Jeff Mangum, members of Sonic Youth, Fugazi, TV on the Radio play OWS Benefit at Le Poisson Rouge

On Nov. 15, Neutral Milk Hotel’s Jeff Mangum will join Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo, Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and others for a “variety show and telethon” to benefit an OWS aligned group devoted to spreading the word about predatory debt practices, student loans, and eliminating debt.

Organizers are calling it “The People’s Bailout.”

Mangum showed his love for Occupy Wall Street last year with a surprise performance at Zuccotti Park, but this event at Le Poisson Rouge hopes to raise $50,000 for Strike Debt, which according to their website believe “debt is a global system of domination and exploitation of the 99% by the 1%.”

Join Strike Debt for an updated version of an old classic, the telethon, to launch The Rolling Jubilee, a campaign that buys debt for pennies on the dollar and does away with it. Instead of collecting the debt, we will abolish it and help free the debtors!”

Other guests include Janeane Garofalo ,  Lizz Winstead , Max Silvestri , Hari Kondabolu , David Rees , The Yes Men , John Cameron Mitchell , Climbing PoeTree , the Invisible Army of Defaulters , members of Healthcare for the 99% , Occupy Faith and many more

In case you can’t make it all the way into Manhattan for the show, the event will be streamed live, but tickets go on sale Friday, November 2, starting at $25 – enough to abolish an estimated $500 worth of debt

Editorial note: While personal debt plagues many Americans, and does in fact restrict social movement and personal liberty, prominent economists argue that greater government spending, thus national debt, is needed to get the nation out of the unemployment slump.

Want to party on a ROOFTOP this WEDNESDAY night?

Free fun this Wednesday … but the catch is you’re gonna have to get your keester on the JMZ and ride it ALL THE WAY INTO MANHATTAN!


Check Out This Century-Old Plan To Fill The East River

google books

On Friday, Gizmodo posted about some of the craziest urban plans ever proposed for New York City. One of the most fascinating and bizarre is Dr. Kennard Thomson’s 1916 proposal to fill the East River and create a new waterway between Brooklyn and Queens. The project would have united Manhattan and Brooklyn to create more space for housing and business.

Despite how crazy the proposal seems now, Thomson was a well respected and experienced urban designer. He called the proposal “A Really Greater New York” and published it in Popular Science, writing that it would “prepare New York for a population of twenty million.” The project would add fifty square miles of land and one hundred miles of waterfront and cost $50-100 million (about $1-10 billion now) for each year of construction. “As a result of the construction,” Thomson wrote, “it would not be much harder to get to Brooklyn than to cross Broadway.”

It seems that nothing was ever made of the project, but it wasn’t long before someone else proposed something similar. In 1924 the city’s traffic commissioner proposed a plan to drain the East River and convert the land into a highway in order to alleviate traffic problems.

google books

These projects seem insanely ambitious now, but the website BigThink writes that “land reclamation” was in vogue at the time, coinciding with the growing popularity of the zeppelin and exploration by air. Around the same time, there were proposals in Europe to connect England with the mainland and to dam the Mediterranean.

It’s clear today that at least someone thought Thomson’s plan was a bad idea. Had the city gone through with the project, Brooklyn no doubt would have taken on Manhattan’s aesthetics and costliness and most of us would probably be living on Long Island.

Check out the full proposal here, thanks to the magic of Google Books.

NYC’s Shared Bikes Won’t Reach All Of Greenpoint

This summer, New York City is rolling out a shared bicycle program, joining the ranks of cities like Washington D.C. and Paris. There will be ten thousand bikes for rent at six hundred hubs throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn. A draft of the station locations, however, shows that Greenpoint is notably lacking.

According to local news site DNAinfo, a Department of Transportation draft has no stations east of McGuiness Boulevard. This is odd considering the neighborhood is known for its lack of Manhattan-bound stations and bikes could be an effective way to get people across the Williamsburg bridge, or at least to the L train in Williamsburg. (The neighborhood’s only two stations, the Greenpoint Ave. and Nassau Ave. G trains only go to Queens and south Brooklyn.)

The only map draft I found is from October, which indeed shows the proposed boundary at McGuiness.