count us as the foul, fetid, fuming, foggy filthy 2.7

Why 2.7? That’s how many New Yorkers move every day to Philadelphia. We count Scout, our middle-aged kitten-sized black cat, as the .7, though she’d likely object to such a characterization if she could. Remember my reference last month to “some other, little-engine-that-could town?” I meant my fiancee’s home town, which was one of theContinue reading “count us as the foul, fetid, fuming, foggy filthy 2.7”

Updated: When Wall Street uses Google for evil

Well, now that the investor-landlord meme I wrote about last week has finally caught on, the Village Voice and the Times note a brilliantly evil use of “the Google ” by these new owners, They find someone with a similar name somewhere else, and claim that the rent-stabilized apartment is not a tenant’s primary residence.Continue reading “Updated: When Wall Street uses Google for evil”

Part two, notes from Winter Soldier on the Hill

“You’re telling us that what we’re doing there is bloodying our hands,” Representative Maxine Waters told members of Iraq Veterans Against the War halfway through Thursday’s hearing, also known as Winter Soldier on the Hill. Waters added that much of the information she was hearing was new, and that it felt truer than all theContinue reading “Part two, notes from Winter Soldier on the Hill”

Notes from Winter Soldier on the Hill, part one

“I joined the military to kill Iraqi people,” Kristofer Goldsmith said softly in a Congressional hearing room on Thursday. The slim young veteran, his Mohawk pulled back from his head in a half-braid, kept his eyes focused forward as news photographers scurried under the table at which he sat, snapping photographs as he continued: ”Continue reading “Notes from Winter Soldier on the Hill, part one”

reasons to go get an MBA

Today, the NY Times’ business section finally noticed something that’s been glaringly obvious for some time, at least if you’d paid any attention to the past few years of landlord-tenant strife. No longer are tenants fighting the traditional landlord, who is penny-pinching to keep his profit-over-expenses margin healthy. Now, they’re facing companies with names likeContinue reading “reasons to go get an MBA”

"the intervention that makes change possible is love"

About two weeks ago, I offered a few thoughts on the latest work by Jeanette Winterson, offering one sideline smart passage while mostly urging you to seek out the book itself. Whether you did or not, I advise you to check out this review + interview in Gay City News. (One of the perks ofContinue reading “"the intervention that makes change possible is love"”

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.”

the courage not to bomb

Amid primaries, protests, and my quixotic effort to make progress on my book, I’ve kept headlines like this and this tucked away at the side of my brain, where my belief in the strong possibility of an October surprise lives and worries. But now, I hear Tim Russert has taken time off from Hillary-bashing toContinue reading “the courage not to bomb”

yearning for the engineers?

My friend Lily was one of the first on the net with this story you might have seen on CNN — the first, that is, after the dad whose desperation threw on Youtube the substandard housing contractors had built at Fort Bragg: The screen capture to the left is a soldier plunging a clogged bathroomContinue reading “yearning for the engineers?”

that's what you'd expect in a democracy

I’ve been a huge fan of Jeannette Winterson for more then ten years, ever since her novel Passion knocked me out of any literary or emotional comfort zone I’d ever had. I can’t say I emulate her: her brand of poetry, vision and audacity just can’t be mimicked, though I did tell students they couldContinue reading “that's what you'd expect in a democracy”