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Saying a lot with a little

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.
posted by yiftach on Mar 3, 2011 - 11 comments

Urban Design

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]
posted by zarq on Mar 2, 2011 - 7 comments

The Supercommuter

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]
posted by zarq on Feb 22, 2011 - 72 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

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

NYC's MTA.. Visualized

"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]
posted by pwally on Jan 31, 2011 - 13 comments

We used to get 김치 on the corner....

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]
posted by zarq on Jan 18, 2011 - 19 comments

Never have you ever seen anything like it

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!
posted by griphus on Jan 16, 2011 - 29 comments

Musical notes from the underground

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]
posted by jng on Jan 14, 2011 - 11 comments

Lost in the Dregs

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]
posted by zarq on Jan 13, 2011 - 65 comments

Historic New York Photo Collection

"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."
posted by peacay on Jan 3, 2011 - 5 comments

Into the Tunnels

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.
posted by Taft on Jan 2, 2011 - 22 comments

NYC Sanitation Department Demolition Derby - Blizzard 2010 Edition

NYC's Dumbest: NYC Sanitation Workers Destroy A Ford Explorer [NSFW language]. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Dec 28, 2010 - 187 comments

Who, then, is stealing the household appliances of New York City?

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?
posted by R. Mutt on Dec 14, 2010 - 52 comments

Can a subway map really be "mongrelish?"

Three subway map design titans come together in one room to debate form versus function in NYC's transit map
posted by auto-correct on Dec 10, 2010 - 33 comments

The Urban Ballerina

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]
posted by netbros on Dec 10, 2010 - 9 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

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

If Henry Rollins thinks you have too many tattoos, you might be a hipster

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).
posted by kittens for breakfast on Nov 7, 2010 - 192 comments

The East River Bridge

Brooklyn to New York via the Brooklyn Bridge as shot by the Edison Manufacturing Co. in 1899. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 5, 2010 - 11 comments

“Bike racks are the gateway drug for civic engagement.”

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.
posted by availablelight on Nov 3, 2010 - 26 comments

Why don't people have mustaches like that these days?

A great slideshow of the nyc subway system 1910-present. [more inside]
posted by jourman2 on Oct 21, 2010 - 5 comments

If the Brooklyn Bridge could fit in her shopping cart, she would have sold it

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.
posted by dersins on Oct 15, 2010 - 18 comments

One map's journey

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.
posted by Casimir on Oct 14, 2010 - 8 comments

Scott Jordan, urban archeologist

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]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 9, 2010 - 13 comments

Neither snow nor rain nor expanded train service

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]
posted by The Whelk on Oct 5, 2010 - 45 comments

The eeriest places in New York City

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.
posted by 2bucksplus on Oct 1, 2010 - 31 comments

Just the snark is worth the read

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.
posted by The Lady is a designer on Sep 24, 2010 - 9 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

Cheese it! It's the cops!

NYC's underground grilled cheese [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Sep 22, 2010 - 66 comments

No birds were (physically) harmed in the making of these dramatic videos.

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.
posted by oinopaponton on Sep 17, 2010 - 45 comments

The Taxi Gourmet

The Taxi Gourmet Every week, I get in a taxi, ask the driver to take me to his or her favorite restaurant. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago on Aug 30, 2010 - 98 comments

Tenant Beware

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]
posted by hal_c_on on Aug 30, 2010 - 32 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

"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)
posted by zarq on Aug 4, 2010 - 315 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 Resurgence of Indie Bookstores in New York

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.
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 2, 2010 - 49 comments

"Democracy is stronger than this."

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]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 1, 2010 - 446 comments

I have no legs. I have no legs. I have no legs.

"Kids, a film about a bunch of hard-living New York City kids, premiered 15 years ago today. It seems that in many ways the city seems to have forgotten the film, just as many of those involved in the film also seem happy to forget it." Proof that 80s New York was Hella Real (courtesy TMN).
posted by geoff. on Jul 29, 2010 - 123 comments

The USS Gen. H.F. Hodges In Photos

From 1945 to 1946, Leonard Rudoff served as Apprentice Seaman, 3rd Class on the troop transport USS Gen. H.F Hodge as it made its way to India, Egypt, NYC, and San Francisco. And he took photos along the way..[via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jul 29, 2010 - 6 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

Let's go walk the High Line and look for people with mullets

Ritual of the First Date, Circa 2010. [more inside]
posted by special-k on Jul 3, 2010 - 72 comments

Serenading the Streets, or Because New York Isn't Noisy Enough

At 9am on Monday the 21st June, 60 pianos will be distributed and then unveiled across New York City by Sing for Hope. Located in public parks, streets and plazas the pianos will be available until 5th July for any member of the public to play and engage with.

Play Me, I’m Yours” is an artwork by British artist Luke Jerram. [Previously] You can get piano locations as well as upload videos, photos and stories of you and your friends tickling the public ivories on the official site. The project will be concurrently mounted in London.
posted by Lutoslawski on Jun 17, 2010 - 25 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

The Ethicist, on biking in New York City

Randy Cohen, the New York Times's Ethicist, happily chats about biking.
posted by Greg Nog on May 20, 2010 - 24 comments

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