Existing under the umbrella of the Service Employees International Union, 1199SEIU is a local group of healthcare workers. Despite its official title as a 'local' union, 1199SEIU is made up of 400,000 members who come from a range of states on the east coast including New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. Together, they form United Healthcare Workers East. The New York City 1199SEIU headquarters can be found in the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. With a history of organizing protests and marches against racial segregation in Harlem, the 1199SEIU established an important relationship with Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, who went on to help the union spread from New York City to many other areas in the country. Along with serving as the home base of the 1199SEIU, the Center houses a gallery displaying the work of artists originally from New York including Ka-son Reeves, Tyson Hall, and Laronz Murray.
The staff that provides us with all the news that's fit to print resides in this incredible structure that has entrances on both 40th and 41st Streets. Also referred to as the Times Tower, the building was constructed by the New York Times Company in partnership with others to house their flagship newspaper and related ventures. Upon its completion in 2007, it became the fourth tallest building in New York City, tied for the honor with the nearby Chrysler building and clocking in at nearly a fifth of a mile high (1, 046 feet). Standing as it does across the way from a principal entrance to Port Authority, the Times building serves to welcome city newcomers with an ode to one of New York's most prominent and eminent institutions. There are numerous art installations throughout the building, but it is only in the lobby that the public is invited to view their changing exhibits. "Movable Type, " is the current show. It is a display of words culled from articles written throughout the paper's history, as well as real-time input from users of its website, and splashed across a series of screens. The snippets, so decontextualized, ring with mystery, emerging from their historical roots to bare themselves self-contained and spur the imagination. It is data as art, news as poetry, and well worth a look.
“If you’re going to the theater, you go to Tony’s, ” said Dreni Kyqykaliu, the restaurant’s general manager. Those en route to a Broadway show are a good portion of their clientele, nearby office workers make up the lunch rush, and tourists pop in during breaks between sightseeing. “The blessing of being in Times Square is having all these groups come in. ”Anyone who has visited Tony’s will be familiar with their signature, massive portions of food that are meant to be shared family-style. This adherence to simple but hearty cooking is a trademark of the people that started Tony’s: the Wetansons. (They founded the now-dissolved 1950s burger chain, Wetson’s, which later merged with iconic hot dog vendor, Nathan’s Famous. ) Four generations of Wetansons have run this network of casual dining establishments that also includes Dallas BBQ. Unlike other large companies, however, Greg Wetanson, his father, Herb, and his son, Stuart, remain closely involved in the day-to-day operations and run things as a family business. Thanks to this amiable atmosphere, “Most of the management and the chefs have been here for twenty plus years, ” said Dreni, who joined Tony’s shortly after it opened in the 1990s.
When the City of New York acquired this lot to house Engine 65 in 1895, clubs and residents around the area feared it would disturb the peace. Having calls since their very first night on the job, and as the first responder to Times Square, it became clear that the service was needed and soon became wildly appreciated. One of the firemen, Chris, told me this was something he had always wanted to do. “I love the camaraderie between the guys, ” he said, a theme that seems to reoccur throughout all Manhattan fire stations.