Blame it on four-dollar cupcakes. And capitalists and philistines. Because of them, the bookman has been forced out of his spot on Columbus Avenue just outside 67 Wine at 68th Street. At least, that’s what the angry words scrawled in black magic marker on a piece of salvaged wood propped up against a parking meter would lead one to believe. He had been a fixture there for at least twenty years. Not permanent, it seemed.
From 1982 until 2002 I lived on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on West 70th Street. During that time the bookman was part of my life, the way other dog owners in Central Park and the pharmacy and drycleaner staff were. I used to walk by his piles of books every day and always stopped to see what had been added. After a decade in exile in Weston, Connecticut, I returned to my old neighborhood in early 2012, purchasing a small apartment on West 67th Street. Much had changed, but the dry cleaners with the outdated signage depicting, for some reason, the Eiffel Tower, remained, as did the pharmacy with the ancient and slightly bizarre window displays. Rigoletto Pizza was still there, with a facelift. Continue reading →
We spent the day basically watching what was left–the Marathon, the Handball final (France over Sweden for the gold, a close match where France just had enough of a defensive edge), Volleyball (Russia over Brazil in a surprising but emphatic comeback), the Marathon (a surprise winner from Uganda). After the surprises of last night, particularly Tom Dailey, who had looked pressured in the tryouts, but who performed magnificently in the diving finals for a bronze medal.
So the medal total is roughly unchanged—the US and China way in front, but Britain 3rd in Gold and 4th overall, after Russia. 16 years ago, Britain won one Gold. How times change. And that’s certainly a large part of why everyone—well, nearly everyone—feels really good about the past two weeks. But it’s also because the events all went smoothly, public transport worked phenomenally well, and everyone who came to London now thinks it’s the coolest place in the world. It’s always nice to have some validation. Continue reading →
OK, to even ask this question is to already concede the answer. Palin came into the 2008 campaign as a complete unknown, and part of the fun of that campaign was uncovering the surprising and unexpected depths of her ignorance. But she persevered, and she remains admired by large swaths of the American public. Admittedly, it’s for the wrong things entirely—her ignorance, her self-absorption, her self-proclaimed victimhood—but still, you can’t deny she’s got spunk.
But she’s also clever in a certain carnal way—she’s figured out how to make some dough on the side. Why else leave that springboard to political power, the governorship of Alaska? And her career has certainly been peripatetic—she’s worked in public service (well, yes, she has), but she’s also bounced around in the private sector. Continue reading →
Thompson makes a compelling argument. Secession is a subject we here at S&R have engaged in the past, primarily within the context of the inequitable distribution of tax revenues (donor states vs. taker states), and it’s perhaps telling that so many of the smartest people I know – rational, clear-headed, educated, progressive-minded, deliberate thinkers all – are more than willing to entertain the idea. Sure, there are plenty of logistical concerns to be considered, but make no mistake – the “South’s gonna do it agin” crowd isn’t the only segment of the population that would be okay parting ways. Continue reading →