At an animal rights debate last week, five mayoral hopefuls voiced their support for a change in city oversight of animal shelters.
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio set his sights on Animal Care and Control of New York City, the organization that runs the city’s shelters. “AC&C has been a mess,” Mr. de Blasio said. Read More
Silicon Alley U
The public review process known as ULURP, through which most every large-scale development in the city must pass, is rarely an easy one. New York created the NIMBY, and ULURP is about the only way Joe Public can even pretend to influence such projects as Columbia or NYU’s new campuses, the Hudson Yards redevelopment, Riverside South, the Kingsbridge Armory, Chelsea Market… the list of contentious projects goes on and on. A better acronym for the Uniform Land-use Review Process might well be DIVISIVE.
That is what makes CornellNYC, the upstate university’s Roosevelt Island tech campus, such an interesting anomaly. After beating out Stanford in a breathless deathmatch for Mayor Bloomberg’s blessing to build the campus, the project has so far sailed through ULURP with nary a protest. Back in December, the campus was approved by the local community board (typically a bastion of browbeating), and now Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer gave the new campus his enthusiastic thumbs up.
the fifth girl
Audrey Gelman first appears in season two of Girls—which premiered Sunday night—coming out of the bathroom. She is carrying a tallboy that dwarfs her tiny frame, scolding her clingy boyfriend, Charlie, and looking for some weed. “Hi Audrey,” Marnie Michaels (played by Allison Williams) says, shooting daggers at her rival. Ms. Gelman’s role as Marnie’s Read More
In the Rezone
The new towers in Hudson Square are going to look more, well, square.
That is after Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer wrangled a deal with Trinity Church to reduce the size of new towers as part of a rezoning the rectors are undertaking in the formerly industrial neighborhood just north of the Holland Tunnel. This was among the concessions extracted by Mr. Stringer before giving the project his conditional approval, which he signed yesterday as part of the rezoning’s public review process.
The buildings will be a bit wider, though, so as not to lose their density, but they can only rise to 290 feet, rather than 320 feet. Stocky towers instead of slender spires, basically. But that is in many ways fitting with the areas already stolid building stock of former printing plants, which typified the neighborhood for a century before it became a popular haven for Soho expats and minor celebrities (hello James Gandolfini and Lou Reed!).
Those Zecekendorfs sure do love their starchitects.
From William Zeckendorf’s work with I.M. Pei and Minoru Yamaski in the 1960s and ’70s to his grandsons’ projects with the likes of KPF and, most notably, Robert A.M. Stern, who created both the brand new 15 Central Park West and the newly renovated 18 Gramercy Park South, the Zeckendorfs have a thing for high design.
Add to that now 50 UN Plaza, a 44-story condo tower on the East Side that will be Lord Norman Foster’s first residential commission in the United States. Mr. Foster is well known for his work on the Hearst Tower, World Trade Center Tower 2 and the new Sperrone Westwater Gallery on the Bowery, as well as a new commission for 425 Park Avenue for L&L Holdings. With this latest commission, he cements his place as an all-around architectural power in the city.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is a busy guy–dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and gearing up for the 2013 mayoral race–he’s considered among the frontrunners to succeed Michael Bloomberg. But there’s always time for a quick photo op.
New York City Marathon
“My first instinct was sure, we’re going to be ready for the big event. We can do anything in the world. We’re New Yorkers and that’s what New Yorkers do,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. “But after visiting shelters around the city, seeing the devastation in Staten Island and Breezy Point and knowing that people are trapped in buildings on the Lower East Side and we cannot get to them, this is not the time.”
On Friday, Mr. Stringer voiced his opposition to holding the marathon this Sunday, joining a growing number of politicians who feel that the city should not host a major event while so many residents are struggling for access to electricity, food and water.
Outside of the IFC Center Thursday evening, three men in hazard suits were holding up signs and chanting things, seemingly picketing the crowd lined up to see Josh Fox’s Academy Award-nominated film about fracking, Gasland.
“Wait, are these protesters?” Another reporter in our small group asked, peering out the window. “Are they against anti-fracking?”
“No, I think they are here to support anti-fracking,” another replied. “But they’ve been protesting for so long that they’ve forgotten how to communicate normally.”
The Anniversary Party
In a glossy media city that values professional polish, NY1, Time Warner’s no-frills news channel, enjoys a certain cult following, as evidenced by the high-profile fans who gathered at the New York Public Library last Thursday to celebrate two decades of “weather on the ones.”
The event reflected the unassuming charms of the station, where anchors style themselves and pan-away shots reveal a bullpen that is more Community than The Newsroom. Though there was an open bar, the wine glasses had thick stems, and the hors d’oeuvres, while tasty, might have arrived straight from Trader Joe’s.
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.