‘Diana, Huntress of Bus Drivers’ Takes Vengeance In Ciudad Juarez

We’ve been hearing about crime near the Mexican border for years now, but one of the most recent spates of crime is a bit different from the rest. A blonde woman who wears all black has allegedly been killing bus drivers who have sexually assaulted female passengers. Ciudad Juarez has long set the scene for brutal crimes against women and some women’s advocates aren’t surprised by the avenger’s actions. Two bus drivers were killed over the last week and the killer sent a message to news outlets claiming responsibility for the deaths.

“You think because we are women we are weak, and maybe we are, but only to a certain point,” states the message, according to the Los Angeles Times. The message goes on to say, “We can no longer remain quiet over these acts that fill us with rage. And so, I am an instrument who will take vengeance.” Bus drivers in Ciudad Juarez are terrified of the woman, who signed the letter “Diana, Huntress of Bus Drivers.”

[Thanks, Los Angeles Times]

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Construction Time-Lapse Video

EarthCam put together this video documenting the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge via time-lapse – and it’s amazing! The video captures over 42,000 hours of the construction work that took place over this four mile span in San Francisco. EarthCam’s videos were on site gathering footage of the project since 2008. Enjoy.

[Thanks, Laughing Squid]How to Get Around San Francisco

NYC Taxi Driver Shoots Stunning Photos From Behind The Wheel

David Bradford isn’t your average New York City taxi driver. His days “at the office” are directed by the skill that sets him apart from other taxi drivers: he’s a photographer. Bradford’s canvas is New York City as he sees it throughout his day, from a behind-the-steering-wheel vantage point. He has published several books, most notably “Drive-By Shootings: Photographs by a New York City Taxi Driver,” and he was recently the subject of a New York Moment video, featured above.

Bradford started out as a visual artist with an emphasis on drawing from photographs and a degree from Rhode Island School of Design in illustration. When he moved to NYC after graduating college, he began photographing NYC, originally as fodder for his drawings. But Bradford soon discovered that his photographs stood as pieces on their own and began pursuing the art form.

%Slideshow-79433%When Bradford began working as an art director for Saks Fifth Avenue fashion shoots, he experienced swift success with images appearing in the New York Times and other national magazines. After devoting a decade to this type of work, Bradford decided to go freelance, hoping to devote more of his time toward his personal art. When he responded to an ad for taxi drivers, he had intended to use the job as a means to an end and spend his free time working on his own pursuits. However, according to Bradford, he realized on the first day of the job, as he sat inspired behind the steering wheel and saw NYC in motion, that he would have to combine his photography with his work.

His photographs from the taxi, much like his initial art, were turned into drawings in the beginning. But Bradford discovered the medium of the camera all over again.

“I was on the lookout for truth and beauty with interesting light. With the right light, anything can be beautiful,” he said to me in an email. “This city is like a moody person. So I shoot her right back and capture that vibration.”

[Photo Credit: David Bradford]

Taxi Driver Dances To

10 Ways To Be A Terrible Airbnb Guest

Most people by now have heard of Airbnb and as the awareness of the site spreads, so does the use of it. Airbnb provides affordable and interesting accommodations that are a nice alternative to hotels when traveling, especially if you like to meet locals when you’re in a new city. But Airbnb guests are sometimes a nightmare for Airbnb hosts, as is documented on AirbnbHell.

Here are 10 ways you can be a terrible Airbnb guest (Of course, avoid doing these things to be a good guest).

1. Use the site to commit a crime
This might seem like it goes without saying, but it doesn’t. When a host opens up their home to a complete stranger, no amount of verifications Airbnb gives a host to make them feel safe changes the fact that the host is putting him or herself, family and personal possessions in a vulnerable position. Airbnb had to change their entire approach to host safety after a woman had her apartment ransacked in San Francisco when she rented it out via the site. Other hosts have had to deal with identity theft, drug addicts, prostitution and ruined personal possessions, among other things. Dear criminals, Airbnb is not the best outlet for your intended crime. You will be tracked, you will be caught and you will receive the most terrible karma ever for taking advantage of someone who gave you the benefit of the doubt. 2. Cross personal boundaries
You have to have decent discernment and social skills to be a good Airbnb guest or host. One Airbnb host wrote about her bad experiences with guests for CNN and detailed a guest showing her porn he had made with his girlfriend. Know what might be considered offensive to a host and don’t cross personal boundaries without clear and enthusiastic consent.

3. Ask for a discount
Airbnb hosts have already thought through their pricing carefully and are charging you, in most cases, far less than a hotel would. Don’t push your hosts to give you an even better deal than they’re offering. If you want to pay less, find a listing that charges less.

4. Try to get your “money’s worth”
You’re already getting your money’s worth when you use Airbnb. You’re getting affordable accommodations, local insight and breakfast. Don’t push your hosts for additional food, drinks, rides or anything else unless offered. And remember, even when extras are offered to you, you don’t have to say yes to everything offered. Understand that hosts are doing all that they can to be kind to you and make you feel comfortable, but that they also have lives and jobs to balance while hosting you.

5. Leave a mess
Some Airbnb listings include cleaning fees and some don’t. Either way, don’t be a slob. You’re in another person’s home and you should treat it as such. The best guests wash their dishes, keep their things contained to the room they’re renting, clean up messes they happen to make and put the towels and sheets they used in a pile before leaving.

6. Argue about politics/religion/etc.
I believe it’s polite to not talk about potentially controversial issues in any sort of loaded way before making sure you’re in agreement with the other person. Some Airbnb hosts make their political and religious views clear on their profiles or in their homes. If you are staying with someone who has different beliefs than you do, respect that you are in their home. Avoid conversation on those topics if conversation is going to mean an argument.

7. Use things that aren’t yours to use
Most Airbnb hosts make it clear in the rules section of their listing what you can use and what you can’t. For the things that aren’t so clear, common courtesy should tell you when you need to ask permission before using something in another person’s home. You don’t need to ask permission to get a glass of water. You should ask permission before opening a bottle of wine. You don’t need to ask permission to take a shower. You should ask permission before playing one of the host’s instruments. It should be obvious.

8. Make yourself too at home
Airbnb hosts want you to feel comfortable, not take over their home. The rules regarding this tip are a bit different depending on whether you’re renting an entire place or just a room. But if you’re renting just a room, don’t monopolize the rest of the home. Don’t take naps on the couch, invite your friends over, turn the kitchen table into your personal office, perform a seance or redecorate the place. The home is not yours, you’re just staying in it.

9. Complain unjustly
If you have a serious problem with the space you’re renting through Airbnb, you should talk to the host about it. You deserve to have clean sheets and towels, for instance, and you should address this with your host if you don’t. But don’t complain to your hosts (or in your review) if the neighbors are throwing a party, if you rented a room with a loft bed but are suddenly afraid of heights or if you don’t like cooking with the appliances and other kitchen equipment in the house. Know the difference between a warranted complaint and a petty complaint.

10. Expect hosts to change their lives for you
In case this isn’t clear to you already, it’s not appropriate to expect your Airbnb host to wake up at 5 a.m. to let you in, take you around town, wake up before you in the mornings, be available all day long for conversation, watch your pet while you’re out all day every day (unless a rate for dog-sitting is agreed upon beforehand), do your laundry for you (although if you ask nicely when they are already doing laundry, they might say yes) or drive you to the airport upon departure. Have some manners and understand that you should be grateful for any extraordinary efforts a host makes to accommodate you and reciprocal in generosity when possible.

Airbnb Requires Passports From Users; Blocks Iranians

Gummy Bear Art Car Takes Grand Tour

gummy bear car in New York
Courtesy of Alex Leuchte

Sometimes an “only in New York” moment has a more global story. On a rainy afternoon this week in Manhattan, my friend visiting from Germany was excited to spot a Mercedes with Munich plates. The car had a distinctive pattern covering its exterior, we debated whether it was metal, fabric or beads, but the actual decoration is much sweeter: gummy bears.

The back window detailed the “grand tour” of this visionary art, starting in Munich, traveling to Paris and London, and finally New York. The project is the third installment of artist Guenther Siraky‘s Mercedes Trilogy, which also took him and the car through Europe in 2007. The plan was to take the gummy bear car to each of the city’s major art museums, including the Louvre, Tate and Guggenheim, exhibiting the work of art in front of each museum. Over a million people have seen the car, and reactions range from disbelief and amazement to tears of joy. NYPD officers have even allowed him to park in forbidden places to display his work. While the car should be covered in rain and extreme heat, the slightly melted gummy bears just add to the vehicle’s charm. Siraky intended to sell the vehicle once he completed his tour last month, but he has extended his time in New York, and can be found driving it all over the five boroughs through the end of September.

See a slideshow of the gummy bear car in NYC below, and check in with the art car’s adventures through the artist’s Facebook page.

%Slideshow-76574%