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Category Archive for 'Life in the Big City'

One afternoon during the summer of 2000, her first year as a bus driver in Oregon’s Portland, Hope Okazaki had a troubling episode of gastrointestinal distress while on the job. She had just finished an almost two-hour tour through the east side of town, and her bus was parked at the Gateway Transit Center, in […]

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I never met Questlove, but when I was a little kid, my aunt and cousins lived in Bartram Village, where we could hang out in the stairwell and listen to Lee Andrews (Questlove’s father) and the Hearts practice their harmonies. When I listened to his story about the constant indignity of “stop and frisk,” I […]

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Class segregation

Isn’t it ironic? If I have to move again, I will probably end up in the suburbs — because my city, which used to be one of the most affordable on the East Coast — is now too expensive for me to get an apartment: Concentrated poverty is one of the biggest problems facing cities […]

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Yes, that would be Pat Lynch, the NYPD’s PBA president who’s running for reelection: The outspoken president of one of New York’s main police unions has come under fire for a campaign video critics say exploits the deaths of two NYPD officers who were killed in an attack in December. Some officers from New York […]

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How cold is it? Let me put it this way: I was meeting a friend downtown for dinner last night, and the wind chill was 20 below. I wore leggings, pants, wool socks, suede boots with wool lining, a tank top, a flannel shirt, a fleece pullover, a neck scarf, a down-filled parka, a wool […]

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I’m trying to work up enough motivation to go out and start my car so the battery doesn’t die, but it’s 0 degrees and I’m not feeling it yet. Here in the urban hellhole, when we have an extended deep freeze, our 150-year-old infrastructure starts blowing up: water mains and gas pipes. I feel for […]

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It was Friday the 13th, a good day to play it safe. But the sun glared through the leafless trees and into my shack, urging me to greet the day with good faith. “Go out and slay dragons,” Swamp Rabbit said. He was hungry and out of bourbon. There were supermarkets and liquor stores to […]

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Teacher Steve Singer over at Gadfly On The Wall: As any experienced public school teacher knows, you have to satisfy a person’s basic needs before you have any chance at teaching them something new. Psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is always at the back of mind. Students must have their physical needs met first […]

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That this happened in the only Republican area of Philadelphia. This is a big deal, it’s a major traffic artery (one I avoid at all costs). Maybe they will finally wake up: PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A huge water main break Tuesday morning closed the Roosevelt Boulevard in Northeast Philadelphia. Water on the roadway forced traffic […]

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Oops

I hate reading stories like this. It’s so painful to know this child would be alive if this operator had been properly trained and knew how to do her job: Just 12 hours before police say a man threw his five-year-old daughter to her death off a Tampa Bay bridge last month, his own attorney […]

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