Gerard Koeppel’s talk will focus on his most recent book, City on a Grid: How New York Became New York (2015), which tells the story of how New York’s city streets came to form the rectilinear grid that millions of people now walk through every day. The New York Times describes City on a Grid as “prodigiously researched” and “engaging,” and the Wall Street Journal calls it “entertaining…breezy and highly readable.”
The book explains how New York’s legendary grid came to be, who did it and why, and what it meant for the growing United States. “Koeppel’s book answers these questions in an easygoing, good-humored manner, with interesting facts unearthed on nearly every page…This is one of those books you always wished would be written.”
Koeppel is also the author of Bond of Union: Building the Erie Canal and the American Empire and Water for Gotham: A History. Before writing mostly about the past, he wrote, edited, and produced the present at CBS news. He has contributed to numerous other books, including the Encyclopedia of New York City, of which he was an associate editor, as well as reference works, newspapers, journals, museum exhibits, and historical signage at city parks. He was born on the grid and has lived all over it since.
2009. India. Dir: Kabir Khan. With John Abraham, Irrfan Khan. 153 min.
Three Muslim buddies spend their carefree college days in the Big Apple… until the Towers fall on 9/11 and they face detainment and interrogation from paranoid American authorities. Part suspense thriller, part love triangle with hijinks and songs, this smash hit of Hindi cinema finds the human story amidst the overzealousness and racism of the War on Terror. Sponsored by Shakti.
Love to work outside? Want to learn more about farming and food? Interested in community development? The Urban Farms Collaborative, now in its second year, is partnering with the incredible East New York Farms! in Brooklyn to offer a flexible summer internship to several interested students. This is an amazing opportunity to learn about food justice, urban agriculture, and community activism through hands-on education. AND get lots of fresh farm goodies.
Kate Weiner will be holding a meeting for those who are interested in the opportunity/who have questions. Contact her at kweiner[at]wesleyan.edu to inform her of your availability.
Ever since last year, music review/hipster rant/legitimate journalism website Pitchfork has been all over Le1f aka Khalif Diouf ’11. They gave a solid review to his 2012 mixtape Dark York, saying “there’s a lot of fun to be had listening to Diouf take on rap taboos with a glint of mischief.” Because, of course, no conversation can be had without somewherementioning Le1f’s sexualpreferences. And, yes, those sort of themes and jokes pop up throughout his videos and mixtapes, but underneath all of the discussion about “queer rap” are some high-quality club-ready tracks— and more and more, that’s becoming the focus of all this hype.
Le1f, receiving much loveand coveragefrom this blog, just dropped another mixtape, and not surprisingly, the Internet is all over it. Fly Zoneis 13 tracks produced by 13 different producers, but Le1f is always the star of the show. “Spa Day” feels like Le1f is having the most fun, and he dodges in and out of quick, sharp-tongued rapping, even slipping in a “mazel tov.” On “Coins,” he laughs, messes with rhythms, and drops references to the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sex Pistols. But throughout Fly Zone, Le1f and his lyrics are in charge: “My jokes are funny, but my money’s not.”
After the jump, read a few critics’ words on the mixtape, and then listen to the whole thing yourself—Fly Zone is streaming on Soundcloud and free to download.
The occupation of Cooper Union (by students apparently unencumbered by a deluge of finals and end-of-semester projects) came to a close late yesterday morning.
As you may remember, on December 3, a cadre of eleven freeloaders Cooper Union students locked themselves in the Peter Cooper Suite on the eighth floor of Cooper Union’s Foundation Building, a.k.a. The Clocktower. Protesting the university’s formation of an exploratory committee on “examining potential revenue streams from undergraduate programs,” the occupiers brought with them sleeping bags, blankets, at least one hammock, and oatmeal and ramen noodles for sustenance. Cooper Union has funded the education of its undergraduates since at least 1902 using an endowment that draws as much from alumni donations as it does from its own holdings, including the property on which the Chrysler Building sits.
While the struggle on campus to retain need-blind admissions rages on, students in New York City are taking things up a notch or two. Yesterday, students at the Cooper Union college in the East Village barricaded themselves inside the top floor of their main building, known as “the Clocktower”, in protest of proposed tuition charges for undergraduate students. The school has been tuition free for over a century and students claim the current administration’s plan to conflicts with the core values of the institution.
Students have armed themselves with sleeping bags and ramen noodles, vowing to stay as long as it takes until their demands for greater transparency and tuition-free education are met. The occupiers have successfully resisted at least one attempt at eviction, during which school maintenance workers attempted to force their way in using rams and drills, vowing to hold their position for “as long as it takes.” Meanwhile, dozens of supporters have rallied in solidarity on the sidewalk below, including participants from the Occupy movement and the Free University, a group that is now conducting publicly accessible teach-ins there at no cost.
Also, click past the jump for my five favorite Le1f-related gifs.
Lest you worry that we haven’t posted enough recently about rising hip hop sensation Le1f/Khalif Diouf ’11 (note: wehave), here’s something to tide you over. The giftastic rapper behind “Wut” and “Soda” recently popped up on Pitchfork.tv, chatting about some of his influences (Wesleyan Pride Alert: “Heems is someone that inspires me a lot in terms of performance, and Das Racist”) and the vision he has for his wildly theatrical live performances:
“If someone was coming to see me, I would tell them to expect a really visceral, cathartic performance that is rap music. It’s a rap show that—I don’t want to say spiritual, but I’m trying to be very intense and honest and guttural. When I’m onstage and I realize people aren’t moving, it does force me to go really crazy. I have to find some rage.”
Filmed during CMJ, the interview also finds Le1f talking about his lyrics. “A lot of people say you can’t understand the words, and often I kind of don’t care,” he admits. “But one of the drawbacks of that is maybe people don’t understand the message. So it’s nice to have my dancers basically blessing the audience with holy water.” That theme also seems prevalent in the “Soda” video. Because it’s about, like, liquid and stuff.
As we reported Monday, a small caravan of riled up Wes students and alumni hit up New York’s Zuccotti Park just in time for the first anniversary of Occupy Wall Street. According to the New York Times, at least 185 were arrested. According to aspiring social media journalist Ben Doernberg ’13, at least one of those was a Wesleyan student. Speaking of statistics, Ross Levin ’15 included another one in a Wesleying comment: “the first night of Occupy Wall St, 15% of the people sleeping in the park were Wes students.”
Because livestreaming the festivities isn’t enough, Doernberg sends in a gallery of photos, one video, and a guest post narrating his coverage of the happenings. Doernberg’s summary and gallery appear below. Scroll on if you love photos of NYPD cops looking grim.
Appropriately, a handful of Wes students are in New York right now, joining in the festivities. According to Reuters, over 100 protestors have been arrested, with at least on Wesleyan student reportedly among them. Resident livestreamer and bearded social media journalist Ben Doernberg ’13 has been livestreaming the experience all day, and you can follow along above or on U-Stream.
You know Michael Bennet ’87. You know John Hickenlooper ’74. But do you know Adam Bermudez? Unlike Bennet and Hickenlooper, Bermudez did not graduate in the ’70s or ’80s and become a leading political figure close to Wesleyan’s Colorado campus. Rather, Bermudez is a 2007 alumnus, running for State Assemblyman in New York’s 80th district, in the Bronx. The district includes the neighborhoods of Van Nest, Morris Park, Pelham Parkway, Pelham Gardens, Pelham Bay, Allerton, Norwood, and Van Cortlandt Village in the Bronx.
Bermudez goes up against incumbent Naomi Rivera, who has held the seat since 2005. In addition to having raised $101,148, Rivera also benefits from an assemblyman father who formerly led the Bronx Democrats and a councilman brother. (Nepotism runs deep in Bronx politics. Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., who endorsed Rivera, is the son of State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.) The tough challenge may be, however, competing against Mark Gjonaj, the owner of a real estate company and Bronx commissioner on the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) who has the endorsement of Diaz Sr. Gjonaj has raised $66,670 more than incumbent Rivera. A July 18th article from DNAinfo.com described our alum as having “empty coffers.” Though he acknowledges his “nobody” status to, there’s the added fact that the Bronx Democratic County Committee has filed objections to his petition.