July 8, 2015 archive

This will work.

Betting on the New York Ferris Wheel to Elevate Staten Island’s Fortunes

By PATRICK McGEEHAN, The New York Times

JULY 8, 2015

With so many moving parts, the wheel’s planners still face many hurdles. But Rich Marin, president and chief executive of the New York Wheel, said financing is not one of them.

His company is close to raising the full $500 million it will need to build the wheel along with a terminal building and parking garage, he said. Nearly one-third of that sum, $150 million, has been collected from 300 Chinese families that invested with the hope of receiving visas that would allow them to live in the United States.

Mr. Marin, who worked on Wall Street for years, said that the wheel “might not have been built” without the Chinese investors, and that their enthusiasm was a “very strong indicator” of the project’s viability. He added that a Chinese tour operator predicted that the wheel would be so popular with tourists from China that it would be wise to include a 600-seat food hall in the terminal.

The developers still hope to raise some of the financing for the $350 million project from foreign investors seeking visas through the EB-5 program, Mr. Capoccia said, but he declined to say how much.

In Mr. Marin’s offices in Manhattan, some bound copies of renderings of the wheel are titled “The Bloomberg Wheel.” Travis Noyes, the chief marketing officer for the wheel, said the books were intended as a tribute to former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for championing the project. But Mr. Noyes admitted that he had entertained the idea of signing up Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire, or his company as a sponsor.


The NYSE shutdown prompts irrepressible, apocalyptic glee: “In Zuccotti Park, Goldman Sachs boys build a squatters city out of Hermes gift boxes”

by Scott Timberg, Salon

Wednesday, Jul 8, 2015 02:59 PM EST

“I’m here in FiDi reporting from the front lines of the financial meltdown, wearing a flak jacket woven from golden parachutes #NYSEdown”

In another, “In Zuccotti Park, Goldman Sachs boys build a squatters city out of Hermes gift boxes, communicate in wiggling fingers #NYSE”

What does this all tell us? Well, partly it’s that many Americans hate the stock market and the corporate airlines. The former helped crash the economy a few years back and has for decades siphoned money from the nation at large and sent it to the very richest in a sick reversal of trickle-down economics. The people who work there make enormous sums even while the middle-class works harder and harder and sees its wages stagnate.

The latter has gone from being a bit stodgy but reliable to a hectic and unpleasant way to travel – all the delays and cancellations and the charging for things that used to be free, like baggage, bad food, leg room, and easy check-in. Air travel is now only bearable if you are rich enough to pay for first-class or various kinds of “platinum” treatment – in this way they resemble American life in general.

In other words, both Wall Street and airlines deserve our wrath and mockery. As  the hacker in the sky surveys its next targets, maybe the NSA, Fox News and medical insurance companies will come next.


The Breakfast Club (Lovely Work of Art)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover  we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

Commodore Matthew Perry arrives in Tokyo Bay; Industrialist John D. Rockefeller born; Word of what becomes known as ‘The Roswell Incident’; North Korea’s Kim Il Sung dies; Ziegfeld stages first ‘Follies.’

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

Pablo Picasso

On This Day In History July 8

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

Click on images to enlarge.

July 8 is the 189th day of the year (190th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 176 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1951, Paris celebrates 2,000th birthday. In fact, a few more candles would’ve technically been required on the birthday cake, as the City of Lights was most likely founded around 250 B.C.


The earliest archaeological signs of permanent settlements in the Paris area date from around 4200 BC. The Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, inhabited the area near the river Seine from around 250 BC. The Romans conquered the Paris basin in 52 BC, with a permanent settlement by the end of the same century on the Left Bank Sainte Geneviève Hill and the Île de la Cité. The Gallo-Roman town was originally called Lutetia, but later Gallicised to Lutèce. It expanded greatly over the following centuries, becoming a prosperous city with a forum, palaces, baths, temples, theatres, and an amphitheatre.

The collapse of the Roman empire and the 5th-century Germanic invasions sent the city into a period of decline. By 400 AD, Lutèce, largely abandoned by its inhabitants, was little more than a garrison town entrenched into a hastily fortified central island. The city reclaimed its original appellation of “Paris” towards the end of the Roman occupation.

The Paris region was under full control of the Germanic Franks by the late 5th century. The Frankish king Clovis the Frank, the first king of the Merovingian dynasty, made the city his capital from 508. The late 8th century Carolingian dynasty displaced the Frankish capital to Aachen; this period coincided with the beginning of Viking invasions that had spread as far as Paris by the early 9th century. Repeated invasions forced Parisians to build a fortress on the Île de la Cité; one of the most remarkable Viking raids was on 28 March 845, when Paris was sacked and held ransom, probably by Ragnar Lodbrok, who left only after receiving a large bounty paid by the crown. The weakness of the late Carolingian kings of France led to the gradual rise in power of the Counts of Paris; Odo, Count of Paris was elected king of France by feudal lords, and the end of the Carolingian empire came in 987, when Hugh Capet, count of Paris, was elected king of France. Paris, under the Capetian kings, became a capital once more.