R.I.P., Uncle Chichi, You Old Dog

Uncle Chichi, circa 2000 (via Facebook)
According to the New York Times, there is a sad bit of information to impart today. Uncle Chichi, a West Village toy poodle who may have been 24, 25, or 26 years old, who had been battling cancer (sadface), and who was unquestionably adored and adorable, has passed over to the Rainbow Bridge. Inspiring public figures often generate controversy, and as such, there is some debate over Chichi's age, and whether he was actually the world's oldest living dog.

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Here Is the Inevitable 'Shit New Yorkers Say' Video

Just when we thought the meme was dead, Eliot and Ilana Glazer present "Shit New Yorkers Say." Among the gems:

"Where's the train?"
"They're filming Law and Order."
"You have to go to Brooklyn, it's the law."
"I hate L.A."

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Grimy Back Alleys Are the Hot New Real Estate Get in New York City

Can we get a little more steam, here?
Nick Carr explores a modern-day conundrum in his recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, "Our Typecast Metropolis." You see, Hollywood considers New York City a sort of permanently 70s-era New York City, full of twists and dark turns and grit and danger and grime. Unfortunately, today's New York City is more full of Starbucks, Duane Reades, and Applebees than it is of gritty alleyways. Thus, hard-working Hollywood types have had to search far and wide for alleys gritty enough to resemble the "New York City" ideal. They found one -- Franklin Place in TriBeCa, portrayed in such diverse cinematic experiences as The Nanny Diaries, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and The Talented Mr. Ripley. But, alas, that alleyway is being gentrified, to be turned into a luxury condo tower. Make a movie about that, Hollywood.

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Santa Claus Is From Chelsea

Everything you thought you knew about Santa may be a lie! According to the New York Historical Society, Santa is not, despite all of our assumptions, a native North Pole-ian, complete with North Pole-like ideologies, politics, and annoying habits. He's actually a sophisticated New Yorker hailing from West 23rd Street. They base this on the poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas," (you know, "Twas the night before Christmas, etc. etc.") believed to be written by theologian and Hebrew scholar -- and Chelsea resident, even if it wasn't called that at the time -- Clement Clarke Moore. Which seems to indicate that Santa is not, actually, real, but instead a figment of Moore's imagination. What are you telling us, New York Historical Society!?

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How to Be a New Yorker: Excerpts from the Memoir of Les Rich

In my story in the Voice last week, inspired by Joan and Leslie Rich's 1964 book, How to Be a New Yorker, I talked to longtime New Yorkers, former New Yorkers, new New Yorkers, and even a few people who've never lived in this town, about what they think it takes to be "a real New Yorker." As expected, the article spurred plenty more discussion on the topic, ranging from emails (thanks, all who sent notes!) to comments on the piece online. Among the responses was this gem:

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What Does East Village Resistance to Occupy Tompkins Square Park Mean for the East Village?

John Penley, by Paul DeRienzo
For about a week now, there have been plans to occupy Tompkins Square Park, led largely by East Villager John Penley, who has a Facebook page set up for the event, which was scheduled to begin on Saturday with a noontime picnic. In the wake of last night's announcement by Mayor Bloomberg that protesters at Zuccotti Park would have to move so that the park could be cleaned, we wondered if there was any change in the plans for Tompkins -- an earlier start date, maybe? Penley told us there's "no change in our plans."

This may come as unpleasant news to a number of East Village locals, who, upon hearing of the planned Tompkins Square occupation, have been making their distaste for the effort known, particularly as commenters on EV Grieve's post about the event.

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It's a Tiny Bit Easier to Rent an Apartment in New York City These Days

According to a new report from Citi Habitats, your chances of finding and renting an apartment in the city, always a tremendous pain unless you are very, very lucky, or very, very rich, have gone up a bit. That is to say, it's not quite so difficult because the vacancy rate has increased...to 1 percent. This, though it may not sound like much, is actually the highest vacancy rate in 6 months, and, Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats, says, a correction to "brutal" conditions earlier this summer. Rents for studios and one bedrooms went up slightly, while rents on larger places went down a bit.

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Semi-Nude Cyclists Finally Ride the Streets of NYC for World Naked Bike Ride

Here's footage from the hotly anticipated World Naked Bike Ride, which finally happened this Sunday. "As soon as the cops split the shorts came off," reports WNBR NYC. Seems like a ready-made tagline for next year's event. There was apparently a significant police presence limiting nudity this year: "14 cops on scooters and many more NYPD officers in 3 interceptors, 2 cars, and 2 van. At least 25 officers assigned to the event." World Naked Bike Ride, by the way, is not just about nudity -- it's also about protesting harmful environmental effects from cars and oil dependencies and promoting alternative transportation. Plus, nudity.
[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

East Village Penthouses Are Connected by a Slide, Because Of Course They Are

Screen shot 2011-03-17 at 1.50.06 PM.png
In today's news that doesn't surprise us at all, because we are highly sophisticated peoples of expensive tastes, two East Village penthouses owned by the same dude are connected by a slide. Well, of course they are! How would you connect your East Village penthouses? What's that, you don't actually have one East Village penthouse, to say nothing of two? What's that, you actually live in an apartment the size of a slide? What's that...you LIVE in a slide? Well, yeah. (That's a sweet slide you got there!)

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The Foot Model and the Doorman: When Love Dies

The lovely couple.
Closing out a very important series of punny exclusives from the New York Post, the foot model (the "Heidi Klum of foot models," to be exact), who fell in love with her Upper East Side doorman (they had to hide their love for fear of getting in trouble with the building/neighbors/snotty people who feel that foot models should not be with doormen) has now filed for divorce from her man. Alas.

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