Posts Tagged: New York City
4

A New York Superlative

The mean income of the top 5 percent of households in Manhattan soared 9 percent in 2013 over 2012, giving Manhattan the biggest dollar income gap of any county in the country, according to data from the Census Bureau The top 5 percent of households earned $864,394, or 88 times as much as the poorest 20 percent, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, which is being released Thursday and covers the final year of the Bloomberg administration.

The meaning of this statistic, which still maintains a limited ability to shock in our post-Piketty era, will magically unravel itself in due time as many of the remaining [...]

1

Local Ballet Enthusiast Explains Patronage

"One reason is that the left-wing Democrats highly enjoy calling me an evil Koch brother, and the contributions I make in these many areas are tremendously worthy. It sends a message to the political groups in this country that don't like the conservative Republican businessman."

1

Subway Rat Goes Big

There's a rat. The intercom woman speaks: "The next stop is 47th–50th Streets, Rockefeller Center." The rat is walking in your direction. The train across the platform—other way—is about to leave. "Stand clear of the closing doors, please." The rat is trotting like a wolf. A loud clattering sound: A suitcase down the stairs? Repairs? The rat doesn't care. The rat is galloping. The rat is here. The rat bites. Get off my subway platform, human. Your time is over.

5

Fear of a Rich Foreign Buyer

The most recent New York mag cover story is a fascinating and seemingly overdue look at the flood of foreign money into the New York real estate market, and in particular at "stash pads," which are, despite their prime locations, little more than apartment-shaped financial contrivances. It's got it all! High-rise towers in which the majority of tenants are simply presumed foreign, since their identities are masked by shell corporations; whispers of international crime syndicates; blind money men sending buyer-tourists to make all-cash deals that squeeze even affluent city-dwellers out of the market; a subtext (possibly the PRETEXT for the piece, also?), of course, about the loss, under the [...]

1

Brand Evolves

The New York Times nervously ponders the evolution of a Harlem, a neighborhood whose core now has fewer black residents "than at any time since [Charles] Rangel was first elected in 1970" and is now eleven percent white.

More than ever, Harlem is less a clearly identified voting bloc than an idea. A brand. … Viewed from on top of those tour buses, Harlem is banking on a future tied to its legacy. Its currency is authenticity, a term that Harlem stakeholders added to their conversations as though pouring hot sauce and syrup over an order of chicken and waffles.

Leaving aside the problem with this imagery, [...]

3

Crops Rotated

The New York Times, 1986: The recently spruced up Union Square area has become fertile ground for a new crop of restaurants. Union Square Cafe, an inviting, low-key newcomer on the site of the former Brownies, a health food restaurant, is one of the most appealing of the lot.

In 1995: "We're still in the same area, which is important," Ms. Hirsch said. "We think that people who come to Barnes & Noble will appreciate having our store nearby because what we have at our store, you can't get anywhere else."

In the last few years, Revolution Books seemed something of a lonely hanger-on on East [...]

8

New Subway Line to Connect Brooklyn and Some Other Borough

Ever since the streetcar system that connected Brooklyn and Queens was effectively dismantled by the automobile industry, there has been virtually no way to travel between the two boroughs without a car, except by bike, boat, bus, foot or fowl. But today, the Metropolitan Transit Authority has announced the opening of a new subway line that will run essentially north-south, exclusively serving the two rapidly growing outer boroughs.

Called the G line, it will run between Church Avenue in Brooklyn and Court Square in Queens. While the trains only features four cars, they will run every eight minutes between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays. P.A. [...]

2

Tonight, New York City Crowns Its Best New App! But Will It Be the Racist One?

Tonight, Big Bill de Blasio awards the winners in the NYC BigApps competition. That's a project of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. With mentors and judges from many, if not "all" walks of life, this project is one of the few rare ways that New York City might actually help a small business, while also helping to improve the lives of New Yorkers, or even making the city a better place in general. Cash prizes go to the best apps created out of city data.

But Mayor Bill will be treading on dangerous ground. Will the judges set him up for a disaster? Because among some [...]

3

Neighborhood Demographics Shifting

"But walking around the East Village, I just want to cry at the state of it. There are so many fuckin’ jocks everywhere! It’s like a frat house everywhere. There are all those terrible bars like The 13th Step, and it’s just spreading over to A and B. And now, in Williamsburg, you have all these frat guys dressed as alternatives. I don’t know if it’s a sign of the times, but where are the real weirdos?" They have apparently moved to Park Slope.

0

A Flood Flash

A flash flood warning has been issued for New York City and the surrounding areas: Now the flood was on the earth long enough to be annoying. The waters increased and lifted up the refuse piled along the curb, and it rose high above the earth. The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the streets, and the garbage moved about on the surface of the waters. And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered, except in parts of Brooklyn, where the hills are higher still. The waters prevailed fifteen cubits or whatever upward, and the sidewalks were [...]

10

The Uber Bomb Detonates in New York

Have you been in a New York cab recently? Sometimes prompted but more often not, drivers will want to talk to you about Uber. If you're in a yellow cab or a livery car, you will hear about Uber the virus, Uber the interloper, Uber the merciless invader; if you're in an Uber cab, or an Uber-adjacent green taxi, you'll hear about Uber the inevitable, Uber the strange, Uber the great (for now). It's been a boom time for untethered drivers—a magical stretch during which they could take advantage of high fares, high demand, and low barriers to entry all at once. It was acknowledged, rarely explicitly, that the arrangement [...]

0

Solemn Ritual Threatened

The history of alternate-side parking in New York City is medium-length and not all that glorious, but the particular way that it warps space and time has produced not so much a peculiar set of rituals and customs as wholly alternate ways of living—existences that could be threatened by a proposed rule change that would allow drivers to swiftly re-park their cars after a street sweeper has passed. The rule change, provided one could verify that the sweeper has indeed passed, is logical on its face: Why shouldn't a car be able to immediately return to its spot once the impetus for its removal has passed?

[...]
1

The Rise and Fall of Vincent Winfield

Two weeks ago, at the Eastern District Court of New York, federal prosecutors played a video of the rapper and alleged drug kingpin Ronald Herron, better known as Ra Diggs, driving around Boerum Hill, monologuing about his life and his environment. "This is not my 'hood like I'm from here. This is My Hood," Herron says, looking out the window as he drives. Herron throws his whole weight behind the last two words as the tall, brick buildings of the Gowanus Houses flash by in the background. "I am surveying my terrain."

The video was filmed in the fall of 2008 by a man named Vincent Winfield. Also known [...]

1

Withdrawals Made

"Perhaps it's time for acceptance: Yes, the banks have used our weakness against us, and they have won." —This story, ostensibly about the insane proliferation of bank branches around New York City, turns out to be about quite a bit more.

1

View Cloudy

A question about the forthcoming Nordstorm Tower, freshly rendered by YIMBY: At which floor of the one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five foot tower—which, though it is one foot shorter than One World Trade Center, because of the elevation of midtown, will be the tallest point in the city—will residents' view of Central Park be blocked by clouds? Not that it should matter terribly much during the fall and winter, when the building will cast a four-thousand-foot shadow across the park, since they should be some place much warmer anyway, like Miami or São Paulo.

4

Brand Citizens United

That my shampoo, lunch, toilet paper and vitamins may have been discussed in a single company's annual meeting is something I both take for granted and otherwise bury as deeply as possible. It's bizarre and uncomfortable: Conglomerate brand ownership makes for good trivia and bad thoughts.

The consumer conglomerates themselves don't usually hide, exactly. General Mills isn't worried that people will be shocked to discover that Hamburger Helper and Lucky Charms share a parent company. But Clorox doesn't go out of its way to remind shoppers that Liquid-Plumr, Burt's Bees and KC Masterpiece trade under the same ticker symbol. And you don't see AB InBev posters in your [...]

14

What $2000 Gets You in Brownstone Brooklyn

Charming and unique large one bedroom in landmarked brownstone – extremely bright, 10 high sloped ceilings, SKYLIGHT in each room – no side windows, original hardwood floors*, renovated kitchen and bathroom, no side windows. Located on a prime block in Brooklyn Heights, no side windows, Blocks from all major MTA subway lines, no side windows.

Short distance to the Promenade and the Brooklyn Bridge, Restaurant Row on Smith Street, shopping on Court Street, no side windows, Atlantic Street and Montague Street, no side windows. Minutes to Manhattan, Wall Street and Midtown, NO SIDE WINDOWS.

*no side windows

21

Put Your Phone Down

As a people we have lost the plot. Because we can document everything, we will, and we can't stop. Every event is now a sea of people with their arms held up in a triangle, forming an illuminati symbol with our phones at the apex. We've gone too far. It has to stop. Like a Beyoncé concert, the New York City fireworks were a nightmare of phones, and for what? For nothing. Data for your cloud. You can fully understand why performers—and brides and grooms!—want to ban all cellphones at events.

Take a picture of a flower, a baby, a cat, a sidewalk, an airplane, a painting, please. [...]

9

A Photo Tour of Williamsburg's Latest Real Estate Travesty

Today's great story on New York City as real estate investment and money laundering capital of the world has lots to recommend it, but in particular it confirms one of those things you already know but don't have the numbers on: The Census Bureau estimates that 30 percent of all apartments in the quadrant from 49th to 70th Streets between Fifth and Park are vacant at least ten months a year.

Amazing. Such validation! The rest of us, well… we work here, so we should probably have some place to sleep.

The Spire Lofts in Williamsburg have been going on the market in waves, with an open house held [...]

18

The Trials of 'Entertainment Weekly': One Magazine's 24 Years of Corporate Torture

Jessica Alba on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in March of 2001, summer of 2006, and again this month.

When I was a young and odd child, one of the oddest things I did was collect Entertainment Weekly. Our family, like so many middle class families, had always had a subscription to Time, and one day Entertainment Weekly began arriving with it. In those early days, it was called entertainment weekly, and in many ways, it resembled many of the entertainment websites (The A.V. Club, Grantland, Vulture) that dominate the field today. There were long, industry-oriented cover stories, buttressed by surprisingly non-banal interviews with stars, producers, directors, [...]