Friedan's Village

A look back at Parkway Village, the birthplace of The Feminine Mystique
Sponsored

New York City, May 20, 2015

★★★★ The air conditioner had drowned out the soft buzzing of the phone alarm for an hour or more. Ivory-colored clouds drifted from west to east, separating till bright white light slapped the surfaces on Broadway. Downtown, the clouds were knitting back together. Once more it had been a mistake to go out without a jacket; it would have been superb jacket conditions—the month speeding by but the temperature refusing to hasten into summer. Brightness returned. The breeze filled the unfastened purple graduation gown of a young man slowly crossing Houston Street. Green maple samaras traced the foot of the churchyard wall on Prince Street. The sunset clouds were a rich magenta, flaring suddenly to shining pink, as a thin and ghostly crescent moon edged away from the glass apartment tower.

The Plan to Save Public Housing

14769319811_2aef8a2bfd_k

On Tuesday, in a gymnasium at the Johnson Houses in East Harlem, Mayor Bill De Blasio announced a new plan to revitalize and expand New York City’s public housing stock. Currently, more than half a million New Yorkers live in housing run by the New York City Housing Authority—nearly four hundred thousand in the city’s three hundred and thirty-four public housing developments, and another two hundred and thirty-five thousand in Section 8 housing. Founded in 1934, during the depths of the Great Depression, NYCHA began a long, slow slide into insolvency in the late eighties, as the federal government began divesting from public housing across the country. According to the New York Times, had earlier funding patterns held, the Authority would have received over a billion dollars more in federal funding than it actually has since 2001. They didn’t and it hasn’t, so the city’s public housing program is falling apart. “This is, at this moment, the worst financial crisis in the history of NYCHA,” De Blasio told dozens of reporters and a handful of tenants. “Literally the worst.”

The Authority’s buildings, more than three-quarters of which are over forty years old, require approximately seventeen billion dollars in unmet capital needs. “All types of repairs need to be done for the long haul, and the resources have not been there,” the mayor said. Moreover, “NYCHA has approximately one month of surplus cash on hand—one month, and after that will go into deficit.” If nothing is done, the mayor said, the housing authority’s deficit will build to two-and-a-half billion dollars over the next decade.

De Blasio bracketed his presentation of the plan to save NYCHA—branded NextGeneration NYCHA—with calls for the federal government to re-invest itself in affordable housing and infrastructure. “The federal government has to be much more of a key contributor again,” the mayor said. In response to a question regarding how much time he’s been spending away from New York City, the mayor said, “If you wanted the federal government to get back in the affordable housing business, one of the only ways to get there is with a more progressive tax system.” Last week, De Blasio traveled to Washington, D.C. to present a federal policy agenda with Senator Elizabeth Warren, and then to California to speak at UC-Berkeley with former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. “I hold out the hope if we do that well, and if we join with cities around the country that we might be able to get more of the resources we have long been waiting for,” he added. (Many of New York’s mayors find their office taking them outside of the city: Michael Bloomberg, for example, spent many weekends in Bermuda.)

Ass So Fat…

I might take a vacation1
You would’ve thought it was bogus2
I seen it with my pimp view vision3
Need it softest4

She need lipo5
I’m crying anti-depressants6
Her cheeks were jolly7
It tipped over the Aston8

It was built in a factory9
No butt pad10
Should’ve YOLO’d twice11
Make me wanna dive in it12

It’s popping out my jeans13
Let’s make a baby14
You can ride me like a stable horse15
Man, I swear I can’t even speak16

I just wanna hocus-pocus abracadabra that17
Make a player wanna smash that18
How you support all that?19
You could park ten Tahoes on it20

The Episodes of 'SNL' Season 40, Ranked

With SNL‘s 40th season wrapped up, we’re taking a look back at the past year to recall the highs, lows, and other memorable moments as the show ended its fourth decade on the air. Below, we reexamine the 21 episodes of Season 40.

Like any lineup in showbusiness — whether it’s a summer movie schedule or a season of Saturday Night Live — tentpoles are crucial. An SNL season may feature a plethora of first-time hosts enjoying their moment in the sun, but it never goes too long before bringing in a seasoned veteran host who can guarantee a win. Recent seasons have been tentpoled by the likes of Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Tina Fey, Justin Timberlake, Jimmy Fallon, and Will Ferrell — tried-and-true SNL hall-of-famers who know how to deliver the goods. That left room for a few duds, as well as wild cards like Jon Hamm, Zach Galifianakis, and Melissa McCarthy to sneak in without expectations and join the ranks of all-time great hosts.

That’s what made Season 40 such an odd case. Rather than structuring the season with several tentpoles, we were given one big one: the 40th Anniversary Special in February, which showcased all of the aforementioned regulars, and then some. The anniversary was a thrilling and emotional climax for the show, but its magnitude cast an inevitable shadow on the season that contained it. SNL watchers always let our nostalgia for past generations blind us from the present, but here was a three-and-a-half hour highlight reel of everything we once loved about the show, with hardly any of those highlights coming from the recent era. There was plenty of retrospect, but little prospect. For example, it’s hard to credit Colin Jost and Michael Che with the undeniable progress they’ve made behind the Weekend Update desk after a parade of greats like Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Dennis Miller, Kevin Nealon, Norm Macdonald, Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Seth Meyers. It’s like college basketball player having a solid opening game, with Jordan dunking at halftime.

The star-studded anniversary also dried up the pool of tentpole hosts (with no Five-Timers Club members this year), leaving well-liked but less-proven regulars Bill Hader, Jim Carrey, Dwayne Johnson, and Louis CK to prop up the season. They did… mostly. Between a few pleasant surprises from first-timers (Martin Freeman) and old-timers (Woody Harrelson), the episodes this season rarely left people buzzing in the days that followed.

Below is a ranking of the episodes this season (not including the 40th Anniversary Special, which was less an episode of SNL than an extended circle-jerk). As with last year’s ranking, we measured episode quality by asking ourselves a few questions: What, if anything, was memorable about this episode? Were the sketches clear, funny, unique concepts, or were they the same predictable bits we’re tired of seeing? Did the host complement the cast, with sketches that made good use of his/her skills? And finally, did the episode contain any awful sketches about a bickering old couple waiting for an Uber?

A Poem by Catie Rosemurgy

In Which Blame Like Formaldehyde Is an Attempt to Preserve the Dead

In which composite of bad things
In which grown up huge from seed

In which I don’t know who is speaking
In which why do you think I would?

In which what happened and what didn’t switch places
In which in that way a girl matters

In which first the tart and then the lemon
In which first the burning and then the witches

In which density of the forest
In which small ones don’t get enough light
In which dead ones stand for years held up by the living ones around them

In which women refuse to be named
In which guessing is a pattern called Seven Sisters
In which whoever told you metaphor is figurative?
In which what happened props up one end of a wooden plank
and what didn’t props up the other
In which the surface isn’t quite even
In which I put the bad ideas in mason jars that I tie with twine and hang across my porch

In which women become interchangeable as an adaptive advantage
In which like the crayfish’s exoskeleton
In which both make a noise when crushed

In which I forget how to phrase things as questions

In which metaphor is the scissors and the glue
In which you are cut into an arrow-shape and hung as road sign

In which trees actually do matter
In which no one prunes a whole forest
In which fire does
In which you are already too large to be dug up and replanted into good soil

Old New York, Mapped

The New York Public Library’s massive collection of historical city photography has been mapped:

This site provides an alternative way of browsing the NYPL’s incredible Photographic Views of New York City, 1870s-1970s collection. Its goal is to help you discover the history behind the places you see every day.

And, if you’re lucky, maybe you’ll even discover something about New York’s rich past that you never knew before!

This is a rare and excellent internet object; a fascinating but unapproachable collection of media made approachable. I RECOMMEND IT, it is a powerful time-waster that asks for nothing in return. Mmmmm. A few tastes:


Tearing down the 6th Ave El at 42nd Street, 1939.


The mud-eating trash birds of Central Park, 1938.

36, 'Sine Dust'


I know nothing about this act but sometimes that makes thingseasier to appreciate. Here’s the whole EP. It is ideally listened to with headphones on, while wandering about on a dark day, but it is also perfectly acceptable at your desk from any sort of speakers. Enjoy.

Jamie xx, "I Know There's Gonna Be (Good Times)"

An easy summer playlist candidate; a track that sits well between almost any two others.

New York City, May 19, 2015

★★★ Fog again, a chill again. Birds had sung, loudly, through the open window in the dark hours of the night. It was time to drag the beds and the couch away from the heating-and-cooling cabinets so the crew could come in and change the filters. A few streaks of rain hit the windows around midday. It was a little too muggy out in the drizzle for the jacket, and a little too chilly to be without it. Amid the uncertainty, the air conditioning on the train was surely the wrong temperature. In the afternoon, the sun came out, or a blinding sunlike field of glare came out. The sky opposite it was blue, with a haze that only amounted to cloudlike streaks here and there. The hazy glare made its way west and grew yellower. A jet flew through it with an ooze and a flash like a bubble in shampoo. The first mosquito of the year flew into the living room, drifted under the neck of the little blue guitar, and allowed itself to be killed against the hassock.

How a Lazy Person Cooks Indian Food

Chai Tea
For the person who wants to cook Indian food but doesn’t have the patience, time, or wherewithal to learn all the spices and wait for the pot to boil, from an expert in lazy cooking.

1. CHAI
Ingredients:
Dried ginger (whole)
Tea bag (black)
Tablespoon of milk
Cup of water

Tools:
Kettle
Cup
Grater
Tea strainer

Lemme blow your minds: chai means tea. I KNOW!! So all this time you’ve been saying “chai tea latte,” you’ve actually been saying a “tea tea latte.” This is the world we live in.