Two weeks ago, passersby noticed a haunting humming seemingly originating from the still-unfinished Freedom Tower. One possible explanation is that the the strong winds of Hurricane Sandy vibrated the metal beams at the top of the structure, turning them into musical instruments:

Impose Magazine‘s Gretchen Robinette has a very thorough photo treatment of yesterday’s May Day activities in lower and mid-Manhattan. Parks and major thoroughfares such as Broadway north of Union Square were filled…

This has go to be the worst place on Earth to take a “trip,” via Gothamist:

The author of a new book about the CIA’s hallucinogenic drug tests during the Cold War says there’s evidence the agency used NYC commuters as their experimental subjects. He found documentation of the subway tests — which allegedly occurred in 1950 — while researching his nonfiction account. “The experiment was pretty shocking — shocking that the CIA and the Army would release LSD like that, among innocent unwitting folks,” H.P. Albarelli told the Post.

One piece of evidence cited in A Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA’s Secret Cold War Experiments is a declassified FBI report from Aug. 25, 1950. “The BW [biological weapon] experiments to be conducted by representatives of the Department of the Army in the New York Subway System in September 1950, have been indefinitely postponed,” it says. Dr. Henry Eigelsbach, a former CIA research scientist, says that the aerosol LSD tests did in fact happen, though little is known about their scale and results.

via Gothamist

In 1935, the NY Times published an article titled, “Alligator Found in Uptown Sewer,” tracing the actions of 16-year-old Salvatore Condoluci and his comrades, who trapped and killed an 8-foot-long alligator found under 123rd Street. Today, at 92, Condoluci still remembers some of the tale, and the Times looks back at the urban legend.

Along with the printed article, former superintendent of city sewers, Teddy May, also had a part in giving the legend legs. He once investigated reports of sightings, relaying his story to writer Robert Daley, who in 1959 published the account in his book, The World Beneath the City. It goes like this:

“Alligators serenely paddling around in his sewers. The beam of his own flashlight had spotlighted alligators whose length, on the average, was about two feet. Some may have been longer. Avoiding the swift current of the trunk lines under major avenues, the beasts had wormed up the smaller pipes under less important neighborhoods, and there Teddy had found them. The colony appeared to have settled contentedly under the very streets of the busiest city in the world.”

No one seems to be certain if the story is fact or fiction, but the belief is that many vacationing families were bringing back baby alligators as pets from Florida at the time, later discarding them. Adding more documentation to the legend, Times columnist Meyer Berger once wrote that in the mid-1930s, “sewer alligators seemed to thrive below the pavement in rather frightening numbers. They were destroyed systematically and the threat of an alligator invasion died away.”

In local politics, as well as national, we needs third party voices to be heard. Now more than ever.

via Rev Billy for Mayor

November 3, 2009
I feel closer to solving the riddle of activism in 2009. We’ve known how conservative the Democrat/Working Families and the Republican/Independence Parties are. It’s Coke and Pepsi, it’s McDonalds and Burger King. The two party system enforces a strict censorship. We had to experience first-hand the harsh silence of it.

The hundreds upon hundreds of articles in the New York Times that never mention a third party… we had to experience this first-hand. It goes hand in hand with the arresting of people in small groups, such as peace vigils in the parks, surrounded by police and surveillance. The criminalizing of dissent goes hand in hand with the $50 million built environment of electronic ads. The imitation of democracy continues on our televisions and computers, but you can’t practice it yourself in public space…