Archive for the ‘New York is different’ Category

Wed 27 Oct 2010 8:14 am   //   Posted in: Media, New York is different

“Our diversity is our greatest strength.”

I saw this ad on a bus shelter last night:

Our diversity is our greatest strength ad new york

The full text of the ad is:

Our DIVERSITY is our greatest STRENGTH.

When any New Yorker is atacked for who they are, what they believe or whom they LOVE it is a crime against all of us.

Keep our City strong.


This is a totally on-pitch PSA that makes me proud of the city. To the best of my memory, this is the first time I’ve seen the slogan “Love love. Hate hate.” That’s a seriously good tagline. Also impressive is how timely this PSA is—the text seems to allude to recent hate crimes against a Muslim cab driver and several gay men in the Bronx, fresh wounds against the city. The campaign was launched October 14, not even 2 weeks after the Bronx attacks. The ads are produced by NYC & Company, the city’s public affairs division; more information in this press release.

Tue 12 Oct 2010 11:54 pm   //   Posted in: Brooklyn, New York is different

Reader reaction to my post about leaving Brooklyn

I received a lot of feedback on my post this morning, “On leaving Brooklyn.” It turns out I hit upon something a lot of people wanted to talk about—how Park Slope has spiraled downhill. Some of the responses are below.


Tue 12 Oct 2010 7:00 am   //   Posted in: Brooklyn, New York is different, Over!

On leaving Brooklyn (retracted)

A retraction, October 22, 2014: Four years ago I wrote this grouchy blog post about Brooklyn, and got a lot of attention for it. In hindsight, it was mostly just whining. In particular, I’m sorry I fed into the negativity aimed at young people and parents in Park Slope. In about 2 weeks we move back to Brooklyn, because it’s a nice place to live. I’ve left this post published, but I’ve set it in strikethrough type to signify that I don’t stand by it any more.

* * * *

Two Saturday mornings ago, I was shopping at the C-Town on 9th Street in Park Slope. In the snack aisle I walked past a guy intently studying two bags of potato chips. He looked a lot like me, only with a shaggy beard and an untucked flannel work shirt, a popular look here. Next to him, an elderly lady asked for help reaching a box of garbage bags on a high shelf. “Just a second,” said the bearded guy, lost in his potato chip labels. “When you have a chance,” the woman said patiently.

I did the obvious thing. Since the other guy wouldn’t, I got the box for the woman. But I also had a very visceral reaction. I wanted to turn to the bearded potato chip scholar, get up in his face, and hiss, “Dude! What the fuck is wrong with you?!

Fortunately, I didn’t act on that impulse. But the next time I might. And that’s why it’s time to leave Brooklyn.


Mon 11 Oct 2010 8:00 am   //   Posted in: New York is different

Money never sleeps

People often ask me for advice about moving to New York City. This post is long and over-sharey, but I’m writing it as a service piece to explain what it takes to find an apartment in New York in 2010. As some of you know already, I’m making a big move next month from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Here’s the story of how it happened.


Tue 21 Sep 2010 7:21 am   //   Posted in: New York is different, Photos

Photos of the approach to LaGuardia Airport

Before airplanes, people traveling long distances to New York City arrived by ship across the New York harbor, watching the island of Manhattan slowly come into view, unfolding with drama and promise.

Today we have the approach to LaGuardia Airport. On the evening of Labor Day, I flew into LaGuardia on a Dash 8 from Roanoke, descending over the harbor, over Manhattan, over the Bronx, then turning and landing from the northeast on runway 4-22. This approach may provide the most spectacular view of any urban airport landing in the world.

You’re not supposed to use digital cameras on the plane, but I did anyway.

Brooklyn: Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Coney Island


Fri 10 Sep 2010 10:00 am   //   Posted in: New York is different, Photos

Shine on

Just an ordinary parking structure…


Tue 24 Aug 2010 8:23 am   //   Posted in: In the news, New York is different

Me and the BBC

(Updated 8:19 p.m. ET) A producer from the BBC interviewed me Friday for a segment on the Islamic Center near Ground Zero. You can watch the video above or see it on the BBC News web site.

Tue 17 Aug 2010 8:02 am   //   Posted in: New York is different

The uplifting response to my Ground Zero post

There’s a scene in “Twelve Angry Men” where Juror #10, having exhausted all his other arguments, starts to use ethnic stereotypes to argue why the accused is guilty. The other jurors, one by one, stand up silently and turn their backs to him.

That’s what I was hoping to do with yesterday’s post, “Hallowed Ground,” showing photos of things as close to the World Trade Center site as the proposed Park51 Islamic community center. One by one, all the arguments against the center are falling away, so the only argument left is anti-Muslim bigotry. People who want to make that argument are free to keep talking, like Juror #10, until it becomes apparent what their true motivations are.


Mon 16 Aug 2010 8:00 am   //   Posted in: New York is different

“Hallowed Ground”

A few photos of stuff the same distance from the World Trade Center as the “Ground Zero Mosque”:

New York Dolls Gentleman's Club strip club


Wed 14 Jul 2010 11:19 pm   //   Posted in: New York is different, TV commericals

We’re better than this, really

I’m posting this video not because I think it deserves to be seen, but because it’s a reminder that naked bigotry is still alive in America. Brace yourself:

OK, did you watch it? Let’s talk about it.