Urban Affairs

Pataki and the Incumbocrats

10.23.2006 | Harry Siegel | Urban Affairs

Upstate’s declining population of increasingly elderly and poor remaining residents are no longer consistent conservatives. While Pataki, like Cuomo, has overseen this decline, he’s also clinging to the back of the demographic leviathan.

A Sad Goodbye to the Fulton Fishmarket

06.9.2006 | Benjamin Feldman | Urban Affairs | 2 Comments

Place matters: its eradication can neither be reversed nor the sin atoned. No book, no film can ever restore what dies inside us when the wrecking crews descend.

Boomberg Koyenizes Gotham

01.25.2006 | Harry Siegel | Urban Affairs
The new arrivals look upon them with confusion, disdain and just a touch of pride—Look how real it still is here!

Red Hook - Wounded by Good Intentions

01.18.2006 | Zachary Intrater | Urban Affairs | 1 Comment
“The rest of the country gets her ass,” says Frank, a long-time Red Hook resident. “Red Hook is the only place you can see her face.” We’re on the recently renovated Pier 39, now a fantastic pocket park, staring directly into the green eyes of the Statue of Liberty. It’s true: except for some technicalities—like the north shore of Staten Island, which doesn’t really count—Red Hook has, by virtue of its location, a singular view of Lady Liberty. But then, for Red Hook, location has always meant everything.

Union Dues

12.21.2005 | Harry Siegel | Urban Affairs
New York’s transit strike may be Bloomberg’s problem. But the excessive power wielded by public-employee unions is a natioanl problem for Democrats, who control most big city halls, who are tied most intimately to the public-sector unions and who will lose out most when the cities they run no longer work.

We've Always Liked Freddy - Ferrer's single largest English-language endorsement. Really.

Any candidate so humble as to admit that he needs a degree in public administration after 22 years in elected office has the stooped shoulders needed to bear the weight of begging funds from Washington, apologizing for his helplessness in the face of national trends and other ceremonial duties of the mayor’s office, circa 1990.

In Praise of 311 - Compstat Continued

09.30.2005 | Harry Siegel | Urban Affairs



Prior to 311, most non-emergency calls were taken by Mayor’s Action Center, headed by Fletcher Vredenburgh, best known for his online screed declaring that he was sick of “griping, often whining, often stupid New Yorkers … dumb fucks from the public to dumber fucks that work for the city… So I take painkillers, sleep a lot, and think about killing every citizen and employee of New York City every minute I’m awake.”



New York Needs a New Moses

The destruction of 9/11 has placed the city’s already aging and inadequate infrastructure back on center stage for the first time since the fall of Robert Moses 35 years ago. Here is our chance to again plan for the whole city, not merely consider whatever groups yell the loudest.

Hell Is Other Hacks, or, a Good Time To Be In Local Politics

08.1.2005 | Harry Siegel | Urban Affairs | 1 Comment
Given a choice between hearing Freddy Ferrer explain that parks are essential, or reading comments like “Giff is so feisty! Grrr!” I’d have to go with the hecklers who were taken out by security, chanting “No Police State!” At least they knew this was theater.

Arcane Business Agency and Other Fabulous Resources

08.1.2005 | Harry Siegel | Partisan Art, Photography, Urban Affairs | 2 Comments

A Last Look at Fulton Fish Market

07.25.2005 | Evita Mendiola | Partisan Art, Photography, Urban Affairs | 3 Comments

"The phrase 'the city that never sleeps' doesn’t refer to nightclubs and bars, but to work and labor. At all hours is the city building, selling, changing, working; that is what it means to live in the city that never sleeps."

Nov tys and Other City Signs

Window View

New York Heads Back to the Future, Or, This Time Why Not Worst?

07.14.2005 | Harry Siegel | Urban Affairs | 1 Comment
In a city where Democrats outnumber barbarians by more than five-to-one, we’re on the cusp of an unprecedented 16 straight years of Elephants in Gracie Mansion. What happened?

Signs and Reflections

Hasta La Vista, Council Members, Or, The Case For Term Limits

06.17.2005 | Henry Stern | Urban Affairs
Why should anyone want to leave the Council, with its six figure salary, including lulus, the lack of any restriction on outside work or income, the ample staffs, the mailing privileges at public expense for self-serving illustrated brochures, and all the privileges and emoluments which come with good pay and light work, which basically consists of intoning 'Aye' upon hearing your surname mentioned on a roll call?

Dorfman's Gotham — Cityscapes

Manhattan Lights

Kings County

In Defense of the Public Interest

04.28.2005 | Henry Stern | Urban Affairs
Consider the politicians who keep the New York State election laws so rigid and baffling that they stand as artificial, expensive barriers to public participation in free elections.

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