Not Enough Alarm

It snowed here in New York City yesterday. In fact, we got walloped. It’s something that happens in east coast cities. Snow doesn’t come at a steady trickle like it does in the Midwest. It doesn’t pile up over long stretches of below-freezing weather — a somewhat constant presence. Rather, it all seems to come in bunches. A blizzard here, a nor’easter there, and all of a sudden there are eighteen inches of snow on the ground. Such was the case yesterday. Not bad for the first day of Spring, huh? Continue reading “Not Enough Alarm”

The Cross

Come on, atheists. You’re protesting a cross in the 9/11 Museum? I know you don’t believe God can hear you, but you realize the rest of us can, right?

— Stephen Colbert in his opening routine, March 10th

Colbert had some fun at the expense of David Silverman and American Atheists, the non-profit Silverman runs. American Atheists filed a lawsuit to have a steel cross that was cut from the wreckage at Ground Zero removed from the memorial on site. The lawsuit stems from the fact that the site is public property owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the memorial receives public funding. The case is hardly cut and dry, though. If it were, there would be little argument. The cross has no business in a public facility, as its mere presence is an endorsement of religion. There are plans for the site to include other religious symbols, as well, but none on the scale and prominence of the cross. Continue reading “The Cross”

In the City: Parking Adventures

A parking space is a commodity in this city. So much so that monthly rates for spaces in garages in Manhattan can cost a person more than renting an apartment in most of the country. For example, after some quick poking around in the tubes, I found rates on the Upper East Side that ranged from $430 a month to $1200. That’s $1200 a month...for a parking space. In my neighborhood, as in all of the neighborhoods of the outer boroughs I checked, the rates are far cheaper. Another couple minutes of looking and I found a garage for rent a couple blocks from my apartment for $200 a month. Take that, Manhattan. Continue reading “In the City: Parking Adventures”

In the City: Manhattan’s Bitch and Haven’t Head, Will Travel

If a person wants to know the value the city’s masters place on Manhattan and it’s rich residents below the have/have not border of 110th Street, all one has to do is compare the condition of Manhattan subway stations there, to ones in upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and the stations of the Staten Island Railway. Continue reading “In the City: Manhattan’s Bitch and Haven’t Head, Will Travel”

Adventures in Voting

New York City is trying something new today. After an initial rollout in the primaries, an optical scan voting system has replaced the bulky lever machines used for decades. How well has this transition to newer technology gone? Last week the head of the city’s Board of Elections was fired because of problems with the new system during the primaries. Continue reading “Adventures in Voting”

Life’s Little Mysteries

The L train wasn’t running today between Lorimer and Myrtle-Wyckoff. This means shuttle buses, always a nightmare of overcrowding, jarring rides, and lengthy trips between even the shortest of stops. It means frustration and bristling tempers, curses at the MTA, and general misery all around. This happens a lot on the L. From Lorimer to Myrtle-Wyckoff, or Broadway Junction to Canarsie, the line finds itself shut down for maintenance, and the lack of express tracks means nothing moves. No way, no how, and it’s on up to the streets for the straphangers. Continue reading “Life’s Little Mysteries”