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The trend towards motor courts has accelerated notably in the last two years, according to Kent Security’s Alon Alexander, who has seen a major uptick in inquiries from luxury developers on how best to incorporate the feature in an architectural brief. They’re driven, of course, by twin concerns: privacy and security.
There’s also a less concrete allure to motor courts: in a city where developers want to wring maximum value from every square foot, there’s an extravagance in leaving such a large space empty. It tacitly telegraphs a developer’s largesse and indulgence, at least according to Alon Alexander’s twin brother, Oren. He is a sales executive for 565 Broome. “A regular developer might squeeze a retail site, or extra amenities like a larger lobby, from that space but a driveway is the definition of luxury,” Oren says by cellphone, “It’s space where you don’t typically get it.” Jasmine Mir, CMO of Corcoran Sunshine, puts its more simply. “Buying a penthouse at the top of a building is one thing, but the sense of extravagance and luxury associated with having space at street level in a congested place like New York? It gives an amazing sense of wow!
New York governor Andrew Cuomo released this photo last night of 1 World Trade Center displaying the pride colors.
“From Stonewall to marriage equality to protecting transgender individuals to the first-in-the nation executive action to ban conversion therapy, New York has led the way in the fight for LGBT rights. In this state, we believe that no matter your race, creed, color, gender identity or expression you have the right live your life free from persecution and prejudice.
"This senseless act of terror reminds us that there are those who seek to undermine these very values and the progress we have achieved. We will not let this happen. An attack on one is an attack on all. New York joins the rest of the nation in rejecting this hate, fear and extremism and stands shoulder to shoulder with the LGBT community.
“Tonight, I am directing One World Trade Center to be lit the colors of the pride flag in a tribute to LGBT Americans and the lives that were lost. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I extend my deepest thoughts and prayers to those affected by this horrendous tragedy.”
This gesture will doubtless draw irritated sighs from the New York Times, which published a column by Frank Bruni making clear that the slaughter of 50 people at a gay nightclub by a homophobic terrorist isn't about gay people, who should accept that "this isn’t a moment for identity politics" which "could muddle the significance of the carnage." Read the rest
Other Music, my favorite New York City record store, is closing down after more than two decades in the East Village. Other Music was a hub of avant-garde culture both locally and via their phenomenal weekly newsletter reviewing new releases, from experimental electronica to post-punk indie to freaky psych reissues, and everywhere in between. Whenever I visited Manhattan, I made a beeline to Other Music, and loved hearing staff recommendations (and peeking at what other customers were buying).
“We still do a ton of business — probably more than most stores in the country,” co-owner Josh Madell told the New York Times. “It’s just the economics of it actually supporting us — we don’t see a future in it. We’re trying to step back before it becomes a nightmare.”
Other Music, I will miss you.
Business has dropped by half since the store’s peak in 2000, when it did about $3.1 million in sales, said Chris Vanderloo, who founded the shop with Mr. Madell and Jeff Gibson after the three met as employees at the music spinoff of Kim’s Video in the early ’90s. (Mr. Gibson left Other Music’s day-to-day operations in 2001.)
Rent, on the other hand, has more than doubled from the $6,000 a month the store paid in 1995, while its annual share of the building’s property tax bill has also increased with the local real estate market.
“Food Warriors,” the wonderful street food video series created by Rafi Kam, Dallas Penn, and Casimir Nozkowski, just published a wonderful new episode focused on the cheap eats of Rockaway Beach and Far Rockaway.
A huge crane toppled in New York City this morning, killing someone in a parked car and injuring several others. CBS reports that high winds were blamed for the collapse. Read the rest
ISIS, or as they hate to be called, Daesh, released a video online Wednesday threatening an imminent attack on New York City.
Pizza Rat was just the most brazen example of the rats that are apparently ravaging New York City this year. Apparently it's a record year for the number of rodent complaint calls that citizens have made to the city of New York.
Manhattan Upper West Side resident Nora Prentice says this about an infestation of hundreds of rats in her neighborhood park:
"It's like the Burning Man of rats," she told the Associated Press. "They're just sitting there in a lawn chair waiting for you."
Meanwhile city comptroller Scott Stringer has noticed that rodent evolution has apparently gone awry: "I've seen rats walking upright, saying, 'Good morning, Mr. Comptroller,'" he said. "It's unsightly to see rats running through neighborhoods like they actually bought a co-op somewhere."
I suggest that the city issue every brave soul a copy of Ike Matthews' 1898 classic book "Full Revelations of a Professional Rat-Catcher After 25 Years' Experience." Read the rest
In the 1970s, documentary photographer Jill Freedman, now 75, embedded herself with New York City firefighters and police officers, capturing the grit, humor, and humanity of those individuals and others she encountered in her travels through the hidden narratives of Manhattan. NYC's Steven Kasher Gallery has a show of Freedman's work opening September 17 and CNN interviewed the photographer about her life behind the lens.
"I wanted to tell stories, and if nobody would send me," she said, "I would just go."
OK boppers, The Warriors reunion is coming to Coney Island, New York on September 13 to celebrate the iconic gang film from 1979. Read the rest
Internets Celebrities, with hosts Dallas Penn, Rafi Kam, and director Casimir Nozkowski, have a fun new NYC street foodie episode out. Read the rest