Now that we’ve got our first real glimpse of Russian Dolls, the new Brighton Beach-based reality show to air on Lifetime, it was just a matter of time until the reviews came in from Russian leaders. After we published the video on Friday, Ari Kagan – whose credentials in the Russian-speaking community include a journalism career, a one-time candidacy for the State Assembly, being the current liaison to the Russian-speaking community for Comptroller Liu, and a rumored contender for Michael Nelson’s City Council seat – sent us the following note condemning the show:
There is no question in my mind that the Russian Dolls series will depict the Russian-speaking community in a distorted way, as a caricature, as a joke. Lifetime does not care about the thousands of great, beautiful, funny, smart and hard-working young Russian speaking women who attend colleges and universities, make money as paralegals, librarians, nurses, journalists and computer specialists. They are great daughters, sisters, wives and mothers. They don’t spend most of their time in nightclubs, bars or lounges. They don’t speak this dirty language and they hate vodka.
Of course, we do have our own bad apples, low lives and criminals, but they constitute a minority in the Russian speaking community. Lifetime wants to create a lot of fun and entertainment by throwing the reputation of Russian-speaking New Yorkers under the bus.
It looks like Kagan is throwing his lot in with John Lisyanskiy, who condemned the show’s title as synonymous with prostitution, and who authored a letter to Lifetime expressing concerns that the channel will be “reducing would-be contestants to vodka-drinking ethnic caricatures who ‘love attention’ and do little more than ‘eat, drink and party.’” Lisyanskiy is the founder of the Russian-Speaking American Leadership Caucus, and the letter was co-signed by 42 elected politicians and Russian-speaking activists.
We have a feeling, as the show gets closer to its August 11 premiere, Kagan won’t be the last voice we hear from.
Borough President Markowitz opened up Borough Hall on Sunday for same-sex marriages. (Photo: Markowitz's office)
That’s right, they legalized same-sex marriage. What, you were thinking I meant something else? Keep dreaming (although that’s gaining some steam, too… sort of).
So New York’s first gay couples were married this weekend. As far as I can tell, traditional marriages across the state did not instantaneously fall apart (any more than they already have, anyway). The world did not come to an end. And most people seem a little bit happier than before, so I’m going to give this one the thumbs up.
What do you think?
With the temperature finally down to tolerable levels after a scorching weekend, Sheepshead Bay and the surrounding neighborhoods aren’t quite in the clear yet. The infrastructural damage Con Ed sustained from record-shattering energy usage is forcing the company to continue choking power output to Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach and Midwood, among other neighborhoods around New York City.
The good news is that Con Ed workers have restored service to more than 55,700 of 65,700 customers who lost power during the three-day heat wave. They began throttling power across its entire service area on Friday as a precaution to protect equipment and maintain service. With outages and gear damages rolling in over the weekend – which saw heat indexes surpass 100 degrees – crews were dispatched to repair the problems, a task still underway. Con Edison is asking customers to avoid using appliances such as washers, dryers, and other energy-intensive equipment, and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed. If high-energy equipment is needed, they ask that it be used at night, when demand is lower.
See the full list of neighborhoods affected, and share your heat-wave experiences with us.
THE COMMUTE: Many have thought this for a long time. Finally, someone has made a convincing case that this is indeed true and not just a figment of our minds. That someone is John Rozankowski, PHD from the Bronx.
In his article on Source 101, in which he critiques a study by the Center for an Urban Future called “Behind the Curb” [PDF], already discussed by Sheepshead Bites, Dr. Rozankowski, however, adds a few comments of his own concluding that the answer is to break up the MTA.
He outlines five ways the MTA is shafting the outer boroughs:
- Poor Connectivity
- Mediocre Service
- Poor Station Maintenance
- No Expansion Plans
- 2010 Service Cuts.
Read on for Dr. Rozankowski’s analysis…
At around 11 a.m. on Saturday, the truck above made a left onto East 15th Street from Sheepshead Bay Road. And that was the end of it. This… happens… way… too… often.
Thanks to Cabbie for the photo and tip.
With great apologies to Robert Frost. Photo by Lisanne Anderson.
Unless you’ve been living on the other side of the globe, you know that most of the United States has been under a high heat dome for the last week or so. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get better soon, so it’s time to start taking some precautions.
Con Edison has already reduced the juice they’ve been supplying to the neighborhood. They’re also asking customers in our area not to use appliances such as washers, dryers, and other energy-intensive equipment, and to turn off lights and televisions when not needed.
Now, they’re taking this one step further. This just in from Con Ed….
Notification issued on 7/23/2011 at 7:30 PM. Con Edison will be distributing dry ice from 9 AM to 9 PM tomorrow, 7/24. Distribution will occur at Sheepshead Bay High School, at 3000 Avenue X in Brooklyn. For more info please contact Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED or online at http://www.coned.com/newsroom/news/pr20110723_2.asp
For residents picking up dry ice, instructions for safe handling and disposal are printed on the paper bag containing the ice. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and should be used only in well-ventilated areas. Keep children and pets safely away.
They’re taking this heat wave seriously. So should you. Pick up some dry ice for your fridge and turn off those air conditioners and TVs – but not your computers. Computers are essential equipment. Everyone needs to keep reading Sheepshead Bites.
Shot within the first week of my owning my D90. It will be one year on July 29. Photo by Erica Sherman.
School’s Chancellor Dennis Walcott is reaching out to NYC school families. The newly-appointed head of the Department of Education is collecting parent feedback in his Chancellor’s Family Feedback Form, asking what information is important to parents and how they’d prefer to hear from the DOE. Here is the letter, in full:
NYC Public School Parent/Guardian,
Families are valued partners, and we know that your feedback and suggestions are key to improving your child’s education.
Chancellor Walcott wants to know what information about your child’s education is most important to you and how you’d prefer to hear from us. Tell him by completing the Chancellor’s Family Feedback Form.
Our goal is to do a better job of providing tools to help you support your child and this is just another way to help make that happen. The deadline to complete the form is Monday, July 25th. So what are you waiting for? Get started!
If you’ve already completed the form, we ask that you forward this email to a friend, post it on facebook or Twitter or share the flyer with your community (available in 10 languages).
Enjoy your summer and thanks in advance for your feedback!
Don’t forget — the deadline is this Monday, July 25th.
THE COMMUTE (Special Edition): Since I have been writing The Commute, I really haven’t said anything really bad about Jay Walder. In fact, I have complimented him several times. I gave him credit for being the first MTA Chairman to admit that the MTA could be doing a better job managing its money and eliminating waste. I have also given him credit for attending some of the public hearings last year for the massive service cuts he instituted due to Albany stealing dedicated funds for mass transit. He was sensitive to the concerns he heard and vowed that these would be the last major service cuts.
But now that he will be leaving, none of his promises matter anymore. If you want to read about Walder’s accomplishments during his short tenure, you have come to the wrong place. You can read about the money he saved, the new projects he initiated, and the reactions to his departure elsewhere. Ben Kabak at SecondAvenueSagas.com wrote a fine summary.
Now that he will be leaving, he’s shown his true colors. His promises no longer matter, and he has betrayed us.
Find out how.