Posts Tagged: New York City
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?

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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.

3

A Government Official at the Tap of a Button

Testimony from Ashwini Chhabra, Deputy Commissioner of Policy & Planning at NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission, in 2012, on the question of hailing taxicabs with apps like Uber:

“It is not the rightful function of government to protect one segment of an industry from competition from another segment. So long as passengers win and the industry over all wins, our goal to be to encourage innovation and forward movement.”

So it will not surprise you to learn that he is becoming Uber's first head of policy development and community engagement. I'm sure someone told him, in a sing-songy voice "Why reg-u-late when you can inn-o-vate? Also here is [...]

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, [...]

0

The Long Tail of Deadly Intersections

Here's the surprising thing about the most dangerous intersections in New York City, like the Myrtle-Wyckoff-Palmetto death trap in Ridgewood:

"There are about 1,800 severe pedestrian injuries a year and you'll rarely find an intersection with more than three or four in an individual year," [Ryan Russo, DOT's assistant commissioner for traffic management] said. Russo says that if you could eliminate every death and serious injury at the 52 most dangerous intersections, you'd reduce the citywide total by only four percent.

In other words, a graph of dangerous intersections would be all tail and no head; death lurks around every corner.

0

How New York City Would Officially Respond to a Godzilla Attack

Godzilla is traditionally understood to be a denizen of the Pacific Ocean, attacking coastal cities from eastern Asia to western North America. That did not stop me from worrying, as a five-year-old growing up in Manasquan, New Jersey—a beach town—about what might happen if Godzilla emerged one day from the Atlantic Ocean. But even then, I had no illusions about my heroism: I would not stop Godzilla through some ingenious act of immense violence or by coercing some other, slightly more friendly kaiju to fight Godzilla on humanity's behalf. No, I knew that I would be one of the tens (hundreds?) of thousands of human insects scurrying away from the [...]

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. [...]

3

How the Alternate Side Lives

Mary Norris doesn’t want other people to know where the block she dubs “the Sanctuary” is located, so I won’t provide the key details. But, like most streets in Manhattan, twice a week, parking is prohibited on each side of the Sanctuary under the “alternate-side parking” program, which allows New York Department of Sanitation sweepers to clean the curb. Unlike most other city blocks, however, the ban only lasts half an hour, instead of the usual hour and a half, giving Norris plenty of time to get to work by 10 a.m. Moreover, in a rarity for Manhattan, the Sanctuary is a cul-de-sac, and one not easily accessed from [...]