Valentines for NYC.

Whether you buy into Valentine$ Day or not, sometimes something happens to come along on this date that unexpectedly hits you right in the feelz. It happened to me today, reading love letters to New York from New Yorkers in the New York Daily News. Some are from celebrities; some from everyday people. Below, you can read one in rhythm and rhyme from Darryl McDaniels, aka D.M.C. of Run-D.M.C., one from J.W. Cortés, an “actor, philanthropist, [and] MTA police officer” I never heard of, and one from me.

As many of you can likely attest, you don’t have to live here to love New York City.

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NYC Happy Noise! UPDATED.

Almost live! NYC’s (West Village) celebrates Biden/Harris win. Three things:

-It’s even more exuberant than the frontline workers/first responders cheers we used to do every day at 7pm the beginning of the COVID lockdown.

-This is Donald Trump’s hometown. Hahaha.

-I shot this video (well, it’s not much to see, it’s all about the sound) maybe 20-30 minutes ago, then imported and uploaded it to youtube and did all the admin stuff, and wrote this post – and this is still going on. If anything, even louder and more boisterous.

UPDATE:

My partner just came home from an errand bearing gifts:

© flyboy 2020
All rights reserved.

© flyboy 2020
All rights reserved.

The happy racket is still going. Now it’s like the crowd at a stadium doing the wave down the West side: very distant thunder (midtown?), rolling closer (Chelsea/Meatpacking) then West Village. Don’t know if it keeps going to Battery Park City, but I’d like to think so.

Hey New Jersey, CAN YOU HEAR US?

 

Happy Election Armageddon Day! + UPDATE, + MOAR UPDATEZ.

I hope you’re hunkered down and staying safe, today and in the days to come.

Here at Death to Squirrels Central™, it’s as if a massive blizzard or Cat 5 hurricane had been predicted: we were already sort of well-stocked with staples and essentials due to COVID, but we’re now very well-stocked. We’re also charging all devices, checking flashlights/putting out candles and just generally being extra-EXTRA-paranoid. We have no fucking idea what today may bring – and neither does anyone else.

I have heard a few sharp and contentious-sounding conversations outside my window on Hudson Street this morning, which would not be unusual generally, but is highly unusual on a morning weekday. Then again, the water in my building is shut off to fix a drain pipe or something, so it could just be a couple of my pissed-off neighbors yelling at the super and the plumber. That would be totally normal.

Fuck. I just heard more yelling. What was I saying about extra-EXTRA-paranoid? Yeah. I think it might be klonopin o’clock.

I will NOT be hoping or praying for you (because hope is not a plan and nothing fails like prayer). But for whatever it’s worth I will be thinking and worrying about you, good people of the lefty persuasion (godless or not).

Remember, Iris loves you! Unless of course she doesn’t!

__________

UPDATE 1:

This just in:

New York Daily News "Breaking News" header, including black and red "Daily News" logo and "NYDAILYNEWS.COM"NYC Election Day: Long lines, lots of voters, plenty of angst across the five boroughs

Lines outside some city polling locations already came with a long wait within three hours of the 6 a.m. start opening, with the sites open until 9 p.m.

Read the Latest

Where’s that klonopin?

__________

UPDATE 2:

I clicked the link to Read the Latest:

Voters wore masks and observed social distancing in the year of pandemic and a presidential race pitting President Trump against ex-Vice President Joe Biden.

Voters who wear masks and observe social distancing are almost certainly not Trump voters. So, you know, that’s good.

Also: klonopin achieved.

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Conservatives Eat Their Own, Hilarity Ensues.

Oh noez! Jared and Ivanka are not happy.

Seems some gaggle of wealthy, well-connected #NeverTrumpers started a PAC last year called The Lincoln Project. These self-styled “ex-Republicans” just put up two billboards in Times Square:

Photo of 2 billboards in Times Square. 1) Ivanka happily and gesturing toward statistics: "33,366+ NEW YORKERS. 221,247+ AMERICANS." 2) Jared smiling smugly next to quote: "[NEW YORKERS]" ARE GOING TO SUFFER AND THAT'S THEIR PROBLEM." (photo: Twitter via New York Daily News)

In case it’s hard to make out in the image, on one billboard Ivanka is smiling blithely while gesturing toward bold block print:

33,366+
NEW YORKERS.

221,247+
AMERICANS.

On the other billboard, Jared smiles smugly next to a quote:

“[NEW YORKERS] ARE GOING TO

SUFFER

AND THAT’S THEIR PROBLEM.”

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NYPD Beat, Arrest Peaceful Protesters in Planned Assault.

[CONTENT NOTE: police violence against peaceful protesters, lying police liars who lie.]

A new report from Human Rights Watch documents the NYPD’s brutal assaults against peaceful George Floyd protesters at a June 4 rally in the Bronx (via New York Daily News):

NYPD trapped over 300 George Floyd protesters in the Bronx and waited until after curfew to ‘assault and arrest’ them: report

The NYPD trapped over 300 protesters in the Bronx marching for George Floyd and waited until the 8 p.m. citywide curfew to arrest them for breaking the law, a human rights group wrote in a scathing report released Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch said Bronx cops surrounded protesters on June 4 in a tactic known as kettling, refused to let them disperse, then began “whaling their batons, beating people from car tops, shoving them down to the ground and firing pepper spray in their faces” as soon as the curfew hit.

The 8 p.m. shutdown was imposed a few days earlier to stem widespread looting amid marches against the death of George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody.

“As protesters cried out — some with blood dripping down their faces — the police began to arrest them. They forced people to sit on the street with their hands zip-tied behind their backs, at times so tight that their hands went numb,” said Human Rights Watch in their report.

[Human Rights Watch] said they questioned 81 protesters and reviewed 81 videos and police scanner calls for the report. They also released a 12-minute video filled with diagrams of the Mott Haven clash, interviews with witnesses and protesters, and cellphone videos taken at the scene.

Here is video from Human Rights Watch detailing the sequence of events on June 4.

CONTENT NOTE (from the filmmakers):

“This video contains violent and disturbing images and profanity. Viewer discretion is advised.”

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Labor Day in the USA.

My state’s governor Andrew Cuomo emails me every (non-holiday) weekday with a COVID-19 update. In Friday’s missive he mentioned that Labor Day, celebrated today in the United States, was first celebrated in New York City.

As is the governor’s practice, he included an “image of the day.” Here it is:

The bottom caption reads: NEW YORK CITY—GRAND DEMONSTRATION OF WORKINGMEN, SEPTEMBER 5th—THE PROCESSION PASSING THE VIEWING-STAND AT UNION SQUARE—From a Sketch by a Staff Artist—See Page 55 The side caption reads: September 16, 1882] FRANK LESLIE'S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER.In case it’s hard to discern in this format, the bottom caption reads:

NEW YORK CITY—GRAND DEMONSTRATION OF WORKINGMEN, SEPTEMBER 5th—THE PROCESSION PASSING THE VIEWING-STAND AT UNION SQUARE—From a Sketch by a Staff Artist—See Page 55

The left side caption reads:

September 16, 1882]  FRANK LESLIE’S ILLUSTRATED NEWSPAPER.

Something that really resonates with me about this image is my own presence at Union Square countless times, including for  protests and political gatherings. (And the truly amazing greenmarket. And chemo and radiation and too many doctors appointments to keep track. And monitoring the Sciuridae menace.)

Long ago, there was a pavilion built specifically for protesting at Union Square; once upon a time, the city was actually required to construct spaces for public meetings and protest. (More Union Square history and some great historical pics at this link, including the immediate aftermath of an anarchist’s failed mass bombing of a socialists meeting in 1908, and a barbers strike in 1913.)

It’s both exhilarating and humbling to know I’ve walked the same paths – and for many of the same reasons – as so many before me.

Of course, it’s also very, very disheartening. Which brings me to the second thing that really strikes me about that image: the messaging on the signs.

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Petition to Manhattan DA: drop charges against Derrick Ingram, and hold NYPD accountable!

This is Derrick Ingram.

photo of Derrick IngramDerrick Ingram
Black Lives Matter Protester and Organizer
Co-Founder,Warriors in the Garden
(photo via Amnesty International USA)

On August 7, dozens of NYPD officers in riot gear swarmed his apartment’s hallways, his fire escape and surrounding locations. They had no warrant. They did have a helicopter hovering overhead, though. They also brought police dogs right to his door and threatened to break it down. They lied to him about his rights and tried to interrogate him without legal counsel.

This siege lasted FIVE HOURS. It ended only after Derrick started livestreaming the incident: in response, a large group of protesters showed up, along with some media types who started asking questions. That is when the NYPD Stormtrooper Squadron™ finally took their toys U.S. military surplus equipment and went home.

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AG Barr: Crip Dyke is a “violent rioter and anarchist” hijacking the Portland protests!

[CONTENT NOTE: police violence, white supremacist tropes and victim-blaming (“black-on-black crime”), lethal levels of sarcasm and snark.]

OMG YOU GUYS! The Attorney General of the United States stated in sworn testimony before the House Judiciary Committee that my friend and FtB colleague Crip Dyke is a “violent rioter and anarchist” hijacking the Portland Black Lives Matter protests! I HAD NO IDEA.

I mean it’s not like anyone connected to the Trump administration would ever lie to Congress or government officials, so obviously AG Barr is telling us the truth! Q.E.D.

Clearly Barr and his merry band of like-minded stable geniuses know how to decrypt and decode the sooper seekrit violent anarchist messages in Crip Dyke’s posts propaganda, including the most recent entry (as of this writing). Therein, Crip Dyke merely pretends to be an incredibly thoughtful, compassionate (white) ally who has gone to Portland to stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters, to use her platform and privilege to amplify their voices, and to help counter false and misleading media narratives (and U.S. Attorney General statements) about the protests – and at considerable personal risk. FFS Crip Dyke is disabled and on crutches.

ATTORNEY GENERAL BARR IS ON TO YOU CRIP DYKE!

Now let’s see what other Truth Bombs™ AG Barr dropped on us!

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