New York

Manhattanhenge is Tomorrow

by on May.30, 2011, under New York

Just FYI.

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The Hipsters, United

by on Feb.15, 2011, under New York, Politics

It may be too much to ask of n+1 that it maintain consistent positions with regard to hipsterdom, but it would be nice to see its investigations at least reference one another. Christopher Glazek’s Hasids versus Hipsters is an entertaining account of a struggle over urban space between “hipster” bicyclists and the Satmar Hasidim of South Williamsburg. The hipsters come off as politically engaged but not fluent; even at its most confrontational, such as when they guerilla-re-paint a bike lane that the city has removed, their activism has a twee, ingratiating quality. That may be enough to earn it the dreaded h-epithet, but it’s also a high-stakes, committed bid for control over public resources.

However, in Mark Greif’s sweeping, scourging survey/eulogy, What Was The Hipster?, hipsterism is resolutely anti-political. “[H]ipsters have mixed with particular elements of anarchist, free, vegan, environmentalist, punk, and even anti-capitalist communities,” bike messengers among them, but the hipster “aligns himself both with rebel subculture and with the dominant class, and thus opens up a poisonous conduit between the two.”

Greif’s essay could be simply discounted as an exercise in No True Scotsman-ing. No True Hipster practices politics; Glazek’s bicycle hipsters practice politics. Therefore, they are not real hipsters. Maybe they are the “particular elements” that help open the “poisonous conduit.” I happen to think Greif’s sour take is an excellent starting point, but it would benefit from a less pre-constrained investigation of how politics plays out among hipsters as examined. (Start by adding Shepard Fairey to Greif’s hipster canon of Dave Eggers and Wes Anderson.) In the meantime, Dorothy at Cat and Girl still has the stronger take.

Cross-posted at Alyssa Rosenberg

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I Have Long Since Had It With Christine Quinn

by on Oct.15, 2010, under New York, Politics

Long ago we thought she was one of the good guys.

Now she’s just another sellout.

Bleh.

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Primary Day: A few mini-endorsements

by on Sep.14, 2010, under New York, Politics

Attorney General: Kathleen Rice is completely unacceptable. Eric Schneiderman is acceptable. Eric Scheiderman is the only candidate in serious contention to defeat Kathleen Rice. Schneiderman it is.

For most of the ultralocal races, it matters most who’s most willing to take on Kings County boss Vito Lopez. So I’m following The Brooklyn Paper and going with Chris Owens for male District Leader over Jesse Strauss and Steve Williamson; and Jo Anne Simon over Hope Reichbach for female District Leader. (I’m breaking my personal rule of thumb here to always do the opposite of what Gatemouth wants.)

And Velmanette Montgomery over Mark Pollard. Montgomery is one of the guys with her heart in the right place. She stood up against the Atlantic Yards project and so as far as I’m concerned she gets to go back to Albany until I see a strong reason why she shouldn’t.

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Rule out Three Candidates for A.G.

by on Sep.03, 2010, under New York, Politics

It’s been a little tricky to figure out which of the many candidates to replace Andrew Cuomo is the best.

Fortunately, three of them just ruled themselves out of serious consideration in my book:

Candidates Eric Dinallo, Sean Coffey and Richard Brodsky say they would investigate funding for the $100 million Park51 project a few blocks from ground zero. Kathleen Rice would investigate if there was evidence of wrongdoing, and Eric Schneiderman says he would probe funding if a concern were raised or as part of a broader investigation into funds moving through New York to support terrorism.

“The mosque being built in that area is offensive to me, as a matter of my role as a citizen,” said Brodsky, saying he would investigate its funding sources. “The law will be applied to those folks as it would be applied to any other group … without fear or favor.”

Dinallo said the funding “needs to be looked at” but just because it’s a mosque “is not a reason to put in such a deep investigation for that purpose alone.”

“I would go ahead and permit it to be built,” said Coffey. But he added: “I would also pursue investigation of the funding … I’d pursue it very aggressively.”

Investigating the funding of an Islamic community center merely because it became the focus of a Fox News Two Minutes’ Hate is completely offensive and ridiculous. So for those keeping score, that’s a big fat no to Dinallo, Coffey, and Brodsky. Which means it’s down to Rice and Schneiderman–and essentially, for me, Schneiderman.

Thanks, guys! The primary is after all just around the corner. I was worried about how to make that decision.

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Not Good Enough

by on Aug.10, 2010, under New York, Politics

Look, I appreciate it’s his normal desire to have things all ways, but David Paterson is being an even bigger weenie than usual:

Gov. Paterson said Tuesday the developers of the mosque near Ground Zero might consider moving the project – and even floated the idea of offering them state land.

Paterson said the anxiety felt by mosque opponents was “not without cause” and that New York still suffers from the Sept. 11 attacks.

Paterson stressed however that he has no objections to the proposed center, which houses a mosque, and that there is “no reason” why it should not be built.

Unacceptable. There is no legitimate “cause” for 9/11 victims to be upset here. Any equivocating on that point implies that there is a legitimate connection to be drawn between crazy terrorists and the world’s 1 billion Muslims, even if in the next breath you say the opposite explicitly.

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Big Deal

by on Aug.03, 2010, under New York, Politics

Well this is an extremely big deal.

No, not the legislature finally passing the budget. That’s just hugely overdue.

This part:

Lawmakers also passed a controversial measure requiring that prisoners be counted as residents not of the mostly upstate prisons where they reside, but of the areas where they lived before they were incarcerated.

This was a long time coming. As long as people can’t vote from prison, their numbers shouldn’t be transferred to a new district.

For more on why this was important, see here:

In New York State one out of every three people who moved to upstate New York in the 1990s actually “moved” into a newly constructed prison. The State bars people in prison from voting, but their presence in the Census boosts the population of the upstate districts whose legislators favor prison expansion. Without using prison populations as padding, seven state senate districts would have to be redrawn, causing line changes throughout the state.

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I Know That Taxi Stand!

by on Jun.15, 2010, under New York

Saw this on Andrew Sullivan’s blog, of all places. One of his emailers gets all goopy about how great this means New York is, but the important thing is that this is a glimpse inside my favorite taxi stand! Usually a spot for Sikh taxi drivers to buy tea, on weekend nights it fills up with drunk twentysomethings looking for late-night munchies. I used to be one of those. Now I try to stay out of the East Village on weekend nights. But I still love me some Punjabi taxi stand.

Bhangra in the East Village from Derek Beres on Vimeo.

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The Horror….The Horror

by on May.19, 2010, under New York, Politics

This is the first article about Andrew Cuomo in a long time that’s made me seriously consider sticking with Paterson in the primary.

Their relationship of five years has already put her at the center of a political dynasty and raised the possibility that the state’s next first lady will be a celebrity chef, decorator and party planner whose wealth and star power outstrip that of the governor himself.

Just horrifying.

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I Approve!

by on May.12, 2010, under New York, Politics

Apart from my rooting on anybody who’d challenge the odious Pedro Espada, I actually know this guy and can vouch for his karaoke skills. We duetted on “Forgot About Dre” this one time and it was HYPE.

Support!

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