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The Man With the $13 Billion Checkbook
July 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By John Leland [John Leland, a Metro reporter, joined The Times in 2000. His most recent book is “Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons From a Year Among the Oldest Old,” based on a Times series. @johnleland]

In the neglected Harlem of the late 1990s, one dynamic player was the Abyssinian Development Corporation, a nonprofit offshoot of the powerful Abyssinian Baptist Church. Harlem then was littered with abandoned buildings that had been repossessed by the city. The development corporation, led by the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, leveraged city and private money to restore these shells, then used the profits to acquire and rehab more buildings. Mr. Walker became the organization’s chief operating officer, working out of a basement office to help bring a Pathmark supermarket to 125th Street, the anchor for what would become a thriving commercial corridor in a neighborhood that had been given up for dead.

“Working for Calvin Butts, you saw the power of the black church, the shrewd political instincts of a power player, and the dynamic at the intersection of race, power, geography and culture,” Mr. Walker said. “It gave me tremendous insight into how power at that intersection plays out, and who benefits and who doesn’t benefit.”

Mr. Walker’s time at Abyssinian also taught him what it was like to rely on foundation grants, begging the mighty patron for favors. When he left to join the Rockefeller Foundation and then Ford — and as Abyssinian boomed and busted in a new Harlem — he vowed to change this relationship.
African-Americans  capitalism  Communicating_&_Connecting  contradictions  cultural_institutions  Darren_Walker  Ford_Foundation  Harlem  inequality  museums  patronage  power_brokers  New_York_City  personal_connections  political_power  relationships  tokenism 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
Where Does Major American Art Come From? Mapping the Whitney Biennial.
July 5, 2019 | The New York Times | SCOTT REINHARD, DEREK WATKINS, ALICIA DeSANTIS, RUMSEY TAYLOR, and SIDDHARTHA MITTER.

The first Whitney Annual in 1932 was transgressive.....In 1973, the exhibition became a Biennial, and its history is the history of American modern and contemporary art. Or, at least one version of that history: one centered in New York City, one heavily white and male. That is no longer the case. This year, a majority of the show’s artists are women, and they are racially and ethnically diverse. New York, however, remains home to nearly half of them.

Until 1975, the exhibition catalogs listed the addresses of the artists who were included each year. Mapping these locations tells a story of influence and power — but also one of friendships and creative communities, of housing prices and economic change, of landscape and light. Here are some of its facets.
art  artists  bohemians  Chicago  contemporary_art  creative_class  creative_types  diversity  gentrification  geographic_concentration  Greenwich_Village  location  Los_Angeles  Manhattan  mapping  museums  New_York_City  overlay_networks  prestige  proximity  SoHo  transgressiveness  white_men 
6 weeks ago by jerryking
How 5 Data Dynamos Do Their Jobs
June 12, 2019 | The New York Times | By Lindsey Rogers Cook.
[Times Insider explains who we are and what we do, and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.]
Reporters from across the newsroom describe the many ways in which they increasingly rely on datasets and spreadsheets to create groundbreaking work.

Data journalism is not new. It predates our biggest investigations of the last few decades. It predates computers. Indeed, reporters have used data to hold power to account for centuries, as a data-driven investigation that uncovered overspending by politicians, including then-congressman Abraham Lincoln, attests.

But the vast amount of data available now is new. The federal government’s data repository contains nearly 250,000 public datasets. New York City’s data portal contains more than 2,500. Millions more are collected by companies, tracked by think tanks and academics, and obtained by reporters through Freedom of Information Act requests (though not always without a battle). No matter where they come from, these datasets are largely more organized than ever before and more easily analyzed by our reporters.

(1) Karen Zraick, Express reporter.
NYC's Buildings Department said it was merely responding to a sudden spike in 311 complaints about store signs. But who complains about store signs?....it was hard to get a sense of the scale of the problem just by collecting anecdotes. So I turned to NYC Open Data, a vast trove of information that includes records about 311 complaints. By sorting and calculating the data, we learned that many of the calls were targeting stores in just a few Brooklyn neighborhoods.
(2) John Ismay, At War reporter
He has multiple spreadsheets for almost every article he works on......Spreadsheets helped him organize all the characters involved and the timeline of what happened as the situation went out of control 50 years ago......saves all the relevant location data he later used in Google Earth to analyze the terrain, which allowed him to ask more informed questions.
(3) Eliza Shapiro, education reporter for Metro
After she found out in March that only seven black students won seats at Stuyvesant, New York City’s most elite public high school, she kept coming back to one big question: How did this happen? I had a vague sense that the city’s so-called specialized schools once looked more like the rest of the city school system, which is mostly black and Hispanic.

With my colleague K.K. Rebecca Lai from The Times’s graphics department, I started to dig into a huge spreadsheet that listed the racial breakdown of each of the specialized schools dating to the mid-1970s.
analyzed changes in the city’s immigration patterns to better understand why some immigrant groups were overrepresented at the schools and others were underrepresented. We mapped out where the city’s accelerated academic programs are, and found that mostly black and Hispanic neighborhoods have lost them. And we tracked the rise of the local test preparation industry, which has exploded in part to meet the demand of parents eager to prepare their children for the specialized schools’ entrance exam.

To put a human face to the data points we gathered, I collected yearbooks from black and Hispanic alumni and spent hours on the phone with them, listening to their recollections of the schools in the 1970s through the 1990s. The final result was a data-driven article that combined Rebecca’s remarkable graphics, yearbook photos, and alumni reflections.

(4) Reed Abelson, Health and Science reporter
the most compelling stories take powerful anecdotes about patients and pair them with eye-opening data.....Being comfortable with data and spreadsheets allows me to ask better questions about researchers’ studies. Spreadsheets also provide a way of organizing sources, articles and research, as well as creating a timeline of events. By putting information in a spreadsheet, you can quickly access it, and share it with other reporters.

(5) Maggie Astor, Politics reporter
a political reporter dealing with more than 20 presidential candidates, she uses spreadsheets to track polling, fund-raising, policy positions and so much more. Without them, there’s just no way she could stay on top of such a huge field......The climate reporter Lisa Friedman and she used another spreadsheet to track the candidates’ positions on several climate policies.
311  5_W’s  behind-the-scenes  Communicating_&_Connecting  data  datasets  data_journalism  data_scientists  FOIA  groundbreaking  hidden  information_overload  information_sources  journalism  mapping  massive_data_sets  New_York_City  NYT  open_data  organizing_data  reporters  self-organization  systematic_approaches  spreadsheets  storytelling  timelines  tools 
9 weeks ago by jerryking
DE Shaw: inside Manhattan’s ‘Silicon Valley’ hedge fund
March 25, 2019 | Financial Times Robin Wigglesworth in New York.

for a wider investment industry desperately trying to reinvent itself for the 21st century, DE Shaw has evolved dramatically from the algorithmic, computer-driven “quantitative” trading it helped pioneer in the 1980s.

It is now a leader in combining quantitative investing with traditional “fundamental” strategies driven by humans, such as stockpicking. This symbiosis has been dubbed “quantamental” by asset managers now attempting to do the same. Many in the industry believe this is the future, and are rushing to hire computer scientists to help realise the benefits of big data and artificial intelligence in their strategies........DE Shaw runs some quant strategies so complex or quick that they are in practice almost beyond human understanding — something that many quantitative analysts are reluctant to concede.

The goal is to find patterns on the fuzzy edge of observability in financial markets, so faint that they haven’t already been exploited by other quants. They then hoard as many of these signals as possible and systematically mine them until they run dry — and repeat the process. These can range from tiny, fleeting arbitrage opportunities between closely-linked stocks that only machines can detect, to using new alternative data sets such as satellite imagery and mobile phone data to get a better understanding of a company’s results...... DE Shaw is also ramping up its investment in the bleeding edge of computer science, setting up a machine learning research group led by Pedro Domingos, a professor of computer science and engineering and author of The Master Algorithm, and investing in a quantum computing start-up.

It is early days, but Cedo Crnkovic, a managing director at DE Shaw, says a fully-functioning quantum computer could potentially prove revolutionary. “Computing power drives everything, and sets a limit to what we can do, so exponentially more computing power would be transformative,” he says.
algorithms  alternative_data  artificial_intelligence  books  D.E._Shaw  financial_markets  hedge_funds  investment_management  Manhattan  New_York_City  quantitative  quantum_computing  systematic_approaches 
march 2019 by jerryking
This 8-Year-Old Chess Champion Will Make You Smile
March 16, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nicholas Kristof, Opinion Columnist.

Overcoming life’s basic truth: Talent is universal, but opportunity is not.
******************************************************************************'
Tanitoluwa Adewumi, a homeless third grader has just won his category at the New York State chess championship, outwitting children from elite private schools with private chess tutors. What’s even more extraordinary is that Tani, as he is known, learned chess only a bit more than a year ago. His play has skyrocketed month by month, and he now has seven trophies by his bed in the homeless shelter.

“I want to be the youngest grandmaster,” he told me.

Tani’s family fled northern Nigeria in 2017, fearing attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on Christians such as themselves. “I don’t want to lose any loved ones,” his father, Kayode Adewumi, told Kristof.
chess  homelessness  immigrants  New_York_City  Nicholas_Kristof  op-ed  refugees  unevenly_distributed 
march 2019 by jerryking
New York’s business elite decamps to millennial-friendly Hudson Yards
March 11, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Joshua Chaffin.

The $25bn Hudson Yards, the site of KKR’s new office and one of the most ambitious New York developments since Rockefeller Center, officially opens its doors this week after more than a decade in the works. It is big, boasting as much new office space as all of central Pittsburgh.

It is an engineering feat. Its towers are constructed on top of a platform that sits above a working rail yard. Its builders crafted 90-tonne columns to support the weight. They also devised a custom cooling system for the soil within the platform so that tree roots would not overheat.

As KKR can attest, Hudson Yards represents another extreme: it is the boldest expression of a new fashion in corporate real estate that buildings and “space” should be potent weapons in a fight to recruit and retain talented young workers.

The Related Companies and its partner, Oxford Properties, have made that a central element of a sales pitch that has persuaded KKR and other power brokers to quit Manhattan’s corporate strongholds in midtown and downtown and move west.

Joining Mr Kravis in his new home are Larry Fink, who is moving BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, to Hudson Yards; attorney David Boies and his law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, and hedge fund managers Daniel Loeb and Steven A Cohen, among others.
elitism  Hudson_Yards  KKR  Manhattan  millennials  New_York_City  Oxford_Properties  property_development  vitality 
march 2019 by jerryking
Don’t mourn bohemia — it’s everywhere now
DECEMBER 28, 2018 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.

We think of offbeat enclaves as a thing of the past. But bohemia isn’t gone, it’s just permeated the whole of city life.
bohemians  creative_types  creative_class  enclaves  Janan_Ganesh  neighbourhoods  gentrification  New_York_City  offbeat 
december 2018 by jerryking
What to Read Before or After You See ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’
Dec. 20, 2018 | The New York Times | By Gal Beckerman.

Barry Jenkins’s adaptation of James Baldwin’s 1974 novel, “If Beale Street Could Talk,” is an opportunity to revisit an author, an era and a set of themes that still reverberate today. The movie (closely following the book) tells the love story of Fonny and Tish, young people in early 1970s New York City negotiating an impossible situation. Fonny, an enigmatic, Greenwich Village sculptor, has been falsely accused of rape, sending him through a gauntlet of racist institutions as he and Tish try to maintain their deep love. It’s a vision of black life in the city at a moment of change, as the achievements of the Civil Rights movement have begun to curdle. It’s about the persistence of community and solidarity in the face of prejudice. And it captures Baldwin’s genius: illuminating the bruising, personal toll that American society often exacts.

For those who felt provoked by the movie and the period, here’s a bookshelf’s worth of possibilities for further reading:

* ‘Little Man, Little Man,’ by James Baldwin
* ‘No Place to Be Somebody,’ by Charles Gordone
* ‘Whatever Happened to Interracial Love,’ by Kathleen Collins
* ‘The Beautiful Struggle,’ by Ta-Nehisi Coates
* ‘Looking for Lorraine,’ by Imani Perry
* ‘The Women of Brewster Place,’ by Gloria Naylor
* ‘Go Tell It On the Mountain,’ by James Baldwin
* ‘Locking Up Our Own,’ by James Forman Jr.
* ‘The Sweet Flypaper of Life,’ by Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes
* ‘The Last Poets,’ by Christine Otten
'70s  African-Americans  books  Greenwich_Village  James_Baldwin  New_York_City 
december 2018 by jerryking
Checking Out New York’s Online Grocery Stores and All Their Trimmings - WSJ
U.S. NEW YORK METRO MONEY
Checking Out New York’s Online Grocery Stores and All Their Trimmings
Newer services offer smaller order minimums and shorter delivery windows

Faster grocery delivery services are battling for business. PHOTO: TIM BOWER

0 COMMENTS
By Anne Kadet
Nov. 20, 2018 10:00 a.m. ET
All seems relatively peaceful on the streets of New York these days. But in truth, there is a battle afoot—between online grocery services competing to offer same-day delivery. They’re fighting for space in your pantry. They want to deliver your Thanksgiving turkey.

New York’s busy families have long relied on traditional online grocery delivery services like FreshDirect and Amazon Fresh for big shipments, typically scheduled a day in advance.

But as this market matures, attention has turned to the more spontaneous shopper. The newer services feature smaller order minimums, faster online shopping and shorter delivery windows.

Last week, on a Monday morning, I placed orders with three of the more high-profile competitors in this space—FoodKick, Amazon Prime Now and Jet—to compare them on selection, ease of ordering, price and delivery. I now have enough baby carrots to last me through Christmas.

MORE
Inv
New_York_City  grocery  supermarkets  e-commerce  e-grocery  home-delivery 
november 2018 by jerryking
Platform companies have to learn to share
August 19, 2018 | Financial Times | Rana Foroohar.

Algorithmic management places dramatically more power in the hands of platform companies. Not only can they monitor workers 24/7, they benefit from enormous information asymmetries that allow them to suddenly deactivate drivers with low user ratings, or take a higher profit margin from riders willing to pay more for speedier service, without giving drivers a cut. This is not a properly functioning market. It is a data-driven oligopoly that will further shift power from labour to capital at a scale we have never seen before......Rather than wait for more regulatory pushback, platform tech companies should take responsibility now for the changes they have wreaked — and not just the positive ones. That requires an attitude adjustment. Many tech titans have a libertarian bent that makes them dismissive of the public sector as a whole.......Yet the potential benefits of ride-hailing and sharing — from less traffic to less pollution — cannot actually be realised unless the tech companies work with the public sector. One can imagine companies like Uber co-operating with city officials to phase in vehicles slowly, rolling out in underserved areas first, rather than flooding the most congested markets and creating a race to the bottom......Airbnb...often touts its ability to open up new neighbourhoods to tourism, but research shows that in cities like New York, most of its business is done in a handful of high end areas — and the largest chunk by commercial operators with multiple listings, with the effect of raising rents and increasing the strains caused by gentrification. On the labour side, too, the platform companies must take responsibility for the human cost of disruption. NYU professor Arun Sundararajan, has proposed allowing companies to create a “safe harbour” training fund that provides benefits and insurance for drivers and other on-demand workers without triggering labour laws that would categorise such workers as full-time employees (which is what companies want to avoid).
Airbnb  algorithms  dark_side  data_driven  gig_economy  information_asymmetry  New_York_City  oligopolies  on-demand  platforms  public_sector  Rana_Foroohar  ride_sharing  sharing_economy  safe_harbour  training  Uber 
august 2018 by jerryking
Cause or effect? The link between gentrification and violent crime
July 12, 2018 | | Financial Times | by Nathan Brooker YESTERDAY.

London, which is experiencing a sustained increase in violent offences as crime rates in other global cities such as New York, Sydney and Hong Kong continue to fall......The escalation of violence has been linked to provocation on social media, increased competition in the drugs trade, a reduction in police measures such as stop and search and an overall drop in police funding— the Met has seen its annual budget cut by about 20 per cent since 2010-11, and it has lost 10 per cent of its police officers in that time......However, one factor that is often overlooked and, according to professional and academic observers, has played a key role in exacerbating London’s recent crime wave, is its gentrifying property market.

Areas of London that have higher levels of deprivation also tend to have higher crime rates.........The level of violence you see is getting much more extreme......Gentrification has had a significant impact on the area....“One of the issues young people have in Hackney Wick is the lack of aspiration, the lack of hope,” says Allen. “They’re all living in a rich, diverse city, but it still feels very separate to them. It’s not their development; it’s somebody else’s. They think they won’t be able to live in the area they were brought up in because they’re not going to be able to spend £600,000 on an apartment.”.........gentrification has not only affected gang recruitment..... it has fundamentally altered how some gangs operate.........“It changed their idea of territory, since some senior members were forced out of the area [by the redevelopment] and had to commute in, for want of a better term,” he says. “Ten years ago there was a very strong connection to territory. There was an emotional connection. But the redevelopment changed that. The only territory that was left was the market place — the drugs market place — and that needs to be protected.”

It’s the protection of that market — one both lucrative and highly nebulous — that is behind some of the increase in violent crime. Without the clear boundaries an estate or a postcode might provide, he says, and with the high value of the drugs trade upping the stakes, transgressions are met with more intense violence.....The reasons behind the dramatic decline in New York’s murder count are much argued over: the growing economy, the end of the crack epidemic have all been put up as possible causes. Yet improvements to policing brought in under former New York police commissioner Bill Bratton cannot be overlooked.

Bratton’s policies, which included clampdowns on various low-level offences, and an increase in stop-question-and-frisk, are often mischaracterised as a zero-tolerance approach to policing, he says.

“What he really did was a management innovation.” Bratton, who was in the office 1994-96 and returned in 2014-16, introduced CompStat, measures that used computer programs to map where and when crimes were taking place, and how police resources were being shared. “When [Bratton] took over, the largest number of cops were on the day shift, but the largest number of crimes took place on the evening shift and the night shift,” he says. Bratton reallocated officers accordingly. They had a slogan: “Put cops on the dots”.......the most important thing Bratton did, Kleiman says, was make management more accountable, hauling in three precinct captains each week to grill them on their CompStat data. During his first year as commissioner, Bratton replaced something like two-thirds of the city’s 76 precinct commanders......The problem with fear is that it’s an unhelpful response. Fear raises money for private security firms, not community programmes; it improves funding to free schools, not failing academies; it promotes only the most brutal, careless forms of policing. In communities that are undergoing gentrification, fear further divides the haves and the have-nots: decreasing the kinds of relationships that might aid social mobility and better connect disadvantaged youth with the city they live in.

And what gets forgotten, says Allen, is that fear goes both ways. “A lot of the young people that get caught up in youth violence are caught up because they’re vulnerable and they’re frightened,”
accountability  Bill_Bratton  budget_cuts  carding  causality  CompStat  criminality  criminal_justice_system  data  deprivations  disaffection  fear  gentrification  homicides  killings  London  New_York_City  NYPD  organized_crime  policing  property_markets  redevelopments  United_Kingdom  violent_crime  youth 
july 2018 by jerryking
Tom Wolfe, journalism’s great anti-elitist
Janan Ganesh MAY 18, 2018

Wolfe was the first anti-elitist in the modern style. Or at least, the first of real stature.

He exposed the credulity of the rich for artistic fads. He made fun of their recreational left-wingery,... their “radical chic”. Among the vanities that went into his bonfire was the idea of America as classless. At the risk of tainting him with politics, there was something Trumpian about his ability to define himself against Manhattan’s grandest burghers while living among them.

If all Wolfe did was lampoon the urban rich, it would have made for a sour body of work. But he did the inverse, too. He heroised the other kind of American: physical, duty-doing, heartland-based. His only uncynical book is his best. The Right Stuff, an extended prose poem to fighter pilots and astronauts, has all the velocity of its subject, even as it pauses to linger over these men, with their utilitarian hair cuts, their blend of arrogance and asceticism......Wolfe’s great coup was to sense before anyone else that counter-culture was becoming the culture. Its capture of universities, media and the arts amounted to a new establishment that deserved as much irreverent scrutiny as the old kind.....Before South Park, before Bill Burr, before PJ O’Rourke, there was Wolfe, more or less alone in his testing of liberal certainties, and happy to bear a certain amount of ostracism for it. .....But it says something of his importance that he changed fiction and non-fiction and yet neither achievement ranks as his highest. It is his prescience about elites, and the inevitability of a reaction against them, that defines his reputation.

One test of a writer’s influence is how often people quote them unknowingly. .....Wolfe scores better than anyone of his generation, what with “good ol’ boy” and the “right stuff” and “Mau-Mauing”. What sets him apart, though, is that millions also unknowingly think his thoughts. When? Whenever they resent the cloistered rich. Whenever they fear for free speech in a hyper-sensitive culture.

The mutation of these thoughts into a brute populism in western democracies cannot be pinned on Wolfe, who was civility incarnate. Like a good reporter, he wrote what he saw and left it to the world to interpret. What he saw were people who had wealth, refinement and so much of the wrong stuff.
anti-elitist  counter_culture  Janan_Ganesh  journalists  legacies  obituaries  Tom_Wolfe  tributes  writers  enfant_terrible  New_York_City  novels  the_One_Percent  elitism  worldviews  social_class 
may 2018 by jerryking
Libraries Can Be More Than Just Books - The New York Times
By MATT A.V. CHABAN SEPT. 18, 2017

New York, graced with the generosity of Astor, Tilden and Carnegie, was foundational in the library movement. Today, those foundations are crumbling. Despite their popularity, and because of it, the city’s 212 branches face nearly $1.5 billion in capital needs. And that is simply to reach a state of good repair.

Chipping away at these needs can seem overwhelming. But New York has an opportunity, one shared by cities across the country, to improve library infrastructure while creating badly needed housing. By using aging branches as sites for development, new libraries may rise with affordable apartments on top. The administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio should seize the chance at sites citywide to link these crucial needs.......
Libraries have become 21st-century settlement houses, providing a world of resources under one roof. They help bridge the digital divide, invest in early literacy and lifelong learning, increase language skills and serve as civic hubs. Let’s add affordable housing to the list.
libraries  NYPL  property_development  community_development  partnerships  New_York_City 
september 2017 by jerryking
A Whisper in an Age of Shouting
AUG. 25, 2017 | The New York Times | By ARIELLA ROSEN.

A tribute to Charles Stover.

Stover was also involved in efforts to preserve Central Park and develop more parks and playgrounds in poor neighborhoods. In 1898 he founded, together with Lillian Wald, the Outdoor Recreation League, which sponsored the construction of playgrounds as a substitute for unsupervised street play. As parks commissioner, Stover created the Bureau of Recreation, which built dozens of playgrounds in its first three years, including DeWitt Clinton Park, Seward Park and Jacob Riis Park.......So why has Stover been forgotten? Although a prominent and influential figure, he did not seek fame or fortune. In a letter to a friend in 1927, he wrote, “My real preference is to be writ in water — just such complete obliteration as the poet Keats feared would be his fate.” He never married and kept no house of his own, preferring instead to live at University Settlement. He was a very private person, prone to bouts of depression, and was known to vanish occasionally with no explanation.......Stover believed — and his life proves — that it is possible to make a difference in the world without yelling. It is easy to get caught up in the shouting of politicians, or to want simply to walk away from it all. That is why it is more important than ever to listen to the stories of those around us.

I plan to go on looking for Stover, but his bench has already taught me an important lesson: Sometimes the most powerful words are the ones that are whispered.
city_builders  New_York_City  Robert_Moses  playgrounds  Central_Park 
august 2017 by jerryking
The two faces of the 1 per cent
August 19, 2017 | Financial Times | Janan Ganesh.

On top of its book sales, film adaptation and third life as an opera, The Bonfire of the Vanities achieved a rare feat. It turned its author into a 56-year-old enfant terrible. Thirty years have passed since Tom Wolfe’s first novel imagined New York City as an opulent failed state, where millionaires are one wrong turn from barbarian mobs and race card-players on the make.
....Bonfire can be read as a book about two different kinds of elite. You might characterise them as the moneyed and the cultured. Or as private enterprise and public life.....there is a real split among urbanites, who are too often grouped together. It is one that has been lost in the negative obsession with the elite in recent years. Think of it as the difference between the two LSEs — the London Stock Exchange and the London School of Economics — or the stereotypical FT reader and the stereotypical FT writer.

When populists attack elites, they conflate people who work in the media, the arts, politics, academia and some areas of the law with entrepreneurs, investment bankers and internationally mobile corporate professionals. The Brexit campaign defined itself against high finance but also against human rights QCs and know-it-all actors — as if these fields were one.

I commit this elision in my own columns and I should know better. By dint of my job, I meet people in each world (plus a few supple characters who bestride both) and they are different. The public elite tend to the liberal left. The private elite are apolitical swing voters. Each side has little idea what the other lot does all day. They have different tastes, different idioms and they dominate different parts of their cities.

Even in London, a New York-Los Angeles-Washington hybrid in its centralisation of the public and the private, the two clans rub against each other (at the opera, at Arsenal’s stadium) without blending into one. Until Brexit put them on the same side, the cultural elite often viewed the moneyed as the enemy — mauling the skyline, pricing them out of Hampstead. Above all, each group has its own insecurity. The public elite nurse constant material worries. Despite their membership of the economic 1 per cent (something they will deny even as you show them the graphs) they fear for their foothold in expensive cities......The private elite worry that they are not very interesting. I have seen tycoons cringe in the presence of niche-interest authors. Some attempt late-career entries into public life, often through the publication of a political treatise or some involvement in the arts. Executives follow “thought leaders” who are less intelligent than they are. Politicians know the type: the loaded donor who fears to leave a campaign meeting in case a couple of young advisers, who do not earn a six-figure salary between them, mock his unoriginal contribution.

Other differences are surprising. The public elite talk a wonderful game about diversity and work in fields that have a better balance of women and men. But the private elite tend to work among more races and nationalities: some trading floors look like 1980s Benetton commercials. The same seems true of social background. I would advise a young graduate without relatives in high places to choose corporate life over the media....Creativity is more precious than wealth. There is a reason why the most fashionable members’ clubs admit freelance graphic designers, who live hand-to-mouth, and black ball superstar bankers. In a sense, Fallow’s total victory over McCoy is classic Wolfe: it lacks the nuance of great art, but it gets at a truth.
Bonfire_of_the_Vanities  Tom_Wolfe  fiction  writers  enfant_terrible  New_York_City  novels  the_One_Percent  elitism  Janan_Ganesh  insecurities  hand-to-mouth  LSE  superstars 
august 2017 by jerryking
It’s a Diverse City, but Most Big Museum Boards Are Strikingly White
AUG. 22, 2017 | The New York Times | By ROBIN POGREBIN.

Whether arts groups will make real progress is an open question. Cultural organizations have often struggled to identify minority board members capable of meeting the high donations — often millions of dollars — demanded by the city’s leading arts organizations.

“The hardest nut to crack is going to be the boards,” Mr. Finkelpearl said, adding that executives need to think about ways besides money that trustees of color can add value, namely through their art collections, personal connections or professional expertise.
Bill_de_Blasio  Darren_Walker  New_York_City  Manhattan  museums  cultural_institutions  diversity  leadership  curation  Ford_Foundation  visible_minorities  MoMA  boards_&_directors_&_governance  theatre  African-Americans 
august 2017 by jerryking
We Taste-Tested 10 Hot Dogs. Here Are the Best. - The New York Times
By JULIA MOSKIN JUNE 27, 2017

The 10 hot dogs that were part of the taste test, clockwise from top left: Applegate, Nathan’s, Oscar Mayer, Wellshire Farms, Boar’s Head, Trader Joe’s, Niman Ranch, Ball Park, Brooklyn Hot Dog Company and Hebrew National.

The winners were Wellshire Farms, a brand sold only at Whole Foods markets, and Hebrew National,.
cured_and_smoked  sausages  best_of  New_York_City  NYT 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Fashion Outlaw Dapper Dan
JUNE 3, 2017 | The New York Times | By BARRY MICHAEL COOPER.

Twenty-five years after luxury labels sued his Harlem
boutique out of existence, Gucci looks to him for inspiration......Things have come full circle. Litigation by luxury brands ran Dapper Dan’s Boutique out of business in the ’90s, and now here comes a major fashion house trying to grab the attention of a generation steeped in hip-hop by finding inspiration in a onetime fashion outlaw...... last week after Gucci unveiled a jacket that looked very much like one he designed nearly three decades ago for the Olympic sprinter Diane Dixon.

The fur-lined piece with balloon sleeves created by Mr. Day in the 1980s made use of the Louis Vuitton logo without the brand’s permission. The new Gucci jacket, designed by Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, remakes the Dapper Dan jacket, but with the interlocking double-G Gucci logo in place of the Louis Vuitton markings......Gucci [now] acknowledges its debt to the designer......In addition to Gucci’s recent salutation, the Museum of Modern Art plans to include Mr. Day’s work in its fall show “Items.” In an email, MoMA’s senior curator of architecture and design, Paola Antonelli, called Mr. Day a “trailblazer” who “showed even the guardians of the original brands the power of creative appropriation, the new life that an authentically ‘illicit’ use could inject into a stale logo, as well as the commercial potential of a stodgy monogram’s walk on the hip-hop side.”.....“What Dap did was take what those major fashion labels were doing and made them better,” said the rapper Darold Ferguson, Jr., who goes by the stage name ASAP Ferg and whose father, Darold Sr., worked at the boutique in the ’80s. “He taught them how to use their designs in a much more effective way. Dap curated hip-hop culture.”

Steve Stoute, the chief executive of the marketing firm Translation, said: “I think what Dap did, he actually taught an entire generation how to engage with luxury brands. Luxury brands, at that point, were not for us. They didn’t even have sizing for black people. So every time I walk into Louis Vuitton to buy a pair of sneakers, or buy a pair of pants in my size, I know they’re only doing it because of Dapper Dan.”....experiences with poverty growing up [crummy shoes] gave him an understanding of how clothes reflect social status.... the need to dress to impress is part of a generational mind-set for many black men who grew up in Harlem......Clothes designing sounds fascinating, but it’s hard work. Folks don’t realize that there are limitations in the body form. We’re humans: We have arms, legs, chest. The exciting part of designing clothes is that you can be really creative within the context of those limitations.”.......Samira Nasr, the fashion director for Elle magazine, likened Mr. Day’s work to that of the innovative hip-hop D.J.s of the era, such as Jason Mizell, a client of Mr. Day’s. Mr. Mizell, who died in 2002, created beats for Run-DMC under the name Jam Master Jay. “Sampling was taking existing music and slicing it to recreate new sounds for original lyrics,” Ms. Nasr wrote in an email. “Dap was sampling in a way. He was taking existing fabrications and breathing new life and beauty into them.”
litigation  luxury  brands  clothing_labels  Gucci  Harlem  stylish  mens'_clothing  African-Americans  New_York_City  sampling  streetwise  '80s  '90s  inspiration  hip_hop  fashion  outlaws  design  retailers  knockoffs  copycats  creative_appropriation  underground_economy  crack_cocaine 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Data Behind Dining
FEB 7, 2017 | The Atlantic | BOURREE LAM.

Damian Mogavero, a dining-industry consultant, has analyzed the data behind thousands of restaurants—which dishes get ordered, which servers bring in the highest bills, and even what the weather’s like—and found that these metrics can help inform the decisions and practices of restaurateurs.....Mogavero recently wrote a book about analytics called The Underground Culinary Tour—which is also the name of an annual insider retreat he runs, in which he leads restaurateurs from around the nation to what he considers the most innovative restaurants in New York City, with 15 stops in 24 hours.....they really understood the business problem that I understood, as a frustrated restaurateur. There was not accessible information to make really important business decisions.

Lam: Why is it that the restaurant business tends to be more instinct-driven than data-driven?

Mogavero: It is so creative, and it really attracts innovative and creative people who really enjoy the art and the design of the guest experience. When I was a frustrated restaurateur, I would ask my chefs and managers simple questions, such as: Who are your top and bottom servers? Why did your food costs go up? Why did your labor costs go up? And they would give me blank stares, wrong answers, or make up stuff. The thing that really killed me is why so much time gets spent in administrative B.S.

They were frustrated artists in their own way, because all those questions I was posing were buried in a bunch of Excel spreadsheets. What I like to say is, nothing good ever happens at the back office. You can't make customers happy and you can’t cook great food there. That was the business problem that I saw. I assembled a chef, a sommelier, a restaurant manager, and three techies as the founding team of the company. The message was: We’re going to create software, so you can get back to what you love to do with a more profitable operation.......Mogavero: Because information is flowing so quickly, you’re likely to see trends from a big city go to a secondary city more often. But you’ll see regional trends come to the big city as well. It’s all part of this information flow that’s more transparent and faster. The secondary-market awakening is coupled with the fact that it’s really expensive for chefs to live in big cities, and we’re seeing many chefs leaving the big cities.
bullshitake  dining  data  books  restaurants  data_driven  New_York_City  innovation  restauranteurs  analytics  back-office  information_flows  secondary_markets 
may 2017 by jerryking
Where Halls of Ivy Meet Silicon Dreams, a New City Rises - The New York Times
By DAVID W. CHENMARCH 22, 2017
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New_York_City  Colleges_&_Universities  infrastructure  education  Cornell  NYU  Columbia 
march 2017 by jerryking
Why Robert Moses Keeps Rising From an Unquiet Grave - The New York Times
By DAVID W. DUNLAPMARCH 21, 2017
Robert Moses.

Builder of infrastructure. Ravager of neighborhoods. Maker of omelets. Breaker of eggs. Never mind civics texts. “The Power Broker,” Robert A. Caro’s biography of Mr. Moses, is the book that still must be read — 43 years after it was published — to understand how New York really works.

The reputation of Mr. Moses, good and bad, has outlived those of every governor and mayor he nominally served, with the possible exceptions of Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, who had the sense to get an airport named after him, and Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, whose name speaks for itself.....“Before him, there was no Triborough Bridge, Jones Beach State Park, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, West Side Highway or Long Island parkway system or Niagara and St. Lawrence power projects. He built all of these and more.”

“Before Mr. Moses, New York State had a modest amount of parkland; when he left his position as chief of the state park system, the state had 2,567,256 acres. He built 658 playgrounds in New York City, 416 miles of parkways and 13 bridges.”

“But he was more than just a builder. Although he disdained theories, he was a major theoretical influence on the shape of the American city, because the works he created in New York proved a model for the nation at large. His vision of a city of highways and towers — which in his later years came to be discredited by younger planners — influenced the planning of cities around the nation.”

“His guiding hand made New York, known as a city of mass transit, also the nation’s first city for the automobile age.”
Robert_Moses  New_York_City  urban  urban_planning  cities  political_biographies  power_brokers  city_builders 
march 2017 by jerryking
A Men’s Wear Store Made for Men - The New York Times
By JON CARAMANICA DEC. 28, 2016

Todd Snyder 25 Madison Square North, 917-242-3482; toddsnyder.com

The Look A salad bar of men’s clothing and lifestyle accessories, in a neighborhood that needs it badly. The clothes are crisp but conservative, not nearly as aspirational as the store would have you believe.

The Vibe The staff is friendly, conversational, sometimes exuberant, like the woman who rang me up while exulting over how much cooler this place is than her last job (which was at Vince, so I could understand her sense of relief).

The Cost The clothes alone are reasonably priced, but around every corner is a potential upsell: Walk in wanting a T-shirt, leave with a Rolex.
New_York_City  mens'_clothing  stylish  retailers 
january 2017 by jerryking
A New Dawn at the Met | Departures
By Meryl Gordon on November 04, 2014.

Change usually comes slowly at major cultural institutions. But Campbell has moved rapidly in recent years to try to make the museum a more inviting destination, with mass and class appeal. He is also raising provocative questions about the Met’s identity.... “They’re questioning the future. They’re not playing it safe.”
.....The new sensibility is evident this fall. Visitors will find pop-up theater and musical performances in the galleries, WiFi throughout the museum, apps that allow people to customize their tours....A key question: How to entice millions of people—philistines included—to cross the Met’s august threshold, appealing to an international audience as well as the next generation of museum-goers? Campbell says his priority has been to make the Met less monolithic and easier to navigate. “When I became involved with the search for a new director,” he explains, “I was conscious that we had this great tradition of scholarship but perhaps it was a moment when we needed to bring new energy to the way we engaged with our audience. Little things like numbering the galleries, having new maps and guidebooks in multiple languages, video tours in multiple languages.”...Recognizing that the Met’s most public face these days is no longer its front steps but its website, Campbell has invested in revamping the Met’s digital identity. ...Sree Sreenivasan, who joined the Met as its first chief digital officer in June 2013 after a career at the Columbia Journalism School, is experimenting with social media to expand the museum’s reach, releasing new apps this fall to alert visitors to events and lectures. “We want to give people a daily dose of the Met,” he says. “When parents are thinking about, ‘What do I do with the kids?’ we want to be one of the places they think of. If we can get into their smartphones, they’re likely to stay with us.”
museums  New_York_City  CDO  CEOs  youthquake  cultural_institutions  Sree_Sreenivasan  Philippe_de_Montebello  digital_strategies  digital_identity  mapping  wayfinding  multilingual  playing_it_safe 
december 2016 by jerryking
The Disrupters: Making New York’s Cultural Boards More Diverse
JULY 30, 2016 | The New York Times| By JACOB BERNSTEIN.

But Dr. Muhammad, the former director of the Schomburg center, cautioned against seeing Mr. Smith’s entry into New York cultural life as a sign that things will change in a meaningful way.

“White people are going to be wealthier on average, wealthier people are going to be in leadership positions more often, and in those positions they’re likely to be part of a network of people in the same social milieu,” Dr. Muhammad said. “There’ll continue to be people like Robert Smith, who happen to be African-American and do wonderful things, but there’s a giant wealth gap between blacks and whites, and it’s only widened in the wake of the great recession. Is this a sign of a trend that black people will be the heads of boards all over the country? I doubt it.”
Darren_Walker  glass_ceilings  African-Americans  high_net_worth  cultural_institutions  boards_&_directors_&_governance  diversity  New_York_City  museums  lawyers  investment_banking  Wall_Street  Harvard  Robert_Smith  racial_disparities 
august 2016 by jerryking
At Carnegie Hall, a New Leader With a Son Named Hendrix - The New York Times
By MICHAEL COOPER and DAVID GELLESJUNE 2, 2016
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Robert_Smith  private_equity  African-Americans  New_York_City  philanthropy  leaders 
august 2016 by jerryking
Madison Square Garden Staged Muhammad Ali’s Biggest Fight - WSJ
By MICHAEL SALFINO
Updated June 5, 2016 5:16 p.m. ET
2 COMMENTS
From “The Rumble in the Jungle” to “The Thrilla in Manila,” Muhammad Ali’
obituaries  tributes  '70s  New_York_City  boxing  Muhammad_Ali  Joe_Frazier 
june 2016 by jerryking
Back to business
October 17/18, 2015 | FT| By Matthew Garrahan and Ben McLannahan
The party to celebrate Bloomberg Businessweek magazine's 85th anniversary took place under a 21,000lb fibreglass model of a blue whale...
Michael_Bloomberg  New_York_City  BusinessWeek  entrepreneur  financial_data  moguls  mayoral  Bloomberg  financial_journalism 
november 2015 by jerryking
Black Kudos • Claude Brown Claude Brown (February 23, 1937 -...
Claude Brown

Claude Brown (February 23, 1937 - February 2, 2002) is the author of Manchild in the Promised Land, published to critical acclaim in 1965, which tells the story of his coming of age during the 1940s and 1950s in Harlem. He also published Children of Ham (1976).
writers  nostalgia  African-Americans  Harlem  New_York_City  '50s  lawyers  '40s  coming-of-age 
october 2015 by jerryking
Anthony Bourdain’s Food Market Takes Shape - The New York Times
By FLORENCE FABRICANTSEPT. 28, 2015

New York has had an explosion of megamarkets and food halls over the last five years, but this one promises to be different for several reasons, starting with its epic size: 155,000 square feet, dwarfing the city’s other food markets. The project’s ambition and risks are formidable, most notably the task of securing visas for scores of small overseas vendors, then transporting and housing them here.

“It’s going to involve a lot of visas, a big challenge,” Mr. Werther said.

Still, some question whether the city, with its wealth of recent immigrants, and their foods, needs to import new options.
chefs  restaurants  New_York_City  Anthony_Bourdain  real_estate  entrepreneur  farmers'_markets  personal_branding  food  gourmands  communal 
september 2015 by jerryking
Shelters from the storm: Preparing cities for a changing climate – before it’s too late - The Globe and Mail
ALEX BOZIKOVIC
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jul. 17, 2015

Rising sea levels, epic droughts, massive flooding: the effects of climate change are already here. How do we adapt? From the Netherlands to Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Alex Bozikovic explores the cutting-edge engineering – and cultural shifts – that could help
New_York_City  climate_change  cities  Hurricane_Sandy  floods  future-proofing  insurance  public_policy  disasters  Dutch  relief_recovery_reconstruction  FEMA  sustainability  natural_calamities  sea-level_rise 
july 2015 by jerryking
Sree Sreenivasan
| Fast Company | Business + Innovation

What is something about your job that you think would surprise people?
Most people are surprised to know that the digital media team at the Met has 70 people in it. Our world-class team works on topics I love: web, digital, social, mobile, video, data, email, gallery interactives, media lab, and so much more. We like to run our team like a 70-person startup inside a 145-year-old company.

People always ask me how I justify the museum spending so many resources of digital media. I would always talk about the importance of connecting the physical and the digital, the in-person and the online (here's a TEDx talk I gave on this topic). But I recently got concrete proof that I've been sharing with anyone who will listen.

The photographer Carleton Watkins shot photos in 1861 of Yosemite that he showed to President Lincoln and inspired him to sign legislation that protected Yosemite forever and started the conservation movement. He did this without ever seeing Yosemite, just the facsimiles. We had an exhibition of these beautiful photos and they make the case better than I can for the value of something artificial (or digital) to inspire support, interest, and more, for something real.
innovation  digital_media  social_media  museums  cyberphysical  New_York_City  executive_management  partnerships  analog  meat_space  Sree_Sreenivasan  digital_strategies  physical_assets  physical_world  Abraham_Lincoln  photography  Yosemite  conservation 
may 2015 by jerryking
A Chess Master Tries to Turn Rabbits Into Wolves - NYTimes.com
MARCH 13, 2015

In speed chess, players have only several minutes to complete a game. They punch a running game clock after every move, and the crackling pace tests a player’s reflexes, nerves and confidence.

“Hustlers go for the kill,” Mr. Times said. “If my kids can learn in that environment, it will give them a certain mental toughness they can’t get from a scholastic opponent or playing online.”

Mr. Times also respects a deep study of the game and played many grandmasters, once lasting an hour against the great Garry Kasparov.

“Kasparov’s a tiger, man,” he recalled. “You could almost feel him suggesting moves to you.”

In 2000, Mr. Kasparov had visited the Mott Hall School in Harlem where Mr. Times was coaching the school’s Dark Knights. They were players mostly from low-income families who had no previous chess experience. Mr. Times helped them beat well-funded private schools downtown and led them to seven national championships.
chess  New_York_City  Harlem  African-Americans  hustle  Garry_Kasparov 
march 2015 by jerryking
At New York Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege From the Inside - NYTimes.com
By KYLE SPENCER
FEBRUARY 20, 201

The workshop was part of a daylong speaker series known at Friends as the Day of Concern. Students gathered in small groups to discuss a variety of social justice issues and participate in workshops; there were also talks about gender and the environment. But the overarching theme of the day was identity, privilege and power. And it was part of a new wave of diversity efforts that some of the city’s most elite private schools are undertaking.
white_privilege  race_relations  diversity  high_schools  New_York_City  elitism  private_schools  James_Baldwin 
february 2015 by jerryking
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