Seen & Heard: Make a Little Good Happen

••• I don’t consider anniversaries to be strong news pegs, so I didn’t include any of the one-year-ago-today articles about the terrorist attack on the bike path in the In the News roundup. But I do believe in taking a moment of remembrance for the victims, and even better, consider donating to the Darren Drake Foundation. “The mission of the Darren Drake Foundation is to support the learning and development of individuals pursuing vocational careers. We will pursue this mission by providing financial assistance in the form of monetary scholarship awards, to be used by the honorees towards the tuition of a vocational school program.” Make a little good happen. Wouldn’t you want others to do the same in your honor?

••• Laughing Man staff is paying homage to co-owner Hugh Jackman today. Personally, I would’ve gone with Peter Allen; never miss an opportunity to wear gold lamé. Thanks to Josh Wolfe for the photo.

••• While I often question decisions made by the Department of Transportation, adding a traffic island at the Broadway/Park Row/Ann intersection was smart.

••• Another Starbucks has opened at the Westfield World Trade Center mall. According to a sign in the Oculus, it’s on the “main level,” which apparently is another way of saying the very bottom floor, on the passageway to 4WTC.

••• Next door is a new toy store called Toytoise: “European & American design toys & gifts in wood and plastic—race cars, roadsters, motorbikes, ships, rockets, satellites, planes, rideons, dollhouses.” Note how the mall has added little signs popping out of every storefront in an effort to catch commuters’ attention.

••• And upstairs, by the Nobletree café and little food shops, there’s finally somewhere to sit and eat (although they’re not the prettiest benches that ever were, and the mall’s big screens always make me think of Apple’s 1984 commercial—although history has brought more than a bit of irony to that ad, considering how enslaved we’ve become to our Apple screens).

••• Opening tomorrow at Cheryl Hazan: Paintings by Jason Craighead, including “Healing,” below.



  1. The new Starbucks by 4 WTC is definitely superior to the one below 2 WTC by the E train entrance. There’s actually room to sit in the newer one. I don;t understand the placement of the new benches. They couldn’t arrange them in a more appealing way? I like the new signs poking out of the store fronts. The saga of the new WTC mall continues…

  2. Are you still bearish on the red bus lane on lower Broadway? I bike-commute that route every day and it seems to me that buses are making better time.

    • My main issue with it was the color. Although I do wonder whether something that’s good for buses might negatively impact everyone else trying to get south. If anyone double-parks on Broadway, which of course they do, all non-bus traffic is relegated to a single lane. And that’s when the honking starts, along with the incessant whistling by the traffic cop stationed at Chambers every evening.

      • I like the spice of the color … chacun a son gout.

        Bus lane theory as you know is that a threshold number of travelers will opt for buses over cars/cabs/Ubers if they can go a few mph faster, thus freeing up sufficient space. Plus, faster buses may bunch less and be less unwieldy in general. Proof will be in before/after speed data, plus crash numbers. I trust you’ll bird-dog NYCDOT?

        • Buses seem to bunch because of drivers and lax supervision and traffic enforcement more than the volume effects of traffic.

          It is hard to see how unwieldy (esp articulated) buses in Manhattan will ever go faster than a reasonably healthy adult can walk.

          • Funny, I have no problem picturing buses averaging 12-15 mph in Manhattan — with all-door boarding, replacement of “dip” payment with faster “tap” media, congestion pricing, curbside parking reform, and finis to placard corruption. Some progressive electeds and dozens of civic org’s are working for these measures. We’re actually making progress, you should join us.

          • Certain items you mention are certainly within the purview of the MTA, e.g., “all-door boarding, replacement of “dip” payment with faster ‘tap’ media.”

            Others types of items require official and unofficial cooperation from NYPD and DOT, e.g., lane enforcement and traffic signal priority (TSP) technology, as well as “curbside parking reform, and finis to placard corruption.”

            Then one really needs legislative approval from Albany for traffic lane enforcement cameras on the front of all buses when parking reform and placard enforcement are sabotaged, and not just State approval for “congestion pricing.”

            The word “daunting” best describes the challenge. All of these are items that require more than money; they require political will from the elected cowards from all parties in our City and State governments.

  3. Love the crew at Laughing Man, but after seeing this [Page Six item] I will be forced to boycott the store and anything else Hugh Jackman is involved with. Inexcusable.

    • I’m all for ostracizing people in this regime (and if Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are moderating influences, they’re either remarkably ineffectual or the situation is even worse than it seems). But do bear in mind that Laughing Man is a non-profit organization aimed at helping coffee farmers in developing nations.

  4. I hear you Erik, and I feel for the plight of coffee farmers in developing nations, but at the moment our own nation is on the brink of developing into something very dangerous and ugly and no matter how you cut it – Mr. Jackman is supporting a racist regime by being friends with two of its members.

    I find it ironic that Mr. Jackman is friends with two people who are active members of an administration intent on banning people from coming to the United States (even those seeking asylum) who come from some of the very countries he is purportedly trying to help.

    He is free to choose with whom he wants to surround himself and I am free to choose where I spend my money. I’ll stick with boycotting Laughing Man and giving my money to Jack’s Stir Brew which serves fair trade coffee.

    I urge others to do the same.