The House Intelligence Committee held a decidedly friendly hearing this week to let the National Security Agency do some explaining about its secret surveillance of phone and email traffic, a proceeding blithely dismissed by an American Civil Liberties Union official as "a PR stunt" and not a fact-finding mission.
Most New York City residents -- whether they're comfortable with the... » more
On the day last week that Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $20-billion plan to protect our shoreline against the ravages of climate change, my brother and I headed out to sunny Rockaway Beach.
Cruising by long stretches of missing boardwalk destroyed by superstorm Sandy, we found three beach entry-point "islands." Following some surfers down to one at Beach 86th Street, we came... » more
No one thinks the New York City public school system's 64.7 percent high school graduation rate is a cause for celebration. But when Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that achievement this week for the Class of 2012, school reformers in every part of every borough felt a powerful sense of relief.
That's because members of the Class of 2012 were the city's first to get their diplomas without... » more
New York's mayoral candidates have paid surprisingly little attention to one issue that really sets the Big Apple apart: an extraordinarily heavy tax burden.
No other big city in the country imposes such a broad array of taxes at such high levels, piling its own levies on top of those collected by Albany. For example, corporations pay a combined rate of 17.5 percent on net income allocated... » more
Never mind those controversial touches like tables and chairs in Times Square and the bike lanes all over town that have slyly elbowed their way into street space once the sole province of motor traffic.
We'll remember Mayor Michael Bloomberg for all of that -- but when he leaves office at year's end, what we may remember him for most is his policy on table scraps.
The mayor is ratcheting... » more
What's not to like about Chinatown these days?
You can find incredibly fresh fish, sample noodles and dumplings to die for, duck into an Asian art gallery, and along the way snag yourself a "Burberry" scarf for $10 or a "Louis Vuitton" handbag for $20.
There's just one little problem.
Most likely the handbag or scarf are part of an illegal counterfeiting trade... » more
Last weekend, I went to my parents' house on Staten Island. When I got out of the car I heard a strange sound in the distance. The noise sounded like a building alarm. It was annoying, but I figured that someone would turn it off.
Two hours later that distant alarm noise was still going off.
Just when I was about to mention it to my father, a cicada jumped on my foot.
I have a... » more
Midcentury design aficionados are in for a treat with the Museum of Modern Art's new exhibit celebrating one of modern architecture's founding fathers: Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier. The exhibit opens this weekend.
Many midcentury modern devotees get their weekly design fix from AMC's "Mad Men," but for a series ostensibly set in and heavily influenced by... » more
Here's a question for the Justice Department:
If U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin decides that the NYPD has failed to carry out stop-and-frisk operations in a constitutional manner, why not give Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly the first crack at repairing or scrapping the program?
A 10-week court trial focusing on the controversial NYPD tactic ended late... » more
With barely 200 days left in his mayoralty, Michael Bloomberg has proposed what even he calls an "incredibly ambitious" plan to fortify the city against climate change and the lethal ravages of storms to come.
Pegged at an initial cost of $20 billion over the next 10 years, the plan is a mix of the practical and aspirational. Its ideas are mostly sensible and urgent -- even compelling.
But... » more