Happy 75th Birthday, Henry Hudson Bridge!

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The double-decker Henry Hudson Bridge, which links Manhattan to the Bronx, is 75 today! Originally designed for a casual jaunt in and out of the suburbs, the bridge became a thoroughfare once commuters started moving north. The Riverdale Public Library is celebrating the bridge's dodrascentennial (thanks, Google!) with a month-long exhibit featuring Depression-era photographs of the bridge's construction.

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Grand Central Apple Store Opens, Is Gigantic

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Thousands of people crammed into the Apple store in Grand Central for its opening today, and we decided to pop in and check it out. For a 23,000 square-foot flagship store, the new Apple store occupying the east balcony of Grand Central Terminal is pretty invisible. In fact, the most striking thing about the store is its seemingly negligible presence on the terminal. From ground level, the only things giving away the presence of the world's largest Apple store are the two glowing logos and the sardine-like density on the stairway.

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Wampum, Hamptons Skate Shop, Will Open SoHo Location Next Week

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Skaters, take note: A new high-end skate shop is opening in SoHo next week. Wampum, a Bridgehampton skate boutique run by the Ficalora brothers (it's located behind their mom's jewelry store), is expanding into Manhattan.

Marley and Lennon Ficalora opened Wampum in June in Bridgehampton. Their mother, jewelry designer Helen Ficalora, owned a store on Main Street, and her sons, both lifelong skaters, decided to buy the space behind it to open a store specializing in skating and high-end fashion. The Ficalora brothers found it challenging. "We didn't really sleep for the first two weeks," said Marley Ficalora over the phone.

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New York City Hits Record 70 Degrees. In November.

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By now you've surely noticed the death rays in our atmosphere that resulted in unseasonably warm temperatures as the city finished digesting its Thanksgiving meal. The New York Times has just reported that today, November 28, 2011, is the warmest November 28 on record since 1896, tied with 1990. This means you can walk around New York like it's an autumn movie set, what with the blustery winds and colored trees, without the shivering and runny noses that fall usually brings.

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Grand Central Apple Store Ad Masquerades as a Train Timetable

Grand Central Terminal's new Apple store is opening soon, and has been shielded by a temporary construction screen that doubles as a moving ad. It simulates the old Grand Central timetables, with flipping letters. The display, which says things like, "Apple Store, Grand Central, Arriving Soon," "Grand Central Has Added Another Stop," and "Use Personal Pickup, And Your Order Arrives Before You Do," blends in pretty well -- it's possible that commute-addled travelers will miss it entirely. We hope the same cannot be said for their trains.

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Union Square Holiday Market Now Open, Park Smells Like Cinnamon

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Now in its eighteenth year, the Union Square Holiday Market opened yesterday--a week before Black Friday. The "Christmas episode" of the year-round Greenmarket features wares from local knickknackeries. Neighborhood fixtures like Wafels and Dinges are there, as are unusual businesses like the one specializing in alpaca hats, which look super warm. Unlike a lot of other open-air markets, this one actually sells original merchandise--you won't see seven kiosks selling identical Christmas tree tchotchkes (but rest assured, there are many Christmas tree tchotchkes).


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Will New York City Pedestrians Move for Bike Bells? We Find Out.

The video above portrays the technique of YouTube poster MCOTOMOSHIROI, who has discovered how to motivate slow walkers to get out of his way. As this is relevant to our interests, we decided to see if his method was as successful on the streets of Manhattan as it was in Japan. The "MCOTOMOSHIROI Approach" involves only a bike bell and some disdain toward humanity. We chose the most annoying bell we could find, and set out to become a social irritant.


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Hotel Chelsea Undergoing Renovations, Tenants Protest With Sign

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The Hotel Chelsea.
Three signs hang outside neighborhood landmark Hotel Chelsea. The first, a small laminated sheet of paper, announces the temporary closure of the hotel. After Hotel Chelsea was sold to developer Joseph Chetrit, things changed. On August 2nd, the hotel closed to vistors and guests, isolating itself as a massive renovation began. Non-union workers tore out century-old infrastructure, along with decades-old artwork by the luminary former tenants. Chetrit's vision is an Ace Hotel West, another upscale hangout spot for the cool and monied in the continued reinvention of Chelsea. As a result, the art had to go.

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Guard Thwarts Armored Truck Robbery Outside Williamsburg Deli

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Don't come between a security guard and his breakfast. The New York Post reports of a struggle earlier this morning between a masked assailant and a security guard outside of East Williamsburg's Late Night Deli on Metropolitan and Olive Street (the Post incorrectly reported it as Oliver St, which is on the Lower East Side and has a fairly decent Chinese place).


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Occupy Wall Street's De-Escalation Squad Settles Conflict, Eats Cookies

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Ari Lipsitz
Brendan Burke
As Occupy Wall Street sticks around for a second month, the Voice is mapping out the way things work at Zuccotti Park. Meet the Occupiers is a series that profiles the who's who of Zuccotti: the key characters and working groups that keep the occupation going.

At Zuccotti Park last Saturday, a heated dispute broke out between one of the new security detail recruits and a protester. Tension rose as the former, a wiry man with gold teeth, and the latter, a more "alt" grad-school-chic guy, lobbed insults at each other.

Then Brendan Burke, an initial organizer of the security/conflict de-escalation working group, stepped in. Burke came on the scene with arms folded, back straight, blue eyes locked on target -- the classic authority pose. He asked what the issue was; it turned out the protester had accused the recruit of an unnamed crime. Burke stayed diplomatic, taking neither side, and mediated the argument. Nobody was exactly hugging five minutes later, but Burke had managed to thwart a potentially bigger conflict. He got himself a bowl of cookies from the food line.

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