2010: The Year Ist Review

<p>So very much happened this year.</p>

<em>Zoe Schlanger/Gothamist</em><p></p>After <a href="">a wrenching 2010</a>, the bike lane wars expanded beyond <a href="">the South Williamsburg front</a>, with the counterinsurgency against cyclists intensifying in <a href="">the East Village</a>, <a href="">the Upper East Side</a>, and the <a href="">Upper West Side</a>. But perhaps the bitterest bickering was <a href="">seen in Park Slope</a>, where Anti-Lane forces rallied behind <a href="">former NYC DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall</a>, the wife of local resident (and noted cyclist!) Senator Chuck Schumer. Their main ally was <a href="">Borough President Marty Markowitz</a>, who <a href="">positioned himsel</a>f as <a href="">a virulent adversary</a> of the bike lanes in 2010, even composing <a href="">a militant, Anti-Lane anthem</a> to inspire the troops. <p></p>All this culminated last month at <a href="">a City Council</a> <a href="">hearing on bike lanes</a>, where politicians called on DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan to improve communication between her department and the neighborhoods were bike lanes are installed. Sadik-Khan remained steadfast in her mission to increase the number of bike lanes citywide, but the DOT is also <a href="">rolling out a public service campaign</a> to encourage cyclists to respect pedestrians and traffic laws.<p></p>At 2010's end, the Anti-Lane movement <a href="">seemed to be gaining traction</a>, and there were some notable setbacks on the path to bike lane ubiquity: bike lanes were <a href="">removed from part of Staten Island</a>, and the DOT <a href="">has already declined</a> to extend the east side bike lanes up to Harlem, as previously planned. And in the midst of all of this, there were <a href="">tragic</a> <a href="">reminders</a> <a href="">throughout</a> <a href="">the year</a> of the risks that come with riding a bike in NYC, and a thousand more bike lanes will never change that.

<p>Over the course of the 2010 election cycle one of the biggest national debates was the incredibly local issue of building a so-called <a href="">Ground Zero Mosque</a>. The fact that the proposed mosque and community center were not in fact at Ground Zero (it is destined for the old Burlington Coat factory at 45-51 Park Place) mattered not one bit as it became a <a href="">campaign issue</a> across the country. Once the election was over, however, the hysteria died down to the point where other neighborhoods were <a href="">vying</a> to get the project—even though it wasn't even looking for a different home. </p>

<a href="">Carl Paladino</a>, the 2010 Republican nominee for Governor, was certainly a character. Bursting on the scene in March with some <a href="">redunkulous statements</a> Carl went on to capture our imagination with his amazing ability to miscommunicate. See our <a href="">Paladino post-mortem</a>.

<p>If there was one thing that brought the fear of God into New Yorkers this year it would have to be bedbugs. A vermin many used to think of as quaint bedtime gibberish reared its blood-sucking head at the Big Apple this year and we trembled. The bugs managed to hit everywhere from <a href="">Hollister</a> to <a href="">Abercrombie &amp; Fitch</a> to <a href="">hospitals</a> to <a href="">Victoria's Secret</a> to <a href="">ad agencies</a> to <a href="">libraries</a> not to mention the <a href="">Time Warner Center</a> and the <a href="">Brooklyn DA's office</a>. Oh, also <a href="">movie theaters</a>, <a href="">magazine offices</a>, <a href="">Riker's Island</a>, the <a href="">Empire State Building</a>, <a href="">Google</a>, <a href="">Niketown</a>, <a href="">schools</a>, <a href="">Howard Stern</a>, <a href="">Lincoln Center</a>, <a href="">Carnegie Hall</a> (they had enough practice by then), <a href="">the UN</a>, <a href="">Juicy Couture</a> and <a href="">more</a>. Truly, 2010 was the year of the bedbug. </p>

<a href="">On the evening of May 1</a>, smoke emerging from a Nissan Pathfinder parked in Times Square concerned some vendors who alerted the authorities...who then <a href="">discovered a crude bomb inside</a>. Faisal Shahzad, a Connecticut resident and a Pakistani national who became a naturalized U.S. citizen believed to have trained with the Pakistan Taliban, <a href="">was arrested</a> and later <a href="">pleaded guilty "and a 100 times more."</a> He is currently <a href="">serving a life sentence</a>.<br/><br/> The bombing attempt also prompted a <a href="">heightened concern over suspicious packages</a> around the city; so far, all have been unfounded.

<p>February was <a href="">NYC's snowiest month EVER</a> with 36.9" inches. But back then Mayor Bloomberg was only getting criticism for calling the public schools' snow day <a href="">late</a>.</p>

<p>2010 was the year that Brooklyn pol Eric Adams <a href="">went to war with sagging pants</a> by <a href="">putting up billboards</a> and <a href=";feature=player_embedded">hitting up YouTube</a>. Meanwhile a judge decided there was <a href="">nothing wrong with wearing your pants low</a> ("the Constitution still leaves some opportunity for people to be foolish if they so desire.") and even <a href="">Nanny Bloomberg agreed</a>. Oh, and one guy <a href="">invented a garter belt</a> to help stop the sag.</p>

<p>After years of stasis and political infighting, the public could finally see progress at the World Trade Center. After <a href="">building out the complex infrastructure</a> (utilities! mass transit!), buildings emerged, as did the 9/11 Memorial's reflecting pool. The Memorial (<a href="">which now has trees</a>) is on track to open for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, while One World Trade Center construction has <a href="">reached the 52nd floor</a>. And all this while an <a href="">18th century ship was found</a>! </p>

<a href="">Charles Rangel</a>, the long-standing Democratic congressman from Manhattan, had a rough year, what with the <a href="">ethics violations</a>, the hearings he <a href="">walked out of</a>, the <a href="">censuring</a> and the financial woes that led him to start a <a href="">legal defense fund</a>. On the plus side he <a href="">won another term</a> and had a seemingly lovely <a href="">birthday party</a>.

<p>We found <a href="">some pot at Union Square</a>! But then <a href="">it was gone</a>.</p>

<p>If there is one thing that bothers nearly all real New Yorkers it has to be slow tourists—why can't they walk faster? So of course much was made in May of a mysterious <a href="">tourist lane</a> that appeared on Fifth Avenue. Even the mayor <a href="">weighed in</a> ("When I saw it I said, 'Oh, that’s a nice thing to do.'"). For a hot second we thought it might have <a href="">been a Banksy</a> but eventually the Improv Everywhere took <a href="">credit for the stunt</a>. And of course the Brits are <a href="">taking the whole thing</a> seriously.</p>

<p>What can we say about the MTA in 2010? We're stuck in an abusive relationship. It keeps beating us down with <a href="">fare hikes</a> and <a href="">shoddy service</a> and yet we <a href="">keep coming back for more</a>. Because also? The MTA also provides us with an unending supply of true New York stories. Here are just a few of the many we covered this year: the man who survived a <a href="">tumble onto the third-rail</a>, the <a href="">couple getting raunchy on the L</a>, the <a href="">man trapped between a train and the platform at Union Square</a>, Brooklyn's new combined <a href="">Jay St.-Metrotech station</a>, <a href="">subway map debates</a>, <a href="">nostalgia trains and buses</a>, <a href="">select bus service</a>, <a href="">the Second Avenue subway</a> and the <a href="">threat of cellphone service underground</a>.</p>

<a href="">St. Vincent's hospital</a>, which handled not only many 9/11 victims but also was at the heart of the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 80s, <a href="">shut its doors for good this year</a>. Despite <a href="">attempts</a> <a href="">to</a> <a href="">save</a> <a href="">it</a>, the hospital just couldn't <a href="">make ends meet</a>. It delivered its <a href="">last baby in April</a> and now may become...<a href="">apartments</a>.

<p>Oh, the case of the sexy banker <a href="">Debbie Lorenzana</a>. Allegedly fired from Citigroup because of her <a href="">revealing clothing</a> and <a href="">ample bosom</a>, the story of Lorenzana was an amusing summer distraction for <a href="">more than a week</a>. In the end the woman who <a href="">told a Discovery crew</a> "That's what I want to be: tits on a stick" went back to work (at a different bank) and claimed with a straight face "<a href="">I don't want to be famous. I try to stay away from that.</a>"</p>

<p>The economy continued to tiptoe out of a <a href="">recession</a>, but many New Yorkers were still left <a href="">struggling to find jobs</a>. Wall Street <a href="">still got chastised</a>, <a href="">still made bank</a>—and is <a href="">targeted for a big insider trading takedown</a>.</p>

<p>The elusive British street artist Banksy <a href="">stenciled his way through New York City</a> without anyone seeing him (<a href="">oh, okay, here he is</a>). He <a href="">also got dissed</a>. And FYI, <a href="">these are not Banksys</a>. </p>

<p>It's kinda of hard to remember this, what with the blizzard and all, but <a href="">July had a miserable heat wave</a>.</p>

<p>Mayor Bloomberg already had a reputation for running a nanny-state but he further cemented it this year with his recent <a href="">war against salt</a> (whose initiatives <a href="">some</a> <a href="">are</a> <a href="">embracing</a> and some <a href="">embraced too much</a>). Meanwhile Bloomberg continued his <a href="">war on fats</a> and also expanded his war on smoking to include <a href="">parks and beaches</a>.</p>

<a href="">According to Joe Scarborough</a>, 2010 was the <a href="">year of the iPad</a>. Technocrat Mayor Bloomberg even <a href="">gave one to British PM Cameron</a>.

<p>Spies were living <a href="">among us in NYC</a> and the suburbs of NJ, Washington DC and Boston! While the Russian agents seemed more inept than effective, the one that captured everyone's imagination was <a href="">fetching NYC party girl Anna Chapman</a>, who had <a href="">sultry photos on Facebook</a> and nude ones her exes were more <a href="">than happy to share</a>. The agents <a href="">were deported to Russia</a>, where they are considered national heroes.</p>

<p>For the Hudson Valley it was the wedding of the year, if not the century. Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, <a href="">wed Marc Mervinsky</a> at the Astor Courts estate, throwing the <a href="">bucolic suburbs</a> <a href="">into a frenzy</a>. </p>

<p>Two years after a <a href="">video showed a police officer body-slamming</a> a Critical Mass bicyclist in Times Square, the cop (well, now former cop) <a href="">was found guilty of filing a false criminal complaint</a> against cyclist Christopher Long, <a href="">which stated</a> that the cyclist had knocked him to the pavement, not vice-versa. Pogan was acquitted of misdemeanor assault, though. </p>

<p>One of the more startling bike path-related changes came in the form of Union Square's re-imagined Northern plaza. <a href="">Announced in April</a> to match similar plazas in Times and Herald Squares the plan met some <a href="">initial NIMBY resistance</a> ("They are creating a big problem."). Unlike other <a href="">park adjacent bike paths</a> though, we've heard little complaints about the Union Square plaza since it <a href="">opened in September</a>. </p>

<p>When <a href=";limit=30&amp;search=steven+slater&amp;x=0&amp;y=0">JetBlue flight attendant Steven Slater</a> got fed up with his passengers and exited a plane using the emergency chute he was immediately hailed as <a href="">a hero</a> to many a working stiff. Slater's story eventually <a href="">gained</a> <a href="">a few</a> <a href="">caveats</a> but he managed to avoid jail time and by the end of the year he was happily discussing his <a href="">"hissy fit heard round the world"</a> and his 15 minutes.</p>

<p>Caroline Giuliani, the daughter of former mayor Rudy and Donna Hanover, made the headlines this summer when she decided to <a href="">get caught shoplifting from Sephora</a>. The tabloids had a <a href="">field day</a> and in the end she got <a href="">sentenced to community service</a> where she <a rhef="">cleaned toilets</a>. Schadenfreude! </p>

<p>Coming off his best statistical season ever, 41-year-old grandfather <a href="">Brett Favre</a> probably expected more of the same in 2010. Instead, he had a head-on collision with <a href="">allegations</a> that he had sextually harassed former Jets sideline reporter Jenn Sterger while playing for the team in 2008. We shuddered at the "pictures," we laughed at the CGI treatment, and we were endlessly amused by all the unnecessary details and accusations. Who knew we'd learn so much about a future Hall of Famer's penis, and his affinity <a href="">for Crocs</a>?</p>

<p>An off-duty police officer getting her hair done sprung into action when a gun-wielding <a href="">thief tried to rob her Bedford-Stuyvesant salon</a>. Feris Jones <a href="">calmly shot the revolver out of the 19-year-old's hand</a> and was soon promoted to detective. </p>

<p>NYU, which hasn't really gotten along well with its neighbors for years, managed to piss more folks off this year with some of its expansion plans. Specifically a plan to add <a href="">an additional tower</a> to its superblock between Bleecker and Houston. After <a href="">much</a> <a href="">protesting</a>, and a <a href="">light slap</a> from I.M. Pei (who designed the already existing Silver Towers on the superblock) NYU now is looking to build the new building where a Morton-Williams currently resides. Meanwhile, the venom against NYU president John Sexton from neighbors <a rhef="">continues to drip</a>. </p>

<p>Sure, Eliot Spitzer's former madam was running for governor, but the real star of the 2010 NY State gubernatorial election was a familiar figure to New York City residents: Jimmy McMillan, of the <a href="">Rent Is Too Damn High party</a>. McMillan, a Vietnam War vet, <a href="">stole the show at the only debate</a> and has been <a href="">cashing in on</a> <a href="">his 15 minutes of fame</a> (<a href="">video anyone</a>?). But it turns out <a href="">his rent is low</a>.</p>

<p>Stories about people who jumped 39 stories usually end in tragedy. But not for 22-year-old Thomas Magill. He survived an apparent suicide jump from a West End Avenue apartment building when his <a href="">crash was cushioned by a Dodge Charger</a>. While Magill was seriously injured (a witness said he looked like a pretzel), he was up and walking <a href="">two months later</a>. But the Dodge Charger <a href="">was ruined</a>.</p>

<p>The oft-maligned '<a href=";limit=30&amp;search=texting+while+driving&amp;x=0&amp;y=0">texting while driving</a>' was a big issue this year with more <a href="">NYPD blitzes</a>, <a href="">texting bus drivers</a>, <a href="">texting-related</a> <a href="">tragedies</a>, <a href="">texting subway motormen</a>, <a href="">texting cops</a>, and more <a href="">texting-related tragedies</a>. The moral of the story? Don't text and drive. </p>

<p>Pedro Espada Jr., the Senate Majority leader who helped <a href="">cripple Albany last year with a coup</a>, who doesn't even really <a href="">live in the Bronx</a>, who is accused of <a href="">looting his non-profit of $14 million</a>, who <a href="">loves landlords</a> and <a href="">countless other things</a>, was <a href="">defeated in the September primary</a>. His amigo, fallen State Senator Hiram Monserrate (you know, the one who slashed his girlfriend's face, accidentally!), lost his bid for an <a href="Hiram Monserrate On Ballot For Assembly Seat">Assembly seat</a> and <a href="">surrendered to the feds for corruption</a>.</p>

<p>The suicide of Rutgers student <a href="">Tyler Clementi</a> after his roommate allegedly shared webcab footage of him engaged in a sexual encounter brought much needed attention to the issues still facing young gays. It also brought support to Dan Savage's much-lauded <a href=";page=&amp;utm_source=opensearch">It Gets Better</a> video series. </p>

<p>The tents for New York City's twice-annual fashion shows moved <a href="">from Bryant Park</a> to a <a href="">new home at Lincoln Center</a>, where models, designers, and tastemakers held court on the cultural oasis's plaza. There was also the <a href="">inaugural Fashion's Night Out</a>, a brainchild of Vogue editor Anna Wintour, to spark shopping.</p>

<a href="">Tornado warnings were issued</a> for Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island on September 16, and they were needed—it turned out <a href="">Brooklyn got one as did Queens</a>. With millions in damages, FEMA <a href="">declared it a disaster</a>. Then there was another <a href="">crazy hail storm the next month</a>!

<p>Governor David Paterson is heading off into the sunset of his term as New York's Chief Executive, amid lingering scandal with his <a href="">World Series Yankees tickets</a> and his aide's <a href="">domestic abuse allegations</a> (which was the <a href=";limit=30&amp;search=paterson+bombshell&amp;x=0&amp;y=0">much-rumored about bombshell</a>). But he also tried to call other Albany makers on their foolishness and <a href="">kept things running during the budget showdown</a> and he had enough of a sense of humor to <a href="">go on Saturday Night Live and spoof himself</a>. </p>

<p>During the primaries, NY State rolled out the new-fangled voting machines, switching from old-style lever machines to scanners. And it was a mess. While some people thought problems were <a href="">just "teething issues,"</a> one election coordinator said the process was <a href="">badly organized by the Board of Elections</a>. Cut to a week before the general election, the <a href="">head of the BOE was fired</a>. And on Election Day, people <a href="">complained about the tiny print</a> and <a href="">lack of privacy sleeves</a>.</p>

<p>The <a href="">James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act</a> had a bumpy 2010. The year kicked off with news that Obama <a href="">might not support it</a> and by the bill's first <a href="">ill-fated July vote</a> in the House things were looking grim. There was a ray of hope when <a href="">Obama turned around</a> and the <a href="">House passed it</a> but that was dashed when it just languished in the Senate. Luckily, after some pressure from <a href="">folks like Jon Stewart</a>, and with a few billion dollars and a few years shaved off, it managed to make it through the lame-duck session at the <a href="">last moment</a>. Huzzah! </p>

<p>Between <a href="">charges of incest</a> and <a href="">sticky-fingered employees</a> Columbia University had a bad end of the year. The most damning bit of PR they got though was the NYPD's so-called <a href="">Operation Ivy League</a> in which five of the university's students were arrested for running an alleged <a href="">drug ring</a> out of the school's dorms and frats. <a href="">One by one</a> they all made bail before the holidays, however, and the case will continue in court in 2011. </p>

<p>Ladies and gentlemen, the <a href="">next governor of New York</a>. No, not Mario again, Andrew. </p>

<p>Bloomberg's decision to replace outgoing Schools Chancellor Joel Klein with ex-Hearst executive <a href="">Cathie Black</a> was met with a collective "<a href="">huh?</a>" around the city. Despite protests that she didn't have enough experience (and <a href="">many</a> <a href="">attempts</a> to <a href="">block</a> her appointment) Black eventually got a <a href="">waiver</a> so she could take job, with the assurance she'd have help from somebody who <a href="">knew what they were doing</a>. At the end of the year the State Supreme Court <a href="">upheld Black's waiver</a> and she'll officially start her new gig in 2011.</p>

<p>Two years after admitting to the world's biggest Ponzi scheme (that we know of!), <a href="">Bernard Madoff</a> is still making news, from getting a <a href="">prison beatdown</a> to the wide-ranging attempt to recover his his ill-gotten gains, whether by going after <a href="">former</a> <a href="">employees</a> or <a href="">auctioning his belongings</a>. But as the two-year anniversary of his swindle came near, his oldest son Mark <a href="">hanged himself with a dog leash in his Soho apartment</a> (with his wife out of town and his two-year-old son sleeping in another room), <a href="">apparently feeling desperate</a> when faced with the continuing repercussions of his father's crimes.</p>

<p>Christmas 2010 was immediately overshadowed by <a href="">Blizzageddon</a>, or the <a href="">Boxing Day Blizzard of 2010</a>, when the sixth largest single snow fall hit our fair shores and found us wanting. From <a href="">snow in the subway</a>, to <a href="">stuck buses</a> to rumors of a <a href="">sanitation slowdown</a>, the storm throughly dominated the attention of the Big Apple. All as Mayor Bloomberg kept trying to <a href="">remove his snow shoes from his mouth</a>. </p>

<p>The biggest story of the year was the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion which led to an unbelievably massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, destroying marine life and economy of Gulf states. Other big stories were the <a href="">devastating earthquake in Haiti</a>, <a href="">passage of health care reform</a>, the <a href="">rise of the Tea Party</a> (and <a href="">there were zombies too</a>), <a href="">WikiLeaks</a> as public enemy #1, pesky <a href="">TSA pat-downs</a>, the repeal of <a href="">Don't Ask Don't Tell</a>.</p>

<p>Some other things we thought were interesting:</p><ul>t<li>Christina Hendricks' photograph was <a href="">stretched by the NY Times</a>. <br/></li><li><a href="">Police quotas</a>, the scandal-in-the-making.<br/></li>t<li>After a grisly slaying, a killer changed <a href="">her pants</a>. <br/> </li>t<li>Some subway heroes <a href="">don't want to be found</a>.<br/></li>t<li>Mommy rage is <a href="">real</a>. <br/></li>t<li>Hipsters <a href="">falling on ice</a>.<br/></li><li>Staten Island had a <a href="">string of hate crimes</a>.<br/></li>t<li><a href="">Easter night violence left four</a> injured in Midtown.<br/></li>t<li>The Statue of Liberty <a href="">from the inside</a>.<br/></li>t<li><a href="">Cops tossed a customer from Starbucks</a> because she didn't want to deal with a question about butter or cream cheese.<br/></li>t<li>The Quidditch World Cup <a href="">happened on the West Side</a>, which seems far from Hogwarts.<br/></li>t<li>One person was <a href=";/li&gt;t&lt;li&gt;">fatally shoot and four others injured</a> when police tried to break up a big summer BBQ in Harlem.<br/></li>t<li>The <a href="">view from the top of the George Washington Bridge</a> is pretty nice.<br/></li>t<li>Metal orbs at city playgrounds <a href="">were burning children</a>.<br/></li>t<li>The <a href="">103rd floor of the Empire State Building</a> isn't open to the public, but we got a look.<br/></li>t<li>A Phillies fan forced himself <a href="">to puke on another fan</a>; he later <a href="">pleaded guilty</a>.<br/></li>t<li>Summer Streets <a href="">came back</a>—with <a href='"'>dumpster pools</a>.<br/></li>t<li>Babies in Brooklyn bars <a href="">became a national topic</a>.</li><li>The 17-year-old daughter of an ambassador <a href="">died after falling</a> off a Midtown building. She had been partying at nightclubs with her fake ID.</li>t<li>A nun crossing the street was <a href="">killed by a van of fleeing criminals</a>. <br/></li>t<li>Former state comptroller Alan Hevesi <a href="">pleaded guilty to his involvement</a> in the state pension scandal, where firms receive state investment in exchange for money and favors to politicians. Don't worry, he still <a href="">gets $160K in annual tax-free pensions</a>.<br/></li>t<li>Yeah, you missed the <a href="">Naked Bike Ride</a>.<br/></li></ul>

<p>Don't miss our looks back at the year in <a href="">food (Four Loko! restaurant grades!</a> and more), music (our live <a href="">Gothamist House performances</a>), <a href="">street art</a> and <a href="">sports</a>.</p>

<p>All in all, it's been a year filled with excitement—not to mention some wonderful new additions. Gothamist wishes you a wonderful, prosperous new year ahead.</p>