Tag Archives | New York City

NYC’s Last Chinatown Arcade Shuts Its Doors

chinatownIt’s a sad day for lovers of underworld history, as an important slice of gritty “old New York” just faded into dust: the last video arcade in Chinatown has closed its gates. The iconic and beloved Chinatown Fair arcade perfectly embodied the cool, seedy downtown culture of Taxi Driver/Warriors-era NYC, and offered a futuristic escape from reality for teenagers and misfits from all boroughs. The arcade was minorly famous for its “tick-tack-toe chicken” booth game, which allowed customers to play an electronic game of tick-tack-toe (sometimes losing) against a live chicken. NYC The Blog offers great photos and a farewell:

Rumors started flying around New York City blogs last week that Chinatown Fair, one of the last traditional arcades left in the city, was closing. Those rumors became reality yesterday when Chinatown Fair locked its doors for good at 8 Mott Street yesterday at 12:48 am. It was in business since at least the 50s, first across the street and then at its current location for almost 30 years.

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NYPD Officers’ Counter-Terrorism Trainings Feature A Muslim-Bashing Film

Via The Raw Story:

New York Police Department officers who showed up for mandatory counter-terrorism training were shown a “spectacularly offensive” anti-Muslim film claiming that American Muslims are secretly plotting to take over the country, a news report alleged Wednesday.

The news is further evidence that US law enforcement agencies are turning to extremist anti-Islamic “consultants” to provide training for terrorism investigations.

According to the Village Voice‘s Tom Robbins, the NYPD used a film called “The Third Jihad” in training sessions this month. Robbins described the film as

72 minutes of gruesome footage of bombing carnage, frenzied crowds, burning American flags, flaming churches, and seething mullahs. All of this is sandwiched between a collection of somber talking heads informing us that, while we were sleeping, the international Islamist Jihad that wrought these horrors has set up shop here and is quietly going about its deadly business. This is the final drive in a 1,400-year-old bid for Muslim world domination, we’re informed.

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Obama Signs Health Bill For 9/11 Responders

Via The Raw Story:

US President Barack Obama signed into law Sunday a bill to compensate emergency responders sickened in the rubble of the September 11 attacks, the White House said in a statement.

The president is currently in Hawaii, where he spent the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, and was expected back in Washington on Tuesday. He had been due to sign the bill at the Kaneohe Marine base near his vacation home.

The US Congress on December 22 approved a 10-year, four-billion-dollar program to help police, firefighters and other workers made ill by the fumes left in the wake of the worst terrorist attack on US soil.

The Senate and then the House of Representatives passed the measure after a last-minute compromise ended a Republican blockade in one of the final acts of the Democrat-led US Congress.

[Continues at The Raw Story]

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Exploring The Secrets Of Underground New York

undergroundAll above-ground metropolises harbor shadow cities beneath. A New York Times reporter spent five days on a subterranean urban hiking expedition, spelunking through NYC’s labyrinthine sewer system. His colorful travel journal details encounters with wildlife and “mole people.” Here’s how to go on an invigorating adventure into the unknown, without leaving city limits:

Tuesday, 12:36 a.m.
Exterior Street, the Bronx

We inspect our exit point — a manhole in the middle of the road. Will Hunt, a bespectacled 26-year-old who is writing a book about the underground (“The last frontier,” he says, “in an over-mapped, Google-Earthed world.”) will serve as our spotter. Will’s job is to watch for traffic: ascending from the hole, we do not wish to be hit by a car. We are to communicate by walkie-talkie. Will ties a long pink ribbon to the inside of the manhole cover. Dangling downward, this will be our signal we have reached the end.

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Public USB Drives In The Walls Of NYC

IMG_0421-650x433Dead Drops is a project in which USB flash drives are installed on the streets of New York City for anonymous file-sharing by strangers. Thus far, five USBs are hidden around the city. Find them to add or take whatever files you wish.

‘Dead Drops’ is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space. I am ‘injecting’ USB flash drives into walls, buildings and curbs accessable to anybody in public space. You are invited to go to these places (so far 5 in NYC) to drop or find files on a dead drop. Plug your laptop to a wall, house or pole to share your favorite files and data. Each dead drop contains a readme.txt file explaining the project. ‘Dead Drops’ is still in progress, to be continued here and in more cities.

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Edgemere: NYC’s Eerie Abandoned Neighborhood

kensinger_edgemere_DSC_2035_smallIf you’re familiar with New York City, you know that space is at a premium. Dirty shoebox apartments command hefty rents, and shiny new condos have risen even in the far reaches of the city. Thus, it’s quite surprising to learn of a forgotten neighborhood within city limits. Facing the Atlantic Ocean, Edgemere in Queens is a de-mapped community, devoid of buildings and (normal) people, overrun by plant life and vicious packs of wild dogs. Photographer Nathan Kensinger took pictures of the strangest place in NYC.

In a different era, Edgemere’s seaside was a thriving resort, with grand hotels, a bustling boardwalk, and thousands of residents. Today, it is devoid of buildings and permanent residents, and “has stood vacant, except for plant life and wild dogs, for more than 35 years, when thousands of summer bungalows and stores were plowed under as part of a massive building project that was put on hold and never revived.”

Over the decades nature has reclaimed southern Edgemere.

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New Yorker Wants ET Affairs Commission: To Decide Where Aliens Should Land in NYC

Liberty UFOWith the recent UFO sighting in NYC, one wonders if this guy is onto something. David Moye writes in AOL News:

New York City is home to practically every ethnic group under the sun, and if one UFO researcher gets his way, it will soon be host to every extraterrestrial species in the universe.

Michael Luckman, author of Alien Rock, has shifted his time from writing books to writing ballot initiatives — specifically one that, if passed, would create an ET Affairs Commission. The panel would consist of seven volunteers who would meet twice a year to gather the most compelling evidence regarding the existence of extraterrestrials and UFOs and post it on the city’s website.

UFO researcher Michael Luckman wants New York voters to decide whether the city should have an ET Affairs Commission to help decide the best place to put a landing site in the city.

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Call This Number To Speak To The Populace Of New York

urbanspeaker-zoom-thumbBeginning tomorrow, anyone who wants to communicate a message to the people of New York City may do so by calling 979-997-3041. His or her voice will be blared out of a loudspeaker in the middle of the East Village’s bustling Tompkins Square Park, for sixty seconds, at which point the call will be terminated.

The project is an art installation titled the Urban Speaker. (I’m predicting that majority of the calls will be either of a highly profane/sexual nature, or of the “9/11 was an inside job” variety.)  Creator Carlos J. Gómez de Llarena explains:

The project explores the possibilities of urban media spaces created by the introduction of telecommunication and interactive technologies into our built environments. Temporary interventions such as this seek to re-imagine what our personal and social experience of public spaces can be in an age of ubiquitous nonstop communication.

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New York Unveils Transit Surveillance “Ring Of Steel”

092110bigmikeyNew York City has just enabled an advanced new underground surveillance network modeled on London’s Ring of Steel. Camera footage will enter a database searchable by objects, colors, and individuals’ physical features. The system a huge step forward from the previous camera network, which I’ve dubbed the Crumbled Paper Bag. Gothamist reports:

500 new surveillance cameras went live yesterday inside the Times Square, Penn Station and Grand Central subway station, and 500 more are on the way. Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly unveiled the new surveillance system, which provides real-time video images to the command center, and can analyze thousands of images to find a particular item. “If we’re looking for a person in a red jacket, we can call up all the red jackets filmed in the last 30 days,” Kelly told reporters. “We’re beginning to use software that can identify suspicious objects or behaviors.”

The $200 million system is part what will one day be a 3,000-camera network of “public and private-sector cameras, including those covering Lower Manhattan assets south of Canal Street,” according to a press release.

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