Today marked the beginning of the 2010 Tour de France. While today was just a prologue it was still exciting. This is seemingly the only cycling event that has permeated itself into mainstream American sports. Anyone who is interested in watching the races live can do so at the newly formed Rapha Cycle Club! There until September at 352 Bowery they will be showing every second of the televised tour. So get up early, bring the kids, and get some tasty coffee and pastries from Third Rail Coffee. I’ll be there as much as time permits. I know I’m tired of every bar in the greater NYC area showing nothing but football.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama himself will be making a public appearance at Radio City Music Hall May 20th – 23rd. It seems he is making a general tour of the US so don’t miss the opportunity to see this inspirational holy man speak. http://www.dalailamany.org/
Starting yesterday the city got scared about the impending Snowpocalypse. Schools were preemptively closed. Many businesses decided to not open. The Trader Joes on 14th st. had a line wrapping around its aisles twice instead of the normal once. You’d think they had predicted the biggest winter storm in the last 50 years or something. What was the real forecast? 12″-18″. Really? I was expecting at least 4 feet everyday for a week with all the hubbub associated with the storm. If I am not mistaken we don’t live in Texas, right? I mean c’mon, my bank closed at Noon today, America’s most convenient bank my ass. One day of snow should not render the whole city shut down. Snow sucks for a lot of reasons but to shut down business in a North Eastern city that has 4 seasons and a historically cold and wet winter? I am ashamed of you NYC. I would have expected a big finger to the sky, but instead we got snowmen on the sidewalk.
In case you have been lucky enough to avoid the seemingly incessant local political ads that seem to be everywhere right now, tomorrow, November 3rd, is Election Day. If you want to make sure you’re informed about your local candidates, you can start here to view the list of candidates.
Of course, the biggest kerfuffle has been around Mayor Bloomberg and his decision to seek a third term. He got the city law changed so that he could run for a third term, which had previously been disallowed. His challenger, City Comptroller Bill Thompson, graciously neglected to mention that whole thing in his political ads. No attack ads from anyone!
According to Reuters, Bloomberg is currently leading in the polls, but this is NYC, people. You never know what could happen. You could all write me in as mayor for a surprise upset. I can’t wait to see that reported on NY1.
To find your polling place, go to the NYC Board of Elections Poll Site Locator and plug in your info. Polls are open from 6 AM to 9 PM.
This morning, the central terminal at La Guardia airport was evacuated for nearly 5 hours after an apparently intoxicated man went into the airport with a bag full of batteries and wires that was apparently meant to look like a bomb. The man was acting “crazy” and police got several phone calls about his suspicious activity before he was taken into custody. The terminal was evacuated and the bomb squad was called in, but the “bomb” turned out to be a hoax device – just some wires taped to batteries, with no actual function. Many flights were canceled on multiple airlines due to the delays, even in the unaffected terminals, as traffic delays prevented flight crews from getting to the airport.
The suspect is in custody and normal airport operations have resumed, but delays can be expected to continue throughout the day as the airlines scramble to catch up. If you’re flying out today, be sure to check your flights before you head out to the airport.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in the Village, which were a seminal turning point in the fight for gay rights. Every year since, the anniversary has been marked by gay pride parades in NYC and around the world. Today’s started at noon, and if you’ve been anywhere in the path of the parade, I’m sure you’ve seen the colorful celebrations that usually accompany the parade. This evening, there will be more events, including Pridefest (on Hudson Street between Abingdon Square and West 14th Street, going on until 7PM tonight) and Dance on the Pier (at Pier 54, 13th Street & West Side Highway, 4-10:30 PM tonight). Lots more info and other events listed at NYC Pride.
Tonight in Union Square at 7 PM there will be a rally for the support of the Iranian people. As you may have seen on the news, since the recent presidential election in Iran, in which incumbent president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad purportedly won, there have been protests and riots throughout Iran alleging election fraud. The rioting and subsequent military crackdown on the people of Iran, as well as the attempts at internet censorship that have plagued Iranians trying to get word out about what they are going through, has motivated people throughout the world to support them. Tonight, along with the rally in Union Square, there will be rallies in DC, Philly, Portland, Iowa City, and Irvine, CA.
More info on the protest rally here. If you’re not on Facebook, the info is: tonight, Union Square, 7-9 PM. Flyers for printing can be downloaded here. The organizers are asking that those attending stay on the sidewalks on the south side of Union Square and not in the actual park, and that they bring candles to remember those who have been killed or injured in Iran during the past week.
Museum Mile is happening tonight. Do not miss it, whatever it is you do.
- FREE ACCESS 6pm – 9pm
to all the museums along the mile
- 23 car-free blocks
5th Avenue between 82nd & 105th
Click here for more details. Actually all the details you need are right above – click there if you want to browse their Website.
Starting today, the city has begun closing down several blocks of Broadway in midtown to vehicular traffic. This is part of the mayor’s plan to try and ease midtown traffic congestion. Broadway will be closed to vehicles and open to pedestrians and bicycles only from 42nd-47th Streets and 33rd-35th Streets. Permanently.
As one might imagine, the change has been met with mixed reactions. Honestly, I had no idea about it until a few days ago when I read about the closure at Curbed – and as evidenced by the NY Times article about the closure, apparently some pedicab drivers were unaware as well. I expect cab drivers to be pissy about it, especially the ones I’ve had lately who complain about the traffic (which requires its own blog post entirely), and I expect the tourist masses to embrace it.
It seems as though the city is approaching this cautiously, blocking off the closed blocks of Broadway with orange barrels instead of installing concrete or other more permanent barriers and gauging how the closure will be received by the public. I’d imagine that it will be difficult for some businesses on the closed blocks to get deliveries, but they’re still working all of the kinks out.
What I really want to see is what Broadway, 7th Ave, 47th Street, and 35th Street look like on Tuesday morning, when all the people who are crazy enough to drive to work return from the Memorial Day holiday. Anyone want to volunteer to take photos? Post photo links in the comments. Best angry cab driver photo wins a freakin’ awesome Metroblogging t-shirt.
We’re all familiar with the Fung Wah bus service. And if not, we should be. They are the buses that run for really cheap between Boston, Washington D.C. and New York City. The buses are often called “Chinatown” buses as their primary stops are in the China town section of each city they travel in.
But in addition to being cheap, Fung Wah buses also have a tendency of being shady. What do I mean by that?
My friend shared this story with me of last weekend (May 2-3). She took the Fung Wah to Boston on Saturday. AT the bus’ pitstop, someone noticed that a passenger was missing. The driver turned around and picked up the girl who was sobbing on the sidewalk as she had missed the bus.
The bus driver got off the bus. She apologized profusely while still in tears saying her food had taken too long to be made. The bus driver forced her to throw the meal out. She pleaded as she had not eaten anything and was starving. But he made her throw the meal out and she was admitted onto the bus. Hungry, teary-eyed and probably a little psychologically devastated.
If you’re out there reading this and you’re the girl I’m writing about, please contact me and I will gladly work with you to ensure that what happened to you does not happen to hundreds of people every weekend.
Definitely never riding a Fung Wah bus again. We have enough trouble in the world without worrying about being bullied by a bus driver.