Only In New York: Millionaires With Malaise

During an interrogation early on Saturday, the 4-year-old girl’s cousin, Conrado Juarez, had admitted sexually assaulting and smothering her, police commissioner Raymond Kelly said. The child’s name and the circumstances of her death had been a mystery for two decades. But earlier this week, police announced that a new tip and a DNA test had allowed them to finally identify the baby’s mother, a dramatic turnaround in one of the city’s more notorious cold cases. Now they are also revealing the slain girl’s name: Anjelica Castillo. It wasn’t clear whether Juarez, 52, had a lawyer. Police said he lived in the Bronx, but that the family had been living in Queens at the time of the killing. They also said Juarez claimed that a relative helped him dispose of the child’s body. Anjelica’s naked, malnourished corpse was discovered on July 23, 1991, beside the Henry Hudson Parkway. Detectives thought she might have been suffocated but had few other clues as to what happened. The case became an obsession for some investigators. Hundreds of people attended a funeral for the unknown girl in 1993. Her body was exhumed for DNA testing in 2007, and then again in 2011. In July, detectives tried another round of publicity on the 22nd anniversary of the discovery.

Slavery exists in New York City — and Christian students want to fight it

By Carol Kuruvilla / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, October 11, 2013, 9:41 PM Comment Intervarsity Christian Fellowship A Price of Life volunteer talks to students about faith and human trafficking at City College of New York. The abolitionists hosted 115 events on 17 campuses from Oct. 1 to Oct. 12. Related Stories The emancipationis still incomplete Young New York City Christians are claiming a new title: abolitionists. Led by the spirit of Biblical justice social justice with an evangelical flair Christian students on 17 New York campuses joined forces over the past two weeks for Price of Life, a campaign to spread awareness and encourage action against human trafficking and sex slavery. It is one of the largest displays of solidarity to ever unite college-aged Christians in New York City, according to organizers from the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. And the newly minted Christian abolitionists believe they have something to offer the fight against modern slavery. Barnard sophomore Esther Kitavire thinks its about time Christians started dealing with the issue of trafficking. Kyle VanEtten Danielle Rae Douglass, a survivor of sex slavery, speaks to a group of students at Columbia Universitys St. Paul Chapel. The mother of two is working on Tricked, a documentary about her story. The Bible is always talking about helping the widows and the poor and weve got that down, the 19-year-old told The News. Helping sex slaves?


Seth, who started hosting short-term rentals of his apartment when he was out of work, says he’ll probably quit as soon as his lease is up. The subpoena is scary. Seth has more to fear from the attorney general because when he rents out his studio he sleeps elsewhere, which is against the law. Which raises the question: Why does anyone care where Seth sleeps? The law against turning your apartment into a hotel room is an outgrowth of New York City’s ridiculous rent regulations, which have created a multitude of unintended consequences that favor longtime residents at the expense of newcomers.Ever see a listing for a cheap rent stabilized apartments on Craigslist? When online listing sites like Airbnb were created, landlords discovered they could earn much more money operating their rent-regulated apartments as short-term hotels. Tenants started complaining that their buildings were filling up with tourists who made noise all night and smoked in the hallways. Marti Weithman, a tenant advocacy lawyer with Goddard Riverside Community Center, says landlords encouraged this behavior as a way of harassing their rent-regulated tenants into leaving. No doubt she’s right, but wouldn’t the best solution be to do away with the market distortion at the root of the problem? Weithman was a member of New York State’s”Illegal Hotels Working Group,” which worked with State Senator Liz Kruger and State Assembly Member Richard Gottfried to craft a 2011 state law that clarified New York’s administrative code, making it illegal to turn a regular apartment into a hotel room. Left to their own devices, some landlords might convert some of their market-rate apartments into hotel rooms because Airbnb has drastically minimized the hassle of dealing with a constant turnover of guests.”Its established a culture that insures all my clients are good friendly people,” says Seth.”And they really take care of the place.” He adds that nobody in his building has ever complained about his operation, including his super, who lives directly upstairs. Seth has been charging $200 a night for his market-rate studio, which is $150 cheaper than the average hotel room. His rent is $2,000 a month, yieldinghim a tidy $4,000 monthly profit.

New York’s Petty War on Airbnb


I, too, came to California for a couple of years at most a couple of years that have now lasted longer than two decades. And when Ann Hood describes, in her magnificent Manhattan, Always Out of Reach, the experience of losing her 5-year-old daughter Grace to a virulent form of strep, she exposes the key lie we tell ourselves about iconic places: that they will save us, protect us, in some way, from ourselves. New York didnt matter, Hood writes of the aftermath of Graces dying. Nothing mattered…. I locked myself in my bedroom and thought, I will never leave here. Unfortunately, such depth is missingfrom a lot of Goodbye to All That, which in places reads like a scrapbook of notes about New York as fantasy turned sour. Too many of the essays are too similar, too safe, reflections on the desire to become a writer, on living in a small apartment, or the realization that, as Didion so brilliantly put it, not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake, every word, all of it. Thats a tricky but essential point, and it infuses Didions essay with a sense not just of loss but also of inevitability, of the innocence that living strips away. Still, for all that they refer back to her Didions name comes up in most of these pieces too much of the writing here does not share her depth. That’s because so many of the contributors seem inexperienced somehow, lacking perspective, as it were. This leaves their work unsettled, a litany of impressions “Even before I’d ever set foot on its teeming streets,” Marie Myung-Ok Lee declares in “Misfits Fit Here,” “New York City represented to me the perfect place” that feel less lived than received. What they lack is Didion’s sense of tragic understanding, her recognition that the lesson of her time in the city “was that it was distinctly possible to stay too long at the Fair.” Does this seem unfair? Perhaps. But Goodbye to All That begs such comparisons by setting itself up as a response. Maybe youll be an actress. Maybe youll do stand-up….

Saying goodbye to New York

Ask any of the more than 11 million out of work what it means to feel economically powerless. But the millionaire malaise stems from a rapid growth in inequality not just between the 1% and 99ers, but also between the 1 percent and the 0.0001 percent. A paper by Scott Winship at Brookings shows that the “poorest” household in the top 0.01% had nearly 17 times the income of the poorest member of the 1%. If the U.S. income structure were a building, he said, it would look more like the spear-shaped Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai rather than a pyramid. If the top 0.1% were on the 160th floor, the top 1% would be on the 10th floor. And if Larry Ellison were on the 160th floor, Mitt Romney would be on the 6th floor and the rest of America is mixing with the top 1 percenters on the lower floors. “The 99.99th percentile now sits on the third floor and the entire bottom 99% and then some mill around the lobby,” Winship writes. “We are the 99.99%?” With the new, soaring glass towers going up in Manhattan with $90 million penthouses, it’s not hard to imagine that those living “below” in the prewar palaces along Fifth Avenue can actually feel disadvantaged. Follow Frank on Twitter @robtfrank. Secret Lives of the Super Rich airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m.