Saturday, August 2, 2014

Coney Island’s residents remain largely isolated from local progress

mg 5572 re1 Carnival Games: Was Coney Islands Rebirth Doomed From the Start?Coney Island’s residents remain largely isolated from local progress. | New York Observer


Mr. Cosme is an unabashed redevelopment skeptic. “It was great going to the rides as a kid,” he said. “But it was tough growing up in the neighborhood. I’m not against development, but all the money goes back out. The community is not benefiting from the amusements.”
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, consultants and nonprofit groups seemed to descend on his neighborhood in eerie concert with newly available public money. “How can these people come into the West End now?” he asked. “Where were they before Sandy?” (Perturbed by a slow trickledown to storm victims, city councilman Mark Treyger, who represents Coney Island, recently introduced a bill—together with Eric Ulrich, of Queens—calling on the Department of Investigation to monitor the use of the billions of dollars in federal recovery funds New York has received, and to investigate potential fraud and abuse.)
Ed Cosme at his salon and Mathylde Frontus at the office of Urban Neighborhood Services. (Celeste Sloman)
Ed Cosme at his salon and Mathylde Frontus  of Urban Neighborhood Services.

In outlining such doubts, Mr. Cosme and others I spoke with seemed to refer not merely to Coney Island’s latest overhaul, but to a long history of unrealized promises made in the name of opportunism.
“Since I was a little girl, they’ve been saying, ‘Coney Island is going to be this, Coney Island is going to be that,’” Mathylde Frontus told me. “There is a feeling that you have the residents on one side and the powers that be on the other.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

NY Times review of first Apple MacIntosh in 1984



Published: January 24, 1984

WHEN it comes to apples, I've always preferred tart, crisp ones like Granny Smiths or Idas to McIntoshes. It seems to me, therefore, that as a new name in Apple Computer's growing orchard of machines one of those would have done admirably. What could sound more ''user friendly'' than a Granny Smith computer around the house. Then again, maybe Apple had hamburgers on the mind in naming its new computer - in hopes of its Mac becoming as much a part of the American mythos as the golden arches are.

Names, and their concomitant marketing strategy, aside, today's launching of the Macintosh by Apple, unlike I.B.M.'s recent introduction of the rather unexceptional PCjr, presages a revolution in personal computing. Like all major innovations, this one entails a high risk of failure. Apple lost the first battle, begun with its $10,000 Lisa. The second assault is with a machine only a fourth the cost of its big sister and almost as versatile.

One computer the Mac definitely cannot be compared with, though many people will try, is the PCjr. That would be like comparing apples and peanuts. It just cannot be done. The PCjr is a more limited product offered at a lower price. The only real connection between the two machines is that the introduction of both computers was anxiously awaited for what seems a decade.

The roughly 17-pound Macintosh comes in a square bushel-basket-size canvas tote bag with an oversized zipper. The preproduction version I saw did not sport the Apple-with-a-bite logo. The addition of this emblem could well turn the bag into a classic status symbol, and even if the computer stayed home, the bag would accompany people on the move, stuffed with picnic goodies or laundry.

As to the computer itself, unpacked, it sits like a towering, square, robotic Cyclops, its single disk drive an off-center mouth. The machine definitely has personality, though its high profile, designed, no doubt, to reduce the amount of desk space needed, is a bit startling.

The first thing to take me by surprise as I sat down at the Macintosh was not the mouse pointer used to move the cursor on screen, which everyone has been expecting, but the size of the screen itself. With a scant nine-inch diagonal, it presents a diminutive five-by-seven viewing image. My personal dislike for small screens made me chalk up an immediate minus on the Mac's scorecard, particularly since I found myself, as I usually do when confronted with a miniscreen, hunkering right up to the computer, much closer than comfort called for, as I flicked it on. Then came the second surprise.

The Mac display makes all the other personal computer screens look like distorted rejects from a Cubist art school. With a 512-line horizontal by 342-line vertical, the display conveys an image that is refreshingly crisp and clear. The use of square dots rather than the standard rectangular ones at each of the almost 200,000 line crossings adds even more to the sharpness of the picture. After a couple of hours of looking at this screen, going back to the Apple IIe at home brought tears to my eyes. What the Mac adds in visual clarity, however, it takes away in chromatics. At present, only a black-and-white screen is available. Apple appears to be aiming this computer at the small-business and educational markets rather than the home entertainment segment, so perhaps the company feels that color is not necessary. Certainly the machine could not be delivered with the rainbow at the current price of roughly $2,495. Even so, I suspect the absence of color capability is a mistake, one which, along with the diminutive screen size, will hopefully be rectified eventually by add-ons for those wanting them. As it is, if you can live with the small screen, and the lack of color does not bother you, there is simply no personal computer that comes close to the Mac in display quality.

Another startling feature that I became aware of after a few minutes, although it may be a minor point to some people, is the absence of fan noise. The vacuum cleaner sound effects so annoying to many people and so prevalent in small computers is totally nonexistent. The reason is simple: The Macintosh has been engineered to cool itself. There is no fan to drown one's thinking. In fact, at 60 words per minute, the only sound you will hear is the clicking of the keyboard.

Keyboards are a very subjective matter. This one is certainly more comfortable and responsive than those to be found on the Apple II series. It is also light enough to rest comfortably on one's lap, which is what manufacturers seem to think people do with these things, although I personally have never seen anyone work that way. Furthermore, it solves one of the minor mysteries of personal computer engineering that has long bothered me; namely, why does the keyboard cord always have to plug into the rear of the computer so it inevitably becomes snarled coming around the side? The answer is that it does not. The Mac's keyboard plugs quite naturally into the front of the computer and never seems to get hung up.

That is one plus for the Mac's design - followed by a negative. There is no numeric keypad on the board. A separate one may be attached, but then, counting the mouse's tail, you have three cables snaking their way back to the machine. All in all, I get the feeling, as I do with I.B.M. PC products, that a lot of outside manufacturers are going to be cranking out modified keyboards for owners who do not like the standard model.

As to the mouse, it is part and parcel of the Mac revolution, and it will probably be the reason you either sign up for or turn your back on this machine. To a large extent, the Macintosh works with what has been termed a ''finder environment.''

YOU find either a word or an icon or pictogram on the screen representing what you want the computer to do, then slide the mouse on your desk to move the cursor into position over that screen object, then press the button on the mouse to activate that particular part of the program.

For instance, there is a menu bar at the top of the screen with the words ''file,'' ''edit,'' ''U,'' ''special,'' and so on. Slide the cursor over to ''file,'' click the mouse button, and a window beneath the word opens up with such commands as ''open,'' ''duplicate,'' ''get info,'' ''close'' and ''print.'' To print what is in a file, all you do, essentially, is bring the cursor down to ''print,'' press the mouse button and release.

The fundamental difference between the Mac and other personal computers is that the Macintosh is visually oriented rather than word oriented. You choose from a menu of commands by simply pressing the wandering mouse's button rather than by using a number of control keys or by entering words.

More on the pluses and minuses of the innovative Mac software, such as side orders of Macwriter, Macpaint and Macpascal, will appear in next week's column.

Brooklyn Views: Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 17, 2014 #brooklynha...

Brooklyn Views: Brooklyn Half Marathon on May 17, 2014 #brooklynha...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

As Job Creation Increases in February, Economists See Signs of a Spring Thaw

As Job Creation Increases in February, Economists See Signs of a Spring Thaw -

After losing jobs in January, women took a majority of the new jobs in February, gaining 99,000 jobs to men’s 76,000. Women have more than made up their losses in the recession, gaining 2.5 million jobs in the recovery, compared with 2.1 million jobs lost, while men have struggled, gaining 4.2 million jobs after losing 5.3 million in the downturn.

Cheap labor rising in New York state.

@fud31: New York State’s low-pay employment growth soars Shared via Tweet  Caster

Saturday, March 8, 2014

More Jennifer Lawrence

@NYMag: Jennifer Lawrence's best friend wrote an essay about accompanying her to the Oscars. It's great:
Shared via TweetCaster

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thunderbolt breaking ground

@amusementtoday: Coney Island breaking ground on new Thunderbolt Monday...
Shared via TweetCaster

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winter relief on the Coney Island boardwalk

Dog walking on an empty beach is special
Cool running to the ocean

Walkers rule in the pedestrian path

Bike cannot move easily in the snow

Tight squeeze to avoid remaining ice

Joggers and walkers share space

I see some ears popping out

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snowing thrice on Ocean Parkway

City Council mostly a no-show to hear the other side of the sick-pay bill

 Empty New York City Council Chamber Feb 14 2014
Small business advocates argue against sick-pay bill to sparse City Council crowd - NY Daily News

Eighteen Council members were present to hear Mayor de Blasio's top aides tout the legislation, which would require businesses with five or more employees to provide sick days to workers. When it was time for the business groups to voice their concerns, however, the crowd had dwindled down to a handful of lawmakers.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Beatles trivia

The Beatles classic  "I Want to Hold Your Hand" began a seven-week run at number one on the singles chart in February 1964.  Remember the flip side?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Democratic party shift on Israel

@YWN: Op-Ed: Albany Earthquake Registers in Jerusalem - There was a political earthquake in Albany yesterday and its ... -
Shared via TweetCaster

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, February 1, 2014

7 simple steps to safer city streets. De Blasio mu...

7 simple steps to safer city streets: 7 simple steps to safer city streets  - NY Daily News BY SAM SCHWARTZ / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014, 4:30 AM Lower ...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Flood Insurance Bill clears Senate but House is a tougher sell

Flooding is common in the Midland Beach bowl even during non-hurrciane events. This street was impassable by pedestrians after the snow that fell in Feburary melted.Flood Insurance Bill Clears Senate - WNYC

The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to delay planned increases in flood insurance rates that many homeowners along the coasts of New Jersey and New York have said would price them out of their homes.
The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act passed the Senate 67 to 32, but it faces substantial opposition from the the House of Representatives and the White House.

The rate increases were part of reforms passed in 2012 when Congress worried about the financial stability of the National Flood Insurance Program, a system that is run through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and insures 5.5 million homeowners. FEMA says roughly 20 percent of policyholders pay below-market rates that do not reflect their true risk of flooding. They either have seen their premiums go up already or will face hikes soon unless the law is rolled back.

The Senate bill would:

  • impose a moratorium on rate increase on certain categories of properties until FEMA finishes an affordability study;
  • permit the rate increases to go into effect after four years, even if the affordability study is not completed by then;
  • and create an ombudsman within FEMA to help policyholders with disputes about their flood risk.

Menendez's bill would not affect second homes or properties that have seen repetitive flooding. Rates for those policies would go up according to the 2012 legislation.

EDITORS: Matthew Schuerman

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Rat Information Portal Map Reveals How Many Rats Live With or Near You

Rat Information Map Shows How Many Rats L...:

Everything we always wanted to know? Rat Information Portal Map Re veals How Many Rats Live in Your Nabe | The New York Observer And ...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Carmelo Anthony scores 62 points and breaks record

Carmelo Anthony scored a franchise record of 62 points
 for the Knicks against the Charlotte Bobcats Friday night
 at Madison Square Garden

Monday, January 20, 2014

Shepherding the Coney Island Polar Bear Club

Shepherding the Coney Island Polar Bear Club -
By LIZ ROBBINS JAN. 17, 2014

"After three decades, Dennis Thomas’s winter Sundays are no longer shocking. They are just cold. From November to April, Mr. Thomas, 59, charges into the Atlantic Ocean, along with other members of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club; he has been the group’s president for five years. This year, the club’s premier event on New Year’s Day drew 2,000 swimmers and 6,000 spectators and raised $65,000 for children with serious illnesses. On any given Sunday, 80 to 100 members show up at the New York Aquarium for the frosty frolic — neoprene bootees allowed. The lowest water temperature recorded for a swim was 32 degrees one February. Mr. Thomas, the director of global branding for the technology company SAP, lives alone in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. He suspects that his 25-year-old daughter thinks he is crazy."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Manhattan and Brooklyn are much poorer than you think. So how can anyone afford to live there?

Williamsburg CondoNew York City census data: Manhattan and Brooklyn are much poorer than you think.

Measured by median income, Manhattan and (especially) Brooklyn are much poorer than you think. Manhattan’s median annual household income is $66,739, while Brooklyn’s is a mere $44,850. Its less fashionable neighbor, Queens, outearns Brooklyn at $54,373 per year. New York City’s most suburban borough, Staten Island, is also its richest, with a median household income of $70,295, while the suburban counties surrounding New York are all richer than any of the boroughs.

Meanwhile, the cost of living is astronomical in Manhattan, where the median monthly rent is $3,100; it’s $2,800 in the gentrifying northwestern quadrant of Brooklyn. So how can so many relatively low-income people still live in these areas?

The answer has to do with the peculiarities of New York’s housing stock, demographics, and history. Here are the main seven factors.

Coney Island's New York Aquarium breaks ground on new $157M shark exhibit

A rendering of the 'Ocean Wonders: Sharks!' exhibit at the New York Aquarium. It's scheduled to open in 2016.
A rendering of the 'Ocean Wonders: Sharks!' exhibit
at the New York Aquarium. It's scheduled to open in 2016.

Coney Island's New York Aquarium breaks ground on new $157M shark exhibit on Friday  - NY Daily News

Coney Island is set for a shark attack.
After years of planning, New York Aquarium is finally set to break ground on a jaw-dropping new shark exhibit Friday.
The massive 57,000-square-foot "Ocean Wonders: Sharks!" exhibit will feature a coral reef tunnel that will give guests a 360-degree-view of the new plethora of ocean life when it officially opens to the public in 2016.
The New York Aquarium will be home to even more sand tiger sharks once the brand new shark exhibit opens.
“You will be surrounded on all sides by not only sharks, but by schools of bright colored bony fish and the sort of beauty of the tropics that we all associate with diving,” said Jon Forrest Dohlin, aquarium director and vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which runs the aquarium.
The $157-million exhibit will feature more than 100 species of marine animals, both local and from around the world, including sharks, rays, sea turtles, thousands of schooling fish and other crustaceans.
More than 45 sharks, including sand tigers, nurse sharks, blackttip reef sharks and bamboo sharks will swim around inside the three main 500,000-gallon tanks.
“It’s going to be a tremendous expansion of our collection,” said Dohlin. "I think people will be amazed, exhilarated and inspired.”
The three-story facility will also boast a roof-deck overlooking the ocean, classroom space and a cafe.
Officials were supposed to break ground on the exhibit a year ago, but Hurricane Sandy devastated the aging aquarium and delayed the project, which has been in the works for several years

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

De Blasio's French Lessons by Nicole Gelinas

De Blasio's French Lessons by Nicole Gelinas - City Journal
Gotham’s new mayor sounds like Fran├žois Hollande, and he risks similar results.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sledding, Hot Cocoa, Snowball Fights & More At Prospect Park's Snow Day On Saturday | Kensington BK

Sledding in Prospect ParkFrom Kensington BK
Sledding, Hot Cocoa, Snowball Fights & More At Prospect Park's Snow Day On Saturday | Kensington BK

If you haven’t already, it’s time to dig those sleds out! NYC Parks has announced that Saturday, January 4, is an official Snow Day.

Kids (and kids at heart) are invited out to Prospect Park for “supervised safe sledding (there will be sleds available at each snow day site), snowman building contests, best snow angel contests, friendly snowball fights, music, and complimentary hot chocolate.”

The fun takes place from 11am to 3pm near the Tennis House (enter at 9th Street and head toward the Long Meadow). For more information, including other Snow Day locations around the city, visit the NYC Parks website.

Polar Bear Club takes annual icy plunge at Coney Island

The swim serves as a frigid way to ring in the new year.NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiPolar Bear Club takes annual icy plunge at Coney Island - NY Daily News

Around 2,500 intrepid swimmers took a dip in the 41-degree ocean at Coney Island Wednesday as part of the annual Polar Bear Club dip