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An Institution in Transition

Upheaval at the New York Public Library: an article in The Nation which looks at the current state of the NYPL, and highlights many of the problems facing public libraries across the United States.
posted by codacorolla on Dec 5, 2011 - 40 comments

A Critic at the Occupation

The New Yorker's music critic Alex Ross was at Lincoln Center last night to hear a Mahler symphony -- until NYPD officers shooed him out of Josie Robertson Plaza, a public space. The MacArthur Fellow stayed behind to observe an Occupy Wall Street action timed to coincide with the final performance of Philip Glass's Satyragraha at the Metropolitan Opera. The composer himself came out of the Met to join the action, reading via human microphone from the libretto of this opera about Mahatma Gandhi's activism in South Africa. Both the moving speech and the spectacle of operagoers herded out of Lincoln Center by armed police are documented by Ross on his blog The Rest is Noise.
posted by La Cieca on Dec 2, 2011 - 25 comments

A selection of Kubrick's photojournalism

Stanley Kubrick's New York and Chicago [ via ]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Dec 1, 2011 - 10 comments

Dawn Powell

For decades Dawn Powell was always just on the verge of ceasing to be a cult and becoming a major religion. But despite the work of such dedicated cultists as Edmund Wilson and Matthew Josephson, John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway, Dawn Powell never became the popular writer that she ought to have been. In those days, with a bit of luck, a good writer eventually attracted voluntary readers and became popular. Today, of course, "popular" means bad writing that is widely read while good writing is that which is taught to involuntary readers. Powell failed on both counts. She needs no interpretation and in her lifetime she should have been as widely read as, say, Hemingway or the early Fitzgerald or the mid O'Hara or even the late, far too late, Katherine Anne Porter. But Powell was that unthinkable monster, a witty woman who felt no obligation to make a single, much less a final, down payment on Love or The Family; she saw life with a bright Petronian neutrality, and every host at life's feast was a potential Trimalchio to be sent up. - Gore Vidal
posted by Trurl on Nov 12, 2011 - 38 comments

New York as you know it.

A Year of New York in 5 minutes. Cameraman Andrew Clancy lives in New York City, and was in the habit of shooting footage of what was going on around him whenever he was out. This is a compilation of life in the city, from the point of view of a New Yorker.
posted by Phire on Nov 7, 2011 - 21 comments

I'M GOBBLIN' HERE! IIIIII'M GOBBLIN' HERE!

Wild Turkeys Running Amok On The Streets Of Gotham
posted by jason's_planet on Nov 6, 2011 - 54 comments

Steinway & Sons

Note by Note: The Making of Steinway L1037, a documentary by Ben Niles. "Invention for 900 Hands", a nine-part series in The New York Times. "K 2571: The Making of a Steinway Grand", an article in The Atlantic Monthly. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 2, 2011 - 9 comments

Just Following Orders

A rather different type of protest takes place in New York City... [more inside]
posted by Slinga on Oct 28, 2011 - 143 comments

NYC 1978-1985: A Fantastic Flickr Photo Set

NYC the way it was: really cool.
posted by Angus Jung on Oct 26, 2011 - 34 comments

All The Pretty Horses

Meet the contraption that wants to replace Central Park horses. NYCLASS and Ban HDC are two groups pushing for the change; the many unfortunate incidents involving carriage horses over the years (including one just today) have inspired a bill that would end the practice, and also a documentary about the treatment of the horses.
posted by hermitosis on Oct 24, 2011 - 117 comments

"You are all individuals!" "I'm not!"

You need a permit (PDF) to use amplified sound in New York City. Which the #OccupyWallStreet protesters haven't got. So they've come up with a unique solution for transmitting their message - the human microphone.
posted by scalefree on Oct 4, 2011 - 111 comments

Permanent Record

Paul Lukas found hundreds of Manhattan Trade School for Girls "report cards" from the early 1900's and has posted several of them online. [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 19, 2011 - 44 comments

Kiss her asphalt, drivers!

Assessing Janette Sadik-Khan, New York City's Transportation Commissioner. [more inside]
posted by beisny on Sep 9, 2011 - 45 comments

"Rotten But Beautiful"

Stéphane Missier alias Charles le Brigand (and/or Carlito Brigante) is a Brooklyn-based urban photographer and filmmaker. "From the Bronx to Brooklyn, I capture the real New York, the one I like to call 'RottenbutBeautiful'." Flickr Sets. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 18, 2011 - 7 comments

"We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow / And watch where the chalk-white arrows go"

Where the sidewalk ends: A new walking code of conduct, 10 proposed rules for New York City sidewalks.
posted by Fizz on Aug 18, 2011 - 142 comments

Straight outta Cleveland

Straight outta Cleveland. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly headlined the Village Voice's music section last week ahead of a show in New York last weekend and after inking a deal with Bad Boy records earlier this month. [more inside]
posted by Jahaza on Aug 16, 2011 - 12 comments

Exotic is a relative term.

Nisha Sondhe, a portait photographer and photojournalist, has been documenting similarieis between New York and Bombay (Mumbai) since 2008: An art director once told me, “I know you can shoot exotic things abroad and make them look beautiful, but can you take pictures of familiar things and make them look beautiful as well.” Which was interesting to me because when I would show work for jobs in India, people would ask me why they needed to see “photos of boring everyday things in India.” New York art directors are just like Bombay art directors. In fact, New Yorkers in general are just like Bombayites and the more I looked around the more I realized that the two cities are exactly the same. (via)
posted by ChuraChura on Jul 25, 2011 - 10 comments

The Welikia Project

The Welikia Project goes beyond Mannahatta to encompass the entire city, discover its original ecology and compare it what we have today.
posted by Trurl on Jun 22, 2011 - 6 comments

"Bigotry is ugly. It is especially ugly when it poses as virtue."

Rights And Reactions: Lesbian & Gay Rights On Trial is a 1987 documentary about the culmination in 1986 of the struggle to pass "Intro 2", the New York City "Gay Rights Bill", which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of housing, employment, and public accommodation. Made by Phil Zwickler and Jane Lippman, it is available in 3 Quicktime segments: Part 1 (22m), Part 2 (19m), Part 3 (16m). Total running time: 56m. [more inside]
posted by hippybear on Jun 12, 2011 - 12 comments

"The Book of Mormon" on Broadway

From Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and Robert Lopez, of Avenue Q, comes the new Broadway show "The Book of Mormon." The show "tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda" while gently (and no so gently) lampooning organized religion and traditional musical theatre. The entire show is now streaming on NPR. Songs are extremely Not Safe For Work.
posted by ColdChef on May 9, 2011 - 84 comments

As Michael Cera said in that movie about Twitter, “We don’t even know what this is yet.”

Have you ever gotten lost in the Myst-inspired architecture of Anthology Film Archives’ website, or struggled awkwardly with the Chinese puzzle box-construction of BAMcinematek’s calendars? Have you ever circled the block at Lincoln Plaza in search of the secret entrance to the fabled Walter Reade Theater? (Hint: look behind the waterfall.) Have you found yourself asking time and again, “What the fuck is Union Docs?”
The brainchild of critic Paul Brunick, Alt Screen is a new site billed as "a comprehensive digital resource covering film exhibitions and related special events in the New York City area." The contributing editors include blogger Jim Emerson, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky [previously] and Nathan Lee (apparently coming out of retirement).
posted by alexoscar on Apr 10, 2011 - 8 comments

A Manhattan Microstudio

She adored New York City. She idolized it all out of proportion. Sure, she paid $700 for a 90-square-foot microstudio, but New York was her town, and it always would be (via).
posted by JPowers on Apr 1, 2011 - 150 comments

Do You Have What It Takes to Find the Future?

"The New York Public Library launched a website Friday to introduce a massive, smartphone-based scavenger hunt that will officially kick off May 20 with an invitation-only, all-night lock-in in New York City. The game, which will continue through 2011, works by getting players to download an app for their iPhone or Android-based smartphones and then head to the library's Stephen A. Schwarzman building, which celebrates its centennial this year, to play (folks not near New York can play a digital version on the Web)."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Apr 1, 2011 - 12 comments

New York City history, for your clicking and dragging pleasure.

How Manhattan’s Grid Grew. Interactive New York Times map comparing 1811 New York with present day, plus other cool historical stuff. Huzzah, as the kids say.
posted by flyingsquirrel on Mar 21, 2011 - 27 comments

Le Flaneur.

Paris in 2000 images. A time lapse of Paris at night. Interview with the creator. [more inside]
posted by Phire on Mar 20, 2011 - 22 comments

The Coolest Locksmith Shop in New York City

The Coolest Locksmith Shop in New York City "From a distance, it looks like a bunch of golden squiggles and spirals have been added, snaking whimsically across the facade. But get a little closer and you’ll find the real magic… The new design is made up entirely of keys, literally thousands, and thousands, and thousands of keys, twisting into wonderful assortment of swoops and twirls."
posted by ocherdraco on Feb 8, 2011 - 45 comments

Bringing It All Back Home

50 Years Ago This Week, Bob Dylan Arrived in New York City
posted by Xurando on Feb 3, 2011 - 27 comments

I can't breathe! If only there weren't so many smokers within three feet of me!

City of New York extends full smoking ban to public parks, beaches, and public concourses like Times Square. (slnyt). A surprisingly metafilteresque flamewar can be observed in the comments of the huffington post re-reportage.
posted by tehloki on Feb 2, 2011 - 211 comments

Off Off Broadway Pioneer RIP

Ellen Stewart, RIP [more inside]
posted by geryon on Jan 13, 2011 - 14 comments

Books for good

There is Housing Works in NYC, which raises money for community based AIDS/HIV treatment and housing for the homeless. Here in Chicago we have Open Books, who uses the money raised from selling donated books to run literacy programs and tutoring programs for children. Now Minneapolis is getting Boneshaker Books; an all volunteer run radical bookstore that will house the Women's Prison Book Project and offer bike book delivery.
posted by bibliogrrl on Jan 11, 2011 - 17 comments

Off-Track Betting (1971-2010)

After more threats of extinction than anyone could remember, the New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation unexpectedly made good on a threat of its own and closed the doors to its parlors on Tuesday night. ... About 50 parlors around the city were shuttered. Some 1,000 employees lost their jobs. And a revenue stream that had funneled tens of millions of dollars a year to breeders, track owners and related businesses dried up. Another piece of gritty old New York had gone the way of the Automat and the Times Square peep show.
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 9, 2010 - 35 comments

"Toity poiple boids / Sittin on da koib / A-choipin an’ a-boipin / An’ eatin doity woims."

"Toity poiple boids / Sittin on da koib / A-choipin an’ a-boipin / An’ eatin doity woims." From Atlantic Avenue to Zerega Avenue (map), the kinds of New York City accents made famous by the likes of Archie Bunker, Jimmy Breslin and Travis Bickle are disappearing. But though you may not often hear “foath floah” for "fourth floor" in Manhattan anymore, documentary filmmaker Heather Quinlan knows you can still hear strains of the old mellifluous tones in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx, and that's exactly what she's setting out to document in her film If These Knishes Could Talk.
posted by ocherdraco on Dec 6, 2010 - 51 comments

Elaine Kaufman (1929-2010)

Elaine Kaufman, who became something of a symbol of New York as the salty den mother of Elaine’s, one of the city’s best-known restaurants and a second home for almost half a century to a bevy of writers, actors, athletes and other celebrities, died Friday in Manhattan. She was 81.
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 3, 2010 - 21 comments

National Book Award Winner Patti Smith

Patti Smith, best known as a singer-songwriter (whose lyrics have occasionally been collected into books of poetry) has won the National Book Award in Nonfiction for Just Kids, her memoir of the years she spent living with the late artist Robert Mapplethorpe.
posted by aught on Nov 18, 2010 - 54 comments

I'm not familiar with that address. Would you please repeat the destination?

In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owner and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow.
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 16, 2010 - 40 comments

"Last year at the World Cup, there were broken bones."

Tomorrow in New York City, the Quiddich World Championship will be decided. Invented in 2005, Muggle Quiddich is now played at hundreds of high schools and colleges around the world. Forty six teams are meeting this weekend for the fourth annual world championship. [more inside]
posted by Maastrictian on Nov 13, 2010 - 99 comments

Open House New York

Open House New York is one week away. Next weekend in New York City, there will be hundreds of talks, tours, and open houses in places that are normally not so accessible to the public. See the listings here. The good ones book fast.
posted by pollex on Sep 30, 2010 - 19 comments

Infestation is Beautiful

BDBGS! Last time Christian Swinehart was on metafilter, it was for his gorgeous visualizations of the narrative pathways contained in the Choose Your Own Adventure books. His new interactive visualizations plot bedbug reports in New York City between 2004 and the present. [more inside]
posted by scarylarry on Sep 22, 2010 - 19 comments

Xenophobia is UnAmerican

On this day it's good to remember that Muslims are part of the fabric of New York. They live in downtown New York, they worked in the Twin Towers and were affected just like everyone else by the tragedy of 9/11.
posted by brookeb on Sep 11, 2010 - 102 comments

A Unified Theory of New York Biking

Felix Salmon formulates a theory regarding the interaction of cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians in New York City: "Cyclists get no respect as road users. Instead, tragically, they’re treated like pedestrians."
posted by mhum on Sep 8, 2010 - 147 comments

Mayor Bloomberg: "I hope [Wilders] spends a lot of money. We need the sales tax revenue."

Dutch MP and vehement Islam critic Geert Wilders will travel to New York to speak at a Sept. 11 protest against Park51, the so-called "Ground Zero mosque", sparking controversy in the Netherlands where he is currently taking part in negotiations to form a new government. Dutch diplomats are worried. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Aug 12, 2010 - 160 comments

I Feel Like Burundi For Dinner Tonight

"The goal of this journey is to find cuisines from every United Nations member state, within New York City limits, in alphabetical order. " For your gustatory delight, here is The Confined Nomad
posted by spicynuts on Aug 9, 2010 - 33 comments

"Nah, don't feel threatened. I don't have a gun today."

Tourist Lanes & New Yorker Lanes One afternoon, field agents of Improv Everywhere "...created separate walking lanes for tourists and New Yorkers on a Fifth Avenue sidewalk. Department of Transportation 'employees' were on hand to enforce the new rules and ask pedestrians for their feedback on the initiative."
posted by ShawnStruck on Aug 3, 2010 - 72 comments

The World's Opposing Forces, Plus Giraffes

Where can you find the Sun, the Moon, nine giraffes, a lion and lamb lying together, the Archangel Michael holding a sword in one hand and the severed head of Satan in the other, all atop a giant crab which is itself standing on a double helix? Well, there is this one statue. [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Jul 21, 2010 - 50 comments

You're gonna go up the street 12 pixels, hang a left, then straight 44 pixels to 77th street...

8bit Cities: Amsterdam - Austin - Berlin - Detroit - London - New York - Paris - San Francisco - Seattle - Washington, D.C.
posted by BeerFilter on Jul 9, 2010 - 17 comments

The June 12, 1982 March and Rally for Peace and Disarmament

... on June 12, 1982, approximately a million people demonstrated in New York City's Central Park against nuclear arms and for an end to the arms race of the cold war. Nothing like it had ever happened before. It was not only the largest antinuclear demonstration but the largest political demonstration of any description in American history. Nothing like it has happened again, either. The tide of protest was at its high-water mark, and thereafter receded steadily. - Jonathan Schell, 2007. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Jun 12, 2010 - 27 comments

The 101 Best Sandwiches in New York City

The 101 Best Sandwiches in New York City. Listed for your convenience on Google Maps. [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Jun 9, 2010 - 68 comments

Employment Rights for Domestic Workers In New York State

New York State is now poised to pass the nation's first laws mandating that domestic workers receive overtime pay, vacation and sick days and the right to a weekly day of rest. The legislation signed by the state Senate yesterday is based in part on the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, which was conceived and lobbied for by Domestic Workers United, who estimate there are over 200,000 nannies, caregivers, and housekeepers in the New York Metropolitan area. Domestic Workers are currently exempt from most US employment laws and as a result remain unprotected by basic workplace guarantees that are given to most employees. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 3, 2010 - 111 comments

Virtual New York City

Dazzling new 3D buildings for New York City in Google Earth [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Apr 15, 2010 - 22 comments

Short urban exploration documentaries

Uneven Terrain is a series of short documentaries about urban exploration, about 10-15 minutes long each. There are six so far, about monumental ruins in New York, Centralia, the Pennsylvania town where an underground coalseam has been on fire since the 1960s, abandoned missile silos in the US and how they're being turned into homes, oil drilling in Los Angeles, the Teufelberg listening station and the abandoned bunkers under Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and pirate radio in London and on the old Redsand sea forts. Each short doc has a different presenter. All have accompanying photo galleries. [These are produced for the bootmaker Palladium, but it's pretty low-key]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 7, 2010 - 7 comments

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