Due to increasing rents and property taxes, and the constant expenses that arise when maintaining an older building, it has become no longer possible to keep our doors open. I have no distain for the landlords in the East Village, for they are put in a precarious position of having an overhead that they too cannot afford. Sadly, it is the small businesses that suffer from the escalation of the above market commercial rents and property taxes. I now join the ranks of Kate’s Joint, Zaitzeff, Life Café, and Lakeside Lounge; all business that have folded in a neighborhood going through a period of flux.
I look forward to seeing what the East Village becomes (Avenues A-C especially), for at this moment it is a neighborhood that is in the midst of change. Avenue B is a ghost town commercially, the community nature of the neighborhood has all but vanished, and it is over-run every weekend by a generation that has no vested interest in the East Village community except to visit on the weekends. By no means is this an indictment to the new, younger generation, it is more of an admission that much of the steady business for bars and restaurants has moved to Brooklyn and the high residential rents have stripped the neighborhood of the artistic/cultured feel it used to be known for. Mama’s Food Shop has weathered these changes, including surviving the recession, but as these changes started affecting our business, I realized it was the end of an era.
Note from earlier: On the way to tonight’s fundraiser, the press van spotted a New Yorker giving the motorcade his middle finger. Unclear whether it was for the president, the press, the traffic jam or something else entirely.
White House Press Office, Fw: Travel pool report #8, July 30, 2012 8:30:59 PM CDT
More and more evidence from around the world is suggesting that many of the terrorists wreaking havoc both in America and abroad are often racked with emotional and mental trauma themselves. Paul Kix ran down just some of this research, that of the University of Alabama’s Adam Lankford, in a Boston Globe piece from December 2010:
Lankford cites Israeli scholars who interviewed would-be Palestinian suicide bombers. These scholars found that 40 percent of the terrorists showed suicidal tendencies; 13 percent had made previous suicide attempts, unrelated to terrorism. Lankford finds Palestinian and Chechen terrorists who are financially insolvent, recently divorced, or in debilitating health in the months prior to their attacks. A 9/11 hijacker, in his final note to his wife, describing how ashamed he is to have never lived up to her expectations. Terrorist recruiters admitting they look for the “sad guys” for martyrdom.
“Sad guys,” depressed people facing trauma and failure, and people who have attempted suicide before. Is it a psych ward at the hospital, or a large section of Al-Qaeda? It’s getting harder to tell.
I’m blogging for a couple weeks at The Nation. My first post is about why society should start affording Muslim terrorists the assumption of mental illness the way we do white dudes like James Holmes.
"We had a party, and I had learned to bless the bread, and I did that: Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha’olam hamotzi lechem min ha’aretz—still do it. Even though I’m pretty sure the last time I blessed bread was on my 13th birthday. And, I don’t know what anything I just said means."
"The Middlesteins had me from its very first pages, but it wasn’t until its final pages that I fully appreciated the range of Attenberg’s sympathy and the artistry of her storytelling." -Jonathan Franzen
The appization (oof what a word but you know what I mean) of Twitter and Foursquare (né Dodgeball) was what really helped them both take off. Getting notifications from both used to be super-annoying! (I used to get yelled at by friends who would be awakened by late-night Dodgeball notifications from me.) Putting them in apps allowed them to ambiently hum for the most part—and you could argue that it made them even more compulsively usable, since there was always something to see as potentially “new.” I’ll leave you to decide whether that’s a good or bad thing.