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Surviving the Cage: A New York Newbie Steps Onto the West 4th Street Courts

(Photos: Matthew Silver)

The West 4th Street Courts are some of the most fearsome in New York City; their reputation for physical play and cutthroat competition is the stuff of documentaries. They’re known as “The Cage,” which helps describe the four towering walls of chain-link fence that surround them, along with the openly hostile territory inside. It’s said that none other than NBA legend Julius Erving used to play here in his heyday. I, on the other hand, was cut from my high school basketball team (in Canada, no less). So, when I rolled up to The Cage with a freshly bought basketball, I had more confidence than actual talent.

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On a Bus with Ai Weiwei, Or So I Thought

Bus stop in Harlem. (Photo: Matthew Silver)

Is there going to be food on this thing? That’s my first thought when I board a tour bus with about 20 other journalists, before heading on a trip to see installations from Ai Weiwei’s new citywide exhibition, Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. To my delight/surprise, there’s a black tote bag sitting on every seat with some snacks.

Maybe it’s too close to Halloween and I’m paranoid about hidden needles, but I don’t want to eat some random apple or the cheddar-flavored Skinny Pop. Instead, I’ve brought along a breakfast burrito from a local bodega. I can sense my seatmate, a German named Andreas who works for German Public Radio, is a bit jealous.

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Cosplay Diplomacy: How 10 Comic Con Goers Would Defeat Their Enemies

Trump says “only one thing will work,” but the attendees of New York Comic Con know better. We asked them how they’d defeat their mortal enemy (in the comic book universe). Click through for their answers.

<strong>Wonder Woman</strong>

Wonder Woman

“I try not to kill people. So, probably in a nice way and put them in jail.”

<strong>Dream</strong>

Dream

“I would probably trap him in a nightmare of his own devising.”

<strong>Dark Phoenix</strong>

Dark Phoenix

“It would have to be the Joker, because he’s just so psycho. It would be interesting to get into his head, and since Jean Grey can get into people’s minds, I could destroy him from within.”

<strong>Flasher</strong>

Flasher

“I’m the friendly neighborhood Flash…er. I’m not here to save the world, I just want to show people my junk. Who wears the most clothes? Batman. Rip ‘em all off. That’s how I would kill him. Without his suit, who is he?”

<strong>Deadpool</strong>

Deadpool

“Probably T-Ray with as many Katanas as possible.”

<strong>Namor the Sub-Mariner</strong>

Namor the Sub-Mariner

“It’s humans in general. He would send tsunamis to drown them. If you have oil tankers and you’re poisoning the water, you’re his mortal enemy. Anybody that hurts the ocean.”

<strong>Tracer</strong>

Tracer

“It would probably be Red Skull from Captain America. Because, I love Captain America. My main superpower is that I can throw a sticky bomb, and it basically blows up everyone in a certain radius. Definitely the bomb.”

<strong>Batman</strong>

Batman

"Most likely it’s the Riddler. Dispose of him? It’s pretty easy. You just need to figure out his riddles and stay one step ahead of him. I would probably just lock him away forever and throw away the key.”

<strong>Octopus</strong>

Octopus

“I’m an octopus. I would squeeze them with my tentacles and possibly drown them in ink.”

<strong>Mercy</strong>

Mercy

“Loki with Thor’s hammer.”

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The Ai Weiwei Installation in Washington Square Park Already Has People Talking

(Photos: Matthew Silver, unless noted.)

The metal-wire Ai Weiwei installation that will reside underneath the Washington Square Arch from October 12 to Feb. 11 isn’t completed yet, but it’s already garnering mixed reviews from people in the neighborhood.

The project, “Good Fences Make Good Neighbors,” is part of a larger exhibition by the Public Art Fund in celebration of its 40th anniversary, and the tall fence-like structure is just one of more than 300 installations that will be scattered across the five boroughs. Another Ai Weiwei installation is going up at Cooper Union.

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