info 06.1.11

Emergency Prep
Walking Off the Big Apple

To prepare for the worst, you first have to imagine it. And not everyone wants to do that. There's no right answer to: How much do you want to know?

You get a choice thanks to the city's Notify NYC. It's a program that allows you to get emergency notifications—disaster and public health alerts, emergency parking suspension, utility outages, subway disruptions, even military flyovers—by phone, email, text or tweet.

It's a top-down concept, one that MUG has previously expressed concern about in the past. And its fatal flaw is that it may not work well—or at all—during a crisis since it's predicated on phone and data networks continuing to function in that period.

We've also written a number of times, most recently in 2009, about the city's sluggish development of first responder communications. At that time, we reported that the city had finally made some progress. But as a recent NY Times editorial points out, "there is not yet a fully compatible system among police officers, firefighters and Port Authority forces."

A serious attack or other emergency will reveal exactly what does and does not work in the city's ability to communicate under those circumstances, both to civilians and among responders. That's not very reassuring. The city should make a clear, comprehensive emergency plan, well-tested and well-publicized, a top priority.

First responders may know what to do in an emergency. But what about the rest of us?














Cultural and literary notes, plus self-guided walks, courtesy of Walking Off the Big Apple, a strolling guide to New York City.


New York Museum Exhibitions, Summer 2011: A Selected List, With Openings in June, July, and August

Climate-controlled museum galleries feel particularly great during New York's hot summers. The cool dry air, necessary for art conservation, does wonders as a respite from hot and humid weather. The summer invites excuses to spend the whole day within the big museums such as the Met or MoMA, enjoying the range of art on display, the museum cafes, shops, and even the outdoor spaces. The Met has its roof, where a handful of sculptures by Anthony Caro are on display, and MoMA features the popular sculpture garden. While new shows are fewer in number in the summer than in the high seasons of fall and spring, there's still plenty new to see. While I don't know which exhibitions will be hot, as they haven't opened yet, I can briefing describe the ones that sound cool.

Let's start with the to-do list. The Morgan Library and Museum, known for its own unequaled collection of manuscripts, opens Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts, and Other Artists' Enumerations from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art. We all make these sorts of lists, so it will be fun to check out those of people like Pablo Picasso, Alexander Calder, Eero Saarinen, and Lee Krasner. Up at The Museum of the City of New York, look for citified furniture, decorative objects and photography documenting the Colonial Revival movement in an exhibit titled The American Style: Colonial Revival and the Modern Metropolis. While in the neighborhood, check out El Museo's Bienal: The (S) Files 2011, the museum's sixth biennial showcasing innovative work by Latino, Caribbean, and Latin American artists. [Continued…]


Manhattan

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