There's a giant geodesic dome floored with fake grass in NYC

Josh, one of my inbox zine's readers, made this. He wrote, "For a very long time I’ve wanted to build a giant geodesic dome filled with fake grass in lower Manhattan. This August it happened."

His piece is called dusk-space and it's an immersive synthetic environment meant to "recreate the experience of being in a remote country field at dusk." Here are some words about it from its statement (emphasis mine):

Urban life is completely disconnected from natural experience. There is no night in New York City, only an artificial dusk that lasts until dawn...

Everything about the experience is designed to evoke the sensations and feelings of the real thing, while always being obviously and unequivocally manufactured.

Visitors arriving at the dome will notice the sweet and clean smell of Premium Grade Fresh Cut Grass Fragrance Oil as they walk past the stands of 36-40" Tall Natural Meadow Grass in Green. The diffuse sounds of Ambient Cricket Loop will fill the air. Entering the dome, they will feel the unmatched softness of the SYNAugustineX47 dense thatch below their feet. Looking up, they will see the sharp twinkling of the Ultrabright White 5mm Untinted Non-Diffused LED stars above.

I hope that everyone who comes will enjoy the simple pleasure of lying in a field on a warm summer night looking up at the stars, even if it is only a simulation...

Finally, I hope a few will stop to think about the meaning of authenticity of experience in our technologically advancing artificial world.

Read the rest

Zephyr Teachout wins the New York Times's endorsement for Attorney General of New York State

Zephyr Teachout (previously) is a netroots pioneer, a leading competition law scholar, and a progressive candidate for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General of New York State. Read the rest

NYU makes med school free for all students

The median US med-school grad has $195,000 in loans; all 93 of NYU's freshman med-school class will have free tuition for their entire degree program, as will all future students (the 350 currently enrolled students will no longer pay tuition, same goes for the school's 9 grad students) Read the rest

Handy guide to the current state of urban surveillance

Ingrid Burrington (previously) takes viewers on a guided tour of New York City's current surveillance matrix, from license plate readers and shotspotters to the Domain Awareness System. Read the rest

New York City makes all prisoner calls free

The City of New York has declared that all calls from its city jails will henceforth be free; meaning the city will forego the $5,000,000 it took from prisoners and their families every year. Read the rest

What it's like when Nazis infiltrate your conference

HOPE -- Hackers on Planet Earth -- is 2600 Magazine's venerable, much-loved hacker conference in NYC, a bastion of progressive politics whose 2018 installment was slated to be the most progressive yet, with discussions scheduled on countering alt-right trolling, consent, sexual harrassment, and the rights of sex-workers. Read the rest

Documentary on Milton Glaser and the legendary I ❤ NY logo

Through a mix of archival and current footage, this lovely documentary puts Milton Glaser's iconic I ❤ NY logo in historical context. Read the rest

The Rent's Too Damned High: 15,000 words on the ways real-estate speculation and inequality have killed NYC

Harper's has published The Death of a Once Great City, Kevin Baker's beautifully written, 15,000 word, non-comprehensive list of all the ways that raising the rents in New York City (something that was enabled by the related phenomena of the increasing wealth of the global rich and the influence of property developers on New York City's planning) has squeezed all the juice out of the city, evicting its people and its businesses in favor of "land banked" condos and co-op units that serve as "an investment, a pied-à-terre, a bolt-hole, a strongbox" -- and whose only viable retail is chain pharmacies and ATMs. Read the rest

New Yorkers: DJ Spooky is launching "Phantom Dancehall" in Brooklyn on Jun 13

Lisa Rein writes, "DJ Spooky is having a record release party Wednesday night for his new Phantom Dancehall album, which utilizes samples from legendary VP Records' Greensleeves sublabel." Read the rest

Last night was Manhattanhenge: It. Was. Glorious.

I'm obsessed with Manhattanhenge, the two nights a year when the sunset aligns with the prevailing east-west streets of the New York City grid, a phenomenon that Neil deGrasse Tyson named in 1992. Read the rest

Spectacular read: a profile of Anna Sorokin, a con-artist who convinced New York that she was a high-rolling socialite trust-funder

Jessica Pressler's long, gripping profile of con artist Anna Sorokin (AKA Anna Delvey) has all the making of a first-rate grifter novel, where the likable, unflappable rogue is revealed by inches to be a sociopath, a broken person who can't herself tell truth from fiction. Read the rest

Remembering the NYC Citibike backlash, on their fifth anniversary

Five years ago, New Yorkers got to participate in the city's first bikeshare experiment, the Citibike, and people were very worried! Read the rest

The Rammellzee universe

Rammellzee (previously) -- artist, graffiti writer, hip hop musician, masked performer, Gothic Futurist -- died in 2010, leaving a mysterious body of work. Hua Hsa explores his spectacular mythology. [via Metafilter]

...language enforced discipline, and that whoever controlled it could steer people’s thoughts and imaginations. His hope wasn’t to replace English; he wanted to annihilate it from the inside out. His generation grew up after urban flight had devastated New York’s finances and infrastructure. Ramm channelled the chaos into a spectacular personal mythology, drawn from philology, astrophysics, and medieval history. He was obsessed with a story of Gothic monks whose lettering grew so ornate that the bishops found it unreadable and banned the technique. The monks’ work wasn’t so different from the increasingly abstract styles of graffiti writing, which turned a name into something mysterious and unrecognizable

It's the year of the Ramm: a show is on at Red Bull Arts New York and here's another article by Alexxa Gotthardt.

Rammellzee wasn’t average by any definition. “He just ventured out on this planet in his own dimensions,” his late wife, Carmela Zagari, once said. The art, rap, and cosmologies he conjured not only mesmerized the 1980s art world, within which he came of age, but left a permanent mark on his peers and the artists who came after him, from Jean-Michel Basquiat and Jim Jarmusch to the Beastie Boys, graffiti artist Futura, and cult rapper Wiki. “He’s the kind of guy you could talk to for 20 minutes and your whole life could change, if you could understand him,” Jarmusch once said.

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After his viral racist rant, Aaron Schlossberg's law office lost its lease

Aaron Schlossberg has spent years showering his fellow New Yorkers with racist abuse, but it wasn't until he went on an unprovoked racist tirade against a server and customers at a restaurant near his law office that he became infamous. Read the rest

Serial racist: for years, New Yorkers have been videoing their encounters with ranting racist lawyer Aaron Schlossberg

Aaron Schlossberg is the triggered snowflake who became internet famous when he went on an unhinged racist rant against some customers and servers at a restaurant near his law office, who had been speaking Spanish. Read the rest

New York surpasses Brexit London as the world's second-hottest luxury property market

If you are an oligarch or criminal looking to exfiltrate and launder your money, London property markets have been your go-to asset class: London lux is real-estate that behaves like cash, thanks to the long line of oligarchs and criminals who'll pay cash for your safe-deposit box in the sky on a few hours' notice, should you need to liquidate ahead of a purge or an indictment. Read the rest

Realtor claims Uber and Lyft erode the premium homebuyers pay for good public transit links

Leonard Steinberg, a longstanding New York City luxury property broker, claims that the existence of Uber and Lyft has blunted the premium that buyers were willing to pay to live in neighborhoods with good transit links, because they can afford rideshare cars and use the commute time to work, meaning that commutes are less of a factor in calculating the quality of life (because your day starts when you get into the car, not when you get to your desk). Read the rest

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