Streams

Snapshot | Leghead Spotting, Soho

Monday, March 14, 2011

The artist Leghead in Soho on March 14, 2011.

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A Shifting Urban Landscape Embraces the Solar Panel

Monday, March 07, 2011

Two-by-five foot solar panels have been appearing on telephone poles throughout Hudson and Bergen Counties as a New Jersey-based power company attempts to green its energy sources by installing roughly 200,000 panels in the area.

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Snapshot | Jackson Heights: He Loves Allah

Friday, February 25, 2011

After the furor over Park 51, many Muslims said they were afraid to profess their faith publicly. Not so, apparently, at this Bangladeshi halal butcher in Jackson Heights, Queens.

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Cell Phone Service in the Subways: Be Very Afraid

Monday, February 14, 2011

Multiply the volubility of this guy by 20, maybe 50 on a crowded day, when the subways are completely wired and everyone's got his or her phones out. Now imagine your normally placid commute being disrupted, daily, by the sound of TMI.

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Marty Markowitz Eating. And Eating.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

There is no New York City public official better suited to the spectacle of food -- whom the citizenry wants to see eating -- than Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

This is not simply an issue of body type, although that certainly factors in. The fact is, Marty exudes a certain jocularity, a game-ness that's very old-school. Have a baby that needs to be held? Give it to Marty! Have a catchphrase that bears repeating, such as "Fuhgeddaboutit!"? Marty'll say it!

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Innocent Graffiti: Jennifer Aniston's Moustache

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Street art isn't what it used to be. And for a lot of New Yorkers, that's probably a good thing. Gone are the days when entire subway trains were coated in spray paint.

That isn't to say that street art is irrelevant.

Check out "Exit Through the Gift Shop," the documentary that at once celebrates and hilariously sends up the significance (and the very definition) of street art. The movie, directed by the ever-mysterious artist Banksy, is up for an Oscar this year.

So, who are the newest street artists making their mark in (and on) the city?

One of them has been penning "moustache" on the upper lips of various actresses, at least their two-dimensional selves (Reese's moustache here). The penmanship isn't anything to write home about, but still, there's a certain Gallic charm to the enterprise, and an impishness. These days, it's striking just how innocent and inoffensive so much subway graffiti is. Sure, you get the predictable assortment of four-letter words and body parts and all-around disfigurement. But not all that often. To a much greater extent subway posters seem to have been defaced by really happy, well-adjusted people. Whatever became of urban rage?

 

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Times Sq. Hotel Ranked Among America's Filthiest

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hotel Carter, ranked the No. 4 dirtiest hotel in the U.S., has made the annual survey of the nation's top 10 filthiest hotels for the fifth time in six years, according to TripAdvisor's Dirtiest Hotels 2011.

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China Takes PR Blitz to Times Square

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Losing sleep over the US-China trade deficit? Worried about China taking over the world?

China understands. Or at least its publicists do. After decades of watching American spinmeisters work their magic across the world, they're bringing their game onto U.S. soil.

This promotional video debuted at Times Square. From the WSJ:

"As President Hu Jintao begins his visit to the U.S. this week, China is blitzing America with a flashy television ad that mixes images of ordinary Chinese citizens with celebrities like NBA star Yao Ming, Web tycoon Jack Ma, and a quartet of fashion models. The minute-long video is scheduled to run on CNN and to be shown 300 times a day—once every four minutes during peak periods—on the giant display in New York's Times Square from now until Feb. 14.

"The ad is part of China's broader push in recent years to use its culture and people to ease international fears about its rise."

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Pale Male's Lady Hawk Has Gone Missing

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The fuss over Pale Male may have seemed more like a stealth Upper East Side real estate story than about urban wildlife, but now Lola, the red tailed hawk's famous mate with whom he shared a nest at 927 Fifth Ave., has gone missing and may be dead.

From Bruce Yolton at the Urban Hawks blog: "Lola hasn't been seen since mid-December and is unfortunately presumed dead."

But Bruce posted this really nice video, so you can get a sense of how a hawk snacks on squirrel (scroll to 1:44). Seriously, at times it's quite beautiful but can be graphic.

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The Edge of Desi Art

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Under pressure from my friend, I caught the end of Peter Greenaway's multimedia spectacle at the Park Avenue Armory, The Last Supper, which turned out to be spectacularly underwhelming. So when that same friend told me to come and see his work as well as that of other young South Asian artists in a new group show, I expected a mixed bag.

As it turned out, I was way off the mark: The show, Reprise 2010 (at Aicon Gallery, on Great Jones) is consistently good, at times great, and showcases the vitality of Indian and Pakistani contemporary art in a variety of media. This at a time when the Indian economy is booming, creating a generation of new collectors and galleries. Also figuring into this is the growth of big trade events like the India Art Summit, which takes place this week in New Delhi and includes Aicon artists from New York.

The Reprise show's on through Feb. 5. Take a look.

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Post-Arizona, Bloomberg Gun Group Returns to Spotlight

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

There was a period when Mayors Against Illegal Guns made serious waves. The group, formed by Mayors Bloomberg and Thomas Menino, in Boston, grew by leaps and bounds, signing up hundreds of mayors across the country and prompting the NRA to target the group in campaign ads.

However, over the last year or so, that growth has reached a plateau (it still claims to have around 500 members), and the group has had a quieter presence. But the shootings in Arizona have thrust the mayor and his group back into the national spotlight. For a mayor who's been dogged by a snowstorm furor, the issue of gun control appears to present steady ground.

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Pop-Tarts World NYC Shuts Down

Thursday, January 06, 2011

If you're like me, you may occasionally surprised to discover that things like Pop-Tarts still exist. Mmm, two wafers of hyrolyzed plywood, tightly encasing a layer of synthetic fruitiness. Just pop it in the toaster, take a bite, and find your tongue irreparably burned. But we're being unnecessarily snarky.

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Bloomberg's Snowpocalypse: The Animation, in Taiwanese

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A new viral video entitled "Bloomberg Blamed for Mishandling Snowpocalypse" is making the rounds online in a segment that takes jabs at the city's blizzard response with the help of strangely compelling CGI animation.

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Snow Topples Gravestones -- and Sanitation Is Blamed

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The blizzard may be long over but the damage and bad PR keeps on coming. Ned Berke at Sheepshead Bites brings to our attention the matter of dozens of gravestones that were toppled in Brooklyn, after a snow-packed cemetery fence gave way. Locals say sanitation workers are to blame.

From his blog post:

...Department of Sanitation workers packed load after load of snow and ice against the fence of Washington Cemetery on Bay Parkway, between McDonald Avenue and 57th Street. The metal gates buckled under the weight, toppling approximately 30 gravestone over the weekend.

“[Sanitation workers] were continually dumping snow there for several days,” said Washington Cemetery (5400 Bay Parkway) employee Mike Ciamaga, who added that cemetery officials first noticed the broken gravestones on Sunday morning.  ”As of this morning they were still dumping there.”

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308,745,538 Americans and Other Census News

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Government statisticians may not be born entertainers, but god knows the men and women of the U.S. Census Bureau try. Tuesday's big announcement -- the biggest census event in 10 years -- managed to ramp up the suspense before finally delivering the goods.

How many people live in this country? Which states grew the most? Which states are going to ask for a recount?

Answers forthcoming. But first, a video featuring some of the notables who publicized the Census outreach: Donny Osmond, Dora the Explorer, Karl Rove. They are all America.

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New York: First at Losing People to Other States

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The housing bust may have been at the center of the Great Recession, but the fact that New York state has suffered less on the housing front has, ironically, meant it leads the nation in out-migration. This according to Forbes:

At No.1 on our list, New York is expected to wave goodbye to 49,000 more people than it gains this year. The state has seen a steady loss of residents over the past five years, losing an average of 100,000 people per year. [Economist Nathaniel] Karp explains that, because New York is a large state, it may report greater movement than others, but notes that population size is not the only reason residents are fleeing.

"In order to move, you need to be able to sell your home," says Karp. "The housing market [in New York] has not gone through the meltdown that other states have gone through."

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Get Ready, Get Set: the Park 51 Issue is Back

Friday, December 10, 2010

Now and then, people ask me, "Whatever happened to that mosque issue?" As if the subject that dominated the airwaves like no other, over the entire summer, had somehow, mysteriously vanished. As we reported a few weeks ago, Park 51 didn't appear to gain any traction as an issue with voters leading up to the November elections. But now, it seems supporters and opponents alike are mobilizing their troops, ready to battle once again over the public perception.

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92nd St Y's Apology Not Enough for Steve Martin

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Maybe he should've just worn an arrow through his head, or danced like a pharaoh.

Whatever Steve Martin did while on-stage at the 92nd Street Y, it clearly wasn't interesting enough for some patrons. Last Monday, Martin sat down for a chat with Deborah Solomon of The New York Times.  The discussion was about art -- in light of his Martin's book set in the art world -- but according to Sol Adler, the executive director of the Y, the institution "received numerous complaints from audience members about how the interview was conducted."

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A Rat Island, But Alas, No Rats

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I was heartened to hear that our city has a Rat Island -- near City Island, off the Bronx -- but frankly, a bit disappointed that it was never home to a huge, writhing colony of untameable super-rodents. From Ephemeral New York (via MAS):

Purchased from Native Americans in 1654 by the Pell family, the island’s name supposedly stems from the inmates then jailed on Hart Island. When inmates—who were nicknamed rats—escaped, they swam to Rat Island first before making a go at reaching City Island.

By the 1800s, it was the location of the “Pelham Pesthouse,” a yellow fever hospital that quarantined 40 people.

Last year, the 2.5 acre island was up for sale, for $300,000. Not sure what became of that, although it's never too late to build that rodent colony and amusement park. I actually know the parks commissioner, fyi.

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Press Release of the Day: Candles That Smell Like Burgers

Thursday, December 02, 2010

As with our inaugural press-release-of-the-day item yesterday, this one combines two things that publicists absolutely love -- invoking holiday spirit, and attaching an important social cause (hunger, autism) to a merchandising opportunity.

"With eight nights of giving, it’s easy to run out of gift ideas for that hard-to-buy for person. Let the aroma of steam-grilled-on-a-bed-of-onions fill the house this Hanukkah season by giving White Castle's Original slider®-scented candle as a quirky, yet distinctive Hanukkah gift.


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