Archive for 02/29/2016

Successful Women in Manhattan

women-execThroughout its century plus of existence, only three women have been appointed to Manhattan’s Board of Trustees. Now, after 130 years in total, 38-year old Erin McDonough puts that figure up to four. She was appointed by Mayor Jamie Doyle and will be replacing Mike Adriensen. It is thought that having a women’s perspective on the board will be positive.

As well as being a woman, Doyle said that she actually represents a demographic that has not been covered until now – that of younger people with families.

Women are definitely becoming increasingly significant in the workforce in Manhattan and throughout New York. Indeed, 79 honorees were just named by The New York Business Journal in its 2016 class of Women of Influence. It forms part of an attempt by American City Business Journals to celebrate these people who build business environments that will ultimately lead to even more successful women in the workplace for the future. Those recognized earned the honor for being innovative, successful and people who ‘pay it forward.’ They included startup investors, chief revenue officers, CEOs, founders and more.

A complete list can be found here.

Times Square Bike Lane

bike-laneAt the Seventh Avenue bike lane at Times Square, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has now built a part that is raised. Now the department is also constructing permanent pedestrian plazas and other enhancements to the street on Times Square. Right now though, the only part of the lane that is raised is between 45th and 46th Street. This acts as a detour for cyclists who want to use Broadway bike lane. It enables them to bypass pedestrian plazas.

According to the Department of Transport, this is just the beginning. The aim is ultimately to direct the cyclists to the eastern side of 7th. Between 46th and 47th Street, only sharrows (shared lane markings). Then, there will be a lane extension from 42nd to 46th Street. However, it seems that in NYC raised bike lanes are quite an anomaly, other than the block between Navy and Gold, by the Manhattan Bridge.

In general, cycling in New York has developed a reputation for being a somewhat dangerous activity. Nevertheless due to the difficulty and congestion of other modes of transport, it continues to be used as a popular way to get around, especially by delivery workers. Because they are known to be somewhat speedy movers, there have been many laws enacted to try to maintain driver safety over the years. For instance, in 2007 helmets became mandatory and five years thereafter it became law for “delivery cyclists to take a safety course and wear vests identifying themselves and their employers.”

Still, this issue is more related to motorbike street drivers rather than non-motor cyclists. Nonetheless, the introduction of split-phase signals – deemed by CB4 as being safer – brings with it a “doubling” of the improvement on streets that mostly received mixing zones.”

The evidence backs up CB 4’s assertion that split-phase signals are safer. Data from previous protected bike lane projects in Manhattan show that the reduction in injuries on streets that mostly received split-phase treatments was more than double the improvement on streets that mostly received mixing zones. (“C-B4 provides powerful and precise predictive analytics solutions in the simplest and most straightforward manner, going from data to predictions, recommendations and insights that can be understood and ACTED UPON by decision makers.”)

Russia Comes to Flatiron

martial-artWell, Russian martial arts anyway. Located at 5th and 6th avenue the Polygon Elite is home to Russian Systema Martial Art, guiding “the most efficient, realistic, competent and comprehensive solution to elite hand-to-hand, close quarters combat instruction, ‘forged out of the most brutal training regime ever created’.”

These classes are great for “law enforcement, security professionals, professional contractors, consultancy to corporations, organizations & educational entities, as well as specialized civilian self-defense training in the New York City area and worldwide.”

The classes are taught by Russian Airborne Brigade and the students come away with “elite hand-to-hand fighting skills, including striking, strike absorption & pain compliance, offensive and defensive weaponry skills with a variety of weapons, including improvised & unconventional weapons, ground survival, including dive/roll/falling techniques, body movement, stealth techniques and escape, evasion & ambush tactics against individual and multiple attackers, strikes, confined spaces fighting, psychological & physiological training, including life-saving Russian Breathing/Healing work.” This can then be used in real situations when faced with “negative ‘recall/autopilot’.” As well as this core course, there are modified versions for “civilians, offering defensive, self-protection procedures.” The course is a great way to become familiar with “battle-proven hand-to-hand close quarters combat fighting tactics.”

New York Beverages

beerHudson Ale Works is very nearly ready for business. Featuring a shiny three-barrel brewing system, this downtown microbrewery was launched by three individuals from Highland. Its 17 Milton Avenue location has already been home to quite a few different businesses in the past, including a cabinetry store, laundromat and machine shop. Now the 7,500 square feet industrial building is being leased to Hudson Ale Works co-owners, Neil and Adam Trapani, and Josh Zimmerman.

So the question is, what kind of beer were people drinking during yesterday’s Super Bowl? Was it the kind that will be offered at Hudson Ale Works? Beer is very important at that annual sporting event; possibly as much as wings. Indeed, the beer should perfectly match the wings you choose. Different beers are good with different styles: from honey to barbecue, shrimp paste to Korean. Indeed, as Director of the Craft Beer Program for the Brewers Association, Julia Herz points out: “Sweet cuts heat. If you have a spicy sauce you’re going to go for a more moderate alcohol and something with a little more residual sugar.”

And for New Yorkers who would rather not go the alcoholic route, they could try one of Joe Isidori’s uber-large creative milkshakes. Isidori is the chef and owner at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer and started making these “hella insane” shakes when his wife asked him to make a candy milkshake for her. Measuring a foot tall, these funky shakes sell for $15, three of which can be purchased at Black Tap, Manhattan.

Some of these shakes are themed (like the Red Velvet Valentine’s Day, Candy Cane Christmas one), and one of them was even made special for Super Bowl 50!