downtownexpress.com
Volume 20 Issue 3 | June 1 -7, 2007

Under Cover

NY love turns 30
“I Love New York” is all grown up. The iconic tourism slogan, along with its “I (heart) NY” logo, was conceived 30 years ago this June. In honor of the anniversary, Gov. Spitzer announced that the state is hiring new marketing agents to promote the brand and giving the campaign a significant budget boost. We bet that the T-shirt merchants on Canal St. and down at the South Street Seaport will (heart) the increased promotion of the already popular logo.


G.I. ride
Speaking of increased tourism, the promoters at Governors Island are hoping to bring in more visitors from the other side of the harbor. Starting June 2, New York Water Taxi, owned and run by Doug Durst and Tom Fox, will offer service to the former military base from Red Hook and DUMBO in Brooklyn. To reward early bird park visitors, the ferry is offering a free ride to anyone who hops aboard the 10 a.m. boat on June 2.


Easy grader
Parents struggling for an answer to the “do I really need to know math” question will probably be disturbed by last week’s Hudson River Park Trust meeting. The Trust may be desperate for money to finish the Tribeca and other sections of the park but the authority’s board didn’t make Prima Paving Corp. pay for the firm’s $400,000 miscalculation in its estimate for work in Chelsea.

Connie Fishman, the Trust’s president, told board members that the winning bid was based on Prima’s math mistakes in the estimate it submitted to the Trust. Since the new $1.6 million estimate was still $200,000 less than the closest competitor, the Trust board voted to pay for Prima’s error.

One board member, Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff, a former investment banker, was a little skeptical though. Fishman assured him that Prima came highly recommended by other city agencies. “Despite their ability to add or subtract, their work is very good,” Doctoroff asked. Yes, Fishman replied.

Kids, don’t try that at home.


Drive on
Continuing his PlaNYC plans to make the city greener, cleaner and freer of cars, Mayor Bloomberg last Thursday announced several proposals to prevent drivers from blocking intersections around the city.

Bloomberg said that the city will add 117 traffic agents to the streets so that more difficult intersections — such as those near bridges, tunnels and construction sites — can be patrolled more often. To make the agents’ jobs easier, state legislators are working to change the law to make “blocking the box” a non-moving violation. This would allow agents to write and mail tickets to drivers rather than having to pull them over on the spot. Another state-level proposal would allow red-light cameras to issue automatic tickets to cars that block intersections.

If a recent driving study by the G.M.A.C. insurance company is any indication, however, New York drivers may be slow in learning not to block intersections and crosswalks. The study, which administered written driving tests to adult drivers, found that New York State motorists knew significantly less about road laws and safe driving than the rest of the nation.

The average New Yorker scored a 71 percent on the test, compared to the 77 percent nationwide average. A full 36 percent of New Yorkers failed the exam, also the worst percentage in the country. New Jersey drivers finished a close second-to-worst. Mass transit, anyone?


Knit tix texting
Still buying concert tickets online? That’s so 2006 (let’s not even talk about you dinosaurs who still purchase at the door).

A new system being used by Tribeca’s Knitting Factory music club, as well as a few other youth-oriented businesses, allows users to purchase tickets and merchandise instantly via text message.

Potential texters need only log on to www.shoptext.com once to enter a credit card number. To make a purchase, they can text special keywords from anywhere to shoptext’s six-digit number. No card to swipe, no Web form to fill out, no salesperson to talk to.





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