Holiday travel will bring millions of people back and forth across bridges over the next few days. Most of them, we’ll be honest, are boring, pedestrian ones that barely deserve notice. Seen from many a car and bus window, I-95’s span across the Delaware River gets a nod for height and length, but offers only views Delaware and New Jersey’s grim industrial decay. So, in other words, nothing to write home about. On the opposite end of the spectrum: the 10 striking feats of engineering combined with picturesque locations that we’ve compiled after the jump. … Read More
Nothing screams the hubris of urban life like a giant building. And while for some cities a skyscraper is just another building, plenty peg their self-worth on mammoth projects, designed to serve as iconic credentials of progress. However of those planned, only a handful ever result in a shovel in the ground — and even then their completion remains uncertain, held hostage by economic and technical realities. Chicago and Dubai, while already boasting some of the world’s tallest buildings, suffer such disappointment on a regular basis. In the grim midst of the Great Recession, not even the best laid plans of city or architect are safe. After the jump, check out some prime examples of the Tower of Babel’s modern heirs. … Read More
Hip hop is one of America’s most successful cultural exports in the Arab World. From clothes to clefs to chains, the syncopated syllables of Arabic rap songs sound almost the same as their American cousins, except for the obvious linguistic difference.
The success of an Arabic hip-hop pastiche makes sense. For one thing, Arab diaspora communities in the United States act as nodes in an intercontinental cultural feedback loop. More than that, American rappers sing about the same problems many Arab youth endure: disenfranchisement, discrimination, poverty, and violence endemic in their communities. These topics reflect the perspectives of Palestinian, Lebanese, and Algerian musicians in particular. By the same token, Gulf rappers replicate Americans’ songs about how great it is to be really, really rich. … Read More
More than half of humanity lives in or near a city, but only a tiny, privileged fraction of a percent have ever seen these engines of civilization from the scenic vacuum of space. Plenty of lucky satellites, however, have been busy for decades taking false-color pictures of urban areas, with pleasing results both aesthetic and scientific. In the guessing game after the jump, we let you figure out which metropolis is which. Who knows? It might even be yours. … Read More
War and news happen around the clock. Over the last 234 years, brave Americans have distinguished themselves writing and shooting photographs chronicling their country’s conflicts. Sometimes giving their lives to get the story, these journalists’ sacrifices make the public pieties of Veterans Day possible. For instance, the Iwo Jima Memorial, a place for patriotic pilgrimage today, owes its heroic angles to Joe Rosenthal’s original, Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph, snapped on the battlefield for the Associated Press. The ironic part: before he snagged a wartime gig with AP, the US Army had refused to let Rosenthal enlist because of his lousy eyesight.
Not all war correspondents were as lucky in life as Rosenthal. Each, however, deserves recognition for service to the First Amendment, an exceptional American invention and, even in the chaotic hell of war, the one worth fighting for the most. After the jump, we look at a few of that right’s best defenders. … Read More
Celebrating Halloween requires artistic expression, even in those not so inclined the other 364 days of the year. Sometimes, pets join in, despite having no idea what’s going on.
This Halloween, District Dog, a spa and boutique in Greenpoint catering to canines, put on its Second Annual Halloween Parade & Costume Contest, along with co-sponsors Unleash Brooklyn, a luxury pet boarding house and The Honest Kitchen, a brand of gourmet food made from “human grade” dehydrated meat. Dog Habitat, a rescue shelter, was also there, offering $20 microchipping services.
The contest’s judges were two august individuals, Miss Heather, from newyorkshitty.com, and from Albany, Assemblyman Joseph Lentol, North Brooklyn’s 50th District representative since 1972. “There were some very difficult decisions,” Mr. Lentol said, admitting that law making Upstate is “much easier” than determining which Shih Tzu is the cutest. In the pictures after the jump, we let you decide. … Read More
Imagine the exuberance and pageantry of a Renaissance fair but add about 400 years and you’ve got Indie Market’s third annual Steampunk Day and Fashion Show. Held on Sunday in Brooklyn, the gathering of steampunk enthusiasts, some calling themselves COS-players and others professional fashion designers, brought out a healthy phalanx of photographers and shoppers looking to pick up the hippest Victorian-era accessories (jewelry, fancy hats, and so forth) for their own, often home-made, ensembles. … Read More