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Posted July 21, 2008 in News • Tags: ,

New York’s MTA is spending a mind-boggling 7.2 billion dollars to make the commute a smidge easier for some Long Islanders. The idea is to bring some LIRR commuters to Grand Central Terminal instead of Penn Station. Take a look at the map and judge for yourself if it’s money well-spent. Note especially the distance between the two stations, and consider that there is already a myriad of options to get from one to the other: existing subways, busses, taxis, and, oh, walking (it’s less than a mile). Consider also the fact that this project entails tunneling under already existing Metro North (another commuter line) tracks that run along Park Avenue and building another level underneath the existing Grand Central. A glance at the map begs the obvious question: why not just link to the existing Metro North tracks and use the existing levels of Grand Central? Especially since Grand Central ain’t so grand any more: its only remaining service is the Metro North commuter lines! Surely there’s room among the dozens of tracks there for a few trains from Long Island.

In the meantime, another project–one which would serve a vastly greater number of (ostensibly less well-connected) city commuters seems to be languishing: the Second Avenue subway. It too costs many billions of dollars, but at least it serves a real purpose–to relieve the severely overcrowded Lexington Avenue line–and extends from 125th Street all the way down to the Wall Street area. Oh, and it’s been on the drawing board for eighty years. Which means that the next time you’re packed like a sardine on the 4/5 and it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic, you can console yourself with the fact that it was never meant to be this way.

Well, the good news is that this stupid line is about to run out of money due to the MTA’s perennial money shortage. At seven billion dollars to tunnel one mile, it’s easy to see why there’s no money. One can hope that in the meantime somebody else will come into power–someone not beholden to suburban commuter demands–and put a stop to this nonsense before it sucks in any more of our tax dollars.

Posted May 12, 2008 in Life • Tags:

The posh 10021 ZIP code in New York’s Upper East Side has been overtaken in the my-dick, er, house-is-bigger-than-yours war by one of the pieces that split off of it recently, 10065.

“People define themselves by their real-estate holdings much more than their ZIP codes.”

Well, that’s a relief. For a second I thought people were being shallow.

Posted May 10, 2008 in News • Tags:

Rupert Murdoch, owner of everything, has a brilliant idea for turning a profit at his sagging New York Post:

Mr. Murdoch said Wednesday that the company was taking separate steps to stem losses at The Post. He said the paper would raise its cover price within the next two weeks to 50 cents, from a quarter.

Some of us haven’t forgotten that the Post dropped its price to a quarter several years ago in an attempt to… turn a profit. I guess that hasn’t worked out. No mention of Mr. Murdoch having any interest in, I don’t know, improving the paper’s dreadful content, which combines the lowest of low-brow trash journalism unworthy of the weekly gossip and alien-abduction rags with the hard-right pro-war conservative editorial content Mr. Murdoch is known for. My guess is Mr. Murdoch isn’t actually concerned about turning a profit at his vanity press – otherwise it would have folded years ago.

Posted March 23, 2008 in Life • Tags: ,

The New York Times’ age-old fascination with everything “post-modern” is revisited in an article showcasing recent works, all residential luxury towers in Manhattan, from some of today’s leading star-chitects. No mention is made of the city’s tanking economy and the fact that there might not be enough international tycoons left in a couple years to fill all these new condos. [more]

Vice cops apparently don’t have any real crime to fight, as they continue–with admirable reluctance–to take on the dreadful burden of asking hot babes for sex in stripper bars.

The State Liquor Authority lifted the jiggle joint’s liquor license Wednesday for allowing prostitution to flourish on the premises. … Undercover Manhattan South vice cops found women selling sex to customers in back rooms, VIP lounges and even bathrooms in the W. 28th St. club.

One has to wonder, from where does the liquor board derive its authority to combat sex “crimes”? And since the charge seems to be prostitution, isn’t the usual punishment a short jail term for the “criminals”? None of this makes any sense. Nevertheless, the government will continue to pat itself on the back for fighting these “crimes”, thinking there is any relationship whatsoever between vice and real crime. In case they intend to bring up the “broken windows” theory where stopping smaller crimes leads to a decrease in larger crimes (about which topic and whether this theory is actually responsible for NYC’s dramatic drop in crime during the late nineties and early aughts one could fill an entire book), I offer the following memo to the NYPD, or the liquor board, or whoever the fuck they’re getting to fight crime these days: stopping vice does not have any effect on real crime, unlike other petty crimes such as vandalism or trespassing. The people who seek expensive stripper sex and the strippers who service them are not the same people who go on to commit larger crimes.

The real crime is that victimless crimes are crimes in the first place™.

Posted December 2, 2007 in Life • Tags:

A fifth-grader champions Rudy Giuliani:

There are few things more irritating than listening to some pale, behoodied ectomorph hold forth about how much better New York City was before Rudy Giuliani got hold of it.