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Our Town

Up Your Game, NYC; We’re #2 on ‘Selfiest Cities’ List

It’s not even that close. According to Chris Wilson‘s super-fun interactive map at Time, the folks in the Manila suburbs of Makati and Pasig City post 258 selfies per 100,000 users, while we here in Manhattan are mustering 202/100K.

NYCSelfies

Each yellow dot in the picture above represents a selfie taken over a recent ten-day period. The gang at Time went to quite some trouble to put this all together:

To investigate the geography of selfie-taking, Time built a database of more than 400,000 Instagram photos tagged “selfie” that included geographic coordinates. In total, we ranked 459 cities to determine the selfiest places on earth.

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Upper East Side Hoarder Combs Through Major Media Heirlooms

The names of powerhouse 1950s media couple “Tex and Jink” are being dragged through the mud these days. Or, more accurately, through piles of junk accumulated by their hoarder son Kevin.

The 65-year-old unemployed McCrary, who lives off royalties from the estate of his journalist parents, has until Friday to clear out his Upper East Side one-bedroom of accumulated detritus. Otherwise, he will be locked out. From a recent report by New York Times reporter Corey Kilgannon:

So far, McCrary has been able to excavate a small patch of space near the doorway and, in the process, had uncovered relics from his privileged childhood as the younger son of Tex McCrary and Jinx Falkenburg, the glamorous radio and television personalities who were pioneers of the radio and television talk show…

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NYC’s Version of the Hearst Castle Can Be Yours for $38 Million

The latest edition of Inside This Week’s Private Properties with Wall Street Journal real estate reporter Candace Taylor is chock-full of good stuff. Starting with the idea that William Randolph Hearst once had a need for a high-ceiling 100-foot long room to house his collection of suits of armor.

Hearst’s massive five-story apartment, overlooking the Hudson River, was broken up into smaller units in the 1930s. In the 1990s, a couple restored the remaining main space to its former glory and that chunk is now on the market for $38 million.

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Columnist to Alec Baldwin: Silicon Valley Nerds ‘Would Adore You’

ShutterstockAlecHilariaBaldwinSince we recently highlighted Zócalo Public Square editor-columnist Joe Mathews‘ angry cross-country diatribe about Jimmy Fallon, it seems only natural to give equal time to an open letter tied to the opposite, east-to-west direction.

Responding to Alec Baldwin‘s New York magazine essay, Mathews runs down the reasons why Los Angeles might not be the right relocation answer. He notes that this is no longer the LA of Annie Hall and warns that a lot of the NYC scourges mentioned by Baldwin such as TMZ, Shia LaBeouf and thoughtless TV executives are all in Lalaland as well.

Mathews thinks he has a much better potential destination for Baldwin: Silicon Valley. A house in Marin County, he argues, could be the perfect, tranquil fit:

The nerds up north would adore you. Google and Facebook engineers routinely drool over visiting celebrities. Valley venture capitalists have thrown money at celebrity entrepreneurs MC Hammer and Jessica Alba. Silicon Valley folks have touted Ashton Kutcher as a tech guru; imagine how warmly they might welcome someone like you, who can actually act.

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This Chelsea Art Gallery is Owned by a Former Time Inc. CEO

Ann S. Moore, who retired from her position as CEO and chairwoman of Time Inc. in 2011, is now just a few days away from opening The Curator Gallery. The 1,600-square-foot Chelsea space debuts March 7 and aims to showcase emerging painters, photographers and sculptors. She has also added an interesting general stipulation: no work shown will be priced above $10,000.

CuratorGalleryLogoThe first exhibit, “Second Nature,” has been curated by Bowdoin College professor Mark Wethli and showcases the work of six abstract painters from Maine. From the gallery prospectus:

While the state of Maine has a long-standing reputation as a destination for landscape painters, this exhibition is, as Wethli puts it, about Maine’s ‘second nature’ – abstract artists whose work is inspired by natural processes rather than outward appearances.” John Bisbee and Clint Fulkerson, for example, find inspiration for their work in the structure of natural processes. Meghan Brady and Andrea Sulzer use the chaotic energy of the natural world as a starting point for their artistic processes. Cassie Jones and Joe Kievitt find new ways to translate existing cultural representations of nature.

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A Partner Patch Could Have Used: Sonata

A graphic on the Sonata website lays it out very clearly. The goal is to sync up Smartphone users and local merchants for a seamless, digital-to-door symphony.

SonataFlow

Sonata, a mobile advertising company founded in Madrid, Spain, recently opened a second office in New York City. At the helm of the U.S. side, as COO, is Evan Krauss. From the announcement:

“Evan has extensive experience, market know-how and vision in growing, championing and developing successful digital businesses,” said Sonata founder and CEO Alvaro del Castillo, CEO and founder of Sonata. “We are thrilled to have him on our team, and are confident in his ability to lead Sonata’s launch and successful expansion in the U.S. market.”

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Spike Lee Delivers What Amounts to ‘I Had a Nightmare…’

ShutterstockSpikeLeeToday’s must-listen audio [NSFW because of repeated curse words] was very quickly posted last night. New York magazine’s Joe Coscarelli has both embedded and transcribed a fantastically provocative rant by the one and only Mr. Lee.

What’s great about Coscarelli’s twin-barreled approach is that listening to Lee is very different from simply reading the comments. On the page, they come across as more caustic. In the audio air, they amount to an impassioned and deeply felt monologue about the racially-tinged social strata of gentrified neighborhoods. It’s as dramatic and shocking a sequence as that time a garbage can was thrown through the window of a Brooklyn pizza joint.

Lee made his comments last night at the Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn campus during a Black History Month event. He was responding to a question from the audience.

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Chicago Transplant Grapples with NYC Dating Scene ‘Ghosting’

ShutterstockWomanTextingSteve Heisler is a comedian and freelance writer based in Brooklyn who has contributed to GQ, Variety, The AV Club and other outlets. He has also this week, via Time Out New York, stepped on to the battle-of-the-sexes soapbox.

Heisler moved to New York five years ago and even though it happened to him personally as recently again as Christmas 2013, he still can’t quite come to terms with one particular wrinkle of the New York dating scene. A behavior and slang term that muddy the mental picture of Demi Moore crying while navigating a pottery spinwheel:

Have you heard the term ghosting? I hadn’t until moving to New York City from Chicago; now I use it regularly. It’s when you have a bunch of awesome dates with somebody, and then one day, they suddenly stop responding to your texts: They have ghosted you…

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BBC News Profiles Old-School Brooklyn Billboard Company

ColossalMediaLogoThe first sentence of the BBC intro page for Victoria Fritz‘s fun story says it all:

BBC News has been looking at jobs around the world which used to be fairly commonplace but are now vanishing.

Don’t worry, guy at the newspaper printing press. Or… gal at the newspaper classified ads desk. This article isn’t, at least for today, about you. Rather, it’s about Colossal Media,  a Brooklyn operation that has made a go of resurrecting the fine, lost art of hand-painted outdoor advertising.

Colossal VP Paul Lindahl told the BBC that the value of paying for painted illustrations on the side of NYC area buildings begins for clients before the illustration is completed:

“What makes us stand out is that our work is almost like a performance art,” he explained. “The people below get to see the painting unfold over the days that we are out there. They appreciate the creative element in the execution.”

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Guardian Blogger Swims High Above Central Park with ‘Extreme Cougar’

GuardianTheSwimmingBlogLogoJenny Landreth‘s three lanes of swimming journalism set up as follows: there’s Swimming London, a book due this summer; there’s her recently stilled personal blog “Swimming Round London;” and there are contributions to The Guardian‘s “The Swimming Blog,” a vertical currently in beta.

Continuing a recent series that began with a look at “not-for-profit” NYC public swimming pools, Landreth delivers an absolutely fabulous summary of some time recently spent visiting the 42nd floor glass-window encased paradise atop Le Parker Meridien hotel. There, she met a woman with a pool noodle who turned out to have the name to match the playfulness of said flotation device – Hattie Retroage:

A self-described “extreme cougar.” A swimming cougar – a swougar, if you like. She didn’t particularly like being called a cougar, but it is the term by which people have come to understand her preference for sleeping with much younger men. (The youngest, a couple of years ago, was 18; the fact that my son is that age would have added nothing to the conversation.)

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