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).
With the crackdown on smoking and higher cigarette taxes in New York City, people who sell individual cigarettes, also known as loosies, are rapidly gaining new customers.
"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]
Last Friday, an adolescent cobra escaped from the Bronx Zoo. Now, it has begun taunting its former captors. (Via)
The Responsive Eye. Brian De Palma's 1966 film (25 mins) of the opening night of New York MOMA's 'The Responsive Eye' exhibition on op art.
Da first ting ya gotta do, see, is friend da Brooklyn Underground Anglers Association's facebook page, who will hook ya up wit Dr. Claw, da Lobstah Pushah [more inside]
"When the city introduces a bike lane on a given street, it removes dozens of parking places." John Cassidy, staff writer on economics at The New Yorker, blogs his feelings about bike lanes in New York City. [more inside]
Can I sit down, please? Elizabeth Carey Smith of The Letter Office charted her progress in the subway while pregnant and presented the results in graphic form. The WSJ is there.
A new nightclub is opening in Park Slope, Brooklyn. It's call Prime 6 and despite opposition from local Community Board 6 it had already acquired a 3 story space not far from the Atlantic Yard projects as well as the requisite liquor licenses from the State Liquor Authority. The nightclub's owner promises that the club will cater to a Park Slope clientele but locals aren't convinced. Prime 6's Myspace and Facebook pages (now both deleted) featured "suggestively posed women" and a link to the “Prime 6 mixed CD,” created by hip hop artist DJ Big Jeff, with songs titles including “Motha F–ka, I’m Ill” and “New Money.” CB6 has officially stated that it will reconsider its next move, however local CB6 member Jennifer McMillen has distributed a virtual petition seeking to persuade the nightclub to "Embrace Indie Music" instead of hip-hop. [more inside]
Dan Tague is an artist who takes pictures of dollar bills after folding them to spell out political messages and social commentary. Additional galleries linked on the left of his page. Some of his work is in NYC this week as part of the VOLTA Art Fair.
Candy Chang is a public installation artist, designer, urban planner and 2011 TED Senior Fellow based in New Orleans. Her Civic Center creates projects that try to "make cities more comfortable", and encourage residents to envision alternate urban realities: "I Wish This Was...." (site) / The NYC Street Vendor Guide / "Before I Die... In NOLA" / The Restroom Map Notepad / The Sexy Trees of the Marigny 2011 Calendar / The Neighbor Doorknob-Hanger / A Nice Place for a Tree and Post-It Notes for Neighbors. (Via). [more inside]
Joe Simonetti is a 57-year-old psychotherapist who lives with his wife in Pound Ridge, New York. His commute takes him from the northern reaches of exurban Westchester County to his office just south of Central Park. It's about three and a half hours each way. By bike. [more inside]
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."
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.
"Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram." [more inside]
In the 1960's, 70's and 80's, urban decay and high crime rates caused retail chain supermarkets to flee New York City. (google books link) Korean immigrants filled the gap with corner grocery stores. For nearly two decades they were ubiquitous -- symbols of the group's ongoing quest to achieve the American Dream. But 30 years later, Where Did The Korean Greengrocers Go? [more inside]
Das Racist's (Previously) video for Who's That? Brooown! is an homage to Sierra On-Line's early adventure games. Liked the video? Play the game!
Where can you see jazz1 shows,2 doo-wop performances,3 a vaudevillian dance act,4 found object5 percussion duos,6 opera concerts,7 international and intergalactic folk music gigs,8 and a pink gorilla playing the bass9? All for $2.25? [more inside]
The sitcom Taxi was inspired by two non-fiction articles that appeared in New York Magazine in September, 1975: Night-Shifting for the Hip Fleet and The Word from Belmore, both by author, writer and journalist Marc Jacobson. (Google Books: Original layout and photos.) In 2004, he checked in with local cabdrivers to see how things had changed for them after 30 years. As predicted, leasing did spell the end for the artist/writer/actor cabbie. [more inside]
"The Museum of the City of New York is pleased to announce the soft launch of its online collections portal [where you can] view more than 50,000 newly digitized photographs by Berenice Abbott, Samuel H. Gottscho, Jacob A. Riis, the Byron Company, the Wurts Brothers, and many others."
The wilderness below New York City, where mysterious and wonderfully abandoned structures are explored by urban historians and adventurers.
Into the Tunnels with Steve Duncan.
Into the Tunnels with Steve Duncan.
But the sheer magnitude of the thefts — 11,528 appliances, to be precise — over a relatively brief period suggests to some in city government and the recycling industry that a more organized enterprise may be at work as well.Who, then, is stealing the household appliances of New York City?
Three subway map design titans come together in one room to debate form versus function in NYC's transit map
Ballerina Project — Nine years ago, young photographer Dane Shitagi walked up New York City’s Broadway towards the highly patronized and well known STEPS dance studios in search of a ballet dancer who could help him begin his project: to capture images of ballerinas in urban environments. Those images first started appearing on Blogspot, but have since migrated to Facebook. [via]
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.
"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.
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.
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.
Henry Rollins and Iranian artist Shirin Nishat visit NYC's Cake Shop, where a young woman acknowledges Rollins's presence by shouting a "very famous" catch-phrase of his at him. Hilarity ensues (language NSFW).
Brooklyn to New York via the Brooklyn Bridge as shot by the Edison Manufacturing Co. in 1899. (SLYT) [more inside]
What a Hundred Million Calls to 311 Reveal about New York. Data from New York City's 311 service helped track down the source of the maple syrup smell; private sector models attempt to crowdsource quality of life issues in other municipalities as well.
The fish men see her still, their Annie, in the hide-and-seek shadows of South Street. She’s telling her dirty jokes and doing anything for a buck: hustling newspapers, untaxed cigarettes, favors, those pairs of irregular socks she’d buy cheap on Canal. She’s submitting to the elements, calling out “Yoo-hoo” to the snow and the rain and her boys. Annie and Gloria: Death of a Fulton Fish Market Fixture.
The KICKMap has come up previously on MeFi (1, 2, 3). In this article, designer Eddie Jabbour elaborates his approach and offers a detailed comparison with current and past NYC Subway map designs.
Urban archaeologist Scott Jordan has spent his whole life uncovering New York City's remains: I have been digging for New York's artifacts since 1969. My first dig was on Governor's Island, which was my father's duty station, and I stumbled upon a time capsule of New York's military history in the moat of old Fort Jay. In the dirt under the old drawbridge were relics dating from the War of 1812 all the way to the Civil War including buttons, musket balls and bullets, coins, pottery, and even a small cannon ball. [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]
Over the decades nature has reclaimed southern Edgemere. Groves of trees, acres of bushes, wild flowers, rabbits, and flocks of birds all thrive within sight of the nearby elevated MTA line. However, few people can be seen walking through this no-mans-land, perhaps because of its history of wild dog attacks. In 2001, two Rockaway residents "were brutalized by a pack of wild dogs" in the Arverne Urban Renewal Area, according to The Wave. The dogs came from an abandoned block, "stalked" their first victim, and "dragged him off the boardwalk onto an adjacent lot and began consuming his flesh," according to The Wave. In spite of this, several homeless camps are currently hidden deep in the Edgemere overgrowth. Some are as simple as a mattress tossed in the bushes or a sofa placed in a clearing. Others are more elaborate, including one camp with platform beds on a stone patio surrounded by a garden and fence. Another camp is large enough to house several families.The place is Edgemere, Queens, New York, where for nearly 4 decades an entire neighborhood has sat vitually empty on abandoned ocean front property.
One week. Two development summits. Hundreds of heads of state, development luminaries, CEOs, and social entrepreneurs. Celebrity star power (pdf). No poor people. Aid Watch spent three days trying to make sense of the greatest show on earth to help the world’s lowest.
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]
An estimated 10,000 migratory birds whose flight path took them through Manhattan earlier this month became (temporarily) disoriented and trapped in the 88-searchlight glare of the 9/11 Tribute in Light memorial.
The Taxi Gourmet Every week, I get in a taxi, ask the driver to take me to his or her favorite restaurant. [more inside]
Moving to or within NYC soon? Check to make sure your potential landlord isn't on this list of 153 by the NYC Public Advocates Office. [more inside]
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]
"This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions, or favor one over another."
"On September 11, 2001, thousands of first responders heroically rushed to the scene and saved tens of thousands of lives. More than 400 of those first responders did not make it out alive. In rushing into those burning buildings, not one of them asked 'What God do you pray to?' 'What beliefs do you hold?'"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has recently defended the planned Cordoba Initiative Islamic Community Center and Mosque to be built near Ground Zero against critics. Yesterday, after the City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to allow the demolition of a building that would be replaced by the center, Mr. Bloomberg gave a speech on Governor's Island (the location seems to have been deliberately chosen) in which he eloquently defended religious freedom. (YT: Video) (Previously on MeFi)
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."
Indie Bookstores Rising: New York takes a look at a new crop of indie bookstores in New York City that are defying predictions of the death of the independent bookstore.
The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking religious extremism for several decades, including anti-Islamic violence in the United States after 9/11. Nonetheless, the organization joined right-wing opposition earlier this week to the construction of Cordoba House, a 13-story Muslim community center and mosque that may be built two blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center. The ADL's alignment with calls for "refudiation" by Republican celebrities Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, along with other members of the GOP who are ramping up angry sentiments in voters during an election year, have puzzled and angered religious, political and cultural figures of various stripes, particularly within New York City itself. [more inside]