In this 2-part video series, a small aspect of the ongoing and controversial St. Vincent’s redevelopment project is explored — the fate of a tiny triangle-shaped sliver of land across the street from the former hospital.
The developer — Rudin Management — has pledged to renovate the underutilized plot of land as part of their bid to convert the defunct hospital facilities into luxury condominiums. Their park proposal has been given the go-ahead by Manhattan’s Community Board 2.
A community organization — the Queer History Alliance — has countered with a differing proposal. They aim to integrate a memorial for HIV/AIDS victims into the entire park design through a high-profile competition, saying St. Vincent’s Hospital was the “epicenter” of the crisis in New York City.
Here are the latest proposals for the triangle park:
My final Broadcast assignment for the radio portion of the semester was to record an essay in the style of a This I Believe segment.
Relaunched in 2004 as a multifaceted non-profit project, the modern incarnation of This I Believe ran on NPR stations around the country until 2009. It was originally modeled on a 1950s program hosted by iconic broadcaster Edward R. Murrow, which accumulated nearly 800 personal stories from a vast range of participants.
Jackie Robinson’s 1952 This I Believe essay, entitled “Free Minds and Hearts at Work” allowed the baseball legend to open up about his fight against prejudice.
“I believe in the human race. I believe in the warm heart. I believe in man’s integrity.”
Along with famed contributors like Helen Keller and Harry Truman, “corporate leaders, cab drivers, scientists, and secretaries” were also featured to glean insights about everyday life and what values people hold to be important, according to their website.
The This I Believe project has continued to collect recorded essays of people form all walks off life — tens of thousands by their estimates, all easily searchable.
I thought it would be a worthwhile venture to try and merge my broadcast This I Believe piece with the Soundslides presentation below. Convergence, right!? The personal essay I wrote concerns my belief that everybody has a very important, personal place. I’ve significantly edited down the audio and combined it with ambient sounds of waves crashing from a cell phone video. I then utilized a variety of personal pictures and had my mom send a few “vintage” photos.
Beyond this, I’m not going home for the upcoming holidays so the fun new tools we’re learning are saving me from having to buy/ship presents to people this year! I totally have an extended “director’s cut” edition of this I’m making for my family…
Six vendors in Times Square chat briefly about who they are and how they came to work at the ‘Crossroads of the World’ — relying on the over 26 million annual tourists as a source of income… and intrigue.
Each character is unique, yet they all cite a sour economy as the impetus for braving the elements outdoors to sell tickets for bus tours and comedy shows, original art and photography.
They all share the ability to engage with others and genuinely enjoy the hundreds of brief interactions with people from around the world every day of the year.
Here are six quick conversations with Carlos, Cureel, Fernando, Joel, Roderique and Saylor.
Carlos //This is Carlos. He sells graffiti adorned clothing and other original pieces of art. Listen as his discuses his inspirations and broader passions he one day hopes to pursue.
Cureel //Meet Cureel, a student from Russia who is using his passion for photography to make money on the side while he studies in New York.
Fernando //Fernando is an interesting character. He’s a Veteran and has traveled quite extensively, so its little wonder why he gravitated toward the tourism industry for a source of income.
Joel //Joel greets guests with a furry hat upon his head and a giant smile across his face.He loves comedy and found selling tickets to tourists a perfect employment outlet… thanks to Craigslist.
Roderique //Roderique is West African immigrant who helps facilitate bus tours in the heart of Times Square. He’s currently in school to acquire a professional trade.
Saylor //Saylor was forced into finding a job by his girlfriend, but he’s happy she did. He says that even after 20 years of steady employment, he’s enjoying this foray into selling comedy show tickets and interacting with many different people.
Earlier this month, a potentially groundbreaking survey was introduced on this blog. The ambition was to gain a sweeping overview about diverse experiences in the workforce amongst a random sampling of common people that monitor my Facebook newsfeed.
Would you say the economic downturn was a factor in this delay (for those answering “yup”)?
All said “Absolutely”
How long was your longest employment stint?
22% replied 3-6 months
22% replied more than 1 year
44% replied “still going strong!”
11% replied 1-3 months
In the last 3 years — have you worked any “odd jobs”?
45% replied “Yup”
Of these, here are some highlights:
Psychology study guinea pig
In your personal experience, how frustrating is the present job market?
There were nearly equal responses from 2 to 5, indicating that people ranged from not terribly frustrated to very frustrated with the current job market based on their personal experiences seeking employment.
When will the job market improve?
Within 5 Years – 33%
Within 3 Years – 33%
Within 1 Year – 22%
No Idea – 11%
(post originally published 10/02/2011)
President Obama’s latest weekly YouTube address focuses on the economy… again:
The South Street Seaport is more than just a tourist-crowded dock with ridiculously over-priced… everything. It’s actually designated historical district aiming to capitalize on the maritime tradition that helped build New York City.
"Aerial view of South Street and Lower Manhattan. Courtesy of General Growth Properties, Originally published in Seaport Speaks."
I decided to explore the South Street Seaport and capture some scenes as the season shifts and tourist numbers dwindle.
On the way to the South Street Seaport. At the corner of a nearly-deserted Beekman Street and Front Street on a quiet Saturday. The Fulton Market is on the left of the picture. The original market opened in 1822 and today operates on Sundays from 11am - 5pm.
An NYPD officer checks his radio as tourists get out of a taxicab on South Street. Although these visitors took a traditional taxi to the Seaport, the Water Taxi is also a popular tourist attraction. Plus it can take you to IKEA!
Some visitors choose to take a Circle Line Downtown Harbor Cruise. Among other options, the company offers 3 daily sailings around southern Manhattan aboard it's Zephyr, departing from Pier 16. Another attraction, the Seaport Museum's Peking tall ship, can be seen in the background. Guests can visit the the museum's 7 ships for $10 and the website also points out, "the Peking is available for private rental."
A vendor on South Street shows his wares to two tourists from Minnesota. There is a high likelihood that every item on the table is counterfeit. A 2003 study by the NYC Comptroller's office estimated that people spent nearly $23 billion on counterfeit goods that year alone.
Closeup of various NYC branded apparel. Hooded sweatshirts, t-shirts, and hats are all visable. The tourists from Minnesota elected to buy a "Splash Design New York City" sweatshirt. The actual hoodies retail for $40, but these are sold for $15.
But this man grabbed a standard street snack nearby, and applies ketchup to his recently purchased hot dog. In addition to restaurants, the Seaport also has many official food stands and vendors close by.
The unseasonably warm weather brought two "Mister Softee" ice cream trucks to the Seaport. The company started in 1956 and is a staple of summers across 15 states. While restaurants and stores remain open, most of the booths in the pavillion have closed for the season.
Two brothers were each treated to a 'Mister Softee' ice cream cone by their parents. According to information provided by the company, a cone of vanilla soft serve ice cream is between 130-170 calories.
Two pigeons battle over the moldy remnants of a bagel at the South Street Seaport. Although getting an estimate on the total number of pigeons is difficult, one article says approximately 1 million pigeons call New York home. These two were able to enjoy, if they are capable of such an emotion, this fine breakfast without any disruptions from the masses of marauding tourists typical of summer at the South Street Seaport.
Noted economist Joseph Stiglitz recently gave an interview with Bloomberg Television. During the conversation, he made numerous assertions about why the economy may continue to suffer bouts of instability… and why, if we’re not careful, we may be due for another “dip”…
Stiglitz also doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the role of the current, and former, Federal Reserve Chairman in the ongoing financial crisis. He’s clear that “monetary policy can get a country into trouble” and makes a point to expressly name the two men driving much of America’s monetary policy.
Ben Bernanke (2006 - Present)
“Bernanke and Greenspan obviously did a very bad job managing monetary policy in the run up to the crisis and letting the bubble grow, not putting in place adequate regulation… Now the Fed is going to try and seem relevant so it will try to do something.”
“While [The Federal Reserve] can create problems, fixing them is much more difficult. Monetary policy is much better at retraining economies than pushing it when you’re in a severe downturn such as the current kind.”
But he isn’t terribly hopeful, saying he expects growth to be “anemic” — and therefore there will likely be a continued jobs deficit. This all results in the conception of a faltering American economy, according to Stiglitz.
US Department of Labor
So what is to be done? Well, I’m no Nobel Laureate… but this suggestion seems to make sense. AND it comes in 140 characters or less… which is handy.
"If taxes on upper income Americans are increased by just 1% of GDP, rough calculations suggest that GDP could be increased by 2% to 3%."
Seems intuitive, right? But you would be surprised how many career experts include this piece of advice near the top of their tips. So set an alarm clock! Or two! And here are three not-so-obscure websites that can help plot directions from one location to another, drastically reducing the potential for getting lost.
Sure… everybody needs a little pick-me-up in the morning. But there’s a fine line between quick energy boost and jittery disaster. Here’s where one career counselor ranked caffeine concerns in her “99 Ways to Screw Up a Perfectly Good Job Interview”…
Remember, you’re likely nervous, anxious and possibly running on less-than-ideal amounts of sleep, but be cautious when downing caffeine. And whatever you do, don’t bring coffee into an interview… that annoys important people, apparently.
“Don’t bring your own cup of Starbucks coffee to the interview. It’s not professional, and it will make me jealous that I don’t have one.”
As tempting, and universally hilarious, as the Comic Sans font is to use for everything, one should avoid using the bulbous typeface on professional documents. Not only will you automatically reduce credibility, but perhaps your interviewer is an advocate of the Ban Comic Sans movement. It’s best to assume everybody you meet hates Comic Sans, and use a power-font like Helvetica anyway. Helvetica even has its own documentary about how awesome it is!
DO NOT: DRESS LIKE AN IDIOT
Again, seems logical! And yet numerous career advice gurus recommend taking a moment to consider your clothing, or lack thereof, before heading off to an interview. A careerbuilder.com survey found 61% of employers said inappropriate attire was the biggest mistake recent college grads made during the interview process. About.com’s Job Searching Guide offers some ‘dressing for success’ ideas:
US News & World Report has compiled a series of mistakes people make following an interview. From failing to send a simple thank you note, to attempting to explain a mistake in an interview, potential for disaster still exists following the face-to-face meeting. Just send a simple thank you note and chill…