It’s never too early to start speculating about the next election cycle. So we’re calling it, less than a month into the new year: 2013 will be New York tech’s debut as a political force.
Tech moguls and politicians have always been willing bedfellows, of course. Last year, technophiles in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area outpaced “Hollywood celebrities and Wall Street moguls” in funding President Obama’s reelection campaign, according to a report from MapLight.com. On the other side of the aisle–like far, far to the right–Facebook investor Peter Thiel “almost single-handedly” funded Ron Paul’s super PAC. After his fringe candidate dropped out of the race, Mr. Thiel donated $1 million to Club for Growth Action, a Tea Party super PAC.
The final piece in the continuous green ribbon that has wound its way around the Lower East Side is one step closer to realization with the imminent rehabilitation of Pier 42. A once lonely pier that, along with it’s now empty behemoth of a banana warehouse, that is slated to become a waterfront park after $14 million of work.
The pier was toured yesterday by an excited State Senator Daniel Squadron and William Castro, the Manhattan Borough Commissioner of the Parks Department.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
After years of construction, and many more years before that of planning and debate, the uptown connection between the 6-Train and the Sixth Avenue line finally opened yesterday at Bleecker Street. “50 years ago, we have three different subway systems and there was very few connections between all of them,” MTA chairman and CEO Joe Lhota said. “Our goal is to make the system more connective. It takes time, and it takes money, but we’re getting there.”
Mr. Lhota, wearing a red tie printed with fanciful gray trees and elephants, stood beneath the bright, color-shifting tube lights that make up Leo Villareal’s Hive installation. The honeycomb-shaped light show serves as a dynamic signpost for the new stairs and escalator that are an integral part of this new connection. In addition to connectivity, the station transformation is all about accessibility.
But there would be no uptown connection, no wheelchair-friendly elevators, without money, and more than anything, that was what Joe Lhota and his cohort really wanted to talk about on this day.
For those of us living in the outer boroughs, navigating Manhattan during the holidays can serve as a great reminder as to why we migrated off the island in the first place. New Years Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving…the term “amateur hour” was practically invented to describe the hoards of revelers who descend upon NYC like a plague of locusts to “celebrate” these annual events by getting as drunk as humanly possible and clogging up the sidewalks and public transit systems.
Now, most of the time, this does not pose too much of a problem for Brooklynites and Queens residents, who would just as soon stay in their district anyway, throwing Skrillex-themed rooftop parties.
But the 4th of July poses an issue for non-Gotham-dwellers: since 2009, the incredible light show thrown by Macy’s has been held on the Hudson River, making it almost impossible to view from the top of a Brooklyn Heights townhouse.
Some of us aren’t Scrooge McDuck-wealthy. Some of us don’t have the time/wherewithal/patience to deal with the crowds on the West Side Highway who gather to view the Macy’s July 4th Fireworks every year.
under the bridge
If they can reach a compromise on Capital Hill, why not on the Brooklyn waterfront?
How Albany Works
Around the 6:30 mark, Democratic State Senator Daniel Squadron questions why a series of local bills–ones that extend taxes in areas mostly represented by Republicans–are being sponsored by the Rules Committee, rather than an actual legislator.
“Common practice is that if a senator has a tax-extender in their region, they sponsor the Read More
Sincerest Form of Flattery
If it’s Sunday, it’s Chuck Schumer meeting the press.
And yesterday was no exception, as Schumer summoned reporters to an 11 a.m. event in his East Midtown office to announce one of his achievable, inarguable policy goals–calling on the Federal Aviation Administration not to dilute its standards for measuring pilot fatigue.
But if the original Read More
on the waterfront
Oh, those entitled Brooklyn Heightsies. They decry the thought of condos lining Brooklyn Bridge Park — thus supporting the new greensward’s ongoing maintenance — because it would block their harbor views. Yet they also do not want to pay new taxes to help fund the park, even though the proposal helped State Senator Read More
Democratic heavyweights came out for Tom DiNapoli this afternoon as he took his re-election campaign for state comptroller to Chinatown.
Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver, New York City comptroller John Liu, state senator Daniel Squadron, assembly member Grace Meng, council member Margaret Chin were among supporters at a press conference at the Chinese Consolidated Business Association. Read More