Odds and sods (Labor Day ed).

Wayne Barrett is like a dog on a bone (hey, that’s an old school Hartz Mountain reference — for you young’ins, Hartz used to own the Voice, but now just owns a bunch of under-performing, over-hyped hotels — oh, and some dog food operation) about Mayor For Life Bloomberg and his uncomfortable conflicts of interest involving some of the most significant middle class housing issues: passing on an amicus brief against tottering Tishman over at Stuy Town, doing more of the same (nothing) when it comes to BPC funds for affordable housing. How long can you tread water? Not until 160,000, that’s for sure. Somewhere, Freddy Ferrer is stamping his feet and probably greasing some non-profit that will fleece the state and bring our democratic process to a standstill (Barrett link via The Awl).

Alan Gerson, who never met a bike lane he liked, or a chance to clamber on the shoulders of WTC victims he didn’t, apparently can’t remember on a regular basis that he is running for re-election. That’s understandable, since he promised not to suck Mayor for Life’s (see above) tailwind and usurp the democratic process. Until he didn’t. So yeah, there’s a big primary coming up, and if you are like us, you will be supporting Margaret Chin.

From the More Things Change, the More Things Change Department: Yaffa Cafe (the TriBeCa edition, which is the only ‘authentic’ version left) is closing. All I have to add to this is when the Big Blackout of 2003 happened, the day after, Yaffa was open for business. Some friends went on a blissfully traffic-free tour of Manhattan, and stopped by my place, which was just around the corner. We went in search of comestibles, and the good folk at Yaffa managed to piece together a couple plates, comprised of everything that couldn’t make it without refrigeration and could be prepared on a Weber grill hastily assembled on the sidewalk.  That meant chicken or fish. As we dug into a really impressive plate, considering no other restaurant for 20 blocks was even open, a couple stopped by our alfresco table and haughtily demanded to know if we could name any decent vegetarian options in the area. That, folks, is all you need to know about TriBeCa: when a quarter of North America is without power, they still think their most minute need is catered to absolutely. I’m the sort that appreciates any bulwark against the pricks, but with Puffy’s a hollow shell, it’s probably just time to write off Harrison Street altogether. Godspeed.

Would you believe, contractors can be sketchy operators? Even if they aren’t named after Ayn Rand characters, turns out you can still be a dodgy sort. Doesn’t mean you can’t pocket those sweet, sweet Stimulus dollars! This, the same day the city announces, after eleventy-billion years, that maybe concrete testing shouldn’t be left to the own devices of self-same dodgy characters. [Sigh]. In the meanwhile, Larry Silverstein charges forward, oblivious to the one of the key characteristics of being a landlord: you know, getting paid to rent your shit.

Oh, and someone is being appointed to the MTA. Some sort of running the show sort of thing. Pretend you care. And then bitch when single-rides edge up in record time. It’s tough, after two years of nasty dickering about congestion pricing to fall back on the position that Richard Brodsky might end up looking like a good guy, but hey! New York politics. Live with it long enough, and you will witness uber-liberal Council members like Alan Gerson griping about bike lanes! (see above, obvs)

Your soundtrack: Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here, inspired by this blog, which has nothing to do with urban anything, but is absolutely harrowing and something (I can’t really find a decent adjective), about a family coping with early onset schizophrenia.

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