Death Monuments and Beers on the Water

Steve has worked in the building directly across the street from One World Trade Center for two years, but we’ve never been to his office. It’s not the place where one brings dirty children. A couple of weeks ago, we went anyway and checked out the whole area.

While I’ve been to the seaport and other downtown spots, this was the first time that I’ve been to the WTC since 9/11. Right after it happened, I couldn’t go down to help with the relief effort, because I was pregnant. Later, I had no interest in looking at the gaping hole in the ground and getting depressed. I was a little horrified at what that area has become. Two blocks of death.

The footprint of the old buildings are now water features that stretch out for two blocks. And there’s a museum that’s sloped like it’s midway through collapse. NO! Just to the side there’s the new transportation center that looks like the sunburnt bones of a mythical creature. There are vertibrae and ribs! And when you’re inside, the bones continue, so you feel like Jonah in the dead whale.

People died over there. A lot of people. Everybody else was scared shitless. And I want to forget about it.

But once you get past the two blocks of death, that area of the city is happy capitalism. Between 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, downtown wasn’t looking too pretty for a long time. Now, it’s a big amusement park. There are building cranes everywhere. Steve’s building has a fancy-pants mall in the basement with Hermes and Louboutin stores, aka gift stores for guilty stockbrokers. There’s a cafe that stretches out along the water.

People want to live right next store to their offices, so half the buildings going up are residential. There’s a mile deep Whole Foods with perfect red apples.

I showed the kids where George Washington took his first oath of office. We went into Trinty Church. We said hello to the Stock Exchange. We had beers at a cool joint with views of the Statue of Liberty.

Quick Update

Hi, guys. I’ll get a blog post up later today. Just wanted to jot a quick note first.

A year ago, I was encouraged to apply for a position. I took three weeks to pull together all the relevant paperwork and then heard nothing. I was briefly disappointed, and then promptly forgot about it. In the beginning of August, some people involved in the process randomly contacted me to let me know the whys. Basically, I was too old. This happened just as I was in the middle of a meltdown about turning 50.

The next week, the Atlantic offered me a position as a regular contributor. Again, out of the blue.

I’m going to be writing about schools, higher ed, and parenting once a week for the education channel at the Atlantic. My latest article should be up on the website later today.

What is the Appeal of Donald Trump?

Yesterday, I was down on Wall Street with the kids and I saw some guy pull out his cell phone and take a video of the Trump sign outside of one of his buildings. I almost took a picture of the guy taking pictures of the Trump building. Because the Trump fans are more mysterious and interesting than the Trump himself.

Why is Donald Trump doing so well at the polls? Matt Yglesias says that it’s because people like his ideas.

I think that it’s all about name recognition and attitude. And maybe that big silly wall.

Summer’s End


This is about the weirdest summers on record here at the home that is no longer Apt. 11D.

Some of the weirdness came from the age of the boys. I’m no longer the swim club mom, the buyer of ice pops, the keeper of the pool badges. I never liked the swim club with the bored gossipers and the rubber strapped beach chairs that made red lines on the back of thighs. While I’m thrilled to let the swim club membership lapse, it took us a long time to find new rhythms. Continue reading

Rush Limbaugh on Trump

Gotta read this Conor Friedersdorf article on Donald Trump.

I rarely agree with Limbaugh. But I think he was right when he said about Trump: “There’s a percentage of the population that is totally fed up with the political class, including the media.  And they have wanted things said to people and about people… for years and they haven’t heard it.  I mean, the media is not loved.  The media in some cases is despised, and Trump is giving it right back to ’em in ways that many people in this country have dreamed of happening.”

“As such,” the radio star said of the former NBC host, “he comes off as refreshing. Even when he’s not on message, or not on issues, he comes across as somebody that says things they would like to say … things they have hoped others would say … I don’t think a lot of these big players, including in the media, have any idea who their audiences are … I don’t think they have the slightest idea the size of and the amount of real anger directed at them … It goes so far beyond the fact that they’re biased.”