For the last forty years, an odd rule from the Los Angeles Fire Department, known as Regulation 10, has required that every skyscraper in the city have a helipad for potential emergency rescues. This is why, architects argue, Los Angeles has a thoroughly medicore skyline. Here are a whole lot of them complaining to the New York Times about Regulation 10:
“The helipad regulation has hindered L.A. from having an iconic, memorable skyline in a city that desperately needs a stronger urban identity,” said Brigham Yen, a downtown realtor who writes a blog, DTLA Rising. “Downtown L.A. now has the opportunity to design visually stunning high-rises with spires that [...]
It's increasingly hard to escape the sensation that the primary proprietors of the so-called sharing economy don't so much share as take—from their users, from their contracted workers, from the localities in which they operate, by utilizing infrastructure that they do not contribute toward. It's everybody else who shares.
The New York State Attorney General's initial report on Airbnb in New York City, which analyzed full-apartment bookings (crucially, not room shares) with the service from 2010 until this past June, feels fairly conclusive in this regard. Even if you absolutely do not care at all that, according to the attorney general, seventy-two percent of the private bookings on [...]
On Tuesday, Dr. Lipkin and his colleagues published their initial results in the journal mBio. Although the scientists examined just 133 rats, they found plenty of pathogens. Some caused food-borne illnesses. Others, like Seoul hantavirus, had never before been found in New York. Others were altogether new to science…So far, they have identified 18 unknown species related to viruses already shown to cause diseases in humans. Two of the new species were similar to the virus that causes hepatitis C.
Amanda Uhry, who runs a consultancy called Manhattan Private School Advisors, which, as its name suggests, helps parents through the private-school application process, said she recently turned down a half-dozen clients when she discovered that they were opposed to vaccination. For a long while she had never inquired about the issue, but a few years ago, a child she was working with missed his kindergarten interview because of whooping cough, which left her stunned. "I thought, Whooping cough? Who gets whooping cough anymore?" she said.
While the Times strains to paint the wealthy parents New York City as marginally more reasonable than the wealthy parents of Los Angeles [...]
In May, in the course of conducting what could be the Awl's first annual Chipotle State of the Union survey, idk, Bobby Finger discovered that far more people ordered bowls than burritos, even though Chipotle is generally known as a burrito chain. Today, in a piece on the rise of grain bowls as a meal format—which strangely omits the Korean dish dolsot bibimbap, the ultimate bowl of grains and cool stuff—is official confirmation of the tortilla's fall from grace: "For evidence that the bowl has gone mainstream, look no further than Chipotle, whose burrito bowl is the biggest selling item on the menu."
Chipotle, America's favorite [...]
A thing I compulsively do after I pick up my Kindle, but before I start actually reading anything, is browse through its bookstore. Even though I rarely buy books from Amazon in order to avoid contributing to the downfall of publishing as we know it or whatever, I have made at least a few random purchases, like Eric Schlosser's Chew on This, which, in the fog of early morning and the kind of gross, glowing wintergreen glaze atop the Kindle's black-and-white E-Ink pages, seemed like a sequel or an update to Fast Food Nation, which I had never read in its entirety. I was immediately struck not just by how [...]
New York City’s restaurants are in the midst of an epidemic of not-goodness. Sit down in any new dining room, and you are handed a cocktail list. Each drink on this document will have one ingredient you have heard of and seven that were apparently named after distant planets. Sometimes you may think you recognize a cocktail that you like (a good cocktail, in other words), but everything you like about it has been replaced by some other thing that you’re not sure about. “Hello there, that sounds like an old-fashioned!” you think. “But with burdock syrup instead of sugar, Croatian absinthe instead of bourbon, and hemlock bitters instead [...]
Normally, when one learns of the revival of a beloved intellectual property from prior decades, the only appropriate thing to feel in response is absolute dread. However, considering that the last half of the second season of Twin Peaks—except for the last episode—was a smoking wreck (and, according to most people, the movie was not much better!), the odds that the Showtime revival of Twin Peaks, coming in 2016, will degrade the series even further are only slightly higher than the odds that David Lynch and Mark Frost could in fact improve upon its standing. (Sylvester Stallone is a strange but true case study in this fact: His recent additions [...]
Facebook has made a great many terrible promises to a great many terrible people about all of the terrible ways that those terrible people—and Facebook!—can make a lot of money using the incredibly personal data extracted from users to sell them terrible products. Not all of those promises have panned out. But one can get an approximate sense of how genuinely anxious one should be, as a Facebook user, by how genuinely excited the terrible people become at the prospect of one of these promises. (It's a roughly inverse relationship: The more excited they are, the more unnerved one can choose to feel. It's like when somebody guffaws [...]
In 2014, there are but a few questions to ask yourself in order to determine if you are a technology company or "startup."
• Do you have a website which is primarily used to sell your product(s)?
• Do you sincerely believe that your company, which mostly aspires to sell a commodity product to middle-class and upper-middle-class consumers using mildly novel marketing techniques, is going to change the world?
• Has a mysterious man offered you tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars?
Well then! I have good news for you.
“The answer is the Pacific Northwest, and probably especially west of the Cascades.”
“Actually, the strip of coastal land running from Canada down to the Bay Area is probably the best.”
“I predict we’re going to have millions of people moving to [the country’s midsection, like Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, Milwaukee and Detroit]."
“Alaska is going to be the next Florida by the end of the century.”
The grim parlor game that we're playing here is "Where will people move when the now-inevitable environmental apocalypse that the human race could've averted but loved its SUVs and one-dollar hamburgers and air conditioning a little too much [...]