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Tourist Tally: 1 in 3 People On Bedford Avenue Are Not From Around Here

Noora and Nuutti Tiovoneni, from Finland (Jaime Cone)

Noora and Nuutti Tiovoneni, from Finland (Jaime Cone)

With hotels, Airbnbs, and gifty boutiques popping up all over Williamsburg to serve an influx of out-of-towners, one has to wonder: how many people strolling Bedford Avenue at a given time are locals, and how many are tourists? To answer that question, we posted up outside of the Bedford station and polled over 300 passersby. Our findings: 1 in 3 people we spoke to were from outside of New York City (about half of those visitors were Europeans), while just 1 in 4 of them actually lived in Williamsburg. As one of Williamsburg’s many French tourists might say: “Mon dieu!”

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Hoping to Rent Kurt Cobain’s Place? ‘Stay Away’

Cobain's childhood bedroom. (Aberdeen Realty)

Cobain’s childhood bedroom. (Aberdeen Realty)

A couple of months after Vulture noticed Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love’s old Los Angeles apartment on Airbnb, the listing has been taken down. Sorry, Nirvana fans: if you want to sleep like Cobain slept, you’ll have to crawl underneath a bridge and collect drippings from the ceiling.

Actually, that’s not quite true.

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City Council Unveils $2M Plan to Beef Up Enforcement Against Illegal Airbnb Rentals

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In response to complaints that illegal hotels, including Airbnb rentals that violate the law, are worsening New York City’s lack of affordable housing, undermining the city’s hotel market, and causing safety issues in apartment buildings, New York City Council members have announced a comprehensive plan to double the city department responsible for investigating violations.

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Public Advocate Blames AirBNB For Brooklyn's Affordable Housing Crisis

17-airbnb-logo.w245.h368.2xPublic Advocate Letitia James is calling on AirBNB to boot its “illegal hotel kingpins” and blaming the apartment-sharing service for an affordable housing crisis in Bushwick, Greenpoint and other Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Last month, a nationwide survey found that Brooklyn had the least affordable housing of any county in the nation, with 98% of the average family’s wages needed to cover the median home cost. James thinks Airbnb is one of the culprits. “By helping turn a portion of our scarce housing supply into short-term rentals,” she writes in a letter to the company’s co-founder and CEO, “Airbnb and the illegal hotel operators it enables are contributing to the affordable housing crisis.”
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In Parody Video, 'Share Better' Coalition Throws Roaches and Bedbugs in Airbnb's Face

With its fight against the New York Attorney General simmering, a new campaign has been launched to fight Airbnb. is a group of community activists, organizations, elected officials, and others who went public today with an assault on the apartment-sharing service, which they believe is more of a disservice to the community.
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30 Tweet-Worthy Moments From the Webby Awards, Hosted by Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt (Photo: Ko Fujimura)

Patton Oswalt (Photo: Ko Fujimura)

Hours after Bill de Blasio kicked off Internet Week, the technorati poured into Cipriani Wall Street last night to see Patton Oswalt host the 18th annual Webby Awards. The comic was quick to poke fun at websites whose founders were in the audience: “Even if I eat it tonight Reddit will find a way to blame it on the wrong person,” he quipped.

Here, now, are the ceremony’s most memorable (or shall we say, Tweetable) moments.
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Airbnb Hosts: ‘I’m Not Hurting Anybody, I’m Not Hooking, I’m Not Selling Drugs’

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It’s no secret that the Airbnb economy is thriving in New York City — after all, the Times was on it this week. Visitors to the city can tap in to the crash-pad social network to rent out anything from enormous luxury loft apartments in Williamsburg (for mere hundreds of dollars a night) to cozy, but apparently windowless futon-hallways in the East Village for as little as 60 bones. Airbnb isn’t couch-surfing cheap, but it still offers travelers a more affordable option than hotels and lets outsiders in on the less tourist-riddled pockets of the city.
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