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Can This East Villager Get Elected to Congress By Going to Yoga Classes and Making Coffee Dates?

(Photos: Ben Brandstein)

The space that used to house Coup, on Cooper Square, still feels like a cocktail lounge, but the young people at the bar during a recent visit were hunched over laptops instead of pints. Scrawled on three massive rolls of brown paper were the talking points of Suraj Patel, the Congressional candidate who is now using the space as his campaign headquarters. Patel’s platform, outlined on his website, states that voting should be digital, gender is a spectrum, healthcare is a right, and marijuana should be legalized.

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City Seeks to Streamline Landmarking Process, But Public Doesn’t Want to Be Shut Out

(Sign provided by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation)

The Landmarks Preservation Commission wants to speed up its approval of certain building modifications by eliminating public hearings, but preservationists argued yesterday that the move would silence New Yorkers concerned about the historic fabric of their neighborhoods. At a hearing replete with criticism, pleas, hissing, and head-shaking, the crowd spilled out into the hall, brandishing signs that read KEEP YOUR PRESERVATION HATS ON and DON’T CUT THE PUBLIC OUT OF THE PROCESS. Keep Reading »

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Williamsburg’s Dime Savings Bank Is a Newly Minted Landmark

(Photo via CharneyConstruction.com)

Williamsburg’s Dime Savings Bank has been declared a New York City landmark. The unanimous vote at a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing today was cast two weeks after a public hearing in which the historical designation was supported by individuals such as the property owner and City Council member Antonio Reynoso. As an LPC staff member noted, the building’s elegant design along with the history associated with Williamsburg’s historic financial center were significant reasons to justify the building as a landmark.  Keep Reading »

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Lawsuit Temporarily Halts Controversial Development at Pfizer Site in Williamsburg

The developer of a controversial project in South Williamsburg was hit with a restraining order yesterday that temporarily bars the construction of eight buildings on the former Pfizer site. The move came after several Brooklyn residents and activist groups filed a lawsuit claiming that the city failed to protect communities of color when it cleared the way for the new buildings in the Broadway Triangle area. Plaintiffs claim that the city and Mayor de Blasio ignored their obligations under federal law when they approved a rezoning for the project.

The plaintiffs, led by a coalition of churches in the Broadway Triangle area, argue that the Pfizer project will raise rents in the surrounding area, causing residents of color, and especially Latino families, to be pushed out. Three of the plaintiffs have already suffered landlord harassment and are in danger of losing their homes, the suit claims. Keep Reading »

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Activists Say ‘Frack No’ to Proposed Pipeline as Cuomo Makes Renewable Energy Investment

(Photos: Ben Brandstein)

Environmental and community groups gathered outside New York University’s Kimmel Center this morning, rallying against a natural gas pipeline proposed by the Williams energy company. Meanwhile, inside, Governor Cuomo announced a $1.4 billion commitment to renewable energy programs. It’s said to be the biggest by any state in US history, but some protesters continue to say that Cuomo isn’t doing enough to stop fracking off the coast of New York City and elsewhere.  Keep Reading »

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L Train Shutdown Will Wreak Havoc Without New Bus and Bike Lanes, Traffic Study Says

(Photo courtesy of Buck Ennis)

Thousands of bikers are expected to flood Union Square, and 14th Street will become the country’s busiest bus corridor, when the L train shuts down next year, according to a new study. The MTA and DOT released a traffic analysis yesterday showing just how disruptive the 15-month closure of the Canarsie tunnel will be. Proposed solutions include a two-way bike lane on 13th Street and a busway on 14th Street, and some of them will be implemented as soon as this summer.  Keep Reading »

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Here’s What It Looks Like When People Pie an Artist in the Face

(Photo courtesy of Jason Schmidt)

Jennifer Rubell has been on the receiving end of a pie-five for about nine nights thus far, and she still has 14 more to go. Since Feb. 8, the Meredith Rosen Gallery has been home to Rubell’s Consent, an exhibition of her newest works. Visitors have been invited to admire the artist’s paintings and, while you’re at it, smash a pie into her face.

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A Yarn About the Christopher Street Tree Cozies, Coming Down in April

(Photo: Ben Brandstein)

In November of last year, amid the aggressive grey that is winter in New York City, Christopher Street was overrun with color. From Hudson to Bleecker, someone had swaddled the trees in different shades of crochet. Nearly 1,500 squares of lavender, mint green, cobalt, powdered pink, and egg-yolk yellow lined the sidewalks. Passerby began posing with them, Instagramming them, calling them “tree cozies.” Parents admired the eight-foot-tall sweaters with their children, asking aloud which ones were medium, which ones were large. As it turns out, the trees of Christopher Street were clothed by Holly and her aunt Polly.

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Joey Skaggs, King of Fake News, Unveils Annual Parade Charade

Joey Skaggs jester.

(Illustration courtesy of Joey Skaggs.)

Joey Skaggs is at it again. The longtime prankster has made a profession out of feeding the media false information in order to highlight and satirize their gullibility. His victims range from Fox to The Washington Post. In October of last year, director Andrea Marini released Art of the Prank, a documentary that covers Skaggs’s history as an artist and his many hoaxes. Yet despite the media’s growing awareness of Skaggs and his MO, he continues to disseminate elaborate scoops to the press.

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