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Nice work, if you can get it

Want to be a New York City tour guide? You can't just jump right in and start doing it. First, you'll need to pass the Sightseeing Guide license test, a surprisingly difficult exam meant to ensure that only the best and brightest NYC history nerds can conduct tours. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Jul 6, 2012 - 44 comments

Lawsuit waiting to happen

At the 36th St. subway station in Brooklyn, one of the subway stairs is a little bit higher than the others. Filmmaker Dean Peterson set up a camera at the top of the stairs for about an hour, and taped what happens.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 27, 2012 - 115 comments

"I broke some laws and made a ton of friends"

The Manhattan Project is an HD timelapse short showing off different aspects of life in New York City. [via]
posted by quin on Jun 25, 2012 - 12 comments

Hot enough for ya?

Arthur Miller describes New York summers before air-conditioning. (New Yorker Archive)
posted by whimsicalnymph on Jun 23, 2012 - 75 comments

Reading Along the Lines

Underground New York Public Library, a photo tumblr of NYC Subway riders and the books they read.
posted by zamboni on Jun 15, 2012 - 98 comments

Bloomberg Privatizing Parking Meters in NYC

90,000 of NYC's Parking Meters (and revenue) on sale for $11billion +. [more inside]
posted by snaparapans on Jun 14, 2012 - 125 comments

1940s New York City

"In 1943, four newspapers published a "NYC Market Analysis" with photos, maps, data, and a profile of each NY neighborhood. Largely forgotten since, it offers a unique window into New York from another era. The CUNY graduate center has republished the profiles via this map." The Center for Urban Research has also provided a comparison of a number of characteristics between 1940 and today. (Links via Sociological Images: 1943 Map of New York City; photos of 1940s NYC previously on MeFi here and here.)
posted by flex on Jun 8, 2012 - 9 comments

No soda for you

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts. Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal requires the approval of the Board of Health, a step that is considered likely because the members are all appointed by him, and the board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who joined the mayor in supporting the measure on Wednesday.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on May 31, 2012 - 349 comments

The Public Image Ltd. riot show

On May 15, 1981, at The Ritz in New York City, Public Image Ltd. performed as a last-minute replacement for Bow Wow Wow. It didn't end well. (previously) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 28, 2012 - 57 comments

The Worst 8th Grade Math Teacher In New York City

Would you want Carolyn Abbott, the worst 8th grade math teacher in New York City, to teach your kids? Probably. [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri on May 19, 2012 - 58 comments

1920s Gaming and the 1939 World's Fair

"A maverick theater and industrial designer, Norman Bel Geddes is best remembered for creating the undisputed hit of the 1939 New York World’s Fair. Mounted in the midst of the Great Depression, the Fair focused on America’s promise of a utopian tomorrow. Geddes’s Futurama, a piece of “immersion theater,” took six hundred visitors at a time on a swooping, simulated airplane ride across America circa 1960." "The City of Tomorrow, a model of Manhattan that Geddes created, in 1937, to promote Shell Oil Company’s new “motor-digestible” gasoline, is often cited as [Futurama's inspiration.] But Futurama’s beginnings actually harken back much further, to the meticulous, insanely detailed private games he created in the 1920s and early ’30s for the amusement of his friends." [more inside]
posted by zamboni on May 6, 2012 - 15 comments

TWO LIVING WHALES TWO LIVING WHALES

Did P.T. Barnum keep live whales in his museum on Broadway? When were penguins stolen from the Coney Island Aquarium? How much horse manure was deposited on the streets of New York City before the automobile, and what happened to it? Answers to these question and more at the New York Historical Society Library's short video series When did the Statue of Liberty Turn Green? [more inside]
posted by jessamyn on May 5, 2012 - 13 comments

"...I’ve met some amazing people along the way."

"What we're going to do is have a map of the city of New York, where you can click on any neighborhood and scroll through the faces of the people that live there."
Photographer Brandon Stanton has now compiled more than 3700 street portraits and 50 stories for his project Humans of New York. Photos are also posted with captions to a public Facebook group. (Album.) The Map currently shows 1500+ portraits, arranged by the location in which they were taken. Previously on MeFi [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 29, 2012 - 17 comments

Photographic history

NYC's Department of Records has officially announced the debut of its photo database, releasing 870,000 photos of the city and its operations to the public. Here are some of the best ones. Here is the link to the gallery itself (though good luck getting in right now). [more inside]
posted by Phire on Apr 25, 2012 - 29 comments

Strike At The Strand

The workers at Manhattan's famous Strand Bookstore are currently in conflict with management over a severe new contract that radically reduces benefits. Bookstore employee and cartoonist Greg Farrell has decided to explain the conflicts and background of the problem via comic book.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 11, 2012 - 63 comments

Made of awesome

How to stop a fight on the NYC subway
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Apr 10, 2012 - 91 comments

An Absence Present

The Titanic Guide to New York City. An exploration of traces of the disaster, revealing history still written on the landscape.
posted by Miko on Apr 9, 2012 - 23 comments

A Tiny Slice of New York City

Pomander Walk is a play. It's (pdf) also a small, hidden street in New York City.
posted by deborah on Apr 6, 2012 - 16 comments

Louise Fitzhugh's "Harriet the Spy"

In December 1974, there was a memorial service at St. James Episcopal Church on Madison Avenue for Louise Fitzhugh, author and illustrator of Harriet the Spy, the groundbreaking children's novel that has sold 2.5 million copies since its publication in 1964. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Mar 26, 2012 - 45 comments

The Devil's Auction

Why this lady is wearing a horse costume. previously.
"For the drama and the way it may happen to be played, and the plot or moral or meaning of it, nobody seems particularly to care. The point of interest is, first, the dancing; next, the dancers, and last, the scenery."
[more inside]
posted by zamboni on Mar 13, 2012 - 25 comments

Get Ready to Play Tag

Tag Challenge! "The infamous Panther Five has pulled an audacious new heist: they’ve stolen the world’s 3rd most expensive jewel, the Adly Diamond, from the Overholt Showroom in Washington, DC. Now they’ve split up and fled—dispersed to five different cities. We’re offering a reward to help find them. We’ll release their mugshots here on game day: March 31, 2012."

If you can get a team together that can cover these 5 cities, then you've got a shot at $5000 (USD).
Washington, DC | New York City | London | Stockholm | Bratislava [more inside]
posted by juliplease on Mar 12, 2012 - 28 comments

Teach to the test, or not

A Didactic Tale to Illustrate Just How Much the (new NYC) Teacher Rating System Pisses Me Off.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 12, 2012 - 69 comments

Wigstock: New York's other Labor Day tradition (while it lasted)

"I know you are out there, just wanting to put your wig on, just like me. And I know you're just waiting to have a good time. Just put a little ball earring on, a little bad sunglasses, and a big, bad wig on, 'cause it's good. It feels good, works, it does." It is, or was, Wigstock, an annual outdoor drag festival held in NYC, starting in 1985 by "Lady" Bunny and friends. Each year the party grew, moving to Union Square in 1991, then to Christopher Street waterfront in 1994 to deal with the expanding crowd. 2001 was supposed to be the last year, but the party came back in 2003, in conjunction with the annual HOWL festival. That carried the tradition on for another two years, and Wigstock's official website is stuck in 2005, a reminder of the festivities that were. You can reminisce with Gawker, or take a short journey back to 1987 with Wigstock: The Movie (part 1 of 4), not to be confused with the longer film of the same name, capturing Wigstock 1995 (part 1 of 8).
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 9, 2012 - 18 comments

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute

The web site of The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has more than 30,000 images searchable by who, what, where, and when.
posted by Trurl on Mar 8, 2012 - 11 comments

NYC High Schoolers Release 10-Point Educational Policy Plan

A group of high school students from The Bronx calling themselves The Resistance have released a 10-point plan to reform NYC public schooling. (via Colorlines) [more inside]
posted by naturalog on Mar 5, 2012 - 167 comments

Upon a fight in Darien

The Cabbie v. the Morgan Stanley Executive "Those of you who have any degree of contact with the financial blogosphere no doubt caught the news today that one William Bryan Jennings, the co-head of fixed income for the Americas for Morgan Stanley, was arrested and charged with second-degree assault, theft of services and intimidation by bias or bigotry and released on bail of $9,500. He has been put on leave." [Via].
posted by marienbad on Mar 3, 2012 - 57 comments

Too much moxie breeds mayhem in the streets: skateboarding in NYC, 1965

A two-foot piece of wood or plastic mounted on wheels, it yields to the skillful user the excitements of skiing or surfing. To the unskilled it gives the effect of having stepped on a banana peel while dashing down the back stairs. It is also a menace to live and even limb. Life magazine article on skateboarding in New York City, from the May 14, 1965 issue. Pictures from that article are now online in larger form (one-page view on another site). See also: The New York Skate Movie trailer on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 28, 2012 - 15 comments

Please, come into my home

This Is My Home.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 21, 2012 - 19 comments

There must be 50 ways to shoot Paul Simon on a NYC fire escape.

Longtime New Yorker Bob Egan's PopSpots tracks down the original New York City locations where famous images were shot, then superimposes the original picture over the present-day location. Did you know the iconic The Kids are Alright album-cover shot of The Who, asleep and wrapped by the Union Jack, was staged just east of Columbia University? Ever wonder where, exactly, the shot of the Central Park "pretzle" guy from Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic was taken? Or curious whether it would be possible to figure out the exact spot in Greenwich Village where the solarized cover photo of Neil Young's After the Gold Rush was snapped? The exact fire escape where Paul Simon was photographed for Still Crazy After All These Years? Egan reveals all, then shows you how he figured it out. [more inside]
posted by Joey Bagels on Feb 19, 2012 - 17 comments

"If I had died, there would have been an investigation."

Here's why drivers get away with murder in NYC.
posted by showbiz_liz on Feb 15, 2012 - 143 comments

Kickstarted

The last 24 hours at Kickstarter has demonstrated that the site has become a major player. At 12:45pm Thursday, NYC Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced that the city work work with Kickstarter to spotlight community projects and businesses in need of funding in those same areas. Just over an hour later, at 2:08pm, Elevation Dock becomes the first Kickstarter project to reach $1M in pledges. Four hours later, at 6:42pm, Double Fine hits the $1M mark after being on Kickstarter for just under 22 hours. By the end of the day on Thursday, Kickstarter has seen its largest day of pledges, with $1,605,981 put towards projects. As VC Fred Wilson tweeted, "they don't come very often, but days like this are why startups are exhilarating."
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Feb 10, 2012 - 45 comments

These people in the midwest, they wouldn't know a bagel from a donut. They only saw a bagel if one fell off a truck. Four professors were dissecting it before they found out what it's all about.

Hiya Freddie baby, give me a dozen...my life's blood, without bagels what is a day? Yah make it a dozen assorted. Dat's it, give me the garlic, the sesame, the onion, give me them all baby, that's it! They're still handmade eh? Hot Bagels! Wait a second let me PAY yah! Here you are, kid. Thank you. Have a good day.
posted by timshel on Feb 9, 2012 - 71 comments

Hetty Green

Best known for the (exaggerated) tales of her miserliness, Hetty Green was arguably the greatest female investor in history. During the 1907 Bankers' Panic, her loan of $1.1 million helped keep New York City solvent. Her estate - greater than that of J.P. Morgan's - was valued at more than $2 billion in today's money. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 5, 2012 - 18 comments

Total Annual Building Energy Consumption for New York City

An amazing piece of statistical analysis produced this zoomable (down to the block level) map of energy consumption for New York City, based on Spatial distribution of urban building energy consumption by end use. [via]
posted by unliteral on Feb 5, 2012 - 30 comments

With a Gun and a Camera

"They stuck me at P.S.A. 7 in the South Bronx," he said, referring to Police Service Area No. 7 in the department’s housing bureau. "They cover all the housing projects in that area." It was dangerous work, performing vertical patrols — marching up and down staircases — watching for drug deals, responding to violent fights and domestic brawls, and worse. Two years passed, and Officer Bolfo brought something else to work, along with his radio and his gun. A camera.
posted by swift on Feb 3, 2012 - 34 comments

Uh... those aren't chemtrails

Flying people in the skies of NYC. [SLYT]
posted by hincandenza on Feb 1, 2012 - 18 comments

The Gift That Keeps On Hissing

Unsure what to give your special someone for Valentines Day this year? Why not give their name to one of the Bronx Zoo's 58,000 Madagascar hissing cockroaches.
posted by The Whelk on Jan 27, 2012 - 47 comments

Post-Industrial Brooklyn

How Brooklyn Got Its Groove Back: New York’s biggest borough has reinvented itself as a postindustrial hot spot. In City Journal, Kay S. Hymowitz walks us through a story of entrepreneurial "creative class gentrification" in NYC's most populous borough. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Jan 26, 2012 - 89 comments

365 days in the life of a bike in NYC

Lifecycle - A bike in New York is locked to a pole and photographed everyday as it slowly disappears. [via]
posted by quin on Jan 21, 2012 - 42 comments

65 cents in nickels and dimes

15 photographs taken at the scene of the 1960 Park Slope, Brooklyn passenger plane collision. These are horrifying, view with caution. Previously. Sorry it had to be from the Daily Mail, folks.
posted by timshel on Jan 15, 2012 - 32 comments

The State Of The Situation.

Two months after being kicked out by the NYPD in an early morning raid, the Occupy Wall Street protestors have returned to Zucotti/Liberty Plaza to meet new regulations that make protesting all but impossible. Meanwhile, OWS is looking for an accountant and NYC councilman Ydanis Rodriguez wants to donate his 5k stipend to the protestors. Yasha Levine of The Exiled writes about his arrangement hearing after being arrested during the Occupy LA raid and Political Cartoonist and Essayist Tim Kreider releases four essays he wrote during the first occupation of Zucotti/Liberty Plaza, "What OWS Wants" "Capitalism, A Bummer" "An Open Letter To The Tea Party." and "OWS: The Morning After." [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jan 12, 2012 - 142 comments

And so it moves from the memories of yesterday into the promise of tomorrow...

New York - The Wonder City - 1938 (SLOldTimeyYT)
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 28, 2011 - 6 comments

The (First) Crime of the Century

June 25th 1906, was the opening night of the musical revue Mamzelle Champagne on the roof of Madison Square Garden. In attendance were Stanford White, renowned architect (Washington Square Arch, Judson Memorial Church, Madison Square Garden itself), and Harry Kendall Thaw, eccentric coal and railroad scion. During the performance of the song I Could Love a Million Girls, Thaw "left his seat near the stage, passed between a number of tables, and, in full view of the players and of scores of persons, shot White through the head." (pdf) Standing over White’s body, Thaw said “You’ll never go out with that woman again.” [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 22, 2011 - 14 comments

Mean Streets

Mean streets: Stark photos show behind-the-scenes life of police patrolling crime-ridden New York in the 1970s.
posted by Ad hominem on Dec 22, 2011 - 23 comments

Astor Place. Two blocks. Lots of history.

In 1783, John Jacob Astor set out for the United States with $25 and five flutes. Upon his death in 1848, he was the wealthiest person in the US, having amassed a fortune of at least $20,000,000, making him the third wealthiest person in American history (measuring wealth as a fraction of GDP). [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee on Dec 20, 2011 - 27 comments

Beautiful maps of New York City, from the 1600s to present

The Streets of New York : a cartographical exploration. Part II - 19th Century Expansion and Part III - The Three Dimensional Maps (a must see for the last picture, a scale model with 895,000 structures). More amazing pictures of the Panorama of the City of New York
posted by desjardins on Dec 19, 2011 - 8 comments

It's a window *and* a metaphor of your life!

In 1999 MTV launched Downtown, an animated slice of life show about young people in Manhattan's Lower East Side based on interviews with non-actors (Pilot part 2 part 3 ) created by animator Chris Prynoski (Daria, Beavis And Butt-head, Metalocalypse). Despite an Emmy nomination, the show was cancelled after one season (with one unaired episode). Like so many MTV shows, licensing complications prevented it from reaching DVD, meaning the only way to watch the show was to e-mail Chris directly. Until someone uploaded the entire series to Youtube.
posted by The Whelk on Dec 16, 2011 - 18 comments

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 selection of Kubrick's photojournalism

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

“I miss the crowd.”

"One thing about life in New York: wherever you are, the neighborhood is always changing. An Italian enclave becomes Senegalese; a historically African-American corridor becomes a magnet for white professionals. The accents and rhythms shift; the aromas become spicy or vegetal. The transition is sometimes smooth, sometimes bumpy. But there is a sense of loss among the people left behind, wondering what happened to the neighborhood they once thought of as their own." For Sophia Goldberg (98), Holocaust survivor, change has meant the end of a way of life.
posted by zarq on Dec 1, 2011 - 34 comments

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