Archives For New York

We’ve heard about attacks on women in Israel due to their dress, which normally just includes a woman wearing shorts or a t-shirt and being verbally harassed or having things thrown at her. So needless to say, recent promotions of “modesty” in Crown Heights, a neighborhood close to my own, start to scare me.

Though modesty has always been a focus of the Ultra-Orthodox, as well as Orthodox and Conservative movements to a lesser degree, this “value” has started to move from modesty of women in the community towards non-Hasidim who come into contact, or more correctly, the line of vision, of Hasidim. Earlier this week, an article surfaced telling of “modesty prizes” given to girls of a Lubavitcher camp who covered their necklines, elbows, and knees. If they came to camp in modest attire for a week they would receive a gift certificate for free ice cream. Though this modesty campaign was primarily focused on covering up the **obvious sexual characteristics** of LITTLE GIRLS AT CAMP DURING A HOT SUMMER, the campaign also managed to combine the struggles of the totally blameless Jews in Israel with skirt length by telling these young girls that by covering up they would strengthen the Jewish nation. Because those Palestinian women sure are slutty, amirite? Though this campaign is a upsetting to many outside the Hasidic community, the translation of this modesty campaign from members of the community to outsiders is a bit more terrifying.

Courtesy of Alexa Antopol

Courtesy of Alexa Antopol

Recently in Crown Heights, Hasidim have been putting up signs which ask people in Crown Heights to pop a sweater over their slutty bits and continue to enjoy the neighborhood. More specifically, the signs state “Love and Respect. Dear Resident, Guest, Visitor, PLEASE DRESS MODESTLY. THIS IS A JEWISH NEIGHBORHOOD.” There are obviously some disagreements I have with these sign-makers, and not all stem from my liberal Reform-Jew upbringing. The first one comes from the fact that there are no real “guests” to the neighborhood, because the streets and sidewalks are all public property. I would never enter a Hasidic home or synagogue in shorts and a tank top, but I have every right to dress in seasonal clothing on public property. My second disagreement comes from the statement that Crown Heights is a Jewish neighborhood. Crown Heights is known for its large African-American population, as well as people from all different ethnicities and religions. With the prices of housing in New York, I know many art school buddies who are moving to the area. So Crown Heights may have a large Hasidic population, but it is certainly no longer a strictly “Jewish neighborhood”. (Furthermore, I have complaints that the Hasidic population has adopted the term Jewish to refer exclusively to them, but I can save that for another article.)

Despite the fact that these signs infuriated me, there are two positive things to think about if you see a sign. The first one is: “What will they do if I don’t wear modest clothes?” And the second one is: “I don’t have to even read that!” I’ve seen that first question answered personally to me once when I lived in South Williamsburg. I was walking down the street wearing shorts and a t-shirt because it was summer and I watched a father cover his son’s eyes while I walked past. I had never once felt uncomfortable with my own body, but this father’s action, which probably resulted in more attention brought to me than actually necessary, made me frightened to live in a community where I could not be treated as a fellow human being. I’m curious to see how long these signs stay up and what the response will be from the non-Hasidim in the neighborhood, but until then, keep dressing like you normally do ya sluts!

Original stories can be found here and here

SEINFELDTRAIN

For some unknown reason to me, the 7 Train in New York looks like Monks Cafe. Apparently it’s for the Mets – Yankees subway series (Mets won last night) but that really doesn’t make any sense. Why Seinfeld? Is it because of Keith Hernandez? Because George worked for the Yankees? Either way, then why make it look like Monk’s? This doesn’t remind me about baseball. It reminds me to watch Seinfeld on TBS all day every day.

// Gothamist

steve-katz-weed

New York Assemblyman, Steve Katz (R), was pulled over for speeding last year. The cop noticed a big smell of dank weed coming out of the car. This would be a non-story if it wasn’t for the fact that Steve Katz vowed keep marijuana criminalized in New York. It would also be a non story if Steve Katz didn’t use his political connections to get out of all charges. But we’re not here to discuss that.

We are here to talk about how Steve Katz is now a pot loving hippie neo-con who would skip Governor Cuomo’s State of State to conduct a “Pot Research Trip” in Colorado. I mean, who would have thought that legalizing weed would make it so that you could buy weed?! Er…. I mean, who would have thought legalizing weed would have brought in tons of tax money? So silly right?

Well congrats New York! You are now the 21st state to legalize medicinal marijuana!

// image via weedist

5pointz-1

While working in New York this past summer, I had the chance to visit 5 Pointz, a mecca for graffiti artists located in Long Island City. While I can’t claim to understand, or like many graffiti artists and their work, I came to appreciate this warehouse / artist studio / canvas as more than just a site to see while passing by on the 7 train. 5 pointz broke me out of my comfort zone. It made me look at street art in a different way. And in many ways, influenced what I looked for on my cross country trip. After visiting 5 Pointz, I started looking more and more at street art. Studying how certain pieces were created and what they mean. It got to the point I started recognizing the works of certain artists all over the country. This new desire. This new curiosity. All started with 5 Pointz.

Unfortunately, the graffiti covering the building was painted over last night. And soon the entire building will be torn down to make way for a $400 million residential project. While the owner has stated that he wants to set aside a large amount of space for graffiti, it’s still sad to see this building go.

Here are some photos I took while there.

5pointz-2 5pointz-3

Continue Reading…

If you’ve been anywhere near the internet the past few weeks, you would know that Banksy has been hanging out in NYC. Or this is all some elaborate prank and he’s paying a bunch of homeless people to create in his name. Either way, New York has graffiti buzz.

banksy-truck

photo via Gothamist

One of Banksy’s recent pieces on the back of a truck ended up being the property of I and A Merchandising, run by an Orthodox Jew named Israel. Since this discovery, Israel has hidden his truck from being defaced. He also has received a many phone calls. Some asking to see the piece, others asking to buy the truck. One person offered 70K for just the back door.

My favorite part of this story has nothing to do with Israel and his truck. It has to do with the comment section of the Vos Iz Neias article on this Banksy piece. You would think that the quote:

The grumpier you are, the more assholes you meet…

would get someone to think before they post a comment about the artist or the value of art. But no. Grumpy assholes don’t care to read into anything other than their own thoughts. Especially in the comment section of a Jewish website… So although I don’t care much about Banksy, I run into moments like this where I see the genius in his work.

steve-katz-weed

Does this look like a man who smokes weed and abuses animals?

Anti-pot – Jewish – Tea Party – Republican – NY State Assemblyman – Steve Katz was caught with weed after a cop pulled him over for speeding. Somehow this schmuck was elected in 2010 even though he has charges of animal abuse against him, along with tax liens, and a work place lawsuit involving sexual harassment. He was a veterinarian before he became a politician which would explain the animal abuse…

“I am confident that once the facts are presented that this will quickly be put to rest,” Katz asserted in a statement.

I hate hypocrites. I bet you he’s going to say he was holding it for a friend. That’s what all pot smokers do, right? You know what? I don’t care. I’ve read way too much about this man. His life is full of boring suburban bullshit. You want to know more about him? Read somewhere else. Fuck this guy.

UPDATE
Instead of having a face full of hypocrisy and shame, we get another case of double standards. Steve Katz used his politician card to get out of all pot charges (minus 20 hours in community service). On top of that he got his speeding ticket reduced to a parking ticket. It must be nice to have a daddy in public office.

HJ’s who enjoy crafting, I know you’re out there!  You’re the kids bringing your knitting needles to go see Spring Break in theaters (ironically), the kids who ALWAYS have a box of craft supplies, I see you.

I know you’re out there.  Some people may hate on your natural desire to start coloring on a restaurant menu, but girl, you just do you. Or boy, whatever works.

Well lil HJ’S, there is a place for you!

Duct Tape Store!

A pop-up store in New York is selling duct tapes in all sorts of colors. There’s high heels, dresses, and wallets. It’s going to be grand. But the offer runs out April 28th.

SO HURRY UP!!!

Also…I might not be able to make it because I never leave the city of Philadelphia. So, if someone could purchase me some yellow tape with pink polka dots that would be great. My glasses are broken. Kthanksbye.

Sometimes, New York gets jealous and wants to be more Jewy than Israel. It’s a weird dispute because all though there are more of The People in NYC, Israel is still considered Jew Central.  It’a a power play of some sort. I don’t get it.

Recently, a Haredi newspaper in Monsey, New York called the Monsey Community Connections blurred the faces of children’s dolls in their advertisements. You know, for modesty purposes. Because if you’ve seen Lars in the Real Girl you know dolls are slutttttzzzzzz.

Meanwhile, in Israel, there’s been all sorts of scandals because the Haredim keep scratching out ladies faces in advertisements and not showing girl babies in Halloween advertisements.

Vandalized Israeli Billboard

Real mature guys.

 

Therefore, I’m just going to chalk this up to the imaginary New York vs. Israel competition I mentioned above.

Nobody wins.

 

2013 new year sparkler

Our friends over at JSpot are having a Jew Years Eve party Saturday, December 29th. Alcohol + Jews + Dating Advice not from your mother. Why would you not be going? Is it that hefty $5 door fee that’s bothering you? Then just sign up for JSpot (free) over at joinjspot.com. Still too complicated for you? Then just put in the code HipsterJew and get in free (for the first 18 people to do so). Still not sure? Then you’re a shlub. And the event clearly says no Shlubs.

Join us!
Madame X
94 West Houston Street
New York, NY

Saturday, December 29, 2012 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM (EST)
Order Tickets Here.
Join JSpot Here.

Two Williamsburg Brooklynites, Jules Laplace and Jack Kalish, decided to share what they see out their window. They installed a camera, built a website, and let the magic start. Unfortunately, the only thing I’ve taken from this website is that Williamsburg is boring (fashion-wise). It’s hoodie after hoodie after hoodie. Everyone is either texting or talking on their phone and it looks dumb. Once in awhile you get a guy in a nice suit and weird ass hair lugging around vinyl. But for the most part, Williamsburg has a lame sense of fashion. I think it’s time we start looking up to other neighborhoods. Better neighborhoods. Maybe a neighborhood where people dress like they have day jobs.

Just kidding, I’m buying my first pair of sweat pants so I can fit in and finally move to Williamsburg. See you suckers later.