Help, My Freezer Doesn’t Work. Also It Is Not a Freezer

I want to make sure you guys all have front row seats to the latest saga of great banality between me and my landlord. This time, it involves a household appliance! Our refrigerator (pictured) is not so much a refrigerator as it is a tiny vintage collectible that belongs in a museum and not in someone's kitchen. We knew this when we moved in, our broker mentioned something about us demanding a new fridge but that we might have to pay for it, so we shrugged our shoulders and, dealing with a million other move-in stresses, told ourselves it would be fine.

Fun With Maps

Income inequality in New York, in 3D! Use the slidey things to shift between the green towers of wealth and city scape. Fun for hours. (Minutes.) The best part was when Manhattan was flipped in my mind and I thought, briefly … all the real money in NYC is actually in the Bronx? Was a happy little moment. Recommend.

A Citi Bike Experiment

Filmmaker Casey Neistat decided to conduct an experiment where he'd commute to his office via taxi, via personal bike, and via Citibike, and then compared the three commutes based on criteria like cost and time.

Have a Swipe Give a Swipe Need a Swipe Take a Swipe

A group called Swipe Back! is encouraging unlimited metrocard users to swipe people into the subway on their way out to boycott fare increases.

A lot of people with ulimited metrocards already swipe strangers in every day because it’s a Good and Nice Thing To Do that costs $0 and is totally legal (it’s only illegal if you charge money for a swipe).

I do wish there was an easier way to show that you’re willing to do it, though. Swipe Back! has made buttons, but I was thinking more like a very long bright blue curly ribbon attached to your card. A party hat. A golden scarf. A secret hand signal. A tiny turtle pin on your lapel. Purple shoes. Patting your head and rubbing your belly simultaneously while exiting the subway. Or the old standby, trying to make eye contact with people loitering by the exits, in hopes they pick up on what I’m putting down and … ask me to swipe them in. (This has worked one time.)

Alert! Affordable Apartment Lottery in Brooklyn

As DNA Info reports, there is a housing lottery for affordable apartments in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. Just how affordable, you ask? Studio apartments are as low as $539, and two-bedrooms for less than $900.

A View From the Queue

New York may be a city for the wealthy, but it also has a place for those bereft of cash, but rich in time.

Lots of Mattresses on Lots of Floors, And a Bunk Bed That Smelled Like Italian Food (New Yorrrrrkkkkkk!)

Julie Buntin has lived in some places.

Encountering the Homeless in LA and NYC

Check out Cord Jefferson on the the importance and value of public transit as, if not an equalizer, a way to expose us to different people than we normally encounter, particularly the homeless: “One bad thing about LA, I think, is how easy it is to avoid homeless people … At least New York—being a place of walking and public transit—makes you regularly confront the fact that there are homeless people all around, and that many of them are not receiving adequate care.”

John and Patricia and the Woman in a Hoodie

Talking to homeless people in NYC.

When Garbage Filled the Streets

Collector's Weekly has a fascinating interview with Robin Nagle, an anthropologist who has spent much of her life studying trash (literal trash) and embedding herself with the New York City Department of Sanitation for a decade. She explains how New York was just the filthiest city with garbage and dead animals filling the streets for months at a time until a Civil War officer named George Waring took charge of sanitation in the 1890s.

Airbnb, Not in NYC

CNET reports that NYC officials have determined that Warren should pay $2,400 for "violating the city's illegal hotel law" and that apartments "may only be used as private residences and may not be rented for transient, hotel, or motel purposes" essentially making Airbnb illegal in New York (except for stays of 30 days or longer).

Addressing Homelessness in a Way that Works

Gawker's Hamilton Nolan has a very good profile of George McDonald and the DOE Fund, a New York nonprofit that has proven itself to be particularly effective when it comes to putting an end to homelessness.