Photographs: Getty Images (pig); Peter Mauss/Esto/Courtesy of BAM (BAM Opera House Exterior); Alamy (lion); Alan Klehr/Newscom (dinosaur); Richard B. Levine/Newscom (The High Line); Jeff Goldberg/Esto/Courtesy of Carnegie Hall (Carnegie Hall exterior); Bud Williams/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images (subway car); New York Magazine (MOMA garden sculpture, oyster leaf)
Congressional Republicans voted last week to swear off earmarking for two years; President Obama has also called for earmark reform. But the practice—in which legislators direct money to their districts via small add-ons to spending bills—isn’t all about Bridges to Nowhere. Pork helps support vital civic projects, too. “Receiving earmarks is really a central strategy for the survival of cultural institutions,” says the Rockefeller Foundation’s Eddie Torres. Here, a roundup of earmarkees most New Yorkers wouldn’t want to live without, along with their known hauls over the past decade.