Wall Street is open to public pedestrian traffic. This promises to be a mellow afternoon. During the height of Occupy, Wall Street was on perpetual lockdown. I want to run down to Zuccotti and tell the kids they're free to demonstrate in the belly of the beast, but the midday march from Washington Square has already left by the time I make it downtown, and with it has gone most of the protesters. A few have stayed behind to beat drums on Broadway and hold up signs airing the usual grievances. (One mourns the good old days when people robbed banks and not vice versa.) I stroll the perimeter, which police have gated off as usual with select entrance points, and see people using the park as intended: workers are on their lunch breaks; one guy in a suit is going through a stack of papers. Ugh, it's enough to make you sick!
Early this morning, word started spreading that mayoral candidate William Thompson would concede the Democratic primary race to opponent Bill De Blasio. News spread rapidly that there would be a Thompson-initiated press conference at City Hall this morning, and that Governor and thus head of the state Democratic party Andrew Cuomo would be in attendance in a show of unity.
Granted, no one's making the argument that walking in one of the world's busiest cities with headphones in and minimal awareness of your surroundings if the best idea for your general personal safety. I still remember a high school math teacher, scared by what he saw as an excess of hoodies and earbuds, giving our class a semi-effective lecture on the dangers of becoming "pod people" (it was cutting edge at the time, sort of). But even if wearing headphones renders you a little more likely to be mugged and a little less adept at dodging oncoming traffic, it probably shouldn't be a guarantee that cars will just plow into you on the sidewalk, in broad daylight. Especially not if you happen to be a kid on your way to school.
Oh, Anthony Weiner. Just when I was beginning to miss your antics and think that it was almost endearing the way you tried to relate to the crowd at the West Indian Day parade by assuming a Jamaican accent, you go and get in an awkward and awful fight with a potential voter, a fight that just demonstrates how oblivious you are to what many New Yorkers think of you.
Remember when New York City was mired in the depths of a crippling financial crisis, middle class residents fled the city in droves (not because they were being priced out but because of skyrocketing crime rates), race riots were a not infrequent occurrence, and striking sanitation workers turned New York into a putrid place covered in piles of trash that occasionally caught fire, cementing the city's reputation as a stinking hellhole for decades to come? Remember how great that was? Maybe you don't remember, because maybe it was before you were born, but, man, that was when New York really was fun city. And you know what made it especially fun? Political candidates who didn't take the offices they were running for seriously but just wanted to have their egos (and maybe other things?) stroked. Oh, wait. Maybe it wasn't so fun after all?
Granted, I'm a pretty textbook big-government, nanny-state liberal, and vocally on-record as being in favor of most of Bloomberg's bans (as well as a few hypothetical ones). But this news, via Gothamist, that he's trying to sneak what would essentially be a full-scale ban on electronic cigarettes into new tobacco legislation? Not great.
So, in the spirit of the recent Twitter meme of confessing unpopular opinions (which, well, I'd say a good half of my opinions are unpopular, I just don't put them on Twitter, I say them to people's faces because I'm a jerk), I thought I might get something off my chest and do so in more than 140 characters. Here it goes: I'm pretty sure we've reached peak 90s nostalgia, and maybe it's time to just back away. Aahhh...I know. I know. That makes me the worst sort of crotchety old grump, but I am maybe starting to go a little bit crazy from the 90s-saturated Internet—especially when the writing is coming from people who weren't even old enough to watch the Brenda years of 90210 when they originally aired.
Here's a nice way to kill time until your summer Friday officially begins. Way back in June, Call It Spring sat down with Molly Hamilton and Rob Thomas of Widowspeak, one of our favorite Brooklyn bands. They got the Brooklyn-based duo to spill on their approach to song writing, Rob's feelings about glam rock, and Molly's respect for Taylor Swift. You'll find the complete interview after the jump, and if that's not enough for you, check out this take away performance of "Ballad of the Golden Hour."
...between Anthony Weiner, the former sexting congressman, and Client 9 (the name given to Mr. Spitzer in the federal investigation of the escort service he used)... the stage is set for a summer of farce. Mr. Spitzer, like Mr. Weiner, is a political animal who clearly finds it hard not to have an audience. That’s understandable, but did they have to bring us all along on their journeys of personal ambition? For these two charter members of the Kardashian Party, notoriety is looking like the quick, easy path to redemption.
This of course stems from season 4 of the best show ever televised (Friday Night Lights), in which Britton's character, as the principal of a Texas high school whose general awesomeness rivals Beyonce's, informs a pregnant student about her options—which includes giving her pamphlets about abortion—in hopes of the student talking things over with her parents and making an informed and safe decision for herself. This causes a rising among the community, no big surprise there, and results in Taylor's demotion from principal, but Taylor doesn't care too much because she believes informing students of their rights is a good thing. (Then she becomes a country music star!) Point being, Texas could use a few more Tami Taylors and Wendy Davises right about now. Buying a t-shirt is a step in that direction.
Follow Lauren Beck on Twitter @heylaurenbeck.
In the lastest news addressing what a woman can and can't decide to do with her own body, the governor of Ohio recently signed into law a bill which will, among other things, "strip funding from rape crisis centers that give their clients any information about abortion services, impose harsh restrictions on abortion clinics that will force many of them to shut down, and require doctors to give women seeking abortion information about the presence of a 'fetal heartbeat.'” And then, of course, Governor Rick Perry of Texas is still attempting to pass the same restrictive legislation that failed last week due to the inspiring filibuster of State Senator Wendy Davis. Despite the fact that thousands of pro-choice activists protested in Austin on Monday, there is a good chance that the legislation will pass eventually, especially considering that the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, David Dewhurst, had this to say: "We’re not going to get it back from the House within filibuster range. We’re going to make sure that we’ve got plenty of time, and no human being can talk for two weeks.” That's right. "We're going to make sure...no human being can talk for two weeks." So not only are Dewhurst, Perry, and the rest of the conservative members of the Texas State legislature trying to silence women when it comes to both reproductive freedoms and government participation, but they are outright crowing about it. How much more patronizing and despicable can these men be?
Breaking news: The war is over. The good guys won. As Americans, we can all pat ourselves on the collective back, broad and mighty as the Rocky Mountains as it is, and congratulate each other. Racism is finished. Kaput. Done. RIP prejudice. Let freedom ring.
So, there I was today, minding my own business, getting coffee while on my way to work, when I was basically assaulted by the cover of today's Daily News, which featured a picture of disgraced politician Vito Lopez and the headline "Feel My Tumor." Which, what? Gross! What did that even refer to? Oh, that was a pick-up line Lopez used when sexually harassing his employees? Apparently so! The News reports, "Vito Lopez is alleged to have demanded his female aides to rub his tumorous growths." Whyyyyy would anyone ever say that in an attempt to, like, seduce someone? I don't know! But then, I am no expert in the art of seduction. However, even I know enough to know that asking someone to TOUCH YOUR TUMOR certainly ranks as one of the worst pick-up lines of all time. But you know what? Politicians are actually full of terrible pick-up lines, so I figured why not round up the absolute worst. And these aren't all just pick-up lines. No, some of these are pick-up tactics, the subtle moves (like tweeting dick-pics) that are the mating calls of a very specific type of person. Not all terrible pick-up lines or pick-up moves are created equal, however. Some of these are part of consensual relationships and some of these are straight up sexual harassment. But all of them share one thing in common. They are totally repellent and sort of prove that politicians are absolutely the worst people on earth. Even worse than writers! Much worse.
Good, good. We've officially gotten to the point in the mayoral race where years-old comments are being dredged up and used against people, sometimes wildly out of context, sometimes not. This is when things heat up!
Sheesh, what a roller coaster these past few days have been. Last week, word got out that the MTA had scheduled maintenance shutdowns on the L during Memorial Day Weekend and our very own Northside Festival, June 15-17. Needless to say, not ideal. At all.
Noted poet James Franco was asked by venerable literary institution Yahoo News to compose a poem about Obama's inauguration. Who knew Yahoo News was such a patron of the arts? Well, apparently, Yahoo News couldn't help but wonder "what would happen if inaugural poets might be inspired to raise their games."
So, it's not a full-blown "I was wrong about everything, let's legalize it all, for everybody, immediately," but hey, legislative baby steps. In yesterday's State of the State (ha) address, Governor Cuomo acknowledged the state's wildly erratic enforcement of its marijuana laws, which regard possession of amounts under 25 grams in public view as a misdemeanor, and yet have resulted in hundreds of thousands of minor arrests over the past decade costing around $600 million dollars.
I like how most of the review is basically "It's not as good as Pervert's…
I don't know man - Dip > 25 Bucks
Ludicrous overreach!! How did this make it past an editor??