People & Places

  • Best Media Swallower

    Charles Dolan

    Cablevision's Charles Dolan struck one of the year’s biggest media deals in May by swallowing whole the entire Newsday behemoth. Rupert Murdoch was the other contender after the Tribune Company announced that it wanted to rid itself of Long Island’s big monopoly daily. But Cablevision came up with the sweeter offer: $650 million. At least Murdoch owns other newspapers; this… More >>
  • Best Sex By A Local Ex-governor

    Jim McGreevey

    Is there any doubt? It’s New Jersey’s Jim McGreevey, hands-down, with New York’s Eliot Spitzer just looking on—which is what Spitzer is into anyway, if his D.C. hookers are to be believed. Spitzer’s fall was lightning-quick, and he didn’t even spend much time on the dais in front of TV cameras with his wife painfully looking on. McGreevey, on the… More >>
  • Best Place To See Graffiti

    5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’

    If you’re a contemporary-art lover trekking out to Queens to ogle whatever’s inside P.S. 1, you’ll be happy to note that there’s more to see just a stone’s throw away—just look outside. 5 Pointz: The Institute of Higher Burnin’ is an old factory building whose walls are a museum. Curated by freelance artist Meres, the site has been described as… More >>
  • Best Desecration of a New York City Landmark

    John Varvatos

    Anyone with enough money can destroy a piece of New York history—just ask the folks in the Chase Bank branch that now occupies the Second Avenue Deli’s old digs. But it takes a true visionary to really violate and pervert the abandoned spaces of pre-gentrification New York. Enter, then, John Varvatos, the Detroit-born clothing magnate, and his newest Manhattan retail… More >>
  • Best Way to Tag a Building Without Leaving a Mark

    Graffiti Research Lab’s Laser Grafitti

    Just as Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work once straddled the streets and the galleries, Graffiti Research Lab’s Laser Grafitti also occupies both worlds. Since ’07, GRL’s James Powderly and Evan Roth—using a laptop, projector, and laser pointer—have been able to tag buildings hundreds of feet away and then instantly erase their work with the click of a button. In addition to tagging… More >>
  • Best Place to Say Good Riddance to Bush

    Metropolitan Museum’s Ancient Near Eastern Art galleries

    Commune with a 5,500-year-old ceramic ram’s head or an even older stone fertility figure in the Metropolitan Museum’s Ancient Near Eastern Art galleries, and you’ll get a sense of what was lost when U.S. troops were ordered to stand down while mobs looted the Baghdad Museum in 2003. Donald Rumsfeld dismissed the destruction with “Stuff happens,” but Oxford archaeologist Eleanor… More >>
  • Best Local Collection of Grisly Statistics from a War You Never Heard Of

    Human Rights Watch

    More than three million people have been killed in the factional and sometimes international war that’s been raging for decades in the Democratic Republic of Congo. And as the misery continues, our city’s own Human Rights Watch—one of the top NGOs in the U.S.—continues to keep an eye on it from its Fifth Avenue HQ. Among the HRW’s new figures,… More >>
  • Best Way Out of the City for the Lazy

    Adventure Society

    For everyone who swears that this year they’ll really go camping—or take that long bike ride in the Hudson Valley, or get upstate to check out the leaves or taste some vino—but then never makes it, the Adventure Society might be the thing to finally get you off your ass and into the wild. Trips for would-be active folks are… More >>
  • Best Excuse for a Walking Tour of New York Even Though You Live Here

    Accomplice: New York

    One wouldn’t necessarily say that having to ask a bum for directions is a sign you’re on a quality walking tour—unless that tour is Accomplice: New York. This integrative theatrical mystery go-round has walkers dealing with all kinds of shady characters that blend right into the city (in some cases, they’re actors; in others, they’re not). On the original route,… More >>
  • Best Way for Women to find Non-Stereotyped Jobs

    Non-Traditional Employment for Women

    In 1978, a mere 2 percent of jobs in the construction field were held by women, despite a 6.9 percent guideline issued by the government. That’s why the nonprofit organization Non-Traditional Employment for Women (NEW) was launched back then; it has since provided a regular free six-week training program (prepping 420 woman last year alone) as well as placement services… More >>
  • Best Place to Completely Forget You’re in NYC

    Fort Tilden

    Those in the know about Fort Tilden, a remote bit of shore on the southern end of the Rockaway peninsula, might be annoyed by this press mention, but they’ve got nothing to fear. No amount of media attention could convince the masses to corrupt this faraway place, because it’s basically a pain to get to. That said, the few who… More >>
  • Best Subway Busker

    Blind Musician on YouTube

    There are better musical acts in underground New York—several expert doo-wop groups, for instance—but we’ll take the Blind Musician on YouTube, as he calls himself: the frail subway vocalist who looks down and out but sings in the way-high registers. You’ll see him on the R and F trains, among others. He’s a sweetheart, and even though his voice is… More >>
  • Best Outer Borough You Can Still Afford

    Downtown Jersey City

    You can still afford it, but just barely. As we write, luxury condos are sprouting up like mushrooms (not the magical kind) in Downtown Jersey City, but in their shadows are rows of brownstones, skyline views, a massive state park, and some diverse and delish grub. Transportation to Lower Manhattan takes eight minutes and costs less than the subway. And… More >>
  • Best ’hood for Gays to Go Unrecognized In

    Hell’s Kitchen

    If you hail from Chelsea, the Village, or Anywhere USA, you’ll go unnoticed in Hell’s Kitchen, because the slightly lower rents there make it a place filled with newbies, transients, and drop-ins who don’t always know last month’s club stars. At HK bars like Vlada, Posh, Urge, and Therapy, the gays are filled with a wide-eyed wonder, as if they’ve… More >>
  • Best Way to Live Like the Who’s Tommy (Though Without the Messiah Complex)

    The NYC Pinball Association

    Though it sounds quaint in the age of Wii/Xbox/PlayStation, the seemingly ancient art of coin-operated arcade games is still in vogue with a hardy crew of players: Max Pinball (as he’s called) has headed The NYC Pinball Association since this January. The favorite haunt for the association’s 18 active players is the Amsterdam Billiard Club (11th Street and Fourth Avenue),… More >>
  • Best Space-Age relics

    Hall of Science in Queens

    The New York Hall of Science in Queens offers plenty of worthy exhibits: microbes, molecules, mathematics, etc. But the main attractions may be on the lawn outside, in Rocket Park, where linger two fantastic-looking remnants of the U.S. space program, an original Atlas booster and an original Titan II booster, along with replica capsules that the kids—and starstruck adults—can climb… More >>
  • Best Way to See the Effects of Global Warming with Chalk Marks

    High Waterline Project

    Even Dubya admits that this planet’s cooking, but how do we experience this phenomenon up-close and personal? To address this problem, artist Eve Mosher drew some lines, but not on a canvas. Starting from last spring, she’s pushed around a blue chalk sports-field marker on wheels for her High Waterline Project, drawing lines on the roads and sidewalks where the… More >>
  • Best Restaurant for Getting Pumped for a Show at the Garden

    Kabooz's Bar & Grille

    The immediate area around "the world's most famous arena" doesn't have many obvious dining choices, but if you go down into Penn Station and walk past the LIRR entrance, you'll notice an establishment that's just right for the evening. Since opening in 1997, Kabooz's Bar & Grille has served American-bistro cuisine with appropriate music to go along with it. While… More >>
  • Best Place to Contemplate Sacrilege

    Jackson Heights Butala Emporium

    Apu, that charming entrepreneur from The Simpsons, is often called upon to utter: “Please do not offer my God a peanut.” When you see the dozens of absurdly cute statues of the elephant-headed Ganesh at the Jackson Heights Butala Emporium, you might feel tempted to offer them snack foods, too. When not misusing items of religious devotion, shoppers can also… More >>
  • Best Reason to Be Rude to a Stranger

    The man or woman, cellphone to ear

    You’ve all been there: rushing toward the subway stairs, clutching your Times or Savage Detective on your hurried way to work, part of the ever-flowing crowd that is New York City. Ever-flowing, that is, until you reach that person—the man or woman, cellphone to ear—who has decided it’s perfectly acceptable to stop on the subway stairs in order to finish… More >>
  • Best Local TV Reporter

    Roger Clark

    Well, perhaps “most appealing” is the more appropriate sobriquet—or “most pleasantly goofball.” NY1’s Roger Clark isn’t exactly Edward R. Murrow, though he does get sent to exotic places early in the morning to report on whatever local color happens to be up at that strange hour. Roger’s charm comes from his combination of friendliness and awkwardness, his always-game attitude, and… More >>
  • Most Adorable Hipsters

    Renegade Craft Fair

    Names can be deceiving. Case in point: the Williamsburg Renegade Craft Fair. The sobriquet suggests something aggressive and fierce, with maybe a bit of camo clothing and pirate chic thrown in for accent. But this annual fest is cuter-than-thou rather than cooler-than-thou. You’ve never seen so many hip kids surrounded by such a forest of T-shirts and tote bags featuring… More >>
  • Best Brooklyn Ruin

    Abandoned MTA power station

    There’s something especially charming about a Brooklyn ruin these days. With so much of the borough gentrifying and filling up with Manhattan spillover, it’s actually reassuring to see an old industrial building still looming in proud decay, not yet converted into dot-com offices with baby-friendly cafés. Our current favorite: the abandoned MTA power station on the Gowanus Canal just north… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Murdered, Raped, Robbed, or Assaulted

    East New York, Brooklyn

    The fact that East New York, Brooklyn, remains the overall violent-crime leader in New York City is not surprising. After all, there's been so much mayhem there over the years that the place has earned not one but two nicknames from the detectives working there: "The Killing Fields" and "The Dead Zone." But instead of being No. 1 with a… More >>
  • Best Future Beachfront Property

    Arverne

    Wall Street too expensive, even with a bailout? Brooklyn too hip? Looks like you may be headed to Arverne, in the Rockaways. At the risk of sounding like just another real-estate ad, we point out that Arverne is on the Atlantic friggin’ Ocean, and that, unlike Long Beach, it isn’t steadily being infested with Manhattanites. Not yet, at least. Did… More >>
  • Best Refuge for Our Remaining Mafiosi

    Florio's Grill & Cigar Bar

    If you're an old-school mobster who hasn't already entered a witness-protection program and craves a taste of the real Little Italy, it's best to avoid the overpriced tourist joints on Mulberry Street, where the food quality has plummeted since Paolucci's closed a couple of years back, and where bargains disappeared along with wonderful old Luna's Restaurant. Around the corner on… More >>
  • Best Crushing Media Oversaturation

    Sex and the City movie

    The constantly regenerating movie-poster avalanche that infects subways, billboards, taxi roofs, etc. (you even see ads tacked above urinals!), has become an inevitable part of the New York way of life, and we’ve learned to either ignore it or tweak it for our own amusement. (Back when those You Don’t Mess With the Zohan ads with Adam Sandler doing the… More >>
  • Best Cult

    Scientology

    What a year it’s been for the Scientology-watcher. From out of nowhere, the leaderless group Anonymous, the hip new thing among the college-age and computer-literate, suddenly emerged in February to protest L. Ron Hubbard’s wacky “church.” Tom Cruise’s dim co-religionists, meanwhile, obliged with one hilarious gaffe after another. (It doesn't get much better than Scientology’s New York honcho, John Carmichael,… More >>
  • Best Love Letter to the Old, Seedy Lower East Side

    Richard Price

    The latest novel from beloved novelist, screenwriter (The Wire!), and generally hyper-articulate/hard-boiled badass Richard Price is technically set in 2003, but its dazzling portrayal of a rough, desperate, and quite possibly lethal Lower East Side feels distinctly pre-Giuliani in its lawless, profane seediness. Not that Lush Life, as a gritty crime procedural, is terribly over-the-top in terms of violence: There’s… More >>
  • Best Barometer of the Decline of the Manhattan Literary World

    Brooklyn Book Festival

    Brooklyn as literary hotbed has been pretty well established at this point, even past the point of clichĂ©. But while the borough has yet to see its own version of Elaine’s, it now has something vastly finer than that once-storied, now-calcifying eatery. Indeed, perhaps nothing better signals the end of Manhattan’s literary hegemony than the rise of the Brooklyn Book… More >>
  • Sports have become easier to follow, but harder to love, By Allan Barra

    Played Out

    Sports have become easier to follow, but harder to love, By Allan Barra

    The ultimate expression of nostalgia is a line in Louis Malle’s 1980 film, Atlantic City. As Robert Joy’s punk drug dealer strolls the boardwalk with Burt Lancaster’s old-time mob flunky, Burt relates stories of the good old days when Bugsy Siegel and his cronies frequented A.C. “Well,” says Joy, “you still got the Atlantic Ocean.” “Ah, yes,” says Lancaster, gazing out… More >>
  • What’s thrilling, and irritating, about NYC’s music scene, By Rob Harvilla

    In Praise of the Hype Machine

    What’s thrilling, and irritating, about NYC’s music scene, By Rob Harvilla

    Consider the plight of the local-music enthusiast in a small or even decent-sized American city—totally at random, let’s say Columbus, Ohio. Fairly sizable, fairly robust, biggest university in the country, etc. (Although the Buckeyes can’t beat anybody outside the Big Ten, alas.) Myriad fledgling bands to absorb there, staffed by jovially skuzzy dudes guzzling PBR (unironically) and lousing up myriad… More >>
  • Best Shoe Repair

    Cowboy Shoe Repair

    Not long ago, a friend of ours bought on sale the knee-high boots of her dreams. Trouble was, they didn't zip up over her calves. Three cobblers and many, many dollars later, the boots still didn't fit right--in fact, all the cheap fixes made them look a little strange. Enter our hero, Byron Valarezo of Cowboy Shoe Repair. Though he… More >>

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