Category Archives: New York

r.i.p. nora ephron, although i hardly knew ye

If I were 22 and lonely in Kathmandu like Ariel Levy I’d never pull out a Nora Ephron book. Home alone on a wintry Saturday evening, yes, I’ll watch an Ephron movie on TBS–and that’s how I knew her, in that limited, younger-woman-browsing-entertainment-for-older-women way. I knew the name Ephron of course; you can’t move in literary circles in New York City, among Upper East Siders or in the magazine world and not know of her. But since I’d never read her work, I don’t know the true measure of her value to letters, the public sphere or to certain women. What I do know is that Ephron, who died this Tuesday at the age of 71, wrote well about life as she knew it. That’s my goal and daily struggle as a writer but she did it. Nuff respect.

I heard her speak once at an early morning invite only breakfast junket. The food was too good, the surroundings overdone. Another famous person–younger, more attractive, not yet needing a lot of Botox–was seated next to her but I only remember Ephron. Witty, sharp, irreverent and seemingly rating the morning’s event no higher than the next opportunity to nap or get her hair done. I understand why she’ll be missed.

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heather mac donald vs weak liberal arguments for stop and frisk reform

Yesterday’s silent Father’s Day march against stop and frisk in New York City was well attended and, if you go by Twitter, life-changing. But if reformers are interested in change they should revisit some of their liberal arguments against the policy that notched 700,000 stops–nearly 90 percent innocent–of residents mainly in minority neighborhoods last year.

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thoughts on stop and frisk, criminals and the black community

(Photo: Debbie Egan-Chin/NY Daily News)

Big city news this week is that ahead of an upcoming Father’s Day march that will likely be the largest public gathering against stop-and-frisk to date, mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the NYPD’s policy this past Sunday at a Brooklyn church. For non-NYC readers, data drives the criticism. Last year’s numbers showing the gap between all stops and guilty stops reflect a decade of growing concern: of roughly 700,000 stops in mainly black and Latino neighborhoods, 90 percent were innocent. I’ve been covering stop and frisk since last fall and while Bloomberg’s address was the news hook, a more inconspicuous quote–one typical of how race talk can undermine both the pro and con stop and frisk positions–caught my eye. The church’s pastor, pointing out that it is wrong that so many of those stopped are black, says,

“We’re not the only ones carrying guns.”

That’s a curious construction, “we,” as I’m willing to bet that 90-year-old Bishop A.D. Lyons’ weapon of choice is a Bible, not a Glock.

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