Lepidopterists, take note: if you live toward the north, you may have noticed an exceptional amount of orange and black butterflies taking to the skies. These are the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) series, which literature nerds (holler!) will recognize as Vladimir Nabokov’s favorite, to which he penned an ode in his 999-line poem Pale Fire. I haven’t seen one yet, but apparently there’s tons of them, especially here in New York City where they’ll actually end up settling. This is hardly the first time they’ve been seen — the butterflies migrate upward from the South come spring — but they’re early this year and have arrived in mass quantities. According to upstate New York paper The Daily News, “[the Red Admiral] typically arrives at the end of May, but to see it in such numbers and so early in the season is not common.” Experts agree that the phenomenon has occurred about 4-5 weeks earlier than average, most likely caused by our unseasonably warm spring. Keep reading »
“Hitler was pro-choice. He chose to send the Jews to Auschwitz. That was not their choice that was Hitler’s choice. Murderers, assassins and criminals are pro-choice. They choose to put a gun to your head and take your life. That is not your choice. That is their choice.”
— This is New York State Senator Ruben Diaz is a email newsletter, keeping the level of debate rational and not at all racheting up emotions for political gain. Sen. Diaz’s newsletter went out in response to the NY governor’s support of the Reproductive Health Act, which will allow women to get rare late-term abortions if the woman’s health is at risk or if the fetus has a fatal medical issue. Currently, late-term abortions are only legal if the life of the mother is at risk.
Of course, Sen. Diaz isn’t the first politician to invoke the Holocaust on the subject of abortion; slavery is also a popular comparison made by anti-abortion protesters. Alas, that doesn’t make doing so any more tasteful. [Politicker, Village Voice]
As both a New Yorker and a bonafide Francophile, I am a madly adoring fan of the brilliant graphic designer Vahram Muratyan’s website, Paris versus New York. He compares the City of Lights to the Big Apple in a way that isn’t snarky, or biased toward one or the other — rather, they read more like romantic odes to both cities. His modern designs and prints have gained something of a following since his blog’s debut in 2010, and last week he released a 224-page book of his contrast-and-compare illustrations. If you’re a fan of Paris vs. NYC, or Paris, or NYC, or all of the above, you must get this book. It’s simple and lovely and makes me want to book a trip to La Ville-Lumière, dès que possible. Equally charming: this Blackbook interview with the artist. [$20, in Anthropologie stores and online]
Last month, New York group Improv Everywhere held the 11th Annual No Pants Subway Ride, a day to ride around mass transportation with your undies waving in the wind. This year, thousands of people in 59 cities across 27 countries participated in the NPSR, sharing their Hello Kitty thongs with the world. Here’s a glimpse of the New York festivities. [YouTube]
Let’s get one thing straight: I am not a fan of Katherine Heigl movies and I probably won’t see her new film “One for the Money” unless I’m forced. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think she’s gotten a raw deal in the media. A new article from New York magazine asks, “Is It Over for Katherine Heigl?” and examines the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star’s relative bankability compared to her position a few years ago. What it finds is that Katherine Heigl is guilty of a couple of major things, among them:
- Being demanding and high strung — incurring the nickname “Hurricane Heigl.”
- Having opinions about the projects she does.
But the real core of Heigl’s problem — and why she’s the object of such grating analysis, is that she’s a woman — a woman who’s done and said some unlikeable things. Call it the “America’s Sweetheart” problem, something Heigl seems acutely aware of. “I’ve never really been America’s sweetheart, but for a minute I think that’s what they wanted me to be,” she told Elle this past December. And I had ‘em for a second thinking maybe I was. And then I opened my mouth and it was clear I wasn’t.”
And none of these things would really matter if she was a man. Keep reading »
We’ve long loved online beauty and skincare company Beauty Bar for its extensive (extremely extensive) collection of top quality skincare, makeup and beauty brands. Where else can you find Malin + Goetz alongside L’Occitane with a little Bond No. 9 mixed in? Beauty Bar’s one-stop shop carries hundreds of high-end luxury brands and thousands of products — and now they’ve launched a physical shop where lucky locals can partake in their extensive bevy of products, along with a few new extras.
The Beauty Bar flagship store, which launched this week in Manhasset, New York, is a bi-level affair, featuring a treatment room, with a licensed aesthetician, and a blow dry bar. If you’re in the area, you can book a peel, facial or wax — and also stop in for a blowout — while you stock up on all your favorite products. [Beauty Bar, 2034 Northern Blvd, Manhasset, NY]
Lawyers in the New York Attorney General’s office are used to cracking down on bad boys. But in Alisha Smith’s case, bad boys may have been paying her top dollar for a public spanking from “Alisha Spark,” her dominatrix alter ego. There are also allegedly photographs of “Alisha Spark” on the internet posing in skintight, latex fetish gear. According to an investigation by The New York Post, the 36-year-old Manhattan lawyer performs at BDSM events for pay — which has caused the AG’s office to suspend her from her job. A source told the Post her employers are concerned she may have been paid for doing this sex work — not just because it could be potentially embarrassing to her employers but because workers are supposed to get approval for any outside work for which they would earn over $1K. Even, uh, kinky work. Keep reading »
New Yorkers aren’t exactly known for being the nicest, most positive bunch. Which might have been why the folks at Improv Everywhere set out to get Manhattan residents to say something nice, for once. The prank collective set up bullhorns around the city with the express aim of encouraging people to spread the positivity, and boy did they ever. [Improv Everywhere
] Keep reading »
Not going to lie, watching Manhattan architect Luke Clark Tyler, who lives in a 76 square foot apartment, talk about his living space kind of gave me heart palpitations. I get a little queasy and claustrophobic when i think about being in a tiny room like that. I hate confined spaces! Also, $800 is A LOT of money to pay for such a small apartment — even in New York City. Okay, I need to walk away from this video now and go breathe into a paper bag. [Hit Dan Back
] Keep reading »