New York City Council Women's Caucus Wants a Woman on the Twenty-Dollar Bill

Categories: Culture, Money

Courtesy Women on 20s
A grassroots push is under way to put Harriet Tubman's face on the twenty-dollar bill.
Today, the New York City Council's Women's Caucus will take to the steps of City Hall to announce a resolution calling for a woman to replace Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill, part of a nationwide initiative organized by a nonprofit called Women on 20s.

Earlier this week, the group announced that Harriet Tubman was the winner of a ten-week online vote to choose which woman it will nominate to grace the twenty-dollar bill by 2020, the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The runners-up were Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller, the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation. More than 600,000 votes were cast.

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This Is How New York City Would Look With 90 Percent Fewer Rats

Categories: Culture, Politics

Tompkins Square Park Central Knoll by David Shankbone. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
A rat-free Tompkins Square Park? Forget about it.
Today, Mayor Bill de Blasio will propose spending $3 million to make permanent a pilot program that reportedly exterminated 80 to 90 percent of rats in seven targeted neighborhoods. The proposal is included in his executive budget for the 2016 fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

While a rat-free New York is nice to think about, like maybe winning the Powerball, or perfectly timing your bus-to-train-to-train commute, the odds of it actually happening are remote. But if the approximately 2 million rats in New York came down to, say, 250,000, what would the city look like?

"I don't think we fully know," says a Fordham University biologist who's become an expert on rat behavior in New York. "It's kind of an impossibility anyway, unless we sort of started over and tore down the city and built it a different way."

But still.

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Infamous 'Club Kid' Michael Alig Takes to eBay to Auction off Artifacts From His Glory Days

Maro Hagopian for the Village Voice
Michael Alig in September 2014, shortly after his release from prison
Almost a year has passed since Nineties nightlife icon Michael Alig was released from prison following his 1997 manslaughter conviction for his role in the murder of fellow club fixture and drug dealer Andre "Angel" Melendez. Although he has reportedly reappeared on the nightlife scene since his release, he has also resurfaced in a less likely place: eBay.

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This Woman Photographed Every Bodega in Manhattan

Categories: Art, Culture

Photo by Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata
Gail Victoria Braddock Quagliata knows the value of a solid pair of walking shoes better than most New Yorkers. Quagliata, a photographer, spent nine months walking every single block of Manhattan in a quest to shoot every one of its bodegas. "I figured, no time like the present to walk the entire island of Manhattan!" she says. She succeeded — and only tore one ankle ligament in the process.

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MTA Celebrates National Poetry Month With Poems-on-Demand in the Fulton Center

Categories: Culture, MTA

Lara Zarum, the Village Voice
Donna Masini
A little boy sporting a blue jacket and glasses skipped through the recently renovated Fulton Center, clutching a custom-made poem in his hands. "It's really good!" he cried.

On Thursday, the Lower Manhattan transit hub doubled as a poet's garret as MTA Arts and Design and the Poetry Society of America joined forces to celebrate National Poetry Month. The event, called "Poetry in Motion: The Poet Is In," invited members of the public to come and have a poem written just for them, on the spot. The two organizations are also responsible for the MTA's "Poetry in Motion" program, which has put poems up in empty ad spaces throughout the MTA system since 1992.

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We Spent a Night on the F Train With Two Showtime Dancers

All photos by Jason Speakman for the Village Voice
"For me, it's either this or the shelter," says showtime dancer Antonio.
It didn't take long for Eli and Antonio to count up their earnings: Each of the subway dancers took home about $11 for two hours of work on a recent Friday on the F Train, from 34th Street to Seventh Avenue in Brooklyn and back, or as they call it, an "up-and-down."

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A Crowdfunding Effort to Shame 'Awful' Explosion Lawsuit Duo Is Nixed by GoFundMe

Screenshot via Fox 5 News
All New Yorkers have that moment when they look at other New Yorkers and wish they would just...leave. And when Nicolas Briseño learned of separate $20 million lawsuits filed by two women who lived near the site of the March 26 building explosion on Second Avenue, he set to work on making them disappear.

He nearly succeeded.

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Female Boxer Heather Hardy Is One Tough Mother

Categories: Culture, Sports

All photos by Dave Gershgorn
Heather Hardy, center, with her ten-year-old daughter, Annie, on the left and her corner-man, on the right, just before her bout in October
Boxer Heather Hardy's reputation in the ring is that she's tenacious and unrelenting. It's not undeserved: She holds a 12-0 record in professional fights. But outside the ring, Hardy, a native of Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, is a single mother of a ten-year-old daughter, Annie. By day, she's a trainer at Gleason's Gym. Back in October, Hardy, nicknamed "The Heat," won the WBC International female super bantamweight title, defeating Crystal Hoy in a fight held at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in midtown.

The below photo essay follows Hardy everywhere during the weeks before that title bout.

Hardy's next fight is this Saturday against Renata Domsodi at the Barclays Center. They are the only two females on the card, headlined by Ryan Burnett fighting Stephon McIntyre. Hardy was one of the first two females to fight at the Barclays Center, doing so in June 2014. She hopes that her continued presence, and ticket sales, will sway Barclays to bring on more female fighters.

"[Gleason's Gym president] Bruce Silverglade used to say that when he goes to the bank and gives them the money, they don't ask him if it came from a man or a woman," Hardy told Team LeftJab Boxing Radio in March.

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Smuggled, Untaxed Cigarettes Are Everywhere in New York City

Jon Campbell
Smuggled cigarettes found during an inspection at a corner store in Long Island City
As six armed officers pour out of two unmarked Ford Explorers on a Long Island City street corner, you can see the confusion on the faces of gawkers and passersby. One woman looks up from her phone and does a sitcom-worthy double-take when she notices their windbreakers, embossed with the word "SHERIFF" in big gold letters, front and back.

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Nearly a Year After His Death, Counterculture Radio Legend Steve Post Still Brings the Laughs

Courtesy Laura Rosenberg
Steve Post
Those familiar with the late FM-radio legend Steve Post likely remember one of the early masters of free-form radio, notorious for his acerbic wit and spontaneous on-air personality. When he died last summer at age 70 after a long battle with lung cancer, he was eulogized as a curmudgeon "who mischievously mocked himself, his employers, his sponsors, and the conventions of broadcasting."

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