The Manhattan Madam Appeared in Court, Promised to Plead Not Guilty If She's Indicted

An update on the Kristin Davis arrest: Davis, the erstwhile(?) Manhattan Madam, was arraigned Tuesday afternoon on the charges of selling drugs, oxycodone, Adderall, and Ambien among them. She was released on a $100,000 bond.

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NYC Versus Montreal: Another Urban Cultural Breakdown

MONTREAL -- This past summer, I took a quick, leisurely trip to the capital of our country for both historical and introspective reasons. D.C. was a far cry from New York; its citizens did not curse at one another, and no one dared to jaywalk. The city was arranged in neatly kept lines with neatly kept traffic and neatly kept people. All of these differences were epitomized in a piece you can find here.

Riding off of that compare-and-contrast mind-set, I spent the past five days up north with our Canadian brethren in the good ol' city of Montreal. So returning to New York, I have decided to once again do another urban culture breakdown, a la D.C. However, this one is a bit more international, and, on a side note for those predicting a relatively warm winter, it's already snowing in Montreal.

Now, the Quebec stronghold is similar to New York in a few aspects. The price of food and a night out on the town borders on the line between tolerable and pretty expensive. Also, to maintain a healthy smoking habit is a hefty burden in both cities (unfortunately, New Yorkers are blessed with packs that do not bare the "SMOKING KILLS" ads). Rent is a bit cheaper in Montreal -- a friend of mine had a beautiful two-bedroom apartment and only paid $800 a month -- but most people know by now that everywhere is cheaper than New York in that area of business.

All that aside, Montreal denizens do things drastically different than us. Here's a few things I picked up over my stay there:

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N.Y.C. Vs. D.C.: An Urban Culture Breakdown

WASHINGTON D.C. - Every year, during the hot, humid, heat waves of summer, my father and I plan a historical trip of some sort to escape the hustle and bustle of New York for a few days and surround ourselves with nothing but some good ol' Founding Father lovin'. 

Last June, we traveled to Gettysburg and Antietam to check up on the once bloody Civil War sites. After endless amounts of shirts that said "Don't Tread on Me," faux Confederate flags and that fine line between insanity and historical re-enactment, we left the small towns full of antebellum nostalgia and headed back to Yankee Town.

This time around, we headed down to Washington D.C. for three days vacationing in our nation's capital. As homegrown New Yorkers, it was only natural that we stressed the fact to people where we're from, whether it was in a hotel lobby or in the back of a cab. While we explored the federal metropolis, our city instincts began to notice inherent differences between D.C. and N.Y.C. Streets, museums and general infrastructure aide, the urban cultures of both have striking characteristics that defines what it means to be from New York... and from D.C., we guess. 

And there's more than enough to scrap them all together into this blog post. Here's a few snippets from this tale of two cities:

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The Nets Vs. The Knicks: The Basketball War for New York Love

Barclays Center: The home of New York's newest sports rivalry/shitshow.
While I was on the F train to Prospect Park, I noticed a structure in the distance as the subway came above ground around Carroll Gardens. It was a futuristic building of epic proportions; a huge MSG-like structure in the middle of Atlantic Avenue. For a second, I wondered what the hell this building was until I realized where I was: Downtown Brooklyn. 

This was the soon-to-be home of the mega-concert for Jay-Z and the European EDM spectacle, Sensation White. But, more importantly, the Barclays Center in the distance would soon host Brooklyn's first national sports team since the Dodgers: the Nets.

During my lifetime, I have never seen a new addition to my sports team inventory. The last major shake-up of athletic things (for me, at least) was when John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves started a war against the Mets and the rest of New York. Maybe Linsanity as a close second. But, now,  almost too coincidentally in regards to the happenings in the outer borough, Brooklyn is being graced with a sports team - the only missing cog in the quasi-Renaissance of the area. 

That means we will have two basketball teams playing with only a river in between them. Who cares about the Yankees/Mets rivalry? The Nets/Knicks is shaping up to be even more tenuous and the season hasn't even started yet.

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How Is Bill Ayers Related To The Weathermen Bomb Factory?

The Voice brought you news yesterday that the townhouse located at 18 West 11th Street, which served as a bomb factory for the Weather Underground until an accidental explosion, was on the market for $11 million.

We went a bit into the building's storied history, but the Voice's Graham Rayman brought some more info to our attention. The 1974 book Chief! -- written by New York's cigar-gnawing, former lead detective Albert A. Seedman -- contains a few fascinating details about the relationship between the would-be bombers and Bill Ayers, the onetime Weathermen organizer whose relationship with Barack Obama has become highly politicized.

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Heading to the High Line? A Chelsea Resident Has Some Rules to Follow

As per usual, nativist anger runs parallel to any major NYC project. And it seems the High Line is next on the chopping block for neighborhood frustration. 

Contrary to popular belief, people actually live under the epic, mile-long above-ground park that runs from Gansevoort up to West 30th Street. And one of these residents has been making this backlash visual, in flyer-form.

Across the Chelsea area, posters have been spotted that lay out aggressive guidelines for tourists swarming the West Side. The man behind the act told CBS that he would like to remain anonymous and just wants the outsiders to remember that New Yorkers come first. To which we respond: have you ever been to Times Square? And you thought the High Line was bad?

Take a peek at some of these rules and tell Runnin' Scared what you think:

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Chen Guangcheng Will Become a New Yorker in a Few Hours

Beijing might have us beat in regards to population and the Olympics opening ceremony but there's no place like New York. And the blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng will soon discover that.

This morning, the controversial figure who has given American diplomats a few headaches in past weeks boarded a plane leaving Beijing and landing at Newark International some time this evening. The State Department confirmed the news soon after a three-week passport process that ironed out the kinks of the ambassadorial deal was completed.

Once he arrives in the tri-state area, Guangcheng will enter the ranks of academia at NYU Law's US-Asia Law Institute as a visiting scholar. Professor Jerome Cohen, the co-head of the Institute, has been in contact with the Chinese national since rumors of the exchange began and, even two weeks ago, he said, "When he gets those updates [on his passport], he'll be on a plane immediately."

Looks like that day has finally come. Welcome to the Big Apple.

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Hundreds of Years of New York City History Now Online in Massive Photo Archive

Eugene de Salignac, Department of Bridges/Plant & Structures
From October 7, 1914. Brooklyn Bridge showing painters on suspenders.
Hundreds of thousands of photos that offer snapshots of more than a century of New York City history are now publicly available online for the first time ever.

Together, they offer a close-up, gritty picture of the city's history and development, from detective photos of gruesome crime scenes to Depression-era shots of everyday life to the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Some Americans Heart NY: Poll

Suck it, New Jersey!

More Americans like New York, your neighbor to the north, according to a new study.

Public Policy Polling has determined that 40 percent of Americans think of New York favorably -- compared to a mere 25 percent who viewed NJ favorably (via Politicker's Colin Campbell).

If 40 percent doesn't sound too impressive, consider: It's still among the top 15 states!

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Roving Armadillos Are Heading for the East Coast

This just in to add to your terrifying end-times-esque tales of animal takeover (see also: Crabs in Antarctica! Mountain lions in Connecticut! Ladybugs on Long Island!). Thanks to climate change, so say the scientists, the ole armadillo, 'dillo for short, is moving on from his Texas home, where he arrived in the 1880s, to seek out more scintillating eastern territories (he has already appeared in southern Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, and Missouri). Next stop: Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, and possibly even New Jersey. Can New York City be far off, then?

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