NYU Local http://nyulocal.com The Blog of New York University Tue, 27 Jan 2015 23:48:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 A Crash Course In NYU Berlin http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/01/27/crash-course-nyu-berlin/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/01/27/crash-course-nyu-berlin/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 20:24:50 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128085 So, you’ve arrived in Berlin. By now, there’s a good chance you’re either at a club, got rejected from a club, or are suffering through a three-hour Welcome Week walking tour because you spent all night at the club. In between nightlife revelry, culture shock, and all that free food the Berlin staff gives you,... Read More

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So, you’ve arrived in Berlin. By now, there’s a good chance you’re either at a club, got rejected from a club, or are suffering through a three-hour Welcome Week walking tour because you spent all night at the club. In between nightlife revelry, culture shock, and all that free food the Berlin staff gives you, check out some of these tips for the NYUB newbie.

Ah, Deutschlernen. It’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ve never dealt with it before, so the German language will initially leave you overwhelmed and confused. Why do they talk so fast? How do you pronounce the R’s? What’s an umlaut? How the sweet hell do I pronounce Schlesisches Tor? If you think that’s bad, just wait til you get to cases and grammar rules.

Let yourself be overwhelmed at first, but try not to always rely on the fact that your peers and most Berliners speak English. Learning a new language can be a delight if you have fun with it. See who can pronounce the longest compound word. Try to attend the lunchtime Conversational Training sessions and sign up for a Tandem partner (a German student seeking to improve their English). If you’re looking to get out of the NYU bubble (and you should be), coffee shop Café Rhino near the NYUB Academic Center holds a casual Stammtisch on Tuesdays where folks of all sorts meet, converse, and do language exercises. If you put in the effort, by the end of the semester you’ll be amazed by how much you’ve learned.

Unlike other study abroad sites, NYU Berlin does not have multiple dorms and it will not immediately whisk you off into a homestay to live with a bunch of strangers. Instead, everyone in the program–save the few who managed to get off-campus–will be piled into a plain-looking building on Charlottenstraße, close to historical site/tourist attraction Checkpoint Charlie.

You’ll soon learn there isn’t really much at all to do near the dorm. It can also get suffocating always being in all-white rooms amongst everyone in your entire program. But, you’re blessed with fresh sheets and towels every week and you’ll be living across the street from LIDL, perhaps the cheapest grocery store in the entire world. Cherish it.

Remember, you’re at school! NYUB offers a variety of classes, but specializes in environmental studies, studio art, sociology, and architecture. Most courses take place in NYUB’s Academic Center in Prenzlauer Berg (about a 30 minute commute from the dorms) but some classes are held at Humboldt University or the recently-built St Agnes Studios.

The vast majority of faculty are Germans or have been living in Germany for a long time, and they’re all very smart people with interesting things to say. Try not to despair when you are given more reading than you have ever had before; instead reach out to them for unique perspectives on things to do and places to see.

Yes, you’ll have a lot of homework, but you’ll also find yourself with a good amount of free time on your hands, especially if you’re coming from a school with a hefty schedule like Tisch. Luckily, Berlin offers a bounty of fun. Obviously the city is known for its vibrant nightlife and techno scene, and the rumors are true; you really do get to the club at 2am and stay til sunrise or even later. (Some clubs open Saturday and don’t close until Monday morning, so say goodbye to a normal sleep schedule.)

Don’t expect to get in wearing heels—the more casual and monochromatic the better. Even then, you still might not get in. Try to stick to small groups and be quiet in line, but a lot of the time there’s no logic to the system. If you do plan on clubbing, be willing to pay. Cover charges range from 5-15€ and coat check tends to be around 1-2€. It’s usually worth it; Berlin’s club scene is diverse, intense, and lightyears away from the sleazy world of promoters and NYC Meatpacking clubbing. And yes, you really should try Berghain.

Clubbing isn’t the only fun available in Berlin—the city is home to some of the richest art, history, theatre, and music scenes in the world. Songkick, BPIGS, and Resident Advisor are good online resources to find out what’s happening week to week. Seek and ye shall find. Other important things to note are the delicious fries and Döner, utter lack of open container laws (great), and international ATM fees (not so great.)

Overall, Berlin is a pretty wacky and amazing place to spend four months. It’s a city that works hard and plays hard, but if you can find a balance between the two, it’ll be wunderbar.

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Obama’s Political Posturing: Defiant And Illogical http://nyulocal.com/national/2015/01/27/obama-political-posturing-defiant-and-illogical/ http://nyulocal.com/national/2015/01/27/obama-political-posturing-defiant-and-illogical/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 19:23:54 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128083 Our president continues to be one of the most intriguing figures in American Politics. Between the midterm elections, the country’s widespread uproar in response to domestic racism, and the administration’s public relations folly in the face of Islamic terrorism in Paris, France, the final months of 2014 (and into 2015) were some of the most... Read More

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Our president continues to be one of the most intriguing figures in American Politics.

Between the midterm elections, the country’s widespread uproar in response to domestic racism, and the administration’s public relations folly in the face of Islamic terrorism in Paris, France, the final months of 2014 (and into 2015) were some of the most turbulent of Barack Obama’s tenure in the White House.

Yet, he forcibly continues along a path that largely disregards public referendum, bipartisanship, and simple logic.

In his State of the Union Address last Tuesday, President Obama unveiled a grand executive agenda that is still exciting over a week later. The centerfold? Progressive fiscal reform.

While his immediate intentions of addressing income inequality in America are admirable, his plan seems to carry no more weight for pragmatism than an act of pure political posturing and pandering.

Taxing the wealthiest of earners is rational if you believe more government spending programs are the answer to stimulate the middle class. However, generating the funding for such programs by levying stronger rates on capital gains and dividends is not, for it markedly assures that the Republicans won’t take the proposal seriously.

This proposal also makes little sense economically. In the midst of recovery, attacking returns and deteriorating confidence in private investment will likely lead to capital flight. A crippled investment system, coupled with lingering minimum wage increases would cost jobs at the lower and middle end of the spectrum, effectively hurting middle and lower wage earners.

The money earned from the increased taxes on the highest earners would be used to fund an ambitious $60 billion educational subsidy to make community colleges across the nation “as free and universal in America as high school is today.”

Again, despite great intention, President Obama still seems to miss the big picture. Community college rates are not crippling the nation’s youth with debt in the way graduates of 4-year institutions, private and public, face insurmountable loan payments. Secondly, dismal graduation rates at community colleges illustrate a potential return failure on the government’s investment. Thirdly, as the plan is meant to boost youths from the lower classes into the middle class, what is the actual value of an Associate’s degree, outside of its sequential value in attaining a Bachelor’s, which is where the real expense lies?

One can certainly applaud the president’s initiative to attack shrinking middle class incomes by investing in education for tomorrow. However, there are issues facing the American education system that dwarf the entire conversation on community colleges, which when held in perspective, diminish the President’s initiative all-together.

Still, none of it really matters. A Republican controlled Congress will never pass a shaky tax and spend program of this magnitude with $18 trillion in debt still hanging over Capital Hill, a government that is running budget deficits, and an economy that is just starting to hit full stride.

So, what was the purpose of these sweeping progressive proposals, outside of maintaining relevancy going into his 7th year?

Politics, for one thing. By pitting his tax-the-rich proposals against Congress, he is setting the Republicans in favor of the rich, and at odds with the middle class–a stunt that makes sense when looking ahead to 2016.

Working hand-in-hand with Congress must seem to President Obama too risky, as it would give the Republicans the opportunity to prove their worthiness of the White House leading up to election season. This political hardball is terribly discerning, given that over the past 6 years, Obama has criticized the Republican led House for striking down partisan, Democratic legislation.

Contrary to popular opinion, President Obama may not be touting this populist agenda to pat his legacy as he rounds out his time in office.

If this were his primary concern, he would observe that history has been very kind to his Democratic predecessor, Bill Clinton, who instead of making his State of the Union speech about vetoing anything he finds fault in, actually called on to Congress to work with him to pass bipartisan legislation.

Further yet, there remain issues at the forefront of the country’s agenda that Barack Obama could address without bipartisan cooperation.

If he’s playing politics, why not make the initiative against global terror the forefront of his speech? Or rather, why not address the social domestic issues underprivileged African American communities face, such as the breakdown of the family unit (this, Barack Obama–who could be a beacon of light for those very communities), and the tensions between these communities and their policing forces.

Or, to take it one step further, if global climate change is in fact the greatest issue facing future generations, why not make that the biggest point of stress as we head into the new year, rather than burying it in the back of his SOTU address?

This is the part of illogic, that will keep most of us guessing at the motivations driving action behind the not-so-opaque doors of the ‘most transparent’ presidency.

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The Cavs And Thunder Have Wildly Different Outlooks http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/01/27/cavs-thunder-wildly-different-outlooks/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/01/27/cavs-thunder-wildly-different-outlooks/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 17:23:32 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128052 Sometimes, the lucky get unlucky. In this case, the “lucky” are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Why are both these teams lucky? They have LeBron James and Kevin Durant (as well as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and Russell Westbrook, respectively) on their rosters. How have they gotten unlucky? The Cavs have had... Read More

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Sometimes, the lucky get unlucky.

In this case, the “lucky” are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Why are both these teams lucky? They have LeBron James and Kevin Durant (as well as Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, and Russell Westbrook, respectively) on their rosters.

How have they gotten unlucky? The Cavs have had the quintessential roller coaster season that seems to follow squads that have LeBron: coaching controversy and player controversy on-court and off-court. The Thunder dealt with injuries to their two best and are in the ruthless Western Conference.

For those reasons, yesterday’s game between the NBA’s two two most-talked (and most-worried) about teams, a Cleveland 108-98 win, was this season’s most compelling game yet.

The game ended in fairly undramatic fashion; due to a few uncharacteristic OKC miscues, including turnovers and blown layups, LeBron & Co. had the game essentially wrapped up with two minutes to go. It was an underwhelming finish to an otherwise competitive contest. The result pushes the Cavs’ current winning streak to six and keeps Durant & Westbrook three games behind Phoenix in the West playoff standings. That’s also on the outside looking in, as the Suns are the eighth seed (New Orleans is two games behind but no one expects them to be much of a factor in two months).

Though it was a single game, there were plenty of conclusions to be made. Starting with Cleveland, it seems like everything is starting to come together as J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert, and Timofey Mozgov find their roles. If GM David Griffin can upgrade the backup point guard spot and, in tandem with LeBron, convince Ray Allen to sign, this roster will have come a long way from immediately post-Anderson Varejao injury.

I think the only question around this team, in fact, is about their use of Kevin Love offensively. Granted, that’s a huge question, and also the type that usually gets answered in the offseason. Also, I simply don’t know enough basketball to try to tell David Blatt how he should use Love. But, that elephant in the room aside, I can’t help but shake the feeling that the top of the East is much weaker than it seems. Toronto and Chicago (a bandwagon I recently jumped on at the worst possible time) have gone through swoons, and I will not put too much faith in Washington’s ceiling as long as Paul Pierce is the only key piece on that team to have gone through playoff wars. Atlanta? The Hawks remain…an enigma. 37-8 is 37-8, and I won’t try to argue that. Yet, the Cavs’ ceiling talent-wise is untouched in the Eastern Conference and that is a fact.

Oklahoma City is in an insanely precarious position. You can argue that despite the Westbrook and Durant injuries, this team is certainly in position to snatch the eighth seed if it’s performing as it should. That inherently means that Scott Brooks does not get a pass if the Thunder miss the playoffs. I don’t expect OKC to perform as sloppily at the end of games as it did yesterday, but the season is halfway over and even if they catch up to the Suns (I bet they do), they will be set up with a gargantuan series against Golden State.

Grabbing Dion Waiters seemed desperate, but the Thunder still sports the best 1-2 in the NBA. This roster is lacking a lot of things, especially in the big men department. The front office must be kicking itself for not signing Pau Gasol right now. In the toughest conference this league has ever seen, even if everything was going perfectly for Oklahoma City the road would still be insanely tough. Their current position does not make it any easier. While Cleveland has a chance to be there at the end just because of the East, things are bleak for OKC. My instinct is to ride Durant, but the luck factor makes it feel like it is just not the Thunder’s year.

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‘Historic Blizzard’ Juno Cancels Class, Does Little Else http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/01/27/historic-blizzard-juno-cancels-class-little-else/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/01/27/historic-blizzard-juno-cancels-class-little-else/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:46:25 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128099 A disappointing sight greeted many New Yorkers this morning as they expected to wake up to a much-hyped winter wonderland of apocalyptic proportion. While the storm forecast in the last twenty-four hours had consistently been calling for two to three feet of snow, what New York City received last night was actually more in the... Read More

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A disappointing sight greeted many New Yorkers this morning as they expected to wake up to a much-hyped winter wonderland of apocalyptic proportion. While the storm forecast in the last twenty-four hours had consistently been calling for two to three feet of snow, what New York City received last night was actually more in the neighborhood of six inches.

Blizzard Juno, which was predicted by the National Weather Service to be a “crippling and potentially historic blizzard,” proved to be extremely underwhelming for much of the East Coast. The “blizzard”, which was supposed to start serving up white out snowfall conditions and hurricane force winds late Monday evening and overnight into Tuesday, instead dropped about 6.4 pathetic inches of snow in New York City and around 8 inches on most neighboring parts of Long Island. Some areas, including Suffolk County, Connecticut and the New England coast, received worse conditions overnight and continue to be hit by snow (with totals in the hardest hit regions reaching about two feet), and winds of up to 45 mph (30 mph less than what can be considered ‘hurricane-force’ winds).

New Yorkers went all out last night preparing for what was supposed to be the ‘Storm of the Century.’ Shelves went bare in Duane Reade, and the queue to get into Trader Joe’s stretched towards Third Avenue. Your local liquor store was probably very crowded. Other businesses closed early on Monday and closed down in advance for Tuesday, anticipating storm conditions that would make commuting to work life threatening or downright impossible. Perhaps the only actually historic thing about this storm was the MTA’s preparation: it was the first time in New York City history that the subway closed down due to snow (or, you know, the mere thought of snow).

A travel ban on “all non-essential” travel went into effect at 11pm on Monday, only to be lived a scant eight hours later at 7am on Tuesday (which means that you can officially order Seamless again, after Mayor DeBlasio requested specifically that New Yorkers not order delivery food during the storm). Subway service began again at 9am on a Sunday schedule. And while many meteorologists favored the storm to shatter NYC’s previously held snow accumulation record of 26.9 inches (set in February 2006), what we are seeing instead is a coating of snow so puny that even your most thoroughbred teacup dog won’t get lost on it’s morning jaunt to the park.

Brave survivors of this weenie storm took to Twitter overnight and this morning to declare their disappointment with Juno, calling the storm “a bust,” “depressing,” and “a hoax.” But what is anyone actually upset about? While the anticipating of a super storm is fun and exciting, we can still all remember the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the New York City area in October 2012 and caused millions of dollars of damage and cost almost 300 lives. Mayor DeBlasio defended his decision to shut transportation down in a press conference at 9am Tuesday morning, saying that “this is a better safe than sorry scenario,” and that “two feet of snow would have paralyzed this city,” The New York Times reports.

The real danger here is the weather media’s loss of credibility. When every snowfall is hyped up into a ‘Storm of the Century’ it’s hard to be able to differentiate between which storms are going to be hazardous, and which storms are going to end up as insignificant, pathetic snow showers. For now, in the words of DeBlasio, we have “dodged a bullet.” Enjoy your snow day, NYU. It’s probably the last one we’ll get this century.

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Why “Celebrity Apprentice” Is Actually Worth Watching, You Young, Hip, Millennial, You http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2015/01/27/celebrity-apprentice-actually-worth-watching-young-hip-millennial/ http://nyulocal.com/entertainment/2015/01/27/celebrity-apprentice-actually-worth-watching-young-hip-millennial/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 15:14:36 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128073 Seven seasons into Donald Trump’s almost-award-winning show, someone had the radical idea that celebrities would make for better TV than normal people. So The Apprentice became The Celebrity Apprentice. This was, naturally, a foolproof idea, except for the part where anyone who was actually busy with real celebrity things like being on their own television... Read More

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Seven seasons into Donald Trump’s almost-award-winning show, someone had the radical idea that celebrities would make for better TV than normal people. So The Apprentice became The Celebrity Apprentice. This was, naturally, a foolproof idea, except for the part where anyone who was actually busy with real celebrity things like being on their own television shows or playing the sports that made them famous was, well, too busy. So instead, we get these guys: the current season includes Kevin Jonas, Kate Gosselin, and Ian Ziering. It’s hardly a trendy hit among people our age, but it’s totally addictive. It provokes nostalgia in a way no other show on TV can manage right now.

The first season of Celebrity Apprentice aired in 2008. Looking back through the cast from that season, I recognize one name: Piers Morgan, who also won that season. It should be noted that Piers Morgan is famous, to me, because he was a judge on America’s Got Talent, which is also a hot bed for famous people scrambling to be remembered. And so Celebrity Apprentice became a gaggle of has-beens.. And our parents loved it! They loved seeing people they were fans of years before back on TV. And I so didn’t get it.

So here’s the thing: It’s been six and a half seasons of Celebrity Apprentice and the cast is ridden with people who, six and a half seasons ago, were busy doing real celebrity things. But now they’re hanging by their fingertips, appearing on reality TV so as not to fall into the chasm where *NSYNC minus Justin lives. Celebrity Apprentice may not be the most exciting show around, but when it comes to indulging in nostalgia, I’ll take it.

Sure, it’s more likely to be a hit among your parents’ friends than your own, but who can argue with #TEAMBRANDI? Just enjoy the show. You’re fired. 

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NYU’s $400 Million Profit http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/01/26/nyus-400-million-profit/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/01/26/nyus-400-million-profit/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:25:30 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128021 NYU made $400 million in profit last year. Well, technically not “profit,” seeing as NYU is a nonprofit organization. But having nonprofit status does not necessarily prevent the university from hoarding excess funds. NYU’s tax records show the university’s revenue exceeded its expenses by $398,812,562 for 2013. This “profit” came in a year in which increases... Read More

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shutterstock_132181055NYU made $400 million in profit last year. Well, technically not “profit,” seeing as NYU is a nonprofit organization.

But having nonprofit status does not necessarily prevent the university from hoarding excess funds. NYU’s tax records show the university’s revenue exceeded its expenses by $398,812,562 for 2013.

This “profit” came in a year in which increases in tuition outpaced increases in financial aid.

“Profit” in 2010, 2011, and 2012 was $149 million, $116 million, and $54 million, respectively. In each of these years the increases in tuition revenue outpaced increases in financial aid expenditures as well.

Although the administration has not made public what it plans to do with 2013’s especially hefty sum of excess money, it’s a fair guess that a sizable amount of it will be used for their multi-billion dollar expansion plan, NYU 2031.

$400 million is a large number, but with so many students and such high tuition, it’s hard to put such a figure in perspective. So here are a few points of reference to help contextualize the number, and a few possibilities for how the administration could spend the money if their priorities were different:

  • NYU could give over $15,000 back to each of its 26,287 undergraduates enrolled as of Fall 2014.
  • NYU could give over 2,100 full-tuition scholarships for 4 years to the children of laborers who built NYU Abu Dhabi. Considering that many migrant laborers cite the desire to support their family as a primary reason they were lured into abusive construction work at sites like NYU Abu Dhabi, it seems a fair offer for the university to make.
  • Every one of its 58,547 students could be given a used car, or about 5 years worth of MetroCards.
  • NYU could have gone without 21.8% of its revenue from tuition in 2013. Revenue from tuition was $1,834,527,000 last year.
  • It appears the administration could quite easily afford dental care for their graduate student employees. Dental care is a demand of the Graduate Student Organizing Committee.
  • This number dwarfs the $139 million the university has in fossil fuel investments, and it could be used to increase the endowment and replace any lost interest from the change in investments, as well as cover the bureaucratic costs associated with such an undertaking.

Though these are all laudable ways the sum could be used, perhaps the most fitting would be a 10-ton solid gold bust of John Sexton could be place atop Bobst and forever survey Washington Square Park.

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New MTA Fare Hike To Go Into Effect March 22nd http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/01/26/new-mta-fare-hike-go-effect-march-22nd/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/01/26/new-mta-fare-hike-go-effect-march-22nd/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:43:49 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128027   After a unanimous vote, the MTA board has resolved to pass a measure that will raise fares for all trips on the subway and city bus system (as well as several local bridge and tunnel tolls). The measure, which was favored to pass in the weeks leading up to the vote, comes in the... Read More

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IMG_0253After a unanimous vote, the MTA board has resolved to pass a measure that will raise fares for all trips on the subway and city bus system (as well as several local bridge and tunnel tolls).

The measure, which was favored to pass in the weeks leading up to the vote, comes in the wake of a troubling budgetary report from the MTA that indicates a $15 billion dollar gap between the transportation agency’s proposed budget and their funding sources. In October, City Council member Mark Weprin referred to the budget discrepancy as “the elephant sitting in the state capital right now,” WNYC reports. Without hiking local tolls and fare prices, there would be limited options as to how to raise enough revenue to close the gap in funding and raise enough money to meet the budget goals (and maybe finally finish that Second Avenue line).

Despite the rationale behind the measure, New Yorkers are already embittered at having to shell out even more money for a ride on the NYC subway, which is already the twentieth most expensive urban public transportation system in the world, and far from the cleanest or most reliable. The 2015 wage increase will be the fourth such measure passed since 2009, although some MTA board members optimistically pointed out that this surge in fares is, at the very least, only half of what we had to deal with in 2013 when a similar measure was voted in. Polly Trottenberg, New York City’s transportation commissioner, stated that the “increases were as fair as possible” and that they do the “least damage to the largest number of folks,” the New York Times reports.

So, what are the new fares that you can look forward to paying come March? Here are the major points of the new increases:

  • Base fares will be raised from $2.50 to $2.75 per ride
  • A single-ride ticket will go from $2.75 to $3.00
  • Monthly (30 day) unlimited passes will go from $112 to $116.50
  • Weekly (7 day) unlimited passes will be raised from $30 to $31
  • Express bus fare paid for with cash will be raised from $6.00 to $6.50, while the same service paid for by a MetroCard will go from $5.71 to $5.86
  • A weekly Express Bus Plus MetroCard will go from $55 to $57.25
  • Access-a-Ride fare will rise from $2.50 to $2.75

One small nugget of good news is that fare bonuses for monetary value loaded onto a MetroCard will also rise from a 5% bonus with a $5 purchase to 11% with a purchase of $5.50. That means that for single rides purchased in bulk, the total amount per ride comes out to a cool $2.48. The monthly pass, with a price increase of $4.50 (or fifteen cents a day), is the card with the highest total fare hike. The rides purchased per monthly card will now fall from 44 to 42, making it slightly less valuable to the cardholder.

But will these new prices at the turnstile actually change New Yorkers’ habits when it comes to swiping a ride? For most of us, who rely on the subway to move through the city, the answer is no. But these new fares will certainly prove burdensome to many New Yorkers, and despite the budgetary logic behind it, most people will be unhappy to pony up the extra dollars and cents on March 22nd, when the plan comes into effect.

This is just the beginning, with several more increasingly steep fare hikes planned for the years to come. The ever increasing worth of these frustrating yellow cards won’t plague you forever, though: by 2020, city officials plan to install a system that would gradually phase out MetroCards, with the cards being killed altogether by 2022. And, hey: at least it’s still cheaper than a car.

[Image via Em Watson]

 

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What You Missed Over Break: NYU In The News http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/01/26/crazy-shit-happened-over-break-nyu/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2015/01/26/crazy-shit-happened-over-break-nyu/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:53:57 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128062 Winter break rolled around with the comforting promise of holidays spent with the family and a respite from your neighbor’s near-constant sexcapades. However, as we’re consistently reminded by the frequency of the buzzing of our Google Alerts, the NYC beat stops for nobody. Take a look and catch up on what you missed on university... Read More

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Winter break rolled around with the comforting promise of holidays spent with the family and a respite from your neighbor’s near-constant sexcapades. However, as we’re consistently reminded by the frequency of the buzzing of our Google Alerts, the NYC beat stops for nobody. Take a look and catch up on what you missed on university turf.

An NYU student set fire to a classmate: Former NYU junior Jaime Castano was formally charged with reckless endangerment and assault on Friday after setting fire to a sleeping friend’s mattress in Lafayette back in August; he was expelled in September. Castano filmed the incident on Snapchat, documenting the victim “asleep in his bed with flames on her clothing while [HE] sang, then showed her waking up and trying to put out the flames while he recorded it,” according to court documents.

Subpoena against NYU law students denied: After writing a letter criticizing NYU trustee Daniel Straus, whose company, CareOne management, has accrued dozens of labor law violations, Luke Herrine and Leo Gertner were subpoenaed by Straus last spring. That subpoena was denied this January, on the basis that it violated the students’ First Amendment rights.

NYU students helped bring down hookah bars: New York City just got even more sanitary: as part of an undercover sting organized by the NYC health department, a group of NYU kids took shisha samples from 13 hookah bars that wound up being laced with tobacco, a violation. Among the fallen? Notorious Sahara East on 1st Avenue. Thou shalt be missed.

De Blasio hasn’t smoked weed since college: At a press conference in Brooklyn, the mayor dashed our fantasies of him and Chirlane sparking up a bowl at Gracie Mansion after a long day, saying that he hasn’t smoked marijuana since his days at NYU. Wonder if he preferred Bubba Kush or Sour Diesel?

A record 60,322 prospective students applied for admission to NYU’s class of 2019, a 15 percent increase from last year. We’ve got our fingers crossed for y’all!

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Two Dead After Shooting In 23rd Street Home Depot http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/01/26/two-dead-shooting-home-depot/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2015/01/26/two-dead-shooting-home-depot/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 14:30:36 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=128031 At around 2:30 on Sunday, January 25th, an employee of Home Depot shot and killed a coworker and shortly after committed suicide in a crowded store on West 23rd Street. The 31 year old employee exchanged a few words with his fellow coworker before firing on him several times and then turned the gun to... Read More

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http---o.aolcdn.com-hss-storage-midas-3fece0b586a8ba76d6a2e5d60c2a88-201448843-150125_instagram_home_depot_shooting_originalAt around 2:30 on Sunday, January 25th, an employee of Home Depot shot and killed a coworker and shortly after committed suicide in a crowded store on West 23rd Street. The 31 year old employee exchanged a few words with his fellow coworker before firing on him several times and then turned the gun to his own head. The shooter has since been identified as Calvin Esdaile Jr; his victim, whom a co-worker identified as Moctar Sy, was the lighting department supervisor.

With shots fired inside a store packed with those prepping for a snow storm, shoppers scattered desperately hoping to distance themselves from the violence. Gallatin sophomore Caroline Porter, on her way home to Gramercy Green on 23rd, was unpleasantly alarmed when she heard the commotion on her walk past the Home Depot.

“I saw customers and employees rushing out of the building. None of the pedestrians I was next to really knew what was going on at that point. A couple people said they heard 3 or 4 gun shots.” Porter said. “There was an employee who I overheard telling a woman it might have been another employee who had the gun. There was a woman on the phone next to me who said ‘oh my god’ she couldn’t believe what was happening.”

 According to The New York Times, the motive still remains unclear, but the NYPD believe there is some history between the two men as they were co-workers; detectives are working on piecing together the rest of the story.

Spokesperson for Home Depot Stephen Holmes stated “We’re deeply saddened by this tragedy. We are fully cooperating with the authorities on their investigation of what appears to have been an isolated incident.”

Regardless of the nature of the shooting, its location still hit home for plenty of New Yorkers, including Porter. “I shop at that Home Depot all the time, for things like dorm supplies,” she said. “It’s almost surreal that a familiar place could be the location of something terrible like this.”

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Gridiron G-Chat — Week Sixteen: NYU Local’s Extravagant Holiday Party, Perpetual Thursday Night Mediocrity, And Another Bird-On-Bird Match-Up http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/12/18/gridiron-g-chat-week-sixteen-nyu-locals-extravagant-holiday-party-perpetual-thursday-night-mediocrity-another-bird-bird-match/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/12/18/gridiron-g-chat-week-sixteen-nyu-locals-extravagant-holiday-party-perpetual-thursday-night-mediocrity-another-bird-bird-match/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:30:04 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127956 Once upon a time (ok, two years ago), NYU Brocal had this lovely little series called Gridiron G-chat. The concept was simple: every week, two bros would gather around the warmth of their laptops and chat about that weekend’s games. With Jeremy and Eric doing real, adult things now, Joe Kozlowski and Paul Sondhi will... Read More

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tempCM4_9017--nfl_mezz_1280_1024Once upon a time (ok, two years ago), NYU Brocal had this lovely little series called Gridiron G-chat. The concept was simple: every week, two bros would gather around the warmth of their laptops and chat about that weekend’s games. With Jeremy and Eric doing real, adult things now, Joe Kozlowski and Paul Sondhi will be guiding you through the world of #sports.

Joe Kozlowski: So finals week and the (almost) final week of the season. Seems kind of fitting.

Paul Sondhi: My semester is over wooooo! Now I can follow the downfall of the Philadelphia Eagles fully.

JK: And I have my sports-based colloquium Friday! I may mention the Chiefs teaching me about perpetual disappointment. Speaking of which, what’s your biggest disappointment of the season?

PS: Jay Cutler, man. Of course I would like to see a healthy Nick Foles and dominant Eagles team, but watching Cutler literally look like he doesn’t know how to play football has been sad.

JK: He used to be the Uncle Rico of the NFL…now it looks like he’s back to grilling steaks alone in his van.

PS: They played so well last year; this year’s performance is a shame. Oh well, in two weeks the Bears will be long gone.

JK: Just like our g-chat (until we come back for our giant Super Bowl finale!!!!). But games?

Titans at Jaguars

JK: You know how Thursday games are never well played? Add this to that list.

PS: Uh, I’m avoiding this game.

Chargers at 49ers

JK: Ahh the rare late-season Saturday game. 49ers are disappointing and the Chargers are solid, if unremarkable, enough to not have a big problem.

PS: Essentially two non-playoff teams here. I’m only really interested in what happens with Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick at the end of the year. If you told me two years ago that neither of them would be with the 49ers heading into the 2015 season, I’d be shocked. But, it’s not so far-fetched.

JK: Hey, maybe they can find their way to the Chiefs in a few years.

Eagles at Washington

JK: Enjoyable? Maybe. High quality? Probably not. You can explain what’s going on here.

PS: Philadelphia has screwed themselves. Blowing it the last couple weeks is embarrassing. I’m hopping on the Mariota bandwagon (and things in Philly are still better than for Washington).

Vikings at Dolphins

JK: So this is a football game. Dolphins win a game that will be silight better than we all think.

PS: Agreed. Let’s move on..

Ravens at Texans

JK:So what would happen if JJ Watt played quarterback?

PS: This MVP race would be damn interesting.

Lions at Bears

JK: So Jimmy Clausen.

PS: It’s come to this. 7-5 midway through last season must feel like years ago for Bears fans. You know it’s gotten bad when I sympathize with Chicagoans in a game against the Lions.

Browns at Panthers

JK: 80 passing yards. I could throw for more than that. I legitimately believe that if you gave me a decent offensive line against an average defensive line, I could do it.

PS: MORE JOHNNY FOOTBALL!

JK: Lebron James would do better. Trade.

Falcons at Saints

JK: No one wants to win this division. If this game could end in a negative -14 tie, it would. But the Saints have been playing better so I guess them?

PS: New Orleans still has the potential to be a good team; Atlanta, not so much. I’d much rather see the Saints in the playoffs.

Packers at Buccaneers

JK: Aaron Rodgers wins again, continuing to pay for our lavish offices. That holiday party won’t pay for itself.

PS: My credibility is restored in this inevitable blowout.

Chiefs at Steelers

JK: Chiefs essentially have to win. Steelers have been generally solid, but the Chiefs have an odd history of beating Pitt. They can take one in an ugly game, something like 17-13.

PS: Not looking so hot for KC. I hope they beat the Steelers, though, because I’m sick of that franchise.

JK: Said this before, but I will take any way I can get you to root for the Chiefs.

Patriots at Jets

JK: Lol

PS: I want the Jets to win. #MariotaToTheEagles

JK: Literally no chance Bill Belichick allows the Jets to win. Even if he has to use force lightning.

Giants at Rams

JK: So how high is Odell Beckham Jr. going in fantasy drafts next year?

PS: Could he be the key to making Eli a good quarterback again? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants made some noise next year.

JK: Confidence is half the battle and you can’t not have confidence that he’ll catch the ball if it’s in his general vicinity.

Bills at Raiders

JK: Going to Oakland can trip a team up, but not with these Raiders. Good defense beats non-existent QB, even in a tough home field.

PS: Ha. Ha. Ha. Buffalo wins.

Colts at Cowboys

JK: So a horse against a guy who rides a horse. Could see this being an enjoyably high-scoring affair with the Colts pulling away in the end. Something like 28-24.

PS: I want to hate on the Cowboys sooo badly, but I’ve got to give them respect. I think they hold their own against Indy at AT&T Stadium.

Seahawks at Cardinals

JK: Please stop with these bird vs. bird matchups. (Seattle wins, but it will be closer than it really should be.)

PS: Seattle’s gaining that crucial momentum heading into the playoffs. Looking forward to the Seahawks-Packers NFC Championship game.

Broncos at Bengals

JK: We know who is going to win, so: Can the Bengals rebound for next season? They’ve got the weapons and a not terrible defense, but have looked so far from a good team post-injuries.

PS: One of my friends has Emmanuel Sanders on his fantasy team and he’s playing in our league’s championship game this week. He’s worried about Peyton, and frankly I am too. I hope he gets healthy before the playoffs.

JK: Way to completely avoid my question. You clearly were prepared for your finals, good sir.

PS: I practiced my question-dodging, Joe.

JK: Well I guess we won’t drag your semester out anymore. See y’all for the Super Bowl.

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NYC Subway Etiquette For the Winter http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/12/18/nyc-subway-etiquette-winter-edition/ http://nyulocal.com/city/2014/12/18/nyc-subway-etiquette-winter-edition/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:28:03 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127931 Alas, it is winter again! It’s the season of joy and giving, but also, possibly the worst time of year to commute by subway as you battle your way through crowds of tourists with shopping bags, crowds of New Yorkers with shopping bags, and that layer of fine, snowmelt sludge that collects on the platform... Read More

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32Alas, it is winter again! It’s the season of joy and giving, but also, possibly the worst time of year to commute by subway as you battle your way through crowds of tourists with shopping bags, crowds of New Yorkers with shopping bags, and that layer of fine, snowmelt sludge that collects on the platform in the winter months. Subway etiquette is important at every time of the year, but winter brings with it certain concerns for those of you who will continue to swipe your yellow card even after you’ve handed in your last final. Have no fear, however! Acquaint yourselves with these easy rules, and you’ll never again be the unfortunate recipient of subway side eye.

NYU Local’s Guide to Winter Subway Etiquette:

Make Space On The Train: Winter is here, which means that winter coats are here, too. Everyone’s going to be a little bit more padded, which naturally means that there will be less empty space. In addition, all of those people who normally walk/bike/canoe to work will now be forced underground for want of better weather (and all of the students skipping class will eventually have to show up for finals). Because there will be more folks using the subway system at this time of year, there will be less space available per individual rider. Take your backpack off and hold it by your knees, step aside to let passengers on and off the train, and move all the way into the subway car when you get on a crowded train. And, yes, the definitive rule is that people get off the train before people get in. Shuffle along with the cosmic flow of the subway, and get out of the way when the situation calls for it.

It Truly Is Cold And Flu Season: In case you couldn’t hear the constant loop of subway announcements over whatever finals inspiration music you have blasting through your headphones, be aware that it is, in fact, cold and flu season. If you have to sneeze, sneeze into the bend of your elbow or into a tissue. In fact, if you find yourself sneezing multiple times on your commute, you might want to consider a quick trip to the Health Center. Don’t forget to eat and sleep regularly, especially during finals (but please do not eat or sleep on the subway). You’ve come too far to succumb to a cold that you caught from some creep on the L train. Hand wash, tissues, orange juice, repeat.

PDA Is Not Okay: Just because you and your bae think it’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year does not make it okay to propagate your love by forcing everyone else on the subway to watch you make out. Making out on the train is not okay. Holding hands on the train might be okay, as long as you’re not staring intensely into each other’s eyes while you do it. Just remember that the subway, like everywhere else in New York City, is a public space, full of people who do not want to see the intimate, private moments of your love life. Other public spaces that are inappropriate venues for PDA include: the bus, the sidewalk, the park, and the Bobst stacks.

SERIOUSLY, Make Space On The Train: I’m putting this on the list twice because I want to emphasize just how important it is — not only in the winter, but also all year round. The metal pole in the train is for hands, and it is not your personal backrest. Don’t put your feet, shopping bags, dog, or other non-human portables on the seat. And although it’s not necessarily New York City custom, it is nice to give up your seat to someone who needs it more. Oh, and don’t spread your legs on the benches. Whatever you’ve got in there isn’t so fragile that it needs four seats of girth.

Don’t Be A Jerk: Most people don’t ride the train for fun, which means that at the end of the day, everyone who gets on the subway has somewhere to go. Your destination probably isn’t more important than anybody else’s, and a little patience goes a long way in these crowded times. Little things, like keeping your music at a reasonable volume, throwing trash into the garbage can instead of on the floor of the train, and stepping aside so people can get off a crowded train can make a huge difference in someone’s commute. Be respectful, don’t be pushy, and you can make the inevitable rush hour subway commute a little more bearable for everyone.

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[VIDEO] Official Guide to Scarf Confidence http://nyulocal.com/video-2/2014/12/18/video-official-guide-scarf-confidence/ http://nyulocal.com/video-2/2014/12/18/video-official-guide-scarf-confidence/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:55:55 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127622 Scared of scarves? Why? Don’t be. We’ll show you how to rock that thing like you were “born this way.” Impress your friends, impress your lovers, and, most importantly, impress yourself. Video by Zack Young, Cooper Lovano and Natalie Markiles

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Scared of scarves? Why? Don’t be. We’ll show you how to rock that thing like you were “born this way.” Impress your friends, impress your lovers, and, most importantly, impress yourself.

Video by Zack Young, Cooper Lovano and Natalie Markiles

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The Strange Life Of The Greenwich Village Paddington Bear http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/18/strange-life-greenwich-village-paddington-bear/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/18/strange-life-greenwich-village-paddington-bear/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:13:56 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127936 With the upcoming film “Paddington,” you might have been hearing a lot about a certain marmalade-loving British bear lately. What you might not know is that this story is as relevant to West 4th Street as it is to Paddington Station. Paddington Bear has a unique and important place in Greenwich Village history, and his... Read More

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Paddington-Bear-Cartoon

With the upcoming film “Paddington,” you might have been hearing a lot about a certain marmalade-loving British bear lately. What you might not know is that this story is as relevant to West 4th Street as it is to Paddington Station. Paddington Bear has a unique and important place in Greenwich Village history, and his arrival to the neighborhood was almost as strange and magical as Michael Bond’s stories themselves. Because of Paddington’s recent media explosion, NYU Local presents you with you a brief history of his life in the city, and proof that P.B is as much New York’s bear as he is London’s.

In the basement of 18 West 11th Street on March 6th, 1970, three members of a radical leftist organization called “the Weathermen” (named from the line in Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues”) died after a homemade nail bomb they were building exploded. The Weathermen were planning on bombing a non-commissioned officer’s dance at Fort Dix in New Jersey as an act of protest against the Vietnam War. Surviving Weathermen would form the Weather Underground, attack the Pentagon, and break Timothy Leery out of jail, among other things — you can find a great documentary on them here. Kathy Boudin, a Weatherman who was present in the building at the time of it’s explosion, actually worked as a scholar in residence in 2013. While this might seem like a bizarre way to begin a story on Paddington Bear’s life in NYC, 18 West 11th street would become his eventual home.

If you’re familiar with Rubin Hall you might have seen this building before — it’s pretty distinctive. In 1978, after architect Hugh Hardy laid out his plans to rebuild the then vacant lot, telling the New York Times he was “deeper into diagonals at that point,” Norma Langworthy and her husband purchased the home for $80,000 (about $290,000 today). Norma was a philanthropist and theater lover who produced several off-Broadway plays, including “Cliffhanger,” “The Perfect Party,” “Suds,” “The Springhill Singing Disaster,” “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged),” and “The Road to Mecca.” Langworthy was also, apparently, passionate about Paddington.

After moving in, Langworthy began placing a Paddington Bear doll in their prominent front window — a tradition that continued for 35 years. West 11th Street’s Paddington Bear was always well dressed. He wore a raincoat on stormy days, a festive sun hat on Easter, a Santa hat through the holidays, and occasionally scuba gear. Paddington’s outfits always seemed to be completely on point with the goings on of The Village. On the day Paddington and a companion bear were dressed as bride and groom, a neighborhood physician proposed to his girlfriend on the street in front of the building (obviously, she accepted). After Langworthy’s death in 2012, Paddington donned a black funeral suit. When the building went on the market again that January, you could still see Paddington toiling away in the front window, this time wearing a Corcoran tee shirt.

Paddington’s effect on the neighborhood was enormous, especially in the wake of the violence that preceded him. Students at P.S. 41, an elementary school down the street from 18 West 11th, shared a strong connection to him, with the bear sometimes donning a P.S. 41 shirt on the first day of school. While you won’t find Paddington at his old address anymore, (the building is currently on sale and unoccupied), he has found a new home at the elementary school. And yes, he still gets dressed up.

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NYU Has Announced The Architects Who Will Design The New Coles http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/18/nyu-announced-architects-will-design-new-coles/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/18/nyu-announced-architects-will-design-new-coles/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:41:05 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127965 NYU has chosen the architecture firms to design the building which will soon be replacing our beloved, stinky Coles. The selection process for the Coles-site architects began this summer with 16 initial firms. With the help of the Superblock Stewardship Advisory Committee, these were then narrowed down through an RFQ/RFP process and extensive criteria including... Read More

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colesNYU has chosen the architecture firms to design the building which will soon be replacing our beloved, stinky Coles. The selection process for the Coles-site architects began this summer with 16 initial firms. With the help of the Superblock Stewardship Advisory Committee, these were then narrowed down through an RFQ/RFP process and extensive criteria including a well-established New York City presence and experience with academic institutions. In the end, NYU decided upon Davis Brody Bond and KieranTimberlake, two firms that more than exceed the aforementioned criteria.

“We are well aware of the significance of the project for NYU and for the neighborhood. A terrific amount of work by the NYU community has already gone into developing the program, goals and design principles of this new building,” said William H Paxson, AIA, a partner at Davis Brody Bond. “Our goal will be to build upon that effort, and to help make this building a vibrant extension of a great urban campus and a sensitive addition to one of New York’s most cherished neighborhoods.”

Amid Davis Brody Bond’s portfolio are the 9/11 Memorial Museum, The Portico Gallery at The Frick Collection, and Brooklyn Bridge Park as well as work at Columbia and Northwestern Universities. KieranTimberlake also has a wide range of experience with academic institutions, including Yale, Harvard, and Rice Universities. They have additionally worked with the Museum of Modern Art, constructing the MoMA’s Cellophane House, and designed the U.S. Embassy in London, which is planned for completion in 2017. (They also built a home on stilts called the Loblolly House — slightly irrelevant to Coles, but still fun to say out loud).

As for the design itself, John Beckman said that, “the new building will fulfill important academic space needs for NYU under a plan that was overwhelmingly approved by the City Council in 2012.  The facility’s many uses will include classrooms, teaching spaces for performing arts, a state-of-the-art sports facility, and student and faculty housing.”

Alison Leary added, “NYU understands it will be held to a high standard for architectural excellence, and we believe we have selected the right team for this important project. These firms have won some of the most prestigious awards in the fields of architecture and design, and the exceptional quality of their work has earned them some of the most prominent commissions of our day.”

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Local Stops: Sad Selena Gomez, A Dance Craze, And One Snazzy Elevator. http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/17/local-stops-sad-selena-gomez-dance-craze-one-snazzy-elevator/ http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2014/12/17/local-stops-sad-selena-gomez-dance-craze-one-snazzy-elevator/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 21:16:37 +0000 http://nyulocal.com/?p=127922 The hot new dance for the holiday season. No one understands Selena Gomez. An elevator that’s so nice, you might not complain when someone presses the ‘2’ button. Photo of the day by Rishi Bandopadhay

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ES - 06 - BandopadhayThe hot new dance for the holiday season.

No one understands Selena Gomez.

An elevator that’s so nice, you might not complain when someone presses the ‘2’ button.

Photo of the day by Rishi Bandopadhay

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