manifest destiny east
After Mayor Bloomberg and the city won a key Willets Point case back in 2010, a slew of colleges and development companies are competing to redevelop the iron triangle. As part of Bloomberg’s plan, a convention center—the first outside of Manhattan—will be a focal point of the project and will rocket Willets Point into “New York’s next great neighborhood.”
But now that the gigundo casino-and-convention complex is in the works at nearby Aqueduct, is there room for two convention centers in Queens?
Michael Bloomberg has never been shy about telling us how he wants to be remembered. His fondest wish, he has said, is that historians will credit him with turning around the city’s public school system.
Perhaps they will. At the moment, however, it seems more likely that Mr. Bloomberg will be remembered for keeping the city’s treasury on an even keel during two tumultuous economic downturns. It has been a masterful, even historic, performance.
Planes Trains & Automobiles
Just days ago, a poll from Transportation Alternatives found that 61 percent of mass transit riders believe their commutes have worsened since 2009. While some don’t see nothing wrong with a little bump ‘n grind, for many, the train ride home is a stirpot of awkward touching and uncomfortable emotions reminiscent of their high school days. But are these teenage flashbacks the worst that the subway system has in store for its passengers?
NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign says ‘yes and no’ with their first-ever “State of the Station Platforms” survey.
The Walmart saga continues as it tries to open in New York yet again. Despite Walmart’s frugal lunch policy, the company has poured millions of dollars on New York City programs and charities over recent years to garner support. They mass-mailed residents last spring claiming that “Walmart wants to come to New York City and New York City wants Walmart.” Rightfully so, a clear majority of New Yorkers want Walmart.
But is time running out?
Lea Michele, the pint-size diva of Glee and New Years Eve–Best movie of 2011? Discuss…–has given the city an ultimatum. Either this wallpaper goes, or she does. And by “wallpaper” we mean “carriages that use horses for labor.”
Tant pis, Ms. Michele!!
As part of a continuing effort to keep residents’ lungs pink and healthy (as well as make as much money as possible from those who choose to inhale), the city of New York has filed a lawsuit against a Chinatown establishment that sells tobacco and rolling papers and encourages customers to roll their own packs in the store. The average price for a self-created cigarette pack? Four to six dollars.
“By selling illegally low-priced cigarettes,” said the lawsuit, “defendants not only interfere with the collection of city cigarette taxes, they also impair the city’s smoking cessation programs and impair individual efforts at smoking reduction, thereby imposing higher health care costs on the city and injuring public health.”
(That last part might ring truer if New Yorkers were still allowed to smoke in public spaces.) But by focusing on these “roll your own cigarette” joints–which actually fall into a legal gray area–the city has overlooked the actually illegal underground cigarette trade in New York.
Is it just us, or do things seem a little shaky lately? And no, we’re not just talking about the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Virginia around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, sending out shock waves that gently rocked New York City and taught us that East Coast disaster response is largely limited to Tweeting ironically and wondering aloud if we should order in lunch. Toss in Hurricane Irene gaining on Florida’s shores, microscopic brain-eating amoebas lurking in our lakes and ponds (the Contagion marketing has really gotten out of hand, Warner Bros.) and Gerard Depardieu’s making headlines for using an aircraft cabin as a urinal, we’re pretty sure Harold Camping is kicking himself right about now.
Governor Chris Christie has gotten a lot right during his stormy first term as governor of New Jersey. He’s taken on public employee unions and gotten pension and benefits concessions that would have seemed impossible two years ago. He’s correctly identified the teachers’ union as a reactionary obstacle to genuine school reform.
There are times, however, when his outspoken, Jersey guy routine doesn’t serve him well. Like, for example, when he recently referred to the mayor of New York City as a “dictator” and—even worse, if you’re familiar with Yiddish—a “putz.” (The governor should consult a Yiddish-English dictionary before he channels his inner Jackie Mason.) Bear in mind that Mr. Christie considers Mike Bloomberg a friend. Imagine what he calls his enemies.
If Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, Independence Day is the unofficial start of the summer vacation season. With the school year over at last, families are getting ready for their long-planned holidays. Other New Yorkers are fleeing to the Hamptons, Cape Cod or the Jersey Shore for weekend respites from the city’s Read More
At a time when the economy continues to sputter and many middle-class New Yorkers are worried about the cost of everyday goods, you’d think that members of the City Council would welcome the nation’s largest discount retailer with open arms.
But Walmart remains a pariah in the City Council. Its efforts to find a location Read More