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January 6th, 2009

OUTSIDER ART FAIR + PREVIEW: 1/8/9-1/11/9.

by John Coakley

The City budget, presumably like every budget in the country, is going to be tight in the next couple of years. And as any public school student can tell you, the arts are usually the first to be cut. So lets keep supporting the arts in any way we can. That could mean not asking to be on the guest list when your friend’s band plays, or actually paying the suggested admission at the Met instead of paying one dollar just because it’s allowed.

Attending the Outsider Art Fair is another good way to support the arts, as the chances of finding art you’ll actually want to buy are very high. Those of you who could have invested with Madoff but were smart enough not to can attend the preview on Thursday and get a first peek at the goods. Definitely worth considering.

Preview: 1/8/9
7-9 PM, early admission 6 PM

Patron: $650 per person ($550 is tax deductible)
6 PM early admission. Includes three readmissions to the fair, one invitation to the Contemporary Center’s Visionary Award Ceremony (1/9; reservation required), and one ticket to Uncommon Artists XVII (1/10; reservation required)

Supporter: $200 per person ($125 is tax deductible)
7 PM admission. Includes one readmission to the fair

The Fair:
Friday 11am – 8pm
Saturday 11am – 7pm
Sunday 11am – 6pm
Admission $20/per day & $30/two-day pass. Both include a catalog.

Both events at The Mart
7 West 34th Street, 11th Floor
(between 5th and 6th Avenues)
212. 977. 7170, ext. 308, or specialevents@folkartmuseum.org

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

January 2nd, 2009

STRAY VOLTAGE UPDATE.

by John Coakley


Jodie Lane: electrocuted by stray voltage in 2004.

It’s always a pleasure when readers make use of our search function and look over past articles. For example, Blair Sorrel, the founder of streetzaps.com, recently wrote in to praise us for a 2007 piece on stray voltage and its effects on both people and dogs. She wanted to point out that dog booties can actually be more of a hazard than a form of protection if they become waterlogged; Blair has met with ConEdison’s Stray Voltage unit and was the first non-electrical representative to be invited to the Jodie Lane National Conference, so we think she knows what she’s talking about. New York City has over 94,000 miles of electrical cable pulsing beneath the surface, so take a look at her site and get informed.

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Take Action

January 1st, 2009

CONEY ISLAND SIDESHOW @ HIGHLINE BALLROOM: 1/2/9 @ 8PM.

by John Coakley

What can be said about the good folks at the Coney Island Sideshow that hasn’t been said before? They’re funny, talented, and able keepers of a cultural flame that would be long extinguished without their help. Most of them are extremely flexible too, so yes, add sexy to the list. They share their unique gifts with the world each summer in Coney Island, but this Friday a big chunk of the cast (Donny Vomit, Heather Holliday, Angelica, Serpentina and Shockmeister Scott Baker) will take over the Highline Ballroom for a show that deals with “Freaky New Years Resolutions.” No disrespect, but Serpentina’s resolutions are probably more interesting than yours. You should go.

Coney Island Sideshow
1/2/9 @ 8pm
$10, all ages show.
Highline Ballroom
431 W 16th Street
(212) 414-5994
Get tickets here.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 31st, 2008

KEEP CHANGE HANDY TONIGHT.

by John Coakley

Have fun out there, kids. Just remember that aside from Halloween, New Year’s Eve is the night when homeless folks are most likely to be physically abused and assaulted by drunken idiots. If someone asks for change, did deep so that person can get off the street tonight. Just sayin’.

Filed Under: Commentary | Community | New York | Take Action | the Hamptons

December 31st, 2008

POLAR BEAR CLUB @ CONEY ISLAND: 1/1/9 @ NOON.

by John Coakley

The forecast for tomorrow calls for clear skies and a brisk 25 degrees. Perfect conditions to kill that hangover by jumping into the Atlantic with the Polar Bear Club. Okay, maybe it won’t cure your hangover, but at least you’ll be focused on something else. The Polar Bears are working with Camp Sunshine, a retreat for children with life-threatening diseases and their families—if you make a donation to the camp then you’ll get free admission to the New York Aquarium. You’ll probably have a much better appreciation for aquatic lifeforms after spending a few minutes in the water yourself.

The big plunge happens at 1pm, but get there at noon to see Polar Bear Club member Strongman Steve Ekstance, who recently pulled a dumptruck by his teeth and dead lifted 1000 lbs. in support of Camp Sunshine; he’ll be appearing on the boardwalk, performing similar feats of strength. Should be a hoot. You should go.

New Years Day on the beach
The Boardwalk @ Stillwell Avenue
1/1/9 @ noon

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York | Take Action

December 29th, 2008

PURE GOLD: THE REPUBLICANS ARE SCARED OF A NEW KIND OF CHOICE.

by Ed Gold


Sen John Ensign: Not a fan of stronger unions.

A tough, highly partisan battle is shaping up in the new Congress to determine whether labor unions can make a real comeback following the 2008 elections.

The struggle will be over the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), backed by labor and considered the death knell of the Republic by those who hate the union movement.

During the recent Senate debate on the auto industry bailout, the anti-union sentiment among Republicans, particularly those from states with non-union foreign auto plants, became conspicuously pronounced. A majority of Republicans would not support the bailout unless UAW workers would agree to accept wage levels which exist at non-union auto plants.

Unions, which have been on the skids in the U.S since the mid-fifties, believe the Free Choice Act would go a long way towards helping unions organize and win bargaining rights. The Republicans feel the same way about EFCA, given their vehemence against it.

John McCain calls the act a “threat to democracy.”

The Wall Street Journal says it’s “unconstitutional.”

Sen John Ensign of Nebraska calls it “the most heinous piece of legislation in history.”

So what would the EFCA do? Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics

December 26th, 2008

THE LIAR SHOW @ CORNELIA STREET CAFE: 12/27/8 @ 6PM.

by John Coakley


HUAC Friendly Witness Ronald Reagan.

Andy Christie hosts the Liar Show, a night of storytelling and interrogation at the Cornelia Street Cafe. Four writers and comics take the stage to tell personal stories that will make you laugh, cry, and (hopefully) think; but pay attention, because only three of them are telling the truth. One of them is a big ol’ lying liar who lies a lot.

Which one is it? Well, that’s up to the audience to decide. After all the stories are told, the host takes your questions and the truth slowly comes to light. At the end of the Q + A session each audience member casts their vote. The winners get free T shirts and the collective contempt of the losers in the audience. It’s kind of like the House Un-American Activities Committee, except no one gets blacklisted. You should go.

The Liar Show
12/27/8 @ 6pm
$12, includes one house drink.
Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia St.
New York, NY 10014
212-989-9319

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 25th, 2008

WHAT WE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS.

by John Coakley

A stable economy wouldn’t hurt either.

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | Events | New York | News | Politics | Take Action | the Hamptons

December 24th, 2008

CHINESE + A MOVIE @ 92Y TRIBECA: 12/25/8 @ 2PM.

by John Coakley

Yeah, okay, tomorrow’s Christmas. Big Whoop. What if you think that, yes, Jesus had some very nice things to say to the world but was in fact mistaken about that whole Messiah business? What if you’re Jewish on this day of days? Or what if you’re a non-believer altogether but you prefer this Jewish tradition of Chinese food and a movie to the Christian tradition of church, ham, and watching It’s A Wonderful Life again?

Well, the good folks at 92Y Tribeca feel your pain. They’ll be offering a full Chinese food buffet while screening two Monty Python classics: Life of Brian (in which Graham Chapman is mistaken for the messiah and is given a tough Latin lesson by John Cleese) and The Holy Grail (in which Christianity is made fun of in all kinds of delightful ways). Maybe The Hebrew Hammer would have been more fitting, holiday-wise, but this will still be a hoot.You should go.

Chinese and a Movie
92YTribeca
200 Hudson Street
12/25/8 @ 2pm
$25 advance/$30 day of
Get tickets here.

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 23rd, 2008

HAMPTONS POLITICS: A DOSE OF REALITY.

by D. Clark MacPherson


Henry Paulson: A good man to know if you happen to own a bank.

When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty.
— George Bernard Shaw

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
— Aesop

As the Hamptons economy burns, the Southampton Town Board fiddles, the real estate industry implodes, Suffolk County D.A., Tom Spota arrests people. It’s not bad enough that Henry Paulson is saving his buddies at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley—by dishing out billions from under the TARP to cover them for the losses that they created by handing out mortgages to anyone breathing—now Spota’s Economic Crimes unit is busy trying to criminalize the people who accepted the largesse. The bogus paper known facetiously as CDO’s and SVI’s—debts that were bundled into securities by thirty year olds pulling down $5 million dollar a year bonuses at Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Bear Sterns. One thirty year old from Merrill Lynch recently commented that he left the company with $20 million in cash and his only heartburn comes from trying to figure out how not to pay taxes on it.

You think he has a mortgage to worry about? Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics | the Hamptons

December 23rd, 2008

LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS: CLIC BOOKSTORE & GALLERY.

by John Coakley

Chanukah is in full swing and Christmas is a mere two days away. You still have to buy gifts for more people than you care to admit but the thought of braving Macy’s or its ilk sends you off to the corner, weeping into your heavily spiked eggnog. What to do?

Well, you could come down to Lafayette Street and visit one of the SoHo Journal’s neighbors. Clic Bookstore & Gallery is a cozy little shop filled with a comprehensive yet tasteful collection of photography books. Why get your sister an ill-fitting sweater when you can get her a collection of Gregory Crewdson‘s eerily evocative and meticulously composed shots of suburban life? Why give your friend a gift card when you can give him a collection of Nobuyoshi Araki‘s provocative nudes? If you need help you will be ably guided by Christiane Celle, the store’s owner and a friendly, passionate source of information. And you won’t have to deal with belligerent midtown crowds or Union Square craftmongers. You’re welcome.


Clic Bookstore & Gallery
189 Lafayette Street, between Broome + Grand
lafayette@clicgallery.com
212.966.1161
Monday-Saturday 11am-7pm
Sunday 12pm-7pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 21st, 2008

LETTERS.

by You the Reader

Mail your thoughts and rants to: Letters c/o SoHo Journal, P.O. Box 1485 New York, NY 10013 or email us: info@sohojournal.com.


Dear SoHo Journal:

All those political know-it-alls you have writing for you over there and not one article on the Presidential election, WTF? Don’t you loud mouths have an opinion, or are you more comfortable just picking on the small time politicians, a council member here, a Hamptons mayor there, are you afraid to take on the big guys? Where’s MacPherson’s opinion on the state of the country, how about Tripp Plunkitt, certainly he’s got a thought or two on the current meltdown, and The Restless Miscreant and The Curmudgeon, those experts on everything must have something to say, or so I thought and then nothing, silence, not an Obama or McCain word to be had from any of you, come on people, I’ve been waiting to hear from all of you, at least a little something on the stock market and oil prices, something, anything, please!

Jane,
Village Of Southampton

Editors Reply:

Dear Jane,

We take on the little guys to make sure they don’t become big guys. We try and expose a problem in the beginning, not fight it after it has tens of millions of dollars to fight back. And the Curmudgeon and the Miscreant both weigh in on the current situation both nationally and locally. MacPherson and Plunkitt are experts and concentrate on their areas of expertise, a practice I for one wish more people would exercise.

Dear SoHo Journal, Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | Letters | New York

December 18th, 2008

THE WISE HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS—SPECIAL SOHO JOURNAL DISCOUNT.

by Joelle Panisch

Hieronymus Bosch’s painting, Garden of Earthly Delights, has become a principal teaching in any art history class. From its 16th century depiction of the moral stages of man arose a progressive philosophical query about heaven, happiness, and sin. Martha Clark has captured these themes in her acclaimed play based on Bosch’s Masterpiece. Now 25 years later she brings Garden of Earthly Delights back to New York for a special 12-week run.

In this epoch, where perspective is very much needed, this is the play to see. Praised by critics city-wide, the play is described as, “An inspired synthesis of visual and performing magic…this breathtaking flight of imaginative genius is sexy, evocative, and unlike anything you’ve ever seen on stage.”

This is the perfect holiday gift for a time when people need some holiday perspective. Now through a special Soho Journal offer it’s only $42.50 for tickets. Happy holidays!

Garden of Earthly Delights
Through January 18, 2009
Blackout Dates: 12/26/08-1/03/09
TO ORDER YOUR $42.50 TICKETS: (reg. $69.50)
ONLINE: Go to www.Ticketmaster.com and use code GDOFFER
PHONE: Call 212-307-4100 and mention code GDOFFER

Minetta Lane Theater
18 Minetta Lane (South of West 3rd Street, right off 6th Ave.)
Schedule: Tues at 7pm, Wed – Fri at 8pm,
Sat at 3pm & 8pm, Sun at 3pm & 7pm

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

December 17th, 2008

SOHO JOURNAL GALLERY.

by SoHo Journal Staff


We are committed to introducing new talents, as well as showcasing established artists and photographers in each issue. Please contact us if you or someone you know is breaking barriers, or creating a movement. Fame is not a prerequisite—talent is.


!Muffinhead


Sad Hitler, Acrylic on Canvas/Digital Media, 2007 Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Community | New York

December 17th, 2008

CURMUDGEON’S CORNER: LOBSTERS + SINKING SHIPS.

by Sean Jaeger

The Great Wall Street Panic of 2008 should have taught us all some very valuable lessons. Lesson number one should be to forget about all those people on Wall Street and in Washington, on television, and in the newspapers telling us everything is going to be all right and we should just hold on tight.

Just who do you think was selling all those stocks flushing the Dow Jones average down the toilet to levels not seen in years? That’s right, the very same people telling us not to panic. The rats don’t want us to panic because they want to get off the sinking ship first.

The lesson is, don’t just stand there; panic. Panic first, panic fast and panic often.

Simply put, the guy who panics first gets a lot of cash to put in the mattress where he or she can save it until the storm passes over so he can buy a lot of bargains. In other words he sells near the top so he can buy near the bottom. Call this guy your broker, your hedge fund manager, or your financial advisor. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | News | Politics | the Hamptons

December 17th, 2008

RUMORS & LIES—FAIR AND BALANCED IN THE HAMPTONS: THE RAZZLE DAZZLE.

by Jack Torrance


Andrea Schiavoni and Sally Pope.

By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell — and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed.
–Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf

What most people don’t realize about the Hamptons is that it was one of the few locations that voted for Herbert Hoover. Residents of Villages and Towns, which are now Republican bastions, were busy wringing their hands over the incursion made by candidates who they perceived as riding Obama’s coattails to victory. Stealing the Obama signs apparently didn’t work. Of course, the faulty logic in that mind game is that African- Americans or Latinos are not supposed to win anywhere. But, Sally Pope, a Democratic candidate for Town Board in Southampton Town, edged out a hand-picked Republican. Linda Kabot selected Dan Russo, on the instructions of the Republican Party after a real Primary, which ejected Skip Heaney as Supervisor last year.

Although Anna Throne-Holst is a Democrat, holding hands with Russo was more than a romantic problem. The supposed changes after Throne-Holst became the lone Democrat amounted to little more than misinformed press pieces given to that stellar media source Hamptons.com and a misguided attempt at a “Green Law,” which was just another route for the Code Enforcement Police to get into your bedroom to check for illegal immigrants. Most of what Code Enforcement does is geared towards investigating people rather than correcting problems. If that were not the case, there would be a system in place to notify owners of problems needing to be corrected. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | News | Politics | the Hamptons

December 16th, 2008

NAUGHTY OR NICE: CHRISTMAS WISH LISTS FOR THE CANDIDATES.

by Christian McLean

It’s cold, it’s dark, and, like every year at this time, New Yorkers shed their sunny dispositions and brace for the long hard winter ahead. As we transcend from the communal “Oh, look at the leaves,” to the introverted “Leave me alone, I’m freezing,” some New Yorkers were willing to step out of their down-lined shells and share their early holiday wishes.

The Christmas Wish List; the stuff of dreams, a magical piece of paper that details the hopes and aspirations of good (and bad) little boys and girls across the world, was placed into the hands of New Yorkers and Hamptonites–but the wishes were not for themselves. In the true spirit of giving, we hit the streets, polled the public and compiled their list of gifts for the presidential and vice presidential candidates. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | Politics | the Hamptons

December 16th, 2008

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

by Mr. Norman Maine


Left to right: Nutty Cranberry Crush, Almond Cream, and Demitasse Cocktail.

Well, the holidays are upon us, that magical time of year when we all feel a little nicer, a little more warm and fuzzy. The time of year when we do things we normally wouldn’t do unless it is this time of year, specifically invite people into our homes for a holiday gathering. You know, the type where five minutes after everyone arrives, you’re in the bathroom hyperventilating and asking yourself what the hell did I do this for? I can’t entertain, I’m the host with the least.

Dear friends, we’ve all been there, the low groans of our guests as they try and make a screwdriver from your budget vodka and tang or another rum and diet shasta. This year will be different, because this year I am here to provide solutions to the crappy holiday punch or the cheap champagne.

Tucked away on the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and West 10th Street in the village is BoBo, one of the city’s newest and best restaurants. The atmosphere is warm and inviting with a razor sharp edge of downtown chic. BoBo is a place to see and be seen. In the summer months BoBo features a great outdoor patio on the second floor, and this winter they will debut the same space tented in; it’s seriously one of the coolest things I’ve seen in a long time and as if this restaurant weren’t happening enough, this tented patio is going to require a doorman!

Having been there a few times for the amazing food, the really unique drink menu, the great vibe and the excellent service, I’ve gotten to know the bar staff pretty well. You’d have a hard time finding more knowledgeable bartenders anywhere in this entire city; honestly, these guys are like drink encyclopedias. I had this idea to offer a holiday cocktail guide in SoHo Journal so I approached Fred Giacinto, who’s been at BoBo since the begining, and asked if he would create a special drink menu specifically for our readers, one that would look impressive but still be simple enough for an average Joe to make at home. These delicious drinks are not on the BoBo menu, there’s not room there with the overflowing amount of exotic, fantastic cocktails they offer. I knew that the staff of a restaurant whose aim is to make their guests feel very at home (and continuously succeeds) would be able to concoct a few festive and potent holiday treats that even I could mix and make me look like the James Bond of holiday parties! Please try these at your next party and also, be sure to drop in at BoBo; you’ll thank me! Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Arts & Leisure | Community | New York

December 16th, 2008

WALL STREET TO CITY: DROP DEAD.

by Joelle Panisch

The Specific (And Shameful) Subprime Loan Crisis in NYC Housing and the Looming Inevitability That Buildings Will Default.

Before 2006, ‘tenant harassment’ was not part of the common vernacular. Maybe landlord A disliked tenant B. The landlord gave the tenant a hard time; the tenant felt harassed, drank a few beers and moved. But since 2006 there has been a massive pervasion of physical, legal, and psychological harassment amongst low-income and rent stabilized households. How odd. Did landlords A, B, and C all get together, grease their mustaches and come up with a devious plan to oust their tenants, or is the shift indicative of a larger presiding force?

In May of 2008 the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) released a study about the surge in tenant harassment and the subsequent loss of rent stabilized apartments. The report found that the spike coincided directly with an increase in developers backed by private equity investors. These investors were banking on the uncertain prospect that they could illegally evict tenants to convert buildings to market rate, and high mortgages reflected this hope. Sound familiar? Perhaps like a certain economic crisis fueled by greed, the despicable exploitation of average citizens and disregard for the laws of accounting that resulted in poisonous securitization? In a follow up report released in October the ANHD found that the investment in subsidized housing made by these “predatory equity” firms (as they were dubbed) is just New York’s version of “ninja lending” and 60% will probably result in likewise defaults. It turns out New Yorkers and Joe Plumber-Six-Pack have more in common than they realized. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York | News | Politics

December 14th, 2008

PURE GOLD: A LOT CAN CHANGE IN 40 YEARS.

by Ed Gold

Yes, we did!

We changed the face of America on Nov. 4th, both literally and figuratively. When they play “Hail to the Chief” on Jan. 20th a tall, lanky black man will take center stage for all the world to see.

Ridiculed by the Republicans as a “community organizer,” Barack Obama put together the most expensive, technically advanced, best organized campaign for the Presidency in the nation’s his- tory.

He eradicated the red state myth, capturing the heart of the Confederacy, key pieces of the hard conservative Midwest and chunks of the rugged frontier Far West.

Virginia and North Carolina fell, along with Ohio, Indiana and Iowa, followed by New Mex- ico, Colorado and Nevada. And, of course, he took Florida, despite the robocalls that told Floridians he was Castro’s pal. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics

December 11th, 2008

THE SOHO JOURNAL INTERVIEW: SHEN WEI.

by Mark DeMaio


Connect Transfer.

Here in the States the opening ceremony of the 2008 summer Olympics held in Beijing was the most watched opening ceremonies of an Olympics not held in the US, and the second biggest television audience since the Super Bowl last year. More important than the total number of people who watched it across the world was what they watched.

Never in the history of the Olympics has a ceremony been so spectacular, so mesmerizing and so talked about. One of the men responsible for the grandeur and spectacle of this historic event was choreographer, artist, and photographer Shen Wei.

Shen Wei is the creator and choreographer of the internationally lauded Shen Wei Dance Arts in New York City. This artist’s work as a choreographer is so groundbreaking and new, so original and fascinating that one forgets you’re actually watching people; rather, the viewer is transported into a work of art in motion. This December Shen Wei will stage one of his most famous pieces, “Connect Transfer,” at the High Holy ground of dance, The Judson Church here in New York City. This piece combines all of Shen Wei’s many talents into one work. There will be only six performances and those lucky enough to get a ticket will experience a work of art without compare. In “Connect Transfer” the dancers dance on canvas, painting with their hands and feet as they go–artists in motion, creating art. At the end of the performance the canvas is cut into pieces and sold to the audience with the proceeds going to a dancers heath foundation. Shen Wei is the recipient of more awards, accolades and titles like genius (literally a genius–Shen Wei was awarded the MacArthur foundations Genius Award in 2007) than we have room to list.

A couple of weeks ago Shen Wei was gracious enough to take time out of his unbelievably busy schedule to do this interview. I have met a lot of artists and performers over the years but rarely have I met so ethereal a being, almost other-worldy in his grace. When meeting Shen Wei, you immediately realize you’re not in the presence of just another person, though his humble ways would have you think otherwise. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | Events | New York

December 11th, 2008

SOHO POLITICS: THE MEAN STREETS OF SOHO & POLITICAL REALITY.

by D. Clark MacPherson

The problem with political jokes is they get elected.
—Henry Cate VII

Now that the main political season is over we begin again with the rounds of phone calls—from aides and politicians as well as hopefuls. Once an office has been secured, longevity becomes the order of the day. And, that, my friends, means money. Few people understand the dirty business of complying with or circumnavigating the election laws in order to raise enough money to either hold on to an office just won, or move on to a better position. It almost doesn’t seem to matter what the job pays. Bloomberg is a good example of that. In fact he’s reported to have spent nearly $100 million to become Mayor, a position that pays approximately $200,000.

Influence, power, quid pro quos and hubris seem to be the coin of the political realm.

The pecking order, once you move out of neighborhood block associations and political activism, starts with the Community Board. City Council members or the Borough President recommends people for membership. The Chair of the Community Board can also recommend someone but he does not have the power to appoint a regular member. He can appoint what is called a Public Member, however, someone whose vote is limited. Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Community | New York | News | Politics

December 10th, 2008

PLUNKITT OF TAMMANY HALL: A POLITICAL COLUMN OF AMAZING RANDOMNESS.

by Trip Plunkitt

Due to the possibly illegal City Council vote last October to repeal term limits, Plunkitt is disgusted with the following individuals (who all represent us locally): Billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Bloomberg’s “Mini Me” Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Council member Alan Gerson (who even went so far to say he “had no choice” but to vote for it – puleeze!); Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer (who strangely supported it even though he can already run for another wonderful four years).

And don’t forget all the council members who voted their self-interest in repealing the term limits law that was voted on not once but twice by the people of the City of New York by public referendum. Billionaire Bloomberg appears to have bought this vote with calls by his commissioners to everyone, threatening removal of Bloomberg-controlled public and private funding for their vital projects. And sources tell us most of the “undecided” council members were onboard to vote yes weeks before the actual vote and Mayor Bloomberg knew it. Shame on all of you! Continue Reading »

Filed Under: Articles | Commentary | Community | New York | News | Politics

December 9th, 2008

TELL THE NYS DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION WE DON’T WANT NATURAL GAS DRILLING UNDER OUR WATERSHED—NO FRACKIN’ WAY.

by John Coakley


Thanks to Earthworks for the heads up.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking (insert Battlestar Galactica joke here), is a technique used by Big Oil to stimulate the production of oil and natural gas wells. It sends toxic, extremely high-pressure fluids into underground formations. Those fluids are never fully recovered. Why does this matter? Well, the natural gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation rests beneath much of the Appalachian mountains in the mid-Atlantic states—including much of New York and the NYC drinking watershed. It used to be too expensive to drill there but now the oil companies want to give it a shot—drinking water quality be damned. Sure, they’ll tell you that it’s safe and pollution is unlikely, but that’s what they said when they wanted to frack in Colorado and New Mexico, and that mess has yet to be cleaned up.

So what can you do? Click here before the deadline of December 15th to send a letter to the powers that be in our state, telling them that you’d rather they didn’t pollute our drinking water, if you please. I mean, for frack’s sake!

Filed Under: Community | New York | News | Politics | Take Action

December 5th, 2008

CELEBRATE REPEAL DAY @ THE EAR INN.

by John Coakley

That’s right, folks, it was 75 years ago today that Prohibition was repealed and those pesky temperance do-gooders were told where to stick it. Prohibition’s main contribution was to inadvertently nurture the tender sapling of organized crime until it became a mighty gingko tree that still drops its stinky fruit on our sidewalks to this day. Thanks, guys.

On the other hand, the entrepreneurial spirit can’t be stopped—especially in this town—and speakeasies popped up all over the place in back rooms, apartments, and even former bars. The Ear Inn is a classic example of a New York City bar that just kept doing its thing when times got stupid. The building was erected in 1817 and in addition to a bar has been a private home, a brewery, a restaurant, a smuggler’s den, a brothel, and a home to at least one ghost. It looks that lived in when you walk through the door, but in the best possible way. The food’s pretty good, so settle in and make a night of it. Raise a backhanded toast to Carrie Nation while you’re there.

Ear Inn
326 Spring Street

Filed Under: Arts & Leisure | Community | Events | New York

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