A Study Makes It Official: New York Is the Most Competitive City

Anyone who has tried to park a car on a Manhattan street may already have deemed New York the world’s most competitive city. A new study concluded that it is and will stay that way for at least another 12 years.

The study, conducted for Citigroup by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranked 120 cities around the globe on their competitiveness, based on their ability to attract investments, workers and tourists, among other attributes.

New York ranked third among the cities in economic strength, the category given the most weight in the analysis. It ranked second in “institutional character,” a measure of order and political stability. The accumulation of the high rankings in various categories helped propel New York to the top of the list.

“New York is at the top of the list in terms of financial sophistication,” said Leo Abruzzese, global forecasting director for the Economist Intelligence Unit. New York “still remains in many ways the financial capital of the world.”

But Mr. Abruzzese added that the city’s economy is less reliant on one or two industries than many other big cities around the world. That economic diversity has given New York a big head start on many of the cities in emerging nations, but some of them are closing the gap, he said.

While New York and London are projected to stay ahead of Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo through 2025, some fast-growing cities will become more formidable challengers, the study concluded. Taipei, for example, is forecast to move up to 11th place from 25th. Doha is predicted to leap 14 spots to become one of the world’s 25 most competitive cities by 2025, the study said.

Chicago was projected to remain the second most-competitive city in America, ranking ninth in the world in 2025.

The costs of living and doing business in New York City are high, but not as high as in some others, including London and Tokyo, Mr. Abruzzese said. New York’s most glaring weakness has been in the management of the environment and preparation to cope with storms and other natural disasters, he said.

“New York doesn’t do well in environmental performance or natural hazards,” Mr. Abruzzese said. “Certainly that was reinforced last year with Sandy.”

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After Looking Bored at Forum, Weiner Finds Energy to Bandy With Press

He slouched back deeply into his chair, played with his pen, stole glances at his Blackberry and stared off into space.

There was no concealing it: Anthony D. Weiner was bored at an hourlong and, truth be told, fairly sedate forum for Democratic mayoral candidates in Midtown on Monday night.

But don’t tell that to Mr. Weiner.

“You looked more bored than I did,” he shot back at a reporter who asked about his demeanor. “Stop breaking my chops.”

Question and answer sessions with Mr. Weiner, a skilled and joyful jouster, are always lively affairs. But after he sat listlessly on stage, the contrast between Forum Weiner and Press Weiner was unusually stark.

A sampling of that exchange with several reporters:

Q: You did look bored.

A: Stop with that! That’s my natural face. My natural face.

Q: You seemed to know what we were saying on Twitter. Were you so bored that you checked your phone?

A: I just knew you’d be giving me a hard time about my demeanor.

Q: You really did look bored. Do you like doing these forums?

A: I did not look bored. How do you think you looked? You were really bored!

Q: Do you think you can get through dozens and dozens of these like your opponents have?

A: No.

Q: Are you going to stop going?

A: I had a ball here. Don’t you have any — shouldn’t you be covering the content? It really … is my posture…

Duly chastened, the assembled reporters turned to the substance of the just-ended forum.

At one point in the forum, Mr. Weiner had spoken passionately and compellingly about the city’s yawning income inequality, positing that “the average New Yorker is poor today.”

“The median income is $45,000 a year,” he said. “We dislocate our shoulders patting ourselves on the back because we’ve had job growth over the last few years.”

The city, he argued, is really just trading middle-income jobs for work that pays poverty wages. He challenged those in the room to confront the reality that a city teeming with rich people was bad for business over time.

“There are only so many oligarchs that are going to buy our apartments,” he said. “There are only so many millionaires who are going to sue each other. Sooner or later, we need middle-class people who have money in their pocket to go out and buy products.”

He concluded with an unexpected, parochial jab at a national restaurant chain: “It’s not good enough to say, I created a job at a Red Lobster. I don’t know what Red Lobster is. It’s a thing. Apparently, it’s like Lundy’s for people in Manhattan.”

This joke, about a famed seafood restaurant in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, was apparently lost on much of the young audience.

A reporter from The New York Post wondered if Mr. Weiner was “satisfied with your opponents’ answers to these questions?”

Mr. Weiner smiled mischievously. “I will read about it tomorrow in the in-depth New York Post coverage of this debate.”

He predicted the headline: “Anthony Weiner Slouched.”

He was wrong.

“Weiner Claws Red Lobster,” read the Post headline.

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Fixing a MetroCard With Two-Inch Talons

Dear Diary:

Just moved back to New York. Running for last No. 1 to roll into 110th.

Swipe. No go. Swipe. No go. Train about to leave station.

Furious swipe. No go. Train pulls out. Internal temperature rising. Race to booth.

“Something’s wrong with my card. Can you help me?” Woman in booth won’t look up.

Plead. Push card through slot. Dented. Can you replace? “Nope.” Why not? “Can’t.” Why not? “Mail it in, lady.” Really? You’re telling me to MAIL IT IN?

New train pulls in. Pulls out. Internal temperature boiling. “Yep, lady, mail it in.”

Dogged red hot. REALLY?

LADY. GO TO GATE. Race to gate. Catch third train. Realize have lost mind.

On way home. Calmer. Review previous behavior. Bad. Train pulling into 79th. Remain calm. Miss train. Status quo.

Approach booth. “Could you possibly help me? I think my card is dented.”

Woman in booth attached to long talons (her own) curving over fingers. Two inches? Polka-dot décor on nails and possible photo of dog or husband (bad vision) on index fingernail.

Woman takes dented card. Applies multiple talons to dent. Exquisite concentration. Talon technique. “Here you go.”

Train coming. Swipe card. I’m in. Yell over din. “Thank you!” Nod. Catch train. YES!


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The Light Switches Are in Manhattan, the Power’s From New Jersey

Not that they would have noticed, but some Manhattanites are now using electricity imported from New Jersey through a new underwater connection.

At midnight, Hudson Transmission Partners switched on a cable that can carry up to 660 megawatts of power from an electrical substation in Ridgefield Park, N.J., to one on West 49th Street in Hell’s Kitchen. That is enough to run the lights, televisions, computers and air-conditioners in nearly 400,000 homes.

Most of the additional power flowing through the line is being consumed by residents of public housing and government agencies whose electricity is provided by the New York Power Authority. The authority contracted with the cable’s developer for three-fourths of the capacity on the cable, which was conceived eight years ago.

“A world-class city and a world-class region needs a diverse supply of energy — and a reliable supply,” said Edward M. Stern, chief executive of PowerBridge, the company that built the Hudson cable. “Hudson adds to that reliability, which is hard to put a price on, except when events like Hurricane Sandy happen, and then reliability is, as the saying goes, priceless.”

The power is generated west of the Hudson River and fed into a multistate grid known as PJM. Then it is drawn off the grid in Ridgefield Park and fed into the 7.5-mile cable that delivers it to a Consolidated Edison plant serving Midtown.

To bury the cable under the Hudson River, the developer brought one of the few ships that could do the job across the Atlantic from southern Italy 18 months ago.

The state power authority gave strong support to the project, which cost about $850 million, because it said the additional power would reduce the chances of power failures. It also hoped to obtain cheaper electricity than could be bought in the city.

Now that the cable is operating, the power authority has to repay the developer for improvements to the system that it had estimated would cost about $200 million. The authority has said that it will lose money on the project for at least several years.

Whether the investment will pay off in the long run will be determined by how much the authority saves on electricity, a commodity whose price changes quicker than a New Yorker can flip on a light.

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A Renewed Effort to Rename a Street Honoring a Soviet Spy

A street in Lower Manhattan is named after Samuel Dickstein, a former United States representative and State Supreme court judge, who was secretly on the payroll of the Soviet Union.Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times A street in Lower Manhattan is named after Samuel Dickstein, a former United States representative and State Supreme court judge, who was secretly on the payroll of the Soviet Union.

When Susan LaRosa became director of marketing for the Henry Street Settlement a few years ago, she peered out her window at the plaza below and wondered about its namesake: Who was Samuel Dickstein?

Once she found out through her own research, she was angry. And since The New York Times reported last month that the congressman for whom the Lower East Side plaza had been named had also been a spy for the Soviet Union, her effort to rename the block has gotten a new lease on life.

Ms. LaRosa now hopes to persuade the city to name the block Lillian Wald Way, in honor of the nurse who founded the Henry Street settlement house 120 years ago.

“I can see that sign from my office window, and when I first arrived here decided to find out who Samuel Dickstein was,” she said. “What a shocker. Why retain the name of a greedy spy when saintly Lillian can grace the plaza.”

In 1963, a one block extension of Pitt Street between Grand and East Broadway was named by the City Council for Mr. Dickstein, a former congressman and State Supreme Court justice, who became famous in the 1930s for pursuing radicals as vice chairman of a House subcommittee on un-American activities and later turning his attention to Nazi sympathizers.

According to “The Haunted Wood,” published in 1999, Mr. Dickstein was also paid $1,250 monthly by the Russian intelligence services for information.

Ms. LaRosa said she planned to petition the local community board, Community Board 3, and the City Council to change the name. The community board would have to approve her petition for the measure to be considered by the City Council.

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