Nice Best Of New York photos

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A few nice best of new york images I found:

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Mayor William Jay Gaynor
best of new york
Image by Hobo Matt
Largely forgotten today, William Jay Gaynor, a former judge who served as the city’s mayor from 1910 to 1913, was an incorruptible, brutally sincere, singularly courageous political reformer, not to mention a member of Louis Windmuller‘s Pedestrians Club, "the most exclusive, distinguished, and enthusiastic walking club in America". Early on in his mayoralty, he was known for commuting exclusively by foot to City Hall from his home in Brooklyn, saying "I walk because I’ve always walked."

After several months on the job, in August of 1910, he was shot by a disgruntled ex-watchman who had recently been fired from the city’s docks, making Gaynor the only mayor of NYC to be wounded in an assassination attempt. He seemingly made a solid recovery — although the bullet stayed lodged in his neck — but then died suddenly a few years later, near the end of his first term, possibly from complications of the shooting (sources vary on this).

In a review of a book about Gaynor by Louis H. Pink (eponym of the Pink Houses), H.L. Mencken had this to say about the man:

Gaynor was that great rarity in American political history: a judge who actually believed in the Bill of Rights. When he sat on the bench in Brooklyn he tried to enforce it to the letter, to the natural scandal of his brethren of the ermine. Scarcely a day went by that he did not denounce the police for their tyrannies. He turned loose hundreds of prisoners, raged and roared from the bench, and wrote thousands of letters on the subject, many of them magnificent expositions of Jeffersonian doctrine. Unfortunately, his strange ideas alarmed the general run of respectable New Yorkers quite as much as they alarmed his fellow judges, and so he was always in hot water. When Tammany, with sardonic humor, made him mayor, he began an heroic but vain effort to give New York decent government. He might as well have tried to make the stockyards of Chicago smell like a field of asphodel. In the end, worn out and embittered by the struggle, he died unlamented, and today political historians scarcely mention him. Yet he was a great political philosopher and a great soul. It is the tragedy of the Republic that such men are so few, and that their efforts, when they appear, go for so little. Gaynor’s life was wasted. But was it really? Perhaps some young man will read Mr. Pink’s excellent account of him, and come away from it remembering that there is still such a thing as decency, and that even when it fails it is somehow glorious.

If you’re interested in learning more about Mayor Gaynor, check out this fascinating collection of his letters and speeches. (He was a "prolific" and "perspicacious" letter writer who "spent a considerable amount of his workdays personally answering his constituents.")

NYC – 2010 Vendys: Souvlaki GR
best of new york
Image by wallyg
Souvlaki GR was one of the five finalists in the Rookie category of the 2010 Vendy Awards. Kostas Plagos, Pavlos Sierros, Abby Sierros and the Entire GR FAmily serve their version of popular Greek street foood at different locations around New York.

The 6th Annual Vendy Awards were held on September 25, 2010 on Governor’s Island. Called "the Oscars of food for the real New York" by Chef Mario Batali, the Vendy Awards are New York City’s annual competition for the title of Best Street Food Vendor, and a fundraiser to support the Street Vendor Project of the Urban Justice Center. The Vendy Awards are given out in three categories at festival which doubles as an all-day cook-off between the best sidewalk chefs in the City.

A panel of judges awards one of five finalists the Vendy Cup and title of Vendy Award Winner, an honor that went to the King of Falafel and Shawarma. Vendy attendees vote to choose the People’s Taste Award winner from the finalists, an honor that also went to the King of Falafel and Shawarma. Audience vote also determines the winners in the Dessert Category, an honor that went to Kelvin Natural Slush Co, and in the Rookie Category, which went to Souvlaki GR.

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