The Great Debate

Is saying hello sexual harassment?

By Tatyana Fazlalizadeh
November 10, 2014

Morning commuters walk the city sidewalks of New York

A video documenting a woman’s experience walking through the streets of New York City for a day went viral. The reason? In the space of 10 hours, she was harassed more than 100 times.

Life in New York in the time of Ebola

By Jason Fields
October 24, 2014

Commuters depart an L train during the morning commute a day after an announcement that the subway system had been used by a doctor now testing positive for Ebola in New York

New York is a disgusting place. There are strange, unpleasant smells that greet you every morning as you leave your apartment and walk to the subway on your way to work. Often, you can’t even identify the lingering foulness.

Keeping a city-by-the-sea from becoming a city in it

By James Sanders and Jesse M. Keenan
July 21, 2014

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Virtually every big rainstorm in New York now seems to be accompanied by a flash-flood alert sent to cellphones. And scientists recently reported that a vast section of Antarctica’s ice sheet, now melting, might bring on as much as a 10-foot rise in the world’s sea levels in the coming decades.

How to build on the Bloomberg legacy

By Ester R. Fuchs
October 30, 2013

New York City is engaged in a highly contentious general election campaign for mayor. One of the fascinating turns in this race is how both candidates have chosen to distance themselves from the city’s current mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Bill de Blasio, the Democratic party candidate, has articulated a progressive agenda that might sound to some New Yorkers like 1960s liberalism. Echoing John Lindsay’s aspirational New York, de Blasio argues that the city must refocus public policy in support of the American Dream. Government continues to be important in de Blasio’s New York, but it must change its focus from supporting the wealthy to doing more for its poor and middle-class population.

A year after Sandy, food and fuel supplies are as vulnerable as ever

By Siddhartha Mahanta
October 28, 2013

A year ago, Hurricane Sandy revealed harrowing realities about the basic systems New Yorkers rely on every day. We now know, for example, what happens when fuel supply lines get cut and electricity goes down: mob battles at gas stations and, more terrifying, empty shelves at food stores. Worse, such breakdowns tend to cascade. No power means whatever food is left will rot. No gasoline means delivery trucks can’t restock stores.

Sandy +1: Preparing for the storms ahead

By Bas Jonkman and Mathijs Van Ledden
October 28, 2013

One year ago Tuesday, Hurricane Sandy, perhaps the largest Atlantic storm ever, began its path of destruction in New York City. It ultimately killed almost 300 people across seven countries. In the United States alone, the fierce storm left an estimated $70 billion in damage in its wake, the second-costliest storm in U.S. history.

Bill de Blasio, the Not-Bloomberg

By Joyce Purnick
September 11, 2013

Bill de Blasio, whose strong support in New York City’s Democratic primary for mayor may have averted any runoff, had a secret weapon — and I speak not of his delightful Afro’d son, Dante, but of the very man he wants to succeed, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

New York’s election suggests the waning of identity politics

September 11, 2013

To most Americans, the results of New York City’s local elections don’t matter much and often shouldn’t. Yes, there are City Hall occupants who manage to command a national stage, notably incumbent Mike Bloomberg, but in the 2013 race there have been no candidates even approaching his stature (or his wealth). The candidate who received the most votes in Tuesday’s primary, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, is unknown outside New York City and until recently not well known inside it.

Rebuilding post-Sandy: Whole greater than parts

By John A. Thomas and Ali Mostashari
January 4, 2013

President Barack Obama asked Congress for more than $60 billion to help repair and rebuild infrastructure damaged by Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast. The House of Representatives finally voted Friday on a small down payment, roughly 10 percent.

The retail price of America’s income inequality

By Caitlin Kelly
January 20, 2012

Retail is considered one of the bright spots in the American economy, one of only six job categories projected to grow nationally through 2018. But a survey released this week makes clear that many of these are jobs in name only, offering poverty-level wages, highly restricted access to benefits, part-time work when full-time is desired, and a workforce so cowed that it routinely accepts working conditions that make work-life balance, or the chance to upgrade skills and move into better-paid work elsewhere, all but impossible.