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Alberta Ferretti

  1. intel
    ‘Gossip Girl’ Takes Us Back to the FutureIt was kind of a refreshing change to get vodka in plastic cups and an impromptu party at the school pool.
  2. neighborhood watch
    You Aren’t the Only Person Who Comes Home to Find Random People Smoking in Your StairwellClinton Hill: Beware of undesirables who sneak into your apartment building to smoke butts, do drugs, copulate, urinate, and drink coffee. Because it’s happening. [Clinton Hill Blog] East Village: The latest bank branch hopes that if it puts up a big photo of the hood in Ye Olden Days, no one will notice that it’s filled mostly with bank branches now. [Vanishing New York] Flushing: Local Quaker farmers demand freedom of worship! Well, they did in 1657. But the tatty document in which they listed their demands, called “The religious Magna Carta of the New World,” is on display up in here. [NYT]
  3. show and talk
    What to Wear to Turks and Caicos Behind closed showroom doors (and in the Santa Monica airport), designers have been showing off their resort and cruise collections the last few weeks. The lines are bright, colorful, and chock-full of obscenely expensive bikinis. We hit up the target demographic — Fabiola Beracasa and Byrdie Bell — to see what the ladies planned to buy for their next vacations.
  4. atlantic yards watch
    Bruce Ratner Will Ensure You Have Overpriced Coffee Speaking of the inexorable march of franchised coffee, we noticed something interesting while idly gazing at some Atlantic Yards plans today. While much about Bruce Ratner’s project is still up in the air — Miss Brooklyn’s size, the project’s time line, the exact numbers of jobs it will create and people it will push out of their homes, who will win Daniel Goldstein’s lawsuits — one thing, however, is set in stone, at least according to sketches provided by Frank Gehry’s office. Atlantic Yards will definitely have a Starbucks. Photos: Atlantic Yards Project [amNY] Earlier: Old East Villager Distressed By Starbucks Influx; Also, Sky Is Blue
  5. in other news
    Old East Villager Distressed By Starbucks Influx; Also, Sky Is Blue As lead-a-counterculture-icon-around-his-old- stomping-grounds pieces go, there’s not much surprise in today’s Times profile of Dog Soldiers author Robert Stone, whose memoir of the Beat Generation, Prime Green, drops on Tuesday. As the author trundles through the East Village, there’s the fond memory of how back in the day you could give a bum a dime to watch your kid; the lament that newly cleaned buildings have ruined the neighborhood’s “grimness”; and an odd story about how returning GIs, given their first slice of pizza, put scoops of ice cream on it because they thought it was pie. Still, the biggest watch-and-weep moment comes when the old soldier comes face-to-face with the Devil itself: Heading toward Astor Place, he discovered that one of his favorite coffee shops had been turned into a Starbucks. Stopping for a light, he said, with less sadness than surprise: “I used to have such a tremendous sense of the city and of this neighborhood, and it’s lost to me now.” Well, yes. We all know the Starbucks-is-taking-over feeling. But we’d suggest Stone dig deeper. After all, last time we checked, that Astor Place Starbucks had bathrooms grim enough for any old-timer. Plus, we hear they’re doing a brisk business in Venti PizzaCremas. Counterculture Lion, Back in His Tidy Jungle [NYT]
  6. in other news
    Group Wants to Shape Up New Yorkers, New York The Public Health Association of New York City has a new report out, and it’s a jaw-dropper. The problem it identifies — only one quarter of us get enough physical activity — is not all that newsworthy; we already knew that New Yorkers, once you get past yoga-crazed downtowners and the Chelsea iron-pumping contingent, are not exactly gym bunnies. What’s staggering about the PHANYC report, titled “Steps to Get New Yorkers Moving,” is the sheer scope of its remedy suggestions. The Association offers nothing less than a total reengineering of the city under the fitness flag. Proposals start with the obvious (more bicycle routes), proceed to the novel (“enable parks to directly benefit from the property value and property tax increases they generate”), and finally hit the full, glorious WTF. Apparently PHANYC wants the city to build “step streets” in its hilly parts, line the avenues with trees to make them more inviting for joggers, institute diagonal parking because it’s more pedestrian-friendly, adopt European traffic-calming measures, close certain streets to vehicles, and reduce speed limits. It’s not that we think these things are bad ideas, necessarily; it’s just that the plan seems a bit aggressive. What’s next, trying to ban all bad fats from our diets? Oh, wait. Agenda for a Healthy New York [PHANYC]