what's in a name? A lot, if that name is The Chelsea Hotel.

I always miss my former editor Larry Lerner, who left in February — but never more than when the subject of the Hotel Chelsea comes up. Long before I arrived, Larry had made the famous artist’s denizen a second home; with the help of his camera, his terrific prose and the hotel’s own Ed Hamilton,Continue reading “what's in a name? A lot, if that name is The Chelsea Hotel.”

republicans against privatized health care?

I can’t believe I’m posting twice in one afternoon. But this is quietly extraordinary: the famously pro-privatization mayor of my city realizing that for-profit health care may not be the best idea. Bloomberg noted the city had gotten its health insurance from the two companies — Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York and GroupContinue reading “republicans against privatized health care?”

neither soldier nor civilian

Yesterday, I went to a benefit performance of the Off- Broadway show “The Castle,” in which four former inmates tell their stories and praise The Fortune Society. For 40 years, the society has worked on such folks’ behalf, and ten years ago bought the castle where this movie was filmed and turned it into aContinue reading “neither soldier nor civilian”

Monday morning links, not thoughts

It’s a Monday morning, and I’m trying to simultaneously finish my crazy oversized book chapter and get my week at the newspaper firmly started. So I’m going to punt one more time, and offer up a couple of links: Does Obama’s appearance on Fox News signify a move to the right? An interesting take. AContinue reading “Monday morning links, not thoughts”

Groundhog Day, with a few more clues

Then as now, there sat the opposition, renegade transit planners and passenger organizations with their own quixotic-seeming quest to remake the project.

In the interim, NJT had revised its plans significantly, but not to respond to the critics. Instead, the plan had diverged even further from its original concepts. There went those critics’ hopes to integrate the tunnel station with a regional rail system, as in Paris or Philadelphia.

Luxury [boring] City

At Chelsea Now I often feel like I’m writing a subtler version of one of those blogs chronicling the loss of old New York in the crush of New York’s new development, like Lost City or Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York. Roughly a quarter of my stories feature efforts to Save something, whether it’s Save theContinue reading “Luxury [boring] City”

the kid gets an award

Just got word from colleagues ar Community Media that my series on illegal hotels (see Selected Articles, or just google my name and “illegal hotels”) was given an award for “in depth reporting” by the New York Newspaper Association. The citation read: “These stories were well written as well as rich and informative–putting a consistentlyContinue reading “the kid gets an award”

rashomon, via NYC schools

This past Tuesday, I sat in a windowless classroom on my beat, getting yelled at by a principal, four assistant principals, and a handful of teachers and students from a local high school. Many of their sentences began: “Do you even know..?” Did I know that their math team had done well? That their mediaContinue reading “rashomon, via NYC schools”