nyprarchives
"At the time, weed grew everywhere, with seven foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York."
nyprarchives:


Remember when New York City was covered in weed? Well it turns out that even as the city oversaw historic removal efforts in the 1950s, there were already some in government urging swift legislative reform. From WNYC’s Campus Press Conference, 1951. Read the full story here.
photo: Weeding out operation—Police Inspector Peter Terranova, commanding officer of the narcotics squad, flanked by Anthony Cristiano, a Department of Sanitation workman, and Frank Creta, general inspector. photo: Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection.

"At the time, weed grew everywhere, with seven foot high plants sprouting in fields from Williamsburg to Cobble Hill to East New York."

nyprarchives:

Remember when New York City was covered in weed? Well it turns out that even as the city oversaw historic removal efforts in the 1950s, there were already some in government urging swift legislative reform. From WNYC’s Campus Press Conference, 1951. Read the full story here.

photo: Weeding out operation—Police Inspector Peter Terranova, commanding officer of the narcotics squad, flanked by Anthony Cristiano, a Department of Sanitation workman, and Frank Creta, general inspector. photo: Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn Collection.

historicaltimes
By now the story of Bushwick’s transformation from ‘hood to hipster haven has been told more than enough times. But what caused it to go up in flames in the first place? 
A City Journal article, “The Death and Life of Bushwick,” explains that it was a combination of race relations and bad policy.
The problems began in the mid-1960s, when race riots were hitting urban centers across America, and white residents were getting jittery. Homeowners would find messages in their mailbox — “Don’t wait until it’s too late!” — a reference not just to possible violence but to the imminent arrival of minorities moving up north. Sure enough…

…speculators bought homes from Bushwick residents for an average of $8,000 apiece, and then, using fraudulent appraisals and a Great Society federal mortgage program that insured home loans to low-income buyers, sold them to poor blacks and Puerto Ricans at prices that they couldn’t afford— on average, about $20,000 per home.

Many of those new homeowners defaulted, abandoning their homes and prompting property values to further plummet. By the early 70s, hundreds of buildings in the neighborhood were empty, and owners started setting fire to their own empty buildings in order to collect on fire insurance.

Gangs set fire to abandoned buildings, too, and then waited for the fire department to do the hard work of knocking down walls and floors, making valuable fixtures and copper wiring easier to steal. By the early seventies, infernos blazed nightly. The neighborhood’s wooden row houses, tightly packed together and often sharing attics, proved particularly vulnerable; a fire would erupt in one building and swiftly spread, sometimes consuming half a block.

Higher crime followed. In 1990, there were 77 murders in the 83rd precinct. Last year, there were just 7.
historicaltimes:

Bushwick, Brooklyn 1980

By now the story of Bushwick’s transformation from ‘hood to hipster haven has been told more than enough times. But what caused it to go up in flames in the first place? 

A City Journal article, “The Death and Life of Bushwick,” explains that it was a combination of race relations and bad policy.

The problems began in the mid-1960s, when race riots were hitting urban centers across America, and white residents were getting jittery. Homeowners would find messages in their mailbox — “Don’t wait until it’s too late!” — a reference not just to possible violence but to the imminent arrival of minorities moving up north. Sure enough…

…speculators bought homes from Bushwick residents for an average of $8,000 apiece, and then, using fraudulent appraisals and a Great Society federal mortgage program that insured home loans to low-income buyers, sold them to poor blacks and Puerto Ricans at prices that they couldn’t afford— on average, about $20,000 per home.

Many of those new homeowners defaulted, abandoning their homes and prompting property values to further plummet. By the early 70s, hundreds of buildings in the neighborhood were empty, and owners started setting fire to their own empty buildings in order to collect on fire insurance.

Gangs set fire to abandoned buildings, too, and then waited for the fire department to do the hard work of knocking down walls and floors, making valuable fixtures and copper wiring easier to steal. By the early seventies, infernos blazed nightly. The neighborhood’s wooden row houses, tightly packed together and often sharing attics, proved particularly vulnerable; a fire would erupt in one building and swiftly spread, sometimes consuming half a block.

Higher crime followed. In 1990, there were 77 murders in the 83rd precinct. Last year, there were just 7.

historicaltimes:

Bushwick, Brooklyn 1980

The Downside of Diversity
These Orthodox Jewish kids live in Midwood, Brooklyn — in the only census tract in New York that is entirely white. But homogeneity’s not all bad — in fact there are some important benefits.
In a new paper, two scholars at Michigan State University argue that the “dense interpersonal networks” that lead to a sense of community do not form in diverse neighborhoods. In fact, diversity and community are essentially incompatible.
"Neighborhoods with the greatest opportunity to develop a respect for diversity (i.e. highly integrated neighborhoods) have the least capacity to foster a sense of community," they write. "Likewise, neighborhoods with the least opportunity for residents to develop a respect for diversity (i.e. highly segregated neighborhoods) have the greatest capacity to foster a sense of community."
I found the same paradigm at work in the Hasidic enclaves of Brooklyn, where an elaborate social safety net has developed via supermarkets — all within an extremely homogeneous environment. It seemed highly unlikely that a similar system would develop within a more diverse community.
For anyone who cherishes the idea of diversity — people of varying backgrounds living next to one another, exchanging ideas and food and maybe the occasional insult — this is probably a bit of a downer.
But Richard Florida says “urbanists and local policy makers might be better off refocusing their efforts away from the unachievable ideal of diverse and cohesive neighborhoods and toward creating cohesion across the various neighborhoods that make up a city.”

The Downside of Diversity

These Orthodox Jewish kids live in Midwood, Brooklyn — in the only census tract in New York that is entirely white. But homogeneity’s not all bad — in fact there are some important benefits.

In a new paper, two scholars at Michigan State University argue that the “dense interpersonal networks” that lead to a sense of community do not form in diverse neighborhoods. In fact, diversity and community are essentially incompatible.

"Neighborhoods with the greatest opportunity to develop a respect for diversity (i.e. highly integrated neighborhoods) have the least capacity to foster a sense of community," they write. "Likewise, neighborhoods with the least opportunity for residents to develop a respect for diversity (i.e. highly segregated neighborhoods) have the greatest capacity to foster a sense of community."

I found the same paradigm at work in the Hasidic enclaves of Brooklyn, where an elaborate social safety net has developed via supermarkets — all within an extremely homogeneous environment. It seemed highly unlikely that a similar system would develop within a more diverse community.

For anyone who cherishes the idea of diversity — people of varying backgrounds living next to one another, exchanging ideas and food and maybe the occasional insult — this is probably a bit of a downer.

But Richard Florida says “urbanists and local policy makers might be better off refocusing their efforts away from the unachievable ideal of diverse and cohesive neighborhoods and toward creating cohesion across the various neighborhoods that make up a city.”

nycartscene
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nycartscene:

opens Sept 27:“meanwhile…” Magnus ThierfelderForever & Today (Project Site), 39 Bridge St., Brooklyn, NYCThursday-Sunday, 12-6pman exhibition of new work by Swedish artist Magnus Thierfelder, on view at the organization’s temporary project space in Dumbo… Thierfelder’s installation is a site-specific commission that explores urban space and the built environment in a contemplative and playful manner. The exhibition includes video stop-motion animation, projection, site-specific sound, and sculptural assemblage. Using the streets of New York as his inspiration, Thierfelder acts as a flâneur, finding everyday objects and refuse and infusing them with subtle and charming personalities all their own. - thru Oct 27

tickle tickle

nycartscene:

opens Sept 27:

meanwhile…
 Magnus Thierfelder

Forever & Today (Project Site), 39 Bridge St., Brooklyn, NYC
Thursday-Sunday, 12-6pm

an exhibition of new work by Swedish artist Magnus Thierfelder, on view at the organization’s temporary project space in Dumbo… Thierfelder’s installation is a site-specific commission that explores urban space and the built environment in a contemplative and playful manner. The exhibition includes video stop-motion animation, projection, site-specific sound, and sculptural assemblage. Using the streets of New York as his inspiration, Thierfelder acts as a flâneur, finding everyday objects and refuse and infusing them with subtle and charming personalities all their own. - thru Oct 27

Inside the Fridges of New York

This is the beginning of a new Micropolis project, exploring the city through the contents of its refrigerators. Consider this a kind of urban anthropology — we’ll be taking you inside some celebrity fridges as well as others across the city. [Reporter: Bifen Xu / Photographer: Roy Beeson]

Name: Shinobu Mochizuki
Age: 43
Lives in: Williamsburg 
Job: Owns Fragile Equipment, a photo equipment business

  1. Sake from my hometown Shizuoka, a prefecture outside of Tokyo. I brought it back from a trip home.  
  2. Handmade jams made by my girlfriend, locally harvested blueberry in PA, great for breakfast with yogurt.  
  3. Pickled ginger made by my mom. I think she pickles with rice vinegar and refined sugar.  She makes it every few months.  I go to Japan once a year to visit my family and if not they send me a lot of food in the mail.
  4. I have a jar of bonito flakes dipped in soy sauce. It’s been in my fridge for 17 years, since I came to the US. I use this is for making rice balls, but it’s never been changed or cleaned. I think it still has some essence of 1995. This is an important condiment to me.  But I like to keep it. It never goes bad. It’s like a gem. It is impossible to go bad. You put the sauce in the middle of the rice ball and then wrap seaweed around it.
  5. I don’t cook often but I like simple things like grilled or steamed root vegetable. Slow cooked miso soup, Japanese curry and mahboh tofu.
  6. Miso paste made by my father. He makes it twice a year, he has his own farm and he uses his own soybeans. He uses a culture called a koji and he mixes it together with the soybeans. I have had this miso for a year. 
  7. I freeze fruit just before it gets bad. Frozen apple is great to eat when it starts melting. Most fruit gets sweeter when you freeze it, like ice wine in Germany.
  8. [in the door, not seen] My homemade Kombucha. Once I prepare the jar, I leave it in room temperature for 4-5 days, and put it in the fridge for further fermentation.
There’s a growing black surf scene in the Rockaways. Guys like Louis Harris, above, or Brian James, aka “the Nautical Negro.” 
When James started surfing here in 1997, he said it was tough.
“Lot of racial epithets hurled out in water. Lot of arguing. But me personally, I let them know I wasn’t going for it. They got a problem, we can settle it on the beach.”
But now, it’s other black people who insist that “black people don’t surf.” 
Check out Stephen Nessen’s story at WNYC.

There’s a growing black surf scene in the Rockaways. Guys like Louis Harris, above, or Brian James, aka “the Nautical Negro.” 

When James started surfing here in 1997, he said it was tough.

“Lot of racial epithets hurled out in water. Lot of arguing. But me personally, I let them know I wasn’t going for it. They got a problem, we can settle it on the beach.”

But now, it’s other black people who insist that “black people don’t surf.” 

Check out Stephen Nessen’s story at WNYC.

Diversity gets a lot of hype, but what’s the case for insularity?
In the overwhelmingly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Boro Park, in Brooklyn, the kosher stores operate a remarkable system known as ‘aufschraben,’ wherein customers can walk out carrying hundreds of dollars of groceries without paying a dime.
Essentially, it’s a system of credit: the store keeps track of people’s purchases and occasionally nudges them to settle their bills, which may go into the thousands. In fact, Simcha Friedman, the manager of the Super 13 supermarket, shown above, said that at any given moment his store may have “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in outstanding credit. 
So why do it?
On one hand, it’s a way of luring Hasidic and Orthodox customers away from bigger, much more anonymous stores like Pathmark. But it’s also a way of maintaining an old custom that goes back to life in the shtetl, and since almost everyone in the community is related to each other, however, vaguely, there’s a sort of connectedness that is rare.
Most importantly, the system takes care of the poor. Low-income customers may find that their mounting bills have been paid off, anonymously, by a wealthier customer. Unlike other New York City neighborhoods, a high degree of economic integration exists here, so rich and poor live next to one another. If they didn’t, or if they were more dispersed, the system most likely wouldn’t work. 
To learn more — about ‘aufschraben’ and the ways in which Orthodox Jews are inclusive — listen to my Micropolis story here.
And tell us: What do you think?

Diversity gets a lot of hype, but what’s the case for insularity?

In the overwhelmingly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Boro Park, in Brooklyn, the kosher stores operate a remarkable system known as ‘aufschraben,’ wherein customers can walk out carrying hundreds of dollars of groceries without paying a dime.

Essentially, it’s a system of credit: the store keeps track of people’s purchases and occasionally nudges them to settle their bills, which may go into the thousands. In fact, Simcha Friedman, the manager of the Super 13 supermarket, shown above, said that at any given moment his store may have “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in outstanding credit. 

So why do it?

On one hand, it’s a way of luring Hasidic and Orthodox customers away from bigger, much more anonymous stores like Pathmark. But it’s also a way of maintaining an old custom that goes back to life in the shtetl, and since almost everyone in the community is related to each other, however, vaguely, there’s a sort of connectedness that is rare.

Most importantly, the system takes care of the poor. Low-income customers may find that their mounting bills have been paid off, anonymously, by a wealthier customer. Unlike other New York City neighborhoods, a high degree of economic integration exists here, so rich and poor live next to one another. If they didn’t, or if they were more dispersed, the system most likely wouldn’t work. 

To learn more — about ‘aufschraben’ and the ways in which Orthodox Jews are inclusive — listen to my Micropolis story here.

And tell us: What do you think?

adelinasheiner-deactivated20130
"I have no patience for contemporary handlebar mustaches. They anger me. They look indulgent and ridiculous. If you have a handlebar mustache, that is pretty much all you are. You are a delivery system for a handlebar mustache. I saw a guy in Brooklyn once with a handlebar mustache, pierced ears, a fedora hat and jodhpurs. He was a collage of sartorial attempts at evading himself.” 
— Marc Maron

"I have no patience for contemporary handlebar mustaches. They anger me. They look indulgent and ridiculous. If you have a handlebar mustache, that is pretty much all you are. You are a delivery system for a handlebar mustache. I saw a guy in Brooklyn once with a handlebar mustache, pierced ears, a fedora hat and jodhpurs. He was a collage of sartorial attempts at evading himself.”

— Marc Maron

Remember the 80s, when the Beastie Boys seemed like raunchy, ill-mannered degenerates capable of starting riots? Well, now a playground in Brooklyn Heights is about to be re-named after the late Beastie, Adam “MCA” Yauch.

City officials and members of the legendary hip-hop band are expected to gather Friday at Palmetto Playground on State Street for a ceremonial renaming in honor of the Brooklyn Heights native, sources said. The site will be called “Adam Yauch Playground.”

Yauch died from throat cancer a year ago this Saturday at the age of 47, only weeks after the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. [NYP]