Good Fences Make Live Neighbors?

I was taking pictures of the snowstorm from my window when I noticed this new fence on the roof of a building across the street. Why did they put that up? To prevent suicides? Or falls. Oh! Burglaries?

Except, that looks relatively easy to climb. Maybe there are a lot of children in the building and this is meant to protect mostly them.


Going Back to Tiffany’s

I went to Tiffany’s last week to get a pair of earrings repaired. I bought them in the 1980s, when I worked there as a holiday temp. They are the smallest of the Elsa Peretti mesh earrings, in silver not gold. They were reasonably priced at the time, especially with my employee discount, but I wouldn’t be able to afford them now. I feel like a wealthy woman owning them!

Tiffany’s is next door to Von Clownstick Tower (backstory: I still cannot bring myself to say the name). To enter Tiffany’s via the front door you are funneled into one of two lines, the other going into whatshisname’s. I avoided the spectacle by going in the side door, but then coming home I was mad at having going to go around the long way, so I went through the other line, where I had to get my bag checked. After he looked inside my backpack, the officer said, “Enjoy Von Clownstick Tower!” He said the name of course, and he was so nice I didn’t have the heart to say, “I’m just taking the most direct route to the subway, I would never, ever in a million years enjoy Von Clownstick Tower.”


There is always a crowd of people and news vans across the street now, staring and taking selfies. I still haven’t accepted that this is really and truly happening. It’s a nightmare from which we will all be awakened or rescued. I’ll be marching on January 21st.


I still have a mouse!

Except, I’m pretty sure it’s just the one. Quick back story: I had a lot of mice, who not only didn’t run when when I filmed them they seemed only too happy to pose and mock me. I blocked off every possible opening into my apartment.

I know it sounds like wishful thinking, but he ran under the stove and when I pulled out the stove to see what I might have missed, or the opening they might have created, there weren’t any. The mouse had no place to go so he ended up running at and past me. What I think happened is, when I was blocking all the gaps around my apartment, he was still in the apartment and now has no way out.

Cute bags at the Kate Spade store on Bleecker. Except they are made of leather and that is not cute. I would encourage all designers to design using cruelty-free materials.


What are we going to do about Rikers?

I handed in my book and now I’m working on the epilogue. I almost don’t have to write it. Think about it: I’ve just written a book about how we dealt with the poor, the mentally ill, and the incarcerated in the 19th century. Cliff notes summation: We didn’t do a good job.

But does anyone believe we are doing a good job now? I don’t think so. The terrible news is we’re making the exact same mistakes, over and over and over again. We’re monsters. We’re the most monstrous to the people we arrest.

Our current justice system is, and always has been, so inhumanly unfair and criminal that perhaps we should all just change places. We are all guilty, for doing nothing, while others are abused on our behalf. If you think I exaggerate, watch the Bill Moyers documentary about Rikers. Read the CRIPA Investigation of the New York City Department of Correction Jails on Rikers Island, which addresses how adolescent boys are treated there.

If I sound harsh it’s because I just spent over a year immersed in this history, seeing how bad it was, and how paralyzed the City and municipal workers were about fixing it. And then to watch that documentary only to learn that it is actually worse now, except the cells are, technically better, and at least somewhat more sanitary. But life inside for the inmates is worse to inconceivably nightmarish proportions.

I think I might have photographed this before, and posted it here. This is what it’s all about. Not just that no one wants to spend the money, but that people with money who commit crimes are not hunted and incarcerated to the degree that poor people are.