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]
the morning line
• The city’s comptroller has red-flagged a $10 million contract between the Parks Department and Dominick Logozzo, a Brooklynite with serious mob ties; the deal entrusts Logozzo with the management of a city-owned golf course. Best part: Logozzo is also an investor in the Zone Diet, which the Feds claim is a front to hide Mafia profits. [NYP]
• Governor Spitzer unveiled his initiatives for New York in his first State of the State speech yesterday, and it left half of Albany slack-jawed. Among other things, the Spitz wants to guarantee health insurance for all children, reduce the cost of worker’s comp to boost business, and spend billions on school aid — all that while cutting taxes. Sounds, uh, good. [NYT]
• According to a suit filed by “several disgusted janitors,” there is hanky-panky afoot in New York’s Equinox fitness clubs — as the Daily News puts it, “sleazy gay sex.” Gay sex in gyms?! Say it ain’t so. [NYDN]
• Busta Rhymes turned himself in to the cops on a misdemeanor assault charge, having allegedly roughed up an associate in a money dispute. Not too exciting, but an upgrade over Rhymes’s previous brush with the law: a ticket for talking on a cell while driving. [amNY]
• And a metallic, gold-colored lump of rock, most likely a meteorite, crashed through the roof of a New Jersey home and embedded itself in the floor, delighting scientists. Okay, progressive politics or not, Jersey is still freaking weird. [NYDN]
Be Thin Like Adam Platt
How does a restaurant critic — a man whose very vocation requires him to eat prodigiously — stay lithe and slim? (And how can the rest of us get a job where weighing in at 225 is considered “slim”?) In his most recent Gobbler contribution to Grub Street, New York’s leviathan of a professional eater, Adam Platt, shares the trade secrets for keeping in shape. Remember, he says, that nutritionists are your friends and that bread baskets are your enemies. There are more tips where that came from; just take a run down Grub Street.
How a Restaurant Critic Diets [Grub Street]