'I Want People to Be in a State of Moral Struggle': Q&A With Against Football Author

Categories: Football

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"The point of this book isn't to shit on your happiness," author Steve Almond insists in Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto. Football, after all, has given America much happiness, and Almond spends 170-plus pages detailing all that is wrong with the sport. But it is not a blind critique. Almond is a football fan himself, emotionally invested in the Oakland Raiders since childhood. And in his book, which hit shelves last week, he explores the moral quandary that football fans face as research continues to reveal the sport's damaging long-terms effects on the brains of its players.

Almond, who will speak at the Strand on Monday, recently discussed with the Voice his thoughts on America's relationship with football and what he hopes readers take from the book.

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NYFW: Inside Karen Walker's Secret Garden

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Nikkitha Bakshani
Karen Walker
Gardens have been a popular theme this Fashion Week, but Karen Walker's models are not in the expected garden party dress code. Her models wear dungarees, pinafores and potter's jackets; gingham and pictures of burning gazebos; denim and suede. Self-described as "high casual," the brand eschews pretentiousness -- the Karen Walker girl knows how to wrestle with her plants, not just look pretty amongst them.

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Charles Barron Wins Inez Barron's Former State Assembly Seat, Completing Swap

Categories: Brooklyn, Politics

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Christopher Farber
Last year, 60th District State Assemblywomen Inez Barron vacated her seat after winning the election for the 42nd District city council seat. Her husband, Charles Barron, had held that seat for 12 years, and he had termed-out.

On Tuesday, Charles Barron won the election for the state assembly seat Inez Barron had vacated. The couple pulled off the seat swap.

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Andrew Cuomo Wins Democratic Primary, Defeating Challenger Zephyr Teachout [Updated]

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Image via Twitter
Andrew Cuomo voting at the Presbyterian Church of Mount Kisco this morning.
In a tighter-than-expected race, Governor Andrew Cuomo has defeated his long-shot Democratic primary challenger Zephyr Teachout. With 41 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press is declaring the governor the victor. His pick for lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, has also defeated Teachout's running mate, Tim Wu. Although the results are still coming in, Teachout and Wu did far better than expected; Teachout looks to have pulled around 35.5 percent of the vote to Cuomo's 60. Wu did slightly better, 39 percent to Hochul's 60. The third gubernatorial candidate in the running, comedian Randy Credico, came away with about 4 percent of the vote.

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Confusing Mailers Almost Make It Look Like the New Yorker and the Times Endorsed Cuomo

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Image via Rebecca Mead on Twitter
It's Primary Day, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has emerged at long last from hibernation. The governor is facing off in today's Democratic primaries against Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham law professor who, though she has a very slim chance at victory, has still given Cuomo a surprisingly uncomfortable few months. In the last week, the governor has finally begun actively campaigning, appearing in the last couple days at a rally in Times Square and at the Labor Day parade with Kathy Hochul, his pick for lieutenant governor, where they awkwardly tried to avoid making eye contact with Teachout or her running mate, Tim Wu, who were cheerily and persistently trying to introduce themselves, even as one of the governor's aides threw himself in their path, human shield-style. (After a video of the incident was widely circulated, Cuomo told a group of reporters the incident had been misinterpreted: "I never saw her.")

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Early-Summer Spike in Gun Violence Followed by Safest August in 20 Years

Categories: Crime

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Joe Lhota via YouTube
Joe Lhota was wrong.
There was a moment back in June when CompStat computers kept spitting out calculations that showed gun violence on the rise and, gradually, a dark, sinking thought settled over the city: What if Joe Lhota was right and the streets of New York would be bathed in blood before summer was over? What if we chose...poorly?

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Alt-Cabaret Provocateur Bridget Everett Is the Most Exciting Performer in New York City

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All photos by C.S. Muncy for the Village Voice.
Everett describes her rapport with Joe's Pub audiences as "fucking 200 people, and we're going to have coffee in the morning!"
"Hit the track!" Bridget Everett growls as she lowers herself to the lip of the Joe's Pub stage, lifting the hem of her flowing silver gown to flash the sold-out crowd in time to the slinky r&b beat.

"Short one, long one, doesn't matter/Just suck on that bean, watch it get fatter/You've had a bad day, you're feeling like shit/You want to beat something up? Beat up this clit/Here's the combination to my lovely lady locker/She'll pop in your mouth like Orville Redenbacher."

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NYFW: Newcomer Daniel Silverstain Channels Brazilian Futurism

Categories: Fashion Week

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All photos by Nikkitha Bakshani
Daniel Silverstain models.
Daniel Silverstain's atelier is in a nondescript midtown building near the Fashion Institute of Technology. Disgruntled office workers waited alongside photographers, bloggers and stylists as the event staff scrolled through the guest list on their iPads. "Just let them up first," one of them told the other through gritted teeth, as more people filled the vestibule, including the designer's grandparents. This was the Israeli designer's first New York Fashion Week show.

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Brownsville's Mo Better Jaguars Open Pop Warner Season With Dominant Win

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Albert Samaha
After weeks of tackling drills and wind sprints, the season has finally begun.
Last year was a lean one for the Mo Better Jaguars Pop Warner program of Brownsville, Brooklyn. As we chronicled in a November feature story, the 2013 season was the first time none of the program's teams made the playoffs. But while it was a down year, it did not lack flashes of hope.

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Public Housing Rapidly Deteriorating, But Better Than Tenements of Yore, Stringer Says

Categories: Housing

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Jacob Riis
A still from Jacob Riis' How the Other Half Lives
Comptroller Scott Stringer released a report of the city's public housing conditions on Monday. The good news? "Nearly 125 years after Jacob Riis published How the Other Half Lives, exposing conditions in New York City's crowded tenement buildings, the state of the city's housing stock has dramatically improved."

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South Brooklyn Politicians Argue Over Bizarre Flyer Depicting Latino Reverend Erick Salgado As Palestinian

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Screenshot via.
Reverend Salgado yells at Assemblyman Cymbrowitz from across the street.
Things are getting surprisingly heated in Sheepshead Bay, a sleepy, elderly, primarily Russian and Orthodox Jewish neighborhood in South Brooklyn, where two Democrats facing off in tomorrow's primary are accusing each other of fun things like racism, anti-Israel sentiment and "trivializing the Holocaust."

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Obama Punts on Immigration, and Rightbloggers Can't Run It Back

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[Roy Edroso dissects the right-wing blogosphere in this weekly feature]

Last week President Obama, who had been threatening to issue a new executive order on immigration, suddenly backed off, saying he'd revisit the subject after the elections.

This seems transparently political to us and everyone else -- and on Meet the Press on Sunday, Obama sort of admitted it was. But is it good politics -- that is, helpful at the polls? From the reaction of rightbloggers, we can see a case for it.


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Venice Update: Ethan Hawke's Good Kill Is an Intimate War on Terror Drama

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Photo by Lorey Sebastian
Ethan Hawke in Good Kill.
Today is my last day in Venice, which always makes me blue. Yesterday morning, on the way to my final screening, a tourist with an Eastern European accent I couldn't quite identify stopped me a block or so from the sad and shuttered Hotel des Bains and asked me if it was open. "I have seen it in the Visconti film," he said, referring to the 1971 adaptation of Death in Venice, "and was hoping to go inside." When I told him that the hotel had been closed for several years now, and that the proposed construction to turn this grand old building into luxury condominiums had stalled out, he looked as forlorn as the building itself does. "I had hoped they'd turned it into a museum," he said.

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NYFW: Australian to Amish with Catherine Litke, Thaddeus O'Neil and Mark & Estel

Categories: Fashion Week

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All photos by Heather Baysa
Litke models
It's that time again: when ragweed allergens and cakey runway makeup wage an unsightly war for possession of your face.

New York Fashion Week began on Wednesday and if any theme has emerged so far, it's "get out of New York."

True -- Gotham compiles every culture, and so our own can never really be defined. Maybe that's why so many designers' SS15 collections seem structured around a niche aesthetic.

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Staten Island Teachers Furious Their Union Didn't Want Them to Wear NYPD Shirts to the First Day of School

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Image via Facebook
A group of teachers, reportedly from P.S. 220 in Queens, posted photos of themselves in NYPD shirts.
A group of public school teachers in Staten Island planned to wear T-shirts supporting the New York Police Department to the first day of school yesterday, but most backed off after warnings from their union, the United Federation of Teachers. The Staten Island Advance reports that more than 600 shirts reading "New York's Brightest Supports New York's Finest #ThankYouNYPD" were purchased from a specialty T-shirt printing company in Staten Island earlier this month. A group of teachers, pictured above, reportedly from P.S. 220 in Queens, posted photos of themselves in NYPD shirts in an apparent act of solidarity, although it's not clear if they actually wore them to class.

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There Has Been a 4,000% Increase in Ankle-Monitoring of Women in New York This Year

Categories: Immigration

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Tessa Stuart
One mother with an ATD ankle monitor.
New York's Immigrations and Customs Enforcement field office has dramatically increased the number of women whose movements it is tracking via GPS-enabled ankle monitors this year, according to statistics provided to the Voice.

In 2012 ICE put only 24 ankle monitors on women in New York; in 2013 that number decreased slightly, to just 18. This year, though, the New York field office has put a staggering 719 women in ankle monitors — a 3,894 percent increase year to year.


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Joan Rivers, Reviewed in 1967: 'I Don't Know How a Nervous Girl Can Be So Funny'

In February of 1967, Joan Rivers, then 33 years old, performed her stand-up act at the Downstairs at the Upstairs (37 West 56th Street). She killed. She had yet to hit the peak of her fame. She was also a bit of an anomaly: A WOMAN COMIC! Writing for this paper in the February 23, 1967, issue, Bill Manville contributed the below review of her set. Rivers died today at age 81 at Mount Sinai Hospital.

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Venice Film Festival: Michael Almereyda Makes Magic with Cymbeline

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Cymbeline is the misunderstood schoolchild of Shakespeare's plays, the misfit who speaks up at odd times and sometimes says the wrong thing, awkward in all kinds of obvious ways. It's a special-needs play, but the beauty of it is right there in its bones, not least because in it we can see the great playwright's life -- that is to say, his career -- flashing before his eyes. A scheming queen, a heroine who disguises herself as a boy, a pair of semi-star-crossed lovers, a potion that gives the illusion of sleep -- it's all there in Cymbeline, a kind of greatest-hits scrapbook, and the play that even those who claim to love Shakespeare are least likely to defend.

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Tenants in New York Observer Publisher's Building Say 'Nonstop Construction' Is Meant to Drive Them Out [Updated]

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Image via Google Maps
170 and 174 E. 2nd Street, with adjacent psychic
In December 2013, New York Observer publisher and real estate magnate Jared Kushner bought two connected buildings, 170-174 East 2nd Street. (The buildings are laden with some serious New York history: Allen Ginsberg lived at 170 for three years and wrote "Kaddish" there.) In the intervening nine months, landlord-tenant relations have gone swiftly and steadily south. First, Kushner's company distributed eviction notices to many of the current tenants, with an eye toward converting the apartments into higher-end versions of themselves, according to DNAInfo. That resulted in a nasty and, in some cases, ongoing fight in Housing Court. Now the remaining tenants, many of them living in rent-stabilized apartments, say the constant construction in the building is causing broken tiles, eroding floors, collapsing ceilings and weeks in which their mail has gone undelivered. They allege the chaos is deliberate, part of an attempt to force them out to attract newer, fancier tenants, the kind who don't mind paying $2,658 for a one-bedroom. A group of the remaining tenants are planning a protest today in front of their own buildings.

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Why Were New York Government Websites Hidden From an Internet Archive for 13 Years?

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Credit: Screenshot
Someone in New York State government apparently didn't want the Wayback Machine archiving their goods.
The nonprofit Internet Archive has an impossibly ambitious mission: to save a copy of every last piece of the public internet, forever, and to make the records freely available for anyone to use.

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