Tag: New York City

Seth Barron joins Brian Anderson to discuss New York City politics, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s first term, the relationship between de Blasio and Governor Cuomo, and the controversy surrounding this year’s Puerto Rican Day Parade.

“Surging tax revenues and the continued peace dividend from 20 years of vigorous Broken Windows policing have given Bill de Blasio a relatively easy first term in the mayor’s office,” notes Seth Barron in a recent story for City Journal. Indeed, as his first term in office winds down, de Blasio is an overwhelming favorite to win reelection this November. But for many New Yorkers who lived through Gotham’s worst days two and three decades ago, de Blasio’s election was a troublesome sign of how fragile the city’s success might be. His likely second term in office might expose more of that fragility.

Robert Poole (Reason Foundation) joins Aaron Renn on the ​City Journal podcast to discuss the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

The Port Authority was originally founded to manage the region’s transportation infrastructure, but the agency has long been plagued by politicized decision making, money-losing facilities, and declining financial viability.

​City Journal editor Brian Anderson and Kay Hymowitz discuss her new book, “The New Brooklyn: What It Takes to Bring a City Back,” which chronicles the history of New York City’s largest borough and its remarkable transformation from a symbol of urban decay by the mid-20th century to one of the most valuable and innovative environments in the world.

City Journal is a magazine of urban affairs, published by the Manhattan Institute.

​City Journal senior editor Steven Malanga and contributing editor Judy Miller discuss some of the issues with the Port Authority Police Department, including a secret review of the department’s security readiness and the contentious relationship between Port Authority leaders and the police union.

Read Judy Miller’s full piece from the Autumn 2016 Issue of City Journal, The New York Police Force That Doesn’t Work.

City Journal editor Brian Anderson and Manhattan Institute senior fellow Nicole Gelinas discuss how New York City saved its subway system after decades of decay and rampant crime that took hold from the 1960s to the early-1990s.

Read Nicole’s piece from the Summer 2016 Issue, “How Gotham Saved Its Subways.”

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This is not a set for the next Ghostbusters movie or a Halloween headline joke. Sure, why not build a monument – an entry point, for the demons of hell, like New York City doesn’t have enough problems! The original Arch to the demonic god Baal was constructed in Syria 1800 years ago and was […]

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New York’s Self-Inflicted Housing Crunch


shutterstock_152494718People who live in New York City know that its frenetic pace can induce anxiety. In part, that angst stems from living in a highly congested city brimming with energy. But there’s also the anxiety from New York’s crazy-quilt pattern of land use regulation, which a New York Times editorial recently labeled “High-Rise Anxiety.” The unease stems from the many overlapping restrictions both on new construction and the utilization of existing facilities. These regulations have created a two-tier system in which some prosper handsomely while others scramble to make ends meet.

The current housing crunch in New York, and in other cities like San Francisco, is attributable to the complex set of prohibitions and subsidies that shape these markets. Under the modern administrative law system, private property rights are of little consequence when a developer is trying to build. What matters ultimately is that all of the relevant “stakeholders” have a right to participate in an endless negotiation process before anything gets done. The de facto presumption is against changes in both new and existing housing markets. The building permit is the unit of political currency, and each requires enormous inside connections, patience, and luck to obtain. It can take developers many years to obtain their precious permits, if they get them at all.

This permit impasse stems largely from the progressive view of administrative law. Its initial proposition is that markets fail for two reasons: first, they allow for exploitation of vulnerable tenants. Second, they ignore external effects on third parties.

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In America’s Hat, they want to send people who aren’t onboard with Transgender Political Correctness to prison for a couple of years. You only get six months in jail in Canada for killing a moose out of season, so they are obviously pretty serious about this. Hurting a gender appropriator’s feelings = four dead moose. […]

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Remembering 9/11: Glen Cove Ferry


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI was 22 years old and living in my first apartment in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. My parents just moved down to North Carolina that June and my sister lived in Colorado; my brother was living in Rockland, so I wasn’t completely alone, but I kind of felt that way. On September 10, I started a new job as a deck hand on a ferry that went from Glen Cove on Long Island to downtown Manhattan. It was an amazing job, and super easy. We left Glen Cove at around 7:30 AM and got to the downtown dock an hour later so the high-end customers could get to their desks before the morning bell rang at the stock exchange. To reduce fuel costs, we docked at Liberty Landing in New Jersey instead of shelping back to Long Island and waited until the evening run at 5:30 PM. Like I said, super easy, and I got paid for that entire time. It was a great job, on a great day. A friend of mine from school who helped me land the job and I watched the buzzing downtown of Manhattan with the Twin Towers as an amazing backdrop on a beautiful, cloudless day, very similar to the one that followed it when all hell would break loose. September 10, 2001 was a day of promises and new beginnings for me.

I was not scheduled to work the next day, so I slept-in. I was woken up by my phone ringing, several times. Finally I picked the phone up around 10:00 AM. It was my boyfriend — now, my husband — calling me. “Where the hell have you been? I’ve been calling and calling. Your mom even called me.” It takes me a bit to get my faculties together when I wake up so it was a while before I could say more than “Huh, what?” He went on to explain what happened. I know it may seem unbelievable that someone could be unaware that that all hell was breaking loose a mere five miles south of her, but all was peace in my neck of the woods until I heard the military jets flying overhead. When I finally got my TV to work and found the news, I was in shock. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. What do you mean planes flew into the Twin Towers and they collapsed? How is that possible? That doesn’t happen in real life.

I checked my answering machine and saw I had 67 messages. They were from my mom, freaking out and trying to find out where I am. From my sister, my brother, aunts, uncles, and friends, all trying to find me. Friends asking if any of their family members had contacted me. The frantic note in everyone’s voice made it all the more real that wow, this is really happening. I finally dressed, called the ferry office, and told the dispatcher that I could come in if I was needed. She didn’t hesitate: “Come in,” she said. So I threw on some clothes, packed a bag (because I didn’t know how long this would be) and headed out the door.

New York’s Loser Mayor


Mayor-Elect De Blasio Makes AnnouncementBill de Blasio has a big mouth, which is good, because he eats a lot of words.

For all his bluster, the 6’5” mayor of New York City loses a lot of political battles. And he loses them in public.

During his 2013 campaign, the Stringbean Sandinista made a big show of promising to ban horse carriages in the city on “day one” of his mayoralty: “We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period. It’s over.” Well, today is day 568 of de Blasio’s reign, and the horseys are still clip-clopping around Central Park.

Let Us Gawk at the Weird


shutterstock_156039962Marriage may be one of the more contentious issues around here, but I think the particulars described in this NYT piece about the marriage habits of the fabulously wealthy of Manhattan should unite the Ricochetti in fascinated condescension:

It was easy for me to fall into the belief, as I lived and lunched and mothered with more than 100 of them for the better part of six years, that all these wealthy, competent and beautiful women, many with irony, intelligence and a sense of humor about their tribalism (“We are freaks for Flywheel,” one told me, referring to the indoor cycling gym), were powerful as well. But as my inner anthropologist quickly realized, there was the undeniable fact of their cloistering from men. There were alcohol-fueled girls’ nights out, and women-only luncheons and trunk shows and “shopping for a cause” events. There were mommy coffees, and women-only dinners in lavish homes. There were even some girlfriend-only flyaway parties on private planes, where everyone packed and wore outfits the same color.

Strange, yes, but ways one might expect. But then we get to this section:

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Perusing the internet to see what the world is up to I ran across something at the Drudge Report that made me lose all faith in humanity’s future. There are, in New York City, grown adults paying upwards of $1000 a month for “Adult Daycare”. That’s right, adults (I’m assuming childless) paying a grand a […]

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Walking around in SoHo Manhattan today, I felt pride — actual pride — and delight for a great period of American architecture. This nation’s sense of security, its understanding of itself and of its purpose, its self-confidence in its inherent goodness and rightness, seems to have been reflected in the strength and beauty and elegance […]

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I’m From the Government, and I’m Here to Help — Suzanne Temple


I was recently struck by all those photos of hundreds (if not thousands) of kids in New York wearing bright yellow T-shirts, holding signs that read “save our schools.” As you probably know, Mayor Bill de Blasio has been attempting to render three successful charter schools homeless. Why? It’s for the kids, of course. As his office tweeted out, they want to make “sure that all our kids get a great education.” I wonder what those kids in their yellow T-shirts are learning from all this. I wonder if it’s anything like what I learned as a kid.
I was eight years old the first summer that my family went to pick fruit in Washington state. It was the ’80s. It could’ve been around the time when President Reagan was quipping about the nine most terrifying words in the English language: “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” I’d never heard those words, but in the coming years I would learn what he meant.
I suppose sociologists would’ve called us migrant farm laborers, but to us and everyone in the Tri-cities and Yakima valley we were simply cherry pickers. Our first summer, a family we knew helped us find work at the orchards they’d picked in years past. Their youngest daughter was my age and we became fast friends. Being little, I don’t remember much about that first summer. But I do remember I had my sights set on a purple bicycle with pink tassels on the handlebars that I’d seen at Toys “R” Us. I needed to pick $80 worth of cherries to buy it. And I did. Best bike I’ve ever owned.
We went back several summers thereafter. My parents required that my brothers and I pay for our own clothes and school supplies for the year, but all money we earned beyond that was ours. Though I liked making money, it was the after-work hours I enjoyed the most. At one orchard, my brothers and I would spend our late afternoons playing wiffle ball with a family from Oklahoma whose kids had such thick southern accents that I doubted they were speaking English at all. I recall another family we hung out with in several orchards. They had it tough. The mom was from Mexico and didn’t speak a word of English. Her husband had run off and left her with their two sons, who were close to my age. Along with her uncle, she and her sons picked cherries like their lives depended on it. In a way, I guess they did.
And then the government came to help.
I was probably around 14 years old when we were picking in an orchard where the foreman told us to leave. State law had changed, and my brothers and I were now not old enough to work. I suppose lawmakers didn’t like the idea of “child labor”—and wasn’t it awful that we were around tractors, ladders, and other things that grade-school kids think are cool? Fortunately, we had gotten to know a few growers who were willing to make an exception for us. But we agreed to always keep an eye out for anyone who came strolling into the orchard looking like they might be from some government agency.
In the summers that followed, we were the only family. The crews became uniformly single men or men away from their families. I wondered whatever happened to the family from Oklahoma, the Mexican mom with her sons, and the family who showed us the ropes that first year. I remember thinking that it was all so stupid. Families needed to earn a living. Why wouldn’t the government let them? Did politicians really have nothing better to do than try to save kids from earning money for pink-tasseled bicycles?
Apparently, not much has changed. Bureaucrats are now trying to save children from attending the charter schools they love. Politicians are here to help you, kids. They want to make sure you get a good education by closing down the schools where you’re getting a good education. Thanks for the help, government.