Wisconsin erupts

By some strange but excellent coincidence, our visit to Madison coincided with a tremendous series of demonstrations against Gov. Scott Walker’s plans to destroy public employee unions in the state, and no doubt inspire other governors to do the same. Wisconsin, it should be noted, was the first state to recognize the right of public employees to bargain collectively; Walker wants to make it a leader in reversing that history. Liza & I dropped by today’s protest at the state Capitol—one that we’re told was far larger than yesterday’s, which is said to… Read More

Great moments in real estate

Been meaning to post this for a while. These are neighboring buildings at the intersection of Smith St and Atlantic Av in Brooklyn (40 41’19.2″ N, 73 59’21.6″ W, says the iPhone). The building on the left is a “luxury” high-rise, advertising “prime retail” on the ground floor. The building on the right is a city jail. It was out of use from 2003 to 2008, but the city is gradually filling it up again. One can’t say the same of the condo, which is all empty. It’s one of the disastrous… Read More

A relic from the museum of bad ideas

A surviving memento of a bygone era, photographed in Brooklyn, on Lafayette Ave. between Grand and Classon (40°41’19.8″ N, 73°57’39.6″ W, sez the iPhone’s GPS). Next to it appears to be one of those spontaneous memorials that arise when someone is killed on the street.

Hipster irony breaks new ground!

Spotted on Metropolitan Ave, Williamsburg, Brooklyn:

Signs of the times

Stickers that have recently appeared around vacant storefronts in lower Manhattan urge us to take pleasure in our troubles. These two are blocks apart on Grand St. in Soho.