03/09/17 1:31pm

In the summer of 1986, Christopher Wallace, better known as rapper The Notorious B.I.G, worked as a counselor at my temple, Park Slope’s Congregation Beth Elohim. Only 14 at the time, he helped with the youngest children, in the Early Childhood Center, alongside his mother, Voletta Wallace, who for years was a revered preschool teacher in the program. “That’s how Christopher ended up here,” my former preschool teacher, Jaci Israel, told me, “when you teach, you bring in your kids, to give them something to do.” (more…)

04/19/16 9:02am
Finally, somewhere to find an ATM in Manhattan. Via screenshot

Finally, somewhere to find an ATM in Manhattan. Via screenshot

Among many bits of DNA that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt shares with 30 Rock, its spiritual predecessor, is a to-the-roots feeling of New Yorkiness. 30 Rock felt like an old-school version of showbusiness Midtown manhattan, riffing on the entertainment industry and apartment renovations; Kimmy Schmidt is pure uptown grit. You can look at them as two ends of the spectrum of New York that meet in the middle (or the subway train, the great equalizer). The villain of 30 Rock is often the city itself, its unwashed masses or aggressive homeless people. Kimmy Schmidt’s however, often chooses gentrification as its main foil, as seen in the above so-on-the-nose-it’s-perfect sight gag from episode 2 of the new season. The show is giving us good reason to laugh so we don’t cry.  (more…)

08/03/15 4:49pm
Biggie, Biggie, Biggie, we can see, all these photos this guy finally found. Photo via David McIntyre

Biggie, Biggie, Biggie, we can see, all these photos this guy finally found. Photo via David McIntyre

Before riding on speedboats, luxury cars and before his daughter got five karats put on her ear, Christopher Lee Wallace was in front of fashion photographer David McIntyre’s lens, in DUMBO, photographing the soon to be named “King of New York” for Interview Magazine. The photos show a pre-Ready to Die Biggie Smalls, before fame, beef and tragedy. Some photos were featured in the magazine, but most of them have never been seen, because McIntyre lost the negatives. As luck would have it, McIntyre just found the pictures recently, and is now trying to raise $28,000 to print these never before seen Biggie pictures for a photo exhibit in Brooklyn. (more…)