Back in 2021, I wrote about walking around Manhattan with a friend to see cow statues. One of the cow statues was in Bloomingdale’s. In the post I explained that I had previously not known anything about Bloomingdale’s other than the name. In a recent Washington Times report, I learned not only that Bloomingdale’s is owned by Macy’s (I went to Macy’s many times when I was younger), but also that Macy’s owns something called Bluemercury. What is Bluemercury? Beats me.

Pro-Hamas protesters spent January 15, 2024 loudly protesting outside of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, yelling that the cancer hospital is complicit in the so-called “genocide” in Gaza, or even “supporting” it. Far be it from me to offer any sort of advice to supporters of a foreign terrorist organization, but in light of the fact that Hamas uses hospietals as command centers and many of the so-called or actual doctors are Hamas members or at least complicit in Hamas’s activities, you have to wonder whether choosing this line of argument is part of the kink for Team Hamas, much like their fellow travelers in Beijing and Moscow make similar claims about the war.

NYC Manhole Covers: History and How They’re Made by Michelle Young (Untapped Cities)

Before we close out, have you figured out yet why are manhole covers round? My contact at the DEP says, “The principal reason that manhole covers are round is so they won’t fall into the manhole.” If a manhole is square, rectangular or even oval, it can fall into the manhole if you insert it at an angle or vertically. Yikes!

I never thought about why manhole covers were round before reading this detailed history of manhole covers in New York City. That they are round “so they won’t fall into the manhole … if you insert [them] at an angle or vertically” makes sense. Maybe I never thought about it because I have never been tasked with installing a manhole cover.

The Gothamist published an article on the push to ban street vendors from the magisterial Brooklyn Bridge. I am 100% in support of banning street vendors from the Bridge, but I will focus on another point in the report. See the following quote:

But vendors said there are not many legal spots where they can move to. Street vending has become more common as asylum seekers try to make ends meet without work permits.

Setting aside the reporter’s insistence on using asylum seeker as a blanket term for aliens who may or may not have actually applied for asylum, much less have a colorable asylum case, I submit for the record that hawking wares on the street is not a legal solution to not having employment authorization. An alien who is not authorized to engage in employment is not authorized to engage in self-employment (many aliens who are explicitly here on work visas are not eligible to engage in self-employment, see e.g., H-1B specialty occupation workers and O-1 aliens of extraordinary ability). The article quotes a street vendor advocate in the very next paragraph as describing street vendors as small businesses. An alien who lacks employment authorization cannot legally work as a street vendor regardless of his or her desire to make ends meet.