After driving around for what seems like an eternity, you finally find a parking spot. You read all the signs, double check that there’s no yellow curbs or fire hydrants nearby, feed the meter, and go on your merry way. A few hours later, you walk back up to your car and see that tiny orange rectangle (the infamous NYC parking ticket) taunting you from the windshield. If this sounds familiar, here’s your chance to stop shelling out $65 for being one minute over your last quarter.
AwareCar, a smartphone app and Bluetooth device, keeps drivers in check by reminding them where they parked, when the meter is expiring, and at what time they need to leave to head back to their vehicle (h/t CityLab). And all this will only set you back $9.
Find out how this genius technology works
Remember: Don’t blame the dog, blame its lazy owner.
On some NYC streets, navigating the crap that covers the sidewalks can be like running a gantlet. And as this map created by The Economist shows, there are definitely some neighborhoods that have it worse than others. Compiled from complaints submitted across all the boroughs, as seen above, the shittiest nabes of 2014 include Upper Manhattan on the east side, a good deal of the Bronx, Bed-Stuy and, unsurprisingly, Bushwick, where just last year neighborhood artists were glittering the deserted turds of their furry friends in gold.
find out more here
There are a lot of nuisances to be found in Times Square, but apparently for Mayor de Blasio, none are as bothersome as the topless women and aggressive Elmos traipsing around the area’s overly lit streets. As the NYDN reports, de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton have formed a special task force aimed at ridding the bustling tourist destination of its “jiggly panhandlers.” And the solution at the top of their list is tearing up the pedestrian plazas and letting cars back in.
Find out more on the issue here, as well as alternative plans
Warning: Explicit rat footage ahead.
If you don’t already live in fear of rats taking over your apartment, you will after this. A new video from National Geographic shows exactly how these rodents make their way up your toilet bowl, which is apparently quite a common city occurrence, according to Gothamist. Though we’re used to seeing them scamper around near the garbage bins, rats are pretty aquatically adept; they can tread water for three days and stay underwater without breathing for three minutes. Plus, their ribs are hinged at the spine, meaning they can fit through even the narrowest of pipes.
Watch the video here if you dare
The L train may be painfully packed during rush hour, but at least it can tout the title of being the best performing of all of NYC’s subway lines—which appear only to be getting worse. The Journal reports that an audit recently conducted by the state comptroller’s office revealed that, on average, the subway system’s on-time performance (how frequently a train reaches its last stop within five minutes of the scheduled time) is on the decline, falling to 74 percent on weekdays and 81 percent on weekends in 2014, from 81 percent and 85 percent in 2013. But the worst performing train of all? The 4 train.
More on the best and worst trains here
Back in the day, there was no East Village; it was all the Lower East Side. The Upper West Side was one big neighborhood; there weren’t subdivisions like Broadway Corridor or Riverside. Brokers didn’t invent acronyms like NoMad and DoBro. As time goes on, areas in New York City seem to multiply, but this really all depends on who you’re talking to. Since the city has no actual neighborhood boundaries (they divide the city by much larger community districts), everyone has their own idea of where one neighborhood ends and the other begins. And a new interactive map from DNAinfo allows New Yorkers to draw what they think their neighborhood borders are and see how their approximations compare to others.’
See how we did at our first attempt
Think you live in a hipster ‘hood? Constantly complaining about the stroller parades down your block? While you may think you have your neighbors pinpointed, a quick look at the hard facts may surprise you. Last week, the Department of City Planning revealed its updated Census Fact Finder, an interactive application that uses data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey to provide highly detailed neighborhood profiles.
Take for example the Lower East Side, often thought of as a playground for well-off post-grads. As The Lo-Down noted, 47 percent of the neighborhood’s population is unemployed, only 34 percent have a college degree, and 35 percent pay less than $500/month in rent.
More findings right here
Like many who work in the Financial District, Lori Pailet heads to work before the sun is up. But instead of jumping into an early meeting at an investment bank or law office, Lori meets her clients poolside for a morning dip. As the owner and director of Aquaskills, she spends her days helping New Yorkers reach their aquatic potential.
A former artist and designer, Lori has been sharing her passion for swimming since Aquaskills was founded in the early 2000s. She is driven by a desire to help individuals engage safely and happily with the water. Through her hard work and determination, the school has become a go-to for all walks of life looking to learn to swim for the first time, or refine their technique. Along with a team of trained instructors, Lori offers a wide range of classes and lessons depending on skill level, but specializes in adults who either have aquaphobia or who never even learned to dog paddle. Lori was even featured in a NY Times piece last summer about aquaphobia, the story following drummer Attis Clopton as he overcame his fear of water.
We spoke with Lori to find out more on her own journey into the pool, and how she approaches those learning to swim for the first time.
Read our interview with Lori here
Though we may already know there are places in NYC that we can’t easily get to, transit data junkie Chris Whong lays it all out on a map that points out the city’s lesser-served regions, at least by underground means. The interactive map shows all NYC land areas more than 500 meters (about .3 miles) from one of the city’s 468 subway stations–that’s about two avenue blocks or six or seven shorter street blocks (around a seven-minute walk) according to Google maps. A big blue dot blots out this radius surrounding the station; everything outside the dot, well, you’re hoofing it (or taking a bus, car or rickshaw).
Find out more
Yesterday we asked the question, “Are the city’s bodegas becoming a thing of the past?” As we noted, “many of these tiny shops have been scrambling to stay in business. The city’s roughly 12,000 bodegas are losing customers.” According to the Times, 75 have already shuttered this year. Typically, we pin this on rising rents and the influx of chain stores, but another likely culprit could be New Yorkers’ changing habits and needs. Many of us are buying more health foods and fresh produce and less of the packaged goods and cigarettes that bodegas often offer. To test this theory, we want to know your retail habits.