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289 posts categorized "New York"

February 18, 2010

Governor Paterson, you have piqued my interest

Today, the Times published what is arguably the best quote ever from a New York governor:

“This latest kind of bashing of me is a depiction of me in what is, in my opinion, a racialized, hypersexualized and more or less dissolute context,” [Gov. David Paterson] said, adding, “I resent this sort of, in my opinion, and I’ll be frank with you, kind of profiled way that it appears that all I’m doing is drinking, chasing women, doing drugs.” [NYT] 

Okay, Governor, what else?

November 25, 2009

Dispatch from the real economy

The drugstore has locked down the deodorant.

Addendum: You can tell a lot about a neighborhood by what gets locked up to prevent shoplifting. Here in New York, supermarkets in poorer neighborhoods tend to put baby formula behind glass. Swankier places will keep it behind the counter at the pharmacy, or sometimes even out on the shelf.

Yuppie liquor stores keep all but their most expensive bottles out on the shelves to encourage customers to facilitate impulse buys. By contrast, liquor stores in rougher neighborhoods may keep the bulk of their inventory behind plexiglass. Liquor stores are an extreme example because they've got to worry about robberies as well as shoplifting, but it's the same merchandising principle at work. It's a tradeoff between accessibility and security.

Small, expensive items like razor blades and batteries are likely to be secured no matter where you go. But it's a bad sign that deodorant shoplifting has become enough of a problem to justify the expense of the giant plastic case and extra hassle for the employees.

October 23, 2009

Shorter Douthat: It's embarassing to be such a bigot

Self-styled social conservative columnist Ross Douthat admits that he's uncomfortable discussing gay marriage in public because he opposes it for no good reason:

The question came from Christopher Glazek, a fact-checker at The New Yorker, who wanted to know whether Mr. Douthat and Mr. Salam believed that former RNC chairman Ken Mehlman, who has apologized on behalf of his party for the Southern Strategy, should also apologize for the Republican party's gay politics.

At first Mr. Douthat seemed unable to get a sentence out without interrupting himself and starting over. Then he explained: "I am someone opposed to gay marriage who is deeply uncomfortable arguing the issue in public."

Mr. Douthat indicated that he opposes gay marriage because of his religious beliefs, but that he does not like debating the issue in those terms. At one point he said that, sometimes, he feels like he should either change his mind, or simply resolve never to address the question in public. [NY Obs]

It's understandable that Douthat doesn't like debating the issue in terms of his religious beliefs. Because he always loses to the opponent who says: "Who cares about your religion, Ross? We're talking about the criteria for civil marriage, here."

Ross said he doesn't even bother with the standard secular argument against gay marriage because nobody ever takes takes it seriously:

He added: "The secular arguments against gay marriage, when they aren't just based on bigotry or custom, tend to be abstract in ways that don't find purchase in American political discourse. I say, ‘Institutional support for reproduction,' you say, ‘I love my boyfriend and I want to marry him.' Who wins that debate? You win that debate." [NY Obs]

Ross says the notion doesn't "get traction" because it's too "abstract." Actually, nobody takes this argument seriously because any undergraduate can debunk it with concrete counterexamples from everyday life. Even Ross thinks that sterile opposite-sex couples should be allowed to get married and I'm sure he's aware that some same-sex couples raise children.

It's understandable that Ross is uncomfortable talking about gay marriage in public. He wants the state to impose his religion on other people, but he doesn't want to look like a theocrat in front of the liberal cultural elite.

August 21, 2009

NYC photog arrested for filming a public building

Homeland Security arrested a professional photographer for filming the FBI building in lower Manhattan from across the street. 

A DHS agent asked 43-year-old Randall Thomas why he was filming and Thomas told the agent that it was none of his business.

Thomas was arrested, cuffed, and held in a holding cell for 6 hours. He's been charged with disorderly conduct, failure to comply, and impeding a federal agent. Thomas is pleading not guilty.

This is the second time Thomas has been arrested for filming the FBI building.

Carlos Miller has the details.

June 21, 2009

Leopard claws


A spectator at the Mermaid Parade. Those nails aren't fake and they're not part of a costume, they're her actual fingernails.

Her thumbnails are so long they coil like corkscrews. It's amazing to me that she can handle a phone and a camera.

The nails are decorated with leopard-print polish. (Click on the image to see a larger view.)

Mermaid Parade, 2009: The Claw


More frenetic last-minute prep for yesterday's Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

June 20, 2009

Mermaid Parade, 2009

Mermaid Parade 2009, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.

More pictures of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

Mermaid Parade, 2009

Mermaid Parade 2009, originally uploaded by Lindsay Beyerstein.


More pictures of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.

June 03, 2009

Darcy and Lindsay in the Wall Street Journal

Martin Johnson of the Wall Street Journal has a great piece on New York's burgeoning neo-big band scene featuring Darcy's band, Secret Society, and one of my photos.

May 22, 2009

"Right now, to me he's, like, the dumbest person on this Earth."

Meet the four hapless dudes who allegedly plotted to blow up synagogues in New York, the scheming informant who recruited them, and the deeply sketchy FBI agent who reeled them in.

The title of this post is a quote from the sister of one of the accused plotters.