Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #56: 1970's New York City On Film

Posted by Billyjam, November 13, 2013 01:00pm | Post a Comment

Over the past week since the election win of distinctly left leaning liberal Democrat Bill de Blasio as New York City's next mayor with a landslide win of 73% of the vote, following 20 years / five consecutive terms of conservative Republican mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani who brought sweeping changes to the Big Apple including sharp drop in crime statistics, there has been much talk of what actually lies ahead for the city of New York under the new liberal mayor elect whose "progress" themed campaign platform was run on the promise of bringing sweeping changes (particularly in areas of inequality, most notably the racial profiling of NYPD's 'stop and frisk' policies) to the citizens of New York City. 

One thing that both supporters and detractors of de Blasio seem to share is their uncertainty as to what exactly lies ahead for New York City once the new mayor of "change" takes office on January 1st. All agree that there will be sweeping changes to the running of NYC on a day to day basis particularly in that of the NYPD - but as to what those changes will ultimately mean for New York City is up for debate. Both sides seem to agree that de Blasio will return NYC to an earlier time, but just how much earlier is up for debate. Some have suggested that New York might return to how it was in the 1970's - a time of economic upheaval when Gotham was a dingy, disheveled, crime-ridden metropolis - albeit one romanticized by many in retrospect.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #50: Steely Dan's Week-Long Series, Government Shutdown's Impact On The Big Apple + More

Posted by Billyjam, October 2, 2013 11:03am | Post a Comment

This week in New York City the weather is just perfect: sunny, no rain or fog, temps in the upper seventies, and none of that typical overbearing summer humidity. Ideal weather to cycle round town and enjoy sights like the above one taken yesterday morning heading east towards Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village where the fountain, that is normally turned off, was on in full force. Meantime in the park itself people, including NYU students, tourists, and neighborhood residents, all seemed to be in a good mood taking in the glorious weather of the first day of October in New York City. Near the fountain several members of ZTA (Zeta Tau Alpha) busied themselves spreading the word on National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by handing out pink ribbons to passers by and with drawing images and messages on the concrete park ground with colored chalk (see pic below).

Meantime a little further down the island of Manhattan on this fine first day of October the vibe was less happy as tourists who had traveled to Battery Park at the end of the island to take the boat over to the Statue Of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island were disappointed to learn that, due to the government shutdown, that the National Park Service had closed the famous landmark. An estimated 15,000 people visit the Statue Of Liberty everyday but not yesterday or today or for as long as the Government shutdown (now, October 2nd, in day two) lasts. The Statue Of Liberty and Ellis Island were not the only destinations shut down in New York City. The Park Service also closed The National Museum of the American Indian, Federal Hall, and Theodore Roosevelt's Birthplace.
 

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #48: 9/11 Anniversary, CBGB movie, New York City's Next Mayor

Posted by Billyjam, September 11, 2013 04:05pm | Post a Comment
Following yesterday's primaries New Yorkers moved closer to determining who might replace current three term NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in next month's election. Bill de Blasio, who was the most liberal Democrat in the race, racked up way more votes than any of his rivals in the Democratic primary yesterday which is significant in that the mayoral hopeful promised a totally different approach to city governing compared to the New York City of the past two decades under both Bloomberg and Rudolph W. Giuliani. His platform, which the average New Yorker can fully relate to, has been built on shrinking that increasing gap between New York's very rich and its poor, and on making sweeping changes to New York's long controversial aggressive police practices such as stop and frisk. In his campaign he personalized this issue by including his bi-racial, Afro wearing son Dante as an example of a target of racial profiling by NYPD under the current regime. In sharp contrast was the winner on the Republican side; Joseph J. Lhota whose campaign was built on a promise of continuing a tough, no-nonsense approach to both crime-fighting and city budgeting. In short Lhota would continue the tight reined  city governing of Bloomberg and Giuliani (maybe even more extreme) while de Blasio would  present a total departure and change in his running of the city. Either way it is going to be a very interesting election come November 5th.

Today, September 11th, in New York City is a most solemn day. Even a dozen full years after 9/11 New Yorkers still gristle at the thought of that devastating day when everyone across the city was somehow impacted by the tragedy that unfolded. To commemorate this twelve year anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil, when 3,000 died, there are numerous memorial events - some personal, some public - taking place around the city including, naturally, downtown Manhattan at the site of World Trade Center. Perhaps the most significant of all though is the  national campaign under way that asks people to take the day to pause and reflect on what happened. It is also to help build awareness for the memorial museum, to open next year after delays, devoted to what happened that day. In that end workers are busy in their efforts to get the The National September 11 Memorial & Museum finished and open by Spring 2014. In a recent public statement the museum/memorial's director of education and public programming is author Clifford Chanin, who penned the book The Stories They Tell: Artifacts from the National September 11 Memorial Museum, said that the museum will feature hundreds of artifacts. Each one of these will capture individual personal stories of those directly impacted by that fateful day in September 2001. Due to several factors including real estate disputes and the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy the memorial/museum project, which should have been open by this year's anniversary, got delayed. To raise both funds and awareness of the project a campaign has been launched that asks people to “Take a day to remember the day that changed us forever.” Today in both the general media (TV, newspapers, websites) and on social media sites. So expect to see/hear a lot more about this today on such websites as Facebook,  Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube that is also asking for minimal donations to go towards the staggering $700million price tag of the new museum/memorial.  More info here.

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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #47: End Of Summer Big Apple Photo Blog

Posted by Billyjam, September 4, 2013 06:06am | Post a Comment



For this photo special, end of summer New York State of Mind Amoeblog, I present a short series of photos taken around New York City over the past few months - in a summer that flew by way too fast. Of course the good weather does continue in NYC into this month and next - sometimes in late October you can have days with temps in the upper 80s. But, as of now, summer is officially over in New York City.  If you scroll your mouse icon over the photos here, such as the one above of Bryant Park the day after the final Monday night HBO movies on the lawn summer series ended, you can read text on the content of each respective image on this Amoeblog.






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New York State of Mind Amoeblog #46: Second Avenue Subway, Louis Armstrong House Museum, New York Public Library + more

Posted by Billyjam, August 28, 2013 04:55pm | Post a Comment


Above is a recent photo of the ongoing, long-term construction of the Second Avenue Subway (SAS) - the subway line that has been on-and-off again over several decades due to lack of funds. As of last year, SAS was back in construction mode with Phase I (consisting of two miles of tunnel and three stations) work underway, all underneath Second Avenue on Manhattan's East Side. According to the MTA, two contracts have been finished with two more to be completed  by the end of the year. More will follow over the next few years with a projected completion date of 2016. Fans of abandoned subway stations and never-completed ones should check out this map on the subject care of WNYC.

As the summer's official end quickly approaches, the deluge of free park concerts and other outdoor events begins to slow down with Labor Day weekend being the last run of most (but not all) park events. The two-decade strong tradition of Bryant Park Monday night movies summer series wound up its run on Monday of last week with (despite some light rainfall) a packed lawn of moviegoers assembled on the midtown public space to view ET.  Some other series are finishing this week including at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy where they exercise true democracy this week.  The Park Conservancy, along with their co-sponsors Syfyinvited the public to vote on the last film of the summer, which will screen tomorrow (August 29th) in the Brooklyn park.

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