Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The City currently offers free graffiti removal services to communities across the five boroughs. Property owners or authorized representatives may submit a waiver to the City to allow authorized personnel to clean graffiti.
The question, however, remains how fast does the cleanup happen? We looked at this question by examining Chinatown, a neighborhood in Manhattan with a relatively high number of graffiti cleanup requests.
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"...the proposal put before you by city staff is an ambush..."
Sample Property Listings in Greenpoint
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The plan allowed investors to develop 175 blocks of Greenpoint and nearby Williamsburg into luxury buildings and high-rises. It is still home to a predominantly Polish immigrant population. But as a younger, richer demographic moves in, they may be forced to relocate.
The NYT noted increased rents as early as the 1980s. Today, Greenpoint is among Brooklyn's most expensive neighborhoods. The price of homes for sale outstrip the neighborhood's median income. It is unlikely that traditional residents of Greenpoint could afford to buy--let alone rent--residential property.
Residents have organised a town hall on Oct 2nd to discuss housing, transportation and overdevelopment.
Stats for Thought
- Median Household Size: 2.55
- Median Household Income: $38,240
- Median Housing Value: $562,200
- Job Growth (past 12 mths): -0%
- Residents w/ a 4 Yr Degree: 12%
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Monday, September 29, 2008
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In 2005, New York City Council passed Local Law 47, which requires the city's Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) to release monthly reports of the calls made to New York's 311 number. Local Law 47 was intended to increase the transparency of the city government, by letting people know how long it took the city to respond to complaints. But the information it provides can also be used as a window onto the lives of New Yorkers: what they do, what they see, and what they complain about. And one of the things New Yorkers call to complain about is people relieving themselves in public.
The map below shows reports of urinating in public in Manhattan since the beginning of 2008. The reports are grouped by zip codes--the smallest geographical areas available in DoITT's monthly reports, and areas that largely (if imperfectly) coincide with neighborhoods. Each icon represents one complaint; zip codes that aren't included below have zero complaints this year.
Admittedly, information about where we pee illegally may be subject to reporting bias: residents of tony Gramercy, for instance, may be quicker to complain to 311 than those in the neighboring (and more transient) Lower East Side, which may explain some of the difference captured in the DoITT's reports. Indeed, neighborhoods that rank the highest in complaints may even try to claim superior citizenly virtue, for being so quick to notify the city of their misbehaving brethren. This isn't the last word in the Great Manhattan Inter-Neighborhood Piss-off. But until then, let's let the numbers tell their own story.
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Sunday, September 28, 2008
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1. Breakfast at Amy's Bread on 250 Bleecker Street: Enjoy some pastry before a long pampering-filled day.
2. Don't forget it's Sunday, so church goers can take a seat in the Neighborhood Church on 269 Bleecker Street.
3. Make a stop on the corner of W 11th Street and 7th Avenue South to pick up the perfect Halloween costume. There is something for everyone. (A personal favorite: gentlemen can dress up as Father Will U Tell)
4. On the same street, after purchasing the perfect Halloween outfit, wander into 182 7th Avenue South for a psychic reading. See what the stars have in store for you this fall.
5. Walk a little further, and step into the Pleasure Chest. The store is quiet until a flock of women from the Sex and the City bus tour walks in. Giddy and giggly, they look at all the different objects to enhance female pleasure.
6. Cross the street to have some lunch at Jekyll and Hyde on 91 7th Avenue South. According to the restaurant's Web site, "Jekyll and Hyde is a haunted restaurant and bar for eccentric explorers and mad scientists where guests can eat and drink among the unusual and the bizarre." If that does not grab your attention...!
7. After lunch, if the rain persists, it is time for some pampering. Get a manicure at 168 Bleecker Street at Model Nail. After that, keep on relaxing during a real Chinese back or a foot rub on 88 7th Avenue South. For the more adventurous
8. With all this leisurely behavior, it may be time to step into an ATM, but do not step into this one. Washington Mutual was the biggest American bank to go bankrupt. So better to step into another ATM.
9. If you are in the mood for an Asian dinner: stop by Chow Bar on 230 West 4th Street.
10. Have after dinner drinks at Wicked & Willy's, where the sign reads: "Time flies when you're having rum." With that motto in mind, the rest of the night will be a guaranteed success.
11. After dinner it's time to put on a stylish outfit, sip a manhattan (or another drink of your own choosing) in the stylish underground Madam X on 94 West Houston. The outside looks like an Amsterdam style red light district brothel, but the inside is a Zagat rated lounge.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I didn’t know what to do. I had to get to work. But, was I about to disturb the turkeys’ morning coffee clutch? How would I even go about shooing them away? I pondered the idea of getting an umbrella and running through them, opening and closing it, like Sean Connery did in Indiana Jones. But what if they attacked me? These were “Jersey” turkeys after all. And, they seemed so peaceful, oblivious to the stress they were cau sing me. I decided to call in late and pull out the camera instead.
Karl Williams, decided to make his realization into a business. Society is a café in west Harlem which motto is life in sips. With communal benches and local art work on the walls, it is a popular spot for singles and young families.
Karl started the business with personal savings and loans. Since Society's opening it is a bug success for offering a downtown atmosphere uptown. The food has a reputation all by itself. Scrimp and grits is a favorite. The stuffed French toast is the perfect brunch item. The restaurant has the unique element of transforming itself thrognout the day. Starting out with a brunch crowd in the morning and ending with a coffee and laptop corwd in the eveing.
Karl admits this is just the beginning for his uptown investments. He soon plans to open a lounge not too far from Society. He says seeing the neighborhood at Fredrick Douglas and 114th Street slowly transform itself over the years proves that uptown is changing for the better.
In the past couple of days, however, there have been mass text messages and emails being sent out advising our friends and colleagues not to wear the shirts to the polls. The Board of Elections has indicated that a person can be turned away from the polls and asked to return after they change their shirt. It’s part of the electioneering laws. The growing concern is, how many people will actually go home, change their shirt, and return to the polls?
A Huffington Post article addresses this in depth and gives some history on the law. This wasn’t such an issue in the past, but now we find ourselves in an era where politics is actually a hot topic and even a fashion statement.
A lot of people are confused about this. Yahoo Answers has a post as well.
A few days after that, I found myself lost in the streets of Rome. I stopped a gentleman to ask for directions and before telling me how to get to my destination he asked where I was from. He immediately inquired who I was voting for. “McCain is no good,” said the man.
The final Obama encounter was in Paris, outside of the Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. Vendors were selling Barack Obama T’s and pins right next to Moulin Rouge post cards and French paintings. I spoke to one of the vendors and he said it’s one of his best selling souvenirs.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Another voice, this one coming from my left instead of inside my head, said, “Do you think that’s true?”
The man sitting next to me wore a paint drizzled sweatshirt. He tapped my magazine and announced that the New York Times had gotten the story wrong.
The train dipped underground as he explained his disillusionment with politics. Poor people would not return to the Democrats because the liberals, in over 70 years, had not earned their loyalty by delivering what they promised. The Republicans, he said, at least had not courted voters in his poverty-stricken neighborhood, promising jobs and prosperity.
I was so engrossed I forgot my stop. His arms swung widely as he spoke, lurching his monologue from poverty to Barack Obama. A great orator, but a lousy speaker was his diagnosis.
The train pulled into the 59th Street station, and he hauled himself to his feet, giving me a quick goodbye. Before I could begin to digest his ideas, he poked his head between the closing doors to offer this last assessment.
“Obama looks like a boxer who just had sex with a woman [when he debates],” he said. “He looks all weak in the knees.”
“I kind of moved here to escapeall the negativity in Arizona,” Harrison said, resting a meticulously made up cheek on her hand. “I dumped my boyfriend I was living with and I bought a one way ticket to New York.”
Harrison, 24, had been working as a dance teacher since she was 16. She had started dancing as a kid to correct the scoliosis that twisted her spine. She was passionate about jazz and modern dance, cleaning classrooms at her studio just so she could attend extra classes. Her enthusiasm left her longing to find other ways of expressing herself artistically, an ambition Phoenix did not easily satisfy. New York, she hopes, will provide fertile soil for her germinating love of music.
Within three months of relocating, Harrison discovered a new talent for sales. She works at a furniture boutique in Soho and is now one of their top sales people, grossing around $120,000 per month for her store.
“I really don’t know why I’m here, Harrison said. “Everyday it seems like an adventure.”
The New York Times takes a more serious tone with Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr., Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Christopher Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission appearing before the Senate Banking Committee. Also: Police arresting Indian activists, Pakistani workers in front of the Marriott Hotel destroyed by suicide bombers three days ago in an attack that killed 60, and workers removing notes from the Western Wall — Judaism's holiest site — in preparation for Rosh Hashana next Monday.
In the Reuters photo blog David Gray travels to the Chinese-North Korean border-town of Dandong following reports that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-il was sick. Shannon Stapleton covers the seventh anniversary of 9-11 and Eric Thayer discusses the "art of the underexposure."
As I went up the 161st St-Yankee Stadium metro station I realized I must have been the only Red Sox fan in the Bronx. But I kept my sports allegiance to myself and a day at The Evil Empire turned into a fascinating assignment.
At some point I caught up with Spike Lee who was shooting video of the players with a handycam and asked him about the significance of the day:
Follow the rest of the story at:
Mohammad Al-Karkhi spent nearly all his savings during his time in Syria. A local producer for NBC in Baghdad, Al-Karkhi had already sent his wife and three children to live in Damascus. He escaped from his hometown himself last year after a neighbor, who'd been kidnapped and released by the Sadr Brigade, ,warned that they were after Al-Karkhi too.
He finally made it to New York City with his family this June. He lives now in a sparse Bronx apartment in a squalid graffitied building with steep stairs and peeling paint. So far, the IRC is paying for his apartment, food stamps, a phone and electricity, and sending a monthly check for $520. He has four weeks left to find a job and become self-sufficient before that support stops.
That's part of the "self-help" philosophy among American refugee organizations. Al-Karkhi would eventually like to return to school and then practice journalism. Today, he's meeting with his caseworker at the IRC. She scrolls through Craigslist looking for jobs. "Ah, I think I found something!" She scans the computer screen quickly.
"No," her voice flattens. "It's the Army. I don't think you wanna talk to the Army."
Pakistani villagers were killed earlier this September when US troops crossed the Afghanistan border into Pakistan. The Pakistani Foreign Ministry immediately condemned the attack calling it a "grave provocation."
This is only the latest round in increasingly aggressive talk regarding Pakistan. Already by mid 2007, Barack Obama had stated his policy on Pakistan saying "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will." So much for national sovereignty.
The discussion has been getting narrower and with a charged US election approaching, the media has hardly done anything to expand the debate. In a recent Huffington Post, blogger Brandon Friedman uses the Pakistan issue to criticize McCain predicting that it will become McCain's next flipflop. According to Friedman, Obama had it right. Whither the anti-war liberals?
The limited grounds for debate have been prepared for at least a year now. First, Newsweek came out with an article titled "Pakistan The Most Dangerous?" The Economist followed suit putting it bluntly: "Pakistan The Most Dangerous Place" and finally the Washington Post: "Pakistan Still the World's Most Dangerous Country".
The US debate on Pakistan leaves Pakistanis wondering whether the US is capable of delivering anything other than bombs and bombast. The headlines, meanwhile, leave little doubt about what the conclusions of that debate will be.
The US is keen to invade Pakistan with a single-minded view towards routing out Islamists in FATA. Meanwhile, Pakistanis are motivated by another cause –the fight to reinstate the Supreme Court judges that Musharraf deposed last year. This is the democracy movement in Pakistan today and many Pakistanis connect it with their own struggle for daily necessities. This isn't about votes and governments; it's about food, electricity, rights.
She smiles easily. It would be hard to guess that Mukhtar Mai is a gang-rape survivor and activist for women's rights. She puts the issue bluntly. “If something can happen to the Chief Justice, then you can see what will happen to the rest of the public.” She sits up on her bed. It's late night and the darkness is heavy in the village where Mukhtar Mai makes her home, a spread of concrete, enclosed rooms and open terraces overlooking her school where 300 girls and another 300 boys come for a primary education.
At the moment, you can’t see any of it though because there's loadshedding, a term for a rolling blackout. These planned power outages happen upwards of 12 hours per day across Pakistan. One hour on. One hour off. On. Off. The heat pushes us all outside and I feel my way to a rough stone step. It's difficult to see how businesses, hospitals, daily life can function with this sort of instability.
Tractors roll in the distance harvesting wheat. Old songs float out from them into the dense black night. It’s a sweet sound in a country where the wheat crisis currently tops the list of problems.
I grab my cell phone for light. It flicks on. Amidst fields, in this tiny village that isn't even a dot on a map, I have a signal.
At the smuggler’s bazaar on the border between Peshawar and Khyber Agency, DVDs calling for death to America and are available for purchase if you know how to ask for them. A vendor who sells them also hands out a bonus DVD to ensure repeat customers. It’s pornography and it may be the real seller.
The frustration with corrupt politicians is more palpable here. One man says, "Look at what happened with the judges” He grows impassioned. “This is not a democracy, this is a dictatorship. They’ve deceived us. They’ve deceived the poor and tried to finish the poor.” He forcefully marks his point in the air. “They want to end the poor but the poor will fight. The poor will commit suicide bombings and the poor will make America flee from here and make him [Musharraf] run too.”
Ellen Degeneres, the newly wed talk show host appealed to her fan to vote for the right of same sex marriage in a post on her official website.
Degeneres has also confirmed reports that she will be the new face for Cover Girl, the cosmetics giant. Here are some links:
Princess Diana’s private letters are soon to be auctioned. In a letter written to her nanny when she was 17, the princess expresses relief when plans to marry off her older sister to Prince Charles failed. In another letter she wrote when she was pregnant with her first child, the princess complains from pregnancy discomfort.
The Australian Melbourne Herald Sun has the story
Keanu Reeves is in the clear. A California judge has dismissed allegations by a paparazzo that the actor was trying to hit him with his car deliberately. Check what the BCC has to say about the case http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7631135.stm
Victoria Beckham tells The Sun her busy schedule will keep her from having another child for at least the next couple of years.
Here is the article http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/article1721747.ece
Freddy Gonzales’ story is the perfect example of an immigrant success story. In just six months he was promoted from washing dishes in a restaurant and juice shop on Bay Ridge 5th Avenue, in Brooklyn to actually managing it.
It all happened in just six months. “It is all about working hard,” Gonzales said while preparing one of his famous protein shake. “It makes you move up as quickly as you can imagine.” When he to New York from a small village on the US-Mexican border, six years ago Gonzales enrolled in English and management classes. Impressed with the speed with which he was learning and improving, the owner of the restaurant promoted him to manager. It also helped that the former manager decided one day to quit without prior notice. “I do everything now,” Gonzales said with pride and a wide smile.
"Those Israelis we see on TV are not the true Jews, they are converts." And so, he said, this is why they are targeted by the Palestinians. "They had a car attack there today?" the priest asked the crowd of 10 gathered in front of him. "What the hell is a car attack?" Not a very graceful language coming from a priest, but what-the-heck. "It is called a suicide attack," he answered himself (interference seemed to be unacceptable.) He then burst into laughter clapping his hands as if to congratulate himself for the joke, or maybe the discovery. Not quite clear. Two policemen were keeping a watchful eye over him and his four companions.
Gender identity on Krystal’s identification card reads male. Now 21, she says she identified herself as a trans-woman since the age of 15, but had stayed “in the closet” until she was 18.
When her mum found out three years ago, the situation became so tense that Krystal decided to move out of their home. Their relationship is much better now, provided conditions mum has set are respected.
“When I go there, she don’t want me dressing flamboyant or anything. So I wear men’s clothes and don’t put on make-up,” said Krystal.
One of Krystal’s plans is to undergo hormonal therapy that would allow her to start the process of becoming a female. The fear that her mum and friends might completely reject her if she made a full transition prevents her, however, from starting the therapy.
“I wanna live my life as a female. That’s my greatest dream,” said Krystal. Until that dream starts coming true, she continues living two separate lives.
*Name of the individual has been changed to protect her privacy.
Sporting red leather pants, matching sunglasses and an angry look on her face, Dolphin stood out from the crowd. That was, however, only the surface of what separated her from the rest of the people waiting in line at a food pantry at St. Benedict the Moor Center in Mott Haven, Bronx.
“I’m 62, and I’m standing on line for the first time in my life,” said Dolphin explaining the real difference between her and other people in the line. Her eyes sparkled with rage as she explained the circumstances she faces. “I’m in foreclosure. I’m forced to come here.”
Fifteen minutes later Dolphin was holding two bags of food in her hands. Pleased with the way she was treated by the volunteers in the food pantry, Dolphin seemed to have overcome the initial uneasiness about being there the first time.
“I guess I’m gonna be here every week,” she concluded, leaving the food pantry.
He also blasted Israel saying “the Zionist regime is on a definite slope to collapse, and there is no way for it to get out of the cesspool created by itself and its supporters.”
Ahmadinejad spoke a few hours after President Bush made his final appearance before the U.N. General Assembly, urging the international community to stand firm against the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea. At one point during Bush's 22-minute speech, Ahmadinejad turned to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki and gave a thumb's down.
During interviews ahead of his speech Tuesday, Ahmadinejad blamed U.S. military interventions around the world in part for the collapse of global financial markets.
On the subject of Iran's nuclear program, he said that Iran would “resist” Western bullies attempting to prevent the country acquiring civilian nuclear technology.
Here’s a round-up of various media stories about the closing of Astroland:
Albert said she wanted a two-year lease this time, to cover the summers of 2009 and 2010, because her 300 employees needed more job security.
Joe Sitt, to whom Albert sold her property in 2006 for $30 million, said the developer won’t negotiate through the media or with a gun held to their heads.
Astroland’s rides are already on sale on the Internet. Prices range from $95,000 for the merry-go-round to $199,000 for the bumper cars.
More information about the Astroland rides on sale on the Internet:
Carol Albert stresses she hasn’t given up on
The Coney Island Development Project is working to make
The president of the Coney Island Development Project accuses Joe Sitt of buying up boardwalk land and
cleaning out rides to force the mayor to let him build luxury condos.
Coney Island Development Project presents “Coney Island 2009?” A presentation about the future of
Columbia Business School graduates end up in a lot of places, but selling food out of a truck isn't usually one of them. So it's fun to imagine how Chris Chen's parents reacted when he told them that instead of joining an investment bank like many of his classmates, his recipe for success after graduation would be a little different: recruit (1) pastry chef from Le Cirque; buy (1) white truck; offer (6) restaurant-quality desserts; charge (5) dollars for each; sprinkle with stops throughout the East Village; and make lots of ($).
Richard Engquist, 75, is a devoted volunteer at Prospect Park. For 35 years, the Brooklyn resident has been keeping the park's trails and grounds looking their best. Engquist volunteers three times a week, with duties ranging from planting and mulching, to picking up litter to removing exotic plants that are taking over native flora. On Sunday, September 21 he showed off a nearly full trash bag, the sixth bag he had filled in just 3 hours by picking up trash along the walking trails, and laughed, "I'm keeping busy."
Rapidly peddling on one side of the two-seat boat, the fisherman was in constant motion - casting his rod, reeling it back then moving on to a new location in quick succession. Lullwater Pond, part of the watercourse in Prospect Park's 585 acres of urban green space, wasn't very crowded on the last official weekend of summer; the fisherman only had to share the waters with the occasional tour boat leaving from the Audubon Boat House. However, he still didn't seem to be having much luck in his search for the pond's elusive fish. Peddling over to the dock opposite the Boat House, he explained that earlier in the day he had caught a 4-pound, large mouth bass that was over a foot long, but added that he threw it back because of the park's catch-and-release policy. After hearing admiration from the observers on the dock, the fisherman seemed to gain back his confidence and cast again - only to have his line land squarely in the branches of a low-hanging tree.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Rwanda made headlines around the world this month when it became the first country to elect a majority of women to parliament. In an election last week, 56% of seats went to women.
The countries with the most women in government after Rwanda, as of 2006, were Sweden and Costa Rica. Now Cuba has moved to third place. The United States ranks low on the list with only about 16% women in elected government, roughly the same as across Africa as a whole.
Analysts say that Rwandan women were motivated to become more politically active after the genocide there in 1993. They are also slightly in the majority in the general population, since more men than women were killed in the genocide.
It also helped that Rwanda had a law guaranteeing that 24 seats will go to women. The parties also put their own rules into place that ensured women would be at the top of the ballot.
The New York Times' coverage: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/19/world/19nations.html?em
An African perspective:
From a feminist site:
Hannah Lin only has one year to spend in
Hannah is in the city for a year of grad school, and when she finishes, she’ll return to a six-year contract at a major paper in
Bubbly and quick to make friends, Hannah admits that she is not only nomadic but thrives on the process of adjustment. Still, she says that her fluency in various cultures and languages hasn’t eclipsed her sense of origin. She used to dread returning to
This guy broke into my apartment a few weeks ago when my roommates and I were in bed. My roommate heard him come in through the kitchen window, and she kicked him out. As he stumbled out the front door in a crack-induced haze, I could hear him say "make sure you close that window, mama."
The break-in was bad, but why does everyone call everyone 'mama' here? I don't get it - maybe because I'm Canadian, I guess. I always thought that mama was something people called their girlfriends in special circumstances...that's what happens in music and on TV (e.g. 'hey mama'). But even the huge old man who works at the bodega calls me mama, in a fatherly way, in fact. And more disturbingly, my other roommate's boyfriend calls her 'ma,' but only when he thinks he's in trouble.
Urbandictionary.com lists this as the seventh definition of the word 'mama':
"referring to a close friend that you care about and trust; i.e. Hey mama, how was ur weekend?"
But that definition only gets 13 thumbs up and 14 down.
Anyway, I'm warming up to it. I guess people here are just strange like that. I heard my super call the Verizon serviceman 'baby' the other day.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin visited New York City today to meet with world leaders, who are in town for the UN General Assembly. She met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai today as well as with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
While the Republican vp pick stayed mostly out of the public eye, a doppelganger entered the New York Streets to shake hands and eat a hot dog from a street vendor. The fake Palin was hired by the Daily News to investigate the reaction of New Yorkers to the Republican running mate.
Customers can get more than just pastry in The Hungarian Pastry Shop. It's a place that brings the community together and where many romances start, and some end, says owner Wendy Binioras.
She now mostly works in the sandwich shop next door she opened with her husband 7.5 years ago. ("This is the baby," she said as she compared it with the pastry shop, that has been there for 32 years)
When people started asking for food in the Pastry Shop the idea of opening a sandwich shop began to take shape.
For desert, specialty coffee drinks and love stories one still needs to go next door. Binioras, 50, is a successful Pastry Shop love story herself. She met her husband of 24 years, at that time her boss, when she was a waitress there.
Binioras remembers the turning point of her relationship with her then-boss, shortly before they started dating. "We used to have an old espresso machine, that had a pull down handle," she begins her story. "...One time it sprang back in into my eye. He took me to the back and put ice on my eye. It was a very tender moment."
A ceremony for the direct family members of the victims started at 8:40 a.m. (the time the first plane hit) "We cannot see anything," said Caroline Combe, 30, a tourist from Paris, France who had arrived a day earlier for a vacation with her girlfriend.
"The police is blocking everything," Combe said. Many other tourists voiced the same complaints. But the French tourist still calls the scene "emotional." Especially the firemen in uniforms strike her. "It's hard to explain," she said. "It's fitting of how huge the whole thing was and how they were involved."
Stan Fox is staring death in the face. He's standing in a cemetery of mannequin corpses, doll heads, and giant primary-colored dinosaurs that used to be part of a child's ride -- all the remnants of Astroland's Amusement Park.
I try not to make the obvious joke, but Fox grimaces. As always, he gets it.
"Who knows what will happen to all this stuff," he said. "Maybe it will just become extinct, huh?"
The unofficial "mayor" of Coney Island has dressed the part today. A Wonder Wheel pin attached to his Hawaiian shirt and a black Coney Island baseball cap shading his tanned face from late summer, he wanders through the park that once was, stopping to chat with game operators and concerned residents.
He tells me about a meeting that will take place on Monday night to determine the ultimate fate of Coney Island. It doesn't look good. Owner Carol Hill Albert has just over two weeks to negotiate with Thor Equities, which has other plans for the landmark site.
"The atmosphere has been doom and gloom," he said. "The operators are putting their lives on hold, not sure if they'll still be here next season."
Fox has lived in Coney Island for 44 years. He would like to see the area become a "world-class entertainment center." And he will attend every meeting until the city makes a final decision.
"If you travel anywhere in the world, people have heard of Coney Island. Unfortunately, the place they imagine may not be the same place in a few years. I'm sad to see that happen."
Bernard “A’jah” Wannamaker, 27, died last Saturday of a fatal stabbing in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He had just gotten out of prison one month ago and was one month away from his 28th birthday.
Wannamaker was a barber by profession and planned to have his own barbershop someday. He liked to DJ and was going to do just that at the block party when he was murdered. He also liked to fix bikes and he got his GED in prison. His cousin Cory “Sincere” Wannamaker said, “his swagger was crazy.”
On Weirfield Street where Wannamaker grew up and died, a small photograph, eight candles and a handful of people on the sidewalk signal the wake. His family said that the killing was a classic example of “baby’s mamma’s drama” because his ex-wife’s boyfriend was the one who stabbed him. Wannamaker had a child by his ex- and three stepdaughters by his current girlfriend.
Nicholas D. Kirstoff writes that the government has ordered Tamils out of Colombo and other Sinhala majority areas, causing a displacement of 70,000 people.
At Somnathpur is a beautiful temple constructed in the Hoysala style. It’s been abandoned by all but tourists such as myself who come to gape at intricate carvings and imagine the magnificence of a bygone era. The past always looks so rosy in retrospect.
In retrospect, I shall remember my year in India fondly. I shall miss the Indian sun that burns so brightly, the Indian people so full of life that they shout when talking would suffice, the Indian cows and stray dogs that are permanent occupants of all roads. I shall miss seeing picture postcard images such as that which is before my eyes now.
A field mostly brown with thatch from a recent harvest, but a quarter of it is green with intact stalks of ragi that graces a lot of Karnataka. A boy, younger than I am, bare-chested and black in the white sun, standing on a wooden bullock cart, urging his cows through the thatch - no where else have I seen cows treated with as much respect or put to as much use as in India.
We had all the essentials: nine white candles, two guidebooks, a flashlight, and of course, the Ouija board.
Making our way up
“This is it guys, we have to go in through here,” my good friend Katy Desmond, a 22 year-old publishing marketer said. She had written her college thesis on paranormal activity and was an expert fence jumper.
The fringe of the Cypress Hills Cemetery was surrounded by a rusty, jagged lattice. The crematorium was the only break in this chain. Surveying the graveyard we were initially terrified by a group of dogs we assumed were the night watch. To our relief, they were just feral.
Perspiration dripped from my upper lip leaving a salty residue. I cursed myself for ever agreeing to this. The group braced to jump the corroded barrier.