2013 was the year that Gothamist began experimenting with the notion that people reading our site might like to view many words in a row, perhaps over a sensible lunchtime salad or while waiting on line for a pastry. We've culled a few of the yarns that remain stuck in our blog craws so that you can while away the remaining hours of the year learning something about your city and yourself.
They are, in no particular order:
Researcher/writer Danielle Oteri peels back the musty layers of Time to reveal the Gilded Age's premiere secret supper club, where folks like J.P. Morgan munched canvasback duck and mansplained Edith Wharton's latest works.
At once a blistering demolition of the misguided, technocratic tinkering so prevalent in the Bloomberg Era and a solid primer on rent regulation, Steve Wishnia's understated annihilation of the notion that handing over the city's precious few rent regulated units is bracing and vital, especially given who helped get our incoming mayor elected.
When this hulking article was published almost a year ago, e-cigarettes were but a mango-flavored glimmer in our eye—an interesting symbol of the commercial and legal jujitsu necessary to "safely" deliver nicotine to America's thirsty bloodstreams. Now these "robot dicks" may well represent Big Tobacco's $10 Billion Last Stand. Are they a public menace or a smoker's means of salvation?
Troll-y? Sure. But Taylor Wofford (with the help of J.SON and others) explains why the Establishment's spray paint darling was actually more of a Graffiti Jail, a place where ideas were screened and whitewashed over. They argue that graffiti must inherently embody impermanence and illegality, notions that 5 Pointz explicitly fought.
"The city has maintained that...expanded surveillance is necessary to keep society safe," Jim Dwyer wrote in the Times back in October. "No one in the Bloomberg administration has discussed the limits on their participation in public dialogue. Or, for that matter, why they ought to be standing alongside people handing out bags of groceries." Dwyer was referencing our story by Nick Pinto, which shined a light on the activities of NYPD Intelligence Division Det. Wojciech Braszczok, the undercover agent who spied on peaceful activists at birthday parties and hurricane relief stations.
"While painting Occupy Wall Street as a public menace," Pinto writes, "the NYPD was infiltrating it with a man who is now facing assault charges."
Speaking of surveillance, AP reporters Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing the NYPD's program of spying on Muslim communities—spying that yielded absolutely no leads. In our interview, the two reporters explain just how deep that surveillance went, and why these activities engaged in by a municipal police department have no precedent in American history.
When was the last time you had to duck into a store to relieve yourself in an establishment that wasn't a fast food joint or a Starbucks? Writer and truck driver Jarrod Shanahan describes how the need to pee is a ticking time bomb for many employees on their feet in the city. Spolier Alert: "Men are disgusting."
Who knew the annual sophomoric shitshow that is SantaCon was inspired by a Mother Jones article and used to highlight lurid exhibitions of actual anarchy? Dan Glass gets the straight dope from Santa #1, but will 2014's fratastic pilgrims listen? (Probably not.)
If you have a long (or short) story to submit to Gothamist, please do so here.