TIME Transportation

New York City Speed Camera Issues 1,551 Tickets in a Single Day

Red-light cameras monitor the traffic at the corner of Secon
Red-light cameras monitor the traffic at the corner of Second Ave. and E. 42nd St in New York City. Andrew Savulich—NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

$77,550 in fines not bad for a day's work

A speed camera in New York City issued 1,551 violations in a single day, raking in some $77,550.

The New York City Department of Transportation told a local news blog that a controversial camera coming off of a highway ramp in Brooklyn near Lincoln High School issued a peak of 1,551 violations on July 7. The DOT confirmed the figure with TIME.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has pushed for expanding the use of speed cameras around city schools as part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero goal of reducing pedestrian deaths to zero.

“DOT has begun installing the first speed cameras authorized by state law passed this spring and will continue on a rolling basis until all 140 school speed zones permitted by law are reached,” a DOT spokesperson told TIME in an emailed statement. “NYC DOT does not disclose camera locations, but regarding the specific location you are talking about, the ramp is approximately 400 feet long, a good amount of distance for drivers to adjust their speeds.”

The cameras issue $50 ticket violations to drivers going more than 10 miles over the 30 mph speed limit.

TIME politics

U.N. Headquarters in South Dakota: How It Could Have Happened

UN HQ - Dec. 10, 1945
From the Dec. 10, 1945, issue of TIME TIME

New York City wasn’t the obvious choice for the United Nations headquarters

Representatives from around the world are now gathering in New York City for the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly. A vast cadre of diplomats, staff and heads of state have descended on the Big Apple — ensuring a nightmare for daily commuters. But, though that traffic jam is now a dependable annual event, New York City wasn’t the obvious choice for the United Nations headquarters.

In the wake of the 1945 conference establishing the modern day United Nations — which took place in San Francisco — a committee was set up to find the best spot for what would essentially become the world’s capital. A look back into TIME’s coverage of that period shows that the competition to host the U.N. was wide open, though one thing was clear: New York City, where the UN would be overshadowed by “Wall Street, etc…” as one TIME story put it, was no good.

Philadelphia made a strong case for itself when delegates visited to check out potential sites in 1946, TIME reported:

When the time for on-the-spot inspection came, the spirit of brotherly love was almost overpowering. There was a cocktail party for them in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Day, who would be evicted if [one of the potential locations] were chosen. Mr. and Mrs. Day thought that would be a fine idea.

…Philadelphia’s hosts never missed a bet. There was a concert by the famed Philadelphia Orchestra, a luncheon at the Art Museum (under pictures by Matisse, Gauguin and Reynolds). In a helicopter provided for the delegates, Holland’s Jan de Ranitz and Dr. M. P. M. van Karnebeek plopped down near Philadelphia for a hearty greeting by a local farmer & family.

But, still, even Philadelphia was considered to be too close to New York and Washington, D.C.

Chicago, San Francisco, Atlantic City and Boston were among the other locales lobbying to become the permanent headquarters. One unlikely contender, the Black Hills region of South Dakota, made the rational argument that it was far from the reach of an atomic bomb, unlike the coastal cities.

“In the Black Hills there are no military objectives, and the gentlemen who are striving for the peace of the world can live at peace while the atomic bombs are falling,” Paul Bellamy, a businessman representing the Black Hills, told an assembly of the U.N., which was temporarily based in London, according to a TIME story from December 1945.

“It was no part of Bellamy’s job, or of the booster tradition,” the author noted, “to ask what the gentlemen would be doing at that point.”

Ultimately, Bellamy’s urgings were for naught. Despite the organizers’ original misgivings, real-estate concerns ended up carrying more weight than atomic ones: New York City received the boost it needed when philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. gifted a parcel of Manhattan land to the U.N.

Read a 1952 cover story about the building of the current United Nations headquarters: Cheops’ Architect

TIME United Nations

Deadbeat Diplomats Owe NYC $16 Million in Unpaid Parking Fines

The price of diplomatic immunity

Diplomatic staff based in New York City have racked up $16 million in unpaid parking tickets, according to municipal data obtained by the Wall Street Journal.

Officials from 180 countries, or all but 15 countries on the planet, have accrued debt related to parking violations. Egypt leads the pack with a whopping $1.9 million tab and 17,499 summonses. Diplomats from Nigeria, Indonesia and Brazil have dues ranging from $600 to nearly $900,000. Much of the debt dates back to the early 2000s, before mayor Michael Bloomberg cracked down on parking violations and unpaid fines.

The Wall Street Journal includes a graphic breakdown of the 10 biggest violators as well as a range of evasive responses from the artful to the confused to the undiplomatic, proving that if there’s one thing that the world’s diplomats can agree upon at this week’s United Nations general assembly, it’s that the rules of the road don’t apply to them.

[WSJ]

TIME 9/11

Looking Up: A Photographer Captures World Trade Center Tourists

"What I wanted to do was capture peoples emotions of grief, despair, happiness, awe, longing, hoping — as many diverse emotions as there are people"

Photographer Keith Goldstein never found lower Manhattan that interesting to look at until he noticed where New Yorkers and tourists themselves were looking — up, where the new World Trade Center building towers over the city and the memory of 9/11 attacks.

“I think with this project what I wanted to do was capture peoples emotions of grief, despair, happiness, awe, longing, hoping — as many diverse emotions as there are people,” says Goldstein, who prefers to photograph the looks on bystanders’ faces without detection. To do this, he uses a small camera, often snapping his photos without even glancing through the viewfinder at his subjects.

“One would almost call it a drive-by,” he says, “except I walk by.”

TIME remembrance

WATCH LIVE: NYC Ceremony on 13th Anniversary of 9/11

The ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial Plaza begins at 8:40 a.m.

Hundreds of people gathered at the site of the World Trade Center for a ceremony to remember the 2,983 people killed in the 2001 and 1993 attacks. Family members of the victims have been invited to read names.

A citywide moment of silence will be held at 8:46 a.m., the time the first hijacked plane flew into the North Tower, and at five additional times throughout the morning, marking the time of impact of three other planes and the time the two towers fell.

TIME Music

Happy 350th Birthday, New York City: Here Are 17 of the Best Songs About NYC

... and the Empire State Building is to the south.
... and the Empire State Building is to the south. Courtesy of Time Inc. Archives

From Jay Z to J. Lo, with Frank Sinatra in between

New York City may not sleep, but it does age. Today the Big Apple celebrates 350 years of being New York City, after being officially renamed from New Amsterdam on Sept. 8, 1664.

From the best of times to the worst of times, songwriters have captured every corner of the city and the lives lived in its five boroughs through music. Artists ranging from Nas to Billy Joel have found themselves in a “New York State of Mind.” Ryan Adams and Frank Sinatra have sung about “New York, New York.” In “Visions of Johanna,” Bob Dylan sang about the girl he saw on the D train, while straphangers such as The New York Dolls, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Townes Earle and Duke Ellington have all sung about the subway. From the Bronx to Brooklyn, the Lower East Side to Rockaway Beach, over the last 350 years, musicians have paid homage to the town they call home or the city they’ve stopped in along the way.

Whether it’s Azealia Banks singing “212” or the Rolling Stones getting “Shattered” or The Strokes singing about “New York City Cops,” the city has been a muse for many. To celebrate the 350th birthday of the city, TIME is taking a look back at some of the greatest songs every written about NYC. Due to the incredible number of songs written about the city, there are many songs that didn’t make this list, like Le Tigre’s “My My Metrocard,” Grand Mixer D.S.T.’s “The Home of Hip-Hop,” The Magnetic Fields’s “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side,” and the Village People’s love song to “Fire Island.” In theory, the entire soundtrack from Rent could be on the list, and there’s not much that screams (at four in the morning, while banging on a trash can in the alley behind your apartment) New York more than Law & Order original recipe star Jerry Orbach and the original Broadway cast of 42nd Street singing “The Lullaby of Broadway.” It’s a list that, like the city, could go on forever.

But barring that, here are 17 of the best songs about New York City:

1. Jay Z and Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind”

2. The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, “Fairytale of New York”

3. Lou Reed, “Walk on the Wild Side”

4. Billie Holiday, “Autumn in New York”

5. LCD Soundsystem, “New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down”

6. Beastie Boys, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

7. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “The Message”

8. Bruce Springsteen, “The Rising”

9. Tom Waits, “Downtown Train”

10. Leonard Cohen, “Chelsea Hotel No. 2″

11.Frank Sinatra, “Theme from New York, New York”

12. Jennifer Lopez, “Jenny From The Block”

13. Duke Ellington Orchestra, “Take the ‘A’ Train”

14. Gil Scott-Heron, “New York Is Killing Me”

15. The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach”

16. The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Summer in the City”

17. Bobby Womack and Peace, “Across 110th Street”

MORE: From the Archives: HOW TO SAVE NEW YORK

MORE: The Decline Of New York

 

TIME LGBT

NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade Allows Gay Group to March

Decision comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio and Guinness withdrew support earlier this year

A gay group will be allowed to march under its own banner in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2015 for the first time in the parade’s 252-year history, organizers announced Wednesday.

OUT@NBC Universal, a LGBTQ support group at NBC, will be the first openly gay group to march in the parade under its own banner. The prohibition against gay groups has been controversial for the nation’s oldest St. Patrick’s Day parade, causing Mayor De Blasio to boycott this year’s march and costing them their Guinness sponsorship.

“Organizers have diligently worked to keep politics—of any kind—out of the Parade in order to preserve it as a single and unified cultural event,” the Parade Committee said in a statement. “Paradoxically, that ended up politicizing the Parade. This grand cultural gem has become a target for politicization that it neither seeks nor wants because some groups could join the march but not march with their own banner.

“This change of tone and expanded inclusiveness is a gesture of goodwill to the LGBT community in our continuing effort to keep the parade above politics as it moves into its 253rd year, all the while remaining loyal to church teachings and the principles that have guided the parade committee for so many decades.”

NBC broadcasts the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

TIME privacy

Airbnb Sued by Group of Users in New York City for Breach of Privacy

Airbnb Said to Be Raising Funding At $10 Billion Valuation
The Airbnb application and logo are displayed on an Apple iPhone in this arranged photograph in Washington, D.C., on March 21, 2014 Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg/Getty Images

The company released user data to New York City authorities investigating suspected violations of housing and rental laws

Around 25 people with apartments listed on the online accommodation-sharing website Airbnb are suing the company to prevent what they claim is a breach of their privacy.

Calling themselves “New Yorkers Making Ends Meet in the Sharing Economy,” the group filed a lawsuit against Airbnb in the state supreme court on Tuesday to prevent the firm sharing their private information with state attorney general Eric Schneiderman.

A source familiar with the case told Mashable that Airbnb furnished the attorney general with information on 107 of its New York City users including payment details, hosts and listing IDs as well as their names and contact information.

The release on Tuesday was the first under an agreement between the two parties reached in May, in which the company agreed to provide anonymous information about thousands of hosts in order to investigate suspected violations of the local rental law.

City authorities requested more information on some 130 users, but Airbnb declined to provide details of those who had filed lawsuits until the case was resolved.

“We will not take action with data from hosts who have previously filed suit until the court makes a decision and we will respect the court’s decision,” Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said, after clarifying that the users whose data had been subpoenaed were notified by the company.

Airbnb had successfully fought the city’s previous demand in court, which asked for unfettered access to data on thousands of users. This was followed by the updated agreement and the transfer of the anonymous data.

[Mashable]

TIME Travel

10 Things To Do Wherever You Are

Businesswoman with suitcase in airport
Getty Images

Traveling this holiday weekend? Whether you’re headed to New York or San Francisco, Singapore or Tokyo, we’ve put together a list of your destination’s must-see attractions and activities. So if you want to hit the tourist hotspots, or if you prefer to see how the locals live, these ideas will make your Labor Day planning a bit less laborious:

TIME justice

John Lennon’s Killer Denied Parole Again

Mark David Chapman was convicted of murdering John Lennon outside Lennon's Manhattan apartment on December 8, 1980.
Mark David Chapman was convicted of murdering John Lennon outside Lennon's Manhattan apartment on December 8, 1980. AFP/Getty Images

It's the eighth time Mark David Chapman was denied parole

The man who shot and killed John Lennon has been denied parole by the New York State Parole Board for the eighth time because his release would be “incompatible with the welfare of society.”

Mark David Chapman, 59, shot Lennon four times outside the musician’s New York City apartment in a 1980 murder that attracted worldwide attention. The crime earned him 20 years in prison.

In its decision, the parole board showed little hesitation to deny Chapman’s parole, Bloomberg reports.

“You stalked and waited for your victim and thereafter shot him multiple times causing his death,” the board said in its decision. “The victim had displayed kindness to you earlier in the day and your actions have devastated a family.”

Chapman will be up for parole again in 2016.

[Bloomberg]

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