NYC

Nomiki Konst Will NEVER Accept Real Estate Money in NYC Public Advocate Race

Nomiki Kont, candidate for NYC Public Advocate

The New York City Public Advocate race grows more crowded by the week as Melissa Mark-Viverito has joined the growing candidate list that includes Council Member Jumaane Williams. The race was triggered after current Public Advocate Letitia James’ 2018 midterm election victory to become New York’s next Attorney General. An election date to elect the next NYC Public Advocate has yet to be announced, but the date will be set for sometime in early 2019 after James is sworn in as NY Attorney General.

Nomiki Konst is one of the NYC Public Advocate candidates that local media like to paint as an outsider despite her history of taking on corruption as an investigative journalist and as a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commission.

Konst sets herself apart from the other Public Advocate candidates by pushing a progressive agenda that includes not accepting real estate lobby donations and committing to staying educated on city business deals prior to endorsing them. With the recent victories of other NYC progressives who also denied real estate money like Congresswoman-elect Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez and incoming New York State Senator Julia Salazar, Konst is running for local office at a time when the awareness of corporate influence on political decisions is elevated. Greenpointers reached out to Konst to find out what her policy positions are on current hot button issues in NYC like Amazon HQ2. Full disclosure: Nomiki Konst and I worked together briefly at the political news outlet TYT Network over the past year.

You have a long history as a watchdog, not only working as an investigative journalist, but as a Bernie Sanders surrogate during the 2016 campaign, and as a representative in the Democratic National Committee’s Unity Reform Commision. How would you utilize your experience investigating national issues to bring more accountability to New York City?

NK: The Public Advocate’s office has the unique ability to investigate separately from the Comptroller, for instance, to investigate conflicts of interest, to figure out where local sources of corruption are coming. And not just advocate for the city and New Yorkers, but specifically to be a check on the City Council, on the agencies as well as the Mayor’s office. So my experience on the Unity Reform Commission was incredibly powerful in that just like the Public Advocate’s office we didn’t have litigation power or the ability to subpoena, or present legislation really, but that’s a separate issue. So what I had to do was I had to be very creative about how we figured out where the corruption was coming from. And of course, being an investigative reporter I was probably a little bit more familiar with those strategies. So I first went to the budget and started looking through the budget, and I started figuring out what sort of conflicts of interests there were.

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NYC Polystyrene Ban to Begin January 1st

Starting on Jan. 1, 2019 New York City businesses and restaurants will be restricted from selling and using polystyrene foam products such as cups, bowls and packing peanuts.

Banned Items:

Polystyrene foam single-service items including cups, bowls, plates, take-out containers, and trays.
Polystyrene loose fill packaging, commonly known as packing peanuts.

Exceptions:

Expanded polystyrene containers used for prepackaged food that have been filled and sealed prior to receipt by the food service establishment, mobile food commissary, or store.
Expanded polystyrene containers used to store raw meat, pork, fish, seafood or poultry sold from a butcher case or similar retail appliance.

Councilmember Stephen Levin posted a reminder of the ban to take effect this winter.

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Elections Are Tomorrow (11/6), It’s Time to Vote

(Courtesy of Brett Nielson)

It’s time to study up on your ballot options, find your poll site and vote tomorrow (11/6) in what is regarded as one of the most consequential midterm elections in history. Our traditionally blue state registered 108,801 Democrats and 5,077 Republicans between Nov. 1, 2017 and Nov. 1, 2018; the youth vote is also expected to increase, unlike recent midterm elections.

Here’s a rundown on the federal and state candidates, and the three local ballot initiatives.

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What’s My Age Again? A Governors Ball Roundup

The hot and sweaty crowd, transfixed by Post Malone Friday night.

In a typical year, I go to anywhere from 50 to 80 concerts, spanning a wide range of genres and venues. From Arlene’s Grocery to Carnegie Hall, I am always searching for the brightest/strangest/most unique musical talent New York City can serve up on any given night. But even with all the music I take in each year, it’s rare that I truly get excited leading up to a show, similar to that tingly type of excited feeling you got when your mom dropped your off at your first rock show in middle school. Maybe it’s because I don’t do the summer time festival circuit anymore, which often host those mega-star headliners I don’t usually seek out. But that was the excited feeling I had as I Lyft’d my way over to Randall’s Island Friday night for Governors Ball. I was lucky that my driver was a 22-year-old and happened to be a big hip-hop fan. Ariel advised me on what to focus on and what to avoid over the weekend. Sadly, I missed his favorite act, Vic Mensa! I’m not a typical top 40 Billboard music fan and I can’t tell you the last time I turned on my FM radio for anything other than NPR, but starting on Friday night with mega rap sensation Post Malone and spanning all the way to Sunday night’s closing act Eminem, there was a palpable vibrant energy that permeated the fest and I had no problem temporarily suspending the music snob in me. Continue reading

Category: Art/Music | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

“Canners”—A Documentary About NYC’s Can Collectors—Screening + Q&A This Saturday (1/27) at City Reliquary

Canners Film

You’ve certainly heard their carts clanking down the sidewalks of NYC, and maybe you’ve also seen them sorting through your trash bins before recycling day. These are NYC’s “canners”—people who collect giant piles of cans and bottles and exchange them for money at a nickel a piece. The recent documentary film Canners examines the lives of these dedicated folks who are just trying to earn some cash, and according to the NY Times, “delivers a powerful ethical message about what it means to live in a city, and how each of us can choose to acknowledge or ignore our fellow citizens”. The film is screening this Saturday (1/27) evening at City Reliquary (370 Metropolitan Ave) at 7pm, with a Q&A session from director Manfred Kirchheimer. Also in attendance will be team members from Sure We Can, a nonprofit recycling center and community space featured in this film.

Get tickets now through Artfully. $7 General/$5 City Reliquary Members

This event is part of the public programming for NYC Trash! Past, Present, & Future, on view at The City Reliquary until April 29, 2018. Continue reading

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“Dandy Be Good” Offers Sizzling Tales in Bitter Weather

Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk
G.J. Dowding. Photo: Walter Wlodarczyk

Vital Joint’s venue is tiny, but the amount of pre-show audience chitchat was enormous. Most was facilitated by a a suit-donning and larger-than-life Rhinelander (more on him later), but some was organic: “Did you make that necklace” or “Hey, the bar serves beer” pleasantries were also exchanged. If there was ever a lull, our German friend was quick to fill it with a quip or suggestion that the cash-only bar is steps away. “This is experimental theater,” he said. “You’ll need a drink.”

This is all the prelude to Dandy Be Good, queer artist GJ’s storytelling cabaret now playing through January 27 at Vital Joint (109 Meserole Street) as part of Brooklyn’s Exponential Festival. Like the pre-show banter, Garlan Jude (GJ)’s show fosters community and togetherness. They lip sync to songs from Judy Garland (a fun reversal on the performer’s name?) and interviews from socialite women of yore. But GJ doesn’t hog the stage — they share it with a trio of guest performers: a vaudevillian-reminiscent actress, a consummate orator, and — yes — our chatty German pal.

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Schlep Your Pooch To The City With a Locally-Designed Stylish Dog Tote by Jaxx Hound

New York living would be way too lonely without our furry friends by our side, who provide us cuddles and kisses not only when we refuse to leave our apartments in the dead of winter, but also increasingly commonly at work. Dog friendly offices are totally on trend right now, but with crowded subways and a recent backlash on “fake” service dogs, bringing your pup to and fro around the city is becoming more of a challenge. Especially if you want your dog bag to match your personal sense of style.

Longtime North Brooklyn resident Tennille Teague was frustrated at the lack of stylish options to tote her lovable daschund Mo to and from work every day. Dogs need to be in a carrier of some type if you take them on the subway, ferry or in a cab—and most of the available doggie travel bags at big box retailers or online come in rather obnoxious colors or patterns, and don’t really fall in line with the fashion forward sensibility of hip New Yorkers. And aside from looks, there were other features Tennille wasn’t able to find in a doggie travel bag—a well-designed pocket for accessible poop bags, detachable straps, a leather bottom with metal feet, or one end open for the dog’s head to peek out, for example. And even if a bag had one of those traits, it didn’t have them all.

jaxxhoundbags01

So after more than a year of design and production exploration, Tennille is ready to unleash Jaxx Hound onto the NYC dog scene. Jaxx Hound’s cleverly designed bags, collars and leashes will be produced nearby in Jersey, in production by the end of the year and ready to ship out in early 2018, if she meets her Kickstarter goal of $39,000. To support Jaxx Hound with a $25 pledge, you can rock the McGolrick dog run with a cute “Pup Culture” tee which features illustrations of dogs reimagined as celebs: Billdog Murray, Meryl Sheepdog and Bernese Sanders. And if you’re dying to get your hands on one of the bags, a pledge of $225 will get you one in classic black, grey, navy or olive green. And while that might seem like a lot to some, in the realm of locally-made and ultra-stylish dog fashion (with 5% of proceeds going to NYC shelter Animal Haven) the price makes sense. Your best friend and daily companion is worth whatever it costs. The Jaxx Hound Kickstarter ends in a few weeks; hook up your pup with the chic-est way to travel, before everybody else is doing it.

Billdog Murray, Jaxx Hound Kickstarter reward
Billdog Murray, Jaxx Hound Kickstarter reward
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Nightmares Are Real: Juggalo Invasion Happening In Williamsburg

The infamous Insane Clown Posse and presumably, their posse of clown-faced juggalos, are bound for Brooklyn with a show at Villain (303 Kent Ave) in Williamsburg on October 23rd where they will perform their classic hiphop album The Great Milenko in its entirety. Why should you be afraid? Well, according to Wikipedia, these are some of the identifying characteristics of juggalos: Continue reading

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The Illicit Affair That Brought Greenpoint’s own Mae West to Hollywood

Mae West

In a previous piece I described how Mae West funded her scandalous 1927 play sex through her romance with the rich, handsome, but very dangerous gangster Owney Madden. However, it was the poor, but handsome bag man of the gangster who made West an American icon.

In 1927 the Acting Mayor of New York Joe McKee, scandalized by the drama’s frank sexual portrayals, had West and the rest of the cast arrested. The arrest was a publicity gold mine and sex and West were the words on the lips of all New Yorkers. When the cops jailed Mae the gangster’s connections with Blackwell’s Island warden earned Mae a private cell and silk underwear. She even dined with the warden every night and left after six days being let out early for good behavior. Upon her release she quipped, “It was the first time I ever got anything for good behavior.” Continue reading

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Greenpointer Hosts Tours About NYC’s History of Espionage

New York is known as the ultimate city for countless things: fashion, finance, art, Instagrammable food trends – the list is longer than the line at a Supreme drop in Soho. When it comes to espionage, however, the city doesn’t necessarily come to mind the way Moscow or Washington, DC (especially as of late) might. Lucie Levine, a native Manhattanite turned Greenpointer, makes a strong case for her hometown as the ultimate spy city with Archive On Parade, her new tour and event company that reveals NYC’s fascinating history of espionage.

“What makes New York special is that it is the capital of so many industries, with more goods coming into NY harbor by 1900 than anywhere on Earth, and people always moving here from all over the world,” Lucie shares. “For a spy, that means a larger array of possible disguises and aliases, because anybody can be here doing any trade. Nothing seems out of place.”

Archive On Parade launched in February with two distinct walking tours, one in Lower Manhattan following the footsteps of Washington’s Revolutionary War spies and the other in Midtown covering espionage sights during both World Wars. Lucie, a self-proclaimed “history nerd,” does all of the writing, research, and tour guiding. Prior to starting her own business, she gave guided tours on the double decker red buses you see jam-packed with tourists. Continue reading

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