2004-11-10 Critical Mass Ass – NY Press



New York Press

November 10th, 2004

CLEARLY, AMNEW YORK‘S editor-in-chief Alex Storozynski
misses his glory days at the Daily News, back when his quill
dripped fire and he let loose such broadsides as “Jamaica Bay, A Gem
Worth Saving,” “Just Say No When Firms Avoid Taxes” and “Grammys,
Eminem: Keep Out.”

Power of the pen, man!

Helming a free daily that’s read by those too poor to buy the

New York Post must be causing a midlife creative crisis
for Storozynski. And so last Friday he demonstrated that though
editors-in-chief enjoy a certain right of kings, it’s a right best
exercised with discretion.

Taking amNew York‘s front page for himself, the
fortysomething Storozynski urged Critical Mass organizers to “End the
Anarchy” by securing a permit for the monthly ride. In a tone that
wouldn’t seem out of place at an Eva Moskowitz-hosted dinner party,
Storozynski heaped opprobrium upon “anarchists” who have “hijacked the
ride and [are] using it to confront the police.”

Lest you think that “anarchist” was inserted by a mischievous copy
editor hell-bent on depicting her boss as an out-of-touch retard,
Storozynski elsewhere claims that “[i]nstead of promoting safety, the
riders celebrate anarchy.”

As readers may remember, New York Press named Critical Mass
the Best Socially Aware Tourist Attraction in 2003. We support the
monthly ride. We participate in the monthly ride. We were disgusted
to witness first-hand the Dyer Ave. arrest on the pre-RNC ride. Our
friends were harassed by police at an Oct. 29 after-ride party.

Critical Mass is one of the few local political mobilizations that does what it says, says what it does. Critics like Storozynski are naive if they think the event is about picking fights with the cops. Even before the Republican National Convention, police were combative with riders; it is they who instigate confrontation, who pit bicycle against automobile. As for altercations with drivers, for every flared traffic-jam temper, we’ve had supportive honks and graceful, considerate halting by both working and casual drivers.

New York Press supports Critical Mass and hopes the riders
stand tough. We also urge anyone who supports sane traffic reform for
New York City to educate themselves. Finally, we urge Storozynski to
retire early.

ALEX STOROZYNSKI DECLINED to comment for this article. Here are the
questions we didn’t get to ask:

  • Where do you live: Connecticut or New Jersey?
  • Have you ever participated in a Critical Mass ride?
  • With this front page, you’ve effectively pushed amNew York
    into New York Post territory, namely a stodgy tab that
    complains about kids making too much noise. Yet, in an interview with
    the New York Observer prior to am‘s launch, you said,
    “We’re going to have a young staff that’s going to be writing for
    their own generation.” How does your young staff feel about having
    their cranky grandfather commandeering the front page for an
    obnoxious, reactionary editorial?
  • How many junior editors do you think are laughing at you behind
    your back?
  • Do you own a car?
  • Is it true that you were on the Daily News editorial board
    that received a Pulitzer for “Showdown at the Apollo?”
  • Is this the kind of insightful, snappy writing that won you a
    Pulitzer at the Daily News?
  • Are you going to give back your Pulitzer now?

Copyright 2004, The New York Press

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