Op-Ed: Occupy Manhattan Storefronts

Andrew Laties  | November 2, 2011 4:00 AM | Updated: Nov. 3, 2011 12:00PM
Author: Andrew Laties
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication Date: July 2011

This is an exciting moment for New York’s indie businesses. According to a just-released report issued by the Center for an Urban Future, “the sluggish economy and drop in consumer spending may finally be catching up with chain stores here.”

The proliferation of chain stores in the city has slowed for the first time since the organization began its annual survey of New York’s chain stores. Nearly one-third of the national retailers surveyed had reduced the number of their locations over the past year, and almost three-fourths of those chains did not add stores in the past year. (more…)

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About the NYC Marathon

Liz Robbins  | November 1, 2011 2:43 PM

Runners use 2.3 million paper cups during the New York City Marathon, according to The New York Road Runners, the organization that coordinates the logistical wonder that is this race. MetroFocus/Sam Lewis

Marathon week in New York is my favorite time of the year. The energy is inspirational and the adrenaline is addictive. From Central Park to Midtown, the streets are suddenly teeming with tourists of a different sort: runners.

I love to see packs taking light training runs in Central Park, their voices hailing from Italy and Brazil, Ethiopia and Oregon. On the first Sunday in November, they will all speak the same language. (more…)

Making the Most of the School Tour: Tips for Parents

Peg Tyre  | October 27, 2011 1:52 PM

Where and how to educate your child is one of the most significant decisions you’ll ever make on your child’s behalf. While there is no blueprint for a perfect school, here are tools to help you know what to look for when you tour a school: (more…)

BOOKS

Clive Gillinson: A New York Tale of Biblical Scope

October 26, 2011 1:30 PM
Author: Robert Caro
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: July 1975

When I first arrived in New York, I attended a dinner party at which one of the guests told me that one book could really unlock the city for me: “The Power Broker,” a biography of Robert Moses by Robert Caro. The next day it arrived at my doorstep.

Moses shaped so much of the New York we know today and Bob Caro is an incredible storyteller. Moses’ life story is almost biblical — here’s a guy who wants to break down the systems of power and corruption and ultimately the only way to destroy them is to become as they are. It’s an epic and sad story.

Clive Gillinson has been Carnegie Hall’s executive and artistic director since 2005, where he oversees development of artistic concepts for all Carnegie Hall presentations, management of the world-renowned concert hall and operations of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.

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Paradise Lost: The Glory of the Old New York Knicks

John Farley  | October 25, 2011 4:00 AM

Though he’s now one of the biggest names in sports journalism, in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Harvey Araton was just one of millions of New Yorkers who found respite from the city’s gritty streets at Madison Square Garden.

The team that played there, which fans referred to as the “old Knicks,” was one of the most dynamic teams in basketball history. Their roster was lined with what would become some of the biggest names in sports history — Phil Jackson, Dave DeBusschere, Earl Monroe, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley and Jerry Lucas, to name a few. (more…)

BOOKS

Randy Cohen: Dukes of Hazard

October 13, 2011 6:19 PM
Author: William Dean Howells
Publisher: Penguin Press
Publication Date: 1890

My favorite book about New York is “A Hazard of New Fortunes,” published in 1890 by William Dean Howells, a former editor for The Atlantic. In the novel, a Boston intellectual comes to New York City to run a new bi-weekly magazine. It reads like the story of a dotcom startup — the money man is compromised and there are a lot of young people with a “go, go, go” attitude.

In the period the novel takes place, Boston was the refined town and New York was the sharp-elbowed money town. There are passages about looking for an apartment that are remarkably similar to apartment hunting in modern times. In one scene, the main characters stop for a rest in Washington Square Park where they comment on all the foreigners. The book is still very much in print and is not hard to find at all.

Randy Cohen has written humor pieces, essays, and stories for The New Yorker, Harpers, the Atlantic, Young Love Comics, “Late Night With David Letterman.”  He served for twelve years as “The Ethicist” for the New York Times Magazine’s weekly column.  He is currently working on “Person Place Thing,” a public radio program  for WAMC.

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The New Kids: Immigrant Teens Take on the Big Apple

Sam Lewis  | October 4, 2011 4:00 AM
Author: Brooke Hauser
Publisher: Free Press (Simon & Schuster)
Publication Date: Sept. 2011

“24 Hours in a Suitcase” was the title of Ngawang’s college essay, in which he describes the time he spent escaping from Tibet to the border of Nepal, zipped inside of a suitcase for 24 hours. It’s easy to forget that Ngawang experienced such trauma. His teachers at International High see him as a 17-year-old “punky kid” who wears Converse sneakers and occasionally hands in late assignments. (more…)

BOOKS

Resting in Peace in the City That Never Sleeps: A Field Guide to N.Y.’s Cemeteries

Douglas Keister  | September 29, 2011 6:00 AM
Author: Douglas Keister
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
Publication Date: Oct. 2011

I’m a taphophile. Taphophiles are lovers of all things funerary, although the term is more specifically applied to cemetery aficionados. The word comes from the Greek taphos, which translates to tomb or burial.

I’m not alone. There are many of us, from darkly draped Goths to gray-haired grandmothers. Thousands of my kind are lurking on Facebook groups and in the darker corners of the Internet — especially as Halloween approaches. Who knows, some of your best friends, officemates or family members may even be taphophiles.

In New York City, where everything seems to have a price, cemeteries are absolutely free (well, when you’re visiting). Larger cemeteries like Green-Wood, Woodlawn, Sleepy Hollow and Kensico even provide complimentary maps. And where else can you get within six feet of so many notable New Yorkers?

I’ve written five books on cemeteries and my latest is all about the final resting places in and around New York City. Below are the highlights of some of the “best” cemeteries in the area.

(more…)

What Would Jane Jacobs Say?

Sam Lewis  | September 16, 2011 6:00 AM

Fifty years ago the late Jane Jacobs rocked the planning and architecture world with her book, “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”

Jacobs advocated for a new method of urban planning grounded in citizen participation and community control. She opposed plans to carve out tenement neighborhoods for the construction of high-rise developments and expressways. She was also a champion of what she called the “sidewalk ballet” of the wonderful kismet and happenstance that can occur on New York City streets. But in some ways, her work also fueled the gentrification of some urban areas, displacing the people and the businesses that created the diversity that originally drew Jacobs to the city in the first place. (more…)

David Chang: All Cookbooks, All the Time

September 14, 2011 1:00 PM

Imagine a bookstore with only one section: "Cookbooks." Photo courtesy of Kitchen Arts & Letters, Inc.

For book lovers and food lovers, I recommend spending an afternoon at Kitchen Arts and Letters, at 94th and Lexington. They have an incredible selection of food writing and cookbooks (contemporary and rare), and they can also find out of print books for you. I can spend hours here. It’s my favorite store in New York City.

 

David Chang is the executive chef and owner of the Momofuku restaurants. He has won several awards for his cuisine and was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” in 2010. The first issue of his quarterly print journal Lucky Peach, came out in the summer of 2011 and is on sale now.

More My New York…

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