A Hundred Years of Hot Dogs

I was not quite nineteen years old when I first visited New York City. I rode a bus from the Port Authority terminal to Staten Island, where my father’s WWII buddy lived. He put me up for the night before I met up with my friend who was to arrive the next day. My father’s friend and his teen-aged son took me on a brief tour of the city that evening. The highlight was Nathan’s Famous on Coney Island. He bought me a hot dog and a glass of beer. (The legal drinking age in New York at the time was eighteen.) I stood at an outside counter with my hot dog and beer. I felt pretty cool.

The story of Nathan Handwerker is pretty cool, too.


Race and Self-Deception

Nicholas Kristof grew up on a farm in Yamhill, Oregon. He works for the New York Times, traveling the world, reporting from wherever there is human suffering. In 2005, when pundit Bill O’Reilly was promoting his annual “War on Christmas,” Kristof offered to show him what war really looked like.

“If you want to do something journalistic, come along with me on my next trip to Darfur. You’ll have to leave your studio and deal with people who, if they don’t like you, will shoot you in a moment. But you’ll also have the chance to take a genuinely important and overlooked story and bring it into people’s homes. So come on, Bill. What’ll it be? More ranting from your studio? Or real journalism?”

Mr. O’Reilly did not take him up on the offer.

Mr. Kristof recently published a piece on a timely subject: race and white delusion.

“My hunch is that we will likewise look back and conclude that today’s calls for racial justice, if anything, understate the problem — and that white America, however well meaning, is astonishingly oblivious to pervasive inequity.”

Read it here.

Urban Driving

A Picture Story

IMG_1896Traffic coming towards you becomes one-way. Traffic going away from you is two-way. Traffic entering intersection from your right can go straight or turn left.

IMG_1899When I navigate this intersection, I am in the right lane, as I am usually traveling straight ahead.

The left lane can go straight or turn left.

Turning left with red light onto a one-way street is legal.

IMG_1900It appears one driver wanting to turn has become annoyed waiting behind drivers who won’t turn until the light is green.

IMG_1901Annoyed enough post instructions on the back of a street sign.

Deja Vu All Over Again

Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

In the 1974 movie Chinatown, an aggrieved wife hires private detective Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) to get the goods on her adulterous husband. Jake finds himself caught up in murder, incest and a scheme by corrupt Los Angeles officials to steal water for their municipal supply. (Jake also gets to partake in some adultery himself, with Faye Dunaway. But that’s getting off-topic.)

Continue reading Deja Vu All Over Again