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Showing posts from August, 2012

It's about time: Sebastian Laws, a man who fixes time

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Sixth in a series, It's about time: Conversations with New Yorkers about time, looks at a man who fixes time. Sebastian Laws, the proprietor of Sutton Clocks on Manhattan's Upper East Side, fixes clocks, talks about time, and his "customers". Soon, Sutton Clocks at its present location will be a thing of the past: with its lease up at the end of 2012, Laws, a second generation horologist, is looking for new space.

Mayor Bloomberg, please. May I have another piece of cake? It’s my birthday!

If it's not one thing, it's another: The Subject is Papasito

It's about time - Ann Pringle Harris

Fifth in a series of conversations with New Yorkers about time, journalist Ann Pringle Harris talks about the mystery of time, working as a copy girl for the New York Sun, her newspaper and magazine writing career, and offers writing tips.


If it's not one thing, it's another: What’s in Your Bag? A Tale from Subterranea

I can tell when the warm weather is here to stay because those long tables set up by the NYPD to search our bags in the subway stations are gone and so are the gaggles of women holding religious tracts at the 207th Street stop of the A train. It’s just too darn hot to proselytize and stop and inspect the perspiring masses when temperatures on subway platforms and stations reach triple digits. But I have discovered a theory as to why women’s bags aren’t searched as often as the ones belonging to their male counterparts.             My theory is that men are selected because they travel lighter. Let’s face it. A wallet and a small bag get you in and out and off to your destination quickly. My handbag/suitcase weights 27 pounds. I know. I weighed it myself. A heavy bag, by the way, also serves as a deterrent to a purse-snatcher. He just might trip over it, and it requires some measure of dexterity to remove the bag from my shoulder; this involves a shoulder roll followed by a twist and …

Three Carnations

There’s a body buried in the Carver Houses

The George Washington Carver Houses belong to the New York City Housing Authority, a city agency which houses New Yorkers and their families in sometimes tired and worn down but solid, singular-looking buildings throughout the five boroughs. 

Like the pigeons that used to nest in coops on top of apartment buildings, rumors have flown for years that Mount Sinai Hospital has plans to take over the Carver Houses and use the apartments as housing for their medical residents. I heard these rumors 10 years ago; I still hear them today.

But the Carver Houses are still here and so is the body. Three weary pink carnations mark the spot underneath a windowsill, lying on the dirt grounds of a housing project named after a peanut farmer. As with all gifts of flowers, there’s a story behind these, too. 

Wrapped in plastic, the corpse lies buried in the soil beneath a thousand heartaches of working people. I passed by the other day, and there were the ghosts…