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Summer in the City

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You know what's wrong with society today? This: Even the dude photographed in Central Park for a New Yorkers–are–relaxing–on–a-sunny–summer–Friday beauty shot is busy working on his cell phone and laptop. Well, that and the Bush administration.

Stocks Fall, Photos Disappoint

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So it turns out the biggest problem with the New York Stock Exchange moving increasingly to electronic trading isn't the end of jobs for specialists, or ruining the Big Board's uniqueness, or any of those other things the traditionalists have argued. It's that on a day when the Dow drops 311.50 points and there are big, worried headlines on all the news site, the classic frenzy-on-the-trading-floor news photo should look a hell of a lot more, well, frenzied than this. Boo.

Nicholas Bartha, Arne Jacobsen, and High-End Real-Estate Flipping

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Remember Dr. Nicholas Bartha, the psychotic Upper East Side doctor who blew up his townhouse with himself in it rather than sell the thing to pay his ex-wife the divorce settlement she was owed? Yeah, well, the Times has a profile today of Janna Bullock, the Russian-born developer who bought the now-empty lot for $8.3 million, plans to build "a Modernist-style house with a green roof and an underground pool" on it, and then, she says, sell the thing, in one to four years, for $30 to $40 million. (A place on East 67th she bought for $10.5 million is now on the market for $35 million.) Our friends at Curbed (we think we're still friends with them, yes?) are moderately in awe of her flipping talents but even more in awe of her publicity-shot locale: Yes, that's her, photographed in the empty lot that was once the Bartha house. Us? We're even more impressed by her photo styling. The dilapidated Arne Jacobsen egg chair she's sitting in? On the dilapidated lot on which she plans to build a modernist icon? Genius. Buy High, Sell Higher [NYT via Curbed]

An Underground Railroad

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Did you know there's a 150-year-old, defunct subway tunnel under Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn? It runs from Boerum Place to Hicks Street, was built in seven months around the time of the Civil War, and was lost until 1981, when a dude named Bob Diamond found it. He gives tours of the thing, and the blogger behind McBrooklyn went spelunking with him yesterday. There are some more pics at McBrooklyn, plus a (frankly sort of boring) video. Neat, huh? Brooklyn Spelunking: Atlantic Avenue Tunnel Tours Return [McBrooklyn]

Little Britain: Peace in Our Time!

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This is what we came home last night to find waiting with our doorman. (We have never, for the record, mentioned our name to the Tea & Sympathy people, nor said exactly where we live.) It was tasty, we were charmed, and now, we confess, we think we've reached acceptance. We're Daily Intel, and we live in Little Britain. God save the queen! Earlier: Daily Intel's coverage of Little Britain

Models, Breasts, and a ‘Marie Claire’ Charity Auction

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Marie Claire threw a party at Milk Gallery in Chelsea last night in honor of supermodel- cum-photographer Helena Christensen's photo spread in the mag's August issue. Christensen's photographs of "Super Role Models" (supermodels who are role models, get it? Ha!) were silently auctioned for charity to the hipper-than-thou crowd, which seemed more into the free booze and their accessories than the art. Oh, and breasts. They were also into breasts: Christensen's shot of a breast-baring Naomi Campbell (you could see her nipple!) was the night's star attraction. How does a model feel when her nip slips out? Naomi wasn't there for us to ask — and we might not have asked her such a probing question, either, at least not without taking away her cell phone first — but up-and-coming young model Chanel Iman was, and she recalled her own breast's inadvertent runway debut. "I saw the video," she recalled of a fashion show two years ago, "and I saw my nipple just jiggling, and I was like, 'Oh, my God.' And at the time I was really young, you know, so I wasn't that mature." Now a worldly 16-year-old, she got over such petty humiliations long ago. "It's just a breast," she said, sagely. We hope Campbell feels likewise. —Haven Thompson Find out what Helena Christensen, Amy Sacco, Rachel Roy, and others had to say in our Interactive Party Lines.

It Came From the Steam Tunnels!

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Last night's explosion was an impressive display in itself. But equally impressive was the way it tied up seemingly the entire East Side, with trains not running and people everywhere gawking. This is our favorite picture of the gawkers — the crowd massed in front of the iconic Public Library building, all stopped and looking in the same direction. If this were a still from some fifties-era cheesy sci-fi film, that's exactly what everyone would look like as they watched the flying saucers land. Earlier: Grand Central Explosion Kills One, Wounds 30, Inconveniences Thousands

Ceci N'est Pas un Sac en Plastique

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We have no idea why people would line up outside a grocery store — in the rain! — to buy a fancy shopping bag. (Which, mind you, back in our day used to be something you got for free, in your choice of paper or plastic.) But people did, inexplicably. And, just so you know, this is what the things look like. Related: Welcome to Whole Foods Market Bowery [WholeFoodsMarket.com]

Ring in Summer!

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If it's not quite summer for you without a little bit of Wagner to go with your fruity cocktails and pastel shirts, you're in luck. Lincoln Center Festival and the Met are presenting the Ring Cycle, performed by the Kirov Opera. It kicks off at 8 p.m. tonight, and — though we know virtually nothing about opera — we can assure you the performance includes a singing women inside what looks like an oversize spun-sugar dessert. At least yesterday's dress rehearsal did. Kirov Ring Cycle 2007 [MetOpera.org]

Patrick McMullan Wants to Know Who You Are

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Patrick McMullan, the city's best-known photog-about-town, provides a pictorial record of just about every New York party worth mentioning. (In what might shock those who've followed his career since the days of Studio 54, McMullan himself isn't omnipresent; he long ago set up a stable of young men — they're all young men — who help him make a showing at all those events each night.) Usually, the photos end up on his Website, PatrickMcMullan.com, and in all sorts of magazines, including New York. But now they're being displayed in a gallery-ish exhibition. Over the past few weeks, he and curator Gavin Brown have picked photos from the PatrickMcMullan.com archives and dry-mounted them on the walls of the Chelsea bar Passerby, which loses its lease in September. That the whole enterprise may soon be torn down makes the whole thing even more artistic to McMullan, who — in great meta form — snapped photos of people looking at photos through the opening party the other night. Between snaps, he told us the secrets to his success.

Oil and Water

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One advantage of that flooding that's bound to overtake New York? Deeper waters will presumably make it all the more difficult for oil tankers to run aground off Coney Island, as this one, the White Sea, did this morning. (Reportedly no oil was spilled.) See, a benefit to global warming: It'll make it easier to import oil. Perfect! Oil Tanker Runs Aground Off Coney Island [AP via Crain's]

She Was Not a Figment of Your Imagination

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We're not entirely sure what the Figment Festival, held yesterday on Governors Island, was (seems like a very mini, East Coast version of Burning Man), and we disagree with the Gothamists, who place this photo on the quasi-abandoned island (what with the high-rise and the tunnel and the traffic, we're going with lower Manhattan). But, still, cool picture, and interesting-sounding event, and, well, we really do need to get ourselves out there one of these days. It's open to the public each weekend through Labor Day. Welcome to the Week [Gothamist] Related: Arts Festival Awakens Sleepy Governors Island [Metro NY] Visit the Island [GovIsland.com]

Seeing the Sights

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The Department of Consumer Affairs proposed earlier this week to cap the number of pedicabs in New York to 325. We find that limit way too high, as we object to the damned things on any number of levels, not least the incessant jingle-jingle that seems to follow you through midtown these days. All that said, were we forced to ride in one, like these chicks photographed at Fifth and 57th yesterday afternoon, we'd totally take some pictures of the driver's ass, too. Related: Agency Proposes Limit on Number of Pedicabs [amNY]

Not Drizzle, Not Humidity, Not Dark of Night…

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Flickr is, unsurprisingly, filled today with a few thousand shots of the Macy's fireworks on the East River. Our favorites, we think, are by Flickr user JBParker, who snapped this smoke-and-color-filled shot — but, truth is, the show looks better in nearly all of them than we remember it looking to us last night. Of course, that might be because now we're not getting drizzled on. New York City Fireworks [Flickr]

On a Clear Day

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We don't know what prompted Agence France-Presse to charter a helicopter Sunday and send one of their photogs to take a bunch of aerial shots of the city, and we don't know what prompted Getty Images to distribute those shots in the middle of the week, but we're glad they both did. It's a pretty town on a pretty day, eh? More gratuitous urban-beauty shots after the jump.