Lately the only things we have been hearing about Wall Street are the "hippies" who have inhabited it and the cops who tear gas them. Wall Street continues to get a severely negative connotation because of it. While most of the inhabitants of Wall Street are more Gordon Gecko than Mother Teresa, good things do come out of that community, and one of them was the Wall Street Rocks benefit concert.
On Tuesday, December 6th, the Wall Street Rocks hosted a concert to benefit ReserveAid and the Wounded Warrior Project. Acts such as the Chocolate Cuckoo Clocks, Direct Edge, and the Lava Sheep Herders performed. Each band was made up of corporate employees who inhabit Wall Street on a daily basis. Guests admission price along with some corporate sponsors were able to raise over $250,000 for the charities.
It's been a tough week for Wall Street guys. As if the Occupy Wall Street protests for the last couple months haven't been enough, Gawker dropped three hilarious items this week. One, a letter from an investment banker who went on one date with a woman and proceeded to write her an over-analyzed 1600 word email about how "she led him on" (but should probably go out with him again). Second, a story on Tuesday of another investment banker from JP Morgan Chase, who stalked his mistress all the way to London, feigned her sister's death, fake-fainted in front of her at the airport, claimed to be Israeli intelligence to see her, and perhaps the most bizarre, stole candle sticks from her apartment. (Alrighty, then?)
What started as what protesters claimed to be a "peaceful" movement has turned into a full-on clash with authorities and residents of NYC alike. Two months ago, I posted my first coverage of Occupy Wall Street and the local disruption and was met with vehement denials that it wasn't about "disrupting" or "annoying." Turns out that's exactly what they've purposely done. Today's ambush of the subways prove that more than ever. My argument was if they wanted to piss off the "bad guys" on Wall Street they should be in midtown, where the banks really are, and they should definitely be marching to D.C. where the corrupt politicians are. The counter-argument was that it was about "symbolism" not actually affecting the guys responsible for the recession. That makes absolutely no sense to me. So instead of raising hell near the White House and in front of the actual banks, you're going to disrupt the daily lives of local businesses and residents who ARE "the 99%" and just trying to get by like everyone else? Because that's who is really affected everyday in all of this. I live in the Financial District and I'm moving by next month, largely because of the protest. The quality of life here has declined. What was once a clean, peaceful neighborhood has been taken over by mobs of angry, entitled protesters who have also attracted plenty of criminals and drifters who are riding the coattail of the "movement." Authorities arrested an Occupy Wall Street protester yesterday who was handing out flyers on how to build bombs and ranted on a YouTube video saying "We're going to burn New York City to the f--king ground!" Numerous times I've been accosted and unable to get home without showing my I.D. There's constant yelling and sirens. I've seen protesters harassing men in suits walking by. How is that okay? It feels like a warzone. In America.
After 2 months of 'occupying' Wall Street, protesters were forced out of Zuccotti Park this morning. The removal began around 1am and was still in the process as of early this morning. The entire area was blocked off, reporters were kept at a distance and helicopters hovered above as NYPD swarmed in numbers with a bullhorn and told protesters to gather their belongings and leave. The ones who didn't leave by choice were physically forced out or arrested. One group apparently gathered around the makeshift kitchen and chained themselves together in defiance. Witnesses inside the park claim that the group was forcibly removed with tear gas and pepper spray. Approximately 70 arrests were made and one man was hospitalized with breathing problems.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has spread throughout the nation, giving birth to protest in cities across America. The protests have spurred thought about our government, societal structure, educational system and more. At a time when the economy has tanked and so many people are struggling to find jobs and opportunities, the call for change has taken on many forms. The Occupy protests have inspired some stunning art pieces, but one creative project thinks a little smaller.
Spotted recently in Zuccotti Park at the main Occupy Wall Street protest by Scott Beale, Occupy LEGO Land captures the scope of protest on a micro level. Tiny LEGO men and women gather together bearing their own protest signs, fed up with their plastic economy. The display has been at the protest for nearly a month and continues to expand. It looks as though some people have been heeding their sign of "LEGOs are expensive, Help Us Grow!" The microcosm of the movement has gained tiny protesters along with the real one.
The Brooklyn-born Jay-Z surely feels an urge to support his fellow New Yorkers in occupying Wall Street. Or perhaps the mogul simply sees the several-month struggle as a chance to promote his Rocawear duds, just one brand among the bevy of businesses he owns. Either way, the rapper was seen rocking his newest tee in the above twitpic, which uses some red Sharpie to turn the now-household phrase into "Occupy All Streets." That's right, if Jay-Z has his way, not even the small towns of Idaho are safe from the movement.
Getting tourist tips for your trip to New York can be a lot like sex advice from your parents: lots of warnings of what not to do, but very few examples of fun stuff. Since no one wants to hear this stuff from their parents, Joonbug's New York staff has compiled its favorite sights. Some are tried and true icons, but others might be too off-the-beaten-path for Fodor's. Consider these sights "musts" for anyone looking to experience the Big Apple beyond the Empire State Building.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade. While the Staten Island Ferry might be best (and cheapest) way to see lower Manhattan through the eyes of an Ellis Island immigrant, the air's getting a little chilly for open-air boat rides. For a pleasant walk without the windchill, try the majestic views of Brooklyn Heights, where you can see the Brooklyn Bridge making its way toward City Hall. Turn your back to the water and check out the ivy-covered townhouses that get to call this view home, then head to Grimaldi's, New York's most famed pizzeria, to warm up.
Occupy Wall Street is a movement so compelling that its protests have spread nationally. It is one that tackles the issues of a choked economy and the suffering of the non-wealthy. Like many movements past, it will be remembered by the faces media will focus on. However, there are thousands involved and these issues affect people from all walks of life. With a sea of protesters, it’s hard to make sure that every voice is heard. Eddie McShane attempts to cash in a picture’s worth of words and make sure that different faces in the crowd are seen.
Wall Street protesters occupied a new section of the city last night, namely the Danny Meyer restaurants Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe. The ambush was an effort to show the group's disapproval of Sothebys Auction House and the fact the Meyer sits on their Board of Directors.
According to a statement made by OWS activists, a "commotion" was created during the dinner rush at both restaurants last night. Protestors blew fog horns and handed out flyers to shocked diners that stated "What's gross at Gramercy (or Union Cafe) and Other Danny Meyer Restaurants? Diners for good jobs and clean kitchens." And according to an Eater post on the same topic, one OWS supporter stated, "We are here to make sure Danny Meyer is uncomfortable and anyone who supports him is uncomfortable...His restaurants will not be peaceful."