New York City

Citizen Bloomberg & the Fallacy of Appeal to Efficacy

August 13, 2013

When will it stop? I’m asking. When? These are supposedly educated people. (If all the supposeds in the world were actuals, the world would be a far, far better place than it has ever been before: all the cows would come home to hear the fat lady sing.) When will the people who would lead [...]


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Rescue Me

April 4, 2012

. When I was in the second grade, I ran away from home. I told one or two of my classmates at school of my intention, and at the end of the day, when the school bus from P.S. 18 dropped us off about a mile further west along Hillside Avenue, in Queens Village, in [...]


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I, Governor

November 8, 2011

. Americans love personality. In the centuries since each individual in his distinction from every other unlike him was raised above competing notions of identity, no culture has exalted the individual personality more than that of the American. It is the altar of existential and political personhood. Be any wild and unaccountable thing, but above [...]


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Jazz Is: 33 – Occupy Love

October 29, 2011

. One of my occasional exceptions to the has-to-be-an-interesting-video rule. The last time I heard this, a couple of months ago, I was sitting in a storefront window on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan with a cup of coffee, thinking about love. There’s Wall Street and politics, and there’s real life, before, during, and after. A Billie Holiday original. Don’t bother. [...]


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The Hope of Occupy Wall Street

October 5, 2011

. I don’t mean by that title the hope of those who have organized the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. In some respects that isn’t clear, in others all too clear. The people behind the effort – Anonymous “hacktivists” and other left-libertarians and anarchists – are people with whom I share no allegiance. I was disdainful of “occupation” [...]


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9/11/11: Squandered Sympathies

September 12, 2011

(The seventh in a series) The squandered sympathies meme states that the United States, as a consequence of 9/11, was the recipient of widespread international sympathy and good will. The meme was born as soon after 9/11 as some people began to anticipate U.S. action in Afghanistan, which is to say as early as those [...]


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Left Bereft: September 11, 2001 and the Politics of the Moral Imagination

September 11, 2011

(9/11/11: the sixth in a series) I have met them at close of day Coming with vivid faces From counter or desk among grey Eighteenth-century houses. I have passed with a nod of the head Or polite meaningless words, Or have lingered awhile and said Polite meaningless words, And thought before I had done Of [...]


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9/10/01: “Ere the sun Swings his noonday sword”*

September 10, 2011

. (9/11/11: fifth in a series) That much I can give you of these hours.  That much only,  fists and blossom forged by salt, trellising your wounded helixes against our days.  Tell us how to live for we are shades, facing, caged, the chastening sun.  Our eyes are scorched and lidless.  We cannot bear your [...]


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Nine Days before 9/11

September 7, 2011

  (9/11/11: second in a series) Before I made my way to Normandy, I stopped back in Paris, which Julia and I had left on September 9. She now remained behind in Provence to teach a photo workshop. My first arrival in Paris had been ill-omened, but then the connections between our personal lives and [...]


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Two and a Half Centuries before 9/11

September 6, 2011

  (9/11/11: the first in a series) Long ago loosed from popular memory, the Lisbon earthquake of 1755 was not only a natural catastrophe but a crisis of the enlightenment mind as well. The quake is estimated to have lasted ten minutes, with three distinct jolts. Modern seismological estimates, based on recorded observations of the [...]


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Labor Day & 9/11

September 4, 2011

  This is a photo of the North Tower of New York’s World Trade Center under construction. Accompanying text from the source reads: The World Trade Center project in lower Manhattan last week entered a new phase of construction. A crane placed the first of 76 huge steel columns, shaped like short-handled pitch-forks, that will [...]


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CineFile – Manhattan

June 26, 2011

I’m home in New York for awhile – Manhattan to be precise. Film by Woody Allen. City a joint project. The clip ends with the night of my arrival. Manhattan (1979) from circeo59 on Vimeo.


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CineFile – Movies, Music, Motion, Minimalism

March 27, 2011

As a youth riding buses and subway trains in New York City, and as a child in the backseat of the family car, I loved to stare out windows in silence, even if everyone around me was loud with conversation. I lived inside my head, not the world, and observation was a form of contentment. [...]


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How We Lived on It (36) – New York City

March 26, 2011

It’s remarkable (to me, anyway) that I reached number 36 of this series without having done New York City, though I did do a post on the Rockaways. If you never saw the seventeen and a half hour Ric Burns documentary on the history and meaning of New York, and even if you did, but [...]


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Centenaries and Memory

March 25, 2011

Today is the hundredth anniversary of the Triangle Shirt Factory fire in New York City, a signal event in the history of the American worker, and one that is drawing a remarkable degree of attention from a world so far from the one in which it occurred. This past December was my father’s hundredth birthday. [...]


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Letter from Paris: a Lump in the Throat

March 17, 2011

Yesterday’s Jazz Is entry, a Dexter Gordon film rendition of “Body and Soul,” put me in mind, for a reason you will soon understand that number always now does, of an another experience of the jazz standard. It was September 2001, and I was beginning a sabbatical year with a month-long drive around Europe. Julia [...]


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“Mac”

December 25, 2010

“Carry me along, taddy, like you done through the toy fair.” James Joyce, Finnegans Wake “Do you really think he was born on Christmas Day,” my mother said. I was already fully adult, but felt instantly young and naïve. “No one knows when he was born. We don’t even know the year.” My mother then [...]


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Let the CEO-Kings Rule

November 11, 2010

The other day we learned from the modest Rupert Murdoch that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg had described President Obama as the most “arrogant man” he had ever met after playing his first and presumably last round of golf with the commander in chief. Bloomberg is the modest Mayor who conspired, democratically, with his City [...]


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How We Lived on It (26) – The Rockaways

October 2, 2010

I lived the second decade of my life, my adolescence, in the beach community of the Rockaways – the Rockaway peninsula of New York City, in the area named Far Rockaway and one called Rockaway Park. Named after the Rockaway Indians, the peninsula is twenty miles and a two-hour subway ride on the A train [...]


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New York, New York

May 4, 2010

So I’m reading along, minding my own business, downing some crumpets and coffee (don’t even start) with my morning Goldberg, attending to what his journalistic eminence has to say about the latest loser with “My life has been a waste of organic material” written across his forehead, who thought he would honor his God by [...]


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Lessons in Democracy

June 12, 2009

The New York Times reports that a majority of New Yorkers do not favor Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s serving another term, despite Blumenthal’s success last October in getting the New York City Council to “extend” term limits so that he and council members could all serve third terms. Term limits were imposed in New York City [...]


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