Tag Archives: NYC

RENTS Never COME DOWN

rent and shit

Insulated like a cement world, part coffin, part museum environment, one could get that Platonic short sighted vision of the world in a Manhattan apartment.

NYC rents have gone up consistently without stop. The economy has been stuck in neutral forty years without average incomes of citizen Joe’s and Jane’s rising along with rents. It has become a hopeless homeless reality.

Landlords like Trump have no interest unless the government steps in to protect the tenants from usurious rentals. In New York City maybe seventy percent of the city residents would have to move if there were no rent laws in effect. Landlords continually cheat on the laws take protected affordable apartments and convert them into fast turn over spaces or hold spaces empty due to tax codes that favor this practice.

A forty five year squeeze on the middle class, the gift that keeps giving the small one percent’s infinite power, and the trusting average American citizen that cannot fathom how to get out of the nightmare American cartoon dream that is our current reality. The children have no where to go and no hope of owning or renting affordable spaces, ending up living with parents who also struggle to get by.

Even gas has finally got the message and the game of glut and squeeze is ending. But not rents. Especially apartment rentals. Apartments in big cities are less available to the glee of the landlord corporation, inc., the soulless entity with only one directive, the bottom line, the soulless bottom.

Unless you are a degreed millennial working in a major corporation, you cannot afford to live in NYC. Living off of inheritances, social safety networks, rent stabilization, and the like are what constitutes the majority of people still living on Manhattan Island.

Until rents begin to reflect the real incomes of the average citizens, until they tumble to a realistic amount like the price of a barrel of oil today, before a catastrophic event forces rents down it behooves the City to get housing availability and affordability as priority number one. The direction now is a high rise full of deserted apartments with people who have seized the wealth and invested in a view of heaven.

MDC says, Ya’all FUCKED !!!

The 1st NYC Mural Festival

english3First of all – murals, obviously.

But, aside from murals, this festival is going to be a totally family friendly, as guests of all ages are welcome and there will be something for everyone.

On Thursday, August 6th, established artists will be a part of a panel that will be held at also famous Jonathan LeVine Gallery at 7 PM. Then, on Friday, the sculpture garden will open at 114 Mulberry Street, featuring the infamous bust of Edward Snowden, a work by Andrew Tider and Jeff Greenspan. In the evening, there’s another panel in 7 PM, this time on illegal vs. legal street art installations, at Con Artist Collective.

On Saturday, kids will be able to learn how to create their own signature sticker, while learning about sticker culture.

englis2  english1

Also, from 5 PM to 7 PM on Saturday, a live illustration battle will be held between street artists Crash and BIO, where they need to cover 25 feet high walls with black and white images in hour and a half. The winner will be decided by the amount of applause by the audience.

After that, a never seen European cut of “Banksy does New York” will be shown outdoors, and on Sunday there will be a musical concert, with projection of completed murals from the festival.

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LA or NYC

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I was born on 148th Street in 1965, and from then until the late 1990s it never dawned on me to live anywhere other than New York City. When I lived on 14th Street in the late ‘80s, I paid $140 a month to share an apartment with a bunch of other odd and dysfunctional musicians and artists. AIDS, crack and a high murder rate kept most people away from New York back then. But even though it was a war zone, or perhaps to some extent because it was a war zone, Manhattan was still the cultural capital of the world. Of course everything’s changed since. New York has, to state the obvious, become the city of money. People say your rent should be 30 percent of your salary; in Manhattan today, at least for many people, it’s hovering around 300 percent.

The gradual shift in New York’s economic fortunes and mores reminds me of the boiling frog theory. If you take a frog and throw it in a pot of boiling water, the frog will do everything in its power to escape. But if you place a frog in room-temperature water and slowly raise the heat, it will boil to death without realizing it’s dying. (I truly hope this theory will never actually be tested.) That’s what happened to me in New York. I was so accustomed to the city’s absurd cult of money that it took me years to notice I didn’t have any artist friends left in Manhattan, and the artists and musicians I knew were slowly moving farther and farther east, with many parts of Brooklyn even becoming too pricey for aspiring or working artists.

New York had entered the pantheon of big cities that people visit and observe and patronize and document, but don’t actually add to, like Paris.

During the 1990s, thanks to the cessation of the crack epidemic, New York became increasingly safer and more affluent, and less artist-friendly, but it was still the place I wanted to call home. What happened next reminded me of Gremlins: you’re not supposed to feed the gremlins after midnight or they metastasize. Gremlin midnight came to New York sometime in the mid-‘90s. I realized then that most people I met in New York were happily observing and talking about culture, but not necessarily contributing to it. It seemed New York had entered the pantheon of big cities that people visit and observe and patronize and document, but don’t actually add to, like Paris. No one goes to Paris imagining how they can contribute to the city. People go to Paris thinking, “Wow, I want to get my picture taken with Paris in the background.” That’s what New York became, a victim of its own photogenic beauty and success.

And, to again state the obvious, New York is exclusively about success—it’s success that has been fed steroids and B vitamins. There’s a sense that New Yorkers never fail, but if they do, they’re exorcised from memory, kind of like Trotsky in early pictures of the Soviet Communist Politburo. In New York you can be easily overwhelmed by how much success everyone else seems to be having, whereas in L.A., everybody publicly fails at some point—even the most successful people. A writer’s screenplay may be turned into a major movie, but there’s a good chance her next five screenplays won’t even get picked up. An actor may star in acclaimed films for two years, then go a decade without work. A musician who has sold well might put out a complete failure of a record—then bounce back with the next one. Experimentation and a grudging familiarity with occasional failure are part of L.A.’s ethos.

Experimentation and a grudging familiarity with occasional failure are part of L.A.’s ethos.

Maybe I’m romanticizing failure, but when it’s shared, it can be emancipating and even create solidarity. Young artists in L.A. can really experiment, and if their efforts fall short, it’s not that bad because their rent is relatively cheap and almost everyone else they know is trying new things and failing, too. There’s also the exciting, and not unprecedented, prospect of succeeding at a global level. You can make something out of nothing here. Take Katy Perry. She’s a perfectly fine singer who one minute was literally couch surfing and the next was a household name selling out 50,000-capacity stadiums. Or Quentin Tarantino, one minute a video clerk, the next minute one of the most successful writer/directors in history. Los Angeles captures that strange, exciting and at times delusional American notion of magical self-invention.

I don’t want to create a New York-L.A. dichotomy, because both cities are progressive and wonderful, and there are clearly many other great American cities. Artists aren’t just leaving New York for L.A.—they’re also going to Portland, Minneapolis, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia and countless other places. And, as an aside, I don’t know why they aren’t moving to Newark. It’s 15 minutes away from Manhattan and remarkably cheap. I think it’s the unwarranted New Jersey stigma that unfortunately keeps people from crossing the Hudson. People would rather move to the worst part of Brooklyn and still have the magical “NY” in their address. That single consonant on their mail—”Y” as opposed to “J”— seems to keep people from making that 15-minute trek to Newark.

Plenty of other cities in the United States and abroad are, of course, interesting and beautiful, but I moved to L.A. due to its singular pre-apocalyptic strangeness. It seems equally baffled and baffling, with urban and suburban and wilderness existing in fantastic chaos just inches away from one another. There’s no center to L.A, and in many ways it’s kind of a fantastically confused petri dish of an anti-city. If you’re in New York, Brussels, London or Milan, you’re surrounded by a world that has been subdued and overseen by humans for centuries, sometimes for millennia. They’re stable cities; and when you’re in an older city you feel a sense of safety, as if you’re in a city that’s been, and being, well looked after. You feel like most well-established and conventional cities know what they’re doing. L.A., on the other hand, is constantly changing and always seemingly an inch away from some sort of benign collapse.

Nature, with all its empty, otherworldly expanses, is the constant, hulking neighbor to Los Angeles.

If you look at some of L.A.’s patron saint artists, like Robert Irwin and James Turrell, their work is about the vast, unknowable and at times uncaring strangeness of the world we live in—not the human world, but the natural world. And it makes sense: nature, with all its empty, otherworldly expanses, is the constant, hulking neighbor to Los Angeles. The moment you leave L.A., you’re in a desert that would most likely kill you if you left your water bottle at home. For southern California, humanity is the weird exception, not the rule.

L.A.’s strange environment and contradictions have also shaped the sound of my recent music. My last album, Innocents, is a fairly quiet and domestic record, almost like whistling in the dark in the face of the vast maw. And if I were more of a weird, brave artist—and maybe I’ll do this in the future—I would move out into the desert and let its vastness and uncaringness inform what I’m doing. So far I have made quiet sounds as something of a retreat into my home.

I should admit I have an ulterior motive in promoting L.A. I’m so outspoken about my love for the city because I want my friends to move here. When friends from New York ask me why I moved here, I say, somewhat elusively, “David Lynch lives here, there’s the Museum of Jurassic Technology, rents are relatively cheap, and I can run around outside 365 days of the year. Oh, and there are still recording studios in L.A.” And I’m always sending them real estate listings, especially when they complain about the cost of real estate in New York (in other words: constantly). If the weather is bad in New York in February, I’ll also be a clichéd Angeleno and send them a picture of me outside by the pool. Not just because I’m an asshole and I like shameless Schadenfreude, but also because I think they’d be happier here, especially those who are trying to start families. Even friends of mine who are making very good salaries of $150,000 a year feel dirt-poor when they picture raising kids in New York. My friends who are trying to start families in New York have given up on simple things, like ever having a 50-square-foot backyard for their kids. A good domestic life is simply more attainable here, as L.A has both invented and perfected that strange balance between the suburban and the apocalyptic. But let’s be clear, I have an agenda: I want my friends to join me here so I can sit with them by my pool in February and look at the weather updates for the rest of the Western world and feel smug together.

Source: thx MOBY, the village misses ya!

NO Smoking in NYC Apartments



MDC asks, is NYC a free place to live ?

New Yorkers may soon be unable to smoke in their own homes, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is pressing landlords and developers to prohibit residents from lighting up inside apartments.

This comes as part of the de Blasio administration’s efforts to reduce smoking citywide. It recently released a “sustainability blueprint” that outlined the initiative, which involves paying four health advocacy groups $9,000 each to get apartment complexes to ban smoking, reported the New York Post.

City health officials emphasized that the initiative is voluntary, but the same blueprint, titled “One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City,” also said that de Blasio is moving towards legislation that would require apartment buildings to create a smoking policy and “disclose it to residents and prospective residents.”

“Everyone benefits from smoke-free housing. Residents enjoy breathing cleaner, healthier air in their homes … while owners see reductions in property damage and turnover costs,” a Health Department spokesman said to the Post.

The Big Apple has already banned smoking in parks and all commercial establishments, a program initiated by former NYC mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg. De Blasio seems determined to pick up where his predecessor left off, but regulation concerning smoking in private homes is a new frontier.

De Blasio’s efforts are a part of anti-smoking policies that are gaining ground across the country. California’s Democrat-controlled Senate recently voted to raise the minimum smoking age to 21, and New Orleans passed smoking bans earlier this year that included prohibiting residents from smoking at drive-thrus.


Source: rt


GET OUTSIDE 



MDC says, GET OUTSIDE AND EXPERIENCE NATURE. 

Hiking is great way to enjoy the beauty and wonder of the outdoors. One of the main advantages of hiking is that it is an activity that is highly adaptable to many individual circumstances, such as fitness level, free time, monetary constraints, and length of travel desired.

In fact, this sport is one of the easiest physical pastimes to begin enjoying. Aside from providing a great source of physical activity and exercise, this fun hobby also has many hidden benefits that you will enjoy as you explore the hiking opportunities available in your locality.

Fight Stress With Each Hike

The modern world is demanding and nearly everyone must adhere to hectic work and family schedules. Taking time out to relax is important, and most people are already aware of the stress relieving properties of exercise.

Hiking not only provides the physical relief of other exercise options, but spending time outdoors and in nature has been shown to be a powerful stress and anxiety reliever. People who spend more time in outdoor green spaces exhibit lower levels of a stress hormone called cortisol, which translates into a happier, healthier and more relaxed state of mind. Hiking perfectly combines exercise with time in nature.

Improved Quality of Sleep

Sleep deprivation has almost become the norm in today’s society. Whether you’re kept awake from stress, a constant flow of emails or an inability to shut off the TV, computer or mobile device, you’re not alone.

Nearly 20 percent of Americans report getting 6 hours or less of sleep a night. Most people need, on average, about 6-7 hours of sleep nightly to be adequately rested. Hiking, along with the benefits of aiding relaxation and reducing anxiety, can also help people to achieve a higher quality of sleep.

Regular physical activity has been shown to improve sleep by over 50 percent in those who engage in a regular schedule of exercise. Thus, hiking can be an important part of getting a better night’s sleep.



The Hustle



New York City, once reputed to be a gritty urban hellhole where “only the strong survive,” has now become a vast playground for the wealthy, tourists, and wealthy tourists, particularly Europeans, who are always walking around gesturing rudely like “Wha? [in French].” The island of Manhattan is the epicenter of the rich/ tourist invasion which has rendered what was once the heart of NYC into a mere stage for commerce. 

Consequently, ripping off tourists is now a public service. 

This city has always ripped off tourists. This city is built on ripping off tourists. The hotels are too expensive. The restaurants are too expensive. The pedi-cabs are too expensive. Every single thing located in the midtown tourist district is too expensive. There are enormous industries in New York City entirely based on ripping off tourists. Even Wall Street is based on ripping off tourists, if you define “tourists” as “everyone not employed on Wall Street.” 

So Ahmed Mohammed charged tourists in the Manhattan tourist district $30 for a hot dog. So???? Welcome to New York City, motherfuckers! Anyone who willingly hands over thirty U.S. dollars to a hot dog vendor for a single hot dog is, by definition, someone who deserves to get soaked by the grand hustlers of New York City—the hustlingest city in the world. These suckers will have a great “real” New York story to tell the folks back home. “We couldn’t find any three-card monte, but we did manage to find what the sign said was New York’s very best hot dog!” Everyone wins.

If Ahmed Mohammed had built a shitty “prix-fixe” dinner restaurant charging $60 for a “pre-theater” meal, he would be a respected businessman. If he had dreamt up an opaque financial security that could be packaged and sold off to rubes before it blew up, he’d be a millionaire. But because he only sold an expensive hot dog to tourists, he’s out of work. His only crime was that his hustle wasn’t big enough. 

Ahmed Mohammed, the $30 hot dog vendor: we salute you. If we all pitch in and follow your lead, perhaps we can one day make this city so unfriendly that some of us will be able to afford an apartment