December 13, 2013
Homelessness Is Up in New York City, But It’s Down Everywhere Else

This week, the New York Times published an in-depth look at homelessness in New York City. It follows the story of Dasani, one of the city’s 22,000 children without housing, humanizing the statistic that the city’s homeless population grew by 13 percent from 2012-2013 alone. 
But in most other cities and states, homelessness has actually decreased over the last year and the last half-decade. Just two cities—New York and Los Angeles—account for a fifth of the country’s entire homeless population.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]

Homelessness Is Up in New York City, But It’s Down Everywhere Else

This week, the New York Times published an in-depth look at homelessness in New York City. It follows the story of Dasani, one of the city’s 22,000 children without housing, humanizing the statistic that the city’s homeless population grew by 13 percent from 2012-2013 alone

But in most other cities and states, homelessness has actually decreased over the last year and the last half-decade. Just two cities—New York and Los Angeles—account for a fifth of the country’s entire homeless population.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

December 6, 2013
Why Writers Love New York City (and Then Leave It)

In the new anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, contributors share the experience of moving to New York in pursuit of the writing life. In essay after essay, writers describe their experiences moving to New York from Long Island, New Jersey, California, and overseas. Anyone from anywhere can come to New York City in pursuit of fame, riches, and romance, and as a result, Goodbye to All That captures New York’s uniquely nuanced, overlapping landscape of cultures and geographies that for millions feels at once deeply personal and communal.
But while something deeper also reveals itself in the pages: Some thread of pure accident runs through the story of each writer’s dream of making it in the big city.
Goodbye to All That features several familiar names from the Manhattan and (mostly) Brooklyn literary community, including editor Sari Botton and several other 20- and 30-something women writers. Through a series of emails, I asked Sari and contributors Cheryl Strayed, Melissa Febos, and Mira Ptacin about the differences and similarities between their experiences in the city of so many of our dreams.
Read more. [Image: Flickr / Leo-setä]

Why Writers Love New York City (and Then Leave It)

In the new anthology Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, contributors share the experience of moving to New York in pursuit of the writing life. In essay after essay, writers describe their experiences moving to New York from Long Island, New Jersey, California, and overseas. Anyone from anywhere can come to New York City in pursuit of fame, riches, and romance, and as a result, Goodbye to All That captures New York’s uniquely nuanced, overlapping landscape of cultures and geographies that for millions feels at once deeply personal and communal.

But while something deeper also reveals itself in the pages: Some thread of pure accident runs through the story of each writer’s dream of making it in the big city.

Goodbye to All That features several familiar names from the Manhattan and (mostly) Brooklyn literary community, including editor Sari Botton and several other 20- and 30-something women writers. Through a series of emails, I asked Sari and contributors Cheryl Strayed, Melissa Febos, and Mira Ptacin about the differences and similarities between their experiences in the city of so many of our dreams.

Read more. [Image: Flickr / Leo-setä]

December 3, 2013

The Rise of New York City’s Skyscrapers After the 1929 Crash

A documentary revisits the iconic 1932 ‘Lunch Atop a Skyscraper’ photograph.

Read more.

November 7, 2013
A Chinese Company Wants to Build a New York City … in South Africa

A Chinese property company has pledged to build South Africa a new financial hub. On Nov. 4, Shanghai Zendai unveiled plans to transform Modderfontein, a manufacturing district in eastern Johannesburg, into a multi-use financial center “on par with cities like New York … or Hong Kong,” said Zendai chairman Dai Zhikang. The firm said it will spend about $7.8 billion on the development over the next 15 years.
The development—which has yet to be named and will include some 35,000 houses, an education center, and a sports arena—marks a departure from past forms of Chinese investment in Africa, many of which have drawn criticism. Over the past decade, state-owned and private Chinese firms have been been building African roads, railways, ports and other infrastructure in exchange for access to minerals and oil—a relationship that’s led some to call China a “neo-colonialist.” Chinese state oil firms now face resistance from their former partners in Niger, Chad, and Gabon.
Read more. [Image: AECI]

A Chinese Company Wants to Build a New York City … in South Africa

A Chinese property company has pledged to build South Africa a new financial hub. On Nov. 4, Shanghai Zendai unveiled plans to transform Modderfontein, a manufacturing district in eastern Johannesburg, into a multi-use financial center “on par with cities like New York … or Hong Kong,” said Zendai chairman Dai Zhikang. The firm said it will spend about $7.8 billion on the development over the next 15 years.

The development—which has yet to be named and will include some 35,000 houses, an education center, and a sports arena—marks a departure from past forms of Chinese investment in Africa, many of which have drawn criticism. Over the past decade, state-owned and private Chinese firms have been been building African roads, railways, ports and other infrastructure in exchange for access to minerals and oil—a relationship that’s led some to call China a “neo-colonialist.” Chinese state oil firms now face resistance from their former partners in Niger, Chad, and Gabon.

Read more. [Image: AECI]

October 31, 2013
The Everyday Magnificence of New York City’s Murals

With countless walls to choose from, it’s little surprise that artists like Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, Thomas Hart Benton, Maxfield Parish, Keith Haring, and Sol LeWitt—and now, working on a different scale, Banksy—have  made  New York City their canvas. But many of the massive artworks that adorn office buildings, schools, hospitals, bars, and restaurants often go unseen to the many eyes that pass by them every day. Unless shown exactly where to look, a New Yorker can miss the masterworks in front of him or her.
I, for example, never realized that Orozco painted a suite of politically sensitive historical tableau on labor, science, politics and culture at The New School on 12th Street, so close to where I live. But then I saw the paintings in the new book Murals of New York City: The Best of New York’s Public Paintings From Bemelmans to Parrish by Glenn Palmer-Smith with photographs by Joshua McHugh. The tome offers a collection of fascinating, striking images—and should make city-dwellers look on their surroundings anew .
Read more.

The Everyday Magnificence of New York City’s Murals

With countless walls to choose from, it’s little surprise that artists like Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, Thomas Hart Benton, Maxfield Parish, Keith Haring, and Sol LeWitt—and now, working on a different scale, Banksy—have  made  New York City their canvas. But many of the massive artworks that adorn office buildings, schools, hospitals, bars, and restaurants often go unseen to the many eyes that pass by them every day. Unless shown exactly where to look, a New Yorker can miss the masterworks in front of him or her.

I, for example, never realized that Orozco painted a suite of politically sensitive historical tableau on labor, science, politics and culture at The New School on 12th Street, so close to where I live. But then I saw the paintings in the new book Murals of New York City: The Best of New York’s Public Paintings From Bemelmans to Parrish by Glenn Palmer-Smith with photographs by Joshua McHugh. The tome offers a collection of fascinating, striking images—and should make city-dwellers look on their surroundings anew .

Read more.

October 28, 2013
theatlanticcities:

"People suddenly realized that New York could tear down things it should never have torn down."
On the 50th anniversary of its demolition, photographs of the demolition of New York’s old Penn Station.

theatlanticcities:

"People suddenly realized that New York could tear down things it should never have torn down."

On the 50th anniversary of its demolition, photographs of the demolition of New York’s old Penn Station.

(Source: thisiscitylab)

September 18, 2013
theatlanticcities:

"If you were to splash New York with some kind of luminescent ink that reveals the age of buildings, this is roughly what it would look like: vast green swaths of 20th-century development, freckled with verdant blue and purple structures slapped together in the 1800s"
Read: The Ages of 1 Million New York Buildings, Mapped in Explosive Color

theatlanticcities:

"If you were to splash New York with some kind of luminescent ink that reveals the age of buildings, this is roughly what it would look like: vast green swaths of 20th-century development, freckled with verdant blue and purple structures slapped together in the 1800s"

Read: The Ages of 1 Million New York Buildings, Mapped in Explosive Color

(Source: thisiscitylab)

September 11, 2013
The Story Behind the First Piece of Public Architecture at Ground Zero

Big, sweeping thinking was endemic to post-9/11 New York. The aftermath seemed to encourage everyone not simply to pursue their ideas but to stretch them to their most ambitious, impressive ends. For architect Kevin Kennon, this meant solving the problem of the WTC’s enduring chaos. 
Kevin lived on Hudson Street, in Tribeca, about ten blocks from the destruction. Every night, the glow from recovery crews’ floodlights illuminated his street. The rumbling of jackhammers provided twenty-four-hour-a-day white noise. In the midst of all this, Kevin thought it was too soon to be thinking about rebuilding, so one October afternoon he took a break from the whirl of design meetings and walked to Ground Zero. “It was chaotic, and it was extraordinary,” Kevin said of the site. “There were an extraordinary number of people. People were climbing fences, it was unsafe.” He paused and gave me a knowing look. “Something had to be done.”
Read more. [Image: Mike Segar/Reuters]

The Story Behind the First Piece of Public Architecture at Ground Zero

Big, sweeping thinking was endemic to post-9/11 New York. The aftermath seemed to encourage everyone not simply to pursue their ideas but to stretch them to their most ambitious, impressive ends. For architect Kevin Kennon, this meant solving the problem of the WTC’s enduring chaos. 

Kevin lived on Hudson Street, in Tribeca, about ten blocks from the destruction. Every night, the glow from recovery crews’ floodlights illuminated his street. The rumbling of jackhammers provided twenty-four-hour-a-day white noise. In the midst of all this, Kevin thought it was too soon to be thinking about rebuilding, so one October afternoon he took a break from the whirl of design meetings and walked to Ground Zero. “It was chaotic, and it was extraordinary,” Kevin said of the site. “There were an extraordinary number of people. People were climbing fences, it was unsafe.” He paused and gave me a knowing look. “Something had to be done.”

Read more. [Image: Mike Segar/Reuters]

September 9, 2013
"[…] there is no empirical proof that stop and frisk is responsible for New York’s drop in crime. But this does not stop Bloomberg from claiming it anyway, then fuming because “nobody” is talking about crime in minority neighborhoods. In fact, minorities have been talking about since the days of “Self-Destruction” (the song is literally called “Self-Destruction.”) Disagree? By Bloomberg’s lights you are a “racist” who’s attempting to divide the city."

Ta-Nehisi Coates, discussing Michael Bloomberg and his political views.

September 5, 2013
The Designer Who Sells the City That Never Sleeps

New York City is one of the few U.S. municipalities–or maybe the only one–to have its own art director. “Well, more like a ‘de facto’ one,” says graphic designer Willy Wong about his seven years on the job as chief creative officer for NYC & Company and its outreach platform, NYCGO.  At 35, Wong, who graduated Dartmouth College and received an MFA from Yale, oversees the NYC brand—the image projected externally to the world and internally in the city and to mark its products, services, and surfaces.
Read more.

The Designer Who Sells the City That Never Sleeps

New York City is one of the few U.S. municipalities–or maybe the only one–to have its own art director. “Well, more like a ‘de facto’ one,” says graphic designer Willy Wong about his seven years on the job as chief creative officer for NYC & Company and its outreach platform, NYCGO.  At 35, Wong, who graduated Dartmouth College and received an MFA from Yale, oversees the NYC brand—the image projected externally to the world and internally in the city and to mark its products, services, and surfaces.

Read more.

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