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kottke.org posts about Gothamist

Ask A Native New Yorker (and Gothamist!) is back

posted by Jason Kottke   May 11, 2018

New York City got an injection of good news earlier this year when WNYC announced they were buying Gothamist with an eye toward relaunching the site. After a successful Kickstarter campaign to procure additional funding, the site has resumed its dogged coverage of NYC.

Also back is Jake Dobkin’s great advice column, Ask A Native New Yorker. Past installments have considered burning NYC questions like Should I Buy A Mattress On Craigslist?, Should I Move Upstate?, and Is It Wrong To Read Over Someone’s Shoulder In The Subway? The series relaunched with this question: What Should I Do About My White Neighbor’s ‘Thug Life’ Doormat?

Some things never change, like gentrifiers still acting like jackasses to their new neighbors. Take this doormat: your new neighbor from Long Island probably just thought it was a cute demonstration of her realness-after all, Tupac did grow up in Harlem. She probably wasn’t even alive when his “Thug Life” album came out in 1994; it likely just seeped into her consciousness as an Internet meme, or however young people get their culture these days. What she’s failed to consider, obviously, is how other residents of the building might feel about them literally stomping on the legacy of one of the most mourned and respected rappers of all time, or the message it sends when white people appropriate the culture of black people for use as ironic home decor.

In the most recent one, published today, a reader asks: Can I Ask A Dog To Give Up Its Subway Seat?

You shouldn’t have to ask the dog, or its owner, for the seat, because the law is quite clear on this: “no person may bring any animal on or into any conveyance or facility unless enclosed in a container and carried in a manner which would not annoy other passengers.”

There is of course an exception for “working dogs for law enforcement agencies,” “service animals,” animals-in-training, and the like, but all of them “must be harnessed or leashed.” The law clearly does not include “emotional support” dogs, and no, that letter you made your therapist write (or bought from the internet) to get your canine friend on airplane won’t help.

But Dobkin doesn’t just leave it at that…as with many of his answers, he considers the situation from the perspective of all the parties involved (the questioner, the dog, the dog owner, the MTA, fellow passengers) and then widens the scope of his answer to include NYC’s growing mass transit crisis. Good stuff.

Confessions of a “Rape Cop” Juror

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 08, 2011

Gothamist is trying something new: long-form articles available for a small fee ($2-3) on the Kindle or as a PDF. The first one in the series is a real corker…Confessions of a “Rape Cop” Juror, a piece written by a member of the jury that acquitted two NYPD officers charged with raping a young woman in her East Village apartment.

The former cop sprang from his chair and rushed toward me, and before I could step back, the stocky arms of the ex-boxer were curled around my shoulders. To my left, I saw a crowd of faces; to my right, a place setting. One knife, one fork, and one dull spoon wrapped in a white cloth napkin — not much help if he started strangling me. The arms tightened, and then the high-pitched, soft-spoken voice I recognized from the witness stand whispered, “Thank you.”

My chest sank with a long exhale, and a whirlwind of high-powered suits and smiles rose from their glasses of Cabernet. They floated toward me with outstretched hands and watery eyes, the aroma of freshly baked focaccia robiolas mixing with their cologne. One floor below, diners in this Murray Hill Italian restaurant chattered away ignorant of the strange encounter at the top of the back staircase. The man hugging me was supposed to be the monster I had spent seven weeks analyzing and seven days judging. This was Kenneth Moreno, Rape Cop.

I haven’t read the piece but The Awl’s Choire Sicha has:

It’s a fascinating read, and I mean that in a very honest sense. In large part it’s about how unbelievably important jury service is in America, and about how we treat those accused of crimes. Whether you like the verdict or not, or whether you like the case presented by prosecutors or not (SIGH), this view into the thinking and process of the jurors is really valuable.

Gothamist Maps uses Google Maps to pinpoint

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 09, 2006

Gothamist Maps uses Google Maps to pinpoint news alerts (fires, robberies, car accidents, etc.) on a map of NYC. Pretty cool.

Gothamist reports that the 2005 TWU strike is

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 22, 2005

Gothamist reports that the 2005 TWU strike is over. Subways and buses in NYC should be running normally in the next 10-18 hours.

Gothamist interview with my friend Lisa Whiteman

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 22, 2005

Gothamist interview with my friend Lisa Whiteman about her photography. Lisa is one of the most thoughtful people I know and it shows in this interview.