Between 1897 and 1953, the New York City post office used a system of pneumatic tubes to move up to 30% of its mail around the city. Among the first things sent whizzing across Manhattan during the inauguration of the system: a black cat. Via the links in that Atlantic article, you can find other strange aspects to the story. For example, there was a pneumatic subway in use in NYC by 1870 — The Beach Pneumatic Transit covered an entire block for three years!
Johnny T’s NYC Tourist Tips (slyt)
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]
Ask A Native New Yorker: How Guilty Should I Feel About Being A Horrible Gentrifier? Passionate response from a Bushwick native.
"The midi-trigger’s connected to the laptop, the laptop’s connected to the PA" Mommy and baby yoga, music and sign language classes are apparently so over. Some parents are instead giving baby disc jockey classes a spin.
Citi Bike BMX [slyt]
Welcome to Fear City: A Survival Guide for Visitors to the City of New York (ca. 1975).
Photographer and historian of the New York Press Photographers Association Marc Hermann searched the New York Daily News archive to find historic NYC crime scenes, and superimposed them on photographs of the same locations today. [more inside]
The 30th annual Dallas Pride parade and festival, which will take place this weekend, has come under some controversy since the organizers announced the need for the event to be family-friendly and said nudity and lewd behavior will no longer be tolerated. [more inside]
Kenneth Leedom and Peter Cott have been together for 58 years. In a NYTimes article, they discuss their lives, from encounters with other men during World War II, gay bath houses in the 1970s, the AIDS epidemic, and their 2011 wedding, at the ages of 86 and 87.
In the final days before the New York City mayoral primary on September 10th, current mayor Michael Bloomberg is coming under attack for an article published this week in New York Magazine in which he criticizes frontrunner Bill de Blasio for running a“class-warfare and racist” campaign because of the way in which he has used “his family to gain support." [more inside]
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]
Formed in NYC in 1997, the Moth celebrates the art of story through performances of true, first-person stories without notes in front of a live audience. Stories are told by celebrities including Steve Burns dealing with his fame and DMC of Run-DMC discussing how Sarah McLachan helped him overcome his depression as well as everyday people like: a research scientist detailing her relationship with her parrot and a woman with CP falling in love for the first time. These stories are recounted in several cities across the USA and are later disseminated through weekly podcasts, a weekly radio show distributed by public radio stations (requires a free account), and a book out today. An interview with George Dawes Green, novelist, and Founder of the Moth from the Rumpus. More stories are available on youtube and their website.
From The Atlantic, a series of photography that documents America in the 1970s: the Pacific Northwest | New York City | the Southwest | Chicago's African-American community | Texas [more inside]
Dead Horse Bay was the site of a 19th-century horse rendering plant on the far edge of Brooklyn. It was also a massive landfill that was capped in the 1930s. In the 1950s, the cap burst. The organic debris rotted away, but the remaining glass, ceramic, and metal spilled onto the beach. At low tide, the sand is covered with a dense layer of bottles, broken dishes, and other hundred-year-old detritus. More is washed free every day. [more inside]
Movin' On Up: A skewed history of New York City as depicted by the opening themes of 1970s TV shows
Songs from the Black Chair, published by Bellevue Literary Review in 2004, from a 2005 memoir by the same name, by Charles Barber
"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."
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]
Artist Nobutaka Aozaki is creating a map of Manhattan made up entirely of hand-drawn maps given to him by strangers, which he solicits by asking for directions. The project, called From Here to There, is ongoing, and currently the main map is roughly 3' by 10'.
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]
"So, after reading all his sexts and stuff, it’s basically impossible for me to not hear every single thing Anthony Weiner says as some sort of horrible half-assed double entendre sexty come-on. So I cut together a few of his recent public statements to demonstrate why I laugh every time he speaks." (SLYTP)
Stop and Frisk violated the constitutional rights of New Yorkers, federal judge holds. The ruling comes after the two-month trial in Floyd v. City of New York and finds the tactics and policies of the NYPD in conducting stop-and-frisk systemically violates both the 4th and 14th Amendments of New Yorkers of color. Stopping short of striking down stop-and-frisk more broadly, already upheld numerous times by the Supreme Court, Judge Scheindlin ordered an independent monitor to oversee reforms to the practice.
NY Magazine picks the 22 Ingenious Ways to Improve the Subway from this tumblr list (some more practical than others).
The Food Bank for New York City is the country’s largest anti-hunger charity, feeding about 1.5 million people every year. It leans heavily, as other charities do, on the generosity of businesses, including Target, Bank of America, Delta Air Lines and the New York Yankees. Toyota was also a donor. But then Toyota had a different idea. Instead of a check, it offered kaizen.
Darryl Kelly was hired to clean out Harry Shunk's New York City apartment. Things worked out well for Kelly.
Tony Award winner Larry Kramer, author of The Normal Heart, Reports from the Holocaust, screenwriter of Women in Love, and founder of ACT UP and Gay Men's Health Crisis, has gotten married. [more inside]
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?
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.
"What do you do when you're tired of the prospect of dating?" Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, both designers in New York City, found themselves single at the same time. Thus was born 40 Days of Dating, an experimental relationship being chronicled daily from July 10 to August 18, 2013.
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]
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]
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
The Price Of Perfection
"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]
Splitsider presents - The Top Eleven Sketch Comedy Groups On The Internet, featuring many Metafilter favorites. [more inside]
Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes runs from 15 June - 23 September 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. It is the museum's first comprehensive exhibition on Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, 1887-1965), and is billed as "the largest exhibition ever produced in New York of [his] protean and influential oeuvre"; in 2014 it will travel to Madrid and Barcelona. Exhibition curator Jean-Louis Cohen, an architectural historian at New York University, gave a tour of the exhibition as part of the "Le Corbusier/New York" symposium at the Center for Architecture on June 8. World-Architects was in attendance, so here we present some insight into the exhibition, accompanied by highlights from the symposium at right.
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]
PUNK: Chaos To Couture is an exhibit running at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Reactions have been mixed. [more inside]
Dressing: "It is a gift, and the way God expresses herself through me. I’m so grateful for this art form because I don’t have to invite you to my studio to see my painting. You get to see it on me. I get to wear it, live it, be it". Collector's Weekly profiles Tziporah Salamon.
Officer Serrano’s Hidden Camera "Once he joined the 4-0, nothing seemed clear-cut. 'Every now and then, we would have to be put in a van and hunt, basically…'"