Tag Archives: statue of liberty

Playing dress up

I have lived in New York City going on eight years now, and I sometimes worry that I will start to take the city for granted.

Maybe I already have.  Maybe we all have.

Image: An aerial view of Burj Dubai is seen in DubaiThe city of Dubai isn’t going to take that chance.

They have put together a think tank on tourism, and one idea is getting serious consideration —

Covering the Burj Khalifa — the world’s tallest building (2,716.5 feet and 160 stories) — with a “super-lightweight, reflective and semi-transparent fabric material.”

They say it’s art.

Critics say it sounds (and will look like) something much less low brow, but I like the idea of dressing up monuments.  The Statue of Liberty in a tasteful winter coat? The Guggenheim Museum decked out as a layered birthday cake? The Flatiron Building as a wedge of Swiss cheese?

Oh man — I think I’ve finally found my calling!

Lovely litter

I’ve often heard people say Manhattan is a ‘filthy city,’ but I just don’t see it.

Maybe that’s because Justin Gignac is selling all our garbage.

Justin is an artist based in Soho.  When a colleague poo-poo’ed the importance of package design, Justin took it as a professional challenge.  He grabbed the one thing no one would ever want to buy and packaged it in such a way that they would.

Garbage of New York City was born.

It’s real trash from the streets of Manhattan, although Justin swears it’s odor-free. Each cube is dated and signed by the artist.

His first cube came from Times Square, where I’m sure you can collect some seriously gross garbage, iffin you’re of a mind.

He’s also made special edition cubes — at equally special prices — for such righteous refuse as Obama’s Inauguration and the Yankees Victory Parade.

Who would buy garbage, you ask?  Some 1,300 folks from over 29 different countries to date.  And really, isn’t it a far more artistic way to recycle than rinsing out milk cartons?

So, during your next family vacation or theatre weekend in New York City, be better than souvenir t-shirts or a miniature Statue of Liberty.  Demand clear cubes of certified New York City waste products — your friends will love ’em!

And my neighborhood will stay minty fresh…

Lock me up

Every two years, the Mercatus Center at George Mason University publishes their “Freedom in the 50 States” index.

This year’s most free state?  It’s a virtual tie…between New Hampshire and South Dakota.  And the least free state?

New York

Lady Liberty, look the other way.  (Oh good, she is.)

Turns out my beloved Empire State got dinged for our particularly high taxes, health insurance regulations, anti-smoking laws, lack of medical marijuana and no same-sex marriage (only one vote away!).


Jason Sorens, co-author of the study and assistant professor at CUNY Buffalo — who (ahem) lives in New York — admits the state has other benefits.

“New York City has a lot going for it…if you like culture, the arts, music, having lots of things to do, nightlife — you’re going to value having more things to do even if you feel more impinged upon.”

Exactly, Jason.  And the things that may make other people feel ‘impinged upon’ — not being able to smoke in Central Park, for example — don’t make me feel any less free.

That’s the beauty of the USA.  There are 50 different states.  If you don’t like the one you’re in, you can move to one you like better.

Like I did.

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose…” Me & Bobby McGee, Janis Joplin