Kansas Rep. Macheers's Excuse for Discriminating Against Gay Folks: "Discrimination Is Horrible"

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New Yorkers, as you haul yourself out into yet another carve-open-a-Tauntaun level snow day, you might be able to use a quick hit of "Oh, yeah, that's why I live here!" So, relish this: You are not represented by Charles Macheers.

Macheers, a Republican rep in the Kansas statehouse, recently introduced a bill that would make it legal for citizens and businesses in the state to refuse to recognize marriages and civil unions as a matter of "sincerely held religious belief" -- and to legalize the denial of goods, services, and even employee benefits to couples.

As Macheers has it, the bill's impetus is that no God-fearing Kansas florist should be forced to whip up bouquets for a gay wedding. To prevent that, Macheers would make it legal for any Kansas business or government official to deny basic services to any couple whose relationship that business owner/official finds offensive. Don't like your employees' new husband? Claim Baby Jesus told you he shouldn't get health insurance!

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Photographer Stephen Wilkes Collapses Day and Night in New York City in Photo Series

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Stephen Wilkes
Park Avenue, day and night
New York's charms ripen at different times of day: while the sun is up, the city pulsates with purpose. There's the same vibration and torque in the grandest of achievements as are in the most mundane of errands. At night, the city blooms into something else, thicker maybe, but fiery and always new. Stephen Wilkes, a Connecticut-based photographer, has rendered images of the city's places that try to get us to feel all of it at once. His "Day to Night" series, which includes Shanghai and D.C., shows us New York in its eternal present, the bustle of the day and the exuberance of the night sitting right on top of each other. Here are some images from his series that made me wish I was better at poetry.

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Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map: John Randel Jr., and the Manhattan grid

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Much of Manhattan was made long in the past--or long enough ago that its boundaries are often seen as acceptable and natural, while the people who live on the fringe (read: above 96th Street) are easily forgotten when defining the character of the city. (This tendency became briefly regretful when, during Superstorm Sandy, word got out that people in Washington Heights were taking hot showers, getting drunk, and enjoying a day off while everyone downtown stumbled around in the dark). Certainly there are exceptions; Columbia's expansion into West Harlem, and its disruption of neighborhood borders, gets lots of coverage from uptown blogs like Harlem + Bespoke, which are both agents and critics of gentrification.


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The Voice Talks To KNPR About the 37 Reasons Why We Hate Las Vegas [AUDIO]

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Steven Thrasher
Reason No. 19 to hate Las Vegas: even the pools are designed to TAKE YOUR MONEY
We must admit: when KNPR, the NPR affiliate of Las Vegas, contacted us and asked, "Do you want to come on the air to talk about '37 Reasons Why An Unapologetically Judgmental New Yorkers Hates Las Vegas'?" we were a tad nervous. In fact, the polite, kind and good-natured people at KNPR's State of Nevada almost made us feel guilty for writing the anti-Vegas screed. (Well, almost.)

We went on the air with them on Friday to talk about our list and to try to be a little less screechy about why we didn't like the city. Some of the reasons are pure snark ("No. 10: There are 31 flavors of Cirque Du Soleil, all peddling the same shit with a different soundtrack") while others are more serious ("No. 32: When you realize an entire "city's" "economy" is based on this madness, it makes sense why it spent 22 straight months as the metro area with the highest rate of home foreclosure").

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Nora Ephron, R.I.P.: We'll Always Have What She's Having

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It's no understatement to say that this New Yorker would not be a New Yorker but for Nora Ephron.

It's kind of bizarre, given how much my writing life has drifted from what first, in a roundabout way, brought me to New York City: the writing of Nora Ephron. Friends and readers who are familiar with my work might giggle at this, but I must admit it's true; there is perhaps no other writer more responsible for shaping my professional aspirations than the 71-year-old Ephron who died today.

As a 14-year-old freshman in high school drama class in Oxnard, California, I was enthralled when seniors did a scene from a new movie I'd never seen called When Harry Met Sally. Intrigued about how they'd learned their lines from a movie still in theaters (and not a play), I asked them and found out they'd gotten them from the screenplay of the film.

Screenplay? I'd never heard of such a thing.

And off I was to the Oxnard Public Library, checking out this screenplay by Nora Ephron.

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New Yorkers Love, Hate Everything

So, maybe Valentine's Day has you a little bit down about relationships. (Or not! We won't judge.) But either way, there should still be a little room left to celebrate what you love (and hate) about that city. To that end, the interactive mapping website MyBlockNYC compiled two separate videos, made up of crowdsourced video clips, doing just that.

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Photographer Lauren Fleishman Chronicles 'Love Ever After'

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Lauren Fleishman
After freelance photographer Lauren Fleishman's grandfather died, she found a book next to his bed containing love letters written to her grandmother. "That inspired me to start seeking out couples that have been married for over 50 years," she told Runnin' Scared on the phone today. Fleishman has been working on the project for three years, and is now seeking funds on Kickstarter to help her photograph more couples and turn her work into a book. We admit we have been cynical about the current onslaught of love-themed media, but we are smitten with these stories of long-lasting New York-area romance.

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Valentine's Day Report: New Yorkers Want To Date And Move At The Same Time

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Valentine's Day might have lost the allure of romance (or, rather, sex) for some people, but there is still some hope in the city. We checked in with site HowAboutWe -- which encourages the lovelorn to post ideas for dates -- and were told that New York postings have been steadily rising since January 13. That's when, as HowAboutWe.com media director Erin Scottberg said, holiday malaise has run its course, those "why are you still single?" questions are still on the brain, and Valentine's Day hype starts getting going. Last year, according to Scottberg, there was an increase in the number of dates posted through Feb. 14 (the big day). That then leveled out until the beginning of March when people started to embark on finding springtime beaus. But what have New Yorkers been wanting to do on their posted dates recently? Go tour a sewage plant? Not exactly, but let's just say that New Yorkers have been looking for something more than just a pleasant time with another person.

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Don't Care About Football? Care About New York.

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This blogger doesn't like football. If she's going to watch a sport it's going to be baseball and she's going to root for the Yankees. Therefore, this Super Bowl Sunday, this blogger is not going to tell you which players to watch. In fact, the only ones she really feels qualified to even mention are Eli Manning and Gisele Bündchen's husband. (Just kidding, she totally knows that his name is Tom Brady.) That said, she is going to care about the Super Bowl outcome, and New Yorkers, you should too.

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MyBlockNYC Wants New Yorkers' Loves And Hates For Valentine's

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Valentine's Day can elicit strong emotions. For a holiday purporting to celebrate the sweetest of emotions, vitriol seems just as common as saccharine. MyBlockNYC, an interactive mapping website" that encourages users to post videos corresponding to certain NYC blocks, is hosting a Valentine's Day contest that hopes New Yorkers share both their objects of adoration and revulsion with a camera. To enter the contest, competitors are supposed to ask New Yorkers what they love and hate and record and upload videos of the answers.

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