There’s very few days of the week when I DON’T miss the fuck out of New York City, but if there was ever a time to leave, it seems like this June was it.
Donna Rogers (ID'ed by neighbors) is escorted in and then out of the Special Moments Daycare facility at 711 E. 52nd Street which she owns on 6/26/09 related to the earlier shooting and robbery attempt.
It all started with the endless, endless rain that swept the city from Floral Park to Coney Island and the George Washington Bridge, raining out Mets games, hipster events and the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Turns out, June rain not only ruins perfectly nice beach days—it also drives people just an eensy, weensy bit insane. The murder rate is up up up, par for the course in New York’s crazy making, swamp-ass-jungle-muggy nastiness. Did you read about that drug fueled shoot-out at a Flatbush preschool? Now you did. But if the killers don’t get you, the swine flu will. Yeah, it’s still going strong in NYC. You know what totally boosts flu rates? Yeah, getting soaked in the rain and then sitting inside all day with recycled air. Awesome. But not as awesome as the piece of Neverland Ranch that’s turned up at Coney Island. Irritated taxistas weigh in about a plan to make their job less pleasant (but a little more affordable). They’re building a fucking hipster mall in fucking Bushwick, the price of a subway ticket has jumped into the realm of astronomical—oh, and the best part? The subway is making you deaf. Fuck.
There’s a lot to talk about in the World today, so lets jump right into it. You know about Tehran and you know about Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech, so we’re skipping that and getting straight down into the stuff you didn’t hear.
More than a billion people go hungry, says the World Food Program. That’s about as many people who will contract malaria this year, a statistic that’s broken down masterfully by the country in a multi-part feature for the Global Post. Check out India. As long as we’re chatting about weird statistics, who knew that traffic was hazardous to your health? Well, ok, everybody, but who had a study to scientifically prove it’s hazardous to your health? The World Health Organization, that’s WHO. (hahahaha). Finally, a UN commissioned study with empirical evidence that climate change is effecting human migration. Which, if you’ve never heard of Tuvalu, might be news.
In other global news, the Cuban Five, whose pictures were emblazoned across whitewashed walls of local groceries and in the posh lobbies of upscale hotels when I visited Cuba in 2003-04 will not have another day in court, after what is at least five years (one for each of them!) of trying. The five stand accused of spying for Havana.
On the opposite side of the earth (and also in Brooklyn) the Guardian has a retrospective of female suicide bombers, more coverage of the refugees post-Tiger surrender and The New York Times has 4 Brooklynites (none of them M.I.A.) arrested and convicted of sponsoring the Tamil Tigers to the tune of millions. From Flushing or Staten Island, we might have expected…but this!
Some interesting stuff out of Russia: Global Post notices absurdly ostentatious oligarches reining it back. John Vinocur at the Times has some advice for Obama in Moscow next month. In sum: your shit will not work with the Russians, Mr. Smiley Pants President.
Finally, China still defies explanation, US Asians hate girls and Al Gore is once again the butt of a hilarious joke. (Guest Apperance by Rahm Emanuel. Continue reading
Filed under 3rd World Imagineering, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, California, Coney Island, Daily Oddities, Economy, Immigration, India, Los Angeles, Russia, Sri Lanka, Taxis, United Nations
This week, NY Mag’s Daily Intel wants to know: Would you rather give birth on the R train or the B61 bus? It’s not an idle question. Back to back MTA births last week confirm what we always knew—public transit is the artery of New York life.
Unfortunately, some modes of transit are better than others. Exhibit A: a massive pedicab crash off the Williamsburg Bridge highlights how poorly that summertime industry is run. Exhibit B: World Naked Bikeride…is just nasty.
Finally, while there are ways to keep other people from touching you or jacking your shit in the subway, there’s little you can do to keep total creepsters from looking at you. Ewwww.
Got anymore transit oddities you just must share? Let us know in comments.
Every bit better than Pinkberry/Red Mango/KiwiBerri/Papamingo/TuttiMelon (notice how YogurtLand wasn’t in that list? That’s because YogurtLand is still better), Quickly’s new take on Korean Fro-Yo is so cheap, you’ll do a double take. And again. Whaaa?
What makes Quickly (globally ubiquitous purveyor of Boba) ahead of the game here is 80/20 pricing to quality. While they still beat more boutique yogurt with their fluffy not-too-frozen texture, they’re beating the pants off market leaders like Pinkberry (now synonymous with Korean yogurt) with their price. Not only do they offer a 5 oz yogurt for 89 cents (reduced to 59 on Special), for another 99 cents, you get unlimited toppings. UNLIMITED TOPPINGS.
Now, anyone who knows the current Korean fro-yo craze knows that rub in the “natural” frozen yogurt market has always been the toppings—an assortment of fresh fruits, nuts and a colorful and healthy-ish selection of bite-sized treats. The yogurt itself is good, but the toppings are what sets it apart, and what attracts the deep-pocketed health conscious consumer who has helped launch this product into the stratosphere. Put fruit on anything, and you are garunteed to snare the health nuts.
But really, toppings is where fro-yo pushers make their rent. For half again the price of a small at Pinkberry, you can get exactly one ounce of one topping. As someone who’s worked in the Frozen Yogurt industry (pre-Pinkberry), I can promise you this much hasn’t changed.
Before you were enjoying it, your yogurt was a huge frozen block (if you’re lucky—otherwise it was a powder), and when you factor in the cost of shipping said blocks, plus the cost and maintanence for the machines that make it into that stuff you so love to eat, the chains aren’t turning a profit on the juice itself (which is why you will notice Pinkberry employees weighing out each cup before they give it to you). No, toppings, like concessions at a movie theater, is where the real money is. Which is why “tart” yogurt is so genius, because nobody’s going to eat that shit plain.
Which is precisely why Quickly’s fro-yo scheme is so delicious. They can pull the rug out from under their competition without risking any real financial loss. I suggest we all go get one right now.
From time to time, when I am writing, I have this thought—which I occasionally post on FB:
“sometimes i sit down and i write some shit and i think, holy mother of G-d i am a sick, terrible person. at least i’m thin”
Usually in those exact words . Anyone who knows me knows that i write a lot (despite not having posted here in about a week—srry!), both for a living/school and in my free time. It’s like that quote from Karn’s piece about cigarette smoking in NYC—”I won’t be able to quit. It comes from inside me”
I’ve gotta tell you, the shit i write for work is bad enough (Tamil Tigers, stabbings, rape/murder and a measles epidemic, and that’s just this week), but in spite of or because of this, the shit i write after work is even worse. Sometimes I read through what I’ve written for the night and then i think, motherfucker, i need some valium or a quarter of a xanax or something. Because of course I’m really not writing about these things—I’m writing about a doomed love affair and a laundromat chain and some IED taxi cabs—and yet they come out of me. Which is why if the Kindle ever generates a tag-cloud for fiction, I’ll have to throw myself from the Verrazano Bridge.
Filed under 3rd World Imagineering, Bibliomania, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, Coney Island, India, Israel, it's a small world, Reimagineers, Sri Lanka, Taxis
“I have customers who used to work in the offices around here,” said Aamir Ajaz, the perpetually smiling face behind the counter at Lahore Deli, a closet-sized SoHo eatery with a loyal following of taxi drivers. “Now they come in and they’re driving cabs.”
As jobs dry up in other sectors, more and more Brooklynites are turning to taxis, driving up lease rates
Check out my latest article at The Brooklyn Ink
(Btw, I have a total working crush on Aamir Ajaz)
I’m already several chapters past this, but it felt like a good time to share. Cuz I FELT LIKE IT, motherfuckers
CHAPTER 11: SEPT. 7TH, 2008—THE CONEY ISLAND APOCALYPSE:
There in the sky, ten thousand feet straight up from here, a four-and-a-half year old refugee with thick plastic glasses will see his first American seagull. He will press his nose to the glass, watching an almost imperceptibly small white figure soar and dive towards the red metal arms that reach endlessly up out of Brooklyn. If the Rx is good he may see the lean stripe of yellow beaches, punctuated here by the Steeplechase Pier jutting half a mile into the Atlantic, and behind it, Deno’s Wonderwheel (and almost certainly the projects beyond). As the plane circles terrifyingly earthward, he will squeeze his eyes shut and dream that unspeakable secret dream, a Made-in-China Yankees cap—preemptively bought—clutched in his sticky brown fingers.
If you, like us, naturalized through JFK instead of Ellis Island, then Coney Island’s Eiffel Tower was almost 100% absolutely the first American thing you saw. The French should errect a new goddamn plaque.
Every summer we return here, spilling out of Ocean Parkway and West 8th Street and Stillwell Avenue, Bangladeshi and Dominican and Cantonese alike; blacks from the West 27th Towers, from Coney and Flatbush and Bushwick; the Russians from their garish pink condos and their bungalows in Brighton; the Persians from the newly redoubled single-family’s in Gravesend, Mexicans and Chinese from the cluttered 5-family brownstones in Sunset Park; the Lubavich and the Islanders from the squat apartment houses of Crown Heights, and the hipsters, like some 11th plague, from the $2,000 a month one bedrooms of Williamsburg, their Canons trained on us like M-16s.
Last week, Astroland Amusements and the developers who own their concrete reached an impasse. Starting tomorrow, the poured plastic wildlife, the space needle and the haunted house and King Neptune water flume will be all leveled, auctioned and removed.