kottke.org posts about Jake Dobkin
One of the most popular recurring features on Gothamist is Jake Dobkin’s “Ask A Native New Yorker” column (which I’ve mentioned here more than once). In the column, Dobkin gives advice related to NYC issues like cycling in the city, dealing with problematic roommates, coping with bedbugs, and strangers sitting on your stoop.
Now Dobkin has turned that column into a book with all-new material: Ask a Native New Yorker: Hard-Earned Advice on Surviving and Thriving in the Big City.
The book version features all original writing and aims to help newbies evolve into real New Yorkers with humor and a command of the facts. In 48 short essays and 11 sidebars, the book offers practical information about transportation, apartment hunting, and even cultivating relationships for anyone fresh to the Big Apple. Subjects include “Why is New York the greatest city in the world?,” “Where should I live?,” “Where do you find peace and quiet when you feel overwhelmed?,” and “Who do I have to give up my subway seat to?” Part philosophy, part anecdote collection, and part no-nonsense guide, Ask a Native New Yorker will become the default gift for transplants to New York, whether they’re here for internships, college, or starting a new job.
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.
In the latest installment of his excellent series Ask A Native New Yorker, Jake Dobkin tackles the question of how to react to those people holding clipboards asking if you have a minute for the environment or gay rights or whatever. The short answer is ignore them with “EXTREME PREJUDICE”.
This is because Clipboard People are grifters, who, in the name of various causes (Gay Rights, the Environment), have only a single aim: to get your credit card number authorized for recurring payments to a “charity.” In fact, the majority of that money does not go to the charity, but goes to pay the salary of the Clipboarder, and the evil canvas organizations that employ them. Even worse, the Clipboarders are themselves exploited-often young idealists from less vicious places, they are brought to New York on the promise of helping a charity they believe in, only to find out they’ve been dragooned into a commission-based predatory marketing scheme.
Well, good because that’s what I’ve been doing (for other reasons). Instead, give to an efficient charity listed on Charity Navigator.
Jake Dobkin has been doing a series of posts on Gothamist called Ask a Native New Yorker and in the latest installment, he tackles the gentrification of New York City.
All New Yorkers are gentrifiers. Say you’re of Jewish extraction: your forebears gentrified some Irish right out of L.E.S. around the turn of the century. Or maybe you’re Irish, and your ancestors were responsible for gentrifying the marginal land around the Collect Pond in Five Points. Or maybe your family goes all the way back to New Amsterdam and Peter Minuit, the original gentrifier, who gentrified the poor Native Americans right off Manhattan island. No New Yorker, no matter how long their tenure, has the right to point fingers and say to anyone else “the problem started when you arrived here.”
You may have read Amy Sohn’s piece in The Awl last month about Park Slope’s sexynaughty parents.
When “Girls” hit this spring, I was shocked by how true the show rang to my life — not my old life as a post-collegiate single girl but my new one, as a married, monogamous, home-owning mother. My generation of moms isn’t getting shocking HPV news (we’re so old we’ve cleared it), or having anal sex with near-strangers, or smoking crack in Bushwick. But we’re masturbating excessively, cheating on good people, doing coke in newly price-inflated townhouses, and sexting compulsively — though rarely with our partners. Our children now school-aged, our marriages entering their second decade, we are avoiding the big questions — Should I quit my job? Have another child? Divorce? — by behaving like a bunch of crazy twentysomething hipsters. Call us the Regressives.
Jake Dobkin interviewed Sohn about the piece and her new book for Gothamist. Well, he attempted to anyway.
Can I suggest that maybe you’re just hanging out with the wrong group of people? I mean, if everyone around you is throwing back Xanax and raw-dogging it just to FEEL SOMETHING and then having unplanned kids because they’re too stupid to use birth control, is it possible it’s not Park Slope’s fault, and rather, it might be hanging around with really immature people?
Gothamist’s Jake Dobkin attended a public discussion of “Rules for City Issued Press Credentials” in NYC today and took some good notes. The proposed new rules address some inconsistencies in the city’s issuing process…in particularly the denial of press passes to bloggers and other online publications.
Restrictions limiting press passes to certain mediums will be removed — in the future, online, offline, on-air, etc. will all be treated equally. To qualify for a press pass, the journalist or journalism organization will need to provide six clips from the last 24 months showing news-gathering activity that would merit a press card — that would include live reportage from police and fire scenes, public assemblies, government press conferences, or similar events.
Even in Manhattan, abandoned buildings can still be found. Jake Dobkin took some photos of an abandoned school in Harlem.
This building looked like it had been empty for twenty years. Trees were growing out of the floors and poking out of dozens of holes in the roof. All the windows were gone, and the floors that weren’t covered with snow were thick with dust and the skeletons of dead pigeons. There wasn’t any evidence of human habitation — no footprints, homeless encampments, or graffiti.
He also found an abandoned ballroom, also in Harlem.
Update: Whoops, looks like Bluejake got swamped. I removed the links so the server can recover…here are the photos on Flickr instead.
A fellow named the Splasher has been splashing paint on street art around NYC over the past few months. Here’s some of his, er, work. Well-known street artist Shepard Fairey (the Splasher has targeted several of his pieces) opened a show last night in DUMBO and two guys tried to set off a homemade smoke bomb at the opening, leading to speculation that one (or both) of them was the Splasher. Gothamist has more. Jake Dobkin has photos from Fairey’s show, which looks pretty nice.
Update: The Brooklyn Paper is reporting that DJ 10 Fingers subdued the suspected Splasher before he could light his stink bomb. (No, seriously!) The would-be stink bomber is facing a possible 15 years in jail.
I’ve had this photo up in my browser for a few hours now and every so often, I’ll sneak away from what I’m doing and take a peek at it. I love the feeling of motion and its capture: the boy and the pigeon captured by the camera, the pigeon’s shadow captured by the sidewalk, the momentum of an unseen car captured by the now-bent steel of the firebox.
Aerial photos of cities taken by Olivo Barbieri with a tilt-shift lens look like scale models. I’m familiar with the tilt-shift (Jake noodled around with one awhile back), but didn’t imagine you could use it to achieve such a convincing optical illusion. (via bldgblog via waxy)