info 05.11.04

The Worst of MUG

Here's the worst of MUG—people, places, and things that are stinkin' up the joint.

Nobel Prize Statue
It took them a year to put up the new obelisk in the park by the Planetarium on the Upper West Side. Dedicated to Nobel Prize winners, it was designed by Swedish artist Sivert Lindblom. The only problem is that it lacks even the tiniest vestige of grace, rising unbidden in an unsuspecting park, a ghastly, funereal excrescence. And to think of what the talented sculptors in the region might have created (Martin Puryear, for instance, works just up the river…). Ah well, at least the neighborhood dogs will have a new place to leave their calling cards.

The Shops at Columbus Circle
There goes the neighborhood. The shiny, but painfully bleak mall at the Time Warner Center (aka the Shops at Columbus Circle), has unwisely flung open its doors. Misguided and oppressive at every turn, filled with small outposts of retailers you see on every Main Street of every city, the Shops will only serve to confirm New Yorkers' views of malls as soulless, somnolent, and creepy.[More]

Worst Subway
You were going to guess the G, right? Wrong. According to the Straphangers Campaign subways report card, it's the 5 train since it is scheduled to come less often than most other subway lines and arrives with the lowest regularity of any line in the system.

Two Perennials
Well, you have to admire their consistency. U-Haul and Bally Total Fitness don't have many fans and don't seem to mind.

Outback Steakhouse
One thing this city doesn't need is strip mall strip steaks. We'd be very happy to see the Outback Steakhouses that have started cropping up around here take their bloomin' onions and head back out.

Medical Privacy
Everyone's favorite attorney general and his heinous worker bee, Justice Department attorney Sheila M. Gowan, have demanded patient records from, among other hospitals, Columbia-Presbyterian, Cornell, and St. Luke's-Roosevelt, for hundreds of women who have had abortions in those hospitals since last November. Since the passage of the so-called Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Justice Department wants to know more about what abortions are being performed and why. The justification is that "individuals no longer possess a reasonable expectation that their histories will remain completely confidential." Inexplicably, when MUG requested Mr. Ashcroft's medical records, he didn't seem interested in releasing them. The good news is that Senator Clinton and Rep. Jerrold Nadler have recently introduced a bill called the "Patients' Privacy Protection Act" which would be federally guarantee the confidentiality of the doctor-patient relationship.

You have to have a pretty dim view of things if you consider high-fructose corn syrup eligible for the best stuff on earth roundup. Should the city government really be pushing these beverages into city schools to help make up the shortfall in city coffers? Read USA Today's recent article on HFCS before you make up your mind.

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