I'm late to this party, and I'm blaming all of you.
He thought of the fallen man and wondered briefly if he’d done the right thing. “I thought maybe I shouldn’t have moved him, but you’re going to get creamed by a train,” he said. He credited his show at The Flea theater in Tribeca with keeping him in shape. “I have to lift a kid up all the time, and I’m always complaining about it, but I guess it’s worth it,” he said. The fallen man was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan and was later released. The police identified him late Tuesday afternoon as Theodore Larson, 60, of the Bronx. Mr. Lindsey, of course, never learned the man’s name. His story told, he said goodbye, adding, “It was quite a New York day.”
Sunday we headed out to Richmond Hill, Queens to check out the Phagwah Parade. It was my first time celebrating (playing?) Holi, the Hindu festival of colors welcoming spring. An auntie saw that we had not yet joined in the fun and was sweet enough to bring us into the fold with a generous smear of color on all our faces. Photos of some of the festivities in India over at The Big Picture.
New York is much, much more than a financial center. It has been the nation’s largest city for roughly two centuries, and today sits in America’s largest metropolitan area, as the hub of the country’s largest mega-region. It is home to a diverse and innovative economy built around a broad range of creative industries, from media to design to arts and entertainment. It is home to high-tech companies like Bloomberg, and boasts a thriving Google outpost in its Chelsea neighborhood. Elizabeth Currid’s book, The Warhol Economy, provides detailed evidence of New York’s diversity. Currid measured the concentration of different types of jobs in New York relative to their incidence in the U.S. economy as a whole. By this measure, New York is more of a mecca for fashion designers, musicians, film directors, artists, and—yes—psychiatrists than for financial professionals.
The great urbanist Jane Jacobs was among the first to identify cities’ diverse economic and social structures as the true engines of growth. Although the specialization identified by Adam Smith creates powerful efficiency gains, Jacobs argued that the jostling of many different professions and different types of people, all in a dense environment, is an essential spur to innovation—to the creation of things that are truly new. And innovation, in the long run, is what keeps cities vital and relevant.
In this sense, the financial crisis may ultimately help New York by reenergizing its creative economy. The extraordinary income gains of investment bankers, traders, and hedge-fund managers over the past two decades skewed the city’s economy in some unhealthy ways. In 2005, I asked a top-ranking official at a major investment bank whether the city’s rising real-estate prices were affecting his company’s ability to attract global talent. He responded simply: “We are the cause, not the effect, of the real-estate bubble.” (As it turns out, he was only half right.) Stratospheric real-estate prices have made New York less diverse over time, and arguably less stimulating. When I asked Jacobs some years ago about the effects of escalating real-estate prices on creativity, she told me, “When a place gets boring, even the rich people leave.” With the hegemony of the investment bankers over, New York now stands a better chance of avoiding that sterile fate.
RMA's second annual BRAINWAVE explores the intersection of mind and matter with nearly fifty different events, including discussions with some of the world's premier artists and neuroscientists.
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"A recent wave of new immigrants has made Cary the first place in the state where there are enough Indians, Pakistanis, and Bangladeshis to support a little business district that caters mainly to them."
Last month, we traveled to India to visit family in Orissa. It was my first trip to India, and Anil's first in 25 years. I think this photo captures most of my feelings about the experience: surprise, a smidgen of apprenhension, but most of all, pure joy. I can't wait to go back.
I've shared my favorite photos on Flickr.