About Erica Commisso

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As Taxis Battle Ubers, a Cab-Friendly Ride-Hailing App Offers a Deal

(Photo courtesy of Waave)

Yellow taxis throughout New York are clapping back against the influx of Uber and Lyft drivers.

App-based cars outnumber taxis by a four-to-one ratio, and yellow cab drivers are complaining about financial strains as a result of decreased business. Earlier this month, 58 year-old Roy Kim hanged himself in his home, becoming the eighth taxi driver to commit suicide in the past year; the New York Post reported that he was over $500,000 in debt after purchasing his taxi medallion last year.

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Yoga-Boxing Entrepreneur Olivia Young Brings Out Her Yin-Yang With an Expanded Studio

Olivia Young (Photo courtesy of Box + Flow)

It’s November 1, the two-year anniversary of box + flow, and 32-year old founder Olivia Young is feeling reflective. “I woke up from a nightmare this morning,” she says. “I was crying right before you got here.”

Young is unapologetically herself, and is arrestingly honest. She’s the kind of person you trust immediately. She hands me a beer from the mini-fridge beside her desk, and we cheers to the second anniversary of box + flow and to my own personal growth, in a disclosure I will share with her but not with the internet. Keep Reading »

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Smart Food, Indeed! This Delicious Popcorn Helps Autistic People Land Jobs

Sam Bier (Photo via Popcorn for the People’s Instagram

If Popcorn for the People had a kernel, it was 24-year-old Samuel Bier.

Bier, who is autistic, wanted to work, travel, and live like everyone else. Three years ago, he applied for jobs, but was constantly rejected. The unemployment rate for people with autism is 80 to 90%, and it was clear that the system was working against him. That was until his parents, two doctors, saw him joyfully eating popcorn while watching Monty Python.

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Can These Celebrity-Designed Pistols Make a Dent in America’s Gun Problem?

(Photo: Erica Commisso)

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist designed his half of the gun with the Rangers’ jersey colors, his number 30 in red and white on the blue handle. On the barrel of the gun: The New York City skyline at sunset. Lundqvist’s twin brother, Joel, designed the other side of the Colt Python 357 Magnum revolver. He’s a hockey player too, in his native Sweden, so he also had his team colors painted on the gun’s handle.

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Six Years After Sandy, Electeds Say Current Flood Protection Plan Doesn’t Hold Water

(Photo: Erica Commisso)

Six years ago today, Superstorm Sandy hit New York City. Streets were flooded, buildings were destroyed, some $19 billion in damage occurred, and 43 people lost their lives. In the Seaport District, water levels reached four feet high. Six years after the city announced that it would build a U-shaped wall designed to protect it from future natural disasters, the plan still has not been carried out.

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This 23-Year-Old Had Trouble Finding Suits, So She Launched a Bespoke Tailoring Startup For Modern Women

Kevwe Mowarin (Photo: Erik Solorzano)

At 19, Kevwe Mowarin started working at Credit Suisse, expecting to build a career in investment banking. Instead, she noticed that all of the women around her were confined to ill-fitting suits in plain colors, devoid of personality or creativity. Most of the women around her, she said, dressed bland.

“It was amazing to me that my peers, the men, had custom fitting options galore. But for the women, it was very hard for us to find suits that fit properly, and suits that weren’t so old-fashioned and conformed to our modern standards,” Mowarin said.

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Not All Customers Are Giving Amazon’s Brick-and-Mortar Store a 4-Star Review

(Photos: Erica Commisso)

The only way to describe Amazon’s 4-Star brick-and-mortar store is to say that it’s like stepping into the website, sort of empty and utilitarian, packed with things you didn’t know you wanted and probably don’t need. Except that bright yellow signs remind you that you do, in fact, need that mint green KitchenAid mixer or that Harry Potter Clue game.

Just like on the website, because you bought that Harry Potter game there’s an entirely irrelevant celebrity item beside it (like Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook), and beside that, a TV where you can watch Chrissy do whatever she does and binge-watch the entire Harry Potter series in 24 hours. Amazon really has captured the niche atmosphere of Walmart meets Paper Source meets Giant Tiger meets Barnes & Noble’s sale section right before closing.

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Hot Yoga Studio Expands, Sticking With Bikram Name Despite Heated Controversy

(Photo: Erica Commisso)

“Alright everyone, happy Tuesday. Thank you for joining me in class today,” Frank King says, standing on a wooden box that doubles as a podium. He stands before a group of scantily clad, sweaty men and women, crammed together in a room about the size of a New York City studio apartment. He’s heated the space to over 100 degrees, and King himself is shirtless, wearing skin-tight cycling shorts and guiding his class through the two breathing exercises and 26 yoga poses that make up the “sacred geometry” of Bikram Yoga.

He’s one of the eight instructors at YO BK, a studio on Williamsburg’s Broadway that offers three types of hot exercise classes, including power yoga and hot pilates. Bikram yoga, though, is the most controversial.

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