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Best Junk Mail Ever

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We were throwing out junk mail the other day when we noticed the return address on one of the postcards. It promptly became our favorite piece of junk mail ever. Related: NYCWasteLe$$ [NYC.gov]

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Is Christine Quinn Turning Her Back on AIDS Causes?

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Is the longtime lovefest between City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the city’s AIDS activists finally over? Quinn rose to power working under HIV-positive then-councilman Tom Duane, advocating for tenants, gays, and people with HIV and AIDS when Duane pushed through legislation enabling poor New Yorkers with AIDS to get housing assistance and other benefits. But now a broad swath of activists want those benefits to be available to low-income HIV-positive New Yorkers before they progress to AIDS, and Quinn opposes the plan.

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Don Imus and Other Great Moments in Bigoted Slurs

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And so the "nappy-headed hos" remark has cost Don Imus his job. The final denouement, which came with CBS Radio's canning the I-Man last night, a day after MSNBC dropped the simulcast of his show, has seemed inevitable for most of the week, as protests had intensified, advertisers had balked, and the great and august Ana Marie Cox had announced she would never again deign to appear on such a juvenile broadcast. (Cox first gained fame as the editor of Wonkette, where she was known for her anal-sex jokes.) But it has not always been thus; many, many public figures have uttered bigoted slurs and lived to tell the tale. After the jump, a look back at some Great Moments in Bigoted Slurs.

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The Year of Nappy-Headed Thinking

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Okay, so maybe it's just because we walked past an anti-Imus protest in Rockefeller Center last night on the way to see Didion's play on Broadway, and maybe it's entirely in our own heads, but is anyone else getting a bit of a separated-at-birth thing here? (Yes, we know: We're terrible people.)

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All Aboard!

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Are we the only ones who didn't know this? We learned today, when we stumbled across a cache, that actual subway schedules — yes, minute-by-minute timetables of when a specific train will show up — are available at select stations throughout the city. (We'd always thought the next train just came a few minutes after the last or, on bad days, whenever the MTA felt like it.) Unsurprisingly, the tables are excessively complicated — we particularly enjoy that the 1 train runs "every 5 minutes" at some times of day but "every 4–6 minutes" at others — and we doubt they're terribly useful, as one tardy train would clearly gum up a whole line. "Sticking to it is tough, but not impossible," admitted an attendant at the Times Square station, who also noted that the MTA doesn't print too many copies. So get them while you can — the latest edition in dated February 2007 — and then write the mayor if your train's late.
Tayt Harlin

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Photograph, Then Destroy

The usually indefatigable Develop Don't Destory Brooklyn, which media outlets across the city can typically rely upon for Ratner-castigating press releases pegged to almost any occurrence, sent this today:

From: Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 10:36:46 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: Sol Lewitt Wall Paintings in Ratner Building Slated for Atlantic Yards Demo Artist Sol Lewitt, a giant in the conceptual and minimal art movements and one of the great innovators in the past 40 years, died on Sunday at the age of 78. Lewitt was famous, amongst other works, for his wall paintings … 644 Pacific Street is in the footprint of Bruce Ratner's proposed "Atlantic Yards" project, specifically in the footprint of the arena itself. In that building, once occupied by one of Mr. Lewitt's studio assistants, are at least two wall paintings by the artist. The building is in the list of the first round of demolitions the developer intends to begin in the coming weeks. These wall paintings should be photographed for historical documentation and the Sol Lewitt catalogue.
Photographed?! That's it? Either they're crappy Lewitts, or Daniel Goldstein is going soft. On Sol Lewitt [DDDB]

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Three More Subsidized Complexes to Go Private?

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Starrett City may not be going the way of Stuy Town quite yet, but it looks like three other complexes are. Laurence Gluck, a Real Estate Board of New York muckety-muck who owns at least six subsidized-housing complexes throughout the city, is angling to control three more. Sources in and out of government say the developer has his eye on the General Sedgwick Homes in the Bronx, Castleton Park in Staten Island, and Meadow Manor in Queens. Amy Chan, of tenants-rights activist group Tenants and Neighbors, says residents of all three complexes have received notice that their owner intends to remove them from the Mitchell-Lama subsidy program, and sources see Gluck's fingerprints on all three: He's actively pursuing projects around the Bronx, his company manages Castleton Park, and Meadow Manor is the subject of litigation involving him.

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Sneak Peek: In New Store, Tom Ford Loves Beaver

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The first-ever Tom Ford store at Madison Avenue and 70th Street, set to open Thursday, is a sprawling, two-story, 10,000-square-foot uber-bachelor pad and the flagship for his new collection of men's clothing, a collaboration with Ermenegildo Zegna (even if only Ford's name appears on it.). Early this afternoon, Ford, dressed in a three-piece suit and pocket square, gave a private tour to select reporters. Cathy Horyn and Eric Wilson from the Times were both there; so was Time Style & Design editor Kate Betts, a former Harper's Bazaar chief. The place is quintessential Ford, dripping with sex. There are beaver rugs throughout — wink, wink — and a giant metalwork sculpture in the foyer that's also very beaverlike. The place is designed to look like and feel like a fancy residence — there are butlers and housekeepers (dressed in traditional uniform) who circulate. There's a hidden elevator with upholstered walls, fireplaces, a bar and, you guessed it, smoking jackets. Except Ford calls them dressing gowns. They're patterned silk and cost a cool $3,900. —Jonathan S. Paul

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‘Times’ Names New Writer for Leaderless Lede

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You might have noticed that the Lede — the Times' curiously nonspecific notes-on-the-news blog — has been dormant since the start of the month; its creator, Tom Zeller Jr., abandoned 43rd Street for the more mapperific precincts of National Geographic back in early March. But today the paper announced a new leader for the Lede: Mike Nizza, who's been the editor of the NYTimes.com homepage. In the just-out staff memo announcing the appointment, Jonathan Landman and Jim Roberts have lots of nice things to say about Mike. Which makes us realize perhaps we ought to start reading the thing. We do, after all, have a fondness for curiously nonspecific news-related blogs. The Landman-Roberts memo is after the jump.

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New CNN Morning Anchor Was Fox News Rebel

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Last week's shake-up at CNN, in which not-related American Morning anchors Soledad O'Brien and Miles O'Brien were "reassigned" within the network, marked a happy turn of events for Fox News Channel refugee Kiran Chetry, who's becoming a co-anchor of the show. In February, Fox News accused Chetry, who'd been in talks with CNN, of demanding it fire her Fox & Friends co-anchor Gretchen Carlson. Chetry says that didn't happen, but Fox had her escorted from the building, and her husband, Fox weatherman Chris Knowles, had to raid her office to recover her personal belongings. Knowles was released from his Fox News contract the following day. CNN president Jonathan Klein says that Chetry's adjusting well. "I was blown away by her almost encyclopedic knowledge of CNN," he says. "I was amazed that she was even getting reception behind the iron curtain." Watching CNN at Fox News? That alone was probably enough to get her fired. —Emma Rosenblum

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A Subway Car of One's Own

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F-train commuters were in for a pleasant surprise this morning, thanks to a "guerilla art" group called the House of Malcontents. The all-female quartet boarded the third car of a train at Coney Island in the wee hours and turned the weathered space into a living room — laying down welcome mats and rugs, hanging flowers from the poles and curtains over the windows, replacing MTA safety posters with paintings and family photos, and turning overhead billboards into mock bookshelves. (Authors represented ranged from Albert Camus to Zora Neale Hurston.) Officially, it was a commentary on how much time Gothamites spend on the subway, but leader Ellen Moynihan admits there was another goal. "We wanted people to talk about something at work besides what they watched on TV," she said. Critics included one unamused cop and a woman irate about the cost to advertisers, but by midtown, people started whipping out camera phones. "It's adorable," legal secretary Beatrice Beccari said. "It'd be nice to have more [of this] instead of ads for dentists and cosmetic surgery." Naturally, most riders pretended they saw nothing. —Michael Y. Park

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When Cabs Fly

Taxi of the Future!
Though the gas-powered taxi has been around for 100 years, the vehicle’s design elegance (folding seats and all) peaked with the last new Checker in the mid-seventies. Trying to inspire a taxi renaissance, the Design Trust for Public Space will display several cab-of-the-future models (along with a 1956 and 1975 Checker) at the New York International Auto Show, which opens tomorrow at the Javits Center. The crop looks hopeful but pretty familiar: There's a PT-Cruiser model by Hybrid Technologies Inc. that looks like a car you'd buy from Restoration Hardware and a model from Kia featuring a side panel with "Welcome to New York" in a medley of languages. Should Pixar take credit for the above cab, by Hybrid Product Design and Development? Design Trust director Deborah Marton told a crowd of booze-swilling car reporters yesterday that the taxi "represents diversity because the face driving it is the future of our city," and Taxi & Limousine Commissioner Matthew Daus promised to make cabs "more attractive and appropriate." We love the return of the folding seat and the electric models on display. With the potential for illuminated, outer-borough cab stands — photo after the jump — these hacks might even go to West Bushwick. —Alec Appelbaum

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The Times, They Are A-Changin'

Mediaweek, January 9, 2006:

"We're never going to accept an ad from a domestic car manufacturer," Gawker Media's sales director, Christopher Batty, boldly declares during a discussion about his zeitgeisty, blog-based Internet company's advertising revenue. "We hate American cars, and our readers do, too." He also adds that big pharmaceutical companies are not on their call list: "They don't want us, we don't want them — all our readers are healthy and beautiful."
Gawker, today:
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Healthy, beautiful, and, apparently, old.

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New TKTS Now on Track for Fall

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When the stalwart seventies-era TKTS booth in Father Duffy Square — it's not Times Square, mind you, but the square just north of it — came down a year ago, we were promised a new version, complete with a shiny red staircase as a roof, a public space to rival Rome's Spanish Steps, in time for last New Year's Eve. No dice. What happened? An ownership change at the manufacturer originally slated to provide glass for that new hull derailed things, architect Nick Leahy of Perkins Eastman tells us. But the team is finalizing its choice for a new supplier, Leahy says, and expects the goods by late summer. "It was a hiccup that we managed," Leahy says. "The ticket booth is in place and the geothermal heating [underground] is in place, and I would expect installation by early fall." Which means it'll be ready for next New Year's or whatever autumn events — the World Series on the Jumbotron, the Macy's parade, impeachment hearings — you might be looking forward to. —Alec Appelbaum

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If You Were a Rich Man — You'd Likely Have a Book Deal

With Ant Farm — the very odd, funny, and frustrating humor collection from Simon Rich, Times heavy-hitter Frank's No. 2 Son — attracting "Sunday Styles" attention last weekend in advance of yesterday's pub date, his older brother Nathaniel, an editor at the Paris Review, has his own hot book making the rounds of houses. We're hearing that The Mayor's Tongue, on submission from Elyse Cheney Literary Associates, follows a widower and a young New Yorker whose paths converge in a small Italian town whose mayor is a supernatural evil force. (An Italian mayor as a supernatural but malevolent force? Wherever did he get the idea?!) Editors took it home over the weekend to read, so we should know soon whether Rich is the next Nicole Krauss (to whom he's being compared, both positively and negatively) or the next — well, the next guy whose book we never really heard anything about. In case of the latter, good thing the Rich family Seders are already over.

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Your Chance to See a CBGB Wall! (But Why?)

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Shattered by the ignominy that CBGB, having closed on the Bowery, will next year reopen in — of all places! — Las Vegas? We've got bad news for you, then: It gets much worse. We received this press release today:
From: [flack]@rogersandcowan.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 04, 2007 11:39 AM
To: [Flack]
Subject: First Rock & Roll Theme Park to Obtain CBGB Wall

Hi, Hard Rock Park, the world’s first rock ‘n’ roll amusement park, is hitting the road, embarking on a six city tour designed to spread news of Myrtle Beach’s newest attraction…. New York’s Hard Rock Café will be donating one of the most definitive classic pieces’ of New York City: A CBGB's wall section that was removed from the venue after it closed in 2006.
Yeah, that's right. For now, the only part of CBGB you can see is a wall, and the only way to see it is as a part of traveling amusement park headed for Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. We'd be indignant, except for one thing: We remember those walls, and we can't imagine paying real money to go see 'em. Myrtle Beach Park [hrpusa.com]

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How Is a Park Slope Seder Different From All Other Seders?

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"All right," said the rabbi. "We'll try to get to the food as fast as we can." Rose Water, the Haute Barnyard Park Slope restaurant, was holding its second-annual second-night Passover Seder, and the obstacle between the starving, secular attendees and the five-course prix fixe was an hour-long ritual leavened, as it were, with trademark neighborhood sanctimony. The plagues recitation became a mini-lecture on abused women (the modern-day plagues were rape, shame, and so on); we were even more riveted by the time- and nabe-specific Four Questions.

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Jon Bon Jovi Goes to Brooklyn, Does Not Build a House

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Yesterday we schlepped out to the Brownsville section of Brooklyn because we were promised Jon Bon Jovi working on a Habitat for Humanity house. "Delta Air Lines joins Jon Bon Jovi and members of the Philadelphia Soul arena football team on Tuesday, April 3, 2007, at 1:00 p.m. to participate in a build with Habitat for Humanity-New York City," said the press release (the emphasis is ours), which seemed pretty clear. Bon Jovi! Brooklyn! Together! Yay! But then we got there and discovered the dude merely giving a press conference. Wasn't Jon going to "participate" in that "build"? "You really don't want to see me grabbing a hammer," he said. (Actually, we did, which is why we spent an hour on the D.) "But I'll be happy to purchase them." Sigh. How about Marty Markowitz, also on the scene — was he excited to have a genuine rock star purchasing hammers for Brooklyn? "I can't really tell you I know his stuff," the usually indefatigable borough president said, "but I know people are crazy about him." We should have stayed in midtown. —Jonah Green

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Governor's Island Is Set to Reopen for the Summer, But Does Anyone Care?

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Governor's Island — that slightly mysterious dot of parkland and old, crumbling officers' houses sitting in the middle of New York Harbor — will for the first time ever this summer be open to the public on both Saturdays and Sundays, according to an announcement yesterday from the city-state agency that runs it. Lots of time to spend on lots of pretty parkland with lots of amazing views. But what do actual New Yorkers know about it? We asked a few and were favorably surprised by their answers — not that many are actually planning to visit.

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Fancy Produce in Every Pot!

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The Alice Watersization of New York cuisine is continuing apace, and now it's spreading to decidedly un-haute cuisine. Now that the budget is done, Albany leaders are finalizing a deal to give New York its first statewide Food Policy Council, charged with spreading the local-and-organic movement to corner bodegas and other places where lower-income New Yorkers shop. A Friday announcement by state Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker explained that the new body will coordinate the mind-numbing minutiae involved in favorite sustainable-food efforts like getting New York State apples to the neighborhood deli and ensuring that community-supported agriculture-buying clubs are affordable to the poor. That last bit helped sell the plan to legislators less interested in dining at Chez Panisse than in combating low-income obesity — which is actually lending a little class tension to the plan. "The question is, is it just going to be a food-quality and local-food focus, or is it going to have a key anti-poverty focus?" asked Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. "I hope this really doesn't end up a yuppie thing." Sigh. Doesn't everything around here these days? —Tracie McMillan

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