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Gotham

World War I Preparedness and the Militarization of the NYPD

World War I Preparedness and the Militarization of the NYPD

By Matthew Guariglia

As the rest of the world continues to ruminate on the 100-year anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, New Yorkers also must grapple with the lasting impact the “Great War” had on their city. In the years leading up to, during, and following the United States’ 1917 entrance into the war, “preparedness” became the watchword that signaled New York’s increasing awareness of its connection to the world and the conflicts happening beyond the harbor. From food rationing to drafting soldiers, preparedness and all it involved included a full-scale reorganization of American society, including the New York City Police Department.

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Notes on the LaGuardia Community College Amazon Teach-In

Notes on the LaGuardia Community College Amazon Teach-In

By Molly Rosner

On November 13, 2018, Amazon announced that Long Island City would become the site for its new headquarters “HQ2” along with a site in Crystal City, Virginia. Since then, New Yorkers have greeted this announcement with both applause and outrage. Throughout the year, Amazon has received bids from cities and towns across the country trying to entice the trillion-dollar company to their area. But after the gimmicks and tax incentives have all been weighed, it feels clear that New York was always high on the list of places the company was considering.

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“The Work Is Never Done:” Judson Dance Theater Transforms MoMA

“The Work Is Never Done:” Judson Dance Theater Transforms MoMA

By Joanna Steinberg

In 1968, Village Voice critic Jill Johnston proclaimed that between 1962 and 1964 a “revolution” had occurred at Judson Memorial Church. With its exhibition Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done, MoMA brings visitors into this seminal moment when a collective of choreographers and downtown artists across disciplines came together to create and show new works in non-commercial spaces, works that transformed the definitions of art and how we experience it. MoMA pushes the boundaries and conventions of the museum space as well, beginning the exhibition in the Atrium, where a video installation and a series of live performances take place daily, showing the work of preeminent choreographers from Judson Dance Theater: Yvonne Rainer, Deborah Hay, David Gordon, Lucinda Childs, Steve Paxton, and Tricia Brown. As the subtitle suggests, “the work is never done.” The performances embody the idea that experimentation is ongoing, as is the interpretation by both artists and audiences who come together in the present moment.

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New York City Has the Country’s Most Elaborate Zoning Code. Why Isn’t It Protecting Us From Luxury Overgrowth?

New York City Has the Country’s Most Elaborate Zoning Code. Why Isn’t It Protecting Us From Luxury Overgrowth?

By Samuel Stein

Construction is booming in New York City, and, as the real-time construction map recently released by the New York City Department of Buildings shows, a lot of the new development is wildly out of context with the surrounding neighborhoods. While scale is not sacred, many of these buildings pose quite specific problems for their neighbors, as in the case of a proposed string of towers on Franklin Avenue that would cast looming shadows over the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. A luxury development whose size and shape would make a public garden obsolete is exactly the kind of development that city planners should be working overtime to prevent.

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Ninth Street Women

Ninth Street Women

Reviewed by Marjorie Heins

Mary Gabriel's group biography of five leading women artists in the Abstract Expressionist movement — ​Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler — weighs in at 722 pages (892 if you count endnotes and bibliography), yet leaves the reader (or at least, this reader) hungry for what is left out. Gabriel spends almost as much time recycling well-known stories about the men these five "Ab Ex" stars married, bedded, or hung out with, as it does on the women themselves. In the process, it pays scant attention to dozens of other female artists of the time.

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Cutting Up the City in Crisis: Gordon Matta-Clark and the Urban Commons

Cutting Up the City in Crisis: Gordon Matta-Clark and the Urban Commons

By Jeffrey Patrick Colgan and Jeffrey Escoffier

The traditional narrative of twentieth century urban living has often concerned itself only with the antipodal philosophies and practices of urban planner Robert Moses and critic Jane Jacobs. This binary conception of American urban life contrasted Moses’ radical projects that aimed to remake New York to suit the automobile with Jacobs’ admonishments that quality of life required small, organic neighborhoods of diverse inhabitants and independent businesses. These philosophies, however, were both time and space-specific. Moses’ vision of the ideal city was prompted by the ascent of the automobile and the crumbling infrastructure of immigrant, tenement neighborhoods; he acknowledged a fundamental change in the modes of production and consumption and sought to drastically reorient urban life accordingly. Jacobs’ ideal, alternatively, reacted against the raze and rebuild, top-down approach of Moses. Yet she depended upon historical continuity and assumed an element of permanence in the neighborhoods she studied and strove to protect.

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Cut-Throat: The Murder of William Lurye

Cut-Throat: The Murder of William Lurye

By Andy Battle

On an average day at midcentury, New York City’s Garment District was a chaotic welter of sewing, schlepping, and schmoozing. But on May 12, 1949, the streets went silent for William Lurye, an organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU), the 400,000-strong body representing workers in the women’s clothing trade. Three days earlier, Lurye had been shoved into in a telephone booth in the lobby of a building on West Thirty-Fifth Street that housed dozens of loft-style garment factories. There, two assailants had stabbed the thirty-seven year-old father of four in the neck with an icepick.

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