Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York

Ten years ago, photographers James and Karla Murray released the book "Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York." In it, they documented the facades of the rapidly disappearing mom-and-pop businesses of New York City. Now they've revisited some of the same spots.
posted by Crane Shot on Apr 4, 2014 - 103 comments

Note: pineapple is an abomination against the Pizza Gods

A Complete Guide to New York City Pizza Styles
Although New York City has long had a clearly defined and ubiquitous style of pizza, the city's appetite for the dish knows no bounds. While New Yorkers can certainly be parochial and protective of their home slice, they can also be open and accepting of different pizza points of view. Here is a look at the predominant forms of pizza found in New York City with information about how they developed over the years, and a glimpse at some of the more eclectic and disparate variations on the theme.

posted by Lexica on Mar 31, 2014 - 127 comments

The NYPL's Open Maps Project adds 20,000 High Res Maps

The New York Public Library has released more than 20,000 high resolution cartographic works (maps!) for free, to view and download. "We believe these maps have no known US copyright restrictions." All can be viewed through the New York Public Library’s Digital Collections page and downloaded through their Map Warper. (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2014 - 11 comments

Look the negative in the face

"In the early 1970s, arson became a spectacular growth industry. Buildings throughout the borough were burned intentionally in an effort to recoup much of their lost value. In 1976 Roger Starr, city housing commissioner, later New York Times urban affairs editor, proposed a plan he called “Planned Shrinkage.” The city, he said, is divided into neighborhoods that were “productive” and others that were “unproductive,” a drag on the tax base. We have to eliminate the unproductive. This meant to “stop the Puerto Ricans and rural blacks from living in the city.” If we turn off water, electricity, sanitation, and stop making repairs when systems break, we can drive the unproductive out. In the past, the urban system took “ the peasant . . . and [turned him] into an industrial worker.” But now “there are no industrial jobs,” and it is our task to “keep [this man] a peasant.” We must “reverse the role of the city” as a world-historical force. " -- Marxist philosopher and lifelong Bronx resident Marshall Berman, who sadly passed away last year talks about the attempted urbicide of the South Bronx and how it rose up again from it in his last public lecture at the City College of New York
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 29, 2014 - 30 comments

Another view of Kitty Genovese

The original story of Kitty Genovese’s death, first promulgated by the New York Times in a front-page article 50 years ago today—young single woman brutally murdered while 38 strangers watched and did nothing—was incorrect in almost every particular.
posted by latkes on Mar 28, 2014 - 41 comments

33 years and counting

The Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections ended on March 6 And the news coming out of it was astounding. 33 years after the first cases were described, researchers are genuinely excited about where we are and where we are going. [more inside]
posted by Sophie1 on Mar 14, 2014 - 31 comments

a clear, logical, geometrical ending

After 12 years of anticipation, the tallest skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere is ready for its close-up. How 10,000 workers lifted 104 floors, gave new life to an international symbol and created one spectacular view.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Mar 8, 2014 - 47 comments

Sometimes let the train be late.

I've seen a lot of great bands play public transportation, and TOO MANY ZOOZ is the cream of the crop.
posted by Lutoslawski on Mar 7, 2014 - 13 comments

Below West 38th Street

The lost cow tunnels of New York: truth or fiction?
posted by MartinWisse on Feb 25, 2014 - 26 comments

Delicious Delicious

"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.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 20, 2014 - 46 comments

Jerry Orbach Tours the Law and Order Set (SLYT)

From 2004: Jerry Orbach Tours the Law and Order Set (SLYT).
posted by PinkMoose on Feb 18, 2014 - 33 comments

Grand by Design

Grand by Design is a Centennial Celebration of Grand Central Terminal. It's a looong page with a lot of nice images and facts from the history of the Grand Central Depot/ Station/ Terminal. (Previously)
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 17, 2014 - 6 comments

Before Blazing Saddles, America had not come to terms with the fart.

In 1975, Mel Brooks was riding high on the back-to-back successes of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, and he became the first person to be interviewed twice by Playboy Magazine.
posted by Faint of Butt on Feb 16, 2014 - 26 comments

Seeing New York

"I’ve been thinking about the art of looking. The importance of focusing and what we see. This past March I bought a pair of Giorgio Armani frames in Geneva, classic per usual, and I decided to put them in front of the frame. To see what I see. To show you a day in New York through my lens…" [more inside]
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston on Feb 12, 2014 - 27 comments

it's right under Trader Joes

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 - 28 comments

NYC events this weekend inc.: Lunar New Year, concerts, football game.

NFL holds Super Bowl in NYC; NYC unimpressed. While the stadium is technically in New Jersey, it is considered equally if not primarily a New York stadium, and the NFL turned Times Square and Broadway into Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered By GMC. Visitors can kick a football, watch television, ride a toboggan, shop, enjoy a free slice of Papa John's pizza, play XBox, take a photo with the oversized Roman numerals 'XLVIII', use relevant Twitter hashtags, and more. It is not decadent and depraved, though Vice and Gothamist would tend to disagree. The Times discusses less vehement disapproval and disappointment, while Business Insider wishes ill upon the city. Ticket sales are faltering relative to recent years, with the new mayor among those skipping out.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Jan 31, 2014 - 104 comments

"The neighborhood has all gone t' hell"

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 - 51 comments

Slice of Life

What's the last photo on your phone - and would you share it with a stranger? San Francisco-based interactive artist Ivan Cash asks a number of people in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco to share their last photo and the story behind it. (via feature shoot)
posted by madamjujujive on Jan 28, 2014 - 54 comments

The Invention of Jaywalking and the Rise of Car Culture

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 - 125 comments

"The prettiest people are the blandest."

Greer Lankton, darling of the 1980s East Village art scene, made glamorous and grotesque dolls that reflected her struggles with anorexia and drug addiction as well as her fascination with sexuality and gender in all their mutable permutations. She died of an overdose only a month after completing her final masterpiece, a recreation of her Chicago apartment inside Pittsburgh's Mattress Factory. [more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jan 23, 2014 - 2 comments

Oh cool, a cop on horseback

Here's a tour of the East Village in 1993, courtesy of local Iggy Pop. via
posted by timshel on Jan 20, 2014 - 6 comments

The Museum With a Bulldozer’s Heart

The Museum of Modern Art’s announcement on January 8 that it will indeed tear down Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum building of 1997–2001 felt like hearing that a relative or close friend had finally succumbed to an incurable disease. Even though the outcome had been expected, it was a shock nonetheless.
"MoMA Loses Face": Martin Filler decries the museum's expansion plan in the NYRB. [more inside]
posted by RogerB on Jan 18, 2014 - 85 comments

Shakedown on the Hudson

MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jan 18, 2014 - 118 comments

What's the nastiest shade you've ever thrown? "Existing in the world."

You may have heard the music of House of Ladosha, but that's just the beginning. This family of artists applies their fashion school and NYC nightlife roots to everything from printing t-shirts and performing spoken word to mocking Mapplethorpe.

When Dosha Devastation  and Cunty Crawford LaDosha aren't performing as a hip hop duo, they like to do each other's hair and ki.

Juliana Huxtable is a Tumblr queen, DJ, model, legal assistant by day, cyborg, priestess, and witch.
[more inside]
posted by Juliet Banana on Jan 16, 2014 - 14 comments

If you see the Buddha on the road

The Zen Predator of the Upper East Side is an Ebook about the rarely discussed but long-understood-by-insiders phenomenon of the "sexually voracious" Buddhist leader who "preyed on vulnerable women."
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 15, 2014 - 32 comments

London, Paris, NY, Copenhagen, everyone's talkin' 'bout gentrification

Please stop moving to New York
posted by mippy on Jan 10, 2014 - 169 comments

Dancing, from the Audubon Ballroom to Deep Space.

10 iconic mixes from the dancefloors of New York. "It’s the city that gave birth to disco, house music and hip hop, the home of iconic, seminal clubs like The Loft, Studio 54, Paradise Garage and the Sound Factory. If you were going to pick one city on earth where you could track the history of dance music through a series of classic sets, then New York would be it. Back in the early 90s, inthemix writer Jim Poe worked as a DJ in New York City, and here he’s selected ten iconic mixes from the history of NY clubs, tracking the city’s evolving sounds from Grandmaster Flash in 1978 to Francois K at Output this year."
posted by googly on Jan 9, 2014 - 51 comments

POLAR VORTEX

'Polar Vortex' Brings Bitter Cold, Heavy Snow To U.S. right on the back of WINTER STORM HERCULES that delayed or cancelled flights all over the country, stranding holiday travelers, and dumping lots of snow all over the midwest and northeast. Planes are sliding off runways! Dogs are wearing booties! [more inside]
posted by ninjew on Jan 5, 2014 - 443 comments

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