DOT To Set Aside Parking Spaces For Car Share Services In NYC

The city is pushing out a new pilot program that will set aside hundreds of dedicated parking spaces for car share services.The 309 spots will be located in neighborhoods throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.    The city hopes the two-year pilot will help to ease the traffic congestion and improve air quality.  Starting June 4, Enterprise CarShare and Zipcar vehicles will be available, with signs marking the exact locations.

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Meet The Voice Behind The ‘Laurel’ Or ‘Yanny’ Recording

If you’ve spent any time on the Internet this past week, you’ve probably heard and then argued over a certain viral sound clip. But for Broadway and television actor Jay Aubrey Jones, he hears himself. Jones did some voice work for Vocabulary.com, recording more than 36,000 words for the website in 2007, including saying the word, “Laurel.” And apparently, that is the source audio for the “Laurel, Yanny” viral clip that’s been driving the Internet crazy.

“When I first heard this recording, it was on Wednesday morning on television, and I was putting myself together, and I did not recognize my voice at all,” Jones tells Weekend Edition Sunday’s LuLu Garcia-Navarro.

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After receiving several phone calls, texts and emails from a producer at Vocabulary.com and other friends, Jones says, “They explained that it was my voice that has been creating this brouhaha for want of a better word.” Jones says he actually hears the word, “Laurel,” when he listens to the clip of his voice, but a friend of his “swore up and down that all she heard was ‘Yanny.’ ”

 

Are You Being Bombarded With Robocalls In Mandarin?

Are you receiving CHINESE ROBOCALLS? If so, you are not alone. If you live or work in New York City, you’ve received a robocall in Mandarin.

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The robocall messages are usually a variation on the same theme: this is the Chinese consulate, we have an important document that needs to be picked up, it may affect your status in the U.S., press a button to speak with a specialist. People receiving these calls should report them to the Federal Trade Commission. The Chinese consulate is aware of the scam and has posted a warning. The Federal Trade Commission, which helps consumers and law enforcement collect information on illegal phone calls, is also aware and has posted its own warnings. To avoid being a victim of this scam: just hang up.

New Website RealMTA.info Gives Straphangers Real-Time Updates On Subway Delays

You can now see if your train line is delay before you start your commute. A new website RealMTA.info is giving straphangers real-time updates on subway delays by wiping affected lines right off the MTA map. Disrupted lines disappear from the user’s view. Web developer Eric Markfield created it to use publicly available information to highlight subway delays.

 

Central Park Will Become Car Free This Summer

Mayor Bill de Blasio is putting into place a plan to keep cars off Central Park’s roads, except for the four main transverse roads through the park at 97th, 86th, 79th and 65th streets.  Most areas of Central Park will go car-free this summer. The plan will go into effect at the end of June, banning cars on several park drives below 72nd Street.

 

How Does NYC’s Affordable Housing Lottery Works?

To many New Yorkers, winning the affordable housing lottery is pretty much the same thing as winning the actual lottery. But many people find it to be a hassle applying to Housing Connect lottery. The qualifications for individual lotteries might be a bit confusing, many people feel it’s not easy to snag one these newly apartments. While the online application process is pretty straightforward. Finding a low-cost apartment in New York City is not an easy task, but the city does offer programs to help out.  Check out AM NY as it breaks down the process.

 

The Head Of NYC Transit Will Hold Open Discussion On Twitter

The Head of New York City Transit Andy Byford is opening himself up to questions on Twitter tomorrow morning beginning at 10:30am.  He says no subject will be off limits during the 90 minute session. He will be using the handle NYCT Subway, which has more than 900,000 followers.

The Twitter forum comes on the heels of a report the MTA may not be telling the complete truth about why subway trains are late. According to the Daily News, transit officials were unable to determine why more than 10,000 trains were delayed in January. They reportedly divided those numbers into 14 existing delay categories like weather, police investigations, and sick passengers. But none of those causes may have actually been the reason for the late trains. The last thing we would want is our Transit System to be telling tales to millions of customers who ride the trains delay.

Tickets Are Just $5 For AMC Stub Members Every Tuesday At The Box Office

As soon as you join, you can enjoy this $5 Ticket Tuesday offer at the box office! You’ll also start earning points toward $5 rewards and get a FREE refill on your large popcorn purchases. $5 Tuesday tickets are available for AMC Stubs members only at participating AMC, AMC DINE-IN and AMC CLASSIC locations for a limited time only. Offer is available at box office and AMC Stubs membership must be presented at time of purchase to be eligible for discount. Offer not combinable with any other ticket discounts, including AMC Stubs member Tuesday ticket discounts.

When My Co-Workers Found Out I Was Painted by Obama’s Portraitist

Earlier this week, the National Portrait Gallery unveiled former President Barack Obama’s official portrait, painted by the artist Kehinde Wiley. While the painting was highly praised on social media, it turns out the former president and I have something in common.  Over 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to be painted by Kehinde Wiley after answering an ad on Craigslist.

Now called, St. Dionysus, the portrait hangs in the Milwaukee Art Museum. Check out my interview on WNYC Radio.

 

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“I remember it like it was yesterday,” says WNYC’s Darnell Jefferson, who, in 2005, answered an ad on Craigslist — and wound up becoming a model posing for Wiley. “I remember wearing that blue bubble coat, with that crown — I was probably 24 years old when I did that portrait with him.”

“I never knew that Kehinde would be this big today. The fact that our former President chose him to be his portraitist, is like ‘wow.’ I never knew that when I first did that shoot with him, that he would be that huge. I’m glad to be in the same class as our former President.”

Not only was I in a portrait, I also found out I’m in Reginald Baylor’s coloring book drawing. The Milwaukee Art Museum Reginald Baylor Collector’s Edition Coloring Book is available online and in the Museum Store.

Make My Cake The Beloved Harlem Bakery Is Moving To The Upper West Side!

A Harlem neighborhood loss is a sweet gain for the Upper West Side. After 22 years at 116th Street and St. Nicholas Avenue, Make My Cake is closing its doors at the end of the month due to rising rents. It is slated to reopen next month at 795 Columbus Ave., in a space that formerly housed Crumbs, the cupcake shop. Make My Cake’s new store will be a 500-square-foot bakery that will serve everything from pies and cobblers to cakes, cupcakes and cookies. It will have seating for eight. The 2380 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd location in Harlem will remain open.