Escape From Manhattan West (a Totally Real Neighborhood)
Haha, but seriously, where is Manhattan West and how do I get down from here? And more ominous links for your week.
9:37 AM EDT on May 19, 2023
After hanging out by the Javits Center for a while on Tuesday, our reporter was wandering up and down 10th Avenue, looking for a place to refresh himself. Finding only the doorway of a convenience store, he was gulping down an iced tea, one of those square-bottled Pure Leaf joints, when suddenly, a startling voice to his right addressed him: "I'm trying to quit that stuff!"
That voice came from a middle-aged white woman, who was peering through sunglasses and, seemingly, into his very soul. He looked around, but there was no one else she could be speaking to but him.
"Tea?" he asked.
"Caffeine, sugar," she replied. (Our reporter glanced at the bottle and the label that screamed its flavoring. The tea was unsweetened.)
The woman made a wordless sound and rode away on her scooter, leaving our reporter shaken. But his work for the day was not yet done: An interview that had been scheduled for noon had been postponed to that very moment, its subject warning that she had only half an hour until her yoga class began. Keen to enjoy some air conditioning, he hurried into the Whole Foods on West 33rd Street. As he took the escalator up to the second floor, he began his phone call, loitering through aisles of Bezosian food fare, eventually settling into a chair in the "eatery."
A few minutes later, his interview over and his spirits lifted, he sought his exit from the Whole Foods. Turning left at the fish counter, he saw something that confused him: a door to the outside.
Our reporter, you may remember, had entered the establishment at the street level, and had climbed to a higher floor. What could it mean that there was an exit up here? He had a bad feeling about this. Wary, but needing to quench his reporterly curiosity, he creeped toward the automatic sliding doors. What he saw next, he couldn't have imagined.
Sprawling out before him was an entire promenade, with chairs that stretched as far he could see, and people in them and around them, going in and out of restaurants and stores, all an entire floor above the street.
Baffled, he retrieved his cell phone and took a panoramic video. "Where am I?" he asked the Hell Gate Slack.
"You're in Manhattan West," his colleague replied, adding sardonically, "The world's coolest new neighborhood!"
"I dunno guys, I've got a b-b-b-b-bad feeling about this," our reporter quaked, looking around at the icey, characterless environs. Suddenly, he saw what seemed to be a monstrous creature in the middle distance. It was a wormlike structure of blond wood, stretching from the Manhattan West promenade to the High Line in the distance, where a blood-red, leafless tree loomed above the city streets. "Yikes!" our reporter shrieked. "I gotta get out of here!"
Looking to his right, he saw a glass-railed staircase that seemed to lead back to the normal world. Kicking up dust in his wake, he scurried down, believing himself safe.
A few more ominous links to start your weekend…
- Local news continues to get the goods: The Times Union spoke with Republican Assemblymember Brian Maher about why he fell for a fake story about vets being kicked out of hotels to make room for migrants. As for the NY Post, which kicked off this manufactured panic, they've now updated their original story, writing, "Editor’s note: This non-profit CEO has since been accused of misrepresenting the veterans who have been displaced for migrants."
- Someone set a new record for the fastest time visiting all New York subway stations, for some reason.
- For Pitchfork, Dylan Green profiled billy woods and his Backwoodz Studios.
- Andrew Cuomo says he should have backed his vindicated (?) aide Joe Percoco.
- The CITY reports on a Brooklyn couple suing the NYPD for a no-knock raid that resulted in no charges being filed. And a federal monitor is giving the NYPD two weeks to fork over documents in cooperation with a CCRB investigation into racial bias. Meanwhile, the NYPD wants to reduce the punishments for seven misconduct charges.
- NYC is suing the architect of the Hunters Point Library for the $10 million it cost to make the library accessible.
- Assembly Member Inez Dickens parked her sedan illegally while she gave a taped speech, Streetsblog reports.
- Eric Adams "scolded" councilmembers who did not support his response to asylum seekers in a private call, the Daily News reports.
- The Marshall Project has a harrowing report on guards who brutalize people incarcerated in New York state prisons, and get away with it.
- Executives at New York's libraries say that budget cuts could "possibly [end] Sunday operations and six-day service at several locations."
- The City is closing a volunteer-staffed welcome area for asylum seekers at the Port Authority bus terminal.
- NYCHA is seeking $3 billion to fix its facades.
- An initiative to give new mothers in NYC a guaranteed income of $1,000 a month is becoming a permanent one (though it's still pretty limited in scope).
- James Cahill, the former president of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, has been sentenced to four years in prison for accepting bribes.
- Rudy Giuliani keeps on getting sued:
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