Tag Archives: new york

Public Housing Residents Wary of Mayor de Blasio’s Plan – NYTimes.com

20 May

Public Housing Residents Wary of Mayor de Blasio’s Plan – NYTimes.com.

this one tells of how public housing is so starved of funds many repairs are not done and the housing has deteriorated. new york has controlled rents kept so keeping rents artificially  very low. for those of you who want more public housing, this is a cautionary tale. london used to have this problem, too, but with the bill to allow residents to buy their flat, at a discount, many of these housing estates were able to get their repairs paid for by those who bought, and finally allow the council to undertake the huge task of bringing them up to scratch.

my case in point is this flat i bought in 1991. the estate was very run down, and council was only able to start the repairs when about half the flats were sold, so that the repair bill can be part paid by the leaseholders.

i recall my share of the bill for a 2bd room flat was £20,000 . that was in 1998. without this contribution the buildings would never be renovated. i knew of this bill before i bought the flat in 1991, so was able to budget for it.

the cleaning of the walls revealed lovely red bricks where previously it was black. so that was a nice surprise. but what i want to say is public housing is all very well, but there must be an element of a sinking fund in the rent charged… and ring fence that fund so that future councils wont be tempted to raid it and spent on other things.

at the moment, london has this policy about rents for council flats , that it must be 80% of commercial rents in the area. a lot of people complain that it is not right, but u can see if it is too low, than there is future trouble ahead when the place gets very run down. at the moment it is about £850 a month for a 3bed flat, £650 a month for a 2bed in this area, rather similar to the public housing rent given in that article in new york. (i think these figures are not normal. my examples are from two pensioners living in their homes for a long time so they do get a discount.)

it is not related to income,(unlike in new york, where it is 30% of income which means one neighbour can pay significantly higher than another living next door;

here in uk if u are low income, u get it all paid for by housing benefits. but the govt is bringing in a cap on benefits so that is why so many are having trouble living in london. unless they work, when the cap does not apply. hence u see so many previous households on benefits where no one works now have one working.

Would you pay for a little peace and quiet? | Life and style | The Guardian

13 Feb

Would you pay for a little peace and quiet? | Life and style | The Guardian.

this columnist bought a £20 (so about $30?)an hour room just to have peace and quiet. it is in new york, it figures. haha. only in new york will u get this and have people paying for it.

i suppose it is no use telling him to just meditate in his own home.

and u can meditate anywhere, and not even need total silence.

i think this business is on par with that one where they sell you air, or oxygen. i dont hear anymore about that oxygen business… for all i know it is a multibillion business allready.

selling you bottled water has allready proved very lucrative, so i suppose i should not scoff. this one too might take off and make me eat my words. haha. more fools they.

or maybe i have missed something and that even though they say no illegal substance, they did not say no sex… so come to think of it, to hire a room and privacy for £20 an hour in a busy city where many people have to share accommodation,  is rather cheap to have a sexual liaison.

The Slow, Agonizing Death of the MetroCard – The Atlantic

22 Jan

The Slow, Agonizing Death of the MetroCard – The Atlantic.

they are still using metro cards, which need to be swiped, instead of just place it against the reader like the oyster card in london.

but in london that oyster card is being replaced with mobile pay.

i am really surprised that new york is quite backward in this respect.

but then maybe it still have a lot of poor people who use it a lot as they live in the outlying areas and come into new york; and who dont have a bank account, and that is because bank accounts are not free as in uk.

you could argue that the new york system is more democratic, as it allows cash payers to be treated the same as credit card payers and so treats its poor users (who are the ones not having a bank account and credit cards) better.

here if u pay in cash u pay a lot more. here is one of those situations when being advance and modern using technology is a disadvantage to the poor who dont have easy access to that technology. what is the answer, as usual i can only say there is no answer. life is unfair, as any 3yrs old kid can tell you. haha.

living in london pt 17

21 Jun

london saturday today is the longest day.summer solstice 16hrs 38min

now i am using a chromebook i have gone full circle with my internet journey. From early beginnings on a laptop with pay as you go usage internet connection to being constantly online.

in the past i write off line and then thriftily get online and post it, now I am online all the time with broadband. and surfing the net without regard to how long i am online. That to me is the one thing that makes me realise i am living in the future.  It is a small thing by itself but it opens up the world. 

I have just come back from grocery shopping. veg are very cheap now. In the past we have to go to lidl or aldi to get these 50p veg, or to brixton, for garlic, ginger, onions, chilli, but now the ordinary supermarkets are also offering 50p brocolli, and lettuce and cucumber too. lidl has done one better today by offering cucumber for 29p each. that is why i stopped by their branch in stockwell on my way to brixton. 

In brixton i bought garlic and ginger , both of which are still the lowest priced at 50p. tomatoes are also 50p but they are not the freshest. they are fine if u just want to cook them, but not suitable for salads for most people though i would use them for salads as i dont mind them being not so firm.

now i am eating a lot more salads, lettuce and cucumber ,  using up the salad cream that john bought when he came here.

usually i make a french salad (vinegar, olive oil , mustard) but the salad cream is just as nice. I discovered we still have a large bottle of tesco basic salad cream and it was just as nice. i dont think there is much difference in the basic range and the branded names.

It is not surprising that they say inflation has gone down due to these low priced vegetables.

THose who shop at  lidl and asda have always got  these veg at such prices. it is only now that  tesco and sainsburys have been forced to bring their price to match lidl’s and asda that people in the mainstream can benefit and the effect now appears in the inflation statistics as those statistics use tesco pricing to calculate the inflation.

I think in the past also there are so few lidl and asda or aldi branches, (especially in london as they first started up north as land is cheaper there; but now they are everywhere in london and the south).

I just read in a blog activenaturist.net that in new york they arrested two guys who were taking part in the naked bike ride there. They had theirs on june 13th friday…  and they start their ride at 6pm in the evening. i think it is late to start a ride. And even if you say the sun dont set till about 9pm, even then it is late. they got rainy weather too … who would have thought that it rains in new york at this time of year, when  we keep hearing of new york heat waves.

it is shocking to me that new york of all places is so intolerant of naked people. Is it because the organisers did not approach the authorities and got permission or new york just refuse to give permission for any ride no matter that it is  a protest ride? Maybe new york just refuse to allow demonstrations as it clogs up traffic and disrupts business. it is a small island and crowded with people. or is it just because the people were naked?

It occurs to me that it is not that strange that new york is so conservative. it has lost its crown, if it ever have it in the first place, as the most liberal place. more shocking is San francisco making nudity illegal. San francisco the most liberal city in all america, the home of the hippies  but that is in the past.

Digital StillCamera

 found a way to import the pics into wordpress


28 Jan

this one is interesting because it points out that a university is not graded on how well its graduates perform after graduating, but on what grades etc they bring into the university . on this basis, bloomberg, new york city’s mayor , who , we are told, is the only person in history to give more than a billion dollars to a single educational institution, (john hopkins university) would not have got in .


oh what a bother, it got the wrong link. i wanted to link with this one




london is 6th for infrastructure, 37th for quality of life

5 Dec


I was just talking about how people’s perception of how expensive a city is may be due to reading of business surveys like this one done to assess the quality of life and infrastructure in cities to rank them for the purposes of companies deciding how much to compensate their people who are sent to work there. It is done by mercer.com

dubai ranked top 
The title is a misnomer, as it turned out Dubai is only ranked top for its region, the middle east. It fares badly when compared with the world.


London is ranked 6th for infrastructure , because of “its high level of public services offered, with its extensive public transportation system including airports, the London underground buses and railroad services.“
It is obvious these expats do not commute haha. Outside the rush hour, the public transport is first rate, and I say so from personal experience. And it is the mark of a good transport system that is as good outside the rush hour as within it. So many will place all their buses and trains to cope with the rush hour and neglect the off peak times but not in London.

London is 37th for quality of life.

Vienna in Austria is 1st for quality of life, 16th for infrastructure.

Singapore is 1st for infrastructure, 25th for quality of life.

New york which is used as the bench mark is 44th for quality of life, 30th for infrastructure.

Added. i was browsing wordpress and saw this post by a singaporean poster. not sure if he is a citizen or one of the guest workers that singapore imports to run its services. it is a post about a strike by the bus company . which is unheard of. a strike in singapore! so looking between the lines, all that good infrastructure is at the cost of cheap imported labour and making slaves of those poor saps who come in to work. 

The workers were protesting because they were paid less than malaysian workers. who most probably are paid less than singapore workers or more likely there are no singaporeans willing to work for those wages. aha. those striking  workers are from china.