Meet the Two New Yorkers Who Are Starting a Preschool for Adults

Categories: Culture, Education

Courtesy of Michelle Joni Lapidos.
These women want to transport you back to a time of glitter and glue and everything nice.

Michelle Joni Lapidos is the girl who would not grow up.

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New York Has Third Lowest Gun Death Rate in Nation

Categories: Crime
The Violence Policy Center released its annual state rankings yesterday, and New York comes in strong, as the state with the third lowest per capita rates of gun fatalities for 2013, the year the study examined.More »

Councilwoman Margaret Chin Is Fighting to Make 'Bad Landlords' Pay Up-Front

Categories: Real Estate

Courtesy of the office of Margaret Chin
Margaret Chin
New York's slumlords force out their rent-stabilized tenants in a number of horrific and well-documented ways: They tear out fireproofing, they punch holes in basement walls, they take axes to boilers and water mains. But the real problems are vacate orders that put tenants out on the street.

Lower Manhattan councilwoman Margaret Chin has again taken up her fight to stop those damning orders at the source.

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A Fervent Cop Supporter Changes His Mind About NYPD After Gravity Knife Arrest

Categories: Courts, NYPD

Courtesy: Carsten Vogel
Carsten Vogel's arrest under an archaic knife law has changed his view of police.
A few weeks ago, when relations between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio were at their nadir, some of Carsten Vogel's friends had been enthusiastically bashing the NYPD on Facebook.

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NYC Taxi App Designed to Compete With Uber Has Unlikely Support From Rideshare Advocate

Categories: Transportation

Photo credit: Ian Muttoo via Compfight cc
Councilman Ben Kallos wants to bring a new cab-hailing app to NYC.

When City Councilman Ben Kallos proposed a taxi-hailing app that would allow New Yorkers to summon yellow and green cabs from their phones, he hoped to help city-licensed taxis compete in a market increasingly impinged upon by ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft.

Ironically, his plan already has the support of at least one rideshare start-up, and it's the city's biggest cab drivers union, the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, that remains lukewarm on the proposal.

See also:
How Some Illegal Taxi Drivers Are Fighting Back Against the Green Cab Program

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New York's Nonexistent Blizzard Has Created a Blood Supply 'Emergency'

Categories: Science

Photo credit: peltierchevy via Compfight cc
Our fair city may have dodged a bullet, as the so-called Blizzard of 2015 drifted eastward and spared the Big Apple most of the doomsday scenarios that meteorologists and, ultimately, public officials had predicted.

But as New Yorkers braced for the storm and prepared for the worst, they apparently stopped giving blood. And now the New York Blood Center is asking for more.

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Take Flight with These 25 Drone Films From the NYC Drone Film Fest

Categories: Film and TV

A sped-up shot from "Aerial NYC" by Randy Scot Slavin

Randy Scott Slavin is something of a drone evangelist.

"People have never seen the inside of a volcano before. But drones have gone there," the filmmaker says of the airborne, remote-controlled computers. "There are so many ways these technologies can be used for good."

That's why Slavin founded the New York City Drone Film Festival, which has just announced its lineup of screenings at the prestigious Directors Guild of America Theater in Manhattan on March 7.

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Man Who Wanted His Snow Shoveled, then Oral Sex, Is the Craigslist Blizzard Hookup Winner

Categories: Booty

Photo credit: Aimee Custis Photography via Compfight cc
The snowpocalypse is behind us and, like a hastily arranged internet sexual encounter, it was short and deeply dissatisfying. Bored, hungry, and fearing for their lives, New Yorkers took to the internet in droves to try to find some companionship for the end-times. Here's the crème de la crème of Craigslist love-seekers who were just trying to take this half-assed blizzard to bonetown. Links are wildly NSFW.

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Here's How Mayor Bill de Blasio's Expressive Sign Language Interpreter Got the Job

Categories: Politics, Weather

During recent emergency press conferences about Ebola and potentially life-threatening blizzards, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has had to share a little of the limelight.

That's because, just a little off to Hizzoner's right, a deaf interpreter has been drawing audience eyes with his deeply expressive sign language. His name's Jonathan Lamberton.

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Here's How the MTA Got All of Its Trains Underground

Categories: MTA, Weather

Screenshot from Twitter
The train schedule from last night until this morning

Following Governor Andrew Cuomo's directive for all state agencies to be prepared for Winter Storm Juno, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority stabled all of its passenger trains overnight on January 26 to protect them from the coming snowy onslaught. According to MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz, during the suspension of passenger service, which took effect at 11 p.m. that night, a handful of "work trains" armed with snow-fighting equipment continued running. MTA workers and trains cleared snow and ice from tracks and platforms throughout the evening.

See also: The MTA's 'Ghost Trains' Were Nothing More Than a Power-Generating Exercise

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Here's Why the 'Historic Blizzard' Weather Forecast Was Wrong

Categories: Science
As 2015's great blizzard fizzled into not much more than a moderate snowstorm, people started asking what went wrong. More »

Meet the Ex-Pitcher Whose Fair-Pay Lawsuit Is a Sore Spot for Major League Baseball

Photo: Steve Truesdell
Garrett Broshuis struggled financially during his six-year tour in the minors. Now the recent law school grad has filed a first-of-its-kind lawsuit accusing Major League Baseball of violating federal wage laws.
Garrett Broshuis remembers heading from the diamond to the locker room back in April 2009 when his coach called him into the office. Broshuis's knees seemed to register the significance of the invite as quickly as his brain, causing the six-foot-two-inch pitcher to wobble awkwardly. Having spent five years in the San Francisco Giants farm system, Broshuis knew it was never a good thing to be called into the coach's office, especially on the last day of spring training.

"I was basically told that I didn't have a future in the Giants organization," recalls the ex-athlete, who, as a pitcher for the University of Missouri–Columbia Tigers, went 11-0 his senior year, tying a school record. But the Giants didn't completely sever ties with Broshuis that day. Instead, the organization gave him the option to ride out the season as a "filler," a sparring partner of sorts for guys who — unlike him — might actually have a shot at the bigs.

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The MTA's 'Ghost Trains' Were Nothing More Than a Power-Generating Exercise

Categories: MTA, Weather

Screenshot via YouTube
Subway trains resumed service at 9 a.m., and a Sunday schedule was expected to be in effect by noon. But while most of New York was asleep, many so-called "work trains" continued to run throughout the subway system, confusing some and angering others.

But Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials say that running the trains was necessary to keep the lines open.

"It's normal process," MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast said during a press briefing this morning.

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Mayor Bill de Blasio Defends Traffic Ban During the #BlizzardOf2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that "We got lucky. Things turned out a lot better than we feared, but we were prepared."

Update, 12:11 p.m.
With New York having seen much less snow than anticipated, Mayor Bill de Blasio is defending the decision to institute a travel ban on all non-emergency vehicles — even food delivery bicycles — throughout the city. "The bottom line is, we got lucky," de Blasio said during a press conference on Tuesday. "Would you rather be ahead of the action or behind?...To me it was a no-brainer: We had to take precautions to keep people safe."

While New York City saw only about eight inches of snow, nearby counties on Long Island got about two feet, he said. "You can't be a Monday-morning quarterback on something like the weather.

"The good news is people took the travel ban seriously," de Blasio added, saying that because people stayed inside, snowplows were able to clear the streets quickly overnight. "That allowed the Sanitation Department to do an extraordinary job."

No summonses or arrests were issued for anyone violating the travel ban, according to police, who pointed to successfully emptied streets.

Parks throughout the city are now open, and public schools will be open again tomorrow.

"Was I heavily lobbied by a certain public school student? Yes," says de Blasio. "[My son] Dante made his best attempt to convince me schools should be closed tomorrow. But his attempt failed."

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Blizzard Babies Are Not Really a Thing

Categories: Science

Photo credit: Alex Lupo via Compfight cc
Evidence suggests there will be no "blizzard babies." But, by all means, prove us wrong.
Mark your calendars, New Yorkers.

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Ex-Governor David Paterson's Drug Law Reforms Are Actually Sort of Almost Working

Categories: Courts
A landmark 2009 reform of New York's drug laws seems to be working as more offenders are being diverted to treatment programs rather than languishing behind bars.

A study released by the nonprofit Vera Institute also finds that there has been less of a racial disparity in sentencing since the reforms were enacted, and for those who do end up doing time, recidivism rates seem to be on the decline as well.

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This New Jersey Strip Club Can Be Yours for Just $850,000 on Craigslist

Categories: Shopping

Via Craigslist
Every day, another app pops up to "disrupt" something painfully simple (like peeing). Invariably, the app goes public and, eventually, nets its child overlord enough cash to buy some seriously stupid shit. Sadly for our collective schadenfreude, not nearly enough of them are going full Kenny Powers with this new purchasing power. Luckily, the good people of New York Craigslist are here to help. Here's a handful of over-the-top expensive and totally unnecessary stuff that New Yorkers are offloading on the internet. Newly minted Box millionaires, take note: This is how you really make a splash.

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Joe Franklin Made Boredom Beatific

Joe Franklin, 1926–2015
If ever asked, most insufferable snobs would probably credit fey, whey-colored genius Andy Warhol for turning boredom into an art form. Especially those movies of his where nothing happens for, like, nine hours. But New Yorkers of a certain age might voice a different choice. Yes, my friends, it would be Joe Franklin, who died on January 24 at age 88, who made boredom beatific.

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Are New York City's Rats Really Partial to Chinese Food?

Categories: Science

Here's a Google Map that shows where evidence of rats was identified in official reports by inspectors for all of 2014 and up to January 20, 2015. Click over to the map to also see the more than 7,700 restaurants cited as having evidence of mice during the same period.

As anyone who's ever ridden the subway or walked through Tompkins Square Park after dark can attest, rats are a problem in New York. In fact, in a city with more than 8 million residents, there is roughly one rat for every four people in the five boroughs. So it's no real surprise that, according to public data released by the city health department, inspectors found rats at more than 900 New York restaurants in 2014. Meanwhile, a report based on that data, released by Vocativ, reveals that those rats appear to frequent American, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants more than any other establishments.

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You'll Never Guess What TSA Inspectors Confiscated at NYC Airports in 2014

Courtesy of the Transportation Security Administration
For some reason, a traveler tried to carry this sickle in his carry-on bag at Newark Liberty Airport.

From expandable batons and "sword canes" to gun parts and a really terrifying-looking sickle, New York and New Jersey's Transportation Security Administration inspectors have made some interesting finds over the past year. While, thankfully, none of the region's three major airports are listed on the TSA's list of top airports for gun seizures, travelers in the area still managed to keep inspectors busy.

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