Summary of “Lauren Gunderson profile: America’s most popular playwright is ready for Broadway. But is New York ready for her?”

“I think in New York they think, Danger danger, this is getting into cheesy love story mode.” – Lauren Gunderson.
In 2009, Lauren Gunderson left New York for the West Coast, and since then, she’s made a career in America’s regional and repertory theaters, writing brisk comedies about plucky women, classical literature, romance, and the history of science.
At one point in her career, Gunderson was on the path to being a New York playwright.
The inspiration for the show was a long drive Gunderson and Melcon took together in which they posed the question, “What sort of show did the American theater most need so that people could add it to the season planning processes?” Gunderson told the New Yorker that by the end of the trip, they had the show outlined on Starbucks napkins.
The lesson of Gunderson’s career is that New York doesn’t have to matter, but the way Gunderson talks about her New York experience-and her upcoming premiere-makes it clear that New York still matters to her.
David Cote, who was for many years the head critic at Time Out New York, noted that “New York’s theaters at this moment are interested in dealing with identity politics and messy intersectional issues.” Maybe Gunderson, he speculated, “Is simply not an edgy enough feminist?” Minadakis, the Marin Theatre AD, hears New York theater people dismiss Gunderson’s plays as “Not serious” because of their inveterate optimism.
To McNulty, the issue keeping Gunderson out of New York is not taste but sexism.
“I could be a total snob,” he said, “And say New Yorkers are far too intelligent to have this middlebrow stuff flatter them. But tons of middlebrow stuff gets produced in New York.” Cote compared Gunderson with a writer whose once-edgy work now seems much less provocative: “She’s a much better playwright than Neil LaBute, and for a while everything he wrote was being produced.”

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Summary of “Decoding the Dutch”

The Dutch had been in New York for only fifty-four years-most historians had written off this period as “a bunch of wild fur traders stabbing each other for their furs,” to use Gehring’s words.
The recorded minutes from New Amsterdam city council meetings that Gehring translated relayed how the Dutch allowed all citizens to file petitions, come into court, share and address their grievances.
Gehring’s office at the State Library, filled with memorabilia of Dutch New York.
Gehring matched letters between the Dutch West India Company and its officers in New York with their responses.
“Put seventeenth-century Beverwijk in any place in the Netherlands and people would recognize it as a Dutch village. Tradesmen, blacksmiths, coopers, hatmakers, shoemakers and others would operate just as in the Netherlands,” says Gehring.
“You could say the sun never set on the Dutch empire,” Gehring notes.
Gehring’s work on the Dutch manuscripts over the course of the following decades slowly started to unveil what this world looked like.
“All you had to do was say the word Dutch and you’d be sent up to the eleventh floor to see me,” Gehring says, chuckling.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Forgotten History of New York’s Bagel Famines”

A bagel served with lox and cream cheese at Kutsher’s restaurant in New York, 1977.
As hundreds of thousands of Jews swept into New York ahead of the First World War, dozens of Jewish bakeries opened on the Lower East Side, mostly staffed by young Jewish men providing their friends and families with challah, rye bread, and bagels.
At first, bagel truck drivers did not strike with them-but the ire of the bagel bakers was considerable.
Now, New York City, the paper decreed, was “The bagel center of the free world, and will doubtless be kept that way by the hundreds of thousands of residents who find that a bagel makes breakfast almost worth getting up for.”
With near-unlimited control over the bagel market, they struck for 29 days in 1962, resisting state attempts at mediation and reducing the city’s bagel supply by 85 percent.
The bagel makers vowed to picket the machines “Round the clock” if they made it into New York, but their machismo was no match for automation.
Some opened their own stores outside New York and introduced bagels across the country.
In the space of less than a century, New York’s bagel bakers had gone from making a niche product and being exploited for it, to being one of the city’s strongest unions.

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Summary of “Lessons From a ‘Local Food’ Scam Artist”

My instructions were to claim that all the produce was local, although nothing was or could be local: It was early June in northwestern New Jersey’s Kittatinny Mountains, and the produce had been shipped from warmer parts of the world to the distributor who’d sold it to my boss.
“The tomatoes aren’t from around here, but they did arrive this morning. Local tomatoes won’t be ripe until July.” “The corn’s not local, but it was fresh-picked this morning. Local corn won’t be available until July.”.
I said, “The stand down the road is lying. Local Silver Queen won’t ripen till August.”
He had hired me – an Asian-American who didn’t look the part of the rustic local – and a bunch of other kids for the summer.
One New Yorker opined, “I’ve been summering here since I was a kid, but people like you keep coming here and buying up the local businesses.” They wanted to know where I came from, originally, and how selling them melons fulfilled my American Dreams.
It started when an old man in dungarees and a baseball cap parked his pickup truck and asked me, “How local are these local red peppers of yours?”.
I sized up the way he was sizing me up and said, “They’re local to Mexico.”
The New York locavores taught me that “Local” didn’t mean a quasi-mystical authenticity, or, for that matter, only a special kind of deliciousness, but also a relationship with the people who’ve produced the food, in a sustainable, equitable, regional network of labor and land stewardship.

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Summary of “The Future of the City Is Childless”

As the city has attracted more wealth, housing prices have soared alongside the skyscrapers, and young families have found staying put with school-age children more difficult.
There are many reasons New York might be shrinking, but most of them come down to the same unavoidable fact: Raising a family in the city is just too hard.
In high-density cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., no group is growing faster than rich college-educated whites without children, according to Census analysis by the economist Jed Kolko.
Cities were once a place for families of all classes.
The “Basic custom” of the American city, wrote the urbanist Sam Bass Warner, was a “Commitment to familialism.” Today’s cities are decidedly not for children, or for families who want children.
This development has crucial implications-not only for the future of American cities, but also for the future of the U.S. economy and American politics.
If big cities are shedding people, they’re growing in other ways-specifically, in wealth and workism.
Rich cities particularly specialize in the new tech economy: Just five counties account for about half of the nation’s internet and web-portal jobs.

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Summary of “How the Neighborhoods of Manhattan Got Their Names”

Here’s where the names of New York’s most famous ‘hoods came from.
Named for the 19th century New York governor, officials thought the local park and the name Clinton would evoke a sense of New York pride.
Greenwich Village The heart of bohemia in 1960s New York, this lower Manhattan neighborhood has the Dutch and the British to thank for its name.
Chelsea Estate would pass through many more hands over the years, but the name Chelsea hung around long enough to become the official name of the neighborhood, which currently extends from 14th Street up to 30th Street, and from 6th Avenue to the water.
The Districts Many districts make up the island of Manhattan, but the names of a few in particular have become part of the geographic vernacular.
Hip to Be Squares Though technically not neighborhoods, the names of these rectangular city hubs have a few stories-and mysteries-of their own.
There has been some speculation that the Civil War might have influenced the naming, but historical evidence points to Union Square receiving its name many years before the war broke out.
Lincoln SquareLincoln Square, which lies between W. 59th Street and W. 72nd Street and stretches from Central Park West to the Hudson River, remains one of the great name mysteries in Manhattan.

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Summary of “How New York Knicks Became the Center of a Postseason They’re Not In”

Having finished 17-65, the worst record in the league, the New York Knicks have the best odds of earning the top pick and becoming that team-although the best odds are still long, and the Knicks’ chance at no.
New York neither won the top pick nor fell far enough in the lottery to make for the hilariously emotional sports radio talk that Monzo not-so-secretly hoped for, but there will definitely be no shortage of Knicks chatter in the coming months, both on local stations like The FAN and in the more general-interest national sports world.
“It could either be the best summer we’ve ever had or it could be the worst.” -Ryan Gray, contributor to The Knicks Wall For a guy like Durant, who is as acutely and self-consciously aware of his image as any player in the league and/or any human in junior high, the Knicks would seem to be an alluring white whale: There’s no surer, and also probably no harder, way to prove one’s championship chops than by winning one in New York.
As Charles Barkley pointed out this week, the same self-consciousness that might drive Durant to want to optimize his legacy could also make the Knicks a fraught fit for him down the road. Still, there have been bread crumbs, however meager, that lead back to the Knicks: Durant’s manager and business partner, Rich Kleiman, is a born-and-bred New Yorker who sends intriguing gifts and tweeted a self-prophecy in 2018: “Imma run the Knicks one day.” Knicks GM Scott Perry was part of the group that originally drafted Durant in Seattle in 2007.
It was Knicks news when Irving’s Celtics teammate Terry Rozier made things in Boston sound hectic, and when LeBron “Liked” an online Photoshop of Irving in a Lakers jersey, and when Irving was “Just spotted in New York walking into a townhouse on 72nd St between 2nd and 3rd wearing his biggest smile of the past year.” It was Knicks news when Davis ate breakfast productively and with respect.
Living in California myself, I am part of a broader diaspora of wayward Knicks enthusiasts whose ties, thanks to Knicks Twitter and streaming talk radio and the centrifugal force of nostalgia, are somehow as strong as ever despite geography and also the team being so bad. Still, it’s invigorating to be back in New York City, with its driving rain and its stone-faced subway commuters and its chalkboards outside midtown bars that say things like “TIE ONE ON FOR ZION!” I travel around the city, pestering poor souls for their stories.
Over a breakfast of expensive granola and a plate of prosciutto, arugula, and melon, I chat with a quantitative money manager who grew up a Philadelphia sports fan but got hooked on the Knicks via Walt “Clyde” Frazier in the ’70s. These days, even if the Knicks were to sign Durant, he says, he would not be bullish: After annual visits to the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, he now finds it frustrating that in a league so clearly invested in innovation and analytics and in seeking out tiny competitive advantages, the Knicks mostly behave like a bull in a china shop.
Then there’s the straight-up emotional hedging of it all: “Although a report came out saying [Durant] is in the process of buying a new house in New York,” Gray says, “I refuse to move them any higher, because optimism leads to disappointment.” Even behind a seemingly dispassionate online simulator lies the psyche of one more hopeful but damaged Knicks fan.

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Summary of “New York Experiments with a ‘Holy Grail’ to End Gridlock”

As a young New York City traffic engineer in the 1970s, Schwartz worked on never-implemented plans to close midtown Manhattan to cars at midday and charge tolls on 14 bridges that connect Manhattan to Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.
In 2021, New York will be the first American city to charge drivers a toll to drive downtown.
Last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and state legislators agreed on a plan to make all of Manhattan south of Central Park-the business-dense end of the island-a congestion-pricing zone.
The tolls, estimated at $12 to $14 per car and $25 per truck weekdays and levied using EZPass devices and license-plate cameras, will raise $1 billion a year to improve New York City’s transit system.
Drivers in New York’s outer boroughs protested having to pay to get around the city, and getting hard things done hasn’t always been easy, given the rocky relationship between city pols and their counterparts in the capital upstate.
Congestion pricing, he says, “Is correcting a failure in the market for a very scarce resource, which is New York City streets.”
New York City voters opposed it, 54 to 41 percent, in an April poll, with 52 percent saying it won’t reduce traffic.
In European cities, congestion pricing’s popularity grew once it was implemented, a shift Cuomo and other New York pols are banking on.

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Summary of “Take from the rich and give to … the subway? Inside New York’s evolving congestion pricing policy”

Reynolds is a transportation planner for the New York City Alliance for Environmental Justice, where she successfully campaigned for congestion pricing, a fee on drivers traveling through the most gridlocked streets of New York.
Still, with New York City’s growing urban population, struggling transit system, and more pressing gridlock, the prospect of congestion pricing has lingered, floating around Big Apple policy circles for more than a decade.
Then last week, a breakthrough: On March 31, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York’s State Legislature approved a $175 billion budget, which includes a congestion pricing fee, making New York the first U.S. city to adopt the policy.
“The 10 years of getting it passed was step one,” said longtime congestion pricing proponent Eddie Bautista, executive director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, whose membership includes more than a dozen local grassroots organizations.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who ran for office as a Republican – first raised the idea of congestion pricing more than 10 years ago.
“Simply put, the city’s subway system is falling short of its reputation as the ‘great equalizer’ where people of all economic backgrounds can afford the fare and access opportunities that help them and their families get ahead,” the Community Service Society said in a 2017 statement calling for congestion pricing as a fix to the city’s subway woes.
Roughly 80 percent of funds raised from congestion pricing will go towards improving New York City’s aging subways and bus system, while the remaining money will be allocated for rail lines connecting the city to surrounding suburbs.
“WE ACT’s Corbin-Mark hopes congestion pricing will not only lead to less traffic, but that it will fund an electrification of the city’s buses to reduce carbon emissions and other co-pollutants – which could help mitigate the effects of climate change, and mean cleaner air for communities of color that are already experiencing higher rates of asthma than the city as a whole.”There’s a lot of talk about a Green New Deal,” he said.

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Summary of “New Yorker Reporter Jane Mayer on Kavanaugh, the Koch Brothers, and Trump”

On the page, Mayer, a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1995, is authoritative and direct, and as a journalist, she is relentless.
Mayer grew up in New York City but lives in DC, where she shares a three-story house with a husky yellow Lab, Rosie, and her husband, Bill Hamilton, the Washington editor for the New York Times.
Mayer often writes in an office on the second floor overlooking a dog park, but she also has a workspace at the New Yorker’s modest DC base.
“It’s the kind of infallible crystal ball that only comes from years of putting in the work.” Over the course of her career, Mayer has written four best-selling books, and one quality they share, according to Michiko Kakutani, former chief book critic of the New York Times and a longtime friend, is that they “Demonstrate uncanny historical prescience.”
Due to some weird alchemy between Twitter, where Mayer has 167,000 followers, and the rise of Trump, her work’s prominence has risen dramatically, with her New Yorker features-about Trump’s The Art of the Deal ghostwriter, about the ex-spy behind the Trump dossier-slamming into the media landscape, one after the next.
The new couple refused to return Mayer’s dog, so one day, when they weren’t home, she and Abramson drove over, and Mayer climbed through the pet door to retrieve it.
In the lead-up to the Kavanaugh hearings Mayer worked numerous 20-hour days, which was extreme even for a woman whose workload often leaves little time for everyday tasks-her car’s license plates were once so long expired that, on her way to a C-Span interview, she was pulled over, handcuffed, and brought to a police station.
“Before long we were hearing Sheryl Sandberg knew about it. It was so far from the conspiracy view that someone leaked her name.” Just after they published their story about Ford on September 14, they learned about Ramirez, and Farrow began spending hours talking to her, while Mayer focused on “The accountability portion, trying to be fair.” The decision to publish was fraught, but informed by the other incident Mayer learned about, the one she didn’t get into print, which also involved sexual misbehavior at a drunken party.

The orginal article.