Texas Comes North to Poach Business

New York radio listeners, give it up for Gov. Rick Perry of Texas.

Not to be outdone by a potential rival for the governorship who invited New York gun owners to move to Texas after New York tightened its gun laws in January, Mr. Perry has released a radio ad here comparing Texas’s business climate quite favorably to New York’s.

“The new New York sounds a lot like the old New York,” Mr. Perry says in a dig at the Cuomo administration’s recently unveiled “New New York” economic development campaign. “Higher taxes. Stifling regulations. Bureaucrats telling you whether you can even drink a Big Gulp.”

Mr. Perry explains that things are different in Texas, where there is no income tax, “fair and predictable regulations” (very helpful if you prefer that first responders not know how much explosive ammonium nitrate is on hand at your fertilizer plant), and lawsuit reforms that “keep trial lawyers out of your pockets so you can grow your business.”

The ads herald Mr. Perry’s five-day job-poaching trip to New York and Connecticut, which begins on Sunday and will include meetings with business leaders in the gun, pharmaceutical and financial industries.

According to Mr. Perry’s office, the ads will run for a week on nine stations in New York City and Albany and cost $50,000. Mr. Perry’s recruitment effort also includes spending $1 million on television ads, which began running Monday on cable channels in New York and Connecticut. The ads and the trip are being paid for by TexasOne, a project of the Texas Economic Development Corporation that does not spend state tax dollars, Mr. Perry’s office said.

On behalf of all residents of the great State of New York, City Room welcomes Mr. Perry and his entourage and hopes that they enjoy their stay and spend lots and lots of money.

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Bringing an Ancient Art Form to the Edge of Modern Manhattan

Kevin Sudeith near one of his carvings that he has etched in northern Manhattan. Ángel Franco/The New York Times Kevin Sudeith near one of his carvings that he has etched in northern Manhattan.

Many of Mr. Sudeith's etchings are of items he has spotted flying over New York City. Ángel Franco/The New York Times Many of Mr. Sudeith’s etchings are of items he has spotted flying over New York City.

Kevin Sudeith, 47, climbed up a wooded area in northern Manhattan recently and stood in front of a rock outcropping that looked as if it had been visited by a group of industrious cave men – albeit ones with art degrees and a working knowledge of modern aircraft.

The rock’s vertical face was ornamented with some 20 carvings, each about the size of a dinner plate and up to an inch deep.

The sketches in stone looked like expert doodles of an array of flying objects that included hot-air balloons, police helicopters, space shuttles and satellites.

They were the handiwork of Mr. Sudeith, an artist with a master’s degree in painting and a longtime fascination with ancient stone carvings, or petroglyphs.

Mr. Sudeith said he began making charcoal drawings on stone about 10 years ago, but then realized that “it will last longer if it’s carved.”

So in 2007 he began carving images into rock formations here in this wooded area. First he made a jumbo jet, then a man on a bicycle and then more aircraft, usually flying objects he had observed over New York City: the hot-air balloons he saw in an exhibition, the fighter jet he saw flying over the city one Fourth of July, a seaplane that landed in the East River and a satellite designed by father of a friend living in Queens.

“I see it as storytelling and documenting, in a special way, some of the cool stuff from our moment in time,” he said, adding that the first carvings were slow and laborious to execute.

“This is Manhattan schist – it’s up to 500 million years old, and very hard,” he said. “Midtown and Wall Street skyscrapers are bolted to this stuff.”

Mr. Sudeith used chisels and battery-powered tools to create bas-relief renderings that exhibited perspective, depth and detail. Even a small carving could take up to a week to finish. He worked even in cold weather, and at one point contracted a bad case of poison ivy, and he loved it all.

The area is city parkland and Mr. Sudeith executed the carvings without getting permission. But he said these unobtrusive carvings could hardly be considered vandalism. Unlike many graffiti artists, he went out of his way to make sure they would not be in a highly visible spot.

He said he looked at topographical maps of New York City to find “the most underutilized place I could find,” but one with rocky outcroppings. This spot in Upper Manhattan – he asked that the exact location not be disclosed — takes some pretty rugged hiking and climbing to access.

The only people who came upon him working were some teenagers cutting through the woods and walking two pit bulls. The dogs froze and stared down Mr. Sudeith.

“The kids came up and one of them said: ‘You’re the one doing these? These are mad cool,’ which I took great pride in,” Mr. Sudeith recalled, after climbing a bit farther up a slope last week to show a few more carvings to a reporter.

“There’s some poison ivy,” he said, pointing to a three-leafed plant, “and there’s a hypodermic needle wrapper.”

To share his work with more than the occasional hiker, Mr. Sudeith makes prints from his carvings — embossed impressions that he creates by applying ink or paint to the etchings and then rubbing wet paper on them.

“The prints are the emissaries of the carvings back to town, or society,” said Mr. Sudeith, who is currently showing his rubbings in a show called “Modern Petroglyphs” at 308 at 156 Project Art Space, at Fifth Avenue and 20th Street in Manhattan, through June 22.

Mr. Sudeith, who grew up in Minnesota, said he remembered being struck, even as a teenager, while seeing American Indian petroglyphs there while camping, and later at age 21, seeing images on stone in Australia.

He moved to New York City in 1993 to pursue a master’s degree at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, and he helped support himself by setting up at downtown Manhattan flea markets and selling woolen carpets woven in a traditional Afghan style that depict images of machine guns, tanks and warplanes.

The uptown petroglyphs served as a test case, after which he packed up his tools and camping gear, and began carving his way across the continent, from California to Nova Scotia.

Mostly he worked on private property with the permission of the owner, often carving images reflecting the local culture, like carvings of moose and fishing boats in Nova Scotia, farm equipment in North Dakota or a commuter train he carved on a natural stone wall inside a garage in Berkeley, Calif.

In the end, it is the permanence that is the rub, said Mr. Sudeith, looking over his Manhattan petroglyphs, a short hike from nearby bustling streets.

“These should last 10,000 years,” he said, “or at least until they build something here.”

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Spinning on Citi Bikes

Dear Diary:

As I turned the corner of 45th Street and Third Avenue, I noticed a woman of about 60 in a jogging suit peddling a Citi Bike in a stationary position. She was going at a good rate.

A few passers-by looked and laughed, and one person commented to her that she obviously found a new use for those bikes.

The “biker” responded, “Laugh if you want, but I never have to pay for a spin class again.”

Read all recent entries and our updated submissions guidelines. Reach us via e-mail [email protected] or follow @NYTMetro on Twitter using the hashtag #MetDiary.

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Thrilling New Chance to Get Queasy Is Planned for Coney Island

It won’t exactly be THE Thunderbolt, but it will definitely be the Thunderbolt: The city announced on Tuesday that a new roller coaster would open on Coney Island next year on the site of the old Thunderbolt, the roller coaster that once rivaled the Cyclone and makes a famous appearance in “Annie Hall.”

The new Thunderbolt, to be built and operated by the owner of (the new) Luna Park at Coney Island near West 16th Street, will be faster, taller and longer than the Cyclone, if less lovably rickety.

The whole ride will be 125 feet tall and more than a third of a mile long, and riders will be pulled up 110 feet and dropped down into a series of “elements and inversions” at speeds up to 65 miles an hour, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

“The ride will then make its return through a series of ‘bunny hills’ that will give riders a floating sensation until the train returns,” the city said in a news release. More renderings can be seen here.

The original Thunderbolt operated on the site from 1925 until 1982 and was torn down by the Giuliani administration – illegally, a federal jury found – in 2000.

The house below the Thunderbolt, the fictional childhood home of Alvy Singer in “Annie Hall,” burned down in 1991. There are no plans to rebuild it.

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Staten Island Community Gets Back Its Library, Much Improved

Finally, post-Hurricane Sandy, Staten Islanders have something to cheer about: Local civic leaders and elected officials joined executives of the New York Public Library on Tuesday in opening the newly renovated Stapleton branch, which, at 12,000 square feet, is now more than double its original size.

The library, at 132 Canal Street, combines the original 4,800-square-foot Carnegie-financed branch built in 1907 with a 7,000-square-foot addition that has reading rooms, lounges, computer access and a community room.

The renovation, which cost $15.2 million and took four years and was designed by Andrew Berman Architects and overseen by the City’s Department of Design and Construction, brings a much improved library to one of the island’s poorer neighborhoods.

“We know how much the residents of Stapleton wanted and needed their library back,” said Tony Marx, president of the New York Public Library, “and we’re so happy to say that it’s back and better than ever, now able to adequately serve the needs of this community.”

The Stapleton branch also has a new permanent boarder – an orphaned Teddy bear found outside the building several months ago as the staff prepared to return. The bear still needs a name. Suggestions?

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