Posts Tagged ‘NYC’

Tibetan Monk With New Life In US

December 12th, 2010 by Tuan Thanh Nguyen

by Tuan Nguyen

On a late night back in December 2007, Tenzin Norbu, a Tibetan born in India, arrived in New York in a Dhachay, the traditional red robe of a Tibetan monk. After 25 years of being a Buddhist monk in different institutions in Nepal and India, after a dispute with the monastery, Norbu had decided to make a new life in the US.

In the soundslides below, Norbu talked about his new life as street vendor on the streets of Chinatown, New York.

Another clip about the monk:

Tribeca water main construction

December 11th, 2010 by Chase Lindsay Rosen

The City of New York is working to update its water system and is undergoing serious construction in certain areas of Manhattan. One area that’s being torn apart is on Hudson Street in Tribeca. The project began in August 2010 is not expected to be complete until Winter 2015.

As a result, pedestrian access is limited, business owners are losing street visibility, parking garages are being blocked, parking is limited, an M20 bus stop was lost and traffic to and from the Holland Tunnel is perpetually congested.

The project is currently in phase 2 and construction is running from Laight Street to Hubert Street. In a recent CB1 meeting, residents and business owners joined to raise awareness of the project and it’s effects. The DDC’s (Department of Design and Construction) urges CB1 residents to reach out to Karen Butler (, the project community liaison, if you have any questions or concerns. You can also check here for updates.

View Tribeca Water Main Construction in a larger map

Tribeca’s Never Ending Construction

November 29th, 2010 by Chase Lindsay Rosen

Tribeca is a neighborhood rich with families, restaurants, parks and things to do. It is also becoming increasingly more rich with construction sites. Residents have expressed frustration with the never ending sidewalks covered in scaffolding, lack of parking spaces due to construction machines and heightened noise.

Here is a map of the latest list of construction sites and expected dates on completion. In the interim… avoid these areas if you’re looking for parking, a quiet walking path or if you’re superstitious and don’t like walking under ladders.

View Tribeca Construction Sites in a larger map

(Pictures courtesy of

NYC Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

November 28th, 2010 by Tuan Thanh Nguyen

by Tuan Nguyen

$27 million reasons to be annoyed

October 3rd, 2010 by Chase Lindsay Rosen

It’s become apparent that New York City is a pro at spending taxpayer’s money relentlessly.

Will changing CENTRAL PARK WEST to Central Park West really reduce car accident death statistics? The Federal Highway Administration thinks so.

The discussion of changing all of Manhattan’s 250,900 street signs has caused [to some, it has added] animosity between Manhattanites and government organizations. This project will cost $27.6 million and projected to be completed by 2018. The new signs ring in at about $110 a pop and will be designed to be easier to read, making roads safer, according to NYC Department of Transportation.

New Yorkers are speaking out. There are plenty of other things this city could do with $27 million.

New signs

An example of what the new signs will look like.

  1. Finish 2nd avenue subway line: This project has been going on for years already. Deadlines have been pushed back, and costs have heightened. Businesses and residents in the area have been extremely disrupted and will continue to be until the line is finished… which is not suspected to be until 2020.
  2. Finish Ground Zero Memoriam: The Freedom Tower will not be finished until 17 years after the 9/11 attacks. Construction has been lagging due to transportation of goods. With a $3 billion budget, you’d think that commemorating the lives of those lost would be amongst the city’s top priorities… clearly they are in no rush.
  3. Keep MTA costs stabilized: Manhattanites are angered at the MTA’s propositions to increase the cost of public transportation while simultaneously cutting service. Since when is paying more for less fair?
  4. Cease police officer layoffs: NYC is in a budget crisis and the NYPD is being forced to lay off officers. Cutting the NYPD budget is certainly not going to help reduce the rising NYC crime rate.
  5. Better the NYC public school system: Over the past year, the NYC public school system has seen serious drops in average grades. ‘A’ status city issued report cards fell from 85% to 25%. The Department of Education has neglected to make any changes just yet due to the heighten costs associating with bettering schools.
  6. Keep Alex Rodriguez a Yankee: His $27 million salary is equal to the cost of changing all NYC street signs. Considered one of the best athletes of our time, NYC could spend this money on keeping him around for another year.

Should changing the signs be a top priority? In a recent poll from New York Magazine, 90% of people feel city officials should not change street signs. “We are faced with more important issues that need to be addressed and taken care of before changing the street sign aesthetics,” said Manhattan resident Brooke Rosenberg.

Street sign replacement has already started in the Bronx. Only time [or the need for cuts in other budgets to finish this project] will only tell the effectiveness of the new street signs.

The street fair fiasco

September 26th, 2010 by Chase Lindsay Rosen

According to Merriam Webster, ‘fair’ is defined as a gathering of stalls and amusements for public entertainment. New York City is known for is street fairs. And, with summer on its way out and fall on its way in, we are entering ultimate street fair season. This time around, things are changing.

Imagine this: Walking out of your apartment building, pushing past the drunk tourists hanging onto their foot long margaritas that have been loitering on your stoop all afternoon. Then, getting a big whiff of sizzling olive oil, sausage and peppers, opposed to some fresh air. You are forced by the patrolling police to wait for the light to change to run across the street. Once you cross the street, the faint sounds of Italian music, Motley Crue karaoke and carnival games that you thought you were dreaming about last night, really exist.

The vendors that you see from your bathroom window are displaying and selling all the things that you have smelled through your air conditioner unit for the past few days. They are selling the ‘best’ fried Oreos in the country, hand rolled Cuban cigars and homemade cheeses.

And don’t forget about the screaming kids saying “Mom please can I just have another $5 to try and win a goldfish!?!?” And just when you think you’ve escaped the madness, someone drops a piece of his or her blooming onion on your foot.

These notorious fair bring more than interesting aromas, oversized stuffed animals, herds of people and police officers. Street fairs cause traffic disruptions, loss of commerce in other parts of the city, heightened police costs for overtime, sanitation issues, noise complaints and terror threats.

Is the fresh fruit smoothie really worth it? Last year alone NYC held 321 street fairs, generating $1.6 million for the city… But, it cost $2.4 million in police overtime.

So why is NYC continuing to hold these massive street fairs and festivals? According to a report released by The Center for an Urban Future, the issue at hand is a lack of diversity. Once you’ve been to one street fair, you’ve seen them all. While the gyro and funnel cake always tastes better at Little Johnny’s Stand at San Gennaro’s it’s the same recipe being used by Mary’s Meats at the Murray Street Festival.

As of last year, Mayor Bloomberg established his stance on street fair culture. And though he claims that he “loves to go down and have one of those hot sausages like anyone else”, NYC street fairs are something that we can no longer afford.

New fairs can no longer apply for permits and Bloomberg is continuing to work on measures to shorten parade routes and limit the time frames in which events can be held. These fairs are becoming more of an annoyance than a reflection of the unique cultures within the melting pot of New York City.

They happen everywhere, every weekend, all over the city. For some, this is a past time and means of making a living. But for others, it’s the ultimate pest.

The bird feeder

September 19th, 2010 by Tuan Thanh Nguyen

By Tuan Nguyen

Paul Zig, 57, has been feeding the birds in Washington Square Park for the last nine years. Every single day, even if it rains or snows, Zig comes here to cater foods to the birds and a squirrel. He gives names to all of them, a flock of 50 All the birds of the Park gather at the exact corner where he usually sits. To Zig, the gift he gets from this is “trust” from the small fowls.

Notes from September 11

September 12th, 2010 by Tuan Thanh Nguyen

By Tuan Nguyen

The woman looked more and more distraught as the E train approached the World Trade Center station. She had left her seat a couple of stations back and stood forlornly against the door, her eyes hidden by the dark shades. She shook her head, an almost imperceptible sigh escaped her lips. She rushed for the exit when the train stopped.

Sorrows and remembrance  is not the only theme underlining this year’s 9/11 anniversary. The commemoration is overshadowed by fiery disputes over the Mosque near Ground Zero and the plan to burn Quran books by an unknown pastor from Florida – the pastor has actually been propelled to fame worldwide thanks to the media. The New York Times reports that Terry Jones, who has around 50 followers, has agreed to 150 interviews just in July and August. Chris Cuomo from ABC News criticized the media “reckless” on his Twitter for adding fuel to the fire.

Ellis Henican from the AM New York bashed the event “an insincere publicity circus” and questioned its necessity as Donald Trump jumped in with a half-hearted offer to buy the property. AP quotes Wolodymyr Starosolsky, the lawyer for the investor in the real estate partnership of the site, calling Trump’s offer “”a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight.”

On Op-Ed page of the New York Times Wednesay, Columnist Gail Collins wrote about the “5 percent doctrine.” Says Ms Collins, “there about 5 percent of our population is and always will be totally crazy.” Her advice is “There is nothing you can do about the crazy 5 percent except ask the police to keep an eye on them during large public events, where they sometimes appear carrying machine guns just to make a political point about the Second Amendment.”