“The explosion of bike culture in New York has made Bicycle Habitat a mecca where anything from the $5,000-bikes favored by pros and celebrities to the solid Trek bike for commuting across the Manhattan bridge is available; and its staff, die-hard enthusiasts who are as likely to look like Lower East Side punks as intense athletes (they are often both), its encyclopedic collection of bikes (and New York customers), combined with its ground-floor-loft styling and no-frills street-appearance makes it a bit of a trip into the past, when august independent New York stores were international authorities on their trade. Think of The Strand for books, of B & H Photo for cameras, of J & R Music World for sound equipment, or Paragon Sports for gear. It’s a world that’s rapidly fading, crushed under chain stores and high rent prices, but Bicycle Habitat isn’t going anywhere.”— In a changed city, Soho bike mecca Bicycle Habitat grows up
“I am not a product of Albany,” she said, wearing a silk shirt with the top three buttons undone, at a media roundtable discussion at a conference table in the building on 37th Street and 10th Avenue where her campaign headquarters are located. “I am not part of the Albany culture.”— Kathleen Rice, Cuomo’s A.G. candidate, stays on message.
Glynnis wonders if this Mosque insanity isn’t New York reacting suddenly - snapping, really - to 9/11 in a way that was simply not possible nine years ago. More from her very smart piece:
New York in the weeks and months following 9/11 was a city full of shell-shocked residents learning to live with day-to-day fear. A 45-minute delay on the L-train was panic-inducing. Lights off at the Empire State building too early was enough to start rumors of bomb threats. A power plant explosion on the East Side of Manhattan in the summer of 2002 that shut power down on the downtown east side was enough to send people scrambling to the phone to find out if we were under attack again.
Adam Gopnik wrote a piece for the New Yorker in June of 2002 that said a drawing of New York City at that moment would show “8 million people, each person standing on a pole above an abyss of anxiety — not looking down, never looking down, looking only from side to side, warily.”
My point is this: In the aftermath of 9/11 in New York City, there was no emotional room for the sort of furor we have seen this mosque generate. None.
No, but really, there have been entire books and magazine issues addressing this question. And although we have a few ideas (quality over quantity, original reporting over scraped content, a variety of curation in all kinds of formats from data visualization to photos to mobile applications to magazine-length pieces), the only thing we know for sure about the future of journalism is that it will be changing continually and we have to be ready to adapt to evolving news trends and reading habits.
From The Paris Review, a voice actor searches for himself in Red Dead Redemption:
A week later, I went into Rockstar Games in Soho for the recording and screamed two hours of lines as Marshall Leigh Johnson. I threatened, chased, arrested, and killed people. I even died. I didn’t just die, I died with an accent. I was in the freaking zone.
“Can music create change? Can it bring people together? Perhaps more to the point, can political music be good? In the past, composers have had uneven results with it. Sometimes—as with Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem—they end up creating a masterpiece. Sometimes—as with John Adams’ opera The Death of Klinghoffer—they get protested. Sometimes—as with Mr. Adams’ self-described “memory space” about 9/11, On the Transmigration of Souls—they’re cloying and heavy-handed. But for many members of a young generation of composers, it’s a given that their works should engage social and political issues and fulfill a broader ambition than aesthetic satisfaction.”— Zachary Woolfe | When political music is good: Ted Hearne’s ‘Katrina Ballads’ | Capital New York
“I just want folks to know that the whole neighborhood is going to crap,” Sadik, 33, says. “I mean [my parents] are senior citizens, you know? We’re just tired of being honest and loyal, when apparent greed is all that matters. This just shows you what is happening to our community now.”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot (hi, it’s Gillian, Capital's public editor and the person in charge of our Tumblr). And, although I agree that lots of media outlets on here can get a little too cutesy-cozy on Tumblr, I don't think it's entirely fair to lead some kind of “unfollow” brigade against them.
Certainly, media organizations like us have to be reaching out to people beyond our bubble, find quality content, and pass it along to our community. It’s not only good practice—it makes us a better writers and editors because we learn so much from Tumblr users. It’s also really fun.
But there is one thing that I think is going on here that maybe no one has mentioned yet. Media is finding their media community on Tumblr.
I have a personal Tumblr, and when I first joined, I only followed friends and reblogged posts from people I knew in real life. Tumblr was a smaller community a couple of years ago, so that was probably only a half dozen accounts back then. I eventually discovered great content by following the people I trusted to send me the good stuff. Through those people, I found niche communities that I was interested in, like music and science, and started following the people they followed, etc. I even made new friends in real life* by reblogging their Tumblr entries. I essentially made my own community. But all of this took time and work.
Media companies already belong to a community when they join Tumblr. They figure they can trust The Economist, The Atlantic, The New Yorker, etc. to post good content, because they are good publications. They are also their competition, so they want to know what they are up to. So they follow, they say hi, they support. They are posting their content to see who reblogs it or likes it. Then they will know who their audience is on Tumblr, and how they might be able to reach into the other amazing niche communities that those people belong to like the illustration or feminist communities.
I think that it’s kind of amazing they’re all chatting each other up on here as is. Some publications still don’t even link to the competition on their own websites or give credit to blogs that break stories first. But here, on Tumblr, The New Yorker and The Atlantic are reblogging each other and exposing their same readers, the ones they desperately need to subscribe to their magazines, to each other’s stories. Remember when Newsweek and the Today Show Tumblrs started chatting it up and everyone got really excited about it? So last spring, I guess.
But we get it: seeing those posts reblogged by what seems to be every major media company gives us the willies too, even when we do it. Sometimes it’s a bit like being at one of those schmoozy mixers where it’s so obvious that everyone is there to “make an appearance” and pass around air kisses before they go to the bar where their real friends are going to be.
But I think there is maybe something a little friendlier going on here on Tumblr. Maybe that has to do with the structure of Tumblr. Or the fact that most of us are wrestling with a bleak or uncertain times in media. Or maybe we just really, really want The Atlantic to start following us already, so we’ll suck up to them and like their posts until they do.
But I’d say give them a chance. They’re trying to find their friends (or their enemies at least) first.
*Is there a better phrase for “in real life?” Don’t suggest “meatspace.”