99 Degrees of Stink

July 18, 2006

trash.jpg According to an article in today’s Times, City Council is about to vote on Bloomberg’s long-standing plan to deal with the 50,000 tons of trash generated in New York City every day. So now that the macro-trash plan is about to pass, can we talk about the micro-trash issue?

One of the first posts I had on Polis was about a demonstration project last summer in Queens, where solar powered trash compactors were installed on street corners, which simultaneously prevents the above from happening and contains the smell (and on a day when it is going to be 99 degrees, this is no small matter). Just as Giuliani took on the squeegie men as his “quality of life” issue, Bloomberg should take on street trash and make that his signature quality of life issue, especially now that we’ve figured out where all that trash is going to be hauled off to. Solar powered trash compactors on every corner. I took the above photo this morning at the corner of 2nd Ave. and St. Marks Pl. in front of Gem Spa, which claims to be the birthplace of the first “egg cream,” which is neither eggy nor creamy, but I digress.

Vote Early and Often

July 11, 2006

The Governor’s Island Alliance has released guidelines to redevelop perhaps the most important piece of undeveloped land in the Northern hemisphere, and there are three illustrated alternatives that can be voted on by clicking here. There’s the harbor park (park that faces the Statue of Liberty), channel park (facing Brooklyn) and the prow park (at the southern most tip of the island). Pictured above: channel park. Can’t say I have an immediate opinion except, let’s get it on, already. For some thoughts about what the hold up is, read post below.

Gov’s Island: Still Floating [Polis]

Gondola’s to Governor’s Island [Polis]

Five Pointz

July 10, 2006

When I was in LIC (see below), I came across something that I’m probably the last person to know about… Five Pointz, a building in Long Island City that got tagged with graffiti so often, the owner of the building decided like ten years ago to sanction the urban artists and let them do their thing. Now it’s probably the most important collection of urban art in New York (and hence, the world). An artist who was about to go up in the lift to do a piece said that there’s going to be — get this — a coffee table book about all the artists and the work on the building.

Update: My dear friend Michael writes from South Africa to tell me that: “yeah, you are the last to know about it. which sort of makes you cutting-edge! ;-)”. Apparently, one of Michael’s ex-roommates, Kezam, did a lot of the work on this building, and Kezam is now finishishing his sociology disertation on NYC graffiti. Here’s his flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kezam/

Silvercup Sprouts

July 10, 2006

A year ago, I reported on the largest green roof in New York City being installed on top of Silvercup Studios in Long Island City near the Queensboro Bridge. Silvercup is the largest film and television studio in New York, where Sex and the City was filmed and the Sopranos still is. I was out there this afternoon and snapped a couple of pics. While green roofs are big in Chicago, they are pretty rare in New York and most other American cities. This one is 35,000 square feet (it’s actually three green roofs spread out over the Silvercup site, one of which is literally on top of Tony Soprano’s house). As part of the installation, there is a monitoring system that is collecting data in order to show how much less storm water runoff there is as a result of the succulent plants absorbing rain, as well as temperature fluctuations and air quality measurements.

Silvercup Sunset [Polis]

May Reduced Power Consumption Be With You [Polis]

Become Your Dream… Or Not

July 5, 2006

The irony of the above pic (snapped on Avenue A this afternoon) requires no further comment, but perhaps a little context. DeLaVega, whom I’ve posted about on Polis a few times, is an East Harlem artist who has a gallery/shop on St. Marks Place where he sells his original artwork as well as t-shirts and such. He’s known for writing aphorisms on the sidewalk in chalk, such as, “I just bought real estate in your mind,” and “Sometimes the king is a woman.” He’s probably best known, however, for this one: “Become Your Dream.”


July 3, 2006

Alright, alright. Robert Moses wasn’t all bad. I admit it. Pic taken July 1 at Robert Moses State Park on Long Island where I went with my friend Alex Bandon, she of The Shelter Life. It was the perfect beach day: not too hot, slight breeze, room to breath and take in an expansive view. I did get a sunburn, though, which is surely the wrath of Moses.