De Blasio’s Anti-Police Populism

New York City Police Officer Wenjian Liu was buried on Sunday. He was killed before Christmas, along with Officer Rafael Ramos, by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a mentally-ill black man who wanted to exact retribution for the death of Eric Garner, also black, who suffocated as the result of a police chokehold during his arrest. At the funeral for both, a number of police officers turned their back when Mayor Bill De Blasio spoke. Continue Reading »

New York Encounter: January 16-18, 2015

“Our society and culture are driving many to ask new questions about the meaning of life and to re-examine answers that had long been taken for granted. What can science contribute to the understanding of who we are? How do the new means of communication shape the perception of ourselves in . . . . Continue Reading »

What Clericalism Looks Like

For the past three months, parishioners and friends of the Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue in midtown Manhattan have been wondering what happened to the fourteen icons that were removed from two pilasters in the sanctuary on the evening of August 22. They have also been wondering why the artwork was removed in the first place. It was integral to the church’s wall-to-wall iconography, which had been commissioned by the previous pastor and funded in part by the Vatican. Other icons in the sanctuary remain. Those that are now missing were integral to the “sacred geometry of the whole sanctuary,” as their artist, Ken Woo, describes them. Their sudden disappearance has been as conspicuous as their presence was. Continue Reading »

A Company That Won’t Hire Men

The New York Times reports the founding of a new company here in New York. It’s called SheTaxis—SheRides. Here’s how the Times describes it: “The new livery service starting Sept. 16 in New York City, Westchester County and Long Island will offer female drivers exclusively, for female riders.” Continue Reading »

From Ferguson to Staten Island

My web exclusive yesterday took up that oft-repeated script we saw enacted in Ferguson, Missouri—police violence against young black males, protests that shift toward retributive violence, hand-wringing, soul-searching, and then little change. Thorough reflection on that script needs to take in the quite different trajectory of similar events here in New York. Continue Reading »

Religion in the Unheavenly City

Half a mile, not more, separates 50th Street and Park Avenue in central Manhattan from the northwest corner of 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue. But the two points mark the antipodes of New York City’s axis of religious dedication: to timelessness at one pole, to change at the other.On the 50th . . . . Continue Reading »