Mayor Bloomberg, President Obama and the Politics of Gun Control [UPDATED]

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UPDATED (1/15/13): On the one-month anniversary of Newtown, we heard yet more news about gun control from our mayor and president.

In Baltimore, Bloomberg attended a summit on the topic at John Hopkins University and, once again, called for more action on a national level. His speech outlined his federal advisory role we mentioned in this post a few weeks ago; in it, he made clear the specific demands he has been discussing with Vice President Joe Biden's task force.

In Washington, Obama gave the final press conference of his first term. Before chastising the House Republicans for debt ceiling stalemates, the president made clear that he would be reviewing the VP's work this week. In addition, he stressed the need for a federal assault weapons ban -- a demand that Bloomberg made clear just a few cities away.

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The Leap Second Will Destroy Your Social Media

And we were scared of a measly heat wave.

At midnight Saturday, while the ConEd officials were facing off against its workers, the Earth's timekeepers (they exist!) held back the world's atomic time for exactly one second to keep it in line with the planet's rotation. 

The Network TIme Protocol (NTP), a software that numerous Internet services use to keep up with that atomic time, was unable to comprehend the extra second. Crashing ensued in a situation very similar to Y2K, except this time it actually happened.

But this time around, there were a bit more victims than the Netflix, Instagram and Pinterest - all of which are back up and functioning - casualties on Friday night. Andre Tartas of New York Magazine listed the various services we lost (but will not forget) for an hour or so: Reddit, Gizmodo, Gawker, 4Chan (ironic?), LinkedIn, Foursquare, Linux (that's still used?), Yelp, Meetup and Pirate Bay (also ironic).

That's too many sites for us to crack who-cares-if-it's-down jokes about.
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McCarren Park Pool Party Poopers Force Early Close

Sam Horine for the Village Voice
That headline alliteration was hard for us to say, too.

On Thursday, after three years of renovations that cost over $50 million, the "hipster playground" known as McCarren Park Pool re-opened with a cutting ceremony led by Mayor Bloomberg and hundreds of heat refugees. (We brought our camera there, too).

Back in the good ol' days, the Pool was a huge attraction in the area and, in recent years after the basin was emptied of H20, it became a hotbed for concerts. And how cool it was to see a show in an empty public pool. 

Alas, the water has returned, just in time for this heat wave.

The Hozziner remarked that the new addition to Williamsburg "has an illustrious past and a bright future." But, after last night's events, we're not so sure about the second part of that statement... It looks like the heat might be getting to a few pool-goers' heads.
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How to Handle Penn Station Without Popping a Xanax

How to Survive Penn Station Without Really Tryng
There's an advertisement on the subways that you might have seen. It describes a project in the works - the largest public works extravaganza in the country - known as East Side Access: a portal from Grand Central Terminal that will outsource time and trains from Penn Station. As the sign says, "Commuting will be 40 minutes shorter. For 80,000 commuters. That's a lot of minutes." 

Unfortunately, that architectural endeavor will not be done for some time and, if the 2nd Avenue Subway is any indication (shout-out to the Sandhogs!), that some time could mean years. So we're stuck with Penn Station for the time being.

Crammed in between Madison Square Garden and an underlining subway hub, the intersection of the LIRR, Path, Amtrak and Acela is a transportation nightmare for anyone trying to get somewhere fast, especially around peak hours, when tolls almost double for whatever the reason. Tourists gawk at the food options; commuters stare faceless at the Big Board; and the stampede that follows a train track appearance is something out of Jumanji.

Ever since I jumped ship from Long Island to Manhattan, I have become a master commuter and Penn Station aficionado. Babylon, Hempstead, Port Washington, parts of Jersey, the 1, 2, 3, A, C and E lines - you name it, I've ridden it out of Penn. Nonetheless, my experiences are still filled with fear, anxiety and a pace that would make Jesse Jackson look like your grandma. We all have that friend in Jersey or Long Island that insists we come visit them. With that being said, that means you have to suck it up and deal with it.

But don't be scared. We here at the Voice have compiled a list of tips to get you in and out of Penn Station safe, sound and emotionally stable.
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Mitt Romney Condoms, 'for Anyone With an Elitist Penis,' Hit the Market

And now we present a form of birth control that will make people want to be abstinent. Forever.

Runnin' Scared introduces the Mitt Romney condom -- recently unveiled by the same New York company that first marketed Barack Obama rubbers in 2008 (h/t New York Post).

Say It With a Condom's "Never Settle" model, available for $4.95, is perfect for "anyone with an elitist penis" and "great for any position" (yuk yuk yuk), according to the website.

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French-Canadian Tourist Chastised For Boozing on the High Line Tells His Tale of Woe

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Recently the Village Voice received a (long) fax from French-Canadian tourist Daniel Dõ detailing an unpleasant experience he had on the High Line. He and his friends brought a nice picnic, including some wine that was discreetly sipped from white porcelain cups. A High Line official told them to put away the wine, and Dõ wrote a letter to the High Line staff detailing his objection to the way he was treated. An excerpt follows (we've kept Dõ's French-style quotation marks):

At one point, around 1:00 pm, a young lady (a not very tall black woman) who was obviously working for the High Line Park (she was wearing the polo with [the High Line] logo... but she never introduced herself) came to see us. Actually, she suddenly «appeared» next to our table and without any introduction, just said with a very unpleasant tone of voice: «No alcohol in the High Line Park. Or you pour it and drink it now, or you leave the park.» And she immediately quit. We were so shocked by the way she talked to us, not only because she was very rude, but most of all, because her attitude was totally at the opposite of the spirit of your wonderful place... friendly and peaceful.
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Rubén Díaz, Sr. Proud to Have "Made History" as Last Democratic Bigot

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C.S. Muncy
Rev. Sen. Díaz playing air guitar
Reverend Sen. Rubén Díaz, Sr., the lone Democratic senator out of 30 to vote against the Marriage Equality Act, is proud to have made history, even though he voted for the losing side.

"I made history. I'm the only New York State Democrat that voted against the bill. I will wear it as a badge of honor," Díaz told the Christian Post. He also told them "that gay marriage is a sign of the End Times," and, though he predicted to explain just how, he is hard at work figuring a way to overturn the newly signed law.

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The 5 Worst Yoga Positions to Catch Your Boss In

As much as we respect and adore our bosses and even our sniveling coworkers, there are certain things that should be kept to a minimum among people who slave away together on a daily basis. One of those things is yoga. There are several reasons for this, among them, spandex, sweating, a lack of shoes, and a general sense of pervasive, uncomfortable awkwardness. While the New York Post seems to think that yoga with the coworkers is just wonderific, even a trend, proclaiming "yoga is the new golf!," we beg to differ. If you catch your boss in any of these positions -- all fairly basic to a beginner yoga class -- you may be forced to take a leave of absence. Health, schmealth, who can afford that?

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Study: Bad Things Are Worse the Second Time Around

Scientists have undertaken to reveal a truth that no one really suspected was untrue, but anyway, now we know for sure! See, what happens is, when something unpleasant or painful happens to people, they generally take a little time and then forget about said event. But when they think it will happen again, and soon, they remember the event as quite yucky indeed. This is backed up by research published from the American Psychological Association.

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The Written-in-the-Style-of-Tao-Lin New York Observer Profile, Reviewed in the Style of Tao Lin

The blogger woke up on Wednesday morning around 9 a.m. and showered and put on clothes. He took the train into Manhattan. He once saw a young child eat a carrot alive on that train. He went to go buy the New York Observer from that newsstand on Astor Place and Third Avenue where they overcharge for everything but can't overcharge for the Observer or any other magazine really because of the cover price. He bought that week's New York Observer, which he does every week. He could also buy the Observer at the Starbucks at Astor Place and constantly thinks about doing so but doesn't. He wishes he could ascribe a political motive to this, but he can't. He is not a "political" person. He wishes he did better on his SATs. He opened the New York Observer and saw a profile of a "New York" "Literary" "It" "Boy" named "Tao Lin," that is written "in" the "style" of "Tao Lin."

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