Gallatin Junior Aides Republican Underdog In State Assembly Race

It’s not every day that a junior in college is a top aide to a politician. Nor is it every day that a single mother and retired JAG officer runs on the Republican ticket for an assembly race in DeBlasio’s New York.

To the normal NYU student (normal being relative), Gallatin junior Chris Hofmann might seem like a square; a straight-laced dude who wears sweaters only a mother could love. He’s quick to give a firm handshake when we meet at the Starbucks on campus, and is much nicer than a Left-leaning Independent would like to admit of a Republican. He says he’s running for the New York Regional Chair of the College Republicans National Committee, that “it’s a big deal.” He wins the chair later in the month, around the time when I meet the candidate he represents, Maureen Koetz, at NYU’s own College Republicans chapter meeting.

Maureen Koetz, a veteran and native New Yorker, put herself in the running for New York’s State Assembly. If elected Koetz would represent portions of downtown Manhattan spanning from Little Italy to Battery Park City. The seat is currently held by longtime incumbent, Sheldon Silver.

The Sheldon Silver Saga is an article in itself. His longtime friend admitted to being involved in a $9 million charity scam. Silver signed off on a payout to an assemblyman’s sexual harassment victims. Silver also allowed his children to register using his Grand Street address, so they could vote in his district. Read more…

[VIDEO] Behind The Curtain: Whiskey

Believe or not, New York City has a rich whiskey history. Before the 1920s, the city was a filled with distilleries and whiskey bars. The combination of prohibition and strict state regulations pushed many distilleries out of the New York. Recently, state regulations have become more lax. Brooklyn’s Kings County Distillery is leading the way in making New York relevant in whiskey culture. Kings County has been behind several award-winning craft spirits. You can learn more about Kings County Distillery and the history of New York distilleries by going on one of their tours.

NYU Local TV via YouTube

Breaking Down Idaho’s Hilarious Televised GOP Governor’s Debate

What do you get when you bring a Republican governor, State senator, a tattooed biker and a serial home-schooler together to debate politics? Some would call the result a lively democratic discourse…others, a circus.

This past Wednesday, Idaho gubernatorial candidates faced off in a debate aired on the state’s public television network. The debate was meant to be a charged conservative showdown between the current Republican governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter, and his primary challenger, Russ Fulcher, who is currently a conservative state senator. In the spirit of inclusivity or democracy or whatever, Governor Otter insisted that his somewhat less reputable challengers also join in for the debate. The candidates, Walt Bayes and Harley Brown, were happy to join and take the ensuing discussion to a whole new level of entertaining.

The four conservative candidates were set to use their solitary scheduled debate to discuss key issues in Idaho – the economy, state control of federal lands, and Obamacare. As a deeply conservative state, all the candidates are pushing for progress in the GOP agenda. But their ways of getting there vary quite widely.

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My Country Is Not Defined By Its Trouble

Salto Angel, Bolivar. Taken by my cousin.

It’s not the first time a taxi driver turned around and said “Oh Hugo Chavez!” when I said I’m Venezuelan. And I guess it happens to people from all over the world whose countries have things that stand out. But it always bothers me. However, in this little taxi cab, it was the first time I went deep into why my country was being reduced to the figure of a single charismatic politician when it was really so much more.

“Yep,” I said, intending to sleep my way through the rest of the rainy way home. I was tired, it’s finals week.  As I laid my head on the window, closed my eyes and thought of the short time left before I went back to my real home for summer, the driver insisted: So do you like Chavez?

“Not particularly,” I said. “He died though, and his successor is much less charismatic, and students started protesting and the protests are going on since February and the government has responded with repression causing hundreds of deaths and detained.”

I wanted to burst it all out and go back to laying my head on the window, so I didn’t breathe in between words or organize my sentences eloquently. Read more…

NYU Local’s Best And Worst Comments Of The Year

While NYU Local’s comment sections may not get as feisty as NYU Secrets’, we do occasionally invoke the anger of everybody’s worst nightmare – Anonymous Internet Commenters. We used the magic of crowdsourcing to bring you some of the most ridiculous comments we’ve received on this site—the ones we could approve—since September of 2013, arranged in chronological order.

Phillip Sparks, September 25, 2013I Went On An NYU-Sponsored Tour Of Bushwick, And It Stripped Me Of My Dignity

“I came to this article because I thought it was going to be something entirely different that actually delved into the subject at hand. Instead I got this sarcastic view from a typical uninformed NYU college girl that doesn’t understand New York at all but loves to complain about the man. I know you can do better than this. I’m serious. Go further. How did this strip you of your dignity? Do you even know what that means? Come on NYU Local. I am seriously confused as to how this is even in the freaking NYU paper and not a facebook status update or note or something that I discretely loathe and hide from my timeline.”

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Tommy John Surgery Saves Pitchers But Doesn’t Solve Baseball’s Bigger Problem

One of the most exciting parts of being a baseball fan is watching young pitchers dominate the league when they first come up. Sure, watching a 20-year old rake at the plate as he hits home run after home run is fun, but there’s a certain thrill that comes with an ace pitcher on the mound, with his command and dominance felt throughout the ballpark. As the strikeouts pile up and the starts begin to become events in and of themselves, fans have ample reason to watch their favorite team when their coveted flamethrower is on the mound.

Ask baseball followers about which young pitchers they most like to watch and you’ll hear a few familiar names. Stephen Strasburg. Matt Harvey. Jose Fernandez. All came up and seemed unhittable within their first few starts, taking Major League Baseball by storm. Each of the three has a devastating fastball and scary secondary pitches. It’s no coincidence that all three were beacons of hope for their floundering respective franchises at the time they came up.

Perhaps, it’s also not a coincidence that with this week’s news that Fernandez tore his ulnar collateral ligament, all three will have undergone Tommy John surgery within just a few years of starting their careers. Read more…

All Of The Technology To Help You Make It Through College

We definitely could not survive our world today without the help of our beloved, addicting technology. I’m sure not a day passes where you don’t use your laptop, smartphone, Xbox, camera, or something or other.  Whatever it is you’re most attached to, everyone’s got his or her favorite apps, and gadgets, and widgets, and plugins. I know my four years here at NYU wouldn’t have been possible with all of the tools I use to make my school/work life easier. So here are a few of my favorite productivity hacks:

Boomerang: As a student, emails are kind of like our lifeblood. Internship opportunities, meeting up with other students, teacher assignments, the list piles higher and higher. Boomerang is an organizational wizard’s best friend. You can schedule emails to bounce back into your inbox whenever you need them to, basically eliminating one more to-do reminder from your brain. You can also schedule emails to send at a later time if need be. Read more…

Enjoy Summertime in New York The Obscure Way

The school year is coming to a close, and the sweet, humid freedom of summer is just over the horizon. And for those of us who refuse to go back to Mom and Dad’s house over the break, the opportunities for entertainment are nearly limitless.

Here’s are a handful of less quotidian things to do this summer in the time you’d usually spend reading NYU Local: 

May 18—Anthropomorphic Bunny Taxidermy Class: If you claim to have never wondered what exactly is the proper way to skin, stuff, and dress a rabbit in Victorian-era clothing, you’re lying. Even better, this class is eco-friendly: all carcasses are recycled discards from the feeder/pet food industry, naturally deceased, or discards from the food service industry. But remember that this course isn’t BYOC (bring your own carcass), so don’t even think about using this as an opportunity to keep the spirit of your dead pet bunny alive.

May 15 through May 31—Shakespeare in the Parking Lot’s Production of Hamlet: A parking lot adjacent to Bryant Park will be the stage in which The Drilling Company’s interpretation of Hamlet will be performed. Modified to reflect contemporary society, Gertrude is an alcoholic, while Claudius is a power-hungry business man. With performances happening Thursday through Sunday until May 31, this is an easy opportunity to get some culture for free.

May 29—McKellen Me Softly: A one-night-only celebration of queer icon and fangirl fodder, Sir Ian McKellen. The festivities will feature a raffle of McKellen-themed artwork, a so-called “geek party,” and a LGBTQ benefit, the proceeds of which will help support Geeks OUT, an organization established to support the growing community of the nerdiest members of the LGBTQ community. Read more…

Beat Summertime Sadness And Go To The New York State Fair

The “Great” New York State Fair that takes place in Syracuse is a veritable mess, a beautiful, beautiful mess of attempted state spirit, food that will bring about a premature heart attack and people wearing outfits that mix camo and spandex. However, it is a quintessential New York State right of passage, and one that will send you sprinting back towards the sanity and comfort of New York City. Seriously, one time I saw a vendor selling Confederate flag gear. Things get weird upstate.

The New York State Fair runs from August 21 to September 1, the week and a half before school starts, so if you need to validate your reasoning for living in New York City or if you want at least a couple crazy stories to share from your summer you should hop on the bus—it’s a measly four and a half hour ride—and bring yourself to real Upstate New York. Surviving the State Fair isn’t as easy as packing a lot of sunblock and wearing as little clothing as possible. Heads up: you can legally not wear pants at the fair for some reason; it’s all about a good plan of attack. Luckily, we’ve got you covered for the New York State Fair’s main events.

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Apple Might Have Dropped Major Bucks To Buy Beats, But Why?

Why would Apple spend $3.2 billion to buy Beats, a company best known for overpriced headphones and an underwhelming streaming music service? And does it even matter?

Even if you’re not a self-proclaimed tech geek who reads The Verge and Ars Technica every morning before tweeting at your toaster to make breakfast, you might have heard about the rumored deal between Apple and Beats Electronics, the company founded by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, which would give Apple ownership over the company to the tune of $3.2 billion. You might be wondering – what’s the big deal? Don’t companies buy other companies every other week?

To a certain extent, that’s true. Google bought (then sold) Motorola, Disney bought Marvel and Facebook bought WhatsApp, to name just a few recent big acquisitions. But while Apple buys small companies all the time, the rumored Beats deal would be the first time Apple buys a company for over a billion dollars. In fact, the rumored $3.2 billion figure dwarfs the next largest Apple deal, its acquisition of NeXT for $429 million in 1996. When Apple buys companies, they usually do so to acquire a highly specific technology or to poach people at the top of their fields.

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