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Like the Champs-Élysées!

Ernest Flagg (1857-1947) was an architect in the United States, who worked mostly in New York, and in 1904 had a radical plan to remake Central Park.
New York's Central Park That Never Was [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 4, 2014 - 16 comments

Healthy cities: public health and urban planning

A new Report on the State of Health + Urbanism (pdf) from MIT looks at the relationship between urban planning and public health, with some surprising findings. The cities covered are Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Dec 31, 2013 - 52 comments

I Got Myself Arrested So I Could Look Inside the Justice System

"From Brownsville to downtown Manhattan, I would estimate that I passed more than 200 police officers, some from a distance, some close enough to touch. Though I was conspicuously casing high-profile public targets while holding graffiti instruments, not one of them stopped, frisked, searched, detained, summonsed, or arrested me. I would have to go further."
posted by katemonster on Dec 17, 2013 - 147 comments

Mother Expletive Nature

Everybody's talking about Beyoncé, but earlier this week, 90s alt-pop superstars Cibo Matto dropped the music video "MFN", their first release in over fourteen years. It's the leadoff to their upcoming album "Hotel Valentine" due on Valentines Day, 2014. And it's about time.
posted by SansPoint on Dec 14, 2013 - 31 comments

An eye pleasing NY/NJ rail map.

Inspired by the Massimo Vignelli NYC subway map and the upcoming Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, NJ Transit unveils a new Regional Transit Diagram (pdf) to help people take public transit between New York and New Jersey. [more inside]
posted by fings on Dec 12, 2013 - 28 comments

Ooh, pick me up.

The New York City Taxi Drivers 2014 Calendar (via New York Magazine) [more inside]
posted by facehugger on Dec 10, 2013 - 3 comments

“People don’t go nowhere in Brooklyn”

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 - 112 comments

A Sonic Time Machine

The Roaring Twenties: An Interactive Exploration of the Historical Soundscape of New York City (sound autoplays). via i09, which says The map uses a combination of noise complaints and old reel footage to plot everything from what must have been an exceptionally noisy subway turnstile (complete with notes from the police report) all the way to a carnival barkers in Coney Island, and is a great way to listen in on the everyday life of a New York City gone-by.
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 9, 2013 - 3 comments

Will NY turn into a city with museums but without culture?

The city is a fountain that never stops: it generates its energy from the human interactions that take place in it. Unfortunately, we’re getting to a point where many of New York’s citizens have been excluded from this equation for too long. David Byrne comments on New York's hospitability to creative types.
posted by shivohum on Dec 5, 2013 - 86 comments

"It's the lousy drink," he said, summing things up.

On September 20, 1956, just before the bars closed at 3 a.m., a single-engine plane landed on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street in northern Manhattan. Behind the stick was 26-year-old Tommy Fiztpatrick, who pulled off the no-lights, no-radio "feat of aeronautics" while (allegedly) drunk to (allegedly) win a bar bet. Two years later, when a fellow patron called his story into question, Fitzpatrick did it again.
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 4, 2013 - 43 comments

Saul Leiter

"I've been described as being a pioneer. Am I a pioneer? ... Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. I don't mind one way or the other." Saul Leiter was born in 1923 in Pittsburgh; at 23 he left theology school and headed to New York to become an artist. He worked in both painting and photography, finding early support for his black-and-white photos in an 1953 MoMA show. He settled into an East Village apartment and did fashion photography to support himself. But on his own time, on the sidewalks of NYC, he developed a lyrical and painterly personal style of color street photography that's now seen as both masterly and very ahead of its time. In his twilight years he saw a new appreciation for his work, with books and a new documentary film, which had its New York debut on Nov. 16. Saul Leiter passed away last night in New York City at age 89. (Previously on Mefi.)
posted by lisa g on Nov 27, 2013 - 13 comments

Guidebooks for Time Travelers

Numerous "Stranger's Guides" written for 19th Century tourists can be found on the Internet Archive. A sample: New York (1828). Boston (1857). Washington DC (1884). Montreal (1872). London (1828). Paris (1822). United States and Canada (1838).
posted by ShooBoo on Nov 1, 2013 - 16 comments

A different sort of Cap

Captain America in a turban
posted by ericbop on Oct 29, 2013 - 34 comments

I Was Short and Ugly and I Had a Speech Impediment

My Life as a Young Thug (Mike Tyson, for New York magazine)
posted by box on Oct 22, 2013 - 17 comments

There was a chance the Basketball Gods would smile down on him

It's the ultimate gamble. If the young man is successful, he comes home a hero, and becomes important. His life has meaning and purpose. But in order to succeed, he must first completely open up his soul to the consequences of failure, knowing there may be no way back out. This, above all else, is the hardest thing to do. 20 Minutes at Rucker Park.
posted by Ghostride The Whip on Oct 16, 2013 - 21 comments

Another place I Will Never Live - The Chelsea Hotel

Interiors of the Chelsea Hotel
posted by y2karl on Oct 16, 2013 - 30 comments

Better out than in.

Last Saturday this guy was selling canvases of "spray art" from a Central Park sidewalk stall for 60 bucks each. He sold seven of them. [more inside]
posted by progosk on Oct 13, 2013 - 122 comments

5th Avenue Blue

NY 41×41 is a very cool Infinite Zoom Illusion Video of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue created by Paul Trillo. [via] [more inside]
posted by quin on Oct 11, 2013 - 8 comments

Points for creativity?

"In a bizarre case involving threats of kidnapping, beatings and physical torture — including the use of an electric cattle prod— two rabbis were charged in New Jersey on Wednesday in a scheme to force men to grant their wives religious divorces." [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 10, 2013 - 131 comments

You = Tourist = Jerk

Johnny T’s NYC Tourist Tips (slyt)
posted by fings on Oct 5, 2013 - 54 comments

And now, conducting the 'The Marriage of Figaro'....

Last week, Improv Everywhere set up the ACJW Ensemble Orchestra (of Carnegie Hall and The Juilliard School) in Herald Square in New York City and placed an empty podium in front of the musicians with a sign that read, "Conduct Us." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 30, 2013 - 41 comments

NY77:

The Coolest Year In Hell
posted by Ad hominem on Sep 24, 2013 - 19 comments

After the rain....

"New Beginnings" (slyt) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 19, 2013 - 2 comments

The Rise of the New New Left

Bill de Blasio’s win in New York’s Democratic primary isn’t a local story. It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.
posted by DynamiteToast on Sep 12, 2013 - 144 comments

Central Park: the resort of rapscalians?

The story of Frederick Law Olmsted's 'Greensward Plan' for New York's Central Park. "From the NASA space shuttle, Central Park is visible to the naked eye as a bright emerald bar on the fat knuckle of Manhattan... If an astronaut were to plunge by re-entry capsule into the heart of the park, she could never be more than around 400 metres from the urban roar of a city of more than 8 million people densely packed. And yet, wandering the labyrinthine paths of the Ramble, surrounded by thick woodland, rocky headlands, rivulets and little stone bridges that cross ravines, she would neither hear nor see the metropolis. This is a miracle."
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 10, 2013 - 34 comments

RETROREPORT - The truth now about the big stories then

How often does a great story dominate the headlines, only to be dropped from the news cycle? How often do journalists tell us of a looming danger or important discovery – only to move quickly to the next new thing? What really happened? How did these events change us? And what are the lingering consequences that may affect our society to this day? These are the questions we are answering at Retro Report, an innovative documentary news organization launched in 2013 as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, we peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media in ~10 minute segments. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 10, 2013 - 15 comments

Ipsos Global City Rankings 2013

British market-research firm Ipsos Mori has released the results of "The largest ever global study of the best city to do business in, live in, and visit." Interactive data here, more info here.
posted by Navelgazer on Sep 8, 2013 - 21 comments

I ♥ I ♥ NY

By now, the story is well known. A man sits in the backseat of a cab, sketching on a notepad as night falls over a crumbling city. He scribbles the letter I. He draws a heart. And then an N, and then a Y. Right away he knows he’s got something. This is it, he thinks. This is the campaign. The man was a designer named Milton Glaser. The city was New York. The year was 1977. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 5, 2013 - 25 comments

flown in to Japan to assess the damage done by Godzilla

As Thomas Pynchon's new novel Bleeding Edge's Sept. 17th release date approaches, New York Magazine's Vulture blog offers a capsule biography of the man. (SLVulture) [more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Sep 2, 2013 - 43 comments

Going Underground

Stanley Kubrick's Amazing Old Photos Of The NYC Subway System
posted by Artw on Aug 23, 2013 - 32 comments

Diamonds, Daisies, Snowflakes... New York!

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 - 45 comments

When Your City Disappears

"Growing up in New York City has a lesser known side effect for those of us who were raised here. We grew up in a tourist attraction... [When] you’re from New York, the city is never a faraway place filled with Woody Allens and Notorious BIGs. It’s simply... here. But that here is increasingly there."
posted by griphus on Aug 19, 2013 - 123 comments

New York Before and After a Century or So

NYC Grid is hosting a neat photo-series which lets you slide back and forth between images of New York today and a similar shot from the early 20th century. [via]
posted by quin on Aug 19, 2013 - 10 comments

What is old is new again: Hot Jazz in New York

How a Swath of 20-Somethings Have Tuned In to 1920s Pop. New Hot Jazz Is Warming Up(audio link). Looking to catch some live? Check out the Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governor's Island this weekend, or the New York Hot Jazz Fest on August 25th. [more inside]
posted by fings on Aug 16, 2013 - 63 comments

My life is not getting better. I need a helping hand

Men Who Want AIDS—and How It Improved Their Lives Some homeless people find that having AIDS entitles them to assistance that will allow them to get off the streets. Some are desperate enough to deliberately get infected as they see no other way to get the help they need.
posted by 2manyusernames on Aug 14, 2013 - 37 comments

Making It There: Dvorak, the Rich Lady, and the Big Score

Droning around New York's Cooper Union (a free-tuition school since 1859 - until this year) on OpenStreetMap, I discovered that it really ties the room together. Nearby are the offices of Village Voice news, Kristal's CBGB site, the Anthology Film Archives, Washington Square, Union Square and ... Antonin Dvorak?? Why's a Czech composer a site in Lower Manhattan? Lets do the James Burke ... [more inside]
posted by Twang on Aug 2, 2013 - 6 comments

WANTED: MACHO MEN WITH MUSTACHES

Looking around the room, the producers were thinking the same thing. Belolo grabbed a napkin and jotted down: “Indian, Construction Worker, Leatherman, Cowboy, Cop, Sailor.” Morali walked over to the Indian (Rose was, in fact, Lakota) who’d enticed them into the bar. He wasn’t shy. “Hey you, Indian—you want to be in a group?” (SLTheBeliever)
[more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan on Aug 1, 2013 - 32 comments

This is not a bad place, not the hell it had been..."

"Founded in 1912 as a farm colony of Brooklyn State Hospital, the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens [New York] became, by mid-century, a world unto itself. At its peak, it housed some 7,000 patients. They tended gardens and raised livestock on the hospital’s grounds. The hospital contained gymnasiums, a swimming pool, a theater, a television studio, and giant kitchens and laundries where patients were put to work. Today, Creedmoor, still run by the New York State Office of Mental Health, has only a few hundred patients" and houses The Living Museum, an 'art asylum within an asylum' where patients can create and exhibit their art. But what is life like inside the institution itself? In 2010, Katherine B. Olsen spent weeks interviewing staff and patients. Her essay, published this week, 'Something More Wrong' takes us inside Creedmoor's women's ward. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 29, 2013 - 7 comments

Danger is my surname

After gossip site The Dirty posted explicit Facebook chats between NYC Mayoral frontrunner Anthony Weiner (previously) and a young Democratic organizer who initially wrote to castigate him for his original scandal, he was forced to acknowledge that "his habit of sending racy messages to women had persisted long after his resignation." The New York Times has called for him to drop out. So has the Wall Street Journal. So have his opponents, somewhat predictably, for obcuring the issues with "a never-ending sideshow." His support is dwindling, but a lingering question is: will (and should) voters even care?
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jul 24, 2013 - 232 comments

What It Would Look Like If You Dropped Manhattan Into the Grand Canyon

Through the use of Photoshop, Swiss photographer Gus Petro shows us what it would look like if Manhattan was dropped into the middle of the Grand Canyon.
posted by reenum on Jul 20, 2013 - 66 comments

Lincoln Highway, the first (attempt at a) transcontinental US highway

On July 1, 1913, a group of automobile enthusiasts and industry officials established the Lincoln Highway Association "to procure the establishment of a continuous improved highway from the Atlantic to the Pacific, open to lawful traffic of all description without toll charges," and to be a lasting memorial to Abraham Lincoln. The Lincoln Highway efforts started about three years before the first federal road act would provide funding to states to improve the broad network of roads. Never officially finished, the first transcontinental highway eventually became renumbered as various interstate and US routes. To celebrate its centennial, there was a cross-country tour in June. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jul 17, 2013 - 33 comments

There's nothing negative I can say about the transit system.

Darius McCollum was recently arrested in New York for stealing a Trailways bus. Evidently he drove the bus to a Manhattan hotel where he picked up a flight crew and drove them to JFK Airport. On the way back to a New Jersey bus depot, he was pulled over by the cops. This wasn't the first time Mr. McCollum was arrested while (unlawfully) transporting the public. In fact, it was the 29th time. [more inside]
posted by mark7570 on Jul 17, 2013 - 58 comments

"Hint: It's not about the kids."

In 2002, now-disgraced stock analyst Jack Grubman (previously) was the central figure in a preschool-placement scandal in New York's famously Wall Street connected 92nd Street Y.
The Price Of Perfection
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 16, 2013 - 34 comments

Who watches the watchers?

Mark Holman was a severely disabled teenager who had been living in an institution since his mother became ill. Upon her death, her lawyer petitioned for his guardianship before Judge Kristen Booth Glen, who asked a simple question: when did you last see Mark? "I haven't seen him since he was eight or nine," responded the lawyer. "His mother used to bring him to our office with his brother, just to show him my face and so forth and so on, so I haven't seen him probably since 1995 or 1996." Appalled by both the poor standard of care in Mark's case and the breathtaking lack of regulations compelling anything better, Judge Glen set about writing an opinion that would change the way trusts for people with disabilities are managed in New York State in very, very significant ways.
posted by KathrynT on Jul 15, 2013 - 42 comments

Liquid City

"For 400 years, New York has embraced, spurned, ignored, harnessed, and feared the water that made its greatness possible. Now our relationship must get even more complex." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 8, 2013 - 19 comments

How does it feel to be 100?

A New York woman turned 100 recently and she only has one thing on her mind. (NSFW)
posted by gman on Jul 8, 2013 - 54 comments

Of course, James Blish sent it into space

Filling the East River. Filling the HUDSON River. Building a dome over Midtown. Borderline crazy proposed infrastructure projects for New York City.
posted by Chrysostom on Jul 2, 2013 - 45 comments

seeing pixels is kind of like seeing behind the curtain

Chris Pace (some images NSFW) creates 8-bit portraits of people on New York City's subways.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jun 27, 2013 - 25 comments

Subjective Cartography

If New York Were A Blank Slate, How Would You Fill It In? is a piece on Becky Cooper's book Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers both famous and not. Cooper's Map Your Memories tumblr. Found from Brain Pickings, which has much more. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 19, 2013 - 6 comments

New Yawk, New Yawk

The New York City Municipal Archives Online Gallery offers over 870,000 historical images related to the 'city that never sleeps,' including maps as well as video and audio recordings. A selection of 53 images from the collection can be seen at In Focus. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2013 - 10 comments

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