new york

Diller Island: Private Park Funding Gone Overboard

Consider for a moment that a billionaire is planning to literally reshape the shoreline of Manhattan by funding a floating island park, just a short walk from his office. Maybe, just maybe, private funding for parks has gone too far.

Media tycoon Barry Diller and his wife, fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg, have pledged $130 million from their foundation—around 75 percent of the total bill—to create a 2.4-acre park that will hover off the Hudson shore.

While there’s been widespread concern about outsized influence of the wealthy on New York’s public spaces following huge donations to Central Park and the High Line, this one takes things to a whole new level. See full post at Inside Philanthropy.

Death in Manhattan: review of Gun Machine by Warren Ellis

Originally published in Souciant Magazine on February 4, 2013. Warren Ellis’s latest novel Gun Machine is like a cop thriller set in a fever dream, twisted genre fiction that employs the conventions of a primetime police drama to investigate a series of brutal crimes, but also the bloody history of New York City itself.

The novel starts with a compelling premise — an empty apartment hiding 200 guns, each implicated in a separate unsolved murder — and then plays out the mystery with the familiar elements of a hardboiled detective story or an episode of CSI.

But while Ellis, who is best known as a renowned graphic novelist, toys with the genre’s well worn tropes with glee, the real joy in this book is not in police work itsef, but in the archaeology it makes possible.

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