2010 is coming to a close, and the Upper West Side has seen a healthy amount of happenings this year. As we welcome 2011, we are taking a look back at some of the most newsworthy moments in our neighborhood. Today, we look at some of the Upper West Side news stories that caught our attention the most this year. Click through for the list.
5. Assault during Premium Rush filming leads to city-wide debate. Premium Rush, a big-budget movie starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt with a plot about a bike messenger, spent weeks filming on the Upper West Side throughout the summer, shutting down streets and sidewalks intermittently throughout the production. Some Upper West Siders were more irritated than starstruck because of the filming, and one neighbor, Breffny Flynn, was so peeved that he headbutted a lowly PA during a filming on August 7th. The “headbutt heard ’round the city” let to an interesting debate over whether film crews are too intrusive to New York City residents.
4. The Supreme Court adds an Upper West Sider. When Justice John Paul Stevens retired, all eyes were on President Obama as he considered replacement candidates. Upper West Siders were proud when one of our own, former Solicitor General and Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan, was nominated and later confirmed to the Supreme Court. Kagan was born and raised on the Upper West Side, living with her family at 75th and West End Avenue and attending Lincoln Square Synagogue, and she has served on the highest court in the country since August.
3. A citywide increase in crime includes a string of Upper West Side incidents. Crime has increased noticeably in New York City in 2010 from 2009, with robberies up 3.5 percent, rapes up 15 percent, and murders up as much as 20 percent from last year. The UWS was not immune to this increase, with incidents like the July attacks on women in Riverside Park, the serial robberies (with a single suspect) in October, the tiny Central Park muggers in June, and other muggings in October and November drawing attention. Sadly, the majority of the crime news stories reported this year have not been resolved with public arrests.
2. Madonna stalker makes a scene outside of her UWS apartment. Who could forget this face? Robert Linhart, 59, was arrested, charged, and sentenced after camping outside of her Harperley Hall apartment (Central Park West and 64th) with signs professing his love for the pop star. Linhart, who was arrested on-site for the two September incidents, was charged with criminal weapons possession (for a Leatherman knife and a pocket knife) along with disorderly conduct, making graffiti, possessing a graffiti instrument, and resisting arrest, and was ordered to stay at least 10 blocks away from Madonna’s home.
5. Fashion Week storms Lincoln Center. For the first time ever, the country’s biggest fashion event took place at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park. In September, celebrities, models, designers, and fashion icons gathered at the tents to see some of the world’s biggest designers present their Spring 2011 lines. From the famous faces in the front row of shows to the PETA protest of the use of fur in clothing design to the kooky characters hanging out around the area, the Upper West Side was transformed into a vibrant and cutting-edge place for fashion.
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Tags: 2010, 2010 Roundup, 2011, Elena Kagan, Fashion, Fashion Week, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, News Stories, Premium Rush, Stalker