After the salt bags, raise plow signs and wool scarfs hibernate, the cafe awning mechanisms are greased and stoops are swept for impending voyeurs or occasional eater. The coming of spring in New York, and really anywhere seasons have a true environmental impact, is a renewed phase bring new clothes, eating habits, extroverted actives, friends and lovers.
For a home employed rep, that’s no longer involved in the day-to-day requirement to see customers, getting out of the apartment is a sanity survival must. I’ve set up a workstation on the roof deck where engaging business partners via wireless or cellular now comes with a tan. Still this doesn’t involve physical interaction with other humans so I make a point to spend 20-30 minutes as part of the neighborhood at the park, cafe, or on my building front steps.
European consumerists, rent stabilized locals, artists hanging on, and shop workers weave around SOHO and I’ve started to take some shots of my passing guests. A few weeks ago, I spun my head around 3 seconds too late to catch an Olive’s delivery man, take a passenger side cab door head on, and loose.
On Prince, Bloomberg has painted the north side of the street nuclear puke green for a bike lane, and restricted parking to the south side. This has created some unfortunate traffic pains, as now trucks for the local bodegas double park in the middle of the street rather than in the open bike lane, creating a funnel for cars, bikers and some determined pedestrians. Because of this plan, cabbies let out their fair on the passenger side, or in the middle of the bike lane.
Spring was teasing this day, and I was leaning in the doorway of my building, wiping my hands from of the street-meat taco deliciousness when I heard the smack of bikers helmet hit auto aluminum. The passenger popped out instantly to care for the biker and the waitress at the cafe came out with a bag of ice. Smartly the olive’s delivery guys wear helmets and the crash didn’t look to result in any serious injuries.
The cab driver eventually got out, concerned only with the passenger to pay his fair, and to scan the door line for any serious dents. With only a cheap shot jab to the biker, “Watch out asshole!”, the driver returned to position behind the wheel, reestablished the link between his phone and right ear, and barely glanced in the mirror as he drove away to catch the changing light.
There’s a little bit of blame to go around to all involved, driver, passenger and biker, but real fail here is the cab driver. Karma’s been known to come back to those that stiff cabbies, I’m certain, if not 7K61, some driver is getting karmic retribution.
Afterward, I thought, should I have done something more than shoot the aftermath. Did I do enough by documenting the event and effects of the new traffic patterns or should I have forgone photographic interests to help the biker as well. One photographer in China has been taken criticism from his community for taking photos of this biker’s accident by waiting by for it to happen; knowing full well there was a pot hole filled with the day’s rain water.
It’s the cities responsibility for planning, infrastructure and citizen safety (paid for by the citizens taxes); thus if citizens don’t speak up, report or inform in any format about negligence, then how will anything get improved.
Not since the Hamburgler has a crook’s name so explicitly said what he’s going to do. Bernie Madoff has taken the the money of some of the richest people in America and the world, it just so happens that most of his victims, whom tended to invest EVERYTHING in the 10-12% returns, were Bernie’s “friends”, the Jews.
There’s been several stories of ground zero, Palm beach where the barometer of the recession’s impact on the wealth has been closely watched. However, this NY Times article goes further to capture the entitlement, defensiveness, and rank opportunism on display among those in the overclass who have lost fortunes, yet remain wealthy beyond all reason and feel permitted to participate in the national sense of despair over our calamity1.
Experience the pain:
â€œCustomers that can still come in and afford to buy fine pieces of jewelry have this feeling of guilt,â€ he says, sitting next to a couple of vaults at the rear of his store, H. T. Stuart & Company. â€œThey say, â€˜I still want to buy jewelry, but I feel funny, and I have friends and these people know others who got hurt, pretty badly, and they donâ€™t want to flaunt it.â€™ I have to try to convince them to go on living.â€
Down the street, at Trillion, Mr. Neff says his customers will go for rarities, like a $1,200, super 180 wool sweater knitted on something called a 39-gauge machine. Everything else is a tough sell.
â€œThey wonâ€™t deny themselves the top top,â€ Mr. Neff says. â€œI used to say, â€˜I know you have eight blue blazers but look at this blue blazer. Itâ€™s an upgrade.â€™ And any upgrade, theyâ€™d buy. This year, they donâ€™t want to seem foolish. Eight blue blazers is enough.â€
At a menâ€™s store called Crease Liberty, a longtime customer recently told Jennifer Inga, a saleswoman, that he wouldnâ€™t be buying anything for a while, because his net worth had dropped to $12 million from $30 million.
â€œHe said, â€˜Now is not the time.â€™ Itâ€™s mind-boggling to me,â€ Ms. Inga said. â€œHow can someone with $12 million feel like they canâ€™t afford a new pair of pants?â€
So where’s the tension?
Aside from death and money, the topic that preoccupies everyone here the most, and is spoken of the least, is the gentile-Jewish divide. As recounted in â€œMadness Under the Royal Palms,â€ Palm Beach was founded in the late 19th century by Henry Flagler, a Standard Oil executive, and for years it was dominated by white Anglo-Saxon Protestants.
In the middle of the last century, A. M. Sonnabend, a Jewish entrepreneur, started buying commercial property, including what became the Palm Beach Country Club, and nouveau-riche Jews suddenly had a hotel, beach club and a golf course of their own. Gradually, enough moved here to be described by the Christian elites as â€œthe other half,â€ many of them clustered in large condominium buildings south of a place called Sloans Curve, known informally by just about everyone as the Gaza Strip. (That the real Gaza Strip is inhabited by Palestinians is apparently beside the point.)
(1 John Cook)
Easter isn’t a holiday I celebrate much anymore. Not being devout, I don’t participate in lent, go to mass, or celebrate in a religious way. I do however, find the time to bite the ears off some dark chocolate bunnies and eat a hefty brunch of eggs and bloody mary’s.
It seems the trend in America is similar to my own experience. Gallup just released this poll data going back to 1948 showing an inexorable decline in the number of Americans who practice Christianity.
The percentage of Americans who identify with some form of a Christian religion has been dropping in recent decades, and now stands at 77%, according to an aggregate of Gallup Polls conducted in 2008. In 1948, when Gallup began tracking religious identification, the percentage who were Christian was 91%.
This poll shows a long and steady slide toward atheism, agnosticism, and general secularism; so does this mean that the religious right is correct in shouting “Christianity is under attack!” in this country, or does it show my and Gallup’s hypothesis, the further diversification of religion in this country is a result of other groups by definition have expanded (which coincidentally also contradicts the “We are a Christian Nation!” stance).
The Gallup poll shows the heaviest increase in no religious affiliation for the pollsters:
“Other” has been the lump group of all other religions including Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, or other non-Christian religions. This group has grown from close to 0% since inception of this poll, to 7% today.
What this data shows is two things, there’s a growing of the base population in Americas that are of non-christian religious which most notably would be from immigration and reproduction of immigrants holding to these “Other” religions. I don’t believe there is significant conversion but, that theory really can’t be explored with the data presented.
The 2nd interpretation is there is a growing sector of non-religious practicing Americans, and this increase seems to be directly effecting the Christian population in this country, either through loss of believers or over time, families are dissolving their participation in religious practice.
Two social scientists at the National Opinion Research Corporation, Tom W. Smith and Seokho Kim, contemplating similar data from the General Social Survey in 2004, concluded: “In sum, an array of social forces from cohort turnover, to immigration, to reduced retention rates, indicate that the Protestant share of the population will continue to shrink and they will soon lose their majority position in American society.”
More details of how the survey was conducted and concerns in conclusions from the data are available on the link above.
For me, I don’t completely reject organized theism per say but I’m not practicing of any religion. I don’t go to church, mass, participate in lent or confession. Holidays such as Christmas, New Years and Easter are openly celebrated with family and friends more for the opportunity of communal gathering with said people than for their religious implications.
It’s widely known that the origins of Easter are deeply rooted in pagan customs. It was Emperor Constantine that made Easter the “official” holiday, replacing Passover. This Christian Biblical Church of God site has a full break down of the origins of Easter with sources, if interested.
Maybe more people are getting more educated on religion and making their own decisions about their faith and how much they are dedicated to one theology. I don’t need a religion to tell me how to live a good, positive and full life as I live by the golden rule and just try to do the right thing. Enjoy the time with your family and friends, and as long as you still have that solid base, you’ll be alright. Bring on the chocolate!
Mary Kate talks about how “it’s easier to live in New York than in L.A…It’s freezing in New York right now. In L.A., it’s sunny. But I would choose freezing over being followed.”
Now I’m not one to follow celebrities and their pains of the fame. It comes with the life but I’ve talked before about how NYers live their own lives and really don’t care if a celeb is riding the train with them, or sitting next to em at the next table as it’s our time out not theirs.
It can be fucking cold here and will always be my continual biggest peeve of this place… but life goes on.
I had to watch this again and it never gets old. As a kid my dentist didn’t believe in the gas, Novocaine and used a minimal amount of other medical pain relievers. As a consequence, sitting in the lobby reading my Highlights, my thoughts were often interrupted by the shrills of pain by the many kids getting teeth pulled or cavities drilled.
When my dentist retired in high school, the practice replaced him with a younger, less tolerant dentist that over applied the nitrous for even a cleaning session. Who’ hasn’t compared finger trails, asked “Is this forever?” and wondered uncertain of their own reality?
Best line besides the screeming:
Why is this happening to me? Is this gonna be forever?
Walking around the LES and SOHO, I took a few shots of some graffiti, junk yard art and throw ups. Most of this was taken the first weekend of Feb and I’m just now posting.
New York City’s unemployment rate rose to 7.4% in December, up from 6.3% in November. According to Crain’s, this is the highest in almost five years and it’s over the national unemployment rate, which is 7.2%. The NY State Labor Department said, “In just the last three months, the state has lost more than 100,000 private sector jobs, including 49,300 in December 2008. This is the steepest one-month drop since October 2001 in the aftermath of the World Trade Center attacks.” Another NYC stat from the NYS Labor Dept.: “Since December 2007, the number of nonfarm jobs has decreased by 53,600, or 1.4 percent, and the number of private sector jobs has decreased by 49,100, or 1.5 percent.”
I, like many others, are getting the feeling we are just sitting around waiting to be fired. This is bad… very bad…
Yup, new prez today, and the fine people of SF have renamed BUSH Street to Obama St.
This week it’s absolutely freezing. Here’s a snap shot of the high today, which with wind chill was dipping around 5 to 8 degrees F depending on which wind tunnel you’re hanging out in.
Thanks West coasters, I’m loving those “It’s 70 and I’m skorts!” Hope they are denim assholes