Million-dollar lotto winner finally can afford a doctor visit, discovers he has terminal cancer and promptly dies

Donald Savastano was a self-employed carpenter eking out a marginal living without retirement savings or health insurance; when he won the $1 million jackpot in New York's "Merry Millionaire" lotto, he could finally afford to see a doctor to check out his long-term sense of unwellness. Read the rest

New York joins Montana in Net Neutrality, bans non-Neutral ISPs from supplying government agencies

Days after Montana Democratic Governor Steve Bullock signed an executive order banning ISPs that violate Net Neutrality from supplying state government agencies, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (also a Democrat) has followed suit, with an even stricter executive order. Read the rest

New York cops furious that the union has reduced the number of "get out of jail free" cards they can give to their pals

Every active NYPD cop used to get 30 Patrolmen's Benevolent Association "courtesy cards" from their union per year; now they'll only get 20 (retired cops used to get 20 and now they'll get 10). Read the rest

Racist authoritarians insisted that ending stop-and-frisk would increase violent crime, but the opposite just happened

For years, racist authoritarians in New York City defended the stop-and-frisk program in which primarily black and brown people were repeatedly stopped without any particularized suspicion and forced to turn out their pockets, empty their bags, even strip naked in public on frozen-street corners. Read the rest

Stench of death in village turns out to be hundreds of pounds of rotting moose bits

Argyle, New York. The stench of death descended upon this small upstate village, about halfway between the Hudson and Vermont, earlier this fall. It took until now for locals to find the source: a cache of moose bits...

... strewn just off the road, some parts dragged to nearby parts of a field by predators.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation was called and the agency’s conservation officers were able to find clues that led them to a butcher in Vermont, officials said. That butcher provided information that led officers to an Argyle man

The culprit, Raymond F. Graham, was ticketed for unlawful disposal of solid waste. Read the rest

How killing Net Neutrality irreparably harms public libraries and the communities they serve

New York Public Library president Tony Marx presides over the largest public library system in America, in a city where 2,000,000 people lack broadband internet access, so he understands as well as anyone the way that libraries bridge the digital divide, a divide that gets deeper and more daunting every day, as key services and opportunities move online. Read the rest

Another 80s 'shame' video: A Staten Island Bar Mitzvah celebration in 1988

Remember that "shame" video of the kid getting a Nintendo as a gift in 1988? Well, my former child actor friend Jared Hirsch saw it too and shared his own "shame" video from 1998 with me. His nearly two-hour long submission captures the splendor, joy, and robot sunglasses of his Bar Mitzvah reception on Staten Island.

I asked Jared if he had anything he'd like to say about the video. This is what he wrote back:

In 1988, I was a 13 year old growing up in Staten Island, the curious fifth borough in New York City. As all good young Jewish kids my age, my devoted parents threw me a classic 80s Bar Mitzvah. It was like a wedding, but for horny pre- and just-turned teens. Rented hall, live band, videographer, catered dinner, dancing, games, and all the attention I craved. I remember later that night sitting on their bed, counting all of the savings bonds I was gifted for becoming a man and feeling like a thousandaire. In 10 years, I cashed them and paid for a whole month of college. Behold in all it's transferred from VHS glory, my Bar Mitzvah party. Don't miss the Bar Mitzvah rap at 1hr10min, or my relatives not understanding how a video camera works. Delight in the snazzy renditions of your favorite 70s and 80 party songs. Cringe at the hair. Laugh at me for my overinflated ego, but don't forget that you too were 13 once.
Read the rest

New Yorkers: if you want to vote in the 2018 Democratic primary, you have to register by Oct 13

The New York Democratic primary -- like primaries across the country -- will be a fight for the soul of the Democratic party, between the establishment wing and progressive, Sanders Democrats who want a $15 minimum wage, universal health care, free four-year state colleges, and limits on banks and the finance industry as well as foreign wars. Read the rest

Jared Kushner signed up to vote in New York elections as a woman

Jared Kushner's publicly available New York voter registration records show that the president's son-in-law ticked the "female" box when he signed up in 2009. Read the rest

Gorgeous x-ray area maps show how street-level entrances connect to NYC subway stations

Getting to a subway platform from the street often involves navigating stairs as well as a labyrinth of corridors. Architect Candy Chan created remarkably detailed and accurate diagrams of New York City's noted subway entrances and exits, overlaid with transparent parks and buildings. Read the rest

New York property speculators have figured out how to evict everyone

New York's catastrophic homelessness is about to get much, much worse: the skyrocketing property values (driven by speculators who buy apartments in order to get their money out of corrupt and failing states abroad, leaving them empty with the understanding that they can be cashed out on short notice, thanks to the white-hot market of other money-launderers) have attracted very deep-pocketed, anonymous hedge-funds that are snapping up buildings with rent-stabilized and rent-controlled units, who use a ruthless set of highly refined tactics to kick out all their tenants and then flip the building. Read the rest

Colorizing this early 1900s photo of New York brings it to life

Before the streets were taken over by cars and taxis, pedestrians ruled.

This photo of old New York was colorized by Sanna Dullaway. Read the rest

Cars parked on the mean streets of mid-1970s New York City

Cars: New York City, 1974–1976 collects over 100 of Langdon Clay's creepy shots of cars parked overnight on the streets of New York at its lowest ebb. The scenes evoke Taxi Driver, The Warriors, even a little Snake Plisken. Read the rest

This New York City hyperlapse may be the mother of all hyperlapses

FilmSpektakel takes hyperlapse to the next level with A Taste of New York, a frenetic and beautifully shot homage to Manhattan. Read the rest

1993 New York City recorded in high-definition DVHS format

This remarkably clear VHS footage of Clinton-era yuppies who are now retirement age will either take you back to a more innocent time, or give you a good glimpse of what yuppie scum looked like back in the day. Read the rest

Pensive film blends wisdom and vignettes of New York with Alicia Keys' music

"You have to be able to put yourself in a place to be able to see things." Alicia Keys' “The Gospel” juxtaposes gorgeous black and white footage of everyday New York with profound insights from those who live there. Read the rest

Retired California State Senator is using AI to transcribe local government hearings for search and alerts

Sam Blakeslee, a retired Republican California state senator, worked with Cal Poly students to create Digital Democracy, a service that aggregates videos of the interminable, innumerable -- and vital -- local government hearings and meetings and then use machine-learning systems to generate automated transcripts so that activists, journalists and citizens could search and analyze them. Read the rest

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