Sesame Street’s 46th season premiered on HBO today, with back-to-back half-hour episodes (the shortened run time, down from hourlong shows, is “is viewed as a more manageable amount of time for children to focus,” according to a recent New York Times piece). With the new episodes’ controversial move from PBS to a premium cable network comes ground-level changes, some of which are reflected in the clips above from the first two episodes—Elmo’s in his brownstone (which overlooks a bridge that resembles Philadelphia’s Walt Whitman), Oscar’s got his recycling bin, and Hooper’s Store now looks a place where you can buy a bunch of kale, Stumptown Coffee, and a stick of butter. Muppets, after all, have always been artisanal, through and through.
The founder of a charity group that was displaced from its Venice Beach office by Snapchat’s expansion says that “a Snapchat executive told her he had noticed one of her homeless clients sweeping the street with an old broom, so he offered to buy the organization a new one.” Kindness—it’s affordable :)
Weeks ago, reeling from a night of booze and bad decisions, I ventured to a local Bayou-themed restaurant in search of comfort food. I wanted to absorb the last of the alcohol that remained from just hours before, fully determined to get rid of my hangover. When you live alone, this is not an uncommon practice. I often eat out by myself—it’s hard to wait on friends to make brunch plans when all you want to do is devour a plate of syrup-coated waffles—so it wasn’t strange when the bartender and the gray-haired gentleman to my right decided to include me in their conversation. “What do you think?” he said. They had been discussing rising property values in the neighborhood, and the ills of gentrification. The bartender mentioned how a small patch of dirt between two brownstones, just blocks from the restaurant and my apartment, was going for $2 million. “There was also that old gas station in Crown Heights that sold for 30 million recently,” she said. “How is anybody expected to live here now? It’s just too much.”
If nothing else, Insane Clown Posse fans are known for being pretty reasonable, willing to cut off their own nipples for $100 or burn off your tattoo for free. So it's no surprise that a group calling itself "The Juggalo Family" gave targeted North Portland businesses some options when they plastered them with flyers last week, writing, "Vacate or [REDACTED] our [REDACTED]."
There are two narratives about Camden, New Jersey that media outlets like to rely on. One is of a city so dangerous and poor that its salvation is near-hopeless. That narrative can be seen in Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone article “Apocalypse, New Jersey,” in The Nation’s “City of Ruins” and in NBC’s “America’s ‘Invincible’ City Brought to Its Knees.”
On Sunday, New York Times film critic A.O. Scott wrote a column on Brooklyn and its on-screen portrayal in recent years, from Girls to Saturday Night Fever. With a title like "Whose Brooklyn Is It, Anyway?" it was bound to irk at least a few people, but Scott made sure to piss off the one Brooklynite you don't want to piss off: Spike Lee.