Amoeblog

New York State of Mind Amoeblog #70: High Cost Of Living, The Making of The Movie "Network," NYC Concerts & Music Events

Posted by Billyjam, March 5, 2014 01:13pm | Post a Comment

Here in New York City this week, besides the post Oscars chatter and talk amongst weather weary New Yorkers about that false mega-snowstorm warning (the 10 inches of snow forecast to hit this week never materialized past a light dusting), a lot of talk is on the new Forbes report. That new report by the magazine places New York City, in a tie with Honolulu, as the USA's "most-overpriced city" to live in because of both expensive housing and a high cost of living. Personally I expected NYC to be in a tie with the ridiculously expensive San Francisco market, which came in number 7 in a tie with Essex Co., MA while San Jose ranked higher at fifth place, but wasn't surprised with New York ranking highest expense. As Democratic Manhattan City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez noted in a public response to the new findings things are only going to get more expensive for the average (non-rich) New Yorker.

"From ever-soaring rent levels to higher priced foods and goods invading lower-middle income neighborhoods, many lifelong residents are being pushed out of their homes," said Rodriguez in whose district the average rent is currently at just under $4,000. Meanwhile most struggling working class and middle class New Yorkers are anxiously looking to new New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio who got elected on a platform that promised more equality on things like housing. And even though de Blasio this very week forced luxury condo developers at the former Domino Sugar site in Williamsburg to construct 700 new affordable apartments (double the amount initially supposed to be built) many feel that it is too little too late in terms of housing costs overall, plus the fact that the general cost of living in NYC outweighs everything else. EG: one recent comparison study found utilities to be 29.6% higher here than in other parts of the country.  Bottom line New York is a great city to be in but you do have to pay the price to live here. But on the bright side other new statistic released this week show that, while rents continue to rise, crime continues to drop across New York City's five boroughs - and this news comes following the NYPD substantially backing off on their controversial stop-and-frisk practices.  New statistics show an 18.5% drop in murders for the first two months of 2014 with other crimes also substantially lower than this period in 2013.

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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 #55: Next NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, NYC Supreme Court Building

Posted by Billyjam, November 6, 2013 09:17am | Post a Comment

New York County Supreme Court building at 60 Centre Street, Downtown Manhattan


The talk in New York City today is all about the result of yesterday's mayoral election in which, for the first time in 20 years, there will be a Democrat in the mayor's office with the landslide victory of Bill de Blasio. With the odds stacked in his favor (68% to 23%) de Blasio squarely beat Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota - making him the first Democrat mayor in the Big Apple following a combined five consecutive terms for Republicans (three for Michael Bloomberg and two for Rudy Guiliani) . Surrounded by his family and supporters at a victory party in Park Slope, Brooklyn last night de Blasio said "Make no mistake: The people of this city have chosen a progressive path, and tonight we set forth on it, together.” 

De Blasio's win is seen as a clear cry for change from the citizens of a city that are tired and frustrated with such things as the ever growing division between the rich and the poor of New York, the NYPD's over the top aggressive policing tactics (namely the controversial, racial profiling "Stop and Frisk" policy), and the increasingly large lack of affordable housing for most working New Yorkers. In short de Blasio firmly positioned himself as the mayor who would make a clean break from the Bloomberg/Giuliani years in which the city was seen as cozying up with big business at the expense of the little guy/the average New Yorker and his election win is a loud rejection to the tough, business-minded style that ruled City Hall since 1990. During that time NYC was seen as becoming "Disneyfied" or "the Mall of America" or a playground for the 1%. De Blasio, who famously as a young liberal supported the Sandinistas and more recently (albeit during the mayoral campaign) supported the staff and patients at the Long Island College Hospital that faced closure and, during that July protest, got arrested along with other protesters. This and his outspoken disapproval of the NYPD's frisking policies struck a nerve with New Yorkers who overwhelmingly voted him into office. Once he takes office he promises to effect a sweeping liberal agenda that will include among other big changes a substantial tax increase on top earners to pay for universal pre-kindergarten and improved police-community relations. Essentially de Blasio and his administration will try and turn back the clock on NYC and undo much of what the previous two mayors did. Can he do this without sacrificing too many positives remains to be to seen. And what happens over the next four years in New York City will be interesting to witness unfold. Stay tuned.