Fales Library Is NYU’s Archival Oz

“I think I need a ‘pussy-wagon’ keychain,” said Marvin Taylor, Director of the Fales Library and Special Collection at NYU. We both watched in appreciation as said keychain swang, baby pink and sparkling, from the ignition of the Beyonce’s Hot Wheels-esque truck. Marvin had finished analyzing Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s music video for “Telephone,” using his extensive repertoire of feminist and gay theory. Though I have seen the video many times before (although, admittedly, less times than Marvin) he has left me in state of shock at the secrets he revealed.

An hour earlier, the interview had started placidly, with politely exchanged formalities and an introductory spiel. As we progressed, however, Marvin began to weave the widespread threads of his life effortlessly and artfully into an academic fairy-tale about a punk-rock kid with an insatiable hunger for art. At the end of all these threads—a childhood of books and artifacts; a career shift from organist to curator; punk rock; a love of cooking, concrete poetry, area studies, Oscar Wilde, Michel Foucault, and yes, Lady Gaga – is Fales.

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Local Went There: Leslie eLab Grand Opening

Dozens of faculty members, students, alumni and guests gathered on the corner of Washington Place and Greene Street to witness the opening of the Mark & Debra Leslie Entrepreneurs Lab or the eLab. Built with a donation from ’66 alum Mark Leslie and his wife Debra, the eLab was launched with a ribbon cutting by Mark and Debra Leslie, Frank Rimalovski, Director of the NYU Entrepreneurial Institute and President John Sexton.

The eLab, which has been in the works for more than two years and was announced earlier this year  will be a home for all things entrepreneurial at NYU. The eLab boasts a big and beautiful space, with up to five meeting rooms available for students and faculty to book for events. It also hosts a ‘FabLab’ or a fabrication lab, which among other things includes a 3-D printer and laser cutter.

“One of the things about NYU entrepreneurship is that it’s very fragmented…each school has its own clubs and it’s kind of hard for them to find each other,” Justin de Guzman, Vice President of Operations at CAS Entrepreneurship Association, said. NYU has over 25 technology and entrepreneurship groups, and the eLab aims to serve as a common home for them. Read more…

New Yorkers Concerned About Corruption, Not Concerned Enough To Actually Vote

Last week, only 9.3 percent of New York State’s registered Democrats came out to vote in the gubernatorial primary election. And, although voter turnout in primary elections tends to be lower in general, Tuesday’s results show the lowest turnout amongst registered Democrats in New York State in over a decade.

Feeling bad about your political disengagement? 52 percent of said votes came from the New York City area, so go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back–even if you actually didn’t do anything to deserve it.

Incumbent Governor Cuomo’s campaign blamed the dismal numbers on his opponent–the law school professor who spent barely anything on her campaign–Zephyr Teachout’s relative obscurity; however, it’s not exactly a secret that politicians bend the truth to best serve their needs, and thus the real question here is: why aren’t we voting?

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Activists Abolish $4 Million In Student Debt

Earlier today, on the three-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement, the Rolling Jubilee announced the purchase and abolishment of $3,856,866.11 in student debt held by 2,761 people in the U.S.

Previously, the group focused on medical debt. Last year, they announced the abolishment of around $15 million in such debt.

When dealing with medical debt, the group is able to take advantage of the eerie world of secondary debt markets and buy large amounts of debt at cheap prices. On this market, an original lender of a loan will sell debt owed to them. The purchaser of the debt pays for it at a discount depending on how unlikely the debt is to be paid back. The new owner of the debt then tries to collect the full amount the debtors’ owe. But when the Rolling Jubilee buys the discounted debt, they abolish it instead.

The purchasing of student debt is a different beast, as it is guaranteed by the federal government and not available on secondary markets. The debt purchased by the Rolling Jubilee is the private debt of students from Ev­erest College, which is part of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a nationwide system of for-profit colleges. Read more…

Get To Know NYC’s Most Unusual Library

You may have noticed the strange clock tower on the corner of 6th avenue and 10th street. It’s attached to an equally ornate red brick building. This is the Jefferson Market Branch of the New York Public Library, undoubtedly the most bizarre branch of the NYPL and perhaps even one of the strangest buildings in Manhattan. Originally built in 1877 as a courthouse, it was saved from destruction and revitalized as a library in the 1960s. Until the late 1920s, the architecturally similar Jefferson Market Prison stood down the street. Both buildings were designed by Frederick Clarke Withers, a prominent English architect. They are named for the Jefferson Food Market, which operated at the site throughout the 19th century.

The courthouse-turned-library’s architectural style has been classified as “American Gothic,” but it incorporates features from a wide variety of architectural traditions. Its designers sought prestige and grandeur for their creation by taking inspiration from medieval churches and castles. Though the red brick exterior seems distinctly American in a certain way, there is a long history of brick-built Gothic structures in Europe. In their Guide to New York City, the American Institute of Architects compares it to Neuschwanstein Castle, a German palace also built in the 1870’s noted for its excess and eccentricity.

During its time as a courthouse, the library building was host to a number of lively trials. Its most famous defendant was millionaire-madman Harry K. Thaw, who shot famed architect Stanford White. Its jurisdiction covered the “Tenderloin,” a red light and entertainment district spanning much of central Midtown. The constant procession of drunks, prostitutes, and other criminals led to the creation of the first night court in the United States. The Jefferson Market Prison was replaced by the New York Women’s House of Detention in the 1930’s. Although notable for being a rare example of an Art Deco Jail, the House of Detention is infamous for the poor conditions that plagued its later years. In the 1960’s, radical feminist Andrea Dworkin and activist Andrea Davis were outspoken about mistreatment and overcrowding while incarcerated there. These allegations led to the eventual demolition of the House of Detention in the 1970’s. The site is now occupied by a lovely garden. Read more…

PSA: Hayden Cookies Are Now At Weinstein And We Found The Secret Recipe

If you ever ate in the recently-closed Hayden dining hall, you understand the incredible experience that is a freshly baked Hayden cookie. I don’t need to describe the cookies to you because this isn’t a food porn Tumblr, but they were beautiful and delicious and I missed them a lot these past few months. I spent an alarming amount of time over the summer worrying about what I would eat now that there would be no Hayden dining hall. I wondered if I should even get a meal plan, and I’m not even kidding. But I did, because I like Dining Dollars — they make me feel like the money I’m spending at Starbucks is magical and free and not the exact same thing as just paying in cash.

I made an incredible discovery when I was at Weinstein the other day. I smelt a familiar smell and thought it was too good to be true, but soon realized that I was smelling Hayden cookies again. They’re the same cookies, just in a new location. You can find the Hayden cookies between the Weinstein oatmeal-raisin cookies and the soft-serve ice cream.

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Local Stops: Ladies Fight Cheating Dickbag Boyfriends And Slut-Shamey Dress Codes

Three girls team up to surprise their cheating dickbag boyfriend in the real-life version of John Tucker Must Die.

Bad-ass teenage girls rebel against their slut-shamey dress code in Staten Island.

Talented actress (and Ryan Gosling’s baby mama) Eva Mendes gave birth to a baby gosling.

What is this, a sequel for ants? Zoolander 2 is on its way.

Bill de Blasio’s has used his favorite word 80 times.

Photo of the day by Rishi Bandopadhay.

What NYU Students Are Saying On Yik Yak

The social app Yik Yak, which started as a trend among southern fraternities and sororities, has gained momentum among colleges across the country, including NYU. Co-founded by Furman University graduates Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington in 2013, Yik Yak serves as a platform where students may post anything, from vignettes of campus life to random thoughts, with complete anonymity. One user described the app as a bulletin for “basically the things I can’t post on Twitter.” Yik Yak acts as a “virtual bulletin board” within a 1.5 mile radius and is targeted specifically towards college campuses. Posts, or “yaks,” are visible for a few hours (where it can be up-voted, down-voted, or commented upon by users within in the area) before it disappears.

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Project Pay Attention Wants You To Be Aware Of Your Everyday Candor

In the fall of 2010 a wave of young people committed suicide after gender-related bullying and harassment filled them with a sense of hopeless alienation. 18-year-old Rutgers student Tyler Clementi was one of these young people, and his suicide in particular has lead to widespread media coverage and public awareness of LGBTQ issues such as bullying and harassment.

Around this time, writer Dan Savage began a campaign called “It Gets Better,” which inspired thousands to post videos online sharing their stories and encouraging viewers’ wills to survive.

Joe Salvatore, a Steinhardt professor and then-Faculty in Residence at Third North, was deeply affected by the story of Tyler Clemente and followed the aftermath closely. He saw the benefits in a movement like “It Gets Better” but also saw potential for further steps—for action rather than just words. Thus began the NYU Office of Residential Life and Housing’s initiative, Project Pay Attention.

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