The Moving Image: Taxi Patterns
January 25th, 2008

The images above are animated maps of taxi patterns in the San Francisco area, gleaned from GPS data by Cabspotting, an effort of The Exploratorium, a local museum.While the installation of GPS technology in every taxi in the New York fleet was a major complaint by striking cabbies and their sympathizers, the technology is well on its way to being incorporated into our city. Could New York now use the technology to produce such maps here? What could we gain from it, other than a very interesting art project?

The Exploratorium takes suggestions for various Cab Projects, which are individual websites that use the technology for differing purposes, to help answer that question. One of their projects found anecdotal evidence (point 8 on the map) that new cabbies congregated around the San Francisco downtown area, while more experienced drivers traveled between residential areas and medical centers.

Here in New York, another design intensive taxi study occurred a few months ago, before GPS technology arrived. A comprehensive look at the cabbies’ world was presented in a similarly engaging, albeit static, presentation (a 160 page book) called Taxi 07: Roads Forward, published by The Design Trust for Public Space, in cooperation with the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

But if the animation has captured your imagination, The New Museum is featuring the Cabspotting project on Friday, Feb 8, as part of their monthly New Silent Series.

By on January 25, 2008, 11:20 am
In category: Arts,Tech,Transportation | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Local TV "News" Segments
October 2nd, 2007

Many of the region’s local network television news programs are fond of covering the popular TV shows that air on their stations, writes Brian Stelter in the New York Times business section. In one instance, the CW11 spent five minutes of their one hour “News at Ten” program covering the show that aired immediately before the news show. The segment was plugged three times during the news program prior to its airing.

Local TV news, by the way, is where 65 percent of Americans get their news.

By on October 2, 2007, 3:40 am
In category: Arts,Gotham City | Comments Off on Local TV "News" Segments

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Free WiFi for Williamsburg?
September 21st, 2007

The eight foot tower perched on top of the Capla Kesting Art Gallery in Williamsburg was a small sight to behold, but the much larger shadow it projected onto a nearby wall hinted at the true size of its implications. It captured, amplified, and rebroadcast unprotected wifi signals from the area to be used freely by anyone. But the signals routed through the antenna are easily monitored, so users needed be wary not to do things they wouldn’t want someone else to see.

The project was part joke, part public service. On the one hand, it poked fun at government surveillance by pronouncing it would keep an eye out for homegrown “terrorists,” like the pilot of the mock submarine prank in the East River. On the other, it strove to raise awareness about privacy concerns in a wireless world as well as the feasibility of cheap broadband access.

Read the rest of this entry »

By on September 21, 2007, 7:44 am
In category: Arts,Tech | Comments Off on Free WiFi for Williamsburg?

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

August 9th, 2007

C'mon, the Hypoxia's Fine!
Matt Davies
By on August 9, 2007, 10:22 am
In category: Arts,Environment,Waterfront | Comments Off on "Sewerage"

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Film Rules Bashing
August 3rd, 2007

Today is the deadline for New Yorkers to let City Hall know how they feel about proposed rules on public filming in the city. The Mayors Office of Film, Theater, and Broadcasting is seeking to require any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a public place for more than 30 minutes to get a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance.

The idea has been met with widespread outrage.

The Daily News calls the policy a turkey, a bomb, the bureaucratic equivalent of “Waterworld.”

Julianne Cho, an official in the agency, made Keith Olbermann’s “World’s Worst Person” segment on Countdown on MSNBC.

And a rap video from the comedy troop Olde English Guys lampooning the rules is making the rounds on the Internet: it suggests putting a hat and funny glasses on a camera and telling police that it’s a dude.

By on August 3, 2007, 6:55 am
In category: Arts | Comments Off on Film Rules Bashing

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

A Protest Against New Rules on Filming
August 2nd, 2007

Today in Union Square from 11:30am to 2:00pm, activists and filmmakers will rally to protest the proposed rules changes from the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting that would require amateurs shooting footage and pictures in New York City to get permits and insurance.

The blog Picture NY is covering the issue extensively and gathering signatures for a petition to the mayor’s office, which is accepting public comment until tomorrow. According to a recent AP news article, larger scale filmmakers already need to get such permits and insurance, but the new regulations would also affect groups of five or more people using a tripod for 10 minutes or more, as well as groups of two people filming for 30 minutes or more. Reporters credentialed by the New York Police Department would be exempt from the regulation, but the changes would affect “independent journalists doing street interviews,and amateurs making videos to post online.” If the rules go into effect, Tthe New York Civil Liberties Union says it will consider legal action.

By on August 2, 2007, 11:06 am
In category: Arts,Civil Rights,Gotham City | Comments Off on A Protest Against New Rules on Filming

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Kids These Days
June 8th, 2007

A year ago the Parks Department closed a student art exhibit in the Brooklyn War Memorial because of a sexually explicit sculpture. Now the city has settled a case, issued an apology, and agreed to pay $55,750. The Daily News suggests that to avoid future conflicts with “oh-so-oppressed kids” that the city should just bar all art exhibits on city property.

The New York Postthinks a Bushwick youth group, who had a run in with the police and has earned the support of teachers and a City Council member, is nothing more than a “gang.”

By on June 8, 2007, 7:29 am
In category: Arts,Crime & Safety,Parks | Comments Off on Kids These Days

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Corporate Graffiti
April 10th, 2007

To promote a new line of sneakers, Adidas invited seven graffiti artists to paint a replica of a subway car – a publicity stunt that has prompted outrage from some local politicians.

Graffiti has nothing to do with sneakers, so basically its just another despicable corporation trying to look edgy by promoting a crime in search of profits, said Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.

Gawker has a short video interview with one of the artists, named Kiante, who says the event is being done with the utmost respect.” Mayor Bloomberg, I love you man, says Kiante. I even voted for you – and Im not even a Republican.

Some local graffiti artists aren’t amused either. “It sounds lame on so many different levels,” writes Gaff News, a blog covering “The World Wide War On Graffiti Writers.”

By on April 10, 2007, 3:42 pm
In category: Arts,Crime & Safety,Transportation | 11 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Arts Attrition at Ground Zero
March 29th, 2007

After the International Freedom Center and the Drawing Center were chased out of the plans for Ground Zero for being insufficiently patriotic, the Times reported earlier this week that the Signature Theater Company will not be included due to issues surrounding “cost and complicated logistics.”

Today the Times laments the loss of another cultural institution at the site.

“The only momentum for the arts at ground zero is the momentum of attrition, a long downward spiral from a moment of genuine, and perhaps foolish, optimism.”

By on March 29, 2007, 6:37 am
In category: Arts,Gotham City | 3 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

The End Of CBGB's
October 15th, 2006

Richard Hell waxes nostalgic about the closing this weekend of the rock n roll club, CBGBs, a staple on the Bowery for almost a quarter of a century. As founder Hilly Kristal has written in a multi-volume history of the club, CBGBs stands for country bluegrass blues, the kind of music I intended to have, but not the
kind that we became famous for.”

The music they became famous for, as Richard Hell enumerates in (of all places) the New York Times, was: Television, the Ramones, Suicide, the Patti Smith Group, Blondie, the Dictators, the Heartbreakers, Talking Heads, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, and the Dead Boys. Not to mention some often equally terrific (or equally pathetic) groups that arent as well remembered, like the Miamis and the Marbles and the Erasers and the Student Teachers. Nearly all the members of these bands treated the club as a headquarters as home.

The last show, tonight at 8 p.m., featuring Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty and Tony Shanahan, is (not too surprisingly) sold out. Hell does not sound too distraught: CBGBs is going to be dismantled and reconstructed as an exhibit in Las Vegas, like Elvis. I like that. A lot. I really hope it happens as intended.

By on October 15, 2006, 11:49 am
In category: Arts,Gotham City | Comments Off on The End Of CBGB's

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

No Child...The Play
August 19th, 2006

In this excerpt from the play “No Child…”, a one-woman show written and performed by Nilaja Sun, and currently showing at the Barrow Street Theater, the main character — an actress invited into a high school in the Bronx to put on a play with the students — has told the principal of the school that she is quitting:

“I came to teaching to touch lives and educate and be this enchanting artist in the classroom and make a difference and I have done nothing but lose 10 pounds in a month and develop a disgusting smoking habit. These kids need something much greater than anything I can give them — they need a miracle…

“Sometimes I dream of going to Connecticut and teaching the rich white kids there. All I’d have to battle against is soccer moms, bulimia, and everyone asking me how I wash my hair. But I chose to teach in my city, this city that raised me…and I’m tired, and I’m not even considered a ‘real’ teacher. I can’t even imagine how I would survive as a real teacher.But they do survive…on what God knows.

“The worst thing, the worst thing is that all the kids in there are me. Brown eyes, brown skin, stuck. I can’t even help my own people. Revolutionary, huh?

“Mrs. Kennedy, it seems to me that this whole school system, not just here but the whole system is falling apart under us and there are these accountability laaws that have nothing to do with solutions and if we expect to stay some sort of grand nation fo rthe next 50 years well we got another thing coming. We’re not teaching these kids how to be leaders. We’re just getting them ready for jail: Take off your belt, take off your shoes, go back, go back, go back. We’re totally abandoning these kids and we have been for 30 years and then we get annoyed when they’re running around in the subway calling eadch other bitches and niggas, we get annoyed when their math scores don’t pari up to a five-year-olds in China, we get annoyed when they don’t graduate on time. It’s because we’ve abandoned them….”

In the next scene, her students convince her to stay.

By on August 19, 2006, 1:11 pm
In category: Arts,Education,Gotham City | 4 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

New York's Fervent Interest In Itself
August 18th, 2006

In a blog in the New York Times entitled Summer in the City (Life in New York during the dog days of August, as told by five writers, available only to subscribers of Times Select), Adam Davies writes that New York has a fervent interest in itselfExpressions of New Yorks self-scrutiny seem limitless: literature, song, art, photography, food, sports, media, you name it. A short list of those New Yorkers made famous by looking closely include Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., George Gershwin, Gay Talese, Norman Mailer, Spike Lee, Candice Bushnell, Walt Whitman, Jonathan Lethem, George Steinbrenner, Woody Allen, Jay-Z, P. Diddy, Diane Arbus, Martin Scorsese, Neil Simon, Al Hirschfeld, Andy Warhol and John Lennon they all ♥ New York.

By on August 18, 2006, 5:26 am
In category: Arts,Gotham City | 5 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

9/11, The Movie
August 8th, 2006

Clyde Haberman
devotes his column in the New York Times to Oliver Stones latest movie, World Trade Center, starring Nicholas Cage, which opens tomorrow. He says little about the content of the film itself, other than to point out that it avoids Stones past conspiracy theory filmmaking (in such movies as JFK) and that it will be an emotional experience for many New Yorkers, assuming they can bring themselves to see it at all.

Many bloggers seem to agree on that score I have no interest at all in seeing a film dramatizing one of the worst days in my life, writes Brooklyn Blowhard, and I’m sure that millions of others feel the exact same way.

Haberman focuses on answering the two major criticisms against Stones film, United 93 and other depictions of September 11th — that they are too soon (he doesnt think so) and that its wrong to make money on the disaster.

Small-time street vendors selling their tacky 9/11 souvenirs are widely scorned, and have been pushed away from the sidewalks ringing the trade center site, Haberman writes. Yet relatively little in the way of criticism is aimed at those who have parlayed the tragedy into big bucks and grand careers. Would former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani be earning his many millions and contemplating a presidential race were it not for 9/11? Would his onetime sidekick, Bernard B. Kerik, be in demand as a security expert? Would George E. Pataki, who to our knowledge has never been referred to as Americas Governor, be seriously entertaining White House dreams?

Haberman concludes by wondering what the reaction will be to future projects that are not meant to be (as all so far have been) unoffensive and soul-stirringWhat if some people trapped inside the twin towers are portrayed as far-from-noble figures? Or if a movie dwells on the catastrophic failure of communications between the Police and Fire Departments that occurred on Mr. Giulianis watchWill people say that artistic freedom is a supreme American virtue, even if it means exposing some warts? Or will they declare 9/11 to be sacred, rendering blasphemous any challenge to its heroic story line?

By on August 8, 2006, 7:04 am
In category: Arts | 4 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

High Museum Fees Help Create A Culturally Segregated City
July 25th, 2006

In the Daily News, David Jones of the Community Service Society criticizes the decision by the Metropolitan Museum of Art to raise its suggested admission fee to $20, starting next week. The Museum of Modern Art already charges $20, and the Museum of Natural History can cost $98 for a family of four. More and more, New York is moving toward a city divided by income and class – a culturally segregated city, where many affluent people can afford cultural amenities, while many low-income families, largely minorities, are being priced out. This is unacceptable. Major cultural institutions in other cities such as the Getty Center in Los Angeles and (soon) the Baltimore Museum have found a way to offer free admission.

By on July 25, 2006, 6:25 am
In category: Arts | 3 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Fixing the Memorial Mess
June 1st, 2006

An editorial in the New York Times offers suggestions for fixing the mess of the World Trade Center Memorial, a week after the president of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation resigned. The foundation, the Times says, should focus on fundraising for the memorial; the construction of the memorial should be handed over to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the Port Authority; and the foundation forget for the moment about the 9/11 museum.

By on June 1, 2006, 5:21 am
In category: Arts,Gotham City,Land Use,Parks | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Sparring Over Art in Brooklyn
May 9th, 2006

Today there are editorials in both the New York Sun and the Daily News (scroll down to “Plan B From Outer Space) applauding the city for closing down an exhibition of artwork by Brooklyn College masters’ students containing some sexually explicit material. The exhibit at a war memorial at Cadman Plaza Park was shuttered last Thursday.

The Sun seems to think that such sexual material should not be encouraged by any institution that receives public funding, and even criticized Brooklyn College for agreeing to take the artwork back (the Sun doesn’t make clear what it would prefer to happen to it). Despite the deep offense that the newspaper takes to the art, its editorial actually provides a link to a particularly explicit painting featured in the exhibit — presumably so its readers can also be offended.

The Daily News criticizes the “mewling” of the “young artistes..Get used to not being the center of the universe, kids.”

A blog speaking for the student artists — called Plan C(ensored) — quickly popped up, and has been posting updates and statements regarding the situation. Its authors are angry that the work was taken down without the permission of the artists, and claim that some has been damaged in the process.

By on May 9, 2006, 4:13 pm
In category: Arts,Gotham City | 6 Comments »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Remembering 9/11 in Film and Memorial
May 7th, 2006

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer compares two memorials to the victims of 9/11 the new movie “United 93” about the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania on that fateful day and the $1 billion plan for the World Trade Center memorial. Lehrer argues that only one of these works.

“The release of ‘United 93’ at first sparked questions about sensationalizing the events of that awful day, and about whether it was too soon to depict those events on film,” says Lehrer. “Both questions have now been answered by the film itself and the public response.”

In contrast, the World Trade Center memorial, he argues, “has deteriorated into endless bickering between a greedy developer and a patronizing Governor. Even the 9/11 families have come to be seen as a special interest group, though no one wants to say that too loudly.”

“Thursdays announcement that the World Trade Center Memorial would now double in cost compared to the original estimate is just the latest assault on trust in public works,” says Lehrer.

By on May 7, 2006, 12:41 pm
In category: Arts,Gotham City,Land Use | Comments Off on Remembering 9/11 in Film and Memorial

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

The 9/11 Memorial
March 13th, 2006

As work begins on the 9/11 memorial, bloggers debate whether the design, “Reflecting Absence” is safe and suitable.

Kate, whose comments appear on Blogger News network has no doubts: The entire thing is so tastefully and sensitively planned, I can’t believe anyone’s upset about it — least of all any of the victims’ families.
Uncooperative Blogger disagrees. Representatives of victims families and of police and firefighters have raised a number of issues, he writes, including the proper listing of the names; putting artifacts like the sphere and tower facades at the street level …; preserving the footprint remnants at bedrock; moving the Memorial Museum aboveground; and the security and safety of visitors to the site. Urging readers to take action, the blogger writes, Time is short; on March 13th construction will begin on this seriously flawed Memorial. America deserves more.

The issue of victim families concerns Either End of the Curve. Citing an MSNBC report that victim families want to maintain the site as sacred ground, the writer says, I’m blogging about this for one reason only: to call attention to the fact that, once again, the way in which the media writes about the families of 9/11 victims completely obscures the fact that they’re not a monolithic block. Nowhere, the the blog continues do you glean any hint that there’s a diversity of opinion among 9/11 families over the memorial.

And whatever the controversy about the memorial itself,
Suitably Flip
says it makes sense that there is no ceremony to mark the start of work on it. After all,the blogger writes, There have been so many false starts and retracements at Ground Zero that few people would have been likely to jump on board with any kind of ribbon cutting or ceremonial to-do.”

By on March 13, 2006, 11:15 am
In category: Arts,Gotham City,Land Use | Comments Off on The 9/11 Memorial

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Metropolitan Museum of Art
March 7th, 2006

Photo by AP

The Metropolitan Museum of Art unveiled its fully cleaned and restored facade — and, as Gothamist points out, “it’s not like they have to return it to Italy.”

By on March 7, 2006, 3:23 pm
In category: Arts,Gotham City | Comments Off on Metropolitan Museum of Art

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Peace Tower, 40 Years Later
March 1st, 2006

In 1966, hundreds of artists contributed works to the Peace Tower, also known as “Artists Tower Against the War in Vietnam,” which stood for a few months in Los Angeles. Forty years later, another 200 artists — including Chuck Close, Sol LeWitt, Yoko Ono, Kiki Smith, and several who contributed to the 1966 tower, such as James Rosenquist and Judy Chicago, — have contributed individual 2′ by 2′ panels to a new Peace Tower, 50 feet high, in the Whitney Museum Sculpture Court, part of the Whitney Biennial, which opens to the public tomorrow.

By on March 1, 2006, 8:53 pm
In category: Arts,Gotham City | 1 Comment »

| More

RSS Feed RSS Feed

Gotham Gazette the Place for Politics and Policy

Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

RSS Feed