The Strangers’ Gate: An Anti-Wall Concept

Up near the northwest corner of New York’s Central Park, across from the intersection of 106th Street and Central Park West, stands The Strangers’ Gate, one of 20 named entrances to the park, which was designed in 1858 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. If you pass through the gate and climb the 77 […]

In a Divided Nation, Seeking Common Ground

I don’t use social media, but I’m on a lot of email lists, including the “Trump Make America Great Again Committee,” as well as various Democratic lists that span that party’s often-fractious ideological spectrum. It’s like reading missives from warring universes, factions that are wholly uninterested in understanding different points of view, intent solely on […]

“Purple mountain majesties”

“The land was ours before we were the land’s,” Robert Frost, The Gift Outright The hard and resolute granite peaks of the Teton Range that rise dramatically above Wyoming’s Jackson Valley are not as unchanging as they appear. In fact, the mountains are still growing – although at the rate of about a millimeter a […]

Why are we giving fat cats a free lunch?

“One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” Lucretius Some call bureaucratic regulations “job killers” that stifle economic growth Others call them protections that safeguard human health and the environment. Whatever they are, they are an endangered species, as the Trump administration rolls back Obama-era regulations at a record-breaking pace. Because these decisions are made unilaterally […]

An Immigrant, an Artist and an American Mythmaker

Two hundred years ago 17-year-old Thomas Cole emigrated from England to the United States, where he would revolutionize painting in his new country by creating “wild landscapes that were unmistakably American.” Born at the onset of the industrial revolution, Cole discovered in the American wilderness an antidote to the polluted rivers, poisoned air, and exploited […]

Politics is fleeting, art endures

“The earth laughs in flowers,” Ralph Waldo Emerson. Kalman Aron died late last month at the age of 93. When he was 16, the Germans invaded his Latvian homeland and within two years had murdered most of the country’s Jews, including his parents. Aron spent the next four years in seven concentration camps, and in […]