A cathedral is a good place to remember. I visited European cathedrals when I was too young to care about them. There was Chartres: buttresses and spires, relics lined up in rows in glass cases, a crypt that’s not filled with dead people, but is another church in the church. One of the tour guides told me that the cathedral’s nave was constructed on an angle so that medieval pilgrims’ muck could be washed right out the door; they would just toss buckets of water in there. She also said that people still walk out to the cathedral from Paris and that it takes three days. You leave the city [...]
"Hookers are using the controversial Airbnb home-sharing Web site to turn prime Manhattan apartments into temporary brothels," while "[c]rafty hobos are turning the Manhattan Bridge into a veritable shantytown, complete with elaborate plywood shacks that are truly 'must see to believe.'" It is, indeed, a hell of a town.
Finally, one of the millions of video-equipped smart phones in Brooklyn have caught an unidentified flying object hovering over some of the world's priciest real estate. Why do the alien monsters want to live where everyone else wants to live?
It is not a coincidence that similar formations of eerie lights are also being seen (and video recorded) over the Mission District in San Francisco. And there's video of that, too.
It is not the fault of Airbnb that its new logo looks like an anatomical negative space, a hole, its chief technology officer, Nathan Blecharczyk, would like to everyone to know: We wouldn’t want to design a logo that caters to the lowest common denominator. This was a yearlong undertaking for dozens of people, it’s something meaningful, and no one pauses to really understand that.
But when one gazes into the hole—for how can one not—the tumble begins almost immediately, through the hole, beyond the hole. The world and every possible concern, hope, fear, or dream dissolves completely, leaving just you and the hole—you are [...]
Airbnb, like the Fiske Guide to College, is rife with creatively employed adjectives. After all, not everyone’s studio can be “cozy.” And now, as New Yorkers are no longer allowed to let strangers use their apartments as makeshift hotels, European Airbnb hosts have cornered the weird-adjective market. Is the prose of European hosts touched by the cultural and economic microclimates tearing the European Union apart? Do their adjective choices shed light on the current political situation abroad? Is Google Translate to blame? Join me in a select alphabetical-by-city review of European Airbnb adjectives.
One day, after my Sunday shopping excursion, walking south, I suddenly really had to pee. I raced home, dropped my groceries at my door, and ran to the bathroom to relieve myself. Two minutes, that was all it took. In two minutes I went to retrieve my groceries in the hall, and they were gone. Someone had stolen them. In fury I took out a sheet of paper and wrote in black marker, “Whoever just stole my groceries from my front door, that was my food for the week. Please return them. #5A”. I taped the sign next to my door and waited. Surely, some family member would [...]
In October, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a subpoena to Airbnb, ordering it to turn data about its 15,000 registered hosts in New York over to the state. While neither Airbnb nor its hosts pay the 15 percent lodging tax that most New York City hotels are subject to—no small part of the reason why startups like Airbnb have been able to "disrupt" the established hospitality industry—the attorney general's primary concern was not the stream of potential tax revenue trickling past the state's coffers. (Airbnb kindly offered to induce its users to pay the tax, which would amount to some $21 million.)
"During Dr. Sexton’s tenure, N.Y.U. has earned a reputation for lavishly rewarding its star faculty members. It bought a $6.5 million Upper East Side apartment for the head of its medical center, and it paid more than $4 million to help a former Columbia law professor stay in her turreted Upper West Side home when she joined the N.Y.U. law faculty. It gave the dean of N.Y.U.'s law school a $5.7 million loan to buy an apartment." —Turns out that perks for New York University's star faculty are as ridiculous as the very worst fiction has suggested.
At the beginning of this month I spent about a week and a half of improbably beautiful, sunny, breezy, vacationing-in-New-York days huddled over my laptop in a borrowed apartment, hitting “refresh” over and over again. I would wake up in the mornings and instinctively reach for the phone (kept next to my pillow) and check my email to see whether anything had changed. I often didn’t shower until 3 or 4 p.m. I survived, largely, on coffee, and I slept at most a few hours a night. I didn’t read the news or even watch television except for that one night the stupor was so thick that I managed [...]